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thinkahol *

[1112.3095] Evidence of market manipulation in the financial crisis - 0 views

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    We provide direct evidence of market manipulation at the beginning of the financial crisis in November 2007. The type of manipulation, a "bear raid," would have been prevented by a regulation that was repealed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in July 2007. The regulation, the uptick rule, was designed to prevent manipulation and promote stability and was in force from 1938 as a key part of the government response to the 1928 market crash and its aftermath. On November 1, 2007, Citigroup experienced an unusual increase in trading volume and decrease in price. Our analysis of financial industry data shows that this decline coincided with an anomalous increase in borrowed shares, the selling of which would be a large fraction of the total trading volume. The selling of borrowed shares cannot be explained by news events as there is no corresponding increase in selling by share owners. A similar number of shares were returned on a single day six days later. The magnitude and coincidence of borrowing and returning of shares is evidence of a concerted effort to drive down Citigroup's stock price and achieve a profit, i.e., a bear raid. Interpretations and analyses of financial markets should consider the possibility that the intentional actions of individual actors or coordinated groups can impact market behavior. Markets are not sufficiently transparent to reveal even major market manipulation events. Our results point to the need for regulations that prevent intentional actions that cause markets to deviate from equilibrium and contribute to crashes. Enforcement actions cannot reverse severe damage to the economic system. The current "alternative" uptick rule which is only in effect for stocks dropping by over 10% in a single day is insufficient. Prevention may be achieved through improved availability of market data and the original uptick rule or other transaction limitations.
thinkahol *

The global crisis of institutional legitimacy | Felix Salmon - 0 views

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    When Perry accuses Ben Bernanke of treachery and treason, his violent rhetoric ("we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas") is scary in itself. But we shouldn't let that obscure Perry's substantive message - that neither Bernanke nor the Fed really deserve to exist, to control the US money supply, and to work towards a dual mandate of price stability and full employment.

    For the first time in living memory, someone with a non-negligible chance of winning the US presidency is arguing not over who should head the Fed, but whether the Fed should even exist in the first place.

    Looked at against this backdrop, the recent volatility in the stock market, not to mention the downgrade of the US from triple-A status, makes perfect sense. Global corporations are actually weirdly absent from the list of institutions in which the public has lost its trust, but the way in which they've quietly grown their earnings back above pre-crisis levels has definitely not been ratified by broad-based economic recovery, and therefore feels rather unsustainable. Meanwhile, the USA itself has undoubtedly been weakened by a shrinking tax base, a soaring national debt, a stretched military, and a legislature which has consistently demonstrated an inability to tackle the great tasks asked of it.

    It looks increasingly as though we're entering Phase 2 of the global crisis, with 2008-9 merely acting as the appetizer. In Phase 1, national and super-national treasuries and central banks managed to come to the rescue and stave off catastrophe. But in doing so, they weakened themselves to the point at which they're unable to rise to the occasion this time round. Our hearts want government to come through and save the economy. But our heads know that it's not going to happen. And that failure, in turn, is only going to further weaken institutional legitimacy across the US and the world. It's a vicious cycle, and I can't see how we're going to break out of it.
Giorgio Bertini

Riots in England: Britain's Society Broken by Greed « Learning Change - 0 views

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    The blazing infernos which took hold in the UK's biggest cities have shocked British society. It wasn't a desire to protest that drove the brutal looters onto the streets, but pure consumer greed. Bankers, politicians and media moguls have made this greed socially acceptable.

    Education grants for children from low-income families - abolished. Also abolished in many areas were youth centers and help centers for the unemployed and pregnant. In the Lewisham area alone, five libraries were closed. What happens next? Where does it end? What is the limit? There is none. In the London borough of Haringey, which includes Tottenham, 75 percent of funding for youth services will be cut over the next three years.

