This is needed, by me and quite possibly by you as well: I’m off on holiday for the next couple of weeks. Alaska, mainly, which if Dave Weigel’s tweets are any indication, means that I’ll have neither the inclination nor the ability to post anything. So blogging will be intermittent at best between now and August 10. In the meantime, go enjoy some wine, and the summer.
There’s a certain amount of relief in the markets that there’s absolutely nothing in the way of bad news coming out of the European bank stress tests. Essentially, the tests could be tough or they could be lenient; and there could be significant failures or no significant failures. The outcome, in the end, was that the tests were lenient and that there were no significant failures.
Clearly, a tough test with no significant failures would have been better news — but at the same time, a lenient test with significant failures would have been worse news. So we’re somewhere in the middle, and muddling along: in the CDS market, most banks have seen their spreads tighten modestly, by single-digit amounts, according to Markit.
The European stress tests are less credible than the US stress tests, for reasons laid out by Chris Whalen and many others. They’re a bit of a europudding, but they’re better than nothing. And it’s worth remembering that a lot of people had similar reactions to the US stress tests, too, immediately before and immediately after they came out — few people at the time reckoned that they would have much effect in terms of restoring confidence and credibility to the interbank market.
But they did help, a lot, mainly because they forced US banks to raise a lot of new capital. The European stress tests don’t do that, and therefore they look like a bit of a waste of time. Remember that the markets, like the rest of us, prefer to see actions to words, and the actions which followed the US stress tests undoubtedly strengthened the US banking system. By contrast, the European stress tests don’t seem to require any extra capital-raising whatsoever from any banks that anybody cares about. Only seven banks failed; three are state-owned already (Germany’s Hypo, Spain’s Cajasur, and Greece’s ATEBank), and the other four are tiny Spanish banks you’ve never heard of.
In any case, the only stress test that global markets really care about, in the European context, is a Greek default. And this stress test didn’t even attempt to model what might happen to European banks’ balance sheets in that event.
Was there any point in doing this test? I think so, yes. It got all the European national bank regulators talking to each other and cooperating more than they do normally, and thinking hard about important questions related to the solvency of the European banking system. The test itself was weak, to be sure. But the Committee of European Banking Supervisors has a lot of granular information now which it can try to use for the purposes of crisis prevention. Whether it will or not is unclear, as is whether it will succeed if it tries. But its very existence is probably a good thing. So even if the stress tests look like a joke, they might have something in the way of positive consequences.
The nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point. Warren and the large team of Warren enthusiasts have been pushing her nomination aggressively, to the point at which no one in the Obama administration is going to want to face the political firestorm associated with not nominating her.
This is no horserace: Warren’s running only against a vague conception of not-Warren, rather than against a flesh-and-blood Michael Barr or anybody else. Here’s Charlie Rose, for instance, questioning Tim Geithner on the subject in the very first direct question of his interview:
Charlie Rose: Will Professor Elizabeth Warren be the new director of the consumer agency?
Tim Geithner: Let me just say that she is an incredibly capable, effective advocate for reform. She was way ahead of her time, way ahead of the country in pointing out what was actually happening in the credit business. All the bad stuff that was happening, the looming housing crisis, she was pioneering and pointing out those risks. And she is a — I think probably the most effective advocate of reform we have in the country on these questions. So like I say, I think she’d do a great job in that position…
Charlie Rose: She has the qualities you’re looking for.
Tim Geithner: Oh, absolutely, without a doubt, without a doubt. But that’s the president’s decision to make.
I understand. The other question is whether her nomination will be approved by the Senate if she’s nominated. There’s some political controversy there.
And here’s Floyd Norris, today, saying that “the bureau, more than most new agencies, is likely to be molded by its first boss”:
The new office has a director, not a board, and it is hard to imagine what runner-up position could be offered to Ms. Warren.
The president could choose someone who will not ruffle too many feathers, and in the process avoid yet another Senate floor fight.
But if he names Ms. Warren, and she wins confirmation, she and Ms. Schapiro could become a dynamic duo in reforming Wall Street.
Neither Rose nor Norris so much as mentions Barr, or the other candidate for the job, Gene Kimmelman. And that’s where they fall short, I think. Because it’s far from obvious to me that Barr, Kimmelman, or anybody else would indeed “not ruffle too many feathers” and “avoid yet another Senate floor fight”. And unless you can convince yourself that the Senate would be tougher on Candidate B than on Warren, there’s no Senate-related reason not to nominate her.
