タグ別アーカイブ: 金融危機

Income Inequality

I read on BBC yesterday that the richest 62 people in the world now earn as much as the poorest half, which would be about 3.5 billion people! Although there is some confusion about the methodology, it is clear that the wealth and income have been getting more and more polarized. The rich are certainly getting richer. Income inequality is more acute than ever.

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私たちの防衛のために

The financial crisis was a veritable gold mine for columnists like me. 私は, 1のために, published at least five articles on the subject, including its causes, インクルード lessons learned, そして, most self-deprecating of all, our excesses that contributed to it.

Looking back at these writings of mine, I feel as though I may have been a bit unfair on us. I did try to blunt my accusations of avarice (and perhaps decadence) by pointing out that it was the general air of insatiable greed of the era that we live in that spawned the obscenities and the likes of Madoff. But I did concede the existence of a higher level of greed (または, more to the point, a more sated kind of greed) among us bankers and quantitative professionals. I am not recanting my words in this piece now, but I want to point out another aspect, a justification if not an absolution.

Why would I want to defend bonuses and other excesses when another wave of public hatred is washing over the global corporations, thanks to the potentially unstoppable oil spill? よく, I guess I am a sucker for lost causes, much like Rhett Butler, as our quant way of tranquil life with insane bonuses is all but gone with the wind now. Unlike Mr. Butler, しかしながら, I have to battle and debunk my own arguments presented here previously.

One of the arguments that I wanted to poke holes in was the fair compensation angle. It was argued in our circles that the fat paycheck was merely an adequate compensation for the long hours of hard work that people in our line of work put in. I quashed it, 私は思います, by pointing out other thankless professions where people work harder and longer with no rewards to write home about. Hard work has no correlation with what one is entitled to. The second argument that I made fun of was the ubiquitous “才能” 角度. At the height of the financial crisis, it was easy to laugh off the talent argument. ほかに, there was little demand for the talent and a lot of supply, so that the basic principle of economics could apply, as our cover story shows in this issue.

Of all the arguments for large compensation packages, the most convincing one was the profit-sharing one. When the top talents take huge risks and generate profit, they need to be given a fair share of the loot. そうでなければ, where is the incentive to generate even more profits? This argument lost a bit of its bite when the negative profits (by which I indeed mean losses) needed to be subsidized. This whole saga reminded me of something that Scott Adams once said of risk takers. He said that risk takers, 定義により, often fail. So do morons. 実際には, it is hard to tell them apart. Should the morons reap handsome rewards? That is the question.

Having said all this in my previous articles, now it is time to find some arguments in our defense. I left out one important argument in my previous columns because it did not support my general thesis — that the generous bonuses were not all that justifiable. Now that I have switched allegiance to the lost cause, allow me to present it as forcefully as I can. In order to see compensation packages and performance bonuses in a different light, we first look at any traditional brick-and-mortar company. Let’s consider a hardware manufacturer, 例えば. Suppose this hardware shop of ours does extremely well one year. What does it do with the profit? 確か, the shareholders take a healthy bite out of it in terms of dividends. The employees get decent bonuses, うまくいけば. But what do we do to ensure continued profitability?

We could perhaps see employee bonuses as an investment in future profitability. But the real investment in this case is much more physical and tangible than that. We could invest in hardware manufacturing machinery and technology improving the productivity for years to come. We could even invest in research and development, if we subscribe to a longer temporal horizon.

Looking along these lines, we might ask ourselves what the corresponding investment would be for a financial institution. How exactly do we reinvest so that we can reap benefits in the future?

We can think of better buildings, computer and software technologies etc. But given the scale of the profits involved, and the cost and benefit of these incremental improvements, these investments don’t measure up. Somehow, the impact of these tiny investments is not as impressive in the performance of a financial institution compared to a brick-and-mortar company. The reason behind this phenomenon is that the “hardware” we are dealing with (in the case of a financial institution) is really human resources — people — あなたと私. So the only sensible reinvestment option is in people.

So we come to the next question — how do we invest in people? We could use any number of euphemistic epithets, but at the end of the day, it is the bottom line that counts. We invest in people by rewarding them. Monetarily. Money talks. We can dress it up by saying that we are rewarding performance, sharing profits, retaining talents etc. しかし、最終的に, it all boils down to ensuring future productivity, much like our hardware shop buying a fancy new piece of equipment.

