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Self-seeking greed and avarice

"At one major investment bank for which I worked, we used psychometric testing to recruit social psychopaths because their characteristics exactly suited them to senior corporate finance roles." (relatedly via)
posted by xchmp on Jan 3, 2012 - 53 comments

Repo [Leh]men

The September 2008 colapse of Lehman Bros. was the percipaticing event which channged a credit crunch to a panic. The examiner apointed by the bancrupcy court has produced a 2200 page report about what went wrong. The whole report is here. Summaries and links to analysis after the jump. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Mar 13, 2010 - 31 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Mostly Bloody Awful?

On the role of MBA-based management culture in the current credit-crisis. Downloadable audio and transcript of a radio show that presents some strong opinions on MBA oriented management culture. [more inside]
posted by jouke on Apr 28, 2009 - 59 comments

Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world

Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world By Nassim Nicholas Taleb in FT.
posted by jouke on Apr 9, 2009 - 49 comments

Should creation of money stay in private hands?

Professor and economist Richard Werner proposes a solution for the current banking crisis, under which "... national debt and interest liabilities will not increase, but credit creation will." [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 on Mar 9, 2009 - 49 comments

The Grand Experiment

History Repeats Itself in Different Hues -- a readable Q&A data dump comparing the economics and policy responses of 1990s Japan and current events
posted by troy on Dec 19, 2008 - 6 comments

Synthetic CDO's: tsunami event when major bankruptcies reaches 9 (currently 6)

Synthetic CDO's are complex little known financial instruments (insurance contracts) that are on the brink of triggering "the most colossal rights issue in the history of the world, all at once .. mandatory." If, out of a list of several hundred major companies, any nine go bankrupt, the CDO's are in default, which would mean a mass transfer of cash (real money) from unsuspecting investors around the world goes into the banking system. How much? Nobody knows, but it’s many trillions. Banks will be flush with cash, perhaps ending the credit crisis, while many investors (individuals, charities, municipalities) will be wiped out. Alternatively, the triggering of default on the trillions of synthetic CDOs could be a disaster that tips the world from recession into depression. Nobody knows, but it won’t be a small event. Thus far the count is six: three Icelandic banks, Countrywide, Lehman and Bear Stearns.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 1, 2008 - 49 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 comments

I Am Not a Whiner

Phil Gramm is unrepentent. "Mr. Gramm said the problem of predatory loans was not of the banks’ making. Instead, he faulted “predatory borrowers". "Mr. Gramm, ever the economics professor, disputes his critics’ analysis of the causes of the upheaval. He asserts that swaps, by enabling companies to insure themselves against defaults, have diminished, not increased, the effects of the declining housing markets." “This is part of this myth of deregulation,” he said in the interview. “By and large, credit-default swaps have distributed the risks. They didn’t create it. The only reason people have focused on them is that some politicians don’t know a credit-default swap from a turnip.”
posted by Xurando on Nov 17, 2008 - 69 comments

Don't watch the Dow. Here’s the number that really captures the financial crisis [TED spread]

The Dow went up today.. don't watch the Dow. Here’s the number that really captures the financial crisis [TED spread]. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 13, 2008 - 44 comments

Stochastic cascades, credit contagion, and large portfolio losses

"In the limit of an infinite economy, the number of initial downgrades is Poisson distributed. This captures the idea that the shock initially affects only a small number of firms. Nonetheless, the distribution of the total number of defaults has slowly decaying tails ... A firm might well be able to absorb its shock, but it might not be able to absorb both the shock and the resulting deterioration in the average rating. The initial downgrades may thus trigger additional defaults that, in turn, further deteriorate the average rating, and so on. In a large economy, this cascade can be described by a branching process." Ulrich Horst, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2007. (Internet supplement!) [more inside]
posted by geoff. on Sep 30, 2008 - 8 comments

Mortgaging America

America's for sale. Just ask Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. With the U.S. economy in shambles, Paulson just spent four days touring the Middle East, hat in hand, looking for investors to bail us out. Specifically, on Monday, Paulson met with heads of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world's largest "sovereign wealth fund" with roughly $875 billion in assets, and encouraged them to buy American businesses. Mortgaging America by Eric J. Weiner (LA Times Op Ed) [more inside]
posted by ornate insect on Jun 5, 2008 - 42 comments

Soros: Financial crisis as bad as the Great Depression

The Financial Crisis: An Interview with George Soros. "We are in the midst of a financial crisis the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression." (video, April 4)
posted by stbalbach on Apr 28, 2008 - 56 comments

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