The other reasons not to nominate Warren are weak indeed. There’s talk that she doesn’t have executive experience; I doubt that argument will carry much weight with Barack Obama. Megan McArdle doesn’t like the methodology in her research papers; again, this is not a big deal. And Adam Ozimek, in a blog post entitled “The case against Elizabeth Warren”, sums it up like this:
If you’re the type of person who thinks that interest rates of 200% are crazy and shouldn’t be permitted, then you probably will like Warren as head of CFPB. However, if you’re the type of person who thinks that payday lending makes people better off, then you probably don’t want Warren as head of CFPB.
Warren is known to have powerful friends in the White House, which means that there’s really only one possible obstacle to her getting nominated: Tim Geithner. Dan Froomkin, for instance, reckons that “the only way Warren will get the job is if Geithner is overruled”. But if you look at the tone of Geithner’s comments to Rose, he hardly seems dead-set against her. And no Treasury secretary, least of all Geithner, likes going against the wishes of the White House. Geithner is at heart a technocrat, rather than a fighter or an ideologue, and he’s certainly no master of the dark political arts. If he was ever trying to prevent Warren’s nomination — and I’m not convinced that he was — then he has at this point been convincingly outmaneuvered. The game’s over; her nomination is a done deal.
Matt Cameron picks up on an interesting tidbit from the most recent Goldman Sachs earnings call:
“As a result of meeting franchise client and broader market needs, we had a short equity volatility position going into the quarter. Given the spikes in volatility that occurred during the quarter, equity derivatives posted poor quarterly results,” Goldman’s chief financial officer, David Viniar, told analysts on a quarterly earnings conference call on July 20 …
Goldman’s results back up widespread rumours that have been circulating among rival dealers since May …
One exotics trader says the whole Street would have struggled in May to a greater or lesser degree. “This move caught people by surprise. Look at the Vix – it moved from 25 points to 40 in two days. It took two weeks to spike that much after Lehman – it’s a huge move. I can tell you every dealer on the Street was probably short skew and short volatility,” he says.
This is what Goldman does: it takes big positions in things like equity derivatives, and then it makes money when those positions rise in value. Or, less frequently, it loses money when those positions fall in value.
But note how careful Viniar was to characterize Goldman’s short-vol position as “a result of meeting franchise client and broader market needs.” This, of course, is a way of signaling to the market that his trading desk’s profits aren’t going away any time soon: they’re client-related, and they’re not the result of the kind of proprietary trades which are going to be banned under the Volcker rule.
I’m sure it’s true that in the second quarter Goldman sold a lot of volatility to investors wanting to hedge the risk that their stock portfolios would fall. But it’s a broker-dealer, and it’s entirely possible to engage in that kind of market-making without having an overall short-vol position over the quarter as a whole. Remember how markets are supposed to work: when everybody wants to buy something, its price goes up to the point at which there’s a genuine two-way market again.
If everybody on Wall Street knew that Goldman was short volatility, it’s pretty obvious what was going on. Goldman was selling a lot of volatility to clients, it thought that the price of volatility was more likely to go down rather than up, and so it happily sat on its short-vol position over most of the quarter, looking to make money as the price went down. Instead, the price went up, and it lost an estimated $250 million on those trades.
That’s prop trading. Yes, the equity derivatives desk was indeed meeting client needs, but it was also taking a proprietary directional position on where it thought volatility was headed. Viniar, on the conference call, was essentially saying to regulators, “you can’t prove this is prop trading, we’re just going to say that it was all on behalf of clients, and there’s nothing you can do to stop us.” I suspect he’s right.
Wow, it seems I was actually right for a change! After I declared earlier this afternoon that “repealing AB1120, if only temporarily while the SEC works out some kind of sensible permanent solution, seems to be the obvious way to go”, the SEC has gone and done exactly that:
Within the next day, the Division of Corporation Finance expects to issue a ‘no action’ letter allowing issuers for a period of 6 months to omit credit ratings from registration statements filed under Regulation AB.
As Stacy-Marie Ishmael notes, however, this looks very much like the regulatory equivalent of avoiding the pain of paying for something in cash by putting it on a credit card instead; she quotes RBS strategist Paul Jablansky as saying that “at the end of the six-month period, market participants will be faced with the same concerns that froze the market this week”.
