Weil on Finance, P.M.: Money for Nothing, Links for Free
Hello again, View fans. And now with our afternoon links to stuff I've been reading today.
Money for nothing, the movie, Fed-style
Barb Rehm at American Banker reviews a new documentary that was screened in Washington this week, "Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve." Looks like a must-see for finance junkies. "There is no denying that `Money for Nothing' makes a convincing, and entertaining, case that the Fed's easy-money policies gave everyone from homeowners to investors to financial institutions an incentive to inflate an enormous speculative bubble," Rehm writes. "What makes the film so convincing is its cast. There is not a single nut in the 104-minute film." Those with speaking roles include Janet Yellen, Jeff Lacker, Charles Plosser, Richard Fisher, Paul Volcker, Alice Rivlin and Alan Blinder. The big question: Does the film's timing help or hurt Larry Summers? ("Neither" is an acceptable answer, too.)
Michael Lewis on the last big crisis and the next one
The "Big Short" author gave an interview to Bloomberg Businessweek that's out today. Love this line: "Lehman Brothers was the only one that experienced justice. They should’ve all been left to the mercy of the marketplace."
Will Brazil and Russia fall victim to the Olympics curse?
Robert von Rekowsky, an emerging markets strategist at Fidelity, looks at fiscal failures of past Olympics with an eye toward the 2014 winter games in Russia and the 2016 summer games in Brazil. "Mega-sporting events usually leave the host nation with budget overruns and massive debt, and event-driven investment strategies have rarely succeeded," he writes. So don't invest there on the hope that the Olympics will bring economic expansion and strong investment returns. OK? It's like the stadium curse (remember Enron Field?) except with entire countries -- like Greece, which hosted the 2004 Olympics.
The billionaire behind Hello Kitty
Bloomberg added another billionaire to its list: Shintaro Tsuji, founder of Tokyo-based Sanrio Co. He previously hadn't appeared on an international wealth ranking, which is amazing considering he is 85 and he introduced Hello Kitty to the world in 1974. Fun story here by Gillian Wee.
Here's one for the Dilbert in all of us
Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal writes that the biggest office interruptions aren't emails or phone calls. They're face-to-face interruptions. "Even a 2-second disruption can lead to a doubling of errors," she writes. Please forgive me if someone walks over to your desk to tell you about this.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)