01.04.13

The Week’s Best Business Longreads: Business Beast’s Picks for Jan. 5, 2013

Tom Wolfe returns to Wall Street and America’s banks are still entirely mysterious, even to the most sophisticated investors. The Daily Beast brings you the best in business and finance journalism for the week of January 5, 2013.

What’s Inside America’s Banks?
Frank Partnoy and Jessie Eisinger, The Atlantic



A law professor and journalist go spelunking in the annual report of one of America’s most successful, conservative banks. What do they find? It’s nearly impossible to tell what risks banks have buried in their balance sheets.

The Volcker Way
Austan Goolsbee, Foreign Affairs



The former Obama administration chief economist writes that the legendary Federal Reserve chair is “one of the last remaining heroes of modern finance.”

Basel Becomes Babel as Conflicting Rules Undermine Safety
Yalman Onaran, Bloomberg News



The most recent set of global banking regulations, known as Basel II, is widely seen as one of the culprits for the financial crisis. So far, Basel III isn’t looking much better.



The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
Brendan Borrell, Bloomberg Businessweek



Québec dominates the world’s maple syrup market. It even has a “Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve.” And 6 million pounds of it disappeared.

Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers
Olivier Blanchard and Daniel Leigh, International Monetary Fund

Warning: this is a long, technical research paper about macroeconomic forecasting. But it’s also an implicit admission by the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund that they’ve been getting it wrong for years. 



Eunuchs of the Universe

Tom Wolfe, Newsweek 


America’s foremost chronicler of Wall Street excess returns to the world of finance to find the masters of the universe reduced to something less.