Other Alpha Sources

No, I am not migrating to a new site and I am not about to do a new rewamp of this site. Rather I was struck by a sudden surge of bad consciousness today as I updated some internal stuff here on the site. You see, when I last updated the design I moved the blogroll from the main page to its own seperate page. Now, I am still building on it and if you think you belong there give me a shout, but no matter how much I want to believe that I am providing the same "service" as before I have naturally seriously degraded the blog-love emanating from this site since most visitors rarely have the attention span to actually go visit the blogroll let alone use it as an out click.

In this sense I thought that I would introduce a links post here at AS. Felix calls it "Counterparties", FT Alphaville denotes it everyhing from "Pink Picks" to "Further Reading" and Mark Thoma simply calls them links and slots in the date. I have chosen the title above since after all; not only my ramblings, if at all, are alpha. I certainly won't be posting these daily, but you can expect a little more blog-love from this site from now on. Enjoy. 

  • Joel Kotkin on why the working middle class is being forgotten by the US and UK society alike, and its consequences. The most interesting aspect here in my opinion is that we seem to be moving towards an increasingly stratified society (self awareness) rather than away from it.
  • Deflation v Inflation. Who is winning the spotlight? Well for some it is definitely deflation and the again for others, it is inflation. A draw then?
  • John Hempton looks at the proposal for reforming Fannie and Freddie and asks for an alternative. What I like so much about John is his ability to stand aside from the main discourse and investigate the details of the situation and always manage to add value to the debate. In this case, even if he admits that he was initially wrong (note: I am not implying here that I was right since I never took part in this debate).
  • Bloomberg on why Eurozone banks do not want to hold sovereign debt from the periphery and how the market has already "priced this in". I really cannot decide whether this is an obscure buy call on Eurozone financials or whether it is simply a revelation of the real goal with the ECB's bond purchase program; to allow Eurozone financials to offload sovereign periphery debt and thus de-risk their balance sheets. In valuation terms, this all turns into a quibble about whether a P/B ration of say 0.8 is sufficient to say that risks from down writing the balance sheet in the case of e.g. a Greek default is priced in.
  • Asset Price Inflation and Monetary Policy, a classic almost, by one the big thinkers and writers on monetary policy Anna J. Schwartz. This is one of the initial papers taking an interim stock on the debate (back in the beginning of the 2000s) about whether monetary policy should react to asset price inflation beyond a target in the core prices. Mrs Schwartz comes out in favor of leaving asset markets along, but this debate has not been settled today. In fact, many critics of this view would probably claim that it is the asymmetric policy decisions of central banks that are the problem neglecting to lean against the wind in the build-up of an asset bubble and strongly trying to prevent it from bursting once in its zenith.