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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Occupy LEGO Land

As the #OccupyWallStreet protests grew, it was inevitable that the movement would spread in unusual ways. That includes plastic toys. “We must not be LEGO ‘lands’ — We must be a LEGO NATION.” #OccupyLegoLand is a Facebook Fan Page that gives voice to LEGO minifigures. Like Occupy Wall Street, they are battling on many fronts: […]

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Carried Interest and Obama’s American Jobs Act

The tax treatment of carried interest has been eyed as a revenue source off and on for the past few years. It’s back in the sights of the administration in the new American Jobs Act. Subtitle B – Tax Carried Interest in Investment Partnerships as Ordinary Income Section 411 – Partnership Interests Transferred in Connection […]

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One of the Problems with Low Interest Rates


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Germany, Sub-Prime Mortgage Backed Securities, and Scatology

Michael Lewis continues his around the world tour of the 2008 financial crisis from the view of Germany: It’s the Economy, Dummkopf!. The story in the September issue of Vanity Fair seems to be all about excrement. We heard that there were big chunks of the mortgage securities business that were terrible. There is the […]

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