Hilary Duff joins "Cool" school
08:43, June 25, 2008
Hilary Duff joins "Cool" school
08:43, June 25, 2008
The role of speculative capital in the creation of the credit derivatives market cannot be overemphasized. Speculative capital is the conceptual rainmaker of this market, its underwriter. It brings the credit to the trading arena and ensures its staying power there by “grooming” it in accordance with the needs of the market.
The most outstanding handicap of credit in the new environment is the long time horizon. The traditional credit analysis is “through the cycle,” extending 5 to 7 years in the future to allow for the evaluation of an entity during a business cycle. Speculative capital would have none of it.
Having brought credit into its orbit, it trims its horizon to mere months. Credit, thus shortened and thrown into the market, seeks the confirmation of its price in the most short-term, readily available and actively traded instrument: stock. In this way, stock price comes to play a role in setting the price of credit. Traditional credit rating agencies are forced to take account of the development. They, too, shorten the time horizon of credit analysis.
A realization takes shape: if the stock price is an immediate measure of credit, perhaps credit and market price are more closely related than previously thought. This phenomenon plays out at the wholesale level as well, when corporations discover that they could sell their liabilities – and accounts receivable assets – in the market. So the tried and true concept of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) is extended to all forms of debt to create collateralized debt obligations (CDO), collateralized loan obligations (CLO) and, in case of accounts receivable, asset backed securities (ABS).
The rise of credit derivatives is the latest qualitative change in the evolution of finance capital that brings together its market and credit “dimensions.” We are currently witnessing the early stages of this development. But armed with the theory of speculative capital we could see what is happening, i.e., what is changing. We could also discern the cause, pattern and characteristics of the change. So while for others credit derivatives are the risk-diversifying, need-fulfilling products of an innovative Wall Street, for us they are the footprint of speculative capital on its march towards systemic crisis. The march, driven by the profit-seeking, inherently self-destructive movement of speculative capital, creates financial entropy on its path, one manifestation of which is closing the longest running, most structural arbitrage opportunity of all: between the credit price and the market price. But the ensuing state of inert uniformity cannot be tolerated; speculative capital cannot sit by idly and will not go gently into that good night. It must disrupt the equilibrium to create profit opportunities anew. That brings about the systemic risk.
Speaking of Harvard, in today’s New York Times William C. Apgar, a “senior scholar” at the impressively named Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University said, “People are beginning to understand that home ownership can be a very risky venture”.
The context of this story is the rise in foreclosures and the decline of the homeownership in the US during the presidency of George Bush, whose one stated goal was the creation of an “ownership society”. Yet, Harvard’s senior scholar speaks of home ownership risk in the same vein that one would speak of the risk of say, deep water diving. The social context of the event, if noticed at all, is completely cast aside.
A day before, two Bear Stearns fund managers were indicted in relation with the collapse of their funds in June ‘07. The near simultaneous collapses triggered the systemic crisis we have been witnessing for over a year. The indictment was given wide coverage; ex Bear executives in handcuffs being led to the federal court. The message was that unscrupulous individuals who had gamed the system were now being called on the carpet.
In these two stories we have the perfect example of the binary system of explanation that I have been writing about: the failings of fallible humans, and/or the can't-do-anything-about-it nature of things. Nothing else is entertained. Nothing else is permitted. The philosophy of philosophers of our time or the indictment of failed fund managers all serve to reinforce this message.
I am familiar with the funds in question and how they imploded. Without defending the propriety of the actions of the managers or denying the commonness of petty crimes in finance, their collapse was the proverbial Exhibit A in the subjugation of men to the laws of finance. For those not sufficiently convinced, the $200 billion plus losses that some of the largest and most sophisticated global financial institutions have suffered in the past year – institutions that by virtue of their presence tend to game the system – offers yet a more compelling evidence.
This brings me to Speculative Capital. The central point of my theory is that the crises of various form and intensity that we have been seeing since the mid 1970s are not a one time – or two time or three time aberrations – but the necessary consequences of the growth of speculative capital. Speculative capital is self-destructive; it tends to eliminate the opportunities that give rise to it. Hence, only a conscious change in policy would avert the crippling systemic failure that is in the offing. But any such change in policy, while in the realm of the possible, borders on impossible. Recall from the Credit Woes series that broker/dealers, for example, need to operate with a 30-to-1 leverage, or their business model would not be viable. But a 30-to-1 leverage is inherently unstable, as Bear Stearns found out and Lehman is in the process of finding out. That brings us to the inner contradiction of the system: to function, the system has to be unstable.
All this is detailed in Vol. 4 of Speculative Capital, The Dialectics of Finance. I have returned to the manuscript with a sense of urgency. That is why the blog entries might at times be delayed. By way of compensation, I will occasionally post excerpts from the manuscript.
Thank you for being a member of the Female Actress and Singer Portraits Yahoo group.
We have other Yahoo groups. If you like this Yahoo group, you may very well be interested in these other similarly run groups.
1) Female Fashion Model Portraits
2) Female Leather Fashion Portraits
3) Kinky Boots
4) New Rock Boots and Shoes
This is a picture group! The basic idea is that I post good-looking actress and lady singer pictures from my collection. If you want to talk about an actress or lady singer in an e-mail, that's OK too.
Please set up your membership so that you will receive the group e-mails with either of this "Message Delivery" setting: Individual emails - Receive individual messages. This way you will get not only all the group e-mails, but all the picture attachments as well.
Please read the group description. Here are the remaining goals for the group, besides sharing nice pictures of actresses and lady singers.
1) I will not OK SPAM or off-topic posts, another reason to receive group e-mails. No advertisements will be approved, and I seldom approve e-mails talking about other web sites. E-mails about other similar Yahoo groups are OK and will be approved.
2) The "Photos" and "Files" sections will not be updated.
3) Yahoo is really fussy about adult-oriented pictures. So I cannot send out any adult pictures.
4) There have been some problems with people sending out e-mails that look like they are from this group or from group members. Please do not open any attachments with filetypes of .EXE, or .ZIP, or .BAT etc.! We only send out .JPG file attachments.
Thanks from DrBeaker2.