Who watches the Watchmen? Elizabeth Warren, apparently…

My own Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, kicking ass and taking names: Erin, let’s think about how we might work some of these questions and issues (and the debate over them) into E.6 of GOV?

Research and visual aids for INV

This is a running list of images and video for the INV storyline written by Eisa Davis, first workshopped for presentation in February 2013 at HERE’s Culturemart festival in New York City. INFO & TRADING ROUNDS. Mayor Bloomberg ringing the NYSE opening bell, Oct 31, 2012 And for something sillier, Robert Downey Jr. ringing to … Continue reading

Eurozone denials

State Bank of North Dakota

North Dakota’s been in pretty good shape since the financial crisis — the only state to have consistent budget surpluses, a low unemployment rate, the lowest foreclosure rate. Yes, it’s got oil — but when compared with other oil-drilling states (Alaska, for example) its stats are unreasonably good.  Many people say that’s because of the … Continue reading

Woolley’s Ten-Point Manifesto

A 10-point memorandum targeted at what Woolley calls giant funds, the custodians of social wealth, which he defines as sovereign funds, corporate and public pension funds and university foundations and endowments. Woolley’s thesis is that these giant funds have become unwittingly complicit in the creation of a vast unstable monster that the global financial system has … Continue reading

What good is Wall Street?

notes and quotes from Cassidy, John. “What Good is Wall Street?” The New Yorker. 29 November 2010. Big banks have transformed themselves from businesses whose profits were tied to the needs of their clients to huge trading houses whose focus is exploiting daily movements in markets. Constant need to invent new financial products to sell — this … Continue reading

The Giant Pool of Money

notes on Blumberg, Alex and Adam Davidson, “The Giant Pool of Money”  This American Life 355, 9 May 2008. There is this long chain of people that starts with these Wall Street guys and ends with people who stand to lose their houses. And all along that chain there were bankers, and brokers, and investors, and … Continue reading

Is the Party Over?

[commenting on Sherman’s “The Emasculation of Wall Street”] notes on Lavelle, Louis. “Wall Street: Is the Party Over for MBAs?” Bloomberg BusinessWeek (online). 7 February 2012. – Big cuts in compensation have been accompanied by a decrease in recruiting and hiring of baby investment bankers. -Probably has the most to do with an oversupply problem — there … Continue reading

The End of Wall Street As They Knew It

notes on Sherman, Gabriel. “The End of Wall Street as they Knew It.” New York Magazine. 5 February 2012. From the outside, the seven- and eight-figure payouts that star bankers earned could seem obscene, immoral even. But on the inside, the outlandish compensation reflected a strict, almost moral logic. -Wall Street as meritocracy means that the bonuses are … Continue reading

Commercial Banks and Corporations

This is me getting up to speed on things everybody else is clear on. Can also be a place to stick any new info we come across. An investment bank is a financial institution that assists individuals, corporations and governments in raising capital by underwriting and/or acting as the client’s agent in the issuance of … Continue reading

William Cohan talk, “Money & Power”

Why does Wall St. keep doing this to us? this is NOT a “once in a hundred years” thing, as they like to say it is par for the course, BUSINESS AS USUAL Goldman-Sachs has been around for a LONG time, 120+ years in that time has been involved in MANY law suits, indictments, ponzi … Continue reading

Brokers with hands on their faces

They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street (NY Times)

[from The New York Times] Emanuel Derman expected to feel a letdown when he left particle physics for a job on Wall Street in 1985. After all, for almost 20 years, as a graduate student at Columbia and a postdoctoral fellow at institutions like Oxford and the University of Colorado, he had been a spear carrier … Continue reading

Synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligations

[from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/syntheticcdo.asp?viewed=1%5D Synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligations A form of collateralized debt obligation (CDO) that invests in credit default swaps (CDSs) or other non-cash assets to gain exposure to a portfolio of fixed income assets. Synthetic CDOs are typically divided into credit tranches based on the level of credit risk assumed. Initial investments into the CDO … Continue reading

Explaining CDO’s and synthetic CDO’s

[from NPR] …[I]magine there is a house by the ocean and you want to bet that it’s going to get hit by a hurricane. One way to do that would be to take out an insurance policy on the house, even though you don’t own it. So every month you pay a small premium for … Continue reading