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Epsilon Theory – investing and voting seen through the lenses of game theory and history
Via a comment on https://www.econtalk.org/robert-shiller-on-narrative-economics/ by Ralph Casale: "I have not read Shiller’s book, but do enjoy what Ben Hunt is trying to do with / at Epsilon Theory. He is trying to map / measure the zeitgeist and comment on it."
markets  finance  narratives  economics 
4 weeks ago by pierredv
Robots on Wall Street: The Impact of AI on Capital Markets and Jobs in the Financial Services Industry. | Financial Services Committee
Robots on Wall Street: The Impact of AI on Capital Markets and Jobs in the Financial Services Industry.

Witness List

Dr. Charlton McIlwain,Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development and
Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU

Dr. Marcos Lopez de Prado, Professor of Practice, Engineering School, Cornell University
and Chief Investment Officer, True Positive Technologies

Ms. Rebecca Fender, CFA, Senior Director, Future of Finance, Chartered Financial Analyst
Institute

Ms. Kirsten Wegner, Chief Executive Officer, Modern Markets Initiative

Ms. Martina Rejsjö, Head of Nasdaq Market Surveillance, Nasdaq Stock Market
Congress  hearings  automation  AI  employment  finance 
january 2020 by pierredv
High-Paying Finance Jobs: Robots May Wipe Out Good Roles - Bloomberg, Dec 2019
"Robots have replaced thousands of routine jobs on Wall Street. Now, they’re coming for higher-ups.

That’s the contention of Marcos Lopez de Prado, a Cornell University professor and the former head of machine learning at AQR Capital Management LLC, who testified in Washington on Friday about the impact of artificial intelligence on capital markets and jobs. The use of algorithms in electronic markets has automated the jobs of tens of thousands of execution traders worldwide, and it’s also displaced people who model prices and risk or build investment portfolios, he said."

"During the almost two-hour hearing, lawmakers asked experts about racial and gender bias in AI, competition for highly skilled technology workers, and the challenges of regulating increasingly complex, data-driven financial markets."
automation  employment  AI  finance 
january 2020 by pierredv
What is the Average Household Budget? Oct 2019
The best data set for this type of inforamtion is the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey.
finance  America 
december 2019 by pierredv
Annual Credit Report.com - Home Page
via Brian Krebs, https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/03/myequifax-com-bypasses-credit-freeze-pin/
"This service entitles each consumer one free copy of their credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus — either all at once or spread out over the year."
banking  credit  finance 
march 2019 by pierredv
How SMS is alleviating hunger in Zimbabwe | Oxfam Australia
"We are in Zimbabwe using mobile technology to tackle the country’s crippling food and cash crisis. We’ve equipped the most vulnerable families with mobile phones to receive emergency cash transfers via text to pay for basic food items."
Oxfam  cellular  mobile  finance 
february 2019 by pierredv
Why the end of cash could cause a new data disaster | New Scientist, Aug 2018
"The convenience of card and mobile payments means cash use is in freefall globally. But we haven't thought through the consequences of an all-digital world."

"But the use of cash is in free fall. According to trade association UK Finance, fewer payments will be made with cash than by debit card in the UK for the first time in 2018. The proportion of cash payments in the UK dropped from 62 per cent of transactions in 2006 to 40 per cent in 2016, and is projected to fall to just 21 per cent in 2026 (see “Money down the drain”)."

"Despite negative interest rates, cash use is falling unusually rapidly in Sweden: the proportion of cash payments declined from 39 per cent in 2010 to 13 per cent in 2018. About 60 per cent of Swedes already use a mobile app called Swish that allows people to instantly transfer money between different bank accounts just by tapping in a phone number."
NewScientist  economics  commerce  finance  blockchain  money 
december 2018 by pierredv
High-frequency traders flirt with high-frequency spectrum | PolicyTracker, Nov 2017
"The ongoing hunt for low latency communications between financial exchanges has generated renewed interest in the technology used for shortwave broadcasting – but using the spectrum in this way appears to breach of US regulations."

