Monthly Archives: September 2007

Housing Market Continues to Deteriorate

As the housing numbers come in, they keep getting worse and worse. From Bloomberg: Sales of new homes in the U.S. dropped more than forecast in August and prices plunged by the most since 1970, underscoring the Federal Reserve’s concern about the broader economy. Purchases declined 8.3 percent to an annual pace of 795,000, the […]

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Rating Agency Lies!

Bloomberg today reports that the SEC is looking into whether issuers leaned on rating agencies to provide the desired ratings on structured credit transactions. However, there may be less here than meets the eye. SEC chief Christopher Cox, along with senior executives from the rating agencies, are testifying before the Senate Banking Committee today. Query […]

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Charles Plosser, the Fed’s Inflation Hawk

The president of the Philadelphia Fed, Charles Plosser, is tough on inflation. He is not a member of the FOMC until 2008, and is breaking rank with the official Fed view in expressing his worries about the risks of permissive monetary policy. Plosser argued prior to the Fed rate cut that a reduction wasn’t necessary; […]

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Does Apple Policy on iPhone Unlocks Violate Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

The iPhone had better be worth it to Apple. With their loyalist-alienating price slash (which one would think has to lower revenues and profits), obstacles to battery replacement, and continuing troubles with AT&T (a botched launch followed by general unhappiness with the carrier), the mixed press about the phone has undermined its “gee whiz” look […]

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The ECB’s Mixed Views on Inflation vs. the Dollar

Like our own Fed governors in the run up to the FOMC meeting that produced a 50 basis point Fed funds rate cut, so too have European Central Bank been sending mixed signals on domestic versus international priorities in their interest rate policies. But their actions are the mirror image of ours. For them, member […]

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Morgan Stanley Sued for Redlining

Investment banks are learning about reputation risk the hard way. First we had Bear Stearns winding down two troubled hedge funds it would have rather cut loose and let sink on their own. Then Lehman was pilloried in the Wall Street Journal, in “How Wall Street Stoked the Mortgage Meltdown, for its particularly close relationship […]

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Outsourcing, Outsourced

Today’s New York Times, in “Indian Outsourcing Comes Full Circle,” reports that major Indian outsourcing companies such as WiPro are increasingly farming work out to staff hired in other developing countries. We had commented on this trend earlier, observing that cost pressures in India (new MBAs earn more than their US peers) plus the advantage […]

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IMF, Rogers vs. Goldman on Financial Stability

By happenstance, Bloomberg has an interesting trio of prognostications for the financial markets. Admittedly, they have differing degrees of authority. Most would give the IMF considerably more credence than either Jim Rogers or Goldman. However, all three have a following with investors. Not surprisingly, Goldman’s report is upbeat, the IMF’s is cautious tending towards the […]

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