If you are at all interested in finance and economics you should be reading Frances Coppola’s blog. Frances is a former banker turned singer and image consultant. Having been a banker she understands how the system works. As she is no longer a banker she is free to criticise the system from an informed perspective. Her perspective is different from that which you find on most business-related blogs.
There’s loads of good stuff on her site but here are a few of my favourites:
In Defence of Bank Bonuses – On the different sorts of bank staff, why they’re not all greedy grabbing gits and why it makes sense to allow loss making banks to pay bonuses and then tax them, rather than keep their money and write it off against corporation tax.
The Foundation of Short Selling – why short selling isn’t necessarily bad and George Monbiot, on this subject at least, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Bank breakups, red herrings and elephants – why breaking up the banks would make sod all difference. Some similar arguments to mine from earlier this year but also an explanation of why investment banks would remain inextricably linked with retail banks, and therefore still as likely to drag them down in a crisis, even if they were legally separate companies.
How the bubble burst: securities, mortgages and collateral damage – as it says, the story of the financial crisis but also some straightforward explanation of securities, derivatives, CDOs and the like, and the role they played in the contagion of 2008.
Illusions and delusions – the lure of credit and the price of debt – why we should be worried about high levels of personal debt and why, in a recession, it makes sense for governments to hold debt, as they can borrow cheaply, rather than pile it onto individuals, who can’t.
Blogs like Coppola Comment fill a gap left by the mainstream news media. When it comes to finance and economics, there is nothing between the “bankers are bastards” vs “bankers are the lifeblood of our economy” ding-dong you get in the tabloids, and the high-falutin’ language of the broadsheets’ business pages, which assume a considerable level of prior knowledge. Frances shows that you can explain finance simply without being simplistic. Her blog will be a regular stop for me from now on.