Just been on holiday for two weeks - did you miss me?
If you answered yes, you've obviously not noticed that I've still been blogging for the last two weeks.
Here are a few highlights from the holiday blog:How interest bearing instruments were invented
I've talked many times about the Ancient Sumerians creating money for sex, but they also created money for debt. Here's how it worked.
5000 years of risk ... and we still can't get it right
The ancient Sumerians invented the concept of interest on borrowing 5,000 years ago. It led to the practice of leverage and risk back then too. Nothing that complicated ... just something that caused wars.
The credit crisis was NOT a Black Swan event
One of my holiday books is Traders, Guns and Money, Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives , by Satyajit Das. It was written in February 2006 - two and a half years before the September 2008 implosion of Lehman Brothers - and yet clearly states why the markets will implode. I wonder why no-one listened?
30 great quotes about money
I love finding jokes and quotes, so here’s thirty of my favourite funny quotes about money, finance and banking such as: "money can’t buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery", Spike Milligan.
Can pyschology explain our fixation with money?
Just found a psychology blog and thought I would look up what articles they have on the psychology of money, one of our favourite subjects. Interesting headlines include that fact that: people will spend more money when they feel down, but are often unaware of it and that we prefer to pay more for a product as it makes us think it’s better quality.
Securities in an insecure world
In an impressive speech back in 1963, a week before JFK was assassinated, Benjamin Graham – the first proponent of value investing – gave a speech in San Francisco. In the first half of the speech, he outlines the challenges of market fluctuations and the fact that people are irrational, e.g. buying shares in good times and then claiming the same shares are bad in poor times. In the second part, he delves deep into investment policies. His words are worth reposting fifty years later, as it’s still as true today as it was in 1963.