Monthly Archives: August 2009

Links 8/28/09

Scientists Find “Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch” National Science Foundation As reader John D. points out, the existence of the patch is well known, but has not been researched by scientists until now. Study Argues C.F.T.C. Overlooked Oil Speculation Andrew Ross Sorkin (hat tip reader Michael) Bonus Guarantees Can Fuel Risky Moves Lucien Bebchuk, Wall […]

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New York Times Runs Yet Another Fawning Story on Health Insurance Industry

In the waning days of Lehman, this blog described a particularly avid defender of the beleaguered bank at CNBC as “the favorite outlet of those who aspire to paint the tape.” That was not terribly well received, needless to say. The New York Times seems to be adopting a similar fawning posture towards health insurers. […]

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FSA’s Lord Turner Walks into Buzzsaw by Suggesting Finance Industry Needs to Shrink

Candor is clearly not a good quality in a regulator. Lord Turner, the chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Agency, had the temerity to challenge the notion that rule by the Masters of the Universe was a good idea. From the Financial Times: The head of the City of London watchdog says Britain’s “swollen” financial […]

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Will The Old Consumer "Normal" Come Back?

Reader John O passed along this Bloomberg chart du jour (click to enlarge) which effectively argues that the consumer has gone down so far she has nowhere to go but up: The related article argues: ….these so-called discretionary goods and services accounted for a smaller percentage of consumer outlays last quarter than at any other […]

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Links 8/27/09

In pictures: US bear escape BBC Will Humans v2.0 have Pogo Legs? h+ (hat tip reader Sugar) Equities: As Good as it Gets? Dead Cats Bouncing FDIC lowers capital rule, but there’s a twist Rolfe Winkler April 2007: when Gordon ignored the warnings Spectator. Jim Chanos and Paul Davis briefed G-7 leaders and were ignored. […]

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Mirabile Dictu! Is It Becoming Respectable to Challenge the Finance Brain Drain?

A new and welcome front may be opening in the efforts to rein in an overly powerful and now explicitly state-backed financial services industry: challenging its claims that its activities are good for society. While the provision of credit is important to any economy beyond the barter stage, finance should be the handmaiden of commerce, […]

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Quelle Surprise! Fed Uses Scare Tactics to Try to Forestall Loan Disclosures

In a show of how much our government thinks that serving the financial oligarchy, rather than the citizenry, is its prime duty, the Fed is fighting to stop the court-ordered disclosure of who borrowed money under the Fed’s various lending facilities. The reason I lump the Fed in with “the government” is that the central […]

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Guest Post: A Plunge in Foreign Net Capital Inflows Preceded the Break in US Financial Markets

Served by Jesse of Le Café Américain The peak of foreign capital inflows into the US was clearly seen in the second quarter of 2007, just before the crisis in the US that has rocked its banking system and driven it deeply into recession. Are the two events connected? Had the US become a Ponzi […]

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Links 8/26/09

‘Extinction threat’ to flying fox BBC Who’s Driving Twitter’s Popularity? Not Teenagers New York Times Expert Fired Who Warned Levees Would Burst Greg Palast Analyzing Strange Volume on the NYSE Karl Denninger Richard Bove on a risky Morgan Stanley FT Alphaville The troubling side of Ben Bernanke Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Financial and Monetary Issues as the […]

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Judge Rakoff is Not Buying What SEC and Bank of America Are Selling

Judge Jed Rakoff is illustrating what an independent judiciary should look like, and the fact that his actions are being depicted as “unusual” says how spineless many jurists have become. Sports fans may recall that Bank of America and the SEC came before the bench to approve a $33 million settlement of the failure to […]

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Stephen Roach: The case against Bernanke

Submitted by Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns. While most economists have come out in favor of Barack Obama’s decision to re-appoint Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Stephen Roach has penned an Op-Ed in today’s Financial Times which highlights the case against Bernanke. It is must reading. Roach has three main points. […]

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Baltic Dry Index Down 45% From High in June

Some investors see the Baltic Dry Index, a proxy for the shipping rates for dry bulk cargoes, as an indicator of international trade activity. BDI is admittedly noisy, and so needs to be interpreted along with other information. Chinese imports have been a driving factor in commodities demand, which drives the BDI. The price of […]

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Links 8/25/09

New clue found to disappearing honey bees AP (hat tip reader John D 1,000 CCTV cameras to solve just one crime, Met Police admits Telegraph Healthcare insurers get upper hand Los Angeles Times (hat tip DoctoRx) SEC adamant on BofA bonuses Financial Times. This “blame t on the lawyers” tactic is pretty lame. Greed & […]

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