"Now an engineer in the US has stumbled upon the use of trans-Atlantic shortwave radio by high-frequency traders. As with the use of microwave, the rationale is that radio travels twice as fast through the air than light travels through fibre-optic cables."

"In addition to the technical limitations, the regulatory environment in the US, as it presently stands, also appears to cause problems for shortwave-based high-frequency traders: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not appear to offer any sort of spectrum authorization product for this service."

"According to several commentators, most high-frequency traders overcome the regulatory vacuum by obtaining experimental licences. "
PolicyTracker  shortwave  AM  trading  high-frequency-trading  finance  spectrum  FCC 
november 2018 by pierredv
Turning the Satellite Business Model Upside-Down - NSR Gagan Agrawal, Nov 2017
The traditional satcom industry can be argued to be entering its third transition phase, after the FSS video boom until 2010 and the HTS influenced pricing decline more recently. With languishing growth in 2018, alongside declining EBITDA margins and backlog, the operator industry remains uncertain on video, while debating on the merits of going fully downstream in the long term. Several factors such as high regional competition, video demand absorption through higher compression, supply-demand mismatch impact on pricing, pressure from OTT, and commoditization of capacity have driven the market to a stagnation point. However, no trend is bigger than the continuous manufacturing innovation to pack more Mbps per unit of million dollars cost. By pushing CAPEX per Gbps to ever more efficient levels, operators are able to undercut competitors on lease pricing, forcing many to sell at or below break-even profit margins, creating a zero-sum effect overall.
NSR  satellite  business  finance  * 
november 2018 by pierredv
Analysts see demand for two or three megaconstellations - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"While there may be enough customer demand for two or three megaconstellations, it will be difficult for the ventures to attract enough financing, according to analysts speaking at the Satellite Innovation conference here."

Chris Quilty, president of Quilty Analytics, a financial services firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida, sees demand for two or three constellations serving distinct markets like broadband and machine-to-machine communications."

"Nick Flitterman, co-founder and telecommunications head for Portland Advisers, a financial advisory firm based in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, sees global demand for two or three megaconstellations but said it will be difficult to finance that many."
SpaceNews  satellite  NGSO  constellations  investing  finance  business 
october 2018 by pierredv
It's Time to Slow Digital Credit's Growth in East Africa | CGAP Oct 2018
"CGAP has now gathered and analyzed phone survey data from over 1,100 digital borrowers from Kenya and 1,000 borrowers from Tanzania. We have also reviewed transactional and demographic data associated with over 20 million digital loans (with an average loan size below $15) disbursed over a 23-month period in Tanzania. Both the demand- and supply-side data show that transparency and responsible lending issues are contributing to high late-payment and default rates in digital credit."
CGAP  development-assistance  credit  finance 
october 2018 by pierredv
Protecting the power grid from GPS spoofing -- GCN Sep 2018
"It’s relatively simple for bad actors to bring down a power grid by spoofing the GPS signals the grid uses to time stamp sensor measurements, according to researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio."

The sensors -- phasor measurement units -- are installed in fixed locations throughout the grid and transmit 30 measurements per second to the control center, where operators monitor grid performance and increase or decrease the supply of electricity depending on the readings. That data is time stamped with the signals received by the sensors’ on-board GPS receivers.

"The team is also exploring using the algorithm to protect against time-synchronization attacks against financial institutions, which use the GPS timing data to time stamp financial transactions."
GPS  utilities  electricity  finance  vulnerability 
september 2018 by pierredv
Using Satellite Data to Scale Smallholder Agricultural Insurance | CGAP Sep 2018
"This paper looks beyond the excitement of the vast possibilities for satellite data applications to promote scale in smallholder agricultural insurance. It documents lessons learned from using these data to reduce the costs and improve the quality of smallholder agricultural insurance in Nigeria and Kenya. "
CGAP  development-assistance  finance  insurance  satellite  agriculture  Nigeria  Kenya  remote-sensing  EO 
september 2018 by pierredv
Blockchain: A Solution in Search of a Problem? | CGAP June 2018
"The question we have is not “Does blockchain work?” but "Does it work better than other technology solutions in the market?" And what are the cost-benefit trade-offs to switching to a new consensus-based technology solution? We have seen lots of proofs of concept that it can work, but not a lot of quantified analysis on why a DLT solution might be better than existing alternatives.