I do think that Stacy is a bit too quick to discount the 144a option, though. If you do a private bond sale, rather than a public one, then the SEC rules are loosened a little and the ratings problem goes away. There are two downsides, as explained by BofAML:
Many investors cannot participate in the 144a market, so we do not think that market provides a long-term solution…
A shift to the 144a market has the potential of increasing funding costs to issuers and consequently consumers. Instead of seeing their funding costs rise, some issuers may reduce origination volumes.
I’m not so convinced. I’ve seen big bond deals done in the 144a market in the past and if the structured-credit world just moves en masse over to the 144a market, it won’t take all that long for investors to follow it. The kind of people who buy structured products can normally get certification to buy 144a deals if they put their mind to it.
And the language about “increasing funding costs to issuers and consequently consumers” is a dead giveaway that the note is part of a political lobbying effort, rather than anything particularly objective: consumers of what, exactly? Whenever there’s a potential market development that the banks don’t like, their knees jerk and they start talking about “increased costs to consumers” even when doing so makes little if any sense.
The fact is that if the whole market goes semi-private and takes place under the auspices of Rule 144a, very little will change. It’ll be the same issuers and the same investors and the same intermediaries. It’ll even be the same lawyers. There might be a bit of a bumpy transition, but that’s what these six months are for. So get cracking, buy-side investors without 144a access, and start applying for it now!
As for my original question of how the SEC will cope with the problem, I think that if the market moves to 144a, that’s as good a solution as can be expected. The SEC gets to look tough, the ratings agencies don’t take on liability they don’t want and no one messes with Congress’s legislation. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it elegant, exactly, but I don’t think it will annoy anybody too much.
On average, good news on FT Alphaville is associated with 1-week ahead outperformance. Conversely, on average, bad news for a company on FT Alphaville is associated with 1-week ahead under-performance. The same effect is not evident in our database as a whole, indicating that there is something “special” about the news that comes from FT Alphaville.
This worries me. Paul’s been a valiant one-man fighter against the Forces of Paywall at the FT, and he’s kept Alphaville free to date. But as he leaves, parts of Alphaville have already started disappearing behind the wall, and FT staffers, after seeing that I’d blogged the Secret Free RSS Feed, immediately went and truncated it. “If it’s worth something, charge for it” seems to be the mantra at the FT these days, and without Paul’s ninja political skills, I’m not sure how long his successor, Neil Hume, will be able to hold out. Especially when Scientific Research proves how valuable Alphaville is!
Neil will do his best, I’m sure, to try to persuade the FT that Alphaville is valuable (and has those predictive powers) precisely because it’s free. But such thinking is increasingly heretical over by Southwark Bridge, I fear. In any case, maybe I should shut up now. Friends like me are probably the last thing Neil needs. And I’m sure that the folks over at Recorded Future will be getting a nastygram from the FT’s legal folks in 3… 2…
Dell’s $100 million settlement with the SEC is notable for the fact that Michael Dell is personally being fined as well:
The SEC’s allegations with respect to Mr. Dell and his settlement are limited to the alleged failure to provide adequate disclosures with respect to the company’s commercial relationship with Intel prior to Fiscal 2008…
Under his settlement, Mr. Dell has consented to a permanent injunction against future violations of these negligence-based provisions and other non-fraud based provisions of certain federal securities laws and SEC rules. In addition, Mr. Dell has agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $4 million.
The size of the penalty, here, is less important than its existence: Dell is coughing up a $4 million fine for allegedly failing to provide adequate disclosures while chairman and CEO of the company.
Now cast your mind back to the Goldman Sachs settlement, where Goldman, too, was accused of failing to provide adequate disclosures. In that case, the chairman and CEO of the company, Lloyd Blankfein, paid no fine whatsoever.
A lot of people were expecting that Blankfein might have to resign as part of the SEC settlement. But in fact he didn’t even get a Dell-style slap. Maybe there’s no realistic way that Blankfein could stay on as chairman and CEO after paying the fine; Dell, as the founder of the company, is in a slightly different position. But this case does underline that the SEC wasn’t nearly as tough on Goldman as it might have been.
The biggest unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank to date is the fact that the market in asset-backed securities seems to be closed, with Ford pulling a deal which was going to be more than $1 billion.
