Monday, 29 September 2008

Return round-up

I thought the exciting stuff had happened before I headed off on holiday. Now I return to find that another bank (or bits of it) has been nationalised. As a number of folks have pointed out, so much for demutualisation. Incidentally Mr Slicker thinks the B&B buyout is bad news, and unjustified because it didn't pose a systemic risk.

Also the Capitalists point to latest falls in the banks' share prices as evidence that shorting wasn't the problem. But Janet at the TUC takes the opposite view. This is all tied up with what we think the shareholder-company relationship is about - is it really 'ownership' or not? If it is then it strikes me there is often a tension between shorting and long-term investment. This has been a theoretical point for some time, but the decision of some pension funds to stop stock-lending on financials (and more are doing so) demonstrates that it is now considered a genuine problem.

Also in this territory, Guido has had a pop at both Labour and the Lib Dems for taking money from hedge funds. I assume this is not unrelated to the Dispatches prog tonight on Cameron's donors. He makes a (activate Alan Hansen voice) schoolboy error in his pop at Paul Myners though, suggesting that the prize of undertaking the Myners review (2001) was in part payback for contributing to Gordo's leadership campaign (2007).

Meanwhile, John has had a look at what the SEIU are saying about the proposed bailout in the US, and there's a piece on Capital Matters about AIG, and a good round-up on the AFL-CIO site about the crisis.

Finally, I recommend the book I mentioned previously on the credit crunch, which I finished off on the beach. It's not political, just a straightforward interpretation of how we got where we are, and what we should do next. It just happens to argue that the decline of organised labour and off-shoring have major downsides.

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