Japan Nuclear Crisis vs. the Titanic

by Chidem Kurdas The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear threat and the sinking of the Titanic are both disasters caused by acts of nature – earthquake and tsunami in one case, an iceberg in the other – interacting with technology. Yet they have radically different implications. The Japanese incident has made nuclear power less acceptable, whereas the … Continue reading Japan Nuclear Crisis vs. the Titanic

Connecting Dots to Financial Crisis

By Chidem Kurdas There are enough books about the events of 2008-2009 to fill a library. Nevertheless, there is no coherent framework that integrates the various factors in the dramatic boom-and-bust cycle that goes back to the late 1990s and may still be with us yet.  Bruce Yandle offers a welcome synthesis in the Independent … Continue reading Connecting Dots to Financial Crisis

Naked Truth on NYT Finance Column

By Chidem Kurdas Media coverage compounds the confusion about financial problems. Take a recent piece by Floyd Norris, probably the best informed of the New York Times finance columnists.  “Credit-default swaps are, in reality, insurance,” he writes in “Naked Truth on Default Swaps”.  The seller of a credit default swap pays the buyer of the … Continue reading Naked Truth on NYT Finance Column

Three Aspects of the Volcker Rule

by Chidem Kurdas Former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker and President Obama want to force banks to get rid of their proprietary trading operations, hedge funds and private equity funds. There is more to this policy initiative that meets the eye at first glance. Mr. Volcker in effect gives two unrelated rationales. One is that … Continue reading Three Aspects of the Volcker Rule