Prediction Markets: The Statocrats’ Fears

The US government, under the chameleonic excuse of the “public interest,” forbids prediction markets about federal politics except under special permissions and restricted conditions. A bureau, manned by bureaucrats and run by Democratic and Republican appointees, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is tasked with that. A Financial Times article presents an interesting overview of […]

Forgotten Lessons of Zoning Versus Markets

Even those who are not unfriendly toward markets often ignore or forget some of their properties. Consider zoning. A recent article in The Economist reports how high house prices have generated a YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) movement that challenges some zoning regulations (“The Growing Movement to Restrain House Prices,” September 6, 2023). It is […]

U.S. debt downgrade sinks global markets — but economists are not concerned

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, June 29, 2023. Brendan McDermid | Reuters Global stock markets tumbled on Wednesday after ratings agency Fitch downgraded the United States’ long-term credit rating — but top economists say there is nothing to worry about. Fitch announced late on Tuesday that it had cut […]

Bank of Japan loosen’s YCC, cites ‘greater flexibility’ and jolts markets

The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. Bloomberg | Getty Images The Bank of Japan announced Friday “greater flexibility” in its monetary policy — surprising global financial markets. The central bank loosened its yield curve control — or YCC — in an unexpected move with wide-ranging ramifications. It sent the yen whipsawing against the dollar, […]

The Bank of Japan jolts global markets

On July 28th the Bank of Japan (boj) took markets by surprise. At the end of a two-day policy meeting Ueda Kazuo, the central bank’s governor, announced an unexpected change to its increasingly expensive policy of yield-curve control. The boj raised its cap on ten-year government-bond yields, which it defends with regular and sometimes vast […]

Time to retire the ‘emerging markets’ label

Humans have an innate desire to sort and categorise the world around them. The economist Antoine van Agtmael is no exception. In 1981 at the World Bank, he coined the phrase “emerging markets” as a more aspirational alternative to the term “third world”. The label has since become synonymous with a hotchpotch of fast-growing nations […]

Giving Their Due – Markets versus the Welfare State

When reading, I often have an experience of a small phrase triggering my memory and making a connection between the page in front of me and something I’ve read previously, either recently or many years ago. One example of this came from David Schmidtz’s recent (and excellent) book Living Together: Inventing Moral Science. The phrase […]

US borrowing costs hit 16-year high as markets unsettled by jobs data

Investors sold stocks and bonds across the world on Thursday as US borrowing costs touched a 16-year high, following strong jobs figures that intensified expectations of further rate rises by the Federal Reserve. Europe’s Stoxx 600 index closed down 2.3 per cent, its biggest one-day drop since March, as the yield on the two-year US […]

A U.S. recession would be ‘good news’ for markets, strategist says

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on May 17, 2023 in New York City.  Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images A U.S. recession may prevent a steep market downturn in the second half of 2023, according to Michael Yoshikami, founder and CEO of Destination Wealth Management. U.S. […]