    This miserable life of drugs, loitering and weapons in neighborhoods which were devastated by the policies of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and never fixed by Tony Blair or Gordon Brown, is the fate of those dubbed "NEETs" in the UK. It stands for "not in education, employment or training", and there are about 1.2 million people who fit the description. They rule their local areas under the law of the jungle, with a deep sense of uselessness in a world where almost every recreational activity costs money; money which they don't have.
Giorgio Bertini

It Became Necessary to Destroy the Periphery in Order to Save the Core's Bank... - 0 views

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    The EU is not lending money to Ireland, Greece, and Portugal to help those nations' citizens. The EU is lending those nations money because if they don't those nations and their citizens and corporations will be unable to repay their debts to banks in the core. That will make public the fact that the core banks are actually insolvent. When the Germans and French realize that their banks are insolvent the result will be "severe banking crises and a return to recession in the core of the eurozone." The core, not simply the periphery, will be in crisis. The ECB and the EU's leadership would be happy to throw the periphery under the bus, but the EU core's largest banks are chained to the periphery by their imprudent loans.
Giorgio Bertini

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the ... - 0 views

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    A vividly told history of how greed bred America's economic ills over the last forty years, and of the men most responsible for them. As Jeff Madrick makes clear in a narrative at once sweeping, fast-paced, and incisive, the single-minded pursuit of huge personal wealth has been on the rise in the United States since the 1970s, led by a few individuals who have argued that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns. These stewards of American capitalism have insisted on the central and essential place of accumulated wealth through the booms, busts, and recessions of the last half century, giving rise to our current woes.

    In telling the stories of these politicians, economists, and financiers who declared a moral battle for freedom but instead gave rise to an age of greed, Madrick traces the lineage of some of our nation's most pressing economic problems. He begins with Walter Wriston, head of what would become Citicorp, who led the battle against government regulation. He examines the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, who created the plan for an anti-Rooseveltian America; the politically expedient decisions of Richard Nixon that fueled inflation; the philosophy of Alan Greenspan, on whose libertarian ideology a house of cards was built on Wall Street.

    Intense economic inequity and instability is the story of our age, and Jeff Madrick tells it with style, clarity, and an unerring command of his subject.
Giorgio Bertini

America's role in this Greek tragedy « Learning Political Economy - 0 views

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    Greece faces unacceptable conditions for a new bailout. If it defaults, the US had better be ready for the economic shock. The European authorities are playing a dangerous game of "chicken" with Greece right now. It is overdue for US members of Congress to exercise some oversight as to what our government's role is in this process, and how we might be preparing for a Greek debt default. Depending on how it happens, this default could have serious repercussions for the international financial system, the US economy and, indeed, the world economy.
Giorgio Bertini

Fighting (for?) Europe: How European Elites Lost a Generation « Learning Poli... - 0 views

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    The European Union is in bad shape. Not only is the common currency in a shambles and the economies of many member states moribund, but young Europeans no longer see how the EU helps them. Millions of them are taking to the streets to demand a future.
Giorgio Bertini

A crise na Europa e uma esquerda desorientada « Learning Political Economy - 0 views

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    A conversão massiva ao mercado e a globalização neoliberal, a renúncia à defesa dos pobres, do Estado de bem estar e do setor público, a nova aliança com o capital financeiro, despojaram a social-democracia europeia dos principais traços de sua identidade. A cada dia fica mais difícil para os cidadãos distinguir entre uma política de direita e outra "de esquerda", já que ambas respondem às exigências dos senhores financeiros do mundo. Por acaso, a suprema astúcia destes não consistiu em colocar a um "socialista" na direção do FMI com a missão de impor a seus amigos "socialistas" da Grécia, Portugal e Espanha os implacáveis planos de ajuste neoliberal? O artigo é de Ignacio Ramonet.
Giorgio Bertini

How the Euro Became Europe's Greatest Threat « Learning Political Economy - 0 views

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    The euro is becoming an ever greater threat to Europe's common future. The currency union chains together economies that are simply incompatible. Politicians approve one bailout package after the other and, in doing so, have set down a dangerous path that could burden Europeans for generations to come and set the EU back by decades.
Giorgio Bertini

Whatever happened to stability analysis? « Learning Political Economy - 0 views

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    Maintaining ignorance about the limitations of stability theory comes in handy when perpetuating the mythology of market theory. As Mundell once remarked, stability analysis is the most successful failure of general economic theory. It is also the best example of how an academic community pushes the most serious problems of mainstream theory under the rug and gets away with it. Students should learn to look under the rug. The ability to improve our understanding of economic processes depends on efforts to uncover the failures of mainstream theoretical constructs.
thinkahol *

Ongoing Crisis and Liberal Blindness | Truthout - 0 views

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    The double dip of this crisis is upon us. The latest data agree: the housing market has been in full double-dip mode for five months as home prices keep declining. The foreclosure disaster keeps increasing the combination of homeless families and empty homes. Think capitalist efficiency. Unemployment rose back above 9 % again. The average length of unemployment is now 39.7 weeks, the longest since these records began in 1948. Investments by businesses are decelerating and governments keep dropping workers. 

