5 Studies That Show How Wealth Warps Your Soul

Inequality ‘triggers a chemical reaction in the privileged few. It tilts their brain.’ “Money can’t buy happiness,” the old adage warns, although poverty is hardly a day at the beach. But according to several recent studies, excessive wealth not only fails to bring contentment, it warps your soul. (Or brain, for the skeptics among you.) That’s the thesis of a Michael Lewis essay on how being rich can make you both more “selfish and dishonest.” Opening with an instructive lesson drawn from youthful days at a summer tennis camp, Lewis cites a broad array of studies showing the deleterious impact of excess wealth. But he does not think the problem is inborn, or that genetically nasty people are more apt to make big bucks. No, he writes: “The problem is caused by the inequality itself: It triggers a chemical reaction in the privileged few. It tilts their brains. It […] Read More

Kyle Bass On China’s “Contraction” And “The Fed’s Worst Nightmare”

Via Robert Huebscher, originally posted at Advisor Perspectives, For the last several years, nobody has been more outspokenly bearish on Japan than Kyle Bass. In a recent talk, Bass reiterated his doubts about Japan’s chances of averting a debt crisis. What’s more, he also said China’s economy will fall below expectations. Bass changed one aspect of his outlook on Japan. Instead of predicting a collapse of the Japanese bond market, he focused on a severe weakening of the yen – without predicting when that might happen. His predictions for China were equally distressing. He said that its banks will be saddled with non-performing loans and that its economy is actually contracting. “I don’t think the markets are discounting what’s really happening in China,” he said. Bass is the founder of Hayman Capital, a Dallas-based hedge fund. He was featured prominently in Michael Lewis’ recent book, The Big Short, for […] Read More

“Timestamp Fraud”: A Rigged Market Explained In One Simple Animation

The topic of High-Frequency-Trading quickly dissolves into a smorgasbord of mnemonics and ‘inside-baseball’ technical terms – just complicated enough to lose everyone that matters or should care about its implications. Despite the fair-and-balanced defense from the mainstream media business channels (sponsored by the belief in the status quo fair markets that ‘America the free’ is known for), the fact is that HFT does front-run (perfectly legal under the umbrella protection of Reg NMS) order flow, but there may be one more wrinkle – one which would cement the Michael Lewis (accurate) allegation that the market is rigged. Because if as Nanex shows below, there is in addition to everything else the element of timestamp fraud involved in the distribution of NMS “compliant” trading data for Direct Feed-to-SIP matching purposes, this means that not only is the market rigged, but its rigging goes from the very top all the way […] Read More