Entries by Martin Hutchinson

Reforming the Investment Banking Industry

Goldman Sachs announced this week that it was to offer consumer savings accounts over the Internet, with a minimum of $1. It’s not a bad marketing idea; no doubt a “Bank of Dr. Evil” branded savings account would also go well. It appears to indicate that Goldman’s confidence in its core investment banking business is […]

The Ponzification of the World

Arrests have been made in China over a $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme involving a P2P (person-to-person, without the intervention of a bank) lender. My first response was: P2P lending in the Chinese banking system: what could possibly go wrong? My second, more thoughtful, insight is that distinguishing out-and-out Ponzi schemes from the world economy as […]

Bright Current Economic Signals Are Spurious

The market rejoiced on Dec. 5 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 321,000 new U.S. jobs had been created. The general consensus is that the 3.9% third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is the harbinger of a brighter trend. The Economist’s team of forecasters has U.S. growth at 3% in 2015, up from […]

Where’s Genuine Economic Growth Going to Come From?

“We wanted flying cars, and they gave us 140 characters,” said venture capitalist Peter Thiel in 2011. He put his finger on a central dilemma of the New Economy: its innovations can make money (usually through redirecting advertising sales), but they add little or nothing to the overall stock of human knowledge or long-term happiness. […]

How America’s Business Lobby Often Opposes Free Markets

Traditionally, business was the most important political backer of free markets, which made sense because business needs markets in order to exist at all. However, in the last generation, the views of business, as expressed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other outlets, have increasingly diverged from the free-market ideal. As crony capitalist ideas […]

Systemic Market Risk is Worse Now Than in 2008

Since the crash of 2008, huge attention has been paid by regulators to systemic risk, the risk that some event will cause the crash of the entire banking system, not just of an individual bank. Tens of thousands of pages of financial regulations have been written, and almost as many thousands of speeches have been […]