Saturday, September 20, 2014
With the recent Global Crisis, the interest in systemic risk and the interconnection between financial institutions has increased. This column investigates the case of European financial firms, where several factors can jeopardise a firm’s financial health. Using data since 2000 to evaluate the firms’ systemic risk, the authors find that for certain countries, the cost to rescue the riskiest domestic banks is too high. They might be considered too big to be saved.
European Union Court of Justice Imposes Anti-Rasmussen Rule – Sanctions Cannot Be Imposed by Reason of Fabrication, Lies, Dissimulation
Yves here. A new ruling by the European Union Court of Justice is tantamount to shutting the gate door after the horses are in the next county. Nevertheless, it’s a striking if not well publicized indictment of US casualness about lobbing charges against countries on its enemies list.
Today’s Water Cooler: Scotland, the Day After, the war on ISIS, leading indicators, 2014 and 2014 campaigns, and serving papers via Facebook
Topics: Water Cooler
Posted by Lambert Strether at 1:58 pm |
A new article in Bloomberg gives a well-researched overview of a mess-in-the-making that regulators are choosing to ignore: the leveraged loan market. For newbies, “leveraged loans” means “risky loans to big companies”. For the most part, they fund private equity buyouts and restructurings. The juicy fees on these financings, 1% to 5% of the amount raised, versus an average of 1.3% for junk bonds, is a big reason why none of the incumbents is particularly eager to change a market that is working just fine for them in its current, creaky form.
We’re expecting to have some more thoughtful commentary in the next day or so from some close observers of the Scottish independence vote. On the surface, the results look more decisive than expected earlier. The margin of victory, at 55% against and 45% for, was wider than the forecast 54%/46% split. And the English press looks to be rubbing it in, with most UK media outlets showing celebratory images of the victors.
But keep a few things in mind….
Yves here. It is gratifying to see economists take up the question of when laws work, and perhaps even more important, how to make laws work even when they conflict with social norms. In typical economists’ fashion, they contend that as far as businesses work, fines work but more rules don’t. On further examination, that conclusion may not be well founded.
As Wolf points out, despite stock touts’ talk of “escape velocity” and other confidence-fairy boosterism, the Fed has been quietly making more and more negative assessments of the economic outlook.
Today’s Water Cooler: FOMC and Janet Yellen, housing stats, Scotland Independence vote, ISIS, and new Aretha Franklin album to be released.
Yves here. Even though the cease fire and the self-rule/amnesty deal for the eastern part of Ukraine might be the beginning of the end of that proxy war, the US is far from giving up its efforts to weaken Russia. John Helmer describes how the US is deploying one economic weapon, that of targeting Russia’s titanium exports.
I received a message last week from a savvy reader, a former McKinsey partner who has also done among other things significant pro-bono work with housing not-for-profits (as in he has more interest and experience in social justice issues than most people with his background). His query:
We both know that financialization has, among so many other things, turned large swaths of the capital markets into a casino
Here’s my thought/question: is there a house?
The common wisdom is that the ‘house wins’ in casinos.
So, who or what was really the ‘house’?
Yves here. Bill Black shellacks a New York Times article that gives a big dose of unadulterated neoliberal propaganda supporting austerity. To give you a sense of the intellectual integrity of this piece, it including citing a Peterson Institute staffer without cluing readers in to the fact that the Institute has what is left of the middle class in its crosshairs.
Black stresses that one of the major lies behind the continuing for more, better hairshirts for long-suffereing Europeans is that the explosion in debt levels in Europe was the result of overly-generous social safety nets. In fact, as in the US, the tremendous rise in government debt levels was the direct result of the crisis. Tax revenues collapsed due to GDP whackage (and the costs continue as GDP is well below potential). And any economist worth their salt will also say that social safety nets ameliorated the severity of the damage, that those automatic stabilizers increased government spending when it was needed most, at the depth of the implosion, and prevented a spiral into a much deeper downturn.
Some older readers might recall that during 2010-2013 politicians and the media manifested great anxiety over the unmanageable level of the deficit and a disastrously high public debt. So how has that movie ended?