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For the past couple of years the European Central Bank has been the only sane inmate in the asylum. Unfortunately, in a crazy world being sane just gets you into trouble. Sound monetary policy leads to a strong currency, which in a currency war is tantamount to unilateral disarmament. Unable to export sufficiently to a […]

High-Frequency Trading and the Shrinking Trust Horizon

The list of markets where big players are cheating the rest of us (and each other) keeps growing. First there was the Libor interest rate, then foreign exchange, then gold. And now comes high-frequency trading (HFT), where Wall Street banks use supercomputers to monitor incoming stock market orders, analyze their likely impact on prices, and […]

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Debt Makes You Dumb, Japanese Edition

Debt works the same way for countries as for families and individuals. That is, if you borrow too much, your life begins to suck. And actions that in normal times might have seemed unwise, contradictory or downright stupid begin to look better than the (even more disturbing) alternatives. Pretend, for example, that you are Japan. […]

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