Links 12/30/08

Coral springs back from tsunami BBC

One World, Many Minds: Intelligence in the Animal Kingdom Scientific American

Disagreeing With Martin Feldstein on Defense Spending Stan Collander (hat tip Mark Thoma). A paragraph-by-paragraph refutation of a WSJ op-ed that argued for even more DoD feeding at the trough.

Hedgies Still Hearing “Redemption Song” Joshua Brown

Community Reinvestment Act Makes Bankers Stupid, According to AEI Research James Kwak (hat tip Brad DeLong)

People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs Wall Street Journal

HUD Kills FHASecure HousingWire. We were singularly unimpressed when the program was created (see “Bush’s FHA Band-Aid” and “Bush’s Mainly Cosmetic Homeowner Rescue Proposals“).

Kudos for the contrarian John Kay, Financial Times

I Am Shocked That You’re Shocked…!! Cassandra. More on Madoff from someone who was skeptical early on.

Aggregate Demand and Finance and the Collapse in Trade Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

GMAC Gets $6 Billion From Treasury to Help Revive Auto Lending Bloomberg. And this with the fate of the debt swap “unresolved” meaning management did not get the votes (which as Felix Salmon points out, means the refusniks did very well indeed). So the bondholders won’t take a haircut even to enable GMAC to become a bank, Cerberus is missing in action, and the Treasury stumps up with a $5 billion equity stake and $1 billion in loans. Charming. There was not doubt good reason they chose to announce it this week. And Mish has a nefarious theory.

First two installments of a series at the Washington Post on AIG: The Beautiful Machine and A Crack in The System.

IMF argues for large stimulus packages Financial Times. It also makes approving noises about the Obama program.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. artichoke

    Congress should pass a special bill to fund the automaker bailouts, that covers what is already spent on GM, GMAC, Chrysler etc. plus a bit more.

    Congress should reject the second half of TARP.

    I agree with Mish’s “foot in the door” theory and encourage Congress to take a hammer to that foot. Paulson should not get what he wants by spending money he doesn’t have, but we do need automakers to survive. (not banks though)

  2. Glen

    SMH (one of Australia’s better MSM business sections) has a sort piece “German minister warns of “growth bubble””. This guys got his head screwed on and is thinking long term unlike Bomber Bernanke with his short term fix longer term damage approach.

    Germany’s finance minister told AFP in an interview that cutting interest rates too low in an effort to counter the global recession could create what he called a dangerous “growth bubble.”

    Speaking earlier this month, and fresh from his recent broadside against the British government’s response to the economic crisis, Peer Steinbrueck said there was a danger of repeating the dangers of the past.

    “On the one hand we need to boost the economy, on the other hand we must make sure that a policy of cheap money does not lead to a new growth bubble founded on credit, as happened after September 11, 2001,” Steinbrueck said.

    “It is therefore important that the focus, at least in Germany, be on sustainable investments in infrastructure and less on consumer spending financed by debt,”

  3. River

    Yves, great find about evolution of animal intelligence.

    It left me wondering if Bush fell out of the evolutionary tree?

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