Now the last question has to be asked. Who is doing the investing? Who benefits when the productivity (whether current or future) goes up? The answer may seem too obvious at first glance — it is clearly the shareholders, the owners of the financial institution who will benefit. But nothing is black and white in the murky world of global finance. The shareholders are not merely a bunch of people holding a piece of paper attesting their ownership. There are institutional investors, who mostly work for other financial institutions. They are people who move large pots of money from pension funds and bank deposits and such. 言い換えると, it is the common man’s nest egg, whether or not explicitly linked to equities, that buys and sells the shares of large public companies. And it is the common man who benefits from the productivity improvements brought about by investments such as technology purchases or bonus payouts. 少なくとも, that is the theory.

This distributed ownership, the hallmark of capitalism, raises some interesting questions, 私は思います. When a large oil company drills an unstoppable hole in the seabed, we find it easy to direct our ire at its executives, looking at their swanky jets and other unconscionable luxuries they allow themselves. Aren’t we conveniently forgetting the fact that all of us own a piece of the company? When the elected government of a democratic nation declares war on another country and kills a million people (speaking hypothetically, もちろん), should the culpa be confined to the presidents and generals, or should it percolate down to the masses that directly or indirectly delegated and entrusted their collective power?

More to the point, when a bank doles out huge bonuses, isn’t it a reflection of what all of us demand in return for our little investments? Viewed in this light, is it wrong that the taxpayers ultimately had to pick up the tab when everything went south? I rest my case.

滑りやすい斜面

しかし, 悪い時間帯に全体の会社にボーナスを否定するこの格言は、どちらか全く正しい動作しません, 興味深いさまざまな理由で. 最初の, AIG EVP例を見てみましょう. AIGは大きな会社です, 互いに独立して動作するビジネスユニットと, ほとんどの異なる金融機関様. 私は会社がものすごく行われるため、AIGの連中にはボーナスを得るべきではないと主張した場合, 1は全体としての金融市場も同様にひどくなかったことを指摘することができる. それは銀行のいずれにもスタッフが彼らの特定の銀行は大丈夫やった場合でも、いずれかのボーナスを作るべきではないということですか? そして、なぜそこに停止? 経済全体がひどくやっている. そう, べきで、私たちとしてもアウトすべてのパフォーマンス上の優遇措置? 私たちは、その道を行く開始すると, 私たちは社会主義に向かって滑りやすい斜面になってしまう. そして、私たちは皆、そのアイデアはとてもうまくパンしなかったことを知っている.

現在のボーナス制度についてのもう一つのポイントは、すでにその中に、私は私の以前の記事で嘲笑同時にセグメンテーションを隠すということです. 真の, 時間セグメンテーションは年です, のではなく、月別. トレーダーや幹部が一年でよくない場合, 彼は巨大なボーナスとして報酬を刈り取る. 彼は来年台無した場合, 確認してください, 彼はどんなボーナスを取得していません, 彼はまだ彼を手放すされた時点までの彼の基本給を持ってい. これは、すべての高空飛行の銀行の仕事で暗黙の無料コールオプションのようなものです.

このような無料のコールオプションは、生活のすべての時間のセグメント化されたビュー内に存在する. あなたは詐欺的である場合, ポンジー·スキーム億万長者, あなたがしなければならないすべてはあなたが死ぬまで検出を逃れることである. 資本主義の悩みの種は、詐欺が発見された場合にのみ、罪であるということである, そしてそれまで, あなたが豊かな人生を楽しむ. この時間要素は、詐欺や汚職に向けて別の滑りやすい斜面への道を開く. 再び, それは何らかの形で床のさ無制限の上下と下振れしたコール·オプションのようなものです。, 持続時間と強度の両方.

これら二つの滑りやすい斜面の間に幸せな平衡が存在する必要があります — 機能不全の社会主義に向かって1, そして共食い汚職に向けて他の. 全体の金融システムが不安定にこれら二つの間の準安定平衡に腰掛けていたようには私には見えます. それはちょうど去年の斜面のいずれかに上に転落, 私たちはすべてのそれ背中に止まった点までのロープにしようとしています. 私のロマンチックな空想で, 私が想像して幸せに、より安定した平衡が30か40年前に存在していた. それは冷戦の対向経済の理想にあった? それとも、ヨーロッパの福祉国家の概念にあった, 政府はしっかりと彼らの経済の指揮の高さを制御する場合、? もしそうなら, 私たちは中国を期待することができます (またはインド, またはラテンアメリカ) 多くの必要なカウンタウエイトをもたらすこと?