So, to what extent is blockchain a solution in search of a problem? There are a few important hurdles for those considering blockchain solutions in the financial inclusion space."

Governance, rules, oversight: "the complexity of establishing governance arrangements and rules is not much different than that of setting up a payment system today, whether retail or wholesale"

Regulation: "DLT could help reduce the cost of cross-border transfers by making net settlement positions known in real time to all participants, lowering liquidity management costs and minimizing foreign exchange risks"

Privacy, complexity, scalability: "But privacy was an issue: Running the [SWIFT] test with just 28 banks required 528 subledgers to maintain the confidentiality of information. ... Using today’s technology, Visa can process 24,000 transactions per second. The best I have been able to find that any DLT can do is 1,500-2,000 transactions per second"

Intersection with cash economy: "Mobile network operators, with 2.9 million active cash-in/cash-out agents worldwide, currently reach the poor very effectively, ... It is not evident that DLT makes it work better, particularly in environments where both 3G and electricity access are sketchy."

Recourse

"In the financial inclusion space, we have not yet seen business models emerge that make a compelling case for DLT over existing technology solutions with trusted third-party managers. ... Places where we think there may be breakthroughs are mostly in areas where distributed, real-time information is important: supply chain finance, agricultural value chains, identity verification, personal data storage, clearing and settlement, collateral and land registries and maybe credit reporting."
CGAP  blockchain  development-assistance  finance  SWIFT 
june 2018 by pierredv
The Dangerous Seduction of the Lifetime Value (LTV) Formula | Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley
The key statistics are as follows:

* ARPU (average revenue per user)
* Avg. Cust. Lifetime, n (This is the inverse of the churn, n=1/[annual churn])
* WACC (weighted average cost of capital)
* Costs (annual costs to support the user in a given period)
* SAC (subscriber acquisition costs, sometimes refereed to as CAC = customer acquisition costs)

Tren Griffin, a close friend that has worked for both Craig McCaw and Bill Gates refers to the five variables of the LTV formula as the five horsemen. What he envisions is that a rope connects them all, and they are all facing different directions.
analytics  business  finance  Bill-Gurley 
may 2018 by pierredv
LEO constellation rush not a threat to Iridium, CEO says - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"Large constellations of satellites planned for low Earth orbit (LEO) present little threat to Iridium’s business despite sharing the same orbit, CEO Matt Desch said April 26."

"Both Iridium’s legacy satellite constellation and its upgraded Iridium Next fleet that is mid-deployment operate using L-band frequencies. L-band is smaller swath of spectrum that can’t offer the same high throughputs as higher frequency spectrum like Ku- and Ka-band, but is known for its robust signal strength, often making it the frequency of choice for safety communications. Most large LEO constellations that have gained significant attention, including SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, LeoSat and Kepler Communications, are designing satellites in Ku and/or Ka-band."

"Iridium reported a 14-percent increase in revenue growth for the first three months of 2018 as compared to the same period last year. Money generated from Iridium subscribers, which numbered 996,000 as of March 31 and make up 75 percent of the company’s total revenue base, grew 10 percent."

"Desch said the majority of network traffic going through Iridium is now on the company’s Next satellites, of which 50 out of 66 are currently in orbit. "

"Iridium has since 2014 sought approval from the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) to break competitor Inmarsat’s sole hold on emergency maritime communications."
SpaceNews  Iridium  LEO  investing  finance  satellite  L-band  Inmarsat  maritime 
april 2018 by pierredv
Globalstar merging with FiberLight for $1.65 billion - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"Thermo Capital, owner of Globalstar, is merging the satellite operator with a landline company it owns in a $1.65 billion deal intended to help pay off Globalstar’s debts."

