Satyajit Das

Satyajit Das writes the Das Capital Column in the Independent. He has worked in financial markets for over 35 years, as a banker, a corporate treasurer and now as a consultant to banks, fund managers, governments, companies and regulators around the world. He is also the author of Traders Guns and Money and Extreme Money as well as a number of reference books on derivatives and risk-management, which double as 'door stops'. He became a banker because he wasn't good enough to be a professional cricketer, but would give up finance if anyone offered him a job as a cricket commentator or allowed him to pursue his other passion- wildlife (he is the co-author with Jade Novakovic of In Search of The Pangolin: The Accidental Eco-Tourist). He lives in Sydney, Australia.

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Large movements in oil prices have the potential to create significant financial instability, especially in debt markets

Satyajit Das: The slump in oil prices is fuelling financial instability globally

Das Capital: Revenues have reduced sharply, making it difficult to service debt

The structure of the oil market entails fine margins between demand and supply. The current oversupply is about 2 million barrels a day, less than 2 per cent of global consumption.
A Grexit would allow Greece to regain control of its currency and interest rates

Satyajit Das: Greece has plenty of options. It's just that none of them are good

Das Capital: A Grexit without contagion? It's like Dr Strangelove's belief in survivable nuclear war

Greece fundamentally suffers from lack of revenue
The Swiss National Bank pictured on 15 January, 2015, in Bern, Switzerland
The Swiss National Bank pictured on 15 January, 2015, in Bern, Switzerland

Satyajit Das: Switzerland had to bite the bullet and drop franc ceiling

Das Capital: In reality, the policy was unsustainable in the light of rising currency inflows

From the Saudi perspective, the primary benefit of high oil prices has accrued to non-Opec members

Satyajit Das: For the Saudis, low oil prices are a means of exacting revenge

Das Capital: Up to 80 per cent of shale reserves are uneconomic at prices below $80 a barrel

Satyajit Das: We need economic risk-taking, not financial risk-taking

Das Capital: Few of the problems that led to the great recession of 2008 have been resolved

A trader at the New York Stock Exchange puts his hand to his head

Satyajit Das: Our need for information only fuels illusions over the state of the markets

In 2013, an asset management consultancy identified alien invasion as a risk for the global economy, albeit an unlikely one. A reader wryly observed that this would be an excuse for markets to rally further, as businesses could look forward to the prospect of demand from new, non-human customers. Since 2009, financial markets have largely ignored risk, constructing a favourable narrative around events and rallying on any information.

Philanthropy is not just charity from the rich: it’s self-serving

Das Capital: Donors are free to channel funds to their chosen causes, some noble, some hubristic and some just plain odd

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