Tag Archives: J. Scott Gaillard

The World Turned Cold

(A review of the Ides of March, DVD) Stephen Myers (played by Ryan Gosling) was a rising political star.  He was bright, idealistic, charming and articulate.  He had a knack for massaging the press corps and avoiding tiger traps. As such, he attracted others to him.  His wit, charm and idealism made him attractive to […]

JP Morgan: from “fortress” balance sheet to Fort Apache the Bronx

A few years ago, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, was the “savior” of Wall Street armed with a “fortress” balance sheet.  Today eight federal agencies are investigating the bank, which has been labeled, “out of control,” by one analyst and shareholders will vote tomorrow on cutting Dimon’s role in half. In […]

The Post Human Economy as Enlightened Utopia

Just as machines have infinitely multiplied human muscle power throughout history, technology is infinitely multiplying human brain power today. So say MIT professors Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in their book, “Race Against the Machine.” Moreover, they say the digital revolution is only half completed.  When it comes to technology’s ability to replace workers, “We […]

Curtains for Megabanks?

The leading intellectual opponent of “Too Big To Fail” (TBTF) banks is likely economist Simon Johnson.  Johnson declared victory recently by stating the debate on TBTF was “over.”  In his New York Times column, Johnson declared, “(T)he decision to cap the size of the largest banks has been made. All that remains is to work […]

Asian Diplomat: U.S. Decline Inevitable

Each economic downturn in the U.S. inspires a slew of books about the country’s decline.  The current crop has been called, “Declinism’s Fifth Wave,” by author and publisher, Josef Joffe. However, many Americans find the declinist literature written by foreign authors distasteful.  Just as outsiders are forbidden to criticize the family, books written by non-Americans […]

JPMorgan and Rogue Trader Nick Leeson

Somewhere Nick Leeson is having a good laugh.  In 1995, Leeson destroyed Barings Bank by exceeding the firm’s trading limits and hiding his losses.  Leeson’s trades cost the firm $1.4 billion and forced the 232 year old Barings into bankruptcy. JPMorgan apparently employed the same dark arts in the losing trades of London Whale, Bruno […]

Is Bernanke Biting the Hand that Feeds Him?

Someone bearing a striking resemblance to Ben Bernanke recently stated that “too big to fail” (TBTF) banks were a cause of the Great Recession and needed to be fixed.  He remarked, “I agree with Elizabeth Warren 100 percent that it’s a real problem.  ‘Too big to fail’ is not solved and gone.” Could this have […]