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利益分配

巨額のボーナスに対するすべての議論の中で,,en,最も説得力のあるのは、利益の生成と共有に関するものです,,en,顧客および利害関係者のための利益,,en,特定のエグゼクティブによって生成された場合,,en,彼と共有する必要があります,,en,何が問題なの?,,en,私たちが見ているボーナスインセンティブの最後の議論は、利益面でのこのインセンティブです,,en,したがって株主価値,,en,世代,,en,現在の金融混乱の中で株主価値が打ち砕かれたことは、まともな銀行経営者がそれを議論として提示するものではない,,en,それでは残っているのは、やや狭い利益の定義です,,en,ここでそれはトリッキーになる,,en,ほとんどの金融機関の利益は、,,en,AIGの幹部からの議論は、彼と彼のチームが損失制作活動とは何の関係もないことである,,en,彼らは約束されたボーナスを受け取るべきです,,en, the most convincing is the one on profit generation and sharing. Profit for the customers and stakeholders, if generated by a particular executive, should be shared with him. What is wrong with that?

The last argument for bonus incentives we will look at is this one in terms of profit (and therefore shareholder value) generation. よく, shareholder value in the current financial turmoil has taken such a beating that no sane bank executive would present it as an argument. What is left then is a rather narrow definition of profit. Here it gets tricky. The profits for most financial institutes were abysmal. The argument from the AIG executive is that he and his team had nothing to do with the loss making activities, and they should receive the promised bonus. 彼らは自分自身を災害から遠ざけ、それに貢献しなかった小さなニッチを彫刻する,,en,そのようなセグメンテーション,,en,それは論理的な立場のように聞こえるが,,en,あまり正しくない,,en,その誤りを見るには,,en,タイムセグメンテーションを試してみましょう,,en,トレーダーが数ヵ月間非常に好調になり、巨額の利益を上げたとしましょう,,en,残りの年の間に全面的な損失で終わってしまった,,en,彼が主張すると仮定する,,en,私は1月にうまくいった,,en,3月と8月,,en,私に教えてください,,en,それらの月間。,,en,誰もその議論を買うつもりはない,,en,時間に当てはまるものは宇宙にも当てはまるべきだと思います,,en,事業単位または資産クラス,,en,会社の業績が悪い場合,,en,おそらくすべてのボーナスは消えるべきです,,en,我々はシリーズの最後のポストで見るように,,en. Such segmentation, although it sounds like a logical stance, is not quite right. To see its fallacy, let’s try a time segmentation. Let’s say a trader did extremely well for a few months making huge profits, and messed up during the rest of the year ending up with an overall loss. 今, suppose he argues, “よく, I did well for January, March and August. Give me my 300% for those months.” Nobody is going to buy that argument. I think what applies to time should also apply to space (ソーリー, business units or asset classes, 私は意味). If the firm performs poorly, perhaps all bonuses should disappear.

As we will see in the last post of the series, 多額のインセンティブに対するこの議論は、いくつかの意外な示唆を伴うトリッキーな議論である,,en,寛大な報酬パッケージの基礎として、勤勉さと固有の知性を割り引いても,,en,まだ完成していない,,en,多額の賞与に賛成する次の議論は、前述の才能を保持する手段としてのインセンティブを提示する,,en,金融市場の状況を見る,,en,一般市民が理解しやすいように,,en,どのような才能,,en,なぜ誰かがそれを保持したいと思うのだろうか,,en,それにもかかわらず、批判を暗示した,,en,才能の保持は良い議論です,,en,私の友人が例を挙げて説明したように,,en,主に最高のシェフに感謝してくれた素晴らしいレストランがあるとします,,en,すべてがホンキードリーに行く,,en,あなたの馬鹿料理が店全体を焼き払う,,en.

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タレントリテンション

Even after we discount hard work and inherent intelligence as the basis of generous compensation packages, we are not quite done yet.

The next argument in favour of hefty bonuses presents incentives as a means of retaining the afore-mentioned talent. Looking at the state of affairs of the financial markets, the general public may understandably quip, “What talent?” and wonder why anybody would want to retain it. That implied criticism notwithstanding, talent retention is a good argument.

