May 012009
 

In earlier posts I noted that even if “Wall Street” is temporarily saved and more carefully regulated, it will be difficult to prevent a meltdown similar to the current one from happening soon again. The reason is that it will be impossible to prevent new risky ways of playing tricks to obtain high returns by manipulating digital money streams. This is under way already. Banks have found apparently legal ways to cook their books to [...]

Oct 312008
 

Having discussed the new strangeness of money as such, I will now turn the most money-dependent sector— finance. But before getting into details, let me make a point about banks and attention. Money flows in the same direction as attention does, and so, right now stars — that is, large scale attention getters — generally have high monetary incomes. But having money incomes doesn’t lower the net attention they have, because attention itself can be thought of [...]

Oct 092008
 

As I write, the stock market is flatlining, credit has seized up, no one seems to know what to do, and bad times seem in store. What caused it? Not what you think. Not, basically, greedy Wall Streeters, ordinary consumers taking on loans they could not pay off, bad accounting requirements, faulty credit ratings, failures of regulators to regulate, nor a formerly too rosy outlook from the Fed. These were all surface phenomena. What lay [...]