Shak: Bankers are too reckless

April 16, 2009
If you give someone $10,000 to gamble in a casino every morning and he leaves every night with either a percentage of any profits or nothing at all, he can’t be expected to play conservatively. As this economic crisis has persisted, we have become increasingly aware of the dangers of moral hazard, the concept that »

BUSINESS COLUMN | Shak: Leverage: the path to stability?

March 5, 2009
Most economists, politicians and businesspeople have accepted the business cycle as unavoidable and see the Fed Funds Rate, the key interest rate controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank, as the main means of smoothing out that cycle. However, with the Fed Funds Rate at essentially zero, the Fed has run out of conventional ammunition for »

Shak: Stop CEO greed — follow the money

January 29, 2009
The benefactor of the Thain Family Café, former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, seems to have become one of the most noteworthy examples of Wall Street greed in the media. His story exposes not only the extravagance of Wall Street, but also the government’s insufficient oversight of the corporate sector. On Tuesday the Attorney General »

Shak: In crisis, mindset at fault

November 13, 2008
As the United States economy crumbles, people have pointed fingers in all directions. Few as of yet, though, have dared to admit that our crisis stems from a fault in the American mind-set. Over the past 20 years, American society has confused reality with fantasy. We ignore what we can have and focus on what »

Shak: Elis will feel sting of banks’ fall

September 15, 2008
Last week was one of the most chaotic in Wall Street’s history. Several important stocks dropped cataclysmically — namely Fannie Mae (FNM), Freddie Mac (FRE) and Lehman Brothers (LEH) — and Merrill Lynch (MER) and American International Group (AIG) came close to collapse. For students at Yale, where about 20 percent of each graduating class »