"The arrangement diversifies Globalstar’s revenue streams, which have been insufficient to cover the cost of its second-generation fleet of 24 low-Earth-orbit satellites launched between 2010 and 2013."

"Concurrent with the merger announcement, Globalstar also said it reached an agreement with the bank lenders for its satellite constellation to defer amortized payments up to $30 million annually."
Globalstar  SpaceNews  investing  finance  debt 
april 2018 by pierredv
How Developing Countries Can Prevent Their Own Equifax Breach | CGAP
Developing countries have a great advantage when it comes to data security — they can learn from the lessons of developed countries. The recent incident involving the security breach at the American credit bureau Equifax, that exposed the personal information of over 145 million people, provides two important lessons: avoid big databases where possible and give consumers more control over their personal information.
CGAP  finance  development-assistance  cybersecurity  Equifax  opinion 
november 2017 by pierredv
This Day in Quotes: Hanging … It concentrates the mind wonderfully.
"When a man knows he is to be hanged...it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

Johnson made the remark in reference to an Anglican clergyman named William Dodd.

Dodd, whose clerical background led people to call him Dr. Dodd, had been executed by hanging at England’s Tyburn prison on June 27, 1777.

The “heinous” crime he was guilty of was a loan scam.
quotations  Johnson  finance 
january 2017 by pierredv
[pdf] South African Equity Market Benchmarks: A complicated choice -- GraySwan March 2013
Although the SWIX is more beneficial on a risk and return
perspective, it is ultimately on methodology that the ALSI and
CAPI are less desirable specifically for pension funds and
retirement investors. The SWIX is currently the most optimal
index to use as benchmark for South African equity
investment managers or for a South African pension fund or
retirement investor.
ALSI  SWIX  finance  South-Africa 
september 2016 by pierredv
JSE performance: It’s a big tail wagging the friendly dog – but can the dog turn nasty? « ZAeconomist - Brian Kantor - Dec 2014
"As a result of the stellar performance of Naspers the ALSI and the SWIX have come to dance increasingly to the tune played by Naspers."
"In other words, investors who track the JSE and the SWIX on a market cap weighted basis have become increasingly dependent on or vulnerable to the Naspers share price."
JSE  ALSI  SWIX  South-Africa  finance 
september 2016 by pierredv
SWIX Benchmark Demystified
"The SWIX indices were introduced to the South African market on 1 July 2003. They are free-float adjusted, market capitalisation weighted indices. The market capitalisation of the constituents is based on that recorded in the South African share register maintained by Strate in order to exclude foreign shareholdings."

"These resource companies mainly traded in foreign markets but were dual-listed on the JSE and other international markets, with a relatively smaller portion of the shares listed in South Africa. As a large portion of the available market cap was not available to local investors, it was not prudent to measure the performance of domestic funds against the ALSI. The index was therefore not investable for asset managers, making the index an inappropriate benchmark."
JSE  finance  South-Africa  SWIX 
september 2016 by pierredv
The consensus crumbles | The Economist 2 Jul 2016
"The economists who foresaw the backlash against globalisation"
"These trade-offs create a “trilemma”, in Mr Rodrik’s view: societies cannot be globally integrated, completely sovereign and democratic—they can opt for only two of the three. In the late 1990s Mr Rodrik speculated that the sovereignty of nation states would be the item societies chose to discard. Yet it now seems that economic integration may be more vulnerable."
"Global integration, Messrs Alesina and Spolaore argue, reduces the economic cost of breaking up big countries, since the smaller entities that result will not be cut off from bigger markets. Meanwhile the benefits of separatism, in terms of being able to cater better to the preferences of voters, are less diminished. So the global reduction in barriers to trade since the second world war, the pair contend, at least partly explains the simultaneous growth in the number of countries, even if national fractures often involve, or lead to, political instability and violence."
"Branko Milanovic of the City University of New York believes such costs perpetuate a cycle of globalisation. He argues that periods of global integration and technological progress generate rising inequality, which inevitably triggers two countervailing forces, one beneficial and one harmful. On the one hand, governments tend to respond to rising inequality by increasing redistribution and investing in education; on the other, inequality leads to political upheaval and war. The first great era of globalisation, which ended in 1914, gave way to a long period of declining inequality, in which harmful countervailing forces played a bigger role than beneficial ones. History might repeat itself, he warns."
TheEconomist  trade  finance  economics 
august 2016 by pierredv
Is bitcoin money? Are Airbnbs hotels? Why courts have trouble deciding. - CSMonitor.com
The United States is divided on the issue. In 2014, the Internal Revenue Service defined virtual currency as property, for federal tax purposes. The Securities and Exchange Commission, on the other hand, has deemed it as currency, and the Federal Trade Commission says it’s a commodity.

