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Items from Professor Preponomics:
Official Time: Practically Opaque in Every Way (Cato Institute) Little truth or transparency here… “The current scenario is ripe for abuse: there is no limit on the amount of official time, no mandated system for tracking the time, and no imperative for the agencies to publish the information.”
Obamas Treat Air Force One Like an Uber Ride: Spending Watchdog Says the President’s Christmas in Hawaii Trip Too Expensive to Justify (Daily Mail) The cost of fly-time alone was estimated at $3.5M, but the exact cost is difficult to know since not all the data is available. Since the American taxpayer if funding most of the bill, shouldn’t the American taxpayer know the cost? It’s another example of a lack of transparency.
Report: Price of Obama’s Getaways $70M and Counting (McClatchy DC)
Hong Kong Watchdog Fines JP Morgan for Darkpool Control Failures (Reuters) Dark Pools are not a new financial phenomenon but remain important as they relate to both market transparency and to liquidity. “Critics of the platforms say they distort public markets and disadvantage traditional investors, while their proponents say they offer an important source of liquidity.”
What is ‘Mifid’ and Why Care About It’s Delay? (Financial Times) In response to the financial crisis of 2008, the EU has introduced Mifid II. It’s an ambitious effort to govern the trading of derivatives, to reduce risks associated with volatility, and to establish a framework for policing conflicts as those arise among financial advisors.
China Now Has So Much Bad Debt, It’s Selling Soured Loans on Alibaba (Zero Hedge) Hmmm. Little transparency here either… “Still, the official numbers on NPLs (shown above) look surprisingly low for an economy, which is supposedly careening towards a debt crisis. There’s a simple explanation for this apparent discrepancy: the numbers, like China’s official GDP prints, are fabricated.”
Personal Economics and Household Finance
Gallup Daily: US Consumer Spending (Gallup) An insight into the daily spending of an American consumer (and an interesting relative comparison to the spending of our government officials).