Giorgio Bertini

A Country Without Libraries « Learning Political Economy - 0 views

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    All across the United States, large and small cities are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of operations. Detroit, I read a few days ago, may close all of its branches and Denver half of its own: decisions that will undoubtedly put hundreds of its employees out of work. When you count the families all over this country who don't have computers or can't afford Internet connections and rely on the ones in libraries to look for jobs, the consequences will be even more dire. People everywhere are unhappy about these closings, and so are mayors making the hard decisions. But with roads and streets left in disrepair, teachers, policemen and firemen being laid off, and politicians in both parties pledging never to raise taxes, no matter what happens to our quality of life, the outlook is bleak. "The greatest nation on earth," as we still call ourselves, no longer has the political will to arrest its visible and precipitous decline and save the institutions on which the workings of our democracy depend.
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    This is a new blog.
Giorgio Bertini

The Post-Washington Consensus: Development after the Crisis - 0 views

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    All this signals a clear shift in the development agenda. Traditionally, this was an agenda generated in the developed world that was implemented in - and, indeed, often imposed on - the developing world. The United States, Europe, and Japan will continue to be significant sources of economic resources and ideas, but the emerging markets are now entering this arena and will become significant players. Countries such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa will be both donors and recipients of resources for development and of best practices for how to use them. A large portion of the world's poor live within their borders, yet they have achieved new respect on the global scene in economic, political, and intellectual terms. In fact, development has never been something that the rich bestowed on the poor but rather something the poor achieved for themselves. It appears that the Western powers are finally waking up to this truth in light of a financial crisis that, for them, is by no means over.
Giorgio Bertini

Europe's Debt Crisis: The Most Difficult Decisions Are Ahead - 0 views

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    The European debt turmoil is not a cyclical liquidity crisis. Rather, it is a structural solvency crisis that requires immediate solutions. Dan Steinbock explains why the euro area crisis is only beginning - and explores how this challenge can be overcome.
thinkahol *

FT.com / Columnists / Wolfgang Münchau - Bond plan could end the euro crisis - 0 views

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    Jean-Claude Juncker's and Giulio Tremonti's common European bond is the first constructive idea since the outbreak of the eurozone financial crisis a year ago. It is the first time that eurozone leaders have dared look beyond the current week's newspaper headlines. I have no doubt that, if implemented in full, the proposal would end the crisis.

thinkahol *

Today's Must-See Animated Capitalist Takedown from RSA and David Harvey | The New York ... - 1 views

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    If you watch just one funny and handsome Marxist critique of the financial crisis, make it the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce's animated version of David Harvey's RSA speech "Crises of Capitalism." It's been making the rounds this afternoon, and for good reason: Mr. Harvey, a Marxist scholar who heads CUNY's Center for Place, Culture & Politics, describes not just the failures that caused the ongoing fiasco, but the failure of how we've explained it.
Giorgio Bertini

Labor Markets in Flux: Spanish Youth Part of the Lost Generation - 0 views

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    At almost 20 percent, Spain suffers the second-highest unemployment rate in the European Union. But the rate for those just entering the job market is twice as high. This month, Madrid wants to push through far-reaching labor market reforms. But opposition promises to be fierce.
Giorgio Bertini

The Year of Wishful Thinking - from a Global Financial Crisis morphed into a Global Sov... - 0 views

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    The period from March 2009 was the year of wishful thinking. Central banks cut interest rates and governments opened their cheque books providing a flood of cheap money that gave the illusion of recovery and a normal functioning economy. By pouring a lot of water into a bucket with a large hole, the world sustained the impression that the receptacle was almost full.
Giorgio Bertini

The Failure Club: Our Leaders Are Responsible for Europe's Crisis - 0 views

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    It was neither tax evaders in Greece nor hedge funds that caused Europe's existential crisis -- political leaders in the euro zone share a great deal of the responsibility. They have been either unwilling or incapable of doing their jobs.
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