“Bitcoin is not a currency, it’s not a commodity, it’s a computer protocol,” Marco A. Santori, a partner specializing digital currency at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in New York City, tells the Monitor.
CSMonitor  law  money  finance  IRS  SEC  FTC  bitcoin 
july 2016 by pierredv
Exchanging Your Money Abroad: 10 Simple Tips | Fodor's Travel
1. ATMs are still the best choice for day-to-day funds.

Although some banks have high fees to use foreign ATMs, not to mention adding on high foreign-transaction fees (Bank of America, for example, charges $5 per withdrawal plus 3% premium on top of each withdrawal at a non-partner ATM), the ATM is still almost always the cheapest option for changing your money. And if your bank has international ATMs or partner banks abroad, you can sometimes save a little on your cash withdrawals; that's true even at BOA, which charges just 1% at member banks and no other fees.
finance  Travel  currency 
may 2016 by pierredv
The new astrology - Aeon, Alan Jay Levinovitz
Economists play the same role today, and get the same extravagant perks, as state astrologers in Ancient China
Obstacles to change: "mathiness, conflict of interest and sunk-cost bias"
aeon  China  economics  government  history  policy  finance  astrology 
april 2016 by pierredv
Which index is best? 14 MAR 2011 - Mail & Guardian
"The SWIX downweights the large dual-listed shares on the JSE to something that is a better proxy for an actual investible universe, which most fund managers now prefer as their benchmark."
south-africa  investing  finance  indexes  ALSI  SWIX 
april 2016 by pierredv
Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor's Alpha -- Vanguard Mar 2014
"A new Vanguard research paper, Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor's Alpha, by Francis M. Kinniry Jr., Colleen M. Jaconetti, Michael A. DiJoseph, and Yan Zilbering, expands on the 2001 concept of Vanguard Advisor's Alpha™, which outlines how advisors can add value, or alpha, through relationship-based services such as financial planning, discipline, and guidance, rather than by trying to outperform the market.

The authors attempt to quantify the benefits that advisors can add relative to others who are not using such strategies. The paper includes seven "quantification modules" summarizing key wealth-management best practices and providing a reasonable framework for describing and further differentiating advisors' value proposition."
Vanguard  finance  investing 
april 2016 by pierredv
Asset managers: The tide turns - Economist Mar 2016
"a study by Standard & Poor’s, which compiles the S&P 500 index, among other things, found that 91% of active managers in emerging-market equities failed to beat the relevant index over ten years, and that 95% of active bond managers underperformed. This is hardly surprising: the average manager is likely to do no better than the market, before fees. Once fees are subtracted, therefore, active managers are likely to underperform. Morningstar, a data provider, has found that high fees are indeed a predictor of underperformance"
TheEconomist  finance  investing 
april 2016 by pierredv
'Robo-advice' approved by FCA but axes 220 jobs at RBS - BBC News March 2016
See also http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2016-03/14/rbs-robo-advisers-financial-advice

