Monthly Archives: December 2009

Has Obama been a success despite suspicions of crony capitalism?

By Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns. I hope this is a good subject to discuss in light of the recent Obama Administration machinations regarding Fannie and Freddie, Big Pharma, and Healthcare. Before the Christmas break, I wrote a post to tie together my thoughts on why I have found the Obama economic program so unsatisfying […]

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“What Are We? – Stupid?”

By Bruce Krasting, a former foreign exchange and derivatives trader and hedge fund manager. I was disappointed with the Christmas Eve ditties from Treasury and FHFA re: the Agencies. To be honest, I was appalled. The two releases contained significant information. The timing was obviously an attempt to slip in some bad news while everyone […]

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“Top Ten Reasons to Kill the Senate Health Care Bill”

I got pushback on a post I put up yesterday critical of the health care reform bill from readers who pointed to the fact that folks like Paul Krugman and Al Franken were supporting it meant it must be at least OK. Well, it isn’t, and don’t delude yourself into thinking that. Why did health […]

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Links 12/27/09

The Secret Lives of Amazon’s Elves Gizmodo Found: the clue to van Gogh’s ear Times Online Obama’s troubles are at their most desperate in Afghanistan Michael Crowley, Guardian What Iceberg? Just Glide to the Next Boardroom Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times The Long Decline of the American Economy John Kozy, Global Research (hat tip reader […]

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Plus ca change…

Catiline, who died during his unsuccessful coup against the Roman Republic, was depicted even by his detractors as a man of considerable talent, charisma, and energy, as well as one of unrestrained impulses and vices (he was tried for deflowering a vestal virgin, for instance). Reader Andrew thought Sallust’s description of Catiline’s character was a […]

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Another Team Obama Present to Corporate America: Health “Reform” Bill Favors Big Pharma Over Generics

Ah, another Christmas Eve story that (not surprisingly) has gotten little attention. Most of the ire directed against the phony health care reform bill focuses on how it further enriches a fat and undeserving health insurance industry. The media has given less attention to another group that has thrown plenty of lobbying dollars at getting […]

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Will Continued Stealth Bailout of Housing Produce Unwanted Side Effects?

The Treasury Department, as reported by Bloomberg, and commented on by Rolfe Winkler and Huffington Post (among others) noted, considerably increased its Freddie and Fannie safety net, by removing all limits on the amounts on offer (an increase from a ceiling of $400 billion) and simultaneously allowing the two GSEs to increase their balance sheets […]

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Links 12/26/09

Christmas trees around the world Tim Iacono Santa Downed By Predator Drone Huffington Post (hat tip reader John D) Terrible Life Lessons From Your Favorite Christmas Movies Crooks and Liars (hat tip reader John D) Ancient whale sucked mud for food BBC 10 Surprises for 2010 Cassandra Ny Fed: The Homeownership Gap Calculated Risk Geithner’s […]

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Links Christmas Day

I hope all of you are having a wonderful day today. I want to thank you all for your continued interest and support. Cognitive Commodities in the Neuro Marketplace h+ (hat tip reader David C) Brewing Up a Civilization Der Spiegel (hat tip reader John D) Animals ‘on the run’ from climate change Telegraph (hat […]

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Belated “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” (Financial Services Edition)

Hoisted from comments, courtesy Cullpepper. This gets As for concept and cleverness, even if the versification falls a bit short. Enjoy! ‘Twas the Night before Christmas And all through the bourse-houses All the traders were clicking, Glued fast to their mouses, Their bids were all tracked By the market with care In the hopes St. […]

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Guest Post: Princeton Economist and Computer Scientists Show that Derivatives Are Inherently Vulnerable to Fraud

By Washington’s Blog. As I have previously noted, credit default swaps are destabilizing for the economy. See this. And the models used to evaluate financial instruments – such as the Gaussian copula formula for CDOs – are inherently flawed. Now, Princeton University economists and computer scientists have demonstrated that financial derivatives are also inherently vulnerable […]

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The nationalization of America’s mortgage problem

By Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns. I wrote this in September 2008, re-posted it at Credit Writedowns in March and am re-posting it here because of Yves’ last post. Ifelt that Fannie and Freddie would be used to buy up mortgages, effectively nationalizing the U.S. Mortgage problem (see my last paragraphs). I had seen this […]

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“Jane Hamsher, Grover Norquist Call for Rahm Emanuel’s Resignation”

Yves here. This is a cross post from Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake. The fact that Jane and Grover Norquist are on the same page is noteworthy. More important, they call for an investigation (hear, hear!) and below the text of a letter to the Attorney General, provide a link to a petition. If you agree, […]

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Antidote du Jour

Up all night getting last corrections on the book in. After I crash, will do proper Links later (readers sent me some particularly interesting material, from the looks of my inbox). So check in later! Hope you are enjoying your holidays! Hat tip reader Barbara (from the National Geographic): This is a Cuban tree frog […]

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Goldman, Deutsche, and the Destructive Use of Synthetic CDOs Come Into Focus

Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story have a good article up at the New York Times on synthetic CDOs (or more accurately, synthetic ABS CDOs, for “asset backed securities” CDOs). The press is finally starting to turn some lights onto one of the activities that played an important role in the crisis, but has not gotten […]

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