Sunday, July 19, 2015

Weekend links

1. The AEA has a blog post which highlights the potential benefits from liberalizing labor migration, which far outweigh the benefits from any trade liberalization. This graphic from the famous Michael Clemens paper of 2011 is instructive.
The lion's share of these benefits will accrue to the migrants themselves. However the political economy associated with this would be its biggest impediment.

2. As the credit glut plays itself out, wise words from Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners,
This year likely will witness record US stock buybacks; the second biggest year for mergers and acquisitions; the highest percentage of non-investment grade borrowers among new issuers of corporate debt; and a record for covenant-light loan issuance... We are not back in the frothy days of 2007, but we are leaving the realm of smart investment decisions and moving into the “silly season” when investors become convinced that recession is nowhere on the horizon and market downside is limited. It is a world where asset prices continue to appreciate and confidence remains strong, while capital chases a shrinking pool of productive investment opportunities. Similar to the run-up to 2007, rising asset prices and malinvestments today may be sowing the seeds of the next financial crisis.
3. Livemint has a graphic from the IMF's April Financial Stability report which finds that India has the second most stressed banking system in terms of corporate debt at risk (interest coverage ratio below two).
4. Fascinating graphic that captures the advance of democracy
5. Excellent graphic that highlights how the ISIS's recent successes involved maneuvering along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This visual guide in the Times captures the rise of ISIS.

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