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At the big conference

I am in San Francisco for the annual conference of the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA), which runs through tomorrow, January 5. So far, the event and the area have been stimulating and enjoyable. I hope to post at more length on the conference and other topics soon. These include an interesting session devoted to

04 Jan 2016
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New pop culture entry in the financial crisis genre

The Big Short opened locally at some theatres here in the mid-Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain regions and elsewhere this past week. This Hollywood comedy has been hailed by reviewers for its clarity in explaining some aspects of the recent US financial crisis, especially troubles with CDOs and other derivatives. In other words, this “big”

26 Dec 2015
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Effects of recent Fed and Congressional macro policy moves

Figure above: static image only. Interactive version appears at the bottom of this post. Wednesday’s Fed policy decision of course turned out to be a small increase in the Federal Funds Rate. Dean Baker and Paul Krugman were among those opposed to the hike in rates, on the grounds that the recovery had not proceeded

18 Dec 2015
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Bond market turmoil

The Financial Times was among news sites following up on the disaster we mentioned last week in the “junk,” or high-yield, sector of the US bond market. Eric Platt, one of these reporting recently on the FT site, sees a growing problem: After years of ignoring the low credit ratings and indebted balance sheets of

16 Dec 2015
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Fading confidence in “junk” bonds?

In the wake of recent adverse news about an investment known as Third Avenue Management’s Focused Credit Fund, “lapsed blogger” David Dayen expresses concern in this post at Naked Capitalism that high-yield corporate bonds could be the next big US asset class to be the epicenter of a financial crisis. This market, which expanded briskly

12 Dec 2015
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Updates on financial fragility in theory and in practice

For students of Hyman Minsky’s theory as it applies to today’s economy, Edward Chancellor’s review of Randy Wray’s latest new book will be interesting. Chancellor is a well-known observer of the financial scene from the UK. Chancellor notes that in large part Wray’s professor Minsky would have approved of and expected the US policy response

10 Dec 2015
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Self-defeating austerity in a figure

downloadable version of the CDF above (non-Mathematica users will need the free CDF Player program, which can be downloaded at no charge at this link) Wolfram CDF technology allows one to interact with a mathematical diagram in a blog by moving a lever or changing some other control setting (requires download of a free browser

29 Nov 2015
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