Living wills and financial leverage

Source: Flikr Creative Commons The headline in today’s New York Times, “‘Living Wills’ of 5 Banks Fail to Pass Muster,” might have struck some as another consequence of the Supreme Court’s view that corporations are people. Do companies need living wills like individuals do? Not quite. The living wills of which the article speaks are bankruptcy plans mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street … [Read more...]

My dinner with Peter, Paul, and …

I’m a very lucky guy, and last night proved it again. St. John’s and St. Ben’s celebrated Eugene McCarthy’s 100th birthday with a centennial dinner featuring a variety of guests and speakers.  I got to sit next to Peter Yarrow at dinner.  Yes, that Peter. He performed the McCarthy campaign song (which he wrote), "Puff, The Magic Dragon", "If I had a Hammer," "This Land Is Your Land,” and told … [Read more...]

Retirement saving and the principal-agent problem

Source: Flikr Creative Commons ‘Customers First’ to Become the Law in Retirement Investing read the headline in the New York Times. You’re first reaction might be, “it wasn’t already?” No, retirement planning grew out of the financial intermediaries that already existed in the 1980s, when retirement saving started to change radically. Before the 1980s, the 3-legged stool was the metaphor for … [Read more...]