As a friend of mine illustrated it with an example, suppose you have a great restaurant thanks mainly to a superlative chef. Everything is going honky dory. その後, 突然, an idiot cook of yours burns down the whole establishment. あなた, もちろん, 料理人の後端を詰める,,en,あなたの給与計算書にシェフを保持して、ほこりが落ち着くと再びそれを大きくするチャンスがあるようにしたい,,en,あなたにはレストランがありません。,,en,競争相手があなたのエースシェフに手を差し伸べることを望まない,,en,良い議論,,en,私の友人はさらに、公的資金を借りて,,en,方程式が変わった,,en,あなたはおそらく、もはや支払債務について何も言わなかったでしょう,,en,お金はあなたのものではなかったから,,en,私は方程式が別の理由でも変わると思う,,en,町のレストランはすべてかなり燃えています,,en,あなたの貴重なシェフはどこに行くのですか?,,en,おそらく彼は今彼を維持するために巨額のボーナスを取ることはありません,,en,大きなボーナスの1つの主張は、経営幹部がそのために懸命に働いて、それを公正かつ正方形にすることです,,en, but would perhaps like to retain the chef on your payroll so that you have a chance of making it big again once the dust settles. 真の, you don’t have a restaurant to run, but you don’t want your competitor to get his hands on your ace chef. Good argument. My friend further conceded that once you took public funding, the equation changed. You probably no longer had any say over payables, because the money was not yours.

I think the equation changes for another reason as well. When all the restaurants in town are pretty much burned down, where is your precious chef going to go? Perhaps it doesn’t take huge bonuses to retain him now.

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才能と知能

In the last post, I argued that how hard we work has nothing much to do with how much reward we should reap. 結局, 長くそして懸命に働くタクシー運転手があります,,en,インドのスラム街や他の貧困国であり、さらに不幸な魂,,en,私は比較本当の薄い氷の上スレッディングいます,,en,しかし、斜め,,en,cabbiesとスラムドッグに幹部,,en,幹部,,en,明らかに、より多くの才能,,en,これはボーナスで有名な才能引数に私をもたらします,,en,この才能の事は何ですか,,en,それは知性と関節であります,,en,私はかつて、英語やアラビア語などの異種としてダース以上の言語に堪能だったバンガロールのタクシー運転手に会いました,,en,彼は私の父は私に言った何かでアップ割れたとき、私は偶然彼の隠された才能を発見しました,,en,私たちの方言でプライベートジョーク,,en,これは私はめったに非ネイティブスピーカーの試みは認められません,,en,私は、考えて助けることができませんでした,,en,別の場所や別の時間を与えられました,,en, and even more unfortunate souls in the slums of India and other poor countries.

しかし, I am threading on real thin ice when I compare, however obliquely, senior executives to cabbies and slum dogs. They are (the executives, すなわち) clearly a lot more talented, which brings me to the famous talent argument for bonuses. What is this talent thing? Is it intelligence and articulation? I once met a taxi driver in Bangalore who was fluent in more than a dozen languages as disparate as English and Arabic. I discovered his hidden talent by accident when he cracked up at something my father said to me — a private joke in our vernacular, which I have seldom found a non-native speaker attempt. I couldn’t help thinking then — given another place and another time, このタクシー運転手は、言語学の教授か何かだっただろう,,en,タレントは、成功のために必要な条件かもしれ,,en,ボーナス,,en,それは確かに十分なものではありません,,en,でもスラム犬の中で,,en,我々は十分な才能を見つけるかもしれません,,en,オスカーを受賞した映画はで行くために何かあれば,,en,映画の主人公は、彼の百万ドルのボーナスを作るん,,en,それが唯一のフィクションでした,,en,状況の幸運事故が所得格差の右側に私たちを置くには才能よりも重要な役割を果たしています,,en,才能や知性のいずれかの認識に基づいて報酬を受ける権利を主張するために愚かなようです,,en,知性そのもの,,en,しかし、我々はそれを定義します,,en,幸せな遺伝事故以外の何ものでもありません,,en,他の夜,,en,私はヘッドハンターから電話を持っていました,,en,私がハングアップしたよう,,en,私の6歳の息子はで歩きました,,en. Talent may be a necessary condition for success (and bonus), but it certainly is not a sufficient one. Even among slum dogs, we might find ample talent, if the Oscar-winning movie is anything to go by. しかし, the protagonist in the movie does make his million dollar bonus, but it was only fiction.

