Weil on Finance: Europe's Speculation Delusion
Happy Hump Day, View fans. Here are your morning links.
European Union lawmakers agreed on legislation for a financial-market overhaul that includes curbs on high-frequency trading and commodity-derivative speculation, although it isn't at all clear that such limits would work in practice. And even if they did, wouldn’t the trading just move somewhere else, like New York? Does anyone really think Europe just solved the problems created by high-frequency trading and financial speculation?
Ralph Nader is still fighting the man.
Now he’s doing it as a shareholder activist, and Ohio State law professor Steven Davidoff has a good profile of him. If a former corporate raider like Carl Icahn can remake himself as an activist investor, surely the guy who wrote “Unsafe at Any Speed” can, too.
More mariners have been abandoned by their employers than taken hostage by Somali pirates.
Bet you didn’t know that, did you? The United Nations has documented cases of 2,379 stranded sailors on almost 200 ships in the past 10 years, according to this article by Isaac Arnsdorf of Bloomberg News. Often they are in legal limbo and wind up starving onboard, because their ships’ owners have run out of money and the employees have nowhere to go. Great piece.
Where are the customers’ megayachts?
Speaking of big ships, here is an article in the Miami Herald about how the geniuses at the Army Corps of Engineers are wreaking havoc with next month’s Yacht and Brokerage Show in Miami Beach. An environmental program may end up blocking the route that megayachts use to get to the show. That would mean a lot of awfully upset yacht owners. And as everyone who has a Bloomberg terminal knows, you can’t have a decent yacht show without yachts: “Glen Allen, fleet captain of Fleet Miami -— an organization of yacht owners -— says the narrower detour created by the pilings traverses waters too shallow for safe navigation by big yachts —- a problem he has already experienced with a client’s 154-footer that draws 7½ feet. Allen predicts the problem is going to mushroom when hundreds of vessels in the 80-foot range and bigger begin arriving.”
Actress Betty White turns 91 this week.
And to celebrate her birthday, here’s an article by Sara Tan at Pawnation called “Animals that Look Like Betty White.”
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)