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STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS — Three years after the onset of the worst financial crisis in more than half a century, the debate over how to make the banking system more secure is far from over. Should there be more regulation; should capital and equity requirements be raised; there’s even disagreement about what constitutes [...]

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Stanford Graduate School of Business students heard a sobering history lesson about the perils facing today’s economy. At the end of World War II, the United States had accumulated substantial debt. But our country’s economy still took off, fueled by soldiers returning home to join the workforce and by new manufacturing technologies honed during wartime [...]

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Text of Letter Published in Financial Times, November 9, 2010  The Basel III bank-regulation proposals that G20 leaders will discuss fail to eliminate key structural flaws in the current system. Banks’ high leverage, and the resulting fragility and systemic risk, contributed to the near collapse of the financial system. Basel III is far from sufficient [...]

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From Stanford Business magazine, Autumn, 2010 Surrounded by photos of himself with presidents and foreign dignitaries and all manner of award plaques and commendations, Richard Fisher, MBA ’75, looks every bit the patrician banker sitting in his palatial office on the 14th floor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. But on this day, he [...]

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Why Bank Equity is Not Expensive

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—When the financial markets crashed two years ago, Americans discovered that all too many banks and financial institutions became distressed because of their high degree of leverage. Since then, regulators, economists, and the banking industry have jousted over the question of how much equity capital banks should hold.  The prevailing argument [...]

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STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS — In a forthcoming book, Stanford Graduate School of Business finance expert Darrell Duffie goes behind the scenes to describe the financial network of incentives and financial contracts that lead to run-on-the-bank calamities during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. He argues that success in placing the global financial system on [...]

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Although the SEC’s complaint and press reports have painted Goldman Sachs[‘ massive bets on the mortgage market as negligent at best and fraudulent at worst, the facts are complex, and it appears that the Commission may well have a difficult time proving its case, according to two Stanford professors. “The less people know about the [...]

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“Those who call for stamping out speculation may be confused between speculation and market manipulation,” Stanford business Professor Darrell Duffie wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Manipulation occurs when investors ‘attack’ a financial market in order to profit by changing the value of an investment. Profitable speculation occurs when investors accurately forecast an investment’s fundamental [...]

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QOTD: The Verdict on Davos

“The mood at the Davos is certainly better than last year, when the world was ending, but it is worse than at the beginning of last week. Alessandro Profumo of Unicredit acutely observed that Davos is likely to accentuate whatever mood you arrived in. So those who arrived nervous about the economic prospects are leaving [...]

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