実生活では, しかしながら, lucky accidents of circumstances play a more critical role than talent in putting us on the right side of the income divide. 私には, it seems silly to claim a right to the rewards based on any perception of talent or intelligence. ヘック, intelligence itself, however we define it, is nothing but a happy genetic accident.

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きつい仕事

One argument for big bonuses is that the executives work hard for it and earn it fair and square. これらのエグゼクティブのうちの何人かが膨大な時間を費やしていることは事実です,,en,〜まで,,en,1日に数時間,,en,AIGのエグゼクティブによれば、ここで注目されている,,en,長い時間を費やして、勤勉にすると自動的に私たちを作る,,en,トレイシー・チャップマンの言葉通り,,en,私はシンガポールのタクシー運転手に会ったことがあります,,en,明らかにcabbiesが支払わなければならない賃貸料はかなり高いです,,en,彼らはほとんどのエグゼクティブより一貫して長く働くことになります,,en,私たちの道徳的な地平を超えて,,en,人間のスラム犬の飼料用ゴミ捨て屑,,en,壊れる労働,,en,恐ろしい労働条件,,en,ハードワーク,,en,ボーナスはありません,,en,それは、ハードワークは、誰に何があるのか​​との相関がほとんどないように見えます,,en (up to 10 へ 14 hours a day, according the AIG executive under the spotlight here). しかし, do long hours and hard work automatically make us “those who deserve the best in life,” as Tracy Chapman puts it?

I have met taxi drivers in Singapore who ply the streets hour after owl-shift hour before they can break even. Apparently the rentals the cabbies have to pay are quite high, and they end up working consistently longer than most executives. Farther beyond our moral horizon, human slum dogs forage garbage dumps for scraps they can eat or sell. Back-breaking labour, I imagine. 長時間, terrible working conditions, and hard-hard work — but no bonus.

It looks to me as though hard work has very little correlation with what one is entitled to. 私たちは、他の場所を見て、私たちが支払期日を考慮しているものの正当性を見出す必要があります,,en,私たちの最善の計画はしばしば失敗する,,en,私たちは常にそれを個人的なレベルで見る,,en,事故,,en,良いことと悪い方法の両方,,en,死,,en,愛する人と豊かな叔父の両方,,en,出産,,en,宝くじはすべて私たちの優先順位を再編し、私たちの計画を無効にします,,en,物事を視点に入れさせるための堅実な不幸のようなものはありません,,en,この機会は、私たちに絶えず見られるようになっている諺の銀の裏地かもしれません,,en,個人レベルで真実は、より大きなスケールでも真実です,,en,業界全体の金融破綻は、私たちの職業に哲学的な明快さをもたらしました,,en,私たちがあまりにも忙しすぎて気づかなかったかもしれない明快さ,,en,悲しい限りでは我々は現在,,en,この哲学的明快さは分析を促す,,en.

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マウスと人間のボーナスプラン

Our best-laid plans often go awry. We see it all the time at a personal level — accidents (both good and bad), deaths (both of loved ones and rich uncles), births, and lotteries all conspire to reshuffle our priorities and render our plans null and void. 実際には, there is nothing like a solid misfortune to get us to put things in perspective. This opportunity may be the proverbial silver lining we are constantly advised to see. What is true at a personal level holds true also at a larger scale. The industry-wide financial meltdown has imparted a philosophical clarity to our profession — a clarity that we might have been too busy to notice, but for the dire straits we are in right now.

This philosophical clarity inspires analyses (列,,en,時には自己奉仕であり、時には魂を求めている,,en,私たちは、昨年の狂ったボーナスの期待の背後にある道徳的正しさについて心配しています,,en,その事例はJake DeSantisです,,en,ニューヨークタイムズで公然と辞任したAIGの執行副社長,,en,チャリティーに100万ドルの比較的軽いボーナスを寄付しました,,en,辞任の背後にある理由は興味深い,,en,この一連の投稿に飼育,,en,私がそれ以上行く前に,,en,私はそれを完全に述べる,,en,私は自分の議論を細かくしようとしています。,,en,彼らが私に数百万ドルのボーナスを与えたならば、私は全く別の曲を歌いましたと確信しています,,en,あるいは、誰かが私が自分のボーナスを持っていることを示唆するような気がしていたら,,en,それは比較のように見えるかもしれません,,en, もちろん) that are at times self-serving and at times soul-searching. We now worry about the moral rectitude behind the insane bonus expectations of yesteryears, 例えば. The case in point is Jake DeSantis, the AIG executive vice president who resigned rather publicly on the New York Times, and donated his relatively modest bonus of a million dollars to charity. The reasons behind the resignation are interesting, and fodder to this series of posts.

