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Department of cutting edge technologies

Department of the technological frontier: This highly praised New York Times bestseller, which actually came out in 2014, could turn out to be the finance book of the year some year. What will happen in the financial markets if telepathy is achievable using the same type of technology now being developed to help people share

05 Feb 2016
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Unshared income gains evident in data presented at conference

Above these words is a figure that is interesting and meaningful to many macroeconomists. It also happens to be from the conference session in honor of Middlebury economist Bob Prasch, who is among those who passed away last year. It is provided by the presenter, David Howell, an economist with the New School for Social

27 Jan 2016
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Junk bonds: ongoing disaster

Gretchen Morgenson argues in the New York Times that the below-investment-grade bond market in the U.S. may be headed for more losses. On Sunday, Dealbook columnist Landon Thomas discusses emerging-market fears among investors . Earlier  in the month, the New York Times‘s end-of-year mutual fund report weighed the pros and cons of junk bonds as

25 Jan 2016
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Another Minsky book link

Having mentioned Randy Wray’s new book on H. P. Minsky (Why Minsky Matters) in a recent post, I should mention that there the publisher is giving away the first chapter away for free on its website. The chapter outlines Minsky’s biography and his theory of financial fragility and the relevance of his work to recent

22 Jan 2016
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Thanks, Bob

I have promised to follow up on an earlier post on friend Bob Prasch, who passed away last year. He was the subject of a session sponsored by AFEE at the recent San Francisco economics conference. Again, the acronym stands for Association for Evolutionary Economics. As many will know, the first generation of U.S. Institutionalists

15 Jan 2016
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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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