The Great Debate

The middle class’s missing $1.6 trillion

By Charles R. Morris
February 13, 2014

The United States was the world’s first middle-class nation, which was a big factor in its rapid growth.  Mid-19th-century British travelers marveled at American workers’ “ductility of mind and the readiness…for a new thing” and admired how hard and willingly they labored. Abraham Lincoln attributed it the knowledge that “humblest man [had] an equal chance to get rich with everyone else.”

from Rolfe Winkler:

Go for it Gary

March 6, 2010

Gary Gensler -- regulator and, yes, Goldman alum -- has distinguished himself in Washington. As CFTC Chairman, he's fought to impose stricter rules on OTC derivatives and recently proposed rules that would cut the leverage currency traders are allowed to deploy from 100:1 to 10:1. Lest we all forget how dangerous leverage can be when traders misuse it, there's LTCM to serve as exhibit A. In a clear sign that Gensler is fighting the good fight, traders are screaming about the proposed rule. Fantastic.

from MacroScope:

Step aside capitalism, how about leverageism

December 1, 2009

Our recent post on the End of Capitalism triggered much interest and comment.  There were plenty of diverse views, as one would expect. But one thread that came out was that what we are now seeing is not true capitalism (nor, of course, is it old-style communism). Ok, but what is it?

from Rolfe Winkler:

The elusive leverage ratio

October 5, 2009

By Peter Thal Larsen and Rolfe Winkler

LONDON/NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Of all the reforms proposed by global financial regulators over the past 12 months, none looks as appealingly straightforward as the leverage ratio. What could be simpler than linking the total amount of assets a bank can hold to the amount of capital it has to absorb losses it makes on them?

from Rolfe Winkler:

When genius (finally) gets wise

August 19, 2009

The people who brought you the Long-Term Capital Management debacle want banks to get serious about cutting their own leverage, applying fair value accounting to a wider range of assets.

from For the Record:

Watching our language: Writing about the financial crisis

March 16, 2009

dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.