"So-called "robo-advice" has resulted in hundreds of job cuts at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), just as the regulator gave its blessing to the technology.
RBS is cutting the jobs of 220 face-to-face advisers, as it switches customers to an automated online service."
automation  finance  employment  UK  BBC 
march 2016 by pierredv
The big short - Peter Wallison, AEI
Counter-narrative to The Big Short: "This is not the kind of story that Hollywood likes—no greed, no evildoers, not even any humor—just very bad government policy combined with serial government blunders. We should see the “greed narrative” for what it is: first, an effort to support the enactment of another bad policy—the job-destroying Dodd-Frank Act—and then to keep it fully in force. The Big Short is entertainment, not the truth."
AEI  finance  borrowing 
january 2016 by pierredv
A fearful number | The Economist
No number strikes fear into bankers’ hearts like “311”. That is the section of America’s Patriot Act of 2001 that gives the Treasury sweeping powers to act against those who facilitate financial crime, anywhere in the world, by labelling them a “primary money-laundering concern”. For firms badly behaved or unlucky enough to be targeted, a 311 designation is more often than not a death sentence. … Another alarming feature of 311s is that there is no requirement to make detailed evidence public, or even available to a court, to justify the action. It is an administrative procedure, not a judicial one. Only the Treasury knows how much evidence it has, and how reliable it is. Moreover, there is scant recourse for those targeted. Challenges can be heard by a federal court, but the bank has to show that the action was “arbitrary and capricious”, which is especially hard to prove given the secrecy of the process.
TheEconomist  finance  law  governance  adjudication  enforcement 
june 2015 by pierredv
Risk Definition | Investopedia
"The chance that an investment's actual return will be different than expected. Risk includes the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment. Different versions of risk are usually measured by calculating the standard deviation of the historical returns or average returns of a specific investment."
finance  risk  Investopedia 
february 2015 by pierredv
Something economists thought was impossible is happening in Europe - Vox Feb 2015
"Something really weird is happening in Europe. Interest rates on a range of debt — mostly government bonds from countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany but also corporate bonds from Nestlé and, briefly, Shell — have gone negative. And not just negative in fancy inflation-adjusted terms like US government debt. It's just negative. As in you give the owner of a Nestlé bond 100 euros, and four years later Nestlé gives you back less than that.* In my experience, ordinary people are not especially excited about this. But among finance and economic types, I promise you that it's a huge deal — the economics equivalent of stumbling into a huge scientific discovery entirely by accident."
bonds  economics  interest-rates  europe  euro  eu  finance 
february 2015 by pierredv
Evolution can help head off the next financial crash - opinion - 04 November 2014 - Test - New Scientist
Essay by Eduardo Viegas , Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen and Geoffrey West "We found that financial crises emerge not as the result of specific economic events or regulatory developments, but rather as a result of a long-term evolutionary process that regulates companies' growth – mergers and acquisitions. Inevitably, this process leads to the emergence of imbalanced ecosystems – akin to oligopoly or monopoly – consisting of a few very large, but sluggish "too big to fail" entities, alongside very small, niche entities." "... two mechanisms that act as catalysts for the emergence of a crisis. The first is banks copying the business models of the most (short-term) successful bank, which leads to loss of both diversity and resilience. The second is investors such as fund managers increasing their appetite for risk by trying to outperform competitors."
ecosystems  complexity  finance  economics  NewScientist  opinion 
december 2014 by pierredv
High-Speed Stock Traders Turn to Laser Beams - WSJ.com Feb 2014
