Blogs Driving the Debate

By Michael Hendrix
April 6, 2012
General Foundation

NCF curates a weekly list of blog posts that touch on emerging issues affecting the American business community.

 

Brad Plumer explains on WonkBook why Spain is threatening to drag down the European economy.  The answer would appear to be that the country is overdoing it on the austerity measures.  The resulting lack of growth is leading to a jittery bond market.  Unfortunately, the European Financial Stability Facility won't serve as much of a backstop if things go south.

Mark Perry outlines his charts of the week, with special note given to the recent drop in newspaper revenues, which are at their lowest point now since 1951.

Are we seeing the end of big box retail stores?  Mathew Yglesias has been tracking employment data for months now and sees a sustained trend jobs trend away from large shops and toward e-commerce outlets.

The Financial Times' Alphaville blog reports on the state of the $15 trillion "shadow financial system," an ill-understood mechanism for short term financing.  It's a pretty dense read, but here's the kicker: There's been a $3.35 trillion drop in collateral since last year, with another $500 billion expected to disappear this year.  The result is fewer assets to lend with.  As a Credit Suisse report concludes,  "Less debt, lower value, higher haircuts, and reduced collateral velocity: in our view, this is an ongoing and significant monetary shock."  Is this the "age of the shadow bank run"?

The Economist's Schumpeter columnist wonders what higher education can learn from the example of Minerva, a new for-profit university founded to compete with the Ivy League institutions but at a fraction of the tuition.

Ars Technica reports on innovations in food truck tracking.