There are two related issues here. The first is the repeal of SEC Rule 436(g), which had prevented investors from being able to sue ratings agencies if the ratings turned out to be wrong. There has been lots of talk of the ratings agencies “going on strike” — but technically the ratings agencies have never given their permission for their ratings to be used in bond prospectuses. Instead, the banks got the ratings in there anyway by dint of Rule 436(g), which basically allowed the ratings to be included even without permission from the ratings agencies themselves. Now that the rule has effectively been repealed, they can’t do that any more.
The second issue is a different SEC rule: Regulation AB Item 1120. That’s what people are talking about when they say that credit ratings are required to be included in bond prospectuses for asset-backed securities.
But Dodd-Frank gives the SEC the power to effectively rescind AB1120. If that happened, then credit ratings wouldn’t be included in bond prospectuses, but the bonds could still be sold.
Repealing AB1120, if only temporarily while the SEC works out some kind of sensible permanent solution, seems to be the obvious way to go, especially since it’s a move in the direction of removing credit ratings from official rules and regulations.
At the same time, however, it’s something of an end-run around the whole point of repealing 436(g), which is to make ratings agencies accountable for their actions. No one actually reads bond prospectuses in any case; all the buyers of structured notes are going to know what the ratings are even if they’re not in the prospectus. So repealing AB1120, while it might solve the gridlock problem, would be a bit of a stick in the eye of the legislators who repealed 436(g).
There’s one other possibility here, which would have a similar effect: the SEC could decree that credit ratings count as forward-looking statements, and therefore can’t be subject to “expert liability.”
But for the time being, we’re at an impasse which only the SEC can really do anything about: so long as the ratings agencies are liable for their ratings, they won’t allow them to be used, and yet at the same time the SEC is insisting that credit ratings are included in bond prospectuses. Clearly Congress hoped that the ratings agencies would reluctantly accept their increased liability, but equally clearly that ain’t gonna happen any time soon.
So this is a big test for Mary Schapiro: whether and how she fixes this problem will be a good indication of her philosophy as head of the SEC. What’s certain is that the ball’s now in her court.
Well done to Jessica Pressler for picking up on this astonishing photo from the house that Jamie Dimon is still trying to sell in Chicago; it’s now listed at $9.5 million, down from an original asking price of $13.5 million. That’s less than $1.2 million per bedroom: a bargain!
I’m trying to work out why Dimon would force his house guests to look at this picture every time they descend the stairs. The rest of the photos reveal Dimon to be decidedly conservative when it comes to his living style, in a high-plutocrat sort of way: lots of grand columns and overstuffed armchairs, that sort of thing. And, of course, a heavy bag in the gym.
But the portrait in the stairwell — that’s something else. This is the polar opposite of the smiling vacation photo on the mantlepiece: in fact, there’s no face at all, just sheer power and authority, presented as iconically as possible.
Dimon is rich and powerful, of course, but he’s careful with his public image, which is human and collegial. He’s not a bully. Weirdly, his private face seems to be more humorless and forbidding than his public face. Which just goes to reinforce the general impression that Joe Evangelisti, Dimon’s PR head, is doing a very good job.
Quite aside from the costs of rescuing GM itself, the U.S. government spent a whopping $17.2 billion bailing out GM’s subprime lender, GMAC. It’s never going to get repaid in full: at the moment estimates of total losses on that deal are running at about the $6 billion mark.
So the government knows full well how dangerous and costly it can be for GM to own a subprime lender. What’s more, the government currently controls GM, holding an equity stake of about 61% of the company.
So what on earth is GM doing spending $3.5 billion on buying a subprime lender? It’s not enough to simply bail them out, it seems: the government is now using taxpayer money to buy out AmeriCredit’s shareholders at a 24% premium to Wednesday’s closing price.
I do appreciate that GM needs to be able to sell cars to people with bad credit. But there’s no indication that GM is a good owner of subprime lenders — quite the opposite. AmeriCredit is already working with thousands of GM dealers, and the two could easily start rolling out GM-branded products across GM’s dealer network even without an acquisition.
I’m suspicious at the speed with which GM is moving back into the world of financial services: I’m not sure it bodes well for the company, which really should be sticking to building cars, keeping its credit operations outsourced.
