football (soccer) and the financial markets February 13, 2012Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
A new ECB working paper by Michael Ehrmann and David-Jan Jansen with the title “The Pitch Rather Than The Pit: Investor Inattention During FIFA World Cup Matches”. Here’s the abstract:
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, many soccer matches were played during stock market trading hours, providing us with a natural experiment to analyze fluctuations in investor attention. Using minute‐by‐minute trading data for fifteen international stock exchanges, we present three key findings. First, when the national team was playing, the number of trades dropped by 45%, while volumes were 55% lower. Second, market activity was influenced by match events. For instance, a goal caused an additional drop in trading activity by 5%. The magnitude of this reduction resembles what is observed during lunchtime, and as such might not be indicative for shifts in attention. However, our third finding is that the comovement between national and global stock market returns decreased by over 20% during World Cup matches, whereas no comparable decoupling can be found during lunchtime. We conclude that stock markets were following developments on the soccer pitch rather than in the trading pit, leading to a changed price formation process.
high pay commission final report November 22, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
debit card fees: consumer pressure November 3, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
Sometimes consumers can have an impact on the behaviour of financial institutions. But it takes a lot of effort to energise citizens around financial regulation and this was one very immediate issue of obvious direct relevance to bank customers. Other more fundamental, larger or more technical issues are much harder to deal with, and there’s a danger that citizens will just disengage from these issues. Molly Katchpole writes:
Despite this huge victory, there’s no way I’m ever going back to Bank of America, or any of the other big banks. The debit card fees were a tipping point for me, though I know that these fees aren’t the worst of the banks’ transgressions. Big banks are still behind the merciless wave of foreclosures rocking the country and providing virtually no help to struggling homeowners. They’re not lending enough to get the stagnant economy moving again; consequently, people like me can’t find full-time work. And they’re still spending millions upon millions to corrupt our government with their influence.
eu financial markets competition: uk treasury takes on ecb September 15, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
Newspapers are reporting the UK’s Treasury plans to fight a European Central Bank plan to require clearing of some financial products in the eurozone, threatening UK based clearers. Here’s some relevant language from the ECB’s document:
Given its mandate to promote the “smooth operation of payment systems”, the Eurosystem has major concerns with regard to the development of major euro financial market infrastructures that are located outside of the euro area, since this could potentially place in question the Eurosystem’s control over the euro.
As a matter of principle, infrastructures that settle euro-denominated payment transactions should settle these transactions in central bank money and be legally incorporated in the euro area with full managerial and operational control and responsibility over all core functions for processing euro denominated transactions, exercised from within the euro area. This is reflected in the policy fundamentals issued by the Eurosystem on the location and operation of infrastructures that settle euro-denominated payment transactions.
private top-ups in education June 7, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
Whereas we often think of education as being separated into private and public sectors there are a couple of illustrations recently that private education may operate alongside public education in troubling ways. One is a report prepared for the EU Commission on The Challenge of Shadow Education which focuses on tutoring in the EU. One of the report’s conclusions is that:
private tutoring is much less about pupils who are in real need of help that they cannot find at school, and much more about maintaining the competitive advantages of the already successful and privileged.
At a time of austerity, where funding for social programs is under threat, this is particularly troubling. The privileged can mitigate – for themselves – the damage caused to public education systems caused by spending cuts. And, in the UK, they will be able to think about sending their offspring to the glitzy New College for the Humanities (see Eagleton v Johnson) which will offer courses taught by celebrity academics and (courtesy of the University of London International Programmes (which used to be the external degree)) a University of London degree. I think the fuss about plagiarism of syllabi is a bit overblown, as the work of publicly funded academics should surely benefit the public. The London external program has been running for a very long time, and has some very eminent alumni, including Derek Walcott and Ronald Coase. Not that it is clear that many of the future students of the New College for the Humanities will ever be among them.
governing for the corporations May 10, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
In the debate over selling extra university places to the rich there seems to be some (but not enough) embarrassment (Guardian again). Vince Cable thinks it is OK if you only sell the to corporate sponsors:
The business secretary, Vince Cable, said he was willing to look at how to expand off-quota places through company sponsorships, but he did not support children of the rich being given priority access to university.
If Daddy’s company, or daddy’s friend’s company, pays then it is OK.
governing for the rich May 9, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , 1 comment so far
For a moment reading this story in the Guardian I thought it must be April Fools Day:
Teenagers from the wealthiest families would be able to pay for extra places at the most competitive universities under government proposals that could allow institutions to charge some British students the same high fees as overseas undergraduates.
The more you have, the more you get.markets , add a comment
Although the press release cites Australia’s history of welcoming foreign investment it also looks as though it may be an example of the sort of focus on domestic markets that AFME and SIFMA have been worrying about.
how to save money on healthcare March 1, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
A news story discusses a plan to save money on healthcare in the UK by turning underspends on patient care into profits which might be distributed to investors. Think how much the shareholders could get if the doctors gave up spending money on patient care altogether.
speculation: more con September 25, 2010Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
a significant portion of the increases in price and volatility of essential food commodities can only be explained by the emergence of a speculative bubble.
In particular, there is a reason to believe that a significant role was played by the entry into markets for derivatives based on food commodities of large, powerful institutional investors such as hedge funds, pension funds and investment banks, all of
which are generally unconcerned with agricultural market fundamentals. Such entry was made possible because of deregulation in important commodity derivatives markets beginning in 2000.