24th August 2012: Gawker’s Bain Files

Nick Denton’s Gawker site has released 950 pages of documentation on Mitt Romney’s Cayman Islands private equity and hedge fund investments. Henry Blodget’s BusinessInsider is skeptical, but this cache could keep me busy for months. Dangerous Minds‘ Richard Metzger sums up how I feel: “The idea that these documents are, currently, as I type this, being analyzed by crowd-sourcing is either a fortunate or very unfortunate fact of political life in 2012!” Vanity Fair‘s Nicholas Shaxson has a useful backgrounder on why hedge funds use the Cayman Islands domicile for offshore tax minimisation.

16th August 2012: Paul Ryan & Ayn Rand

Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand influenced Paul Ryan‘s sociopolitical outlook. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has picked Ryan as his Vice President nominee so now the United States media is re-examining the Ryan-Rand connection and how it might influence the VP role (and Ryan’s possible foreign policy choices). Rand biographer Jennifer Burns suggests that Rand has moved from the libertarian fringes to “the heart of American politics” due to her philosophical appeal to business elites. Rand’s Objectivist philosophy is under greater scrutiny: The New Republic‘s former journalist Jonathan Chait once dubbed Objectivism as ‘wealthcare‘. Former Objectivists like Jonas Blank are also re-evaluating their earlier lives.

22nd June 2012: Australian Dollar Burn Out?

Global Markets


Should the Fed open a brokerage account? (Businessweek).


The Drezner-Bergsten interview on the international political economy (Foreign Policy).


Australian Markets


The Australian dollar and the commodities boom: “it looks to be in the throes of burning itself out.” (Market Anthropology).


Australians evade 2007-09 global financial crisis (but not 2011-12 Eurozone debt crisis). (Bloomberg).




Twitter systemic risk (The Atlantic Monthly; Wired).


Twitter mischief plagues Mexico’s election (Technology Review).




Should the United States lift a ban on domestic propaganda? (Reason).


Romney’s Bain pioneered outsourcing (Washington Post).




Test, learn, adapt: policymaking and randomised scientific trials (UK Cabinet Office).




The growing, for-profit detention industry (Mother Jones).


A history of Wall Street market research (Minyanville).


The scam Wall Street brokers learned from the Mafia (Rolling Stone).