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Category Archives: Financial System

How to prevent financial meltdowns, according to the Library of Mistakes

Quartz: “Down a narrow alley in Edinburgh, Scotland, there is a tiny library in an old, stone building. The single room houses about 4,000 books, most of them purchased second-hand, and all aiming to chronicle the history of business and finance. Its founder, Russell Napier, calls it the Library of Mistakes. “All of us make decisions not knowing the future, and therefore we’re prone to mistakes…If we study these mistakes, we might be able to work out where they come from and create less of them,” says Napier, a financial advisor and a contributing columnist for the Toronto Star. It’s the kind of approach that might have avoided trillions of dollars in losses over the course of centuries, up to the recent collapse of Terra, an algorithmic stable coin. This single incident cost investors $45 billion. For Napier, the models and computer code that dominate the financial system now tend to obscure the lessons of history: “It’s a distillation. When you make whisky, you distill stuff and you throw the rest away. Well that’s what the mathematicians have done; they’ve distilled it, they’ve got this essence, and they’ve thrown the rest away. We’re trying to bring it back in.”…

2022 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: The Geopolitical Business

“At a time when the world has been challenged by geopolitical conflict, economic uncertainty, climate threats and social inequalities, the stakes for business failing to take a stand and engage on societal and geopolitical issues has never been higher. The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: The Geopolitical Business, conducted in 14 countries with 14,000… Continue Reading

Global Data Barometer

“The Global Data Barometer is a collaborative project that aims to measure the state of data in relation to urgent societal issues.  Together with regional hubs and thematic partners, we seek to appraise data availability, governance, capability and use around the world to help shape data infrastructures that limit risks and harms in climate action,… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 21, 2022

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 21, 2022 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

How much longer can Google own the internet?

“The synonym for search finds itself in big antitrust trouble. This story is part of a Recode series about Big Tech and antitrust. Over the last several weeks, we’ve covered what’s happening with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and Google. “There’s a new Big Tech antitrust bill in town, and this one is especially painful for… Continue Reading

A wild new court decision would blow up much of the government’s ability to operate

Vox: “The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued yet another astonishing decision on Wednesday. Jarkesy v. SEC seeks to dismantle much of the system the federal government uses to enforce longstanding laws and to determine who is eligible for federal benefits. And it does so in defiance of numerous Supreme Court… Continue Reading

$2 Trillion, or 70%, Pandemic Wealth Gain of Nation’s 740 Richest

Americans For Tax Fairness: “American billionaires saw their collective net worth climb by $2 trillion, or 70%, during the first two years of the pandemic to a staggering $5 trillion, according to Forbes data analyzed by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF). [See table below and all data here] But none of that wealth growth—the main… Continue Reading

Insurance is one of the major barriers to abortion care in the U.S. That’s intentional

Fast Company: “…About half of Americans—more than 158 million people—are insured through an employer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And while two studies have found that a majority of Americans with employer-based insurance do have coverage for abortion, research indicates that only about 4 in 10 privately insured patients actually use that insurance to… Continue Reading

Big Tech in Financial Services

CRS Report – Big Tech in Financial Services, May 16, 2022: “For the past decade or so, “Big Tech”—which hereinafter refers to the large technology companies Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook (now Meta Platforms), unless otherwise noted—has been offering a variety of financial services products to retail customers. Big Tech uses advanced data analysis and… Continue Reading

Why This Computer Scientist Says All Cryptocurrency Should “Die in a Fire”

Current Affairs, May 2022 – UC-Berkeley’s Nicholas Weaver has been studying cryptocurrency for years. He thinks it’s a terrible idea that will end in disaster. “Despite being hyped in expensive Super Bowl ads, cryptocurrency is now having a difficult moment. As the New York Times reports, “the crypto world went into a full meltdown this… Continue Reading

Algorithmic Stablecoins and the TerraUSDCrash

CRS Insight, Algorithmic Stablecoins and the TerraUSD Crash, May 16, 2022: “…TerraUSD (UST) stablecoinuses an arbitrage mechanism typical of some algorithmic stablecoin arrangements consisting of two coins or tokens: the stablecoin, in this case UST, meant to maintain a stable value or “peg,” and a balancer token, in this case,LUNA, the value of which can… Continue Reading

The Atlantic Introducing an Expanded Books Section

The Atlantic: “…That quality of literature—and the criticism that helps make sense of it—is a large part of why we’re excited to be expanding books coverage at The Atlantic. Since its founding in 1857, this magazine “of Literature, Art, and Politics” has been home to great writing about the momentous books and literary debates of… Continue Reading