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tsuomela : debt   96

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Dissent Magazine - Online Features - Universities and the Urban Growth Machine -
"With mortgage and other credit markets still in the doldrums, universities have become a very attractive option for investors looking for high returns on debt-financed growth. Money capital has poured into construction bonds, student loans, and other financial instruments spun out of the tuition bubble. When universities become the apple of the financier’s eye, they begin to generate debt in every direction, as I have shown here. NYU’s own long-term debt is a hefty $2.6 billion, far outpacing that of other comparable urban universities: Columbia ($1.3 billion), USC ($0.973 billion), and Penn ($1.7 billion)."
university  college  debt  money  economics  growth  finance  academia  corporate 
october 2012 by tsuomela
Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital | Politics News | Rolling Stone
"Romney, on the other hand, is a perfect representative of one side of the ominous cultural divide that will define the next generation, not just here in America but all over the world. Forget about the Southern strategy, blue versus red, swing states and swing voters – all of those political clichés are quaint relics of a less threatening era that is now part of our past, or soon will be. The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving.

That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world."
politics  financial-engineering  wall-street  markets  debt  leverage  glocalism 
september 2012 by tsuomela
interfluidity » Depression is a choice
"We are in a depression, but not because we don’t know how to remedy the problem. We are in a depression because it is our revealed preference, as a polity, not to remedy the problem. We are choosing continued depression because we prefer it to the alternatives."
economics  crisis  recession  policy  debt  preferences  depression  politics 
april 2012 by tsuomela
echovar » Blog Archive » A Permanent Sense of Asymmetry: Watching the Non-Human Enter
"As Morton points out, in the age of ecology there is no clean transaction you can walk away from. The fact that everything is connected isn’t something you can turn off when it’s inconvenient. There’s always something still owed, a remaining debt. Morton describes this as the viscous quality of the hyperobject, the more you know about it the more it sticks to you. And as Graeber shows, capital fails to capture the full extent of a transaction because it doesn’t fully represent the object. In the social context of the transaction, there’s always a remainder, the market never fully clears. At the level of capital and pricing, the numbers always add up, but the object of the transaction is broadcasting on multiple frequencies. And if you hold the concept of capital in abeyance for just a moment, you’ll find there were many more parties to the transaction than you had assumed, and if you listen closely, you can hear that the non-human has continued its relationship with you. "
ecology  economics  transaction  exchange  commons  debt  capital  relationship  gifts  meta-analysis  fundamental  objects  object-oriented-ontology  literature  poetry 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Belated Debt Post: Ancient Efficient Markets Hypotheses — Crooked Timber
"And yet: human beings (not just economists), when called upon to explain how society works, have a strange tendency to reach first for efficient market hypotheses, and to hold on like grim death. Natural or even cosmic orders of orderly payback. That’s the ticket. We are ‘in debt’ to the gods, or our parents, or society. Graeber is quick to point out the inadequacies of these metaphors." Annotated link
book  review  debt  metaphor  philosophy  ethics  anthropology  ancient  principles  sociology  society 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Special Report: A great haircut to kick-start growth | Reuters
"More than three years after the financial crisis struck, the economy remains stuck in a consumer debt trap. It's a situation that could take years to correct itself. That's why some economists are calling for a radical step: massive debt relief."
economics  recession  debt  jubilee  forgiveness  solutions 
october 2011 by tsuomela
[Debt: The First 5,000 Years] - C-SPAN Video Library
David Graeber talked about the history of debt and its impact in the world over thousands of years. During this event from Melville House Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, Professor Graeber was interviewed by Doug Henwood, author of Wall Street and After the New Economy. Professor Graeber also responded to questions from members of the audience.
video  interview  money  debt  economics  anthropology  history 
october 2011 by tsuomela
California and Bust | Business | Vanity Fair
The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, Michael Lewis goes where the buck literally stops—the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo fire chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society.
state(California)  economics  money  politics  pensions  bankruptcy  debt  municipal  failure  government  near-far  future 
september 2011 by tsuomela
The ridiculous third party rallying cry - David Sirota -
"You don't need look far to see that consensus in action -- just check out the current debt ceiling brouhaha. Paraded around by carnival barkers as supposed proof of unprecedented division and rancor, the moment's manufactured crisis in Washington actually exemplifies all the hallmarks of transpartisan consensus, as the Democratic president and the Republican congressional leadership essentially agree that Social Security and Medicare should be slashed, corporate taxes should be cut, taxes on the wealthy shouldn't be significantly raised and defense spending should face only minimal reductions. The only real "debate" is about the specific numbers -- not about whether such an extreme set of priorities is the proper way to balance a budget."
politics  consensus  agreement  partisanship  bipartisanship  deficit  debt  ideology 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Towards an Opt-Out Button in Left-Liberal Debates | Easily Distracted
"In terms of the debt ceiling issue in specific, I feel like this is sort of the Cuban Missile Crisis of my middle-aged life and you know what? At this point I almost just want them to get it over with and fire off the policy nukes. Just go ahead and wreck it all, because if we’ve come to the point where there’s a significant political faction with real social foundations that so thoroughly hates its fever-dream boogeyman vision of “government” that nothing else and no one else matters, we’re just going to be stuck right at a perpetual blockade line, a permanent schism. "
politics  argument  stalemate  america  debt  debate  medium-chill  good-enough 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Inequality and Economic Collapses | Mother Jones
" they've constructed a simple model for financial crises that essentially proposes the following narrative: (a) growing inequality produces less money for the middle class and more money for the rich, (b) the rich loan much of this money back to the middle class so they can continue to improve their living standards even with stagnant incomes, (c) the financial sector balloons to mediate all this, and (d) the system eventually collapses since, after all, this kind of thing can't last forever."
economics  inequality  instability  crisis  recession  leverage  debt  class  wealth 
december 2010 by tsuomela
interfluidity » Hangover theory and morality plays
The people who have sinned are not by and large the people being punished. Some people overconsumed relative to their income, and some people invested poorly. Those who overconsumed have mostly faced consequences for their misbehavior — they are either deeply in debt, or they have endured foreclosure or bankruptcy. But the people who invested absurdly, especially “savers” who lent money but permitted themselves ignorance and indifference to how their wealth would be mismanaged, have not suffered the costs of their recklessness. ... ...But rather than condemn them for negligence and permit their claims to be appropriately devalued, we applaud them for “prudence” and ...You don’t counter that sort of villainy with technocratic arguments about liquidity traps. You point out that the motherfuckers who are calling themselves prudent, who are blocking both writedowns and government action that might risk inflation, are hypocrites and thieves.
economics  moral  morality  rhetoric  debt  savings  money  banking  recession  crisis 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Jim Quinn: Lies Across America « naked capitalism
Americans are so committed to their automobiles, hyper-consumerism, oversized McMansions, and suburban sprawl existence that they will never willingly prepare in advance for a future by scaling back, downsizing, or thinking. Our culture is built upon consumption, debt, cheap oil and illusion. Kevin Phillips in American Theocracy concludes that there are so many Americans tied to our unsustainable economic model that they will choose to lie to themselves and be lied to by their leaders rather than think and adapt:

A large number of voters work in or depend on the energy and automobile industries, and still more are invested in them, not just financially but emotionally and culturally....In the United States more than elsewhere, a preference for conspicuous consumption over energy efficiency and conservation is a signal of a much deeper, central divide.
future  gloom-and-doom  decline  america  economics  debt 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Auerback: The Real Reason Banks Aren’t Lending « naked capitalism
More striking, private credit growth seemingly had nothing to do with the takeoff of the economy. Industrial production, off the 1932 low, doubled by 1935. By contrast, bank credit to the private sector fell until the middle of 1935. Because of the collapse in nominal income during the depression, the U.S. private sector was more indebted than ever in the Depression lows. Yet somehow it took off and sustained its takeoff with no growth in private credit whatsoever. The 14% average annual increase in nominal GDP from early 1932 to 1935 resulted in huge private deleveraging, largely as a consequence of aggressive fiscal stimulus.
economics  history  great-depression  recession  federal-reserve  interest-rates  debt 
august 2010 by tsuomela
The Aftermath Of The Global Housing Bubble Chokes The World Banking System
The strange case (Or is it the normal case?) is the residential mortgage market in the United States. Look immediately above. Values of the equity asset have fallen more than 30 percent, but the values of the debt asset (mortgages) used to buy the equity asset (homes) have fallen two percent. Both of these investments have a right to title to the same asset, but one has fallen FIFTEEN TIMES further than the other. Is this the real world or is it make believe?
housing  economics  recession  debt  mortgage 
august 2010 by tsuomela
interfluidity » Austerity is stupid, stimulus is dangerous, lying is optimal, economic choices are not scalar
As the Modern Monetary Theorists remind us, the analogy between a fiat-currency-issuing government and a budget-constrained household is poor. It is, nevertheless, the framework under which most citizens and savers understand government accounts, and forms the basis of conventional discourse. Irrespective of what is a better or worse description of reality, it is safer for policymakers to frame their communication in terms of conventional theory than to promote a profoundly destabilizing paradigm shift. Expect President Obama to keep talking about how we are “out of money” even though he knows better.
money  economics  rhetoric  austerity  stimulus  debt  government  fiscal-policy 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Op-Ed Columnist - Root Canal Politics -
The meta-story behind the British election, the Greek meltdown and our own Tea Party is this: Our parents were “The Greatest Generation,” and they earned that title by making enormous sacrifices and investments to build us a world of abundance. My generation, “The Baby Boomers,” turned out to be what the writer Kurt Andersen called “The Grasshopper Generation.” We’ve eaten through all that abundance like hungry locusts.

Now we and our kids together need to become “The Regeneration” — one that raises incomes anew but in a way that is financially and ecologically sustainable. It will take a big adjustment.
economics  debt  government  budget  finance  opinion  politics  baby-boomers  generational-analysis 
may 2010 by tsuomela
Gentrification Hangover | The American Prospect
How New York could create affordable housing from its empty glass condo buildings and failed takeover projects.
housing  economics  gentrification  recession  banking  real-estate  debt  class  city(NewYork)  city(SanFransisco) 
march 2010 by tsuomela
National Priorities Project | Bringing the Federal Budget Home
National Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.
federal  budget  debt  politics  government  economics  reference  statistics  data  news 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Eyes on the Ties » a blog by LittleSis » Blog Archive » Scrutiny of Goldman’s Role in Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies in US
Goldman Sachs appears to be testing the limits of its special talent for avoiding all accountability following revelations of its role in exacerbating the Greek debt crisis.
business  finance  wall-street  country(Greece)  debt  crisis  recession  regulation  too-big-to-fail  regulatory-capture 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Fair Game - Who Will Rein In Those Credit Default Swaps? -
Gretchen Morgenson on the lack of reform in the credit default swap market - including it's impact on the crisis in Greece.
recession  economics  cds  credit  debt  reform  country(Greece)  regulatory-capture  regulation 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Matt Miller - It's not our debt that's unsustainable, it's our politics -
As a debt worrywart who devoured one of Pete Peterson's doomsday books on my (first) honeymoon, and who came to Washington to help balance the budget in the 1990s, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to deficit hawkery. But the current panic over the national debt is a little mad. Yes, it's a fine thing that President Obama is naming Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles to head up the fiscal commission he'll unveil Thursday. And Republican glee and Democratic fear over the political fallout from trillion-dollar deficits are understandable. But, at least for now, the policy consequences are modest and manageable.
government  federal  debt  budget  taxes  money  fiscal-policy 
february 2010 by tsuomela
Interview with Interfluidity’s Steve Waldman: “The government has chronically oversubsidized mortgage lending and homeownership”
The financial industry has changed the economic and legal landscape surrounding consumer lending so that it simply bears no resemblance at all to interpersonal loans among people of good will in continuing relationships. But those are the norms they ask borrowers to adopt with respect to repayment. That act, demanding others act in accordance with standards from which one exempts oneself, is morally offensive. In a society which, despite economic difference, accepts no social class, ones moral obligation is to behave towards others as others must behave towards you. It is clear that, in general, banks and the special purpose entities that increasingly replace them treat their transactions with borrowers as hard-nosed business arrangements which they are willing to pursue on adversarial terms when doing so is in their interest. Borrowers should do the same. To do otherwise is to reward the cynical immorality of others, which serves no social good.
economics  ethics  morality  contracts  finance  business  debt 
january 2010 by tsuomela
The Role of Television in Household Debt: Evidence from the 1950's
We examine whether advertising increases household debt by studying the initial expansion of television in the 1950’s. Exploiting the idiosyncratic spread of television across markets, we use microdata from the Survey of Consumer Finances to test whether households with early access to television saw steeper debt increases than households with delayed access. Results indicate that television increases the tendency to borrow for household goods and to carry debt. Television is associated with higher debt levels for durable goods, but not with total non-mortgage debt. The role of media in household debt may be greater than suggested by existing research.
economics  history  technology-effects  technology  debt  1950s  television  media 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Notes on This Week’s Column: A New Consumer?: The Balance Sheet : The New Yorker
as Elizabeth Warren has argued, the idea that most Americans have been spending frivolously on consumer goods actually isn’t true. Instead, a hefty chunk of the increase in consumption in recent decades has been the result of higher housing prices, the rising cost of medical care, more spending on education, and childcare.
economics  consumption  spending  debt  consumer  behavior  frugal 
october 2009 by tsuomela
It’s Hard Being a Bear (Part Five): Rescued? | Steve Keen's Debtwatch
This “multiplier effect” will only work if American families and businesses are willing to take on yet more debt: “a dollar of capital in a bank can actually result in eight or ten dollars of loans”.
So the only way the roughly US$1 trillion of money that the Federal Reserve has injected into the banks will result in additional spending is if American families and businesses take out another US$8-10 trillion in loans.
What are the odds that this will happen, when they already owe more than they have ever owed in the history of America?
economics  stimulus  multiplier  debt  leverage  bailout  recession  credit  money  monetary-policy 
september 2009 by tsuomela
The Limits of Arbitrage « The Baseline Scenario
...arbitrageurs, the very smart and talented traders at hedge funds who will take prices that are out of line and bring them back into line, making a good fee and making prices reflect all available information, the very building block necessary for EMH to work, can’t do their job if they are time or credit constrained. Specifically, if they are highly leveraged, and prices move against their position before they return to their fundamental value – if the market stays irrational longer than they can remain solvent – they’ll collapse before they can do their jo
finance  arbitrage  money  wall-street  banking  financial-engineering  limits  efficiency  markets  free-markets  debt  leverage 
august 2009 by tsuomela
National Security State « Jon Taplin’s Blog
We have so hollowed out our industrial plant that the only thing we are now producing is weapons of war.
economics  military  war  military-indusrial-complex  debt  politics 
august 2009 by tsuomela / Comment / Opinion - Debt is capitalism’s dirty little secret
The answer is capitalism’s dirty little secret: excessive lending was the only way to maintain the living standards of the vast bulk of the population at a time when wealth was being concentrated in the hands of an elite.
debt  capitalism  money  wealth  income-distribution 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Debt, Class Warfare and Entrepreneurship
We became indebted, in large part, because of a structural imbalance in society, one that skewed incomes, redirected wealth, and encouraged companies and individuals to lever up instead of seeking out and earning higher incomes. At the same time, our unwillingness to say no to great society programs, without raising taxes to pay for them, meant that we became beholden to the bond market for funding ongoing operations, this creating an elevated base of required income to service our rising debt.
economics  debt  crisis  recession  class  income-distribution  structure 
july 2009 by tsuomela
America’s Corporate Shell Game « Jon Taplin’s Blog
They make no attempt to hide the bad news for the U.S. Economy–“return on assets for U.S. companies has steadily fallen to almost one quarter of 1965 levels,at the same time that we have seen continued, albeit much more modest, improvements in labor productivity.” The meaning of this is staggering–any productivity gains from the digital revolution have been more than wiped out by our corporate (as well as personal) addiction to debt.
economics  investment  debt  leverage  failure  trends 
june 2009 by tsuomela
Hussman Funds - Weekly Market Comment: Green Shoots over Thin Ice - April 13, 2009
Last year, I didn't think it was conceivable that policy-makers would attempt to address this problem by making lenders whole with public funds. This is an ethical abomination, putting the public in the position of absorbing the losses that should properly be borne by those who provided capital to these institutions. It is not sustainable. What it does is place the public in the position of losing first, but it will not, and cannot prevent the ultimate failure of the debt – for the simple reason that without restructuring, the debt can't be serviced.
economics  crisis  bailout  future  2009  wall-street  debt 
april 2009 by tsuomela
The Granddaddy State - Economix Blog -
This language implies that the current generation borrows and future generations pay. But borrowing creates assets as well as liabilities — and future generations will inherit both. It’s the relationship between assets and liabilities that matters most.
generational-analysis  generation  debt  government  fiscal-policy  future 
april 2009 by tsuomela
The current shifts | Free exchange |
ONE of the fascinating characteristics of the "what's wrong with financial markets" discussion has been the way in which the public debate has ebbed and flowed, coalescing first around nationalisation, then meandering toward the idea that perhaps nationalisation was not a practical option, before finally fracturing over the rocky shoals of the Geithner plan. Now it looks as though economic writers are pooling around the notion that balance sheet issues may be the key to recovery
economics  crisis  finance  banking  debt 
april 2009 by tsuomela / Markets / Insight - Insight: Time to expose those CDOs
"The real shocker, though, is what has happened after those defaults. JPMorgan estimates that $102bn of CDOs has already been liquidated. The average recovery rate for super-senior tranches of debt – or the stuff that was supposed to be so ultra safe that it always carried a triple A tag – has been 32 per cent for the high grade CDOs. With mezzanine CDO’s, though, recovery rates on those AAA assets have been a mere 5 per cent."
economics  crisis  banking  cdo  cds  debt  auction  accounting 
february 2009 by tsuomela
Congress Matters :: Why will the stimulus require 60 votes to pass?
Explains some of the budget laws that require 60 votes for expanding the deficit and other stimulus spending.
congress  legislation  budget  filibuster  money  debt  law  stimulus  fiscal-policy 
february 2009 by tsuomela / Columnists / Martin Wolf - Japan’s lessons for a world of balance-sheet deflation
"The general consensus of informed opinion was that the US, the UK and other heavily indebted western economies could not suffer as Japan had done. Now the question is changing to whether these countries will manage as well as Japan did. Welcome to the world of balance-sheet deflation."
economics  crisis  budget  debt  balance-sheet  deflation  japan  history 
february 2009 by tsuomela
Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler : Poverty of Imagination
The attempted re-start of revolving debt consumerism is an exercise in futility.
future  debt  environment  gloom-and-doom 
february 2009 by tsuomela
Restoring financial stability: How to repair a failed system | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
The whole purpose of securitisation is to lay risks off the economic balance-sheet of financial institutions. But the way securitisation was achieved – especially from 2003 to the second quarter of 2007 – was more for arbitraging regulation than for sharing risks with markets.
economics  crisis  bailout  finance  failure  securitisation  debt  banking  regulation 
february 2009 by tsuomela
naked capitalism: Willem Buiter: The US and UK as Banana Republics
Despite the dry title, what is noteworthy is that Buiter discusses in some detail how corruption, both in the government and society, limits policy choices. Put simply, diseased leadership has trouble pulling a country out of a debt crisis because no one trusts that they will do the right thing (and frankly, why should they?).
economics  crisis  confidence  corruption  fiscal-policy  debt  government 
february 2009 by tsuomela
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