Pulse: Finance, Banking, and Regulation
As some of my more patient friends know, I have been toiling away at a book on Chinese monetary history during the Interwar period off and on for some years. Immersing myself in the public and private words of the historic figures of the 1930’s has perhaps sensitized me to the propensity of even well-intentioned leaders to glide into chaos. That which is unthinkable inexorably becomes inevitable.
“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth— persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” John F. Kennedy, Yale University Commencement Address June 11, 1962
I normally feel after reading, reviewing, and discussing the events of the previous week that I’m able to discern a direction or constructive theme. Today however, every corner of the world seems mired in some degree of turmoil, and markets are reacting. There is so much noise that it is difficult to decide what is causing this new volatility. Is it China, the Fed, the Mueller investigation, Yellow Jackets, or technology run amuck?
Originally published by FIIG’s The Wire blog.
When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on Monday 15 September 2008, I was in what would turn out to be my last year as Chief Economist at ANZ Bank (not that I knew it then – I didn’t decide to leave until almost exactly three months later, and then took another seven months to put that decision into effect).
The gap in small business lending, which the easy-money policies of the Federal Reserve were supposed to fill, are well documented. It's more difficult for small businesses to get small loans from banks, in large part because it's less profitable for banks of all sizes to make small-dollar loans.