Friday, August 29, 2014
Posted by David Dayen at 3:30 am |
It’s rare that we get to celebrate a victory here, especially in the mortgage and foreclosure arena, but we saw one this week. Down in Florida, where the anti-foreclosure activist movement really took root, one of the worst judges in the state lost her job, and many of the same players had a role in the defeat.
How much does it cost to manipulate an entire market? Not much. And it’s getting cheaper!
It was leaked on Tuesday by “people with knowledge of that matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal, that VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had decided in May to plow up to $20 million into message-app maker Snapchat, for a tiny portion of ownership. An undisclosed investor also committed some funds. The deal, which apparently hasn’t closed yet, would give Snapchat a valuation of $10 billion.
I don’t know what became of the Gillian Tett who provided prescient coverage of the financial markets, and in particular the importance and danger of CDOs, from 2005 through 2008. But since she was promoted to assistant editor, the present incarnation of Gillian Tett bears perilous little resemblance to her pre-crisis version. Tett has increasingly used her hard-won brand equity to defend noxious causes, like austerity and special pleadings of the banking elite.
Today’s column, “Regulatory revenge risks scaring investors away,” is a vivid example of Tett’s professional devolution.
Yves here. This post, while informative, omits a critical piece of the calculus made by the West (or at least the US, in pushing Europe to fall into line) in its escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
Is the “Consumer Confidence” index really a good proxy for the health of “the economy”?
The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project recently (21st August) published one of their periodic investigations, concerning a rather large moneylaundering scheme: Call it the Laundromat. It’s a complex system for laundering more than $20 billion in Russian money stolen from the government by corrupt politicians or earned through organized crime activity. It was designed to not only […]
Reader Deontos sent a link to a provocative article on SSRN, The Lawyer-Rent Seeker Myth, by Teresa Schmid. Schmid focuses explicitly on the impact of economic theory on how legal services are delivered. Using county-level data in Oregon, Schmid make a persuasive case that lack of access to legal representation isn’t just a social justice issue but is also an economic problem, since it exacerbates poverty and inequality.
Medicare prices are set by the AMA’s Relative Value System Update Committee, which incentivizes procedures instead of primary care, leading to greater costs and more invasive care.
I would have liked to see some table pounding and shouting about pseudo-scientific constructs like the “Natural Rate of Unemployment” — what’s “natural” about it? — or a heartfelt plea for a well-funded study to find out how the permanently disemployed actually eat, and find shelter, and stay alive — System D? — or even a dim recognition that regulating the economy by throwing people out of work is just as barbaric and inhumane as the medieval remedy of bloodletting.
The question of why graduates of prestigious undergraduate schools still wind up, in disproportionate numbers, at places like Goldman and McKinsey may seem so obvious as to be unworthy of notice. Yet perversely, the students aren’t keen about these jobs despite having competed fiercely to land them.
ECB President Mario Draghi is recognizing that the recovery in the Euro area remains uniformly weak.
Yves here. Readers responded positively to Pilkington’s anthropological take on the economics tribe, so we are continuing with his series. This post focuses on dodgy econometricians and economic forecasting.