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Sunday, July 29

29th Jul - Weekender: Economics & Regulation

Trading & Markets and Views & Off-Topics coming up next.

Previously on MoreLiver’s:

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Sticky Wages and the Macro StoryKrugman / NYT
So when I emphasize nominal wage rigidity, I am defending an analysis of how the economy works, which is not at all the same thing as saying that this rigidity is the problem. On the contrary, for the US (though not for countries like Spain), wage stickiness is if anything good for us right now, helping stave off destructive deflation.

The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a ShamView / BB
In reality, there’s remarkable consensus among mainstream economists, including those from the left and right, on most major macroeconomic issues. The debate in Washington about economic policy is phony. It’s manufactured. And it’s entirely political.

Monetary policy transmission in the euro area, a decade after the introduction of the euro (May 2010) – ECB (pdf)
Highly topical, notice the date (two years old)

IMF Tracks Fiscal Rules Used in Crisis ResponseIMF
Growing number of countries now have fiscal rules in place - "Next generation" fiscal rules better account for economic shocks - New IMF dataset covers fiscal rules in 81 countries

Empirics and Psychologybig think
Eight of the World’s Top Young Economists Discuss Where Their Field Is Going

Cyclical adjustment in fiscal rules: some evidence on real-time bias for EU-15 countriesBundesbank (pdf)

Risk-on/risk-off, capital flows, leverage and safe assetsBIS
Thus, calm periods, marked by leveraged investing in emerging markets, lead to an asymmetric asset swap (risky emerging market assets against safe reserve currency assets) and leveraging up by emerging market central banks. In declining and volatile global equity markets, these flows reverse, and, contrary to some claims, emerging market central banks draw down reserves substantially. In effect emerging market central banks then release safe assets from their reserves, supplying safe havens to global investors.

Credit risk connectivity in the financial industry and stabilization effects of government bailoutsBundesbank (pdf)

Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Great Recession: Estimating the Macroeconomic Effects of a Spread Compression at the Zero Lower BoundBank of Canada (pdf)

How big is the output gap?Atlanta FED
If the output gap is large, that is, if the level of gross domestic product (GDP) is running significantly under potential GDP, the economy is obviously not in a position of maximum employment. And if that is the case, the inflation trend is likely to be headed lower and so the price stability mandate may also be in jeopardy.

Rethinking macroFree exchange / The Economist
We learned a hugely important lesson from the Depression—that central banks could influence the economy and prevent demand-side macroeconomic disasters. But we took a wrong turn in thinking that the way they did this was by moderating inflation. It was as if we discovered a magical sword in the woods and then went about confronting enemies by whacking them with the sheath. We can move past this intellectual limitation. Monetary policy can influence demand, plain and simple.

Finding the core: Network structure in interbank marketsNetherlands Bank (pdf)

11th BIS Annual Conference: The future of financial globalizationBIS
21-22 June 2012, Palace Hotel, Lucerne, Switzerland

A Beekeeper's Perspective on RiskHBR
The honeybee colonies I was cultivating were structured for consistent long-term growth and the prevention of severe loss due to unpredictable environmental surprises. Bees are masters at risk management.

Bubbles without MarketsProject Syndicate
Robert Shiller: The speculative bubbles in the housing, equity, and commodity markets that preceded and accompanied the current global financial crisis are also its ultimate cause. But, before we conclude that we should rein in the markets, we need to consider the alternative.

The Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision
Full pdf here.

FSI Survey - Basel II, 2.5 and III ImplementationBIS
July 2012 Introduction and background to the survey

It’s All About CulturePIMCO
Many stakeholders argue that the surest way to restore trust in the financial services sector is to increase regulation. Sound regulatory frameworks that enforce transparency and safeguard the system through the responsible use of bank risk capital are absolutely necessary, but they are not sufficient. Rather, the financial services industry is in need of a rediscovery of the importance of culture; institutions must embrace and live a set of core values that guide behaviors and ensure an unyielding focus on mission.

The European ban on naked sovereign credit default swaps: A fake good
Uncovered sovereign credit default swaps will be permanently prohibited in the EU by November 2012. While empirical evidence on their destabilising role is mounting, this column argues that the EU regulation will have only a limited effect, as a number of inconsistencies create regulatory arbitrage and opportunities to circumvent the ban.

Rating agency worker: 'I am genuinely frightened'The Guardian
The global meltdown terrified the City. But many are more worried that no controls have been introduced since 2008. This monologue is part of a series in which people in the financial sector speak about their working lives

Internal auditor at a major bank: 'In the US they can be very uncooperative'The Guardian
Joris talks to an auditor about long hours – and how seniority and levels of job security affect levels of co-operation

Gambling in the House?John Mauldin / The Big Picture
LIBORgate, CDS markets and Spain.

Finance needs stewards, not toll collectors John Kay
We need a structure of regulation, and of the financial services industry itself, that establishes an appropriate structure of incentives and rebuilds trust and confidence on the basis not of public relations, but of changed behaviour.

Why finance can’t be fixed with better regulationFelix Salmon / Reuters
In order for that to happen, we’re going to need to see today’s financial behemoths broken up into many small pieces — because at that point each small piece is going to have to earn the trust of the other small pieces which rely on it. Of course, that’s not going to happen. And as a result, financial-industry scandals will continue to arrive on a semi-regular basis.

Bankers Gone WildThe New Yorker
Rigging LIBOR was shockingly easy. The estimates aren’t audited. They’re not compared with market prices. And LIBOR is put together by a trade group, without any real supervision from government regulators. In other words, manipulating LIBOR didn’t require any complicated financial hoodoo. The banks just had to tell some simple lies. They had plenty of reasons to do so.

Wall Street Is Too Big to RegulateNYT
Of course, it would probably take another financial meltdown to make banking nationalization politically tenable. But given how the sector has behaved since the last crisis, a repetition seems inevitable, and sooner rather than later.

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