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Commentary & Opinion

April 17, 2014 Is a global wealth tax the key to reducing income inequality?

Source: Washington Post

Does 39.6 percent, which is today’s top marginal tax rate, sound like the optimal top marginal tax rate to you? No? How about 80 percent? Not that either? Well, if you’re concerned about reducing income inequality in the United...

April 17, 2014 Market Structure Map - Fires, Crashes and Kill Switches

Source: Tim Quest, president, ModernNetworks IR LLC

Suppose the engine of your vehicle was on fire. The logical response would be to shut it off. But what if you were traveling at highway speed and killing the fuel supply meant you had no power breaks or steering? What if your...[more]

April 17, 2014 When Shareholder Activism Goes Too Far

Source: Bloomberg

Has investor activism gone too far? Some shareholder champions are beginning to think so, and they may have a point. To them, a handful of hyperactivists, mostly hedge funds, has hijacked the shareholder-rights movement -- a...

April 16, 2014 C.E.O. Pay Goes Up, Up and Away!

Source: NY Times

At 79, Graef “Bud” Crystal is the grand old man of executive compensation critics. Once a top compensation consultant, he switched sides in the 1980s, becoming a fierce critic of many of the practices he helped institutionalize,...

April 10, 2014 Market Structure Map - The Recovery

Source: Tim Quest, president, ModernNetworks IR LLC

I think the chief reason for the recent swoon in stocks was not anemia in the job market but a sort of investor outrage. You can’t troll a trading periodical or blog or forum without wading through rants on why Michael Lewis,...[more]

April 3, 2014 Is the stock market really rigged in favor of high frequency traders?

Source: The Week

Since 1987's Black Monday, markets have become increasingly computerized. Change was gradual at first, but in the last decade it has become rapid. Today, computerized markets trade faster than ever before — faster, literally,...

April 3, 2014 Market Structure Map - Flash Boys

Source: Tim Quast , President, ModernNetworks IR LLC

I don’t skateboard. But the title of Michael Lewis’s new book on high-speed trading, Flash Boys, made me think Lewis could’ve called it DC-town & Flash Boys.[more]

April 2, 2014 Did Someone Front Run Michael Lewis?

Source: Barron's

The new Michael Lewis book, Flash Boys, focuses on high-frequency trading, which, Lewis contends, amounts to high-tech front running. Unusual action in the options market late last week suggests a bit of trading ahead of the 60...

April 2, 2014 Is High-Frequency Trading as Bad as Michael Lewis Wants You to Think?

Source: The Wire

"The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged." So says author Michael Lewis in his new book about Wall Street (and in the most quotable part of his recent 60 Minutes segment.) But...

March 31, 2014 CSR: the dangers of ‘doing the right thing’

Source: Spiked

Five years after the low point of the Western financial crisis, we still see almost daily attacks on bankers’ bonuses and CEO pay levels. This idea that big payouts to business people are a key factor behind our economic troubles...

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