financial crisis

WSJ: “RBS Agrees to $5.5 Billion Settlement Over Sale of Mortgage Securities During Crisis”

Alternative Headlines, or, Putting Financial Penalties in Context “Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC on Wednesday agreed to pay $5.5 billion to the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency to settle a probe into its sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the financial crisis.” —The Wall Street Journal (July 12, 2017). Shelling...
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Wall Street Fox Plunders Henhouse, Blames Chickens

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Redefines Chutzpah* (Again) “I believe that the root cause of every financial crisis, the root cause, is flawed government policies.”  — Henry Paulson –Andrew Ross Sorkin, “Five Years After TARP, Misgivings on Bonuses“; The New York Times (8/26/2013) Surprise, surprise, Henry Paulson exonerates himself and the banking industry generally for its role...
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Betting Grandma’s Money

The Financial Crisis for Beginners (or Grandmothers) Mystified by the financial crisis? Here’s one of the simplest — and most accurate — descriptions I’ve encountered yet: My mother is paying taxes to the government. The government is giving her money to the banks. The banks are gambling like they’re watching “Fast Money.’ But my mother...
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"This Time is Different" & Financial Predictions

Cloudy Crystal Ball To get some historical perspective on today’s financial crisis — and possibly divine some hint of where things go from here — I’ve been skimming “This Time is Different: 8 Centuries of Financial Folly.” The co-authors, Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, are highly pedigreed economics professors; almost half of their exhaustively researched,...
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The Hippo in the Coal Mine

California’s Financial Mess You have to wonder if California’s political paralysis foreshadows the future of the nation as a whole. –Paul Krugman, “State of Paralysis“; The New York Times (5/25/09) Just in case you’ve been enjoying a blissfully off-line Memorial Day weekend, the big story percolating on the leading op-ed pages and blogs at the...
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Required Reading

“Who’s Who” Discussion of Financial CrisisBest read of the weekend: a roundtable called “The Crisis and How to Deal With It.” Participants are a “who’s who” of finance and public policy: Bill Bradley, Niall Ferguson, Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, and George Soros. Warning: their (quite sober) analyses are not for the easily spooked or faint...
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