Finance

Commercial Real Estate Bust of 2010

Coming soon to a market near you: a bust in commercial real estate that will make the subprime mortgage crisis look like a picnic. The other shoe drops in 2010.  read more »

Bad Times Getting Worse for Older Americans

Olivia S. Mitchell, of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, told ABC News that “roughly $2 trillion has been lost in 401(k)s and pension plans during the recession.” (According to The Economist, worldwide private pension funds lost $5.4 trillion last year. I wonder if/when the media will start calling it a depression?)  read more »

Betting against the USA -- told ya' so!

More than once in this space, I’ve said that derivative financial products set up a perverse incentive where investors have more to gain from the failure of companies and homeowners than their success. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the longer version of my description of the causes and consequences of the current crisis to understand how failed financial innovations, like credit default swaps, contributed to the meltdown of 2008.  read more »

Which are the places dominant in finance?

The financial services sector (finance, insurance, real estate, management) lies at the heart of the economic crisis and recession. This is the sector that doubled in its share of the labor force over the last 30 years, creating vast but uneven wealth. It is instructive to see which American cities are most culpable in these excesses.  read more »

We Sneezed, They Got Pneumonia

Don’t worry about China taking over the US economy. Despite what all the talking heads on TV and the radio talk shows are saying, there isn’t another country out there that hasn’t been hammered at least as badly as we have by the financial meltdown. The problem with any other country attacking the US dollar, for example, is that they are all holding a lot of US dollars. You probably remember last year they were worried about the fact that we import so many goods that we have big “trade imbalances” – meaning that we buy more of their goods than they buy of ours.  read more »

Maps of United States Manufacturing and Finance Industry

For our War of the Regions piece I went through BLS data and calculated location quotients for a few key diverging industries, namely manufacturing and securities, commodities and investments side of the finance industry. These are the kind of numbers that really benefit from geographic visualization.

A LQ tells us not where the most jobs are in any given industry, but how much of a state's employment is clustered in the given industry.  read more »

Nothing's the Matter With Kansas

Local and Regional banks in the Great Plains are doing just fine, thanks, according to Bill Wycoff, a bank president in southeast Kansas. Bill wrote in the WSJ Saturday that  read more »

Subjects:

Manhattan Sinking

Anyone in New York recently can see that the swagger is now gone. With the economy losing its primary engine - a relative handful of financial hotshots- the whole plutonomic system seems to be under major stress. The state and city budgets also seem to be heading south in a big way.  read more »

New York's loss is Chicago's Gain?

The Chicago Tribune reported recently on the state of the finance industry in the Chicago area. Reports indicate smaller, more nimble finance companies in Chicago are tapping an exodus of traders, bankers and investment managers:  read more »