If GM wants to build a strategic relationship with AmeriCredit, that’s fine, and anybody who’s bullish on GM would be more than welcome to buy AmeriCredit shares at the same time. But I see no great upside — and lots of danger — in bundling the two. And in any case the last person who should spend $3.5 billion on a subprime lender is anybody at the Treasury.
It stands to reason that, just as overdraft fees are likely to be replaced with checking fees, something similar is going to happen with credit cards. But Ylan Mui overstretches, today, in her story saying that it’s already happening:
The new rules are estimated to cost the industry at least $12 billion annually, according to law firm Morrison & Foerster, and issuers have long warned that customers in good standing could wind up paying the bill.
“A lot of people thought they were blowing smoke, but they were spot on,” said John Ulzheimer, head of consumer education for Credit.com. “Now something has to give.”
The story is pegged to (but doesn’t link to) a new survey from the Pew Charitable Trusts, which says right there on its first page that “predictions that legal reform would stimulate the growth of new fees have so far not materialized”. Yet somehow the WaPo headline becomes “As credit card holders play it safe, issuers increase non-penalty service fees”.
The fact is that some fees are rapidly disappearing entirely: Pew notes that “less than 25 percent of all cards examined had an overlimit fee, which is down from more than 80 percent of cards in July 2009.
As for the standard penalty fee for late payment, it’s currently $39 (unchanged), but will drop to $25 in August, thanks to the CARD act.
I’m going to trust the Pew survey, here, rather than the quote from the guy from Credit.com, who in any case is quoted later on in the story saying that thanks to “a major competitive dynamic”, card companies won’t be able to charge new fees to strong customers.
And I don’t like the way that the story includes things like this:
About 14 percent of bank credit cards have annual fees, about the same as last year. But the median annual fee for the 12 largest banks’ cards rose 18 percent, to $59, over the past year.
The median annual fee for the 12 largest banks’ credit cards was zero last year, it’s zero this year, and it will be zero next year. If you take the 14% of cards which do charge a fee, then that fee has risen from $50 to $59. But it’s clearly very easy to avoid that fee, if you’re so inclined: just switch to one of the 86% of cards which don’t charge a fee.
My feeling is that the WaPo piece is simply wrong, and that we’re not going to see increased fees on credit cards. Instead, we’re much more likely to see decreased rewards. High spenders who pay their balance in full every month are still profitable for card companies, especially if those card companies don’t pay them back a lot in the form of rebates, miles, and the like. It’s true that people with bad credit aren’t going to be as profitable for the banks as they were before. But it’s not at all obvious that the banks are going to be able to make up those profits with higher fees on people with good credit.
I spent a large chunk of this afternoon debating Kneale on Twitter, and for a while afterwards I thought that time was wasted, since no one had evinced any sympathy for his position at all. But on thinking about it I’ve decided that actually Kneale is being reasonably brave and transparent here, and coming out and saying in public things which many journalists are loathe even to admit in private.
The proximate cause of the discussion was the publication by Peter Lauria of a voicemail that Sumner Redstone, the owner of Viacom, left for him. Redstone wanted to know who had leaked a story to Lauria about Redstone and “a sexy but talentless all-girl band;” he told Lauria, on the voicemail, that “you will be well-rewarded and well-protected” for giving up the source.
There are basically four options that a journalist has on getting a voicemail like that:
- Flattered by the personal attention from a billionaire mogul, you can phone him back, give him exactly what he wants, and get some kind of quid pro quo down the line.
- Embarrassed for an aging billionaire, you can let the message slide, and give the mogul a pass.
- Realizing you have a minor scoop on your hands, you can publish the voicemail.
- Realizing you have a potential major scoop on your hands, you can play along, phone Redstone back, and ask him how much he’s willing to pay for the name of the source, taping your conversation all the while.
Lauria is, in Kneale’s words, a “beast” (which is also the name of the site he works for), but Lauria didn’t go all the way: he stopped short of #4 and went with #3 instead.
But that was still far too much for Kneale, who assumes that Redstone considered the message to be off the record, and on those grounds reckons that Lauria is at fault for publishing it. “He may never again be able to have lunch at Michael’s, the midtown Manhattan media mecca,” he writes, rather bathetically.
Of course Lauria violated no confidences here, and really just did his job: if you leave a voicemail for a journalist with no indication that it’s in confidence, and that voicemail is newsworthy, then the journalist is pretty much obliged to publish it.
