The Great Debate

from Breakingviews:

Why Citigroup would be better in bits

September 2, 2014

By Rob Cox

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

Nine years ago, Breakingviews proposed an “extreme idea” to Citigroup’s then-leader Charles Prince. The $240 billion New York bank’s market capitalization was lower than the worth of its parts valued separately. By splitting into three separate units, the idea was, Prince could hand shareholders an extra $50 billion or so, the equivalent of one entire U.S. Bancorp at the time.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Yellen’s remarkably unremarkable news conference – and why it’s a good thing

By Anatole Kaletsky
June 19, 2014

Yellen holds a news conference following two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting at the Federal Reserve in WashingtonJohn Maynard Keynes famously said that his highest ambition was to make economic policy as boring as dentistry. In this respect, as in so many others, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is proving to be a loyal Keynesian.

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.

from Bethany McLean:

How Ralph Nader learned to love Fannie and Freddie

By Bethany McLean
February 18, 2014

Corrects story issued February 18 in third-to-last paragraph regarding efforts to contact Ralph  Nader.

Populism: The Democrats’ great divide

By Robert L. Borosage
February 5, 2014

One day after President Barack Obama called for moving forward on trade authority in his State of the Union address, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared, “I am against fast track,” and said he had no intention of bringing it to a vote in the Senate.

Obama’s small steps won’t fix inequality

By Helaine Olen
January 30, 2014

President Barack Obama is taking on the challenge of increasing the United States’ all but stagnant economic mobility.

Why conservatives spin fairytales about the gold standard

By Charles Postel
September 17, 2013

ILLUSTRATION: Matt Mahurin

The Federal Reserve is celebrating its 100th birthday trapped in a political bunker.

‘Democratic wing’ of Democratic Party takes on Wall Street

By Robert L. Borosage
August 1, 2013

The chattering classes are fascinated by the Republicans’ internecine battle to redefine the party in the wake of the George W. Bush calamity and the Mitt Romney defeat — from Senator Rand Paul’s revolt against the neoconservative foreign policy, to intellectuals flirting with “libertarian populism.” Less attention has been paid, however, to the stirrings of what Senator Paul Wellstone dubbed “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” — now beginning to challenge the Wall Street wing of the party.

Derivative rules: Global problem needs global solution

By Martin Neil Baily and Aaron Klein
July 10, 2013

The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated how interconnected the global financial system is. What began as a real estate bubble fueled by subprime mortgages in many states ballooned into a global financial panic of unprecedented magnitude. Bundles of poorly underwritten mortgages generated toxic derivatives bet on in a global market. When the dust settled, there was broad agreement that not only did we need a new financial regulatory regime, it had to be globally coordinated.

A case of lobbysts vs. small cap investors

By Lise Buyer
July 3, 2013

It’s tick season again: the time of year when those small, seemingly unimportant beasts emerge and attack the unsuspecting or unaware. This year, they seem to be everywhere and have a particularly robust group of carriers. The problem with ticks is that, while they seem benign, they can cause significant harm to those who are not vigilant.