Social security reform in the United States continues to be a pressing and contentious issue, with advocates touting some form of a centralized or a privatized system of personal accounts. In general, centralized systems offer low administrative costs, but are potentially subject to political mismanagement and appropriation. Privatized account systems, on the other hand, offer higher yields with more flexibility, but may prove too expensive and logistically daunting to implement. Uniting learned and outspoken proponents on both sides of the debate, this volume provides the first comprehensive analysis of the issues involved in administering a system of essentially private social security accounts. The contributors together come to startlingly similar conclusions, generally agreeing that a centralized system of accounts could deliver the benefits of privatization in a feasible and cost-efficient way by accessing administrative mechanisms already in existence. This is perhaps the most far-reaching synthesis yet envisioned of functional and implementable social security reform.
Indebtedness, like inequality, has become a ubiquitous condition in the United States. Yet few have probed American cities’ dependence on municipal debt or how the terms of municipal finance structure racial privileges, entrench spatial neglect, elide democratic input, and distribute wealth and power.
In this passionate and deeply researched book, Destin Jenkins shows in vivid detail how, beyond the borrowing decisions of American cities and beneath their quotidian infrastructure, there lurks a world of politics and finance that is rarely seen, let alone understood. Focusing on San Francisco, The Bonds of Inequality offers a singular view of the postwar city, one where the dynamics that drove its creation encompassed not only local politicians but also banks, credit rating firms, insurance companies, and the national municipal bond market. Moving between the local and the national, The Bonds of Inequality uncovers how racial inequalities in San Francisco were intrinsically tied to municipal finance arrangements and how these arrangements were central in determining the distribution of resources in the city. By homing in on financing and its imperatives, Jenkins boldly rewrites the history of modern American cities, revealing the hidden strings that bind debt and power, race and inequity, democracy and capitalism.
Few scholars have been as influential in finance and economics as University of Chicago professor Eugene F. Fama. Over the course of a brilliant and productive career, Fama has published more than one hundred papers, filled with diverse, highly innovative contributions.
Published soon after the fiftieth anniversary of Fama’s appointment to the University of Chicago and his receipt of the Nobel Prize in Economics, The Fama Portfolio offers an authoritative compilation of Fama’s central papers. Many are classics, including his now-famous essay on efficient capital markets. Others, though less famous, are even better statements of the central ideas. Fama’s research considers key questions in finance, both as an academic field and an industry: How is information reflected in asset prices? What is the nature of risk that scares people away from larger returns? Does lots of buying and selling by active managers produce value for their clients? The Fama Portfolio provides for the first time a comprehensive collection of his work and includes introductions and commentary by the book’s editors, John H. Cochrane and Tobias Moskowitz, as well as by Fama’s colleagues, themselves top scholars and successful practitioners in finance. These essays emphasize how the ideas presented in Fama’s papers have influenced later thinking in financial economics, often for decades.
This book provides valuable information and analysis to managers, policymakers, and investment counselors in the rapidly expanding field of pension funding. American workers, too, need answers and insights on how to invest their money and plan for their retirement. fifteen of America's leading financial analysts address such pressing questions as
-What is the current financial status of the elderly, and how vulnerable are they to inflation?
-What is the impact of inflation on the private pension system, and what are the effects of alternative indexing schemes?
-What roles can the social security system play in the provision of retirement income?
-What is the effect of the tax code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) on corporate pension policy?
-How well funded are corporate pension plans, and is a firm's unfunded pension liability fully reflected in the market value of its common stock?
Many of the conclusions these experts reach contradict and challenge popular views, thus providing fertile ground for innovation in pension planning.
The market for financial derivatives is far and away the largest and most powerful market in the world, and it is growing exponentially. In 1970 the yearly valuation of financial derivatives was only a few million dollars. By 1980 the sum had swollen to nearly one hundred million dollars. By 1990 it had climbed to almost one hundred billion dollars, and in 2000 it approached one hundred trillion. Created and sustained by a small number of European and American banks, corporations, and hedge funds, the derivatives market has an enormous impact on the economies of nations—particularly poorer nations—because it controls the price of money. Derivatives bought and sold by means of computer keystrokes in London and New York affect the price of food, clothing, and housing in Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, and Buenos Aires. Arguing that social theorists concerned with globalization must familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of a world economy based on the rapid circulation of capital, Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee offer a concise introduction to financial derivatives.