But Kneale looks at things a different way, and even admits to covering up for Redstone himself, in the past, when Redstone violated SEC rules in an interview at Forbes. “We knew he was off-the-reservation when he did it, so we gave him a pass, didn’t use it,” he tweeted, before backtracking a little on his original statement.
Kneale reveals himself to be a consummate player of the game, saying that it’s “unwise” to “burn sources” (by which he means the likes of Redstone, not the likes of Lauria’s original source). “Sumner will NEVER again give Lauria a free scoop now,” tweets Kneale, who has internalized the idea that if you’re nice to moguls, then moguls will be nice to you. It’s an integral part of the CNBC formula, which regularly gets CEOs onto TV so that it can flatter them by throwing them softball questions and making it seem as though the markets really care what they say. He writes that companies “all the time ‘reward’ us–help me out on this one, i’ll give you a scoop on that one. commonplace.” And he’s fine with that.
But in the era of the Daily Beast and Gawker and even FT Alphaville, not everybody plays that game any more, and the public is much better served for it. Kneale might be happy to reveal that he has frequently been asked by CEOs to burn his own sources, but he’s not going to tell us who they are: he feels it’s his job to keep such juicy information from the public, rather than reveal it to them. And the fact is that he’s in pretty illustrious company.
Once you start working your way up the masthead, and hanging out with moguls at places like Davos and Aspen, this tends to happen to you: you get more comfortable, and less hungry; you think that access is more important than actual stories. Clearly Kneale has reached that place, and in a way I’m impressed that he’s happy to admit it. Most of the swanning-around class of journalists are delusional enough that they’d never do that.
So let’s give three cheers for Peter Lauria, and his colleagues in the blogosphere, who are happy to break unspoken rules which don’t benefit the public if they know there’s a story worth telling. There will always be lots of journalists who are expert at playing the game, and schmoozing important sources. That’s all well and good. But we need feistier hacks as well. And where Kneale goes wrong, with his greybeard act, is by pretending that we don’t, and that the world would be a better place if everybody played the game. It wouldn’t. We need the likes of Lauria; in fact, we need them much more than we need a dozen Dennis Kneales.
Kneale wants to ask what counts as necessary and what counts as gratuitous. Necessary is journalists serving their readers with scoops; gratuitous is 99% of what appears on CNBC, and 100% of what appears when Kneale is on screen. (I’m on the gratuitous side of the line as well.) Good journalists can be found on both sides of the line, but it’s the hungry newsbreakers who are important. The rest of us might be interesting, or entertaining, but we should never be the real soul of any news organization.
Update: All gone. Lippman’s a machine!
Some of you might remember my holiday book giveaway from last December, which was a great success. So I’m taking advantage of the presence here in the office of Daniel Lippman, who is going to help distribute the books that have accumulated around my desk since then. Some I’ve read, some are duplicates, some I just know I’ll never read, and all of them will I’m sure find much better homes elsewhere than gathering dust at 3 Times Square.
If you want one of these books, email Dan on firstname.lastname@example.org, and make sure to include your mailing address. I suspect it’s going to be first-come-first-served, but that’s ultimately up to Dan. Happy summer reading! I’ll just note that pretty much all of these books have subtitles. Well done to Roger Lowenstein, John Stephenson, and David Harvey for avoiding them. And Adam Smith, too.
Bonds Now!: Making Money in the New Fixed Income Landscape by Marilyn Cohen and Chris Malburg
Accelerating out of the Great Recession: How to Win in a Slow-Growth Economy by David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter
King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone by David Carey and John E. Morris
Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street’s Bluff by Christine S. Richard
The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Penguin Classics) by Adam Smith
The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein
Superconnect: The Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood
Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World by Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart
3 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson and James Kwak
Profiting from the World’s Economic Crisis: Finding Investment Opportunities by Tracking Global Market Trends by Bud Conrad
Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS by Greg Niemann
The Little Book of Commodity Investing by John Stephenson
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies by Robert E.A. Farmer
The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life by Paul Seabright
The Last of the Imperious Rich: Lehman Brothers, 1844-2008 by Peter Chapman
Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky
The Squam Lake Report: Fixing the Financial System by various authors
The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing by Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat
Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown by David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer and Cindy Spitzer
The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey
Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance by Boris Groysberg
Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking by Howard Davies and David Green
Balancing the Banks: Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis by Mathias Dewatripont, Jean-Charles Rochet and Jean Tirole