EICKnotes for Mar 20, 2014
Notes on stuff that caught my eye today:
China is struggling with currency weakness, corporate bankruptcies, overall debt levels and rapidly declining industrial material prices. While leadership welcomes some of this as part of their economic reforms, can it be controlled in a way that doesn't spiral out of control.
Goldman Sachs caught being its regular vampire squid self in a new fight with preferred share investors in a related GS hotel venture. Case involves withholding financial information, double dealing, lack of independent board members and possible price manipulation in order to buy the shares on the cheap.
An interesting article about the bankers who pushed FDR to implement the Glass-Steagall sepeartion of commerical banks from securities operations. The article mentions a front page article in the NY times on March 9, 1933 by Aldrich outlining why he as the president of a major bank was pushing for the reforms. What is more interesting to me is the responses in the times later that week.
If the proposals of Mr. Aldrich were put into effect, where would the security business of the country be done, Mr. Potter asked. So far, he pointed out, this business has been carried out on either by the private bankers, aided on occasions by the capital of their depositors, or by the security affliates of the commerical banks.
It sounds very familiar to modern objections to more stringent regulatory reforms, but securities markets didn't come to a halt after Glass Steagall and would be unlikely too again with more seperation between banking and capital markets.
Whoops, maybe Newsweek didn't get the right man in their investigation into the origins of Bitcoin. How many Satoshi Nakamoto can there really be, it must be the guy . . .
How do you brainwash a whole society, VICE interviews a North Korean who escaped to China and now lives in the UK about what it really is like on the other side of 38. Want to read more about regular citizen life in NK, Nothing to Envy vividly portrays the everyday lives of six North Koreans.
Best of the Rest
- What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden (NYTimes)
- How Chipotle transformed itself by upending its approach to management (Quartz)
- Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors Or Artists? (NPR)