Vulture funds and Argentina: lessons for Europe on multilateral approaches to confronting debt

Middlesex Minds

Daniel Ozarow Middlesex UniversityAs Argentina continues its battle with the ‘vulture funds’ preying on its economy, Dr Daniel Ozarow outlines how a ‘Plan B’ for Europe could protect the continent from illegitimate debt.

Each of recent history’s episodes of debt crisis have on the one hand raised popular consciousness about the unsustainability of national and household debt, while on the other exposed the internal contradictions of global financial capitalism such that they often also provide opportunities for multilateral actors to consider and even propagate greater regulation of the debt system. When national debts have become dangerously unsustainable, this has included cancellation in order for the system to save itself. For instance the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative of 2005 provided for 100 per cent relief for the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries by the IMF, World Bank and the African Development Fund and, recognising that Greece’s debt had become unsustainable, the IMF and Eurozone leaders agreed to debt restructuring in 2012.

‘Grotesque logic’

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Wages and performance in the English Premier League


With Leicester City being crowned as EPL champions it was only time before someone in the media produced data showing the correlation between a club’s wage bill and their final position in the EPL. What is so extraordinary about Leicester’s feat what that it wasn’t a one off victory in the FA Cup or something similar but a competition that involved 38 games in the season. With Leicester just surviving relegation last year the odds on them winning the EPL were 5,000 to 1. What is so unique about their feat is that since the 1995-96 season the champion side has spent 225% more on player salaries as the median team. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester Utd and Liverpool have paid the highest wages to its squad of players and finished in the top four positions in the EPL 80% of the time. The total cost of Leicester’s regular team (£25m, or…

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#NewZealand’s top 1% is getting even lazier under neoliberal @johnkeyMP

The share of incomes of the top 1% in New Zealand has not increased since the 1950s – they are just bone lazy at extracting labour surplus.

Veteran left-wing grumbler Max Rashbrooke was good enough to collect Inland Revenue Data data that show that getting even lazier under right-wing government elected in 2008. Their share of taxable income has dropped from 9% when labour lost power to 8.4% now. These figures exclude capital gains.


Source: Revealed: No change in the rich’s income share under National – Inequality: A New Zealand Conversation.

Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals

Dogs and Avocados

I like cover songs.  I love hearing another artist’s take on a song, to see if they can hit it from a different angle or inspire a different emotion.  Here, I take a look at some of my favorite cover songs.  My only criterion was that the cover had to be one I keep returning to again and again over the original.  So, in no special order and with too much time on my hands, sit back and enjoy a doggone good read.  And if you didn’t enjoy it….well, how much did it cost you?

I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (1992).  Original recording by Dolly Partin (1974).  Dolly’s bank account is now almost as big as her yabbos since Whitney got hold of this song.  Dolly’s version was a soft, fragile, acoustic farewell to a bygone love.  Whitney turns it into a full-throated…well, you’ve probably heard…

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Another Take on the Efficiency Gap

Should I have bet on Leicester City?

Gowers's Weblog

If you’re not British, or you live under a stone somewhere, then you may not have heard about one of the most extraordinary sporting stories ever. Leicester City, a football (in the British sense) team that last year only just escaped relegation from the top division, has just won the league. At the start of the season you could have bet on this happening at odds of 5000-1. Just 12 people availed themselves of this opportunity.

Ten pounds bet then would have net me 50000 pounds now, so a natural question arises: should I be kicking myself (the appropriate reaction given the sport) for not placing such a bet? In one sense the answer is obviously yes, as I’d have made a lot of money if I had. But I’m not in the habit of placing bets, and had no idea that these odds were being offered anyway, so I’m…

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Manne on insider trading as compensation

Truth on the Market

Henry Manne has a new version of the arguments he’s been making for years for insider trading as an efficient compensation mechanism. It’s Entrepreneurship, Compensation, and the Corporation.  Here’s the abstract:

This paper revisits the concept of entrepreneurship, which is frequently neglected in mainstream economics, and discusses the importance of defining and isolating this concept in the context of large, publicly held companies. Compensating for entrepreneurial services in such companies, ex ante or ex post, is problematic – almost by definition – despite the availability of devices such as stock and stock options. It is argued that insider trading can serve as a unique compensation device and encourage a culture of innovation.

And more from the article (footnote omitted):

Today, with the regulation, criminalization, and vilification of insider trading, many, probably most, corporate employees—particularly the entrepreneurial ones who would be the easiest for regulators to spot—would not try to…

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German Court Allows Trial To Proceed Of Accused “Sharia Police” Members


By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.


In September of 2014 we featured an article describing how a squad of uniformed, self appointed “Sharia Police”. Several young adults wearing orange reflective jackets embossed with the words “Shariah Police” began foot patrols of the central district of the German city Wuppertal, harassing who they perceived to be Muslim who were frequenting discos and gambling establishments.

The group held that they were promoting their Salafist beliefs and chastising others who deviated from the tenets of the religion–by consuming alcohol and engaging in gambling entertainment.

The state sought to bring criminal charges against a group of Sharia Police for violating statutes relating to the patrols. Now, the Düsseldorf State Court ruled that eight of the nine accused men can face trial for “violating laws against wearing uniforms with political messages.”

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Freedom of speech: why we NEED academic freedom

Source: Anti-Dismal: Freedom of speech: why we NEED academic freedom

Technology, Bill Gross, and prime-age employment

croaking cassandra

Bill Gross, the renowned US bond manager, puts out a monthly Investment Outlook opinion piece, a public outlet for some of his ideas and concerns.  I used to read them quite regularly, and although I don’t do so these days, somewhere I saw a reference to the latest issue, and so dug it out.

His focus this month is on the advance of technology and the possible threat to the future employment opportunities of people in advanced countries.  Among his possible solutions is a Universal Basic Income –  as he notes (and despite the recent flurry of interest on the left in New Zealand) it has also had significant support on the right, especially in the US.

The centerpiece of his discussion is this chart

Chart I: Advance of the Robots, Retreat of Labor

Bill Gross March 2016 Chart
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

As he describes it:

As visual proof of this structural change, look at Chart I…

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