Links 10/3/08

Best cat evah Larvatus Prodeo

Playboy Seeking Wall Street Women Huffington Post

Woman Buys House For $1.75 On EBay Consumerist

‘Static’ Blamed for D.C.’s Extra Votes Snafu News8. And the dog ate my homework…

Sarah the Soundbyte Palin Diane Francis. The view from Canada.

McCain’s Stock Collapses Silicon Alley Insider

Paulson-Bernanke Decisions Created `Big Ripples,’ Unintended Consequences Bloomberg. We first wrote about unintended consequences of interventions back in March.

Agency’s ’04 Rule Let Banks Pile Up New Debt, and Risk New York Times. Barry Ritholtz reported on this a couple of weeks ago.

Dead Banking Parrot Tales: Punishing The Guilty Culture of Life News. Even though a lot of ink has been spilled on the bailout, this is a particularly colorful rant.

Office Space Is Emptying Out Wall Street Journal. The tone of the article is surprising. As soon as the credit crunch started, it was obvious that class A office space would be a casualty, since banks and securities firms are big tenants.

Edge of the Abyss Paul Krugman

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Anonymous

    Just read an article from the head of France’s treasury published a few days ago.

    I didn’t realize it but France’s debt to GDP is about 70% now. For comparison Canada’s debt:GDP peaked at 68.4% but it had been downgraded one level in 1992.
    Italy which has been around 100% debt:gdp has deteriorated and is now down to A+/AA- since 2007.

    Significant bank failures will demand enough immediate spending, without offsetting spending reductions (France’s unemployment at 7.4% and rising) — things will reach a whole new level of bad if sovereign debt starts being downgraded along with everything else. Germany will be fine so long Deutschebank is

  2. Richard Kline

    If your IQ is in three digits, you can’t hear the words ‘Sarah Palin’ without laughing outright, whether gleefully, ruefully, bitterly, or at the human condition in general. If your IQ is under three digits, she’s ‘authentic.’ The Repus have a plurality of the two digit vote, but not an outright majority. ‘Nuff said.

  3. Richard Kline

    And that $1.75 house: It’s in _Saginaw_. Which means she overpaid. (I grew up in Michigan.)

  4. EvilHenryPaulson

    Wells-Fargo merges with Wachovia; some people just made a lot of money on unexercised CDS and upgraded debt

    Ainsi, Citi est assez petit pour disparaître?

  5. Anonymous

    In the Bloomberg article on unintended consequences, the point that the heavy dilution of AIG’s equity holders came as a shock to investors and sent other fin services shares is probably false. After all, that was the likely event of any Fed intervention and in fact had happened at Bear. So the decline in fin services stock prices probably has a different cause.

    And Krugman wants us to add to the debt by $100-200bb (back of the envelope figure for how much Treasury will overpay for the stressed assets in the buyout plan) to “buy some time.” Lord, I don’t expect much from that guy, but that is rich. How about we spend that sort of money carefully and in a planned way? The US doesn’t have an unlimited supply of bullets.

  6. Anonymous

    wow… this is unprecedented…

    a goat on top of horse?

    You don’t see that every day.

    Is it live? or is it photoshop? Looks live.

    Would it be possible to share the provenance of this startling, and really fun picture?

  7. Andrea

    Re McCain’s stock collapsing, did you see this:
    Market Manipulation Muddies Election Outlook

    “Over recent weeks we’ve observed a pattern of large orders for Sen. McCain on Intrade — home of the most-closely watched markets — executed at times when liquidity is particular scarce. These orders have caused markets to shift sharply, often against the broader political narrative.”

    I wonder if there are any Intrade Soros’ out there dining out on this guy.

  8. mxq

    RE: “Edge of the Abyss”

    “Man looks in the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss. “

    – Lou Mannheim (Hal Holbrook)

  9. Yves Smith

    I have no doubt that some of the images I find (and readers send me some too) have been Photoshopped. I think this one, despite its apparent oddity, is real due to the dents in the horse’s back from the weight of the goat. Most Photoshop I’ve seen isn’t careful on details like that, and I think that would be hard to do and still be visually credible.

  10. Anonymous

    Yves!!! You have a second chance to go for gold and seize this opportunity to pose for Playboy (like your roomate did years ago)!

  11. Dave Raithel

    RE the SEC Rule change: No doubt others have encountered the “meme” recently introduced by the right-leaning elements of the chattering class and in anti-Obama political ads.

    The meme is: We are in the mess we’re in because Clinton and the Dems made Fannie and Freddie buy mortgages given to people who were not credit-worthy.

    It is short, it has some resemblance to reality, and there is a receptive and primed audience – all the words are really familiar.

    The counter-meme is harder to put, but somebody needs to work out a more elegant way of putting this:

    “In April 2004 and at the request of Hank Paulson and investment bankers, the SEC allowed investment banks to start using their brokerage capital reserves to purchase Mortgage-backed Securities and other Wall Street paper inventions. The SEC then allowed the investment banks to monitor this risk. These are the same mortgage-backed securities and paper inventions that the American taxpayers now have to buy to rescue the American economy.”

    Of course, the tail end of that meme is real thin, at best. But since politics is the form of class conflict in bourgeois society, memes are for motivating interests and not for clarifying details….

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