Noam Scheiber is raving about Dylan Ratigan’s new book, giving it his highest praise: he calls it “sensible”. Which is maybe not obvious from the title, Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry.
Vikram Pandit has a clever idea:
It is not enough to require financial institutions to disclose capital ratios. Without knowing what that institution’s underlying assets are (only insiders and select regulators know that), outsiders, including most investors, cannot properly assess how that institution calibrates risk.
Jeff Horwitz has an astonishing story about Chase’s credit-card collections efforts, which look as though they’re riddled with sloppy record-keeping and even possible fraud.
This is a word cloud of the job titles of the 2,623 official delegates to the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. It’s pretty clear what’s going on: while the most important people at the forum are still the ministers and heads of state, there are only 24 ministers in all. (I’m not sure about the presidents, they get mixed up in all the executive vice-presidents and the like.) Meanwhile, there are 674 CEOs, from Mustafa Abdel-Wadood to Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala. And, of course, 490 Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen (but only two Global Chairmen).
For all that financial innovation has got itself a pretty bad name recently, there’s no shortage of people with bright ideas as to how to address the euro crisis. Robert Barro is one. He thinks the euro should be phased out entirely, and has a plan for how to do just that:
Apologies to John Sides and Jack Citrin for dismissing their science out of hand on my Tumblr: they really are careful and sophisticated researchers, and Sides is well within his rights to give me a good slap.