Charlie’s mid-month reading list

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Highlighted below are a few articles that I’ve flagged for our readers this month.

To start, Bloomberg reporters Ari Levy and Dakin Campbell recently published “EBay-style peer loans spur Wall Street asset craze,” an article suggesting that peer to peer lending is big, especially as banks pull back. Levy and Campbell introduce specific lending companies, such as LendingClub Corp. and Prosper Marketplace Inc., and expand on the future of the consumer lending trend.

Also from earlier this summer, New York Times reporter David Leonhardt analyzes the labor force participation rate in his piece “The great shift: Americans not working.” Leonhardt focuses on the fall in participation among people aged 25-54, and suggests that both the “skills gap” and weak economic growth may play a role in the declining labor force.

Focusing on the Nasdaq trading halt that occurred in late August, Yahoo! Finance contributor Jon Najarian shares his thoughts in the article “Blame the high-frequency traders for yesterday’s Nasdaq mess. With this (and similar occurrences) in mind, Najarian says, “I hope the SEC, CFTC, and FINRA get on this now rather than sweeping the incidents under the carpet. The skew toward high-frequency trading firms and other sophisticated high-speed trading systems, rather than maintaining a fair and orderly market, must be addressed urgently to keep our financial market the most robust on earth.”

Finally, “Fundamentals better get better (fast)” is a ZeroHedge.com piece that was published on August 20th. The post highlights two graphs from Barclays Research, which illustrate the forces behind the increase in US stock prices.

Check back with Ramparts again next month, as we continue to spotlight timely market issues.

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