Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Bad Idea for Banks — and Everyone Else

(Originally published here.) Tim Harford has a gift for explaining complex economic concepts in plain language. It’s therefore regrettable to see him suggest in his latest column in the Financial Times that regulators encourage the adoption of a new financial instrument that … Continue reading

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Jeremy Stein, Fed Governor, Made a Very Good Trade

(Originally published here.) Every year, the Federal Reserve releases the financial information of the men and women serving on its Board of Governors. Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Neil Irwin pointed out a few fun facts such as the value of Janet Yellen’s … Continue reading

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Emerging Markets Should Quit Their Whining

(Originally published here.) Emerging markets have been among the biggest victims of bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve is getting ready to take away the monetary punch bowl. This has led to a lot of whining from people who ought to know … Continue reading

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Microsoft’s Massively Misplaced Incentives

(Originally published here.) Microsoft’s decline from technology superpower to office utility has many causes, but none has received more focus than the management technique known inside the company as “stack ranking.” Everyone on every team is divided into three groups. A few … Continue reading

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An Economist Confused About Banking

(Originally published here.) Stanford economist Robert Hall presented the first paper at this morning’s monetary policy confab in Jackson, Wyoming, and while he touched on a number of topics, one stood out because it reflects deep misunderstandings about the banking system. Hall … Continue reading

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Six Opportunities Steve Ballmer Missed at Microsoft

(Originally published here.) So now we know that Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ballmer, plans to retire within the next year. “Huzzah!” said the markets, as the stock price jumped on the news in what also must have been just … Continue reading

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The Strange Business of Central Banking

(Originally published here.) Central banking is a weird business: Small groups of unelected officials affect the fates of billions. One particular concern is that policies meant to benefit everyone might help some more than others. It’s a topic that occupied … Continue reading

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