Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Derivatives are useful for Asset-Liability Management. Nu?

I was going to post something a couple of days ago on Greece’s derivatives deal, but knew I was missing a key piece. It became prominent yesterday, and Felix’s summary today gets it spot on: So while it’s entirely fair to blame Greece for trying to hide its debt, and to blame Eurostat for letting […]

Three to Read for the Solvency Crisis

Simon Johnson on the possible consequences of Goldman Going Greek. Economics of Contempt explains why economist John Cochrane should not be allowed to talk about finance. (Bonus coverage: EofC’s previous piece on John Taylor) Alea’s jck on how all the talk about risk management became mainstreamed.

La cupidité

If I’m reading this link from my usual news source correctly, Joseph Stiglitz’s new book Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy is being sold in France under the title Le triomphe de la cupidité (The Triumph of Greed). The sole B&N customer review so far is a confused jumble: If […]

In Other News, Larry King is Selling Divorce Insurance

Many months ago, I quoted the brilliant Janet Tavakoli‘s book Credit Derivatives and Synthetic Structures: The trader then went on to tell me that Commercial Bank of Korea would sell credit default protection on bonds issued by the Commercial Bank of Korea.“That’s very interesting,” I countered, “but the credit default option is worthless.”“But people are […]

Name the Year: Declining Home Prices and Equity Removal

UPDATE: In this context, Dr. Black catches Jamie Dimon expressing what is at best ignorance: However, [Dimon] cautioned, until the market meltdown “you never saw losses in these products, because home prices were going up.” All that research in 1984 and 1990 was for naught, apparently. I’m still away (things are better, but still not […]

Today in "Economists Are NOT Totally Clueless" (Part 3 of 4)

Pete Davis: Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson initially sold Congress in the fall of 2008 on emergency intervention to purchase “toxic assets,” but quickly reversed course in favor of direct capital injections. Those favored financial institutions revived more quickly than most thought possible and most of those injections have already been paid back. However, most of […]

Today in "Economists Are NOT Totally Clueless" (Part 3 of 3 or 4)

This is taking longer than it should. For now, here is a “teaser” graphic, which I suspect is worth much more than 1,000 words: Meanwhile, other (mostly related) thing you may want to read: Brenda Rosser find that everything new is old again. Steve Randy Waldman tells the truth about banks, and Shames the Devil, […]

Geithner’s Baa Humbug to Jobs and Labor

Geithner’s Baa Humbug to Job’s and Labor (h/t Run75441) “Ebenezer: Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.” Daniel Gross at Slate interviews Tim Geithner here: “We Will Be Judged on How We Dealt […]

What the Frock was the reason for TARP, TALF, etc. then?

Rahm Emanuel accidentally Tells the Truth and Shames the Devil: “We have to get them off the sidelines and get them to play a more active role in our economic recovery,” Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said on Sunday. “They play an essential role in helping the economy grow.” Gosh, the Administration […]

In Good News, the Race to the Bottom Got Harder

Remember the argument that we shouldn’t tax people because they’ll just move elsewhere? The British government appears not to believe it. Will the Geithner/Summers axis continue lying that “we can’t do that”? Since it really is a Windfall Profit, taxing it seems a reasonable idea. And now we won’t even be able to pretend that […]