The Great Debate

from Breakingviews:

Memo to Wall Street: more Ace Greenberg please

July 25, 2014

By Antony Currie

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

What’s a leveraged ETF and what makes it dangerous?

By Ben Walsh
May 30, 2014

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Larry Fink is sounding the alarm. The chairman and CEO of $4.4 trillion asset manager BlackRock is worried about leveraged ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Fink thinks they could “blow up the industry.” His statement is a little unclear, but the industry he’s referring to is probably ETFs themselves, not the global financial system.

from Breakingviews:

Rob Cox: The worry now is a brewing M&A bubble

May 13, 2014

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

How the Nobel economists changed investing forever

By Allison Schrager
October 15, 2013

The 2013 Nobel Prize for economics celebrates that financial markets work, but cautions how little we know. One theme unifies the work of all three winners: Eugene Fama, Robert Shiller and Lars Hansen — risk. (A disclosure: until August I worked at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where Fama is a director and consultant.) Risk is unpredictable, but can be very profitable. That sounds simple enough, but it has profound implications — not only for the lords of high finance, but households, too. Risk teaches humility, to overconfident investors and also policymakers. That humility was notably absent at the IMF/World Bank meetings last week. Policymakers should take special note of the prize this year; it reveals how little we really understand about financial markets.

from Reuters Money:

Tea Party downgrade? Here’s what S&P actually said

August 10, 2011

Was it a Tea Party downgrade?

Beltway media has offered the usual pox-on-both-political houses analysis of Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt and this week's market meltdown. The two parties spent Monday blaming one other side for the debacle. According to this narrative, both sides must bear equal guilt.

from Reuters Money:

Fury brewing at ratings agencies as markets gyrate

August 9, 2011

Carnival revellers are silhouetted as they carry a burning wooden wagon in Liestal, near Basel, February 21, 2010.  REUTERS/Michael BuholzerSo let me get this straight.

Ratings agencies helped spark the financial meltdown of 2008-9, when they deemed that steaming piles of mortgage junk were brimming with triple-A goodness. They were wrong – and epically so.

from Reuters Money:

How safe is your money-market fund?

July 12, 2011

Here's a $12 trillion question: Are money-market mutual funds safe?

The industry insists that they are and banking regulators aren't calling in the National Guard, although the U.S. Treasury Department is considering some emergency measures in case of a U.S. debt default.

from Reuters Money:

Consumer cops: Why we need Mary Schapiro and Elizabeth Warren now

April 15, 2011

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Schapiro answers a question at the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit in Washington March 1, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Two women are fending off a vicious man-handling of investor protection.

As Congress pettily wrangles over the debt limit and the next budget, Mary Schapiro and Elizabeth Warren are fighting to protect you against the ravages of Wall Street.

Flight to “safety” eases China diversification

August 19, 2010

China appears to be taking steps to diversify its holdings away from the U.S. dollar and may just have chosen a pretty good time to do it.

Icelandic, Greek sagas show sovereign risks

January 7, 2010

– James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –