Debt

Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

Will Peer-to-Peer Lending Disrupt the Trillion Dollar Student Loan Market?

22 December, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary
Often the high-flying, hype-filled world of Silicon Valley startups seems frivolous.  But every once in a while a new company appears that addresses an important need. This is the case with two student loan startups that were profiled recently in Forbes. These companies use peer-to-peer ... read more...

The Wall Street Journal Touts Junk Bonds, as the ‘Smart Money’ Prepares for a Correction

5 September, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Howard Marks, a well-regarded student of financial markets, is the founder and chairman of Oaktree Capital, which has made heaps of cash by savvy investments in distressed debt.  (I’ve been gradually reading through his book, The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful ... read more...

Puerto Rican Debt Crisis Heats Up Again: Judgment Day for Greedy Bond Fund Managers?

After the market close the other day Moody’s downgraded Puerto Rico’s municipal debt by three notches, lowering its estimation of the island’s bonds to junk status.  I wrote about the Puerto Rican debt crisis last year in December.  Puerto Rico’s risky municipal debt ... read more...

Mis-Pricing Risk & Financial Engineering

29 April, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Apropos of yesterday’s post about Apple’s debt-financed stock buybacks, here are some related stories I’ve been reading this morning. “Lose Your Triple-A Rating, Who Cares?”  The WSJ reports that the triple-A credit rating is becoming insignificant: ” Once ... read more...

The Socialization of Debt and Some Thoughts on What It Means

9 February, 2011 by Mark O'Brien in Commentary
In the investment business charts and graphs can be more like Rorschach tests than explications of the market or the economy.  By Rorschach test I am referring to black ink drawings that one man says looks like, say, a flower pot while someone else says a horse and rider; the point is that the ... read more...