Category Archives: Free markets and their discontents

Asset Management and Financial Stability

The growth of the asset management industry has raised concerns about its potential impacts on financial stability. This column assesses the systemic risk created by fund managers’ incentive problems and a first-mover advantage for end investors. Fund flows and fund ownership affect asset prices, and fund managers’ behaviour can amplify risks. This lends support to the expansion and strengthening of industry oversight, both at the individual fund and market levels.

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IMF Throws a Spanner in Proposed Greece Deal, Says Debt Reduction May Not Be Enough

The IMF has dropped a big shoe before the Greek government has passed any of the legislation required as part of its pending bailout. But if this development leads to more wrangling, that means an even longer delay before Greek banks get any liquidity, which means continued strangulation of the Greek economy.

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Wolf Richter: Microsoft Tallies the True Costs of the M&A Boom: Layoffs, Write-Offs, Shut-Downs, and Economic Decline

Microsoft illustrates the real-world fallout of letting corporate executives, either out of desperation or out of finding deal making more fun than the grind of making businesses perform better, follow the siren song of M&A mavens.

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De-Industrialisation, ‘New Speenhamland’ and Neo-Liberalism: Government Subsidies to Low Wage Employers

Efforts to reform social welfare programs in England operated on the assumption that lack of consistent work (as in periods of unemployment) and overly large families were the big drivers of poverty. But the majority of poor now are working poor, and as in the Speenhamland days, social welfare programs are helping to subsidize below-living-wage pay levels.Similar factors are in play for US employers like Wal-Mart and McDonalds.

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Groundhog Day for NZ FSPs: Bryan Cook of Asia Finance Corporation is a Crook, but Does NZ’s FMA Care?

Why is it Groundhog Day? Back in 2011, I wrote a seriously messy blog post about dodgy New Zealand FSPs (Financial Services Providers), their dodgy web sites and people and addresses, and the evidently nonexistent oversight of all of this by the NZ Ministry of Economic Development and the NZ Companies Office. To my surprise, […]

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