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Links 9/10/09

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Ex-AIG adviser who practiced voodoo on victims gets 12 years for fraud Investment News (hat tip reader Scott)

DoctoRx Comments on the President’s Healthcare Speech and Goes Where Few Politicians Have Gone Before DoctoRx

Tactical Error: Health Care vs Finance Regulatory Reform Barry Ritholtz

Delivering a brilliant healthcare speech Ed Harrison

Buyers of Huge Manhattan Complex Face Default Risk New York Times. The assumptions on their ability to kick people out of rent-stabilized and controlled apartments were wildly unrealistic, and the aggressive tactics they used to try to meet their goals were often beaten back (NYC has tough housing judges). So they are reaping what they deserve.

Tracking the Consumption Decline Menzie Chinn

A tale of two inflations Tim Iacono

Antidote du jour:

picture-19

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8 comments

  1. Murr

    A zombie company with a real voodoo advisor, wow. These guys take the idea of voodoo economics to a whole new level.

  2. fresno dan

    “A Tale of Two Inflations”
    I always like articles on inflation/deflation. Of course, it confirms my bias that items actually paid for with cash money (clothing, computers) are significantly declining in price, whereas items that are financed and subsidized have considerable inflation (health care, college education).

  3. ronald

    “Low inflation, regardless of its source, was used as a justification for keeping interest rates too low for too long and the unfounded fear of “de-flation” was the reason cited for keeping rates at “freakishly” low levels for several years in this decade.

    Had this been understood and had interest rates been kept higher over the last ten years, we probably wouldn’t have near the number of problems that we’ve seen in the last year or two.”

    Tim makes the judgement that the FED did not understand this relationship but the jury is still out on that belief.

  4. Zoomer

    Re:Buyers of Huge Manhattan Complex Face Default Risk
    Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) — Florida’s pension lost $250 million it invested in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan’s largest rental-apartment complex, the fund’s trustees were told.

    “We are carrying that investment at zero because the market softened dramatically,” Ash Williams, executive director of the State Board of Administration, which oversees $121.9 billion of pension and other assets, told a meeting in Tallahassee today.
    Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) — Florida’s pension lost $250 million it invested in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan’s largest rental-apartment complex, the fund’s trustees were told.

    “We are carrying that investment at zero because the market softened dramatically,” Ash Williams, executive director of the State Board of Administration, which oversees $121.9 billion of pension and other assets, told a meeting in Tallahassee today.

  5. Peripheral Visionary

    I agree with Ritholtz re: financial regulation and the economy. Focusing on the contentious issue of healthcare reform has been a terrible mistake; whether it succeeds or fails, should the economy take another downturn (as is highly likely), voters will rightly ask why we did so little on financial and economic issues when we had the opportunity to do more.

    I think the reason for that mistake was that Obama believed, at some level, what the single-payer advocates have been saying for so long: that healthcare is the highest priority issue affecting the country (even as, ironically, he provides little support for the single-payer approach itself.) At the same time, he believed what progressive activists have been stressing, that anything that is going to happen will have to happen in the first year of his administration. That has resulted in his splitting his efforts, and consequently his focus, between three “highest priority” issues: the economy; the environment; and healthcare; and the end result will be unsatisfactory efforts on all three fronts.

    What the President needs to learn is prioritization and focus, not to mention a willingness to stand up for unpopular positions. For better or for worse, George W. Bush understood those well, but the current President has yet to master them.

  6. Jim in MN

    Yves,

    Updating on the letter of credit/trade finance issue.

    Interesting but dated (late April) item in VoxEU indicating that impacts on trade are very heterogenous.

    http://www.voxeu.com/index.php?q=node/3507

    Recent item on international wool trade showing impacts continue to hamper trade, with variation between Australia-EU and China-EU wool finance models.

    http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2009/08/26/106511_wool.html

    On the whole it’s clear that no one can see the entire picture on this issue. Not to pull the…oh never mind.

    –Jim in MN

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