Felix Martin says that money isn’t a commodity, but a system of credits. This insight allows his book to rewrite monetary history in an eye-opening way. It also suggests that the way economists approach finance and recessions is hopelessly wrong.
A government advisor and the chief of the country’s $1.2 trillion public retirement fund are sparring over asset allocation between debt and equity. While stock market investors have a stake in the turf war, the bigger concern for bond buyers is the surge in pension liabilities.
Matteo Renzi has been forced to amend his electoral reform. The result could mean that Italy will remain ungovernable. The new prime minister’s hand is weaker, even though the risk of early elections has subsided. And serious economic reforms will be harder.
The country’s possible first bond default has prompted comparisons with the Wall Street firm’s failure. It’s tempting for investors to seek parallels with 2008. If the analogy fits at all, it’s only because it reminds the Chinese authorities which mistakes to avoid.
The investment banker is taking his eponymous 7-year-old firm public. It may be worth some $2 bln. By stretching the limits of corporate governance, Moelis will wield exceptional control. For potential investors this is a chance to grab onto his coattails – and not much more.
The country’s bonds keep sinking in spite of an upcoming IMF package. Creditors are facing either a soft debt rescheduling or more radical haircuts. The risks of austerity, devaluation and continued political uncertainty all point to the latter. Market prices still look rosy.