We already talked
(self-link, sorta) about Zeitgeist: The Movie
. Its author, Peter Joseph, recently released Zeitgeist: Addendum
. (beware: last two links are two hour movies) This time, it’s about money and debt, scarcity and resources. The first, financial part may look like an extended Ron Paul
ad, but then there’s a sudden turn towards resource-based utopian techno-communalism, and an endorsement for The Venus project
. It seems to me like "Kropotkinian anarchism meets The Matrix". In these rough times
, is it time for a big leap? [Also announced: The Zeitgeist Movement
, still not active]
posted by Baldons
on Oct 7, 2008 -
"Through the quarter-century in which China has been opening to world trade, Chinese leaders have deliberately held down living standards for their own people and propped them up in the United States. This is the real meaning of the vast trade surplus—$1.4 trillion and counting, going up by about $1 billion per day—that the Chinese government has mostly parked in U.S. Treasury notes. In effect, every person in the (rich) United States has over the past 10 years or so borrowed about $4,000 from someone in the (poor) People’s Republic of China." James Fallows on how the trade deficit between China and America works and what it means for the future.
posted by afu
on Sep 30, 2008 -
"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 -
A private FDIC
The Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service
, or CDARS
, is a way to conveniently spread bank accounts across multiple banks. CDARS, run by privately held Promontory Interfinancial Network, offers its customers up to $50 million of deposit insurance
, or exactly 500 times single account limit mandated by the FDIC. Promontory does this by arranging to distribute client funds nationwide in $100K increments to over 2,300 banks. Promontory is nothing if not well connected: while founders Mark Jacobsen previously served as Chief of Staff at the FDIC
, co-founders Alan Blinder was Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve
and Eugene Ludwig was Comptroller of the Currency
, several former members of the FDIC currently serve on Promotory's board.
Not surprisingly, some folks are openly critical of Promotory, some going so far as to state "It undermines a lot of the safeguards around the FDIC deposit fund."
posted by Mutant
on Sep 26, 2008 -
Follow the money: for the past year, the big trade
was short bank stocks, and use the cash to go long oil. Massively profitable, but now that trade is unwinding. So where is the big money being invested now? Lots of places: diamonds
, fine art
, and Madonna
posted by Mutant
on Aug 20, 2008 -
The Scholar Ship
, an international floating university stewarded by top universities in Morocco
, the United Kingdom
, and Ghana
, have temporarily suspended all voyages
due to lack of funds - mainly caused by the withdrawal of main sponsor and initiator Royal Caribbean International
. The program ran two voyages in 2007
before shutdown. Alumni and prospective students on Facebook
are busily sourcing options to revive the organization, while Semester at Sea is offering spaces
to students who were accepted for the now-cancelled voyages. [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Jun 14, 2008 -
The rapid growth of electronic trading since 1976
has benefited equity market participants by improving competition, reducing cost and increasing liquidity while insuring better pricing.
One unexpected side effect has been the recent emergence of "dark pools of liquidity"
, or the secret stock market. [more inside]
posted by Mutant
on May 20, 2008 -
I asked Nathan Myhrvold, C.E.O. of Intellectual Ventures and widely considered to be one of the smartest people in technology, if he is brilliant. "If you put yourself in that camp, you might be correct," he teased. "But then, you're also an asshole." The Brilliant Issue
profiles Porfolio's picks for best game-changers, upstarts, rebels, connectors and other influencers. [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on May 2, 2008 -
The Most Important Article You Did Not Read This Week
Now, it is true that the most important article you probably didn’t read contains all the usual hair-raising things you’d expect to see about the real estate market, including “developers under siege,” “signs of weakness in key markets,” developers “slashing prices,” and the head of a major builder advising “that people wait three to four years before purchasing a new home.” But the most important article you probably didn’t read is not about real estate markets in Naples, Florida, or Sacramento, California. It is about China. [ full WSJ article here]
posted by Stynxno
on Mar 28, 2008 -
While the US equities markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, stock markets around the world took a nosedive, losing billions in equity
; the markets in Australia
, South Korea
, Indonesia, Hong Kong
, the UK
, and more countries
have dropped at least 5% each (Canada
only fell 4.75%), even though most of those markets had already been seriously down for several days prior. India has been hit particularly hard
, at one point down a whopping 11%, tripping their markets' automatic "circuit breakers"
for a mandatory time-out period, before scraping back up to close at 8% down.
US futures markets are currently predicting a 650+ point drop just at the open Tuesday morning
, before even a single trade goes through. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl
on Jan 22, 2008 -
At a time when fed-up American citizens are petitioning Congress
to end the imprudent financial practices that caused the
housing bubble sub-prime mortgage crisis liquidity crisis
impending recession -- including the banning of SIV's
and refusing any bailouts
for Wall Street, banks, or mortgage companies -- the United States Treasury Department has just announced
the creation of a giant-mega-ultra SIV called "M-LEC" made up of assets from several of the largest American banks. Already unofficially nicknamed "Sivie Mae" (or worse, "the Frankenstein Fund"
), it would be an off-balance-sheet way for these banks to pool and price the ABCP
's that they've lately been having trouble pricing and thus selling -- i.e. the liquidity crisis. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl
on Oct 16, 2007 -
"I had no idea how my open-handedness could be made to look,
after the fact. At the time I bought the subprime portfolio I thought: This is sort of like my way of giving something back. I didn't expect a profile in Philanthropy Today or anything like that. I mean, I bought at a discount. But I thought people would admire the Wall Street big shot who found a way to help the little guy. Sort of like a money doctor helping a sick person. Then the little guy wheels around and gives me this financial enema. And I'm the one who gets crap in the papers!" -- Michael Lewis
on the subprime meltdown
posted by GrammarMoses
on Sep 8, 2007 -