LiPuma and Lee explain how derivatives are essentially wagers—often on the fluctuations of national currencies—based on models that aggregate and price risk. They describe how these financial instruments are changing the face of capitalism, undermining the power of nations and perpetrating a new and less visible form of domination on postcolonial societies. As they ask: How does one know about, let alone demonstrate against, an unlisted, virtual, offshore corporation that operates in an unregulated electronic space using a secret proprietary trading strategy to buy and sell arcane financial instruments? LiPuma and Lee provide a necessary look at the obscure but consequential role of financial derivatives in the global economy.
Foreign Direct Investment
Edited by Kenneth A. Froot University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress HG4538.F618 1993 | Dewey Decimal 332.673
Over the past decade, foreign direct investment (FDI) around the world has nearly tripled, and with this surge have come dramatic shifts in FDI flows. In Foreign Direct Investment, distinguished economists look at changes in FDI, including historical trends, specific country experiences, developments in the semiconductor industry, and variations in international mergers and acquisitions.
Chapters cover such topics as theoretical accounts of FDI patterns, the growth of multinational enterprises, and the FDI experiences of Japan, the United States, and selected developing countries. This volume will interest economists, government officials, and business people concerned with FDI today.
The stock market is central to the global economy. Tens of millions of people look to it to provide for a comfortable retirement. Central bankers watch it closely as they set monetary policy. Businesses around the world are forced to adjust the way they operate to meet the demands of equity investors. Yet very little has been written about how the modern global stock market came to be. In A History of the Global Stock Market, B. Mark Smith weaves an entertaining tale that ranges from medieval trading companies and nineteenth-century robber barons to modern theorists and international speculators. Here, Smith debunks the popular myth that the market is inevitably subject to recurring speculative bubbles and discredits the notion that the current "globalization" of the market is something radically different from what has occurred in the past.
Informative, entertaining, and written for specialists and non-specialists alike, A History of the Global Stock Market is a worthy read for anyone who wants to understand the role of the stock market in the global economy.
This timely volume addresses three important recent trends in the internationalization of United States equity markets: extensive market integration through foreign investment and links among stock prices around the world; increasing securitization as countries such as Japan come to rely more than ever before on markets in equities and bonds at the expense of banks; and the opening of national financial systems of newly industrializing countries to international financial flows and institutions, as governments remove capital controls and other barriers.
Eight essays examine such issues as the current extent of international market integration, gains to U.S. investors through international diversification, home-country bias in investing, the role of time and location around the world in stock trading, and the behavior of country funds. Other, long-standing questions about equity markets are also addressed, including market efficiency and the accuracy of models of expected returns, with a particular focus on variances, covariances, and the price of risk according to the Capital Asset Pricing Model.
We often think of finance as a glamorous world, a place where investment bankers amass huge profits in gleaming downtown skyscrapers. There’s another side to finance, though—the millions of amateurs who log on to their computers every day to make their own trades. The shocking truth, however, is that less than 2% of these amateur traders make a consistent profit. Why, then, do they do it?
In Noise, Alex Preda explores the world of the people who trade even when by all measures they would be better off not trading. Based on firsthand observations, interviews with traders and brokers, and on international direct trading experience, Preda’s fascinating ethnography investigates how ordinary people take up financial trading, how they form communities of their own behind their computer screens, and how electronic finance encourages them to trade more and more frequently. Along the way, Preda finds the answer to the paradox of amateur trading—the traders aren’t so much seeking monetary rewards in the financial markets, rather the trading itself helps them to fulfill their own personal goals and aspirations.
Despite deepening poverty and environmental degradation throughout rural Latin America, Mayan peasant farmers in Chiapas, Mexico, are finding environmental and economic success by growing organic coffee. Organic Coffee: Sustainable Development by Mayan Farmers provides a unique and vivid insight into how this coffee is grown, harvested, processed, and marketed to consumers in Mexico and in the north.
Maria Elena Martinez-Torres explains how Mayan farmers have built upon their ethnic networks to make a crucial change in their approach to agriculture. Taking us inside Chiapas, Mexico's poorest state and scene of the 1994 Zapatista uprising, she examines the anatomy of the ongoing organic coffee boom and the fair-trade movement. The organic coffee boom arose as very poor farmers formed cooperatives, revalued their ethnic identity, and improved their land through organic farming. The result has been significant economic benefits for their families and ecological benefits for the future sustainability of agriculture in the region.
