Monthly Archives: November 2009

Buiter has concerns other than Dubai, warns of sovereign debt delusion

By Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns Willem Buiter has just taken on a new role at Citi. The news of Willem Buiter’s role as Chief Economist at Citigroup comes via DealBook at the New York Times below. Afterward, I have some comments about Dubai contextualizing Yves’ recent post detailing a reluctance by the government to […]

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Tell Your Senator No On Bernanke

Ben Bernanke’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee for his reappointment as Fed chairman is scheduled for this Thursday. When CEOs preside over disasters, they are fired. Captains go down with their ships. And Bernanke needs to be replaced. He was a major architect of the policies that created the crisis. He ignored signs […]

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Guest Post: The Tax Code ENCOURAGES Leverage

Among the most prophetic voices prior to the economic crash was UCLA economics professor Harold H. Somers, who warned in 1991 that revisions to the tax code would increase leverage, which could lead to economic disaster: The result is to tilt the well-worn playing field even more in favor of leveraging, leading to the possibility […]

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Links 11/30/09

The man who smuggled himself into Auschwitz BBC (hat tip reader Jack) Susan Boyle tops charts with fastest selling debut album Telegraph DARPA Funds Nano-UAV Hummingbird h+ (hat tip reader Sugar Hush) Tying pirates in knots The Engineer An Empire at Risk Niall Ferguson, Newsweek As Sales Vanish, Alligator Skins Stay on Gators New York […]

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“A Radically Simple Approach to Resolving Financial Crises”

Of late, the Treasury, House, and Senate have put forward proposals for how to resolve large financial institutions. The problem is that none of them seem to deal with the elephant in the room, namely, how the responsible grownups are going to deal with particular creditors and counterparties. For better or worse, bankruptcy procedures are […]

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UAE Central Bank Makes Reassuring Noises

The United Arab Emirates offered a reassuring statement today after sending a bit more tough-minded message yesterday. The markets will not doubt take heart from the cheery word today, but we need to remind ourselves that the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Unlike the conduct of banking authorities in the US towards their wayward charges, […]

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Links 11/29/09

Siberian tiger in severe decline BBC Is Global Warming Unstoppable? Science Daily China takes a new look at Marxism Asia Times Overcapacity in China: Causes, Impacts and Recommendations European Chamber of Commerce in China (hat tip reader Michael) and Dangers of an Overheated China Tyler Cowen, New York Times Food Stamp Use Soars Across U.S., […]

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“Can’t Get Enough: Goldman’s Profit is Citi’s Pain?”

By Thomas Adams, at Paykin Krieg and Adams, LLP, and a former managing director at Ambac and FGIC. Many thanks for the thoughtful comments on my earlier post. If you can take a little more on the subject, I thought I would add some clarification to some of the issues raised. First, on the merits […]

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Bernanke Tries to Defend the Fed

In a sign that the Federal Reserve is circling the wagons, chairman Ben Bernanke has an op-ed in the Washington Post that attempts to defend the central bank’s role. What is interesting is how much the tables have turned. The Obama effort to make the Fed into the uber bank regulator has become a rout, […]

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Quelle Surprise! Treasury Mortgage Mod Program Produces Zero Permanent Mods

For the record, zero is a very impressive achievement, so we have to give the Treasury department credit where credit is due. From Bloomberg: More than 650,994 loan revisions had been started through the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program as of last month, from about 487,081 as of September, according to the Treasury. None […]

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Links 11/27/09

Brain scanner can tell a Dali from a Picasso New Scientist (hat tip reader John D) Horse deaths prompt racing ban in Australian state BBC “It’s the Cop’s….Run!” Cassandra Yen intervention: maybe, maybe not FT Alphaville A Good Old-Fashioned Panic Macro Man Shoppers hit Black Friday sales with pared budgets Reuters Antidote du jour: We […]

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I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

For the record, I actually do NOT like it when markets fall apart, even when I anticipate it and am correctly positioned for it (2007 and 2008). It’s very upsetting to watch. Every savvy investor I know has been expecting a mild to meaningful correction. So independent of its seriousness, the Dubai World frisson could […]

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