Monthly Archives: July 2008

Links 8/1/08

Owner of 44-pound cat found; foreclosed woman couldn’t care for pet McClatchy Hungry seals ‘steer by the stars’ BBC Citizens use YouTube to keep gov’t in check Silicon Moscow to seize grain export controls Financial Times (hat tip reader Michael) More Arrows Seen Pointing to a Recession New York Times. We are only one day […]

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Massachusetts Sues Merrill Over Auction-Rate Securities

The auction rate securities market seize up has found more and more firms accused of less than upright behavior. The state of Massachusetts contends that Merrill misled investors about the risks of the instruments. A common complaint is that brokers presented the ARS as being as safe as money market funds. From Bloomberg: Massachusetts Secretary […]

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Housing Bailout Bill Also Eased Having Fed Rescue Banks

Not only are we getting bailouts, we are now getting Chinese puzzle box bailouts, with new tricks nestled inside other vehicles. Maybe we should quit pretending and just give the American Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors blank checks from the Treasury Department. We might as well be straightforward about what is happening. […]

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Links 7/31/08

Sad end for bear with jar on head BBC Subprime lending not main trigger of real estate bubble PhysOrg No Shorting. That’s the Rule Barry Ritholtz Most Heavily Shorted ETFs Bespoke Investment Group Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Live to Die Another Day Caroline Baum, Bloomberg Regrettable Comments by Bank CEOs Portfolio Just how stabilizing? Brad […]

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Disses du Jour

This exchange from Institutional Risk Analytics is a bit light on the vitriol, but the observation is acute: The IRA: But speaking of certainty, don’t you believe that it is impossible to give our leaders a pass with respect to the mortgage bubble? How can we look at Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers or Bob Rubin […]

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Underemployment Hits Record as Companies Cut Hours

The proportion of Americans designated as “involuntary part-time” hit a record high. This development would seem to undercut the unexpectedly upbeat news from the ADP payroll report earlier this week, that an unexpected 9,000 jobs had been added. Some experts warn that these reductions in work hours are a precursor to workforce reductions. From the […]

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Welcome Guest Bloggers!

Dear readers, You may recall my mentioning that I was going to Alaska to view the splendors of Nature and watch the ice melt. That time is upon us. Aside from the fact that it might do me some good to learn how to take a vacation, Internet access is very limited in Alaska if […]

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Connecticut Sues Rating Agencies Over Muni Ratings

The lawsuit filed by the Connecticut state attorney general against rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch over their unduly tough marks for state and municipalities (their policies have claimed the ratings are uniform) is peculiar indeed. While I am sympathetic with the wronged public issuers, the fact is that the rating agencies enjoy […]

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Kenneth Rogoff: We Need a Recession (Well, at Least a Slowdown)

Readers may know I am a big fan of Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, his frequent research partner and co-author. One of my reasons is that he is much more empirically-oriented than most Serious Economists. One recent bit of Reinhart/Rogoff research that has gotten some attention (but in my mind, still not enough) is their […]

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Links 7/30/08

Thai school offers transsexual toilet BBC Women end up less happy than men PhysOrg Paterson: State Deficit Up $1.4B Over Last 90 Days Governor Says Damage On Wall Street ‘Infecting’ State CBS (hat tip reader Michael) Nameless “Experts” Mourn Failure of WTO Round Dean Baker Economics of catastrophe Paul Krugman Super-Senior Tranches of CDOs are […]

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Restaurant Chains Closing

If Starbucks, which sells an addictive staple at an only somewhat upmarket price point, is having to retrench, it’s a no-brainer that other consumer discretionary spending is taking an even bigger hit. But to date, the results are mixed. Movies, which in many places don’t require much driving, are holding up well. And they did […]

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What Hath Merrill Wrought? Tally of Likely Fallout from CDO Writedown Rises (Updated)

Merrill’s surprising, mere ten days after its last investor combo writedown/fundraising announcement still has financial analysts toting up the collateral damage. Remarkably, the US stock market staged a peppy rally, clearly choosing to ignore the implications. The cause for pause was the sale of $30.6 billion in face amount of super senior CDOs at a […]

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