The Origins and Severity of the Public Pension Crisis, by Dean Baker — CEPR
Rupert Murdoch is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. But his company is being buffetted hard by ethics scandals — phone hacking in the UK, and Roger Ailes allegedly suborning perjury in the US. It’s right and proper this should be the case: the allegations are extremely serious, and involve people very high up in the corporate structure. News Corp might still carry its founder’s aggressive and entrepreneurial DNA, but that’s no excuse, and in any case there are lots of aggressive entrepreneurs who never commit these kind of crimes.
GM debt has been through a lot of late. In May 2009, car czar Steve Rattner made a bold and unexpected decision to nationalize the company rather than leave it with debt outstanding. That decision was followed by a CDS auction which valued GM’s defaulted debt at just 12.5 cents on the dollar — a valuation unthinkably low just a couple of years earlier. Clearly, when it comes to automaker debt, there’s a lot of uncertainty and volatility — and where there’s debt with uncertainty and volatility, there’s sure to be CDS trading.
Maybe it’s the Palo Alto drinking water? It’s got to be something like that, in any case — some kind of causal explanation of why so many people start fancying themselves experts on public policy the minute they become successful in Silicon Valley.
My colleague Peter Rudegeair asked me a good question last week: even if the number of stocks listed in the US is falling dramatically, what’s happening in the rest of the world? He even helped answer the question, finding data from the World Federation of Exchanges. Which I then played around with a bit in Excel to generate this: