Category: Economics

No BitCoin ETF

I’ve said before that BitCoin is the Dutch Tulips of investments. The blockchain approach to recordkeeping is an interesting use of decentralized computed power for recordkeeping, but BitCoin units are less interesting. The main users are less than scrupulous users looking for ways to avoid things like anti-money laundering rules. Many bankers/traders see BitCoin as a way

President Trump’s Two for One Regulatory Reduction Is Headed to Court

It seems like just a week ago that President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order requiring two regulations be repealed for every new one adopted.  It was. And this week a lawsuit has been filed challenging that executive order. The lawsuit was filed by Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communications Workers of

Tesla, Self-Driving Cars and Compliance

Tesla Motors is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failure to disclose that one if its car crashed while in self-driving mode. The question is whether whether Tesla should have disclosed the accident as a “material” event: a development a reasonable investor would consider important. That opens a bigger question about the

BE-10 Survey Requirements: What Private Equity Funds Need to Know

Under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act of 1977, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in the Department of Commerce conducts a “benchmark survey” of U.S. direct investment abroad every five years. U.S.-based companies with ownership of “foreign affiliates” are required by law to participate in the survey by completing and submitting a

Asset Management and Financial Stability

The US Office of Financial Research recently released a report raising concerns that the largest asset managers could pose a threat to financial stability. That puts firms like BlackRock, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, Prudential Financial, AXA Investment Managers, MetLife, Invesco and UBS Global Asset Management in the cross-hairs of being considered “systemically important.” The

How Much Did the Stimulus Affect Unemployment? Not Much

While the New York Fed is increasingly tasked with regulating financial institutions, its bread and butter is economic analysis. A recent report debunks the theory that the stimulus spending lowered unemployment. James Orr, vice president in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group, and John Sporn, a senior analyst in the

S & P and the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission took the bold step of filing charges against Standard and Poor’s, one of the three giant rating agencies. Personally, I think the role of rating agencies in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis has been under-appreciated. Without the the top AAA rating they bestowed on securitized mortgage bonds,

Manufacturing Jobs, Robots, and the Economy

We still make lots of stuff in the United States. China is our closest competitor. The two countries are very close at the number 1 and number 2 positions of manufacturing output.  In the past decade, manufacturing output in the US has risen by a third. What hasn’t risen is the number of jobs in

The Great Depression versus the Great Recession

One of the signposts at the beginning of 2012 is that the U.S. economy seems to be recovering. The troubles in the Euro-zone are still creating great uncertainty and people are still cautious. But manufacturing outputs are continuing to increase. I see “help wanted” signs starting to appear in business doors. (Feel free to disagree

Occupy the SEC

I will admit that I have been personally dismissive of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the splinter group of Occupy Boston that I pass by on the way to the office. Yesterday’s post on Occupy LEGO Land was an example. They lack a message and I personally think most of their message are off