Ever since the 2008 financial collapse, banks have reduced their lending while accumulating U.S. Treasuries. On the surface placing capital into the safest depositor may seem prudent. On the other hand, Why Big Banks Are Suddenly Interested in Talking to You Again? According to Inc, “After years of turning away small-business borrowers, the country’s largest banks are now granting one out of five loan applications they receive. The 20 percent benchmark represents a post-recession high for big banks (assets of $10B+). Further, small banks have been approving more than half of the funding requests they receive.”
Those fall season concerns in market volatility are once again upon us. After so many years of a zero interest rate environment, nervous tension is breaking out. Review the record. For a comparison of International Stock Indexes, Market Data Center statistics from the WSJ is useful. Now evaluate Doug Ramsey’s, chief investment officer at the Leuthold Group, argument in Comparing Valuations: U.S. vs. International Stocks.
The cozy relationship between financial institutions and their respective regulators has long been known. Concern from reformers and activists comes from all stripes of ideological perspectives. With the attention that Carmen Segarra, the whistleblower of Wall Street, has gained, the noise from the banking establishment pushes back. Here comes the expected spin from the Fed, The New York Fed Slams Tape-Recording Whistleblower, Says She Was Fired After Just 7 Months Over Performance. Read their Statement Regarding New York Fed Supervision. So what is this controversy all about?
Seldom does the enormous bond market turn on the fate of a single trader. Well, the news that Bill Gross was leaving Pimco under suspicious circumstances did not go unnoticed. The WSJ writes:
Remember the days when an entrepreneur would perfect their whiz kid ideas in a garage and bring them to market? Did Steve Wozniak ever envision the behemoth that Apple would become and the cult camp that worships every new product that flows from their robotic coolie assembly lines? Riots Over Rotten Apple Mania describes an example of the forbidding underbelly of corporatist business model that Apple exemplifies so dramatically. Notwithstanding this record of 21th century sweat factories, do the venture vulture capitalists of Silicon Valley interject added value in the products and services they fund or do this culture of touting IPO offerings simply game a system to print money based upon imaginary dreams?
Scotland has a long and noteworthy history of banking. Money, savings and investing is entrenched in the culture and society. Edinburgh is the fourth largest financial centre in Europe (after London, Frankfurt and Paris). Much of this reputation has arisen from its history of innovation over the last three hundred years. The Bank of Scotland, established in 1695, one year after the Bank of England by an Act of the Scottish Parliament, illustrates the prevailing attitude to the creation of money in that era. A list of banking innovations is a useful background of Scottish banking activities.
Proponents of big government, from both the left and right, share one important trait; namely, both spend their waking hours dreaming up new schemes to tax wealth. Only a blind, deaf and dumb observer of economic imbalance would deny that the massive accumulation of worldly assets into the hands of the smallest number of robber barons in all of history is at the core of most social unrest and global instability. However, adopting a Marxist outlook on the evils of the bourgeoisie simply confuses the nature of the financial magnates, while blaming the hard pressed merchant class for conducting beneficial business. Creation of tangible wealth is the greatest achievement in the uplifting and improvement of the human condition, when that stream of riches flows between and among entrepreneurs and business proprietors.
The obsession over sports, long analyzed as half-crazed, defies logical explanation. Even so, it is undeniable that organized athletics is big business. This standard certainly applies to professional leagues, but often it is overlooked just how much money is involved in “so called” amateur games at the college level. A Brief History of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Role in Regulating Intercollegiate Athletics serves as a useful primer. Regulation of intercollegiate athletics may seem a desirable and necessary function to maintain the integrity of sport. In spite of this noble objective, the supervision of the NCAA over college athletics usually comes down to the excessive administration of football and basketball.
Learning is a noble pursuit, but the ancient Greek text is one of the few places where the Socratic Method survives. Sanctioned political doctrine of required thinking is the mainstay in today’s august temples of purification. Forget about a classroom, the curriculum core of New Age studies has no room for the classics, much less instructions into the process of thinking itself. Except, of course for the need to electronically check off the loan applications and assign grants to the business office. In the end, university is big business and developing intelligent graduates happens as an afterthought, if at all.
As the yearly end of summer doldrums engulf the Hamptons, the uber-wealthy position themselves for a rocky coming storm when the robust fall trading season begins. Some of the most memorable major equity collapses happen during this time of year. Logic, fundamentals and sound business analysis has very little to do in forecasting when the actual plug will be pulled on the rocket ride in stocks. In a rigid game, the house always knows when and at what time the fleecing of the mark happens. Such timing projections do not apply to the decline in the purchasing power of the dollar. More appropriately, Federal Reserve Notes are only compulsory money because of the legal tender laws. Yet, financial instruments are gauged in terms of their worth by the dollar redemption value they produce.
When the billionaire tech jet set decides to let down their hair, what do they talk about around the campfire? According to the New Your Times, “Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues — along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea.” How quaint! . . . For the real scoop, Here’s What Went On At Google’s Exclusive Conference For The Rich And Famous In Sicily.
Well, the International Monetary Fund is at it again. It looks like controlling entire economy conditions of nations is not enough for the IMF. The IMF urges higher energy taxes to fight climate change and lays out “exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuels’ overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.”