Before I go any further, let me state it outright. I am going to try to shred his arguments the best I can. I am sure I would have sung a totally different tune if they had given me a million dollar bonus. Or if anybody had the temerity to suggest that I part with my own bonus, paltry as it may seem in comparison. 私はこのコラムの範囲を超えてその可能性を保つだろう,,en,他者が悪意をもって知覚するかもしれない道徳的な不一致を無視する,,en,私は他の人のボーナスについてのみ話します,,en,私たちは他人のお金を扱うのが最善です,,en,そして、私たちに属さないものを危険にさらして犠牲にすることは、いつでもより簡単です,,en,金融危機アーカイブ,,en, ignoring the moral inconsistency others might maliciously perceive therein. I will talk only about other people’s bonuses. 結局, we are best in dealing with other people’s money. And it is always easier to risk and sacrifice something that doesn’t belong to us.

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砂上の楼閣

We are in dire straits — no doubt about it. Our banks and financial edifices are collapsing. Those left standing also look shaky. Financial industry as a whole is battling to survive. そして, as its front line warriors, we will bear the brunt of the bloodbath sure to ensue any minute now.

Ominous as it looks now, this dark hour will pass, as all the ones before it. How can we avoid such dark crises in the future? We can start by examining the root causes, the structural and systemic reasons, behind the current debacle. What are they? In my series of posts this month, I went through what I thought were the lessons to learn from the financial crisis. Here is what I think will happen.

The notion of risk management is sure to change in the coming years. Risk managers will have to be compensated enough so that top talent doesn’t always drift away from it into risk taking roles. Credit risk paradigms will be reviewed. Are credit limits and ratings the right tools? Will Off Balance Sheet instruments stay off the balance sheet? How will we account for leveraging?

Regulatory frameworks will change. They will become more intrusive, but hopefully more transparent and honest as well.

Upper management compensation schemes may change, but probably not much. Despite what the techies at the bottom think, those who reach the top are smart. They will think of some innovative ways of keeping their perks. 心配しないでください; there will always be something to look forward to, as you climb the corporate ladder.

Nietzsche may be right, what doesn’t kill us, may eventually make us stronger. Hoping that this unprecedented financial crisis doesn’t kill us, let’s try to learn as much from it as possible.

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Free Market Hypocrisy

Markets are not free, despite what the text books tell us. 数学の, we verify the validity of equations by considering asymptotic or limiting cases. Let’s try the same trick on the statement about the markets being free.

If commodity markets were free, we would have no tariff restrictions, agricultural subsidies and other market skewing mechanisms at play. ヘック, cocaine and heroine would be freely available. 結局, there are willing buyers and sellers for those drugs. 確かに, drug lords would be respectable citizens belonging in country clubs rather than gun-totting cartels.

If labor markets were free, nobody would need a visa to go and work anywhere in the world. そして, “equal pay for equal work” would be a true ideal across the globe, and nobody would whine about jobs being exported to third world countries.

Capital markets, at the receiving end of all the market turmoil of late, are highly regulated with capital adequacy and other Basel II requirements.

Derivatives markets, our neck of the woods, are a strange beast. It steps in and out of the capital markets as convenient and muddles up everything so that they will need us quants to explain it to them. We will get back to it in future columns.

So what exactly is free about the free market economy? It is free — as long as you deal in authorized commodities and products, operate within prescribed geographies, set aside as much capital as directed, and do not employ those you are not supposed to. By such creative redefinitions of terms like “free,” we can call even a high security prison free!

誤解しないでください. I wouldn’t advocate making all markets totally free. 結局, opening the flood gates to the formidable Indian and Chinese talent can only adversely affect my salary levels. Nor am I suggesting that we deregulate everything and hope for the best. Far from it. All I am saying is that we need to be honest about what we mean by “free” in free markets, and understand and implement its meaning in a transparent way. I don’t know if it will help avoid a future financial meltdown, but it certainly can’t hurt.

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