The Great Debate

from Breakingviews:

Does Italian capitalism prove that Darwin was right?

July 10, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Yellen shows her hand

By Nicholas Wapshott
April 19, 2014

The difference between the Federal Reserve Board of Chairwoman Janet Yellen and that of her immediate predecessor Ben Bernanke is becoming clear. No more so than in their approach to the problem of joblessness.

Are banks too big to indict?

By Charles R. Morris
January 24, 2014

The great 19th century English jurist, Sir James Fitzjames Stephens, once wrote that murderers were hung not for reasons of revenge or deterrence — but to underscore what a serious breach of the social compact had been committed.

Taking on the rating agencies

By Charles R. Morris
February 5, 2013

The credit rating agency, Standard & Poors, announced Monday that it was the target of a civil lawsuit by the Justice Department for its actions in rating the complex securities that played a major role in the 2008-2009 financial collapse.  The company also said that it had not been apprised of the details.  It is interesting that the other two major rating agencies, Moody’s and Fitch made no announcements.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Crash winners, the litigation world series, and Defense budget boondoggles

By Steven Brill
December 27, 2011

1. Crash Winners

Here’s a new entry for the lists of winners and losers that get published this time of year: The ten lawyers, bankers, consultants or accountants who reaped the most from the financial disaster of the last three years.

How Citi sank itself on the Fed’s watch

By Nicholas Dunbar
November 30, 2011

By Nicholas Dunbar
The opinions expressed are his own.

Much of the financial crisis can be blamed on bankers who created complex products that allowed them to exploit and monetize less sophisticated investors, borrowers and bank shareholders. However, no account of the financial crisis is complete without an account of the inept regulators who permitted these activities to flourish, causing the crisis to become much worse than it might have been. Among these regulators, most surprising is the story of the New York Fed, supposedly the most sophisticated in its approach to risk. As I recount in this excerpt from my book, The Devil’s Derivatives and as staff at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC discovered, the New York Fed was in thrall to what in 2007 was the largest US bank – Citigroup – with disastrous results. -Nicholas Dunbar

Autocrats rule, democrats flounder

By John Lloyd
October 3, 2011

By John Lloyd
The opinions expressed are his own.

Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, claimed the Presidency, the supreme leadership of his country, once more last week with – at least in public – an assurance which amounted to nonchalance. The man whom he had made current President of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, proposed to the party he had created, United Russia, that he be its candidate for the next presidential elections, to be held next year.

Washington’s long con

By Maureen Tkacik
September 23, 2011

By Maureen Tkacik
The opinions expressed are her own.

There’s a scene in Ray Nagin’s Hurricane Katrina memoir from the Monday night after the storm in which twenty or thirty mysterious security guards, toting three guns apiece, suddenly descend upon the bombed out Hyatt city officials are using as a command center and commence measuring perimeters, laying down wires and barking orders. “We’re here to protect the mayor!” their apparent leader proclaims. “Everyone else leave!”

from James Saft:

Icelandic mulishness wins the day

December 9, 2010

Iceland's remarkable return to growth shows once again that in this crisis the best policy is often the one that will make international partners most angry.

from Entrepreneurial:

Why America’s small businesses are becoming like banks

By Terra Terwilliger
November 15, 2010

By Terra Terwilliger
The opinions expressed are the author's own.

Over two years after the start of the Great Credit Crisis, banks are still not lending money. But big businesses know exactly where to go for a quick, interest-free loan … the little guy. Even as corporate profits recover, big companies continue to squeeze their small vendors, stretching out payment terms and writing late checks. Unfortunately, this blatant exploitation is damaging the small business economic engine that drives half of US GDP.