Finance

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In bank stress tests, what’s worse: runs or lemons (the other kind)? Lemons via www.shutterstock.com

Runs versus lemons: why US bank stress tests succeeded while Europe’s failed

US regulators chose to reveal detailed information to the public about the state of the banks. They were able to be so transparent, without triggering a run, because of a strong fiscal backstop.
The Export-Import Bank provides financing and other services to help foreign companies buy US products like Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Boeing 787 via www.shutterstock.com

Why Congress should keep the imperiled Export-Import Bank

The more than 80-year-old credit agency is set to expire at the end of the month if Congress does not act to keep the profitable bank alive.
Caesars Entertainment argues the credit default swap market is giving at least one holder of its debt a perverse incentive to seek its default. Shutterstock

Bogeyman of credit crisis needs reform to align risks and responsibilities in CDS market

In 2009, US trucking company YRC Worldwide faced ruin as it struggled to restructure its debt. With tens of thousands of jobs at stake, the Teamsters union, led by James Hoffa, accused some YRC bondholders…
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…
Lending standards are so tight that even former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, center, who until recently was one of the most powerful people in the world, can’t refinance his mortgage. Reuters

Ben Bernanke among borrowers paying the price for knee-jerk home loan rules

It’s clear mortgage standards have gotten too tight when even a former Federal Reserve chairman who makes as much as US$250,000 per speech cannot refinance his home. Ben Bernanke complained about his inability…

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