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Iceland tells them to shove it

Icelanders reject deal to repay British and Dutch: The outcome of the referendum had not been in doubt since Iceland had recently been offered better repayment terms than those contained in the deal on which residents were voting. Partial referendum results from around a third of the cast votes showed 93 percent opposed the deal…

“Cuba of the north”

Iceland Voters Set to Reject Debt Deal: After the dust began to settle last year — after the banks failed, the currency collapsed, the stock market crashed and the government fell — the dazed inhabitants of Iceland woke up to another unpleasant problem: They owed, it seemed, some $5.3 billion to more than 300,000 angry…

By now, you probably know that there is a specter haunting Europe, and that specter is Argentina. Greece’s debt crisis is putting the spotlight on the PIIGS nations of the Eurozone, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. One thing to note is that besides mismanaging their fiscal situation, 4 of he 5 PIIGS are more…

Jobless Turn to Family for Help, Often With Complications: More than half of the respondents to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll of 708 unemployed adults nationwide said they had borrowed money from friends or relatives. In most cases, their financial pictures were bleak. Nearly 80 percent of those who reported borrowing money said…

On scales of norms

There has been more blogospheric discussion on the topic of my post Doing the right thing, doing the legal thing. Megan McArdle, who started the discussion, has a long post elaborating on her objections to strategic defaults. Steve Waldman has two good posts up. Finally, at The Big Money Daniel Gross concludes: Of course, corporate…

Megan McArdle has a post up where she follows up on her disgust with home owners who “walk away” from their mortgage obligations when they can continue to pay them. In California, and many other states, the bank can’t come after you if you walk away, so if your home is “underwater” then it is…

How’d that acquisition work out?

Lewis Is Said to Be Leaving Bank of America. Years ago I’d read that there was some social science which suggested that M&As were encouraged by the incentive structure of CEO careers; that is, the upside for a CEO in relation to a successful M&A are higher than for their firm. As for the downsides,…

Institutional scerlosis

The Nightmare Of Regulatory Reform: …the SEC and the CFTC, two agencies that have fought hard to stay apart while the products they regulate grow more and more intertwined. Both Republicans and Democrats agree the two should become one, but former House Financial Services Committee chairman Mike Oxley says the chances of that happening are…

The efficient market vs. its enemies

I’m reading Justin Fox’s The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street, which is on many “To Read” lists because of its topical relevance. I think it is especially illuminating when examined in light of another work, Toward Rational Exuberance: The Evolution of the Modern Stock Market…

Keep reading stuff like this, A Year After a Cataclysm, Little Change on Wall St.: Simon Johnson, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said that the seeds of another collapse had already sprouted. If major banks are allowed…