Things we're reading today include …
Today's must read
The Financial Crisis and America’s Casino Culture (New York Times)
"Throughout the history of American commercial life, one cultural trait
has tended to dominate: Americans are optimists, a people prone to
seeing the glass as not merely half-full but rapidly expanding, and
bearing liquid that might yet be turned into gold.
"This exuberant optimism has
proven beneficial, emboldening risk-taking that has achieved innovation
and wealth. It has prompted entrepreneurs to invest borrowed money in
untested ideas that sometimes yield breakthroughs. It has encouraged
ordinary people to accept debt in the name of accelerated gain — more
comfortable homes, higher education, late-model cars.
recent times this eagerness to augment the present by borrowing against
a seemingly lucrative future has reached dangerous levels. Excessive
optimism and its close relation — a reckless disregard of risk — are
widely blamed for helping carry the United States into the worst
financial panic since the Great Depression."
Bank regulator worried by complacency
Global bank regulator says treat recent improvements at banks with caution
Maybe the banks are in worse trouble than we realise
Slower banking reforms will run deeper
How Banks Should Manage Risk
Retailers Ready for Fight on Credit-Card Fees
RBS won't comment on share report
Citibank teams up with Virgin to shake up Big Four
'Fred the Shred' back in the City (News of the World)
Quote of the Day:
"As if they really knew, leading economists predict that recovery from
our Great Recession will be plodding, gray and jobless. But they don't
know, and can't. The future is unfathomable."
From Bear to Bull (Wall Street Journal)