Presumably finding an excess of free time after commencement, Harvard economics professor Jeremy Stein
has turned to prophecy--or parody. It's not entirely clear. His
fictional report in The Harvard Crimson is written as if it were
appearing on May 27, 2025, in the middle of Scott Brown's first term of
presidency and a financial crisis triggered by wind farm-related
derivatives. Some of the highlights:
THE FINANCIAL CRISIS UNDER SCOTT BROWN
Just four months into his first term, President Scott P. Brown faces what is rapidly becoming a severe financial crisis, with the collapse yesterday of yet another Stable Wind Farm Trust. The failed institution, Magna-SWIFT, is the largest thus far, with over $90 billion in assets.
ROOTS IN THE PALIN ADMINISTRATION
Spurred by President Palin's aggressive subsidies to clean-energy sources and a series of technological breakthroughs, wind power quickly displaced almost all other forms of energy. The huge scale of wind-farm construction--the total value of wind farms worldwide exceeds $5 trillion--was facilitated by the innovation of the SWIFT structure. A SWIFT is a specialized investment fund that holds a broadly diversified portfolio of wind-farm assets.
HOW THE 2010 REFORMS DIDN'T QUITE WORK
Importantly, SWIFTs are not banks; they are more akin to private investment pools, like hedge funds or private equity firms. Moreover, they have universally opted to keep their assets below the $100 billion "Too Big to Fail" threshold that regulators use to classify any financial institution as systemically significant and hence subject to added supervision ...
AND GOLDMAN IS STILL GOLDMAN
In a related development, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs denied allegations that the firm had taken a large short position in a synthetic SWIFT in April of last year.