Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Jul 09 2013

The Zombies of Mayfair

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

I recently mentioned a long article I wrote in the New Statesman about private equity and hedge funds.  I am proud to see that the full version is now available online.

Note: in the article I describe Peter Morris as an ‘investor.’ That’s not accurate: he’s better described as a former banker.

Bloomberg Businessweek has followed my article with

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Jul 08 2013

Eurobonds: the 50th anniversary of an opaque, tax-evading capital market

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

The Economist has an article in its current edition about the birth of Eurobonds in 1963, which in many respects summarises the Treasure Islands chapter on the subject entitled “Eurodollar: the Bigger Bang.”

A middle section of the article kind of sums it all up:

“With some encouragement from the Bank of England, London became the centre of

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Jul 01 2013

Is PPI “the worst scandal in the history of British banking?”

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

John Lanchester has an article in the London Review of Books about financial scandals. He says:

In the midst of this cacophony of largely justified accusations, the banks have had a strange kind of good fortune: the noise is now so loud that it’s become hard to hear specific complaints of wrongdoing. That’s lucky for them, because there’s one particular

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Jul 01 2013

The Zombies of Mayfair

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

I have a long article in with this title in the current edition of the New Statesman. Currently it’s subscription-only but you can buy it on newsstands or see this very short teaser here.

It’s based on a short blog I wrote last year on private equity and hedge funds, then withdrew a few minutes after publication because I …

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Jun 26 2013

From the resource curse to the finance curse

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

From the ThomsonReuters Foundation Trustlaw site, an article of mine:

“Evidence is now piling up to support an idea that many people know intuitively. Your country needs finance, of course: the essential plumbing of any economy. But once that financial centre in your neighbourhood grows above a certain size, it is likely to turn bad.”

Now read on . …

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Jun 25 2013

Derivatives WMD: lobbyists seeking to remove ‘burdensome’ safety catches

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Something I wrote on the Tax Justice Network blog today.

This urgently important blog is fairly long, so we preface it with a short summary.

Summary

The Wild-West $600 trillion unregulated global market in financial derivatives, implicated in numerous financial disasters before, during and since the hottest phase of the global financial crisis in 2008/9, now potentially faces some welcome …

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Jun 25 2013

The City of London: a giant opportunity cost

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

From Compass Online, an article by Brett Scott, an ex-broker, that I recommend.

“The lure of the City is, I believe, nothing but a giant economic opportunity cost. A generation of graduates who can do discounted cash flow valuations or options-pricing is a far-cry from a resourceful nation of inventors and adventurers.”

One more for the Finance Curse literature.…

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Jun 14 2013

New report into the UK’s Overseas Territories and developing countries

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Cross-posted with the Tax Justice Blog and the EU Observer blog. This nicely complements what I’ve written about in Treasure Islands, particularly in the chapter entitled “The Deep Drains of Development.”

Christian Aid and the IF campaign have a very important and topical new report available, entitled Invested interests: the UK’s Overseas Territories’ hidden role in developing countries.

Tortola, British
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Jun 13 2013

David Ricardo, “competitive” banking and the Finance Curse

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

I’ve been reading a book called The Bankers’ New Clothes by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig, which is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand banks. Jargon-free and easy to read, it was described by the FT’s Chief Economics Correspondent Martin Wolf as “the most important [book] to emerge from the crisis.” He may be right. Here’s a good reviewer’s

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Jun 13 2013

Offshore race to bottom fosters shadow insurance industry, “may need bailout”

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

From the New York Times:

“Investigators found that life insurers in New York were seeking out states with looser regulations and setting up shell companies there for the deals. They then used those states’ tight secrecy laws to avoid scrutiny by the New York State regulators.”

That is offshore business, and the race to the bottom – yet again. …

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