"As high-speed stock traders push to trade ever faster, their newest move involves harnessing a technology that U.S. military jets use to communicate as they soar across the sky: lasers. In March, a small Chicago communications company plans to switch on an array of laser devices linking the New York Stock Exchange's data center in Mahwah, N.J., with the Nasdaq Stock Market's NDAQ +0.39% data center in another New Jersey community, Carteret. The lasers, perched atop high-rise apartment buildings, towers and office complexes along the 35-mile stretch between the communities, are the first phase of a grid intended to link nearly all U.S. stock exchanges this way, zipping market data and rapid-fire trades. In recent years, so-called high-frequency trading firms, which account for about half of U.S. stock trading, have adopted first custom-built fiber-optic cables, then microwave and later millimeter-wave transmissions. Networks built on all three technologies operate today, tying tog"
finance  trading  WSJ  microwave  fiber  Anova 
february 2014 by pierredv
Should You Count Social Security as a Bond?
The question is, should you actually factor in those Social Security benefits when it comes to determining your portfolio's asset allocation? Or are Social Security benefits different enough from investment assets like stocks and bonds that you should separate them from your asset allocation decisions?
retirement  investing  finance 
january 2014 by pierredv
Financial crime: The king of con-men | The Economist Dec 2012
Story of Gregor MacGregor, born at Glengyle in 1786, who "pulled off the greatest confidence trick of all time." "The financial climate of the early 1820s was ideal for a con man. Napoleon had been defeated and the British economy was expanding steadily, driven on by manufacturing. The cost of living was falling, with industrial workers’ wages rising. Interest rates drifted down, with the government borrowing more and more cheaply. The country was in upbeat mood. "The downside to all this was that investing in government debt, a staple place to park spare funds, had become boring. The market rate on the most popular British government bond (the “consol”) fell steadily between 1800 and 1825. The government made the most of this, swapping its existing debt for new bonds that paid rates as low as 3%." Quote: "Financiers tend to do silly things when searching for yield."
history  TheEconomist  bubbles  finance  people  profile  cons  quotations 
february 2013 by pierredv
Voice in the wilderness | The Economist - Buttonwood, Sep 2012
inspired by Jack Bogle's new book Problems of "double agency", and not distinguishing between "investment return" and "speculative return"
finance  investing  TheEconomist 
september 2012 by pierredv
A man walks into a bank - FT.com
"Patrick Combs deposits a junk-mail cheque for $95,000 – for a joke. The bank cashes it"
via:gmsv  x:fit  finance  banking  humor 
august 2012 by pierredv
Somalia’s mighty shilling: Hard to kill | The Economist Mar 2012
"USE of a paper currency is normally taken to be an expression of faith in the government that issues it. Once the solvency of the issuer is in doubt, anyone holding its notes will quickly try to trade them in for dollars, jewellery or, failing that, some commodity with enduring value (when the rouble collapsed in 1998 some factory workers in Russia were paid in pickles). The Somali shilling, now entering its second decade with no real government or monetary authority to speak of, is a splendid exception to this rule."
money  finance  Africa  TheEconomist 
april 2012 by pierredv
Are you smarter than an NFL star? A lottery winner? - CSMonitor.com
"Panic isn't the first thing that most people might feel after coming into sudden money, whether through winnings, an inheritance, or a big sports contract. But maybe it should be. While there are strategies to turn sudden riches into lasting wealth, the landscape is littered with people who lost their way among the trappings of affluence and requests from friends and family."
finance  wealth  football  CSMonitor 
march 2012 by pierredv
IMF chief Lagarde: Woman of the year in 2012? - CSMonitor.com Monitor editorial
"Her strong suit is in bringing the players together, nudging them to act, and then letting them take the lead and the credit. “I want to be desperately optimistic,” she told CBS. “And I want to believe that countries will understand that they can actually change the course of things.”"
people  profile  France  finance  CSMonitor  opinion  credit  quotations 
march 2012 by pierredv
CGAP>Advancing Savings Services
"Many microfinance funders have long recognized the importance of savings services for poor people. However, a majority of funders still focus on scaling up access to credit, rather than savings. There are three main reasons for this." = historically, credit has been seen as most direct way to increase incomes - the entrepreneurial narrative = easiest way to distribute large piles of cash is to finance loan portfolios = doing savings is harder
