walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Krugman: Bab5 pic and headline reference about GE and shadow banking

I'm no Babylon 5 fan. I found it pretty excruciating to sit through, and I sat through marathons of that show because my friends were fans. But, you know. It's later; most of the pain is forgotten. But enough memory remained for me to get the references here.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/a-victory-against-the-shadows/

Krugman argues that the reason GE is spinning of its GE capital unit and associated business (they are keeping the finance stuff associated with manufacturing) is because in its current incarnation, GE is a Systemically Important Financial Institution for Dodd-Frank purposes and thus subject to a lot of oversight that it would prefer not to have to deal with. So it's getting rid of the parts that triggered that designation. Krugman asserts:

"what GE is in effect saying is that if we have to compete on a level playing field, if we can’t play the moral hazard game, it’s not worth being in this business. That’s a clear demonstration that reform is having a real effect."

I think he's right. Altho I _also_ think that this kind of restructuring of GE has been a long time coming, as for a decade or more now people have been complaining that GE's stock price does not accurately reflect, well, whatever it is they think is good about GE. I'm betting the SIFI designation helped Immelt make the case for something that he'd been wanting to do for a while anyway.

ETA: His post on wearables is good, too.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/apple-and-the-self-surveillance-state/

"I think wearables will become pervasive very soon ... so the ubiquitous surveillance net can see them, and give them stuff."

Nothing there about ApplePay and the Watch, but a lot of the rest of the points are there: not having to wait, reproducing an elite/wealthy experience for more people, trading off privacy against service, etc.
Tags: economy, politics
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