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Analysis and Comment (5)

Trading floors like this one – at the old American Stock Exchange in the 1980s – are at the heart of capitalism and financial speculation. David Foster/Flickr via CC BY-ND

Financial speculation: the good, the bad and the parasitic

The word “speculation” carries a connotation of negativity. And it’s probably fair to say that pretty much every financial crisis since the tulip mania of the 1630s can be attributed to some sort of mass…
As the price of gold continues to plunge, many investors are wondering whether the shiny commodity has lost its lustre. Flickr\Bullion Vault

A bear in there: the fading fortunes of the gold market

It has been a turbulent time for the gold market. The past two days of trading have been particularly volatile, with gold prices recording the sharpest two-day drop in 30 years . The severity of the fall…
More of the same: the UK government’s banking reform bill is merely another capitulation to the banking lobby. AAP

UK banking reform bill won’t curb reckless risk-taking

Some four and-a-half years after the banking crisis that has resulted in massive public debt and a deep austerity program, the UK government has finally unveiled its Financial Services (Banking Reform…
Derivatives can allow farmers to reduce their risk by guarding against changes in the weather. Flickr

Why hedging a bet on Mother Nature is a hot commodity

For some industries, the weather plays a significant role in determining revenue. Unexpected weather events can often cause significant financial losses. For instance, a drought can yield a severe impact…
The proposed Volcker Rule, which will ban proprietary trading by commercial banks, has raised the ire of Wall Street. Bête à Bon-Dieu

Risks or rewards? What the Volcker Rule means for Wall Street

The agenda of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Annual Summer School in Sydney was dominated by discussions on how to reduce systemic risk. The noted increase in the regulatory perimeter…

Research Briefs (1)