Organic Coffee refutes the myth that organic farming is less productive than chemical-based agriculture and gives us reasons to be hopeful for indigenous peoples and peasant farmers.
Foreign investment increased from 17 percent of the capital of industrial corporations in Imperial Russia in 1880 to 47 percent in 1914, coinciding with the rapid development of Russian industrialization before World War I. John McKay's study, based largely on intensive research in numerous archives and utilizing many previously unexplored private business records, is the first detailed analysis of the impact of foreign enterprise on Russian industry during this period. His conclusions are significant for historians, economists, and those interested in the development of modern industrial society.
When Steven Burd, CEO of the supermarket chain Safeway, cut wages and benefits, starting a five-month strike by 59,000 unionized workers, he was confident he would win. But where traditional labor action failed, a novel approach was more successful. With the aid of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a $300 billion pension fund, workers led a shareholder revolt that unseated three of Burd’s boardroom allies.
In The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor's Last Best Weapon, David Webber uses cases such as Safeway’s to shine a light on labor’s most potent remaining weapon: its multitrillion-dollar pension funds. Outmaneuvered at the bargaining table and under constant assault in Washington, state houses, and the courts, worker organizations are beginning to exercise muscle through markets. Shareholder activism has been used to divest from anti-labor companies, gun makers, and tobacco; diversify corporate boards; support Occupy Wall Street; force global warming onto the corporate agenda; create jobs; and challenge outlandish CEO pay. Webber argues that workers have found in labor’s capital a potent strategy against their exploiters. He explains the tactic’s surmountable difficulties even as he cautions that corporate interests are already working to deny labor’s access to this powerful and underused tool.
The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder is a rare good-news story for American workers, an opportunity hiding in plain sight. Combining legal rigor with inspiring narratives of labor victory, Webber shows how workers can wield their own capital to reclaim their strength.
The international flow of long-term private capital has increased dramatically in the 1990s. In fact, many policymakers now consider private foreign capital to be an essential resource for the acceleration of economic growth. This volume focuses attention on the microeconomic determinants and effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the East Asian region, allowing researchers to explore the overall structure of FDI, to offer case studies of individual countries, and to consider their insights, both general and particular, within the context of current economic theory.
The Templeton Touch
William Proctor Templeton Press, 2012 Library of Congress HG172.T45P76 2012 | Dewey Decimal 332.6092
Although John Templeton (1912–2008) simply considered himself a bargain hunter, those in the know on Wall Street considered him one of the greatest stock pickers of the twentieth century. Anyone prudent enough to have invested $10,000 in his Templeton Growth Fund when it was first established in 1954 would today have over $7 million to their name if they left those funds alone. Few mutual funds can match that kind of spectacular and consistent performance.
How did he do it? What kind of principles guided his decisions through bull and bear markets? What was the secret to his success? Fortunately, generosity was one of Templeton’s defining characteristics, and he freely shared his investing wisdom with the world in The Templeton Touch. This edition, which has been greatly expanded and revised from the original 1983 publication, gives the reader an inside look at the mindset that made Templeton a Wall Street legend. His global focus, his relentless curiosity, his future-mindedness, his personal touch with clients, his willingness to take reasonable risks, his reliance on deep research and fundamental analysis— everything that set him apart from the crowd is covered here in great detail by authorized biographer William Proctor. This updated edition also contains a new section comprised of twenty-two interviews with those who knew and worked with Templeton, conducted by Scott Phillips. Among those interviewed are business luminaries like Jim Rogers, Julian Robertson, Steve Forbes, Prem Watsa, Mason Hawkins, and Michael Price.
The Templeton Touch should be required reading for any investor, from the absolute novice to the most experienced. Not only could Templeton’s practical advice help guide investors through tricky market conditions, but the many insights into his character and his philosophies could help anyone live a more successful life.
The financial crisis of 2008 made Americans keenly aware of the impact Wall Street has on the economic well-being of the nation and its citizenry. Ott shows how the government, corporations, and financial institutions transformed stock investment from an elite to a mass practice at the beginning of the twentieth century.