Monthly Archive: February 2008

Feb 29 2008

The brave new world of finance-14: The next bubble?

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In this final post in this series, I want to look at what might be the next bubble looming on the horizon. In his article The next bubble: Priming the markets for tomorrow’s big crash (Harper’s Magazine, February 2008) Eric Janszen says that the total value of …

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Feb 28 2008

The rise of Tim Russert and the decline of journalism

I watched the Democratic primary debate held in Cleveland on Tuesday. It was the first debate I had watched live so far during the primary season. Who do I think won? I think such questions are meaningless. These kinds of debates are not meant to provide that kind of result. But the losers of these …

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Feb 27 2008

The brave new world of finance-13: The new bubble cycle

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Karl Marx famously argued that capitalism, while being remarkably resilient in overcoming problems and capable of releasing enormous productive capabilities, also carries within itself the seeds of its own eventual destruction because of its incapacity to accept an equilibrium state. Capitalism requires that companies have to push …

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Feb 26 2008

The brave new world of finance-12: The consequences of the primacy of shareholders

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) As I discussed in the previous post, the instability caused by shareholder demands for steadily increasing rates of return infects every area of business for the worse. Furthermore, the law requires of management that businesses be run purely for the benefit of its stockholders. While this is …

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Feb 25 2008

The brave new world of finance-11: The changing emphasis of business

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The problem with the modern business world, as I see it, is that it is no longer enough that a company be successful in the traditional sense of steadily producing revenues in excess of expenditures. That model of a successful business is considered hopeless na├»ve these days. …

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Feb 22 2008

Is there any hope for Obama?

In the previous post, I pointed out the surprisingly strong early backing that Obama has received from Wall Street, which raises the obvious question: Why would Wall Street invest so heavily in him? One reason is that the business sector always covers its bets so that whoever wins, they have ties to them. But another …

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Feb 21 2008

The problem with Obama

Given my concerns about Hillary Clinton, one might think that I would be an enthusiastic Barack Obama supporter, but at this point I must say that I am somewhat underwhelmed by him. I have not been bowled over by his alleged charisma, perhaps because I almost never watch TV, preferring to read about events instead, …

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Feb 20 2008

The potential Clinton vs. McCain nightmare

(Due to the unexpected importance of Ohio in the primary process, I am pre-empting the economy series for three posts on the elections.) Back in November 13, 2006, when Wisconsin’s US Senator Russ Feingold announced that he would not run for the Democratic nomination for president, I wrote the following: “With Feingold’s departure from the …

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Feb 19 2008

The brave new world of finance-10: Who’s to blame?

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) As is typical with bubbles, people involved at all levels of the subprime mortgage debacle seemed to deliberately shut their eyes to any negative information, as if they thought that wishing things were just peachy would make it so. As long as nobody looked too closely at …

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Feb 18 2008

The brave new world of finance-9: Two case studies of destroyed communties

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Up to now, I have been looking somewhat generally at the problems created by the collapse of the subprime mortgage market: how the problem was created and the scale of the problem. But to really appreciate how it worked and its impact on actual people, one can …

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