In a letter to this week's Economist, one of the leaders of the Occupy Movement stated that they are not anti-capitalist - they are just opposed to an unjust society where the 99% bail out the financiers and banks who have created a huge economic mess. We were all told the lie that the bailout was necessary to prevent economic meltdown. Despite all the bailouts, we still have economic mess and ordinary people are feeling the economic pain of having bailed out the financial system through falling real pay (if they are still in a job!) and reduced provision of public services. This is why we have the Occupy movement.
You can read an interesting and short op-ed by Joseph Stiglitz on the Occupy movement here.
Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, Amir Kermani, James Kwak and Todd Mitton have written a paper on whether firms connected to Timothy Geithner benefited from these connections. They do so by looking at how stocks of these firms reacted to the announcement that he was a nominee for Treasury Secretary in November 2008. They find that there were large abnormal returns for connected firms. Below is the paper's abstract and the full paper is available here . The announcement of Timothy Geithner as nominee for Treasury Secretary in November 2008 produced a cumulative abnormal return for financial firms with which he had a connection. This return was about 6% after the first full day of trading and about 12% after ten trading days. There were subsequently abnormal negative returns for connected firms when news broke that Geithner's confirmation might be derailed by tax issues. Excess returns for connected firms may reflect the perceived impact of relying on the advice of a small ne
According to Robert Shiller , speaking at Davos, Bitcoin is a perfect example of a bubble - story here . Shiller sees Bitcoin as a backwards step in the evolution of money. George Selgin , a free banker, takes an opposing view - click here . Although he doesn't believe that Bitcoin is money, he sees its development as a fascinating turn in the evolution of money. In particular, he lauds the fact that Bitcoin production is constrained and cannot be infinite. There is a short video below where Bitcoin explain how it works.
Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles, co-authored with my colleague Will Quinn , is forthcoming in August. It is published by Cambridge University Press and is available for pre-order at Amazon , Barnes and Noble , Waterstones and Cambridge University Press .