Found 409 article(s) in category 'Financial Services'

Who’s Right on US Financial Reform?

Who’s Right on US Financial Reform? Jeffrey Frankel, February 24, 2016, Opinion. “Eight years after triggering a crisis that nearly brought down the global financial system, the United States remains plagued by confusion about what reforms are needed to prevent it from happening again. As Americans prepare to choose their next president, a better understanding of the policy changes that would minimize the risk of future crises – and which politicians are most likely to implement them – is urgently needed.Link

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Osborne Should Think Again on his Bank Surcharge

Osborne Should Think Again on his Bank Surcharge. Mark Roe, February 22, 2016, Opinion. “HSBC’s decision last week to keep its headquarters in London, after reports that it would leave the UK if the levy on bank liabilities were not lifted, will have been greeted with relief at the Treasury. However, there is good reason to think the Treasury got a bad deal, jeopardising financial safety for not very much in return.  In his Autumn Statement last year, Chancellor George Osborne promised to phase out the levy, offsetting this with an 8 per cent surcharge tax on bank profits. Taxing bank profits is popular with voters, even though it makes the financial system weaker. Because it makes bank equity more expensive and ending the levy makes debt cheaper, the surcharge will push British banks to use less safe equity and more risky debt.Link

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The Hypocrisy of European Moralism: Greece and the Politics of Cultural Aggression – Part 1

The Hypocrisy of European Moralism: Greece and the Politics of Cultural Aggression – Part 1. Michael Herzfeld, February 2016, Paper. “In the current debt crisis, Greeks often stand accused of irresponsible borrowing, corruption, and laziness. In this article, I argue that the patently unfair way in which these stereotypes have framed the ongoing tensions between Greece and the other European countries is deeply grounded in the dynamics of “crypto-colonialism.” German fascination with ancient Greece has combined with the needs of British, French, and, later, American strategic interests to produce a toxic brew of humiliation and contempt for the Greek people of today.Link

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Fiscal Rules and Sovereign Default

Fiscal Rules and Sovereign Default. Laura Alfaro, February 2016, Paper. “We provide a quantitative analysis of fiscal rules in a standard model of sovereign debt accumulation and default, modified to incorporate quasi-hyperbolic preferences. For reasons of political economy or aggregation of citizens’ preferences, government preferences are present biased, resulting in over accumulation of debt. A quantitative exercise calibrated to Brazil finds welfare gains of the optimal fiscal policy to be economically substantial, and the optimal rule to not entail a countercyclical fiscal policy.Link

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Restoring Rational Choice: The Challenge of Consumer Financial Regulation

Restoring Rational Choice: The Challenge of Consumer Financial Regulation. John Y. Campbell, February 2016, Paper. “This lecture considers the case for consumer financial regulation in an environment where many households lack the knowledge to manage their financial affairs effectively. The lecture argues that financial ignorance is pervasive and unsurprising given the complexity of modern financial products, and that it contributes meaningfully to the evolution of wealth inequality. The lecture uses a stylized model to discuss the welfare economics of paternalistic intervention in financial markets, and discusses several specific examples including asset allocation in retirement savings, fees for unsecured short-term borrowing, and reverse mortgages.Link

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Options-Pricing Formula with Disaster Risk

Options-Pricing Formula with Disaster Risk. Robert Barro, January 2016, Paper. “A new options-pricing formula applies to far-out-of-the money put options on the overall stock market when disaster risk is the dominant force, the size distribution of disasters follows a power law, and the economy has a representative agent with Epstein-Zin utility. In the applicable region, the elasticity of the put-options price with respect to maturity is close to one. The elasticity with respect to exercise price is greater than one, roughly constant, and depends on the difference between the power-law tail parameter and the coefficient of relative risk aversion, γ.Link

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Rare Events and Long-Run Risks

Rare Events and Long-Run Risks. Robert Barro, January 2016, Paper. “Rare events (RE) and long-run risks (LRR) are complementary elements for understanding asset-pricing patterns, including the average equity premium and the volatility of equity returns. We construct a model with RE (temporary and permanent parts) and LRR (including stochastic volatility) and estimate this model with long-term data on aggregate consumption for 42 economies. RE typically associates with major historical episodes, such as the world wars and the Great Depression and analogous country- specific events. LRR reflects gradual and evolving processes that influence long-run growth rates and volatility.Link

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Extrapolation and Bubbles

Extrapolation and Bubbles. Robin Greenwood, Andrei Shleifer, January 2016, Paper. “We present an extrapolative model of bubbles. In the model, many investors form their demand for a risky asset by weighing two signals–an average of the asset’s past price changes and the asset’s degree of overvaluation. The two signals are in conflict, and investors “waver” over time in the relative weight they put on them. The model predicts that good news about fundamentals can trigger large price bubbles. We analyze the patterns of cash-flow news that generate the largest bubbles, the reasons why bubbles collapse, and the frequency with which they occur.”  Link

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Heed the Fears of the Financial Markets

Heed the Fears of the Financial Markets. Lawrence Summers, January 10, 2016, Opinion, “Often markets are volatile at the end of a year and then settle down as a new year begins. Not this year. US and European markets closed lower on Friday after a very rough week despite a strong US jobs report. The week saw dramatic declines in China’s stock market and currency. Oil prices fell even in the face of major tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia. A week when bad market news makes the front page raises two questions. How much should forecasters and policymakers look to speculative markets as indicators of future prospects? And how alarmed should they be about the prospect of a global slowdown? Markets are more volatile than the fundamentals they seek to assess. Economist Paul Samuelson quipped 50 years ago, “the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions.” Former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin was right when he would regularly reassure anxious politicos in the Clinton White House that “markets go up, markets go down” on days when a market move created either joy or anxiety …” Link

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