development-assistance  x:CGAP  poverty  saving  finance 
october 2011 by pierredv
OptOutPrescreen.com
Credit card opt-out for major credit checkers, via City of Kirkland
privacy  finance  tools  optout  credit  spam 
may 2011 by pierredv
The bonus myth: How paying for results can backfire - life - 12 April 2011 - New Scientist
Citing Alfie Kohn, Malcolm Higgs (Southampton), Edward Deci (Rochester), Dan Ariely (Duke), Laura Petersen & Thomas Gavagan (Baylor), Brian Serugma (Nottingham) "a large and growing body of evidence suggests that in many circumstances, paying for results can actually make people perform badly, and that the more you pay, the worse they perform." "rewarding children, students and workers with grades, incentives and other "bribes" leads to inferior work in the long run."
economics  employment  incentives  motivation  finance  psychology  bonuses  NewScientist  * 
may 2011 by pierredv
The Destruction of Economic Facts - BusinessWeek
Renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto argues that the financial crisis wasn't just about finance—it was about a staggering lack of knowledge
x:businessweek  economics  finance  property-rights 
may 2011 by pierredv
Banking cheats will always prosper - life - 23 March 2011 - New Scientist
Strap line: "Clever schemes to make bankers earn their bonuses look good on paper, but economics proves they won't work, says Mark Buchanan" Discusses work of Andrew Lo at MIT. Problem is that giving managers incentives to perform well for investors also gives them motives to cheat and expose portfolio to long-term risk, while they take the short-term gain Quote: "Those playing the system will no doubt scream about laws eroding their ability to compete. But there is no getting around the logic that secrecy creates the opportunity for deception, and that no amount of clever tuning of incentives can prevent it."
finance  ethics  NewScientist  economics 
april 2011 by pierredv
The topology of the federal funds market (PDF)
by Morten Bech and Enghin Atalay
ECB Working paper No 986, December 2008, http://ssrn.com/abstract_id=1299021.
Abstract: "We explore the network topology of the federal funds market. This market is important
for distributing liquidity throughout the financial system and for the implementation of
monetary policy. The recent turmoil in global financial markets underscores its
importance. We find that the network is sparse, exhibits the small world phenomenon and
is disassortative. Reciprocity tracks the federal funds rate and centrality measures are
useful predictors of the interest rate of a loan.
Keywords: network, topology, interbank, money market"
network-analysis  finance  via:theoeicher  filetype:pdf  media:document 
march 2011 by pierredv
International investing
Chart of shift in US and World Market Capitalizations
finance  financialplanning  investing 
january 2011 by pierredv
Momentum in financial markets: Why Newton was wrong | The Economist
"Theory says that the past performance of share prices is no guide to the future. Practice says otherwise "
Momentum trading, and madness of fund managers
finance  economics  TheEconomist 
january 2011 by pierredv
Algorithms take control of Wall Street
Dow Jones new service: "Lexicon has helped automate the process of reading the news, drawing insight from it, and using that information to buy or sell a stock." The story is more generally about algorithms in trading: "These sudden drops are now routine, and it's often impossible to determine what caused them. But most observers pin the blame on the legions of powerful, superfast trading algorithms—simple instructions that interact to create a market that is incomprehensible to the human mind and impossible to predict."
finance  computing  news  arstechnica 
january 2011 by pierredv
Drexel Burnham Lambert's legacy: Stars of the junkyard | The Economist
"Twenty years after Michael Milken’s junk-bond firm came crashing down, the financial revolution that it fostered lives on"
Argues for 3 enduring legacies: "a junk-bond market that has grown at least sevenfold since the firm’s demise; the firms and industries, from gambling to cable television, that owed their rapid expansion to the investment bank’s junk bonds; and the influence of the “Drexel diaspora”, "
finance  history  **  TheEconomist  investing 
november 2010 by pierredv
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