Is It Time to Re-Design our Markets?

By Vikas Shah (Originally for AllAboutAlpha.com) Modern markets are hugely complex environments.  CME Group for example, trades over 3 billion contracts (with a notional value of over U$1 quadrillion) each and every year.  Alongside this, many of the world’s largest companies such as Google, Alibaba and Amazon (with market capitalisations of U$380bn, U$240bn and U$141bn respectively) have built entire business models solely around the provision of markets.   Every day, markets also have to match tens…

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We Need to Re-Think Economics

Vikas Shah, November 2013 Originally Published in Entrepreneur Country It’s curious how we treat the market as a phenomenon that exists outside us; akin to climate.  Our forecasts describe the oscillations and undulations of this entity with the accuracy we would expect from weather forecasts.  Tens of thousands of businesses, traders and other participants go-out, take-cover or make decisions on the basis of these words.  For longer than most market-participants would care to admit, the…

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The Truth About Executive Pay

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Originally Published at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2013/06/17/the-truth-about-executive-pay/ There is little doubt that we are facing tough times for the economy.  Rising unemployment, austerity and many other factors have meant that the average person feels considerably worse off than at any other time in recent history.  It is unsurprising therefore,  that we are witnessing a backlash against senior executives (in many industries) who…

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The Sub Prime Lessson

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2012/08/05/the-sub-prime-lesson/ It’s difficult to downplay the severity of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Between June 2007 and the end of summer in 2008- American’s lost over a quarter of their net-worth.  Home equity in the USA  dropped (over the period) by over $4 trillion, with retirement, savings and investment assets losing a further $8 trillion. Financial institutions…

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The Failures of Our Economic System

In this exclusive interview, we speak to Raymond Baker (Director of the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development). We discuss the true scale of the global illicit economy and understand how issues such as government theft, drug trafficking, global wealth, money laundering and the shadow financial system contribute to some of our most intractable issues ranging from poverty to hunger, terrorism and even economic crises.

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Money and Human Development

In these exclusive interviews we speak to Prof. Jacques Attali (Former adviser to President François Mitterrand, first president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and ranked as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world) and Dr. Tilman Ehrbeck (CEO of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor – CGAP). We discuss the state of financial inclusion globally and look deeper into how microfinance, technology and other instruments are working to eradicate poverty and bring opportunity to billions worldwide.

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The Secrets of Futures and Options Exchanges

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/10/03/alpha-hunters-craig-donohue-on-the-secrets-of-futures-options-exchanges/ The concept underpinning financial exchanges can be traced back through much of human history.  In Aristotle’s Politics, “…there is the anecdote of Thales and his financial device…. he knew by his skill in the stars while it was yet winter that there would be a great harvest of olives in the coming year; so,…

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Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction

At a very fundamental level, war is about defending against a perceived or actual threat.  Such aggressions have been frequently used throughout history to defend ideas, ideologies and territories- but more recently, economies. Unlike any other defence environment, the theatre of nuclear war exists in a state of near-permanent checkmate.  Every participant (a participant being a nation who openly, opaquely, or otherwise have nuclear weapons capability) knows their weapons capability acts as the ultimate defensive…

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Basel III – Thicker Gloves in a Boxing Match

As the Economist reported, “On September 12th the Basel Committee, a club of supervisors and bank regulators, finally reached agreement on how much extra stuffing needs to go into the cushions [of banks] to absorb losses and buffer the financial system against the next crisis.” The “Basel III” recommendations set out the revised global minimum capital requirements for banks.  As Felix Salmon (Reuters) analyses, “Possibly the most important thing here is the existence of the…

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