Sorry folks

I’m horrendously busy, and unlikely to be blogging for some weeks. Normal service might be resumed by mid-April, but more likely there will be fewer but hopefully longer posts. Happy Easter

Practising Stalinism and the Regulatory Paradigm

No, this isn’t a ‘call it Stalinist when you want to trash it’ post. Rather, it’s about thoughts stimulated by reading Sheila Fitzpatrick’s review of J. Arch Getty’s Practising Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars and the Persistence of Tradition in the LRB. Fitzpatrick gives us an insight into Getty’s view of how Russians in the 70s and […]

News of the day

Copper is limit down in Shanghai, Ukraine is getting hotter again, and investment bank profits are thought to be tumbling, so of course I am writing about baked goods. The important update is that I tried a crothingy this morning and really, as Bill hinted in his comment to my earlier post, they are not […]

Strange days indicator

According to Reuters, Mexico has begun marketing a new 100-year benchmark bond denominated in sterling. Yes, I had to read it twice too.

Orderly failure vs. no failure

Quoth SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher: In the banking sector, which features leveraged institutions operating in a principal capacity, capital requirements are designed with the goal of enhancing safety and soundness, both for individual banks and for the banking system as a whole. Bank capital requirements serve as an important cushion against unexpected losses. They incentivize […]

If it doesn’t work as a hedge fund strategy, try making policy with it

Capital structure ‘arbitrage’ is largely discredited as a hedge fund strategy for the rather good reason that a lot of people lost a lot of money on it. An arbitrage, remember, is supposed to involve a risk-free profit. But using the Merton model or its variants to ‘arbitrage’ between different parts of the same companies’ […]

Tony Lomas says

There’s something about doubly bisyllabic names. Jackie Wilson. Tony Lomas. They draw you in. Anyway, Tony has a corker re the liquidation of LBIE, the Lehman London broker/dealer: it turns out that it wasn’t a balance sheet insolvency that collapsed this entity, but [rather] a problem of liquidity, and Lomas expects there will be a […]

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, or ORP, was a hypothesis in evolutionary biology whereby it was conjectured that an organism’s development (ontogeny) will take it through each of the adult stages of its evolutionary history (phylogeny). The word `recapitulates’ is important: this isn’t a strict repeat, and it can include secondary development, variation, even omission (think Beethoven […]

Advertising their concentration

I’m feeling under the weather, and hence watching more TV than usual. There’s a new TSB ad that strikes me as odd. The punchline is “Every penny our customers deposit with us stays right here in Britain, supporting mortgages and loans for other TSB customers.” So what they are telling us is that their loan […]

OK winter, time’s up, get out of here

Is that a ‘screw you’ I hear?