Links 1/9/08

Thanks again for your patience, i have a lot of good material (some from helpful readers) I simply have not been able to get to, will be remedying that in the next few days. Please stay tuned! On the verge of a face plant now.

Skier Suffers Exposure The Smoking Gun. Reader John sent this as a possible antidote, adding ” I ski a lot and cannot imagine how anyone would ever end up like this after attempting to get on a chairlift.”

US man demands kidney back from wife BBC

Sunday evening – the new web rush hour PCPro

Heat may spark world food crisis BBC

Retail slump will gut newspaper ad sales Reflections of a Newsosaur (hat tip reader Tim)

Nationwide Inquiry on Bids for Municipal Bonds New York Times. I’m shocked, shocked that there might be corruption in the muni bond business.

Geithner Preparing Overhaul Of Bailout Washington Post

Fuel hedging bets cost Cathay Pacific $1bn Independent. Ouch.

Write-Downs Set to Slam Oil Majors Barry Ritholtz

Faber: 2009 to be Catastrophic Bloomberg (hat tip reader Dean)

North Sea oil exploration firm collapses Guardian

Assessing the emerging global financial architecture: Measuring the trilemma’s configurations over time Menzie Chinn, Hiro Ito, and Joshua Aizenman,m VoxEU. A very cool piece of work on currency/monetary regimes.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Paul):

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  1. ndk

    Geithner has been working night and day on the eighth floor of the transition team office in downtown Washington with Lawrence H. Summers and other senior economic advisers to hash out a new approach that would expand the program’s aid to municipalities, small businesses, homeowners and other consumers.

    Use a fraction of the proceeds from taxing small businesses, homeowners, and other consumers, to aid small businesses, homeowners, and other consumers. Perfect. Money laundering and pandering are an ideal second movement after your initial check kiting. Stellar work, Treasury.

    “I ski a lot and cannot imagine how anyone would ever end up like this after attempting to get on a chairlift.”

    Colorado native and I can’t fathom it either. Couldn’t do it if I tried, but now that I’ve seen the excellent how-to pictures, I just might give it a shot.

    I don’t know if you picked this up yet, Yves, but Michael Pettis has a very entertaining piece on whose fault this whole mess is. Minsky’s mentioned favorably, again. Funny how his theories are only considered after the disaster occurs…

  2. Richard Kline

    That paper by Chinn, Ito, and Aizenman at VoxEU is indeed a nice piece of work. More polisci than poliecon, really . . . maybe that’s why the reasoning seems to engage with solid ground. Somebody amongst them knows how to use graphics to visually display relationships, too; all to rare, that quality—and absent from economics entirely since numbers there are substituted for relationships rather than representative of them.

  3. Anonymous

    Please don’t show pictures of Vail, one of the only things I miss back in the States except a few friends and surfing on the West Coast. In the 10 years I lived in Boulder Co, never missed a day outside work to ski there or “A” basin (East Wall flat out to the death cookies at its bottom). Its better than hanging by a camera cord around your neck, as I have witnessed. The cry of “Yard sale ahead”! only to see many articles of equipment spread over a large area and a prone horizontal figure in the snow, Good times, Good times, even if it was me.

    @ndk, Pettis remarks and his historical example are the repetitive of actions that send my mind into a tail spin. This repetition is manufactured and not some random variable in the risk equation. When we address this issue maybe the human race can do great things, until then its the devils merry-go-round for us. Attack the real problem rather than paper over it. Are you tired of feeling like the monkey on the mental defectives hurdygurdy, cranking harder and faster till the handle breaks, then starve till he whittles out a new one and start the hole process over again.

    To me, we can’t fix the problem till we get to the root of it all, the “people” that create as individuals and groups this kind of madness. Funny that the politicians, mega-wealthy, and a large part of the Judiciary are the first ones to call for calm, less we hurt ourselves, as they are all complicit to the crimes against humanity.


  4. Anarchus

    IF you read the Smoking Gun piece in detail, it’s clear that the lift operator did not put the lift seat down (some lift seats are hinged to flip up for snow removal), and the guy didn’t look and must have slipped sideway and down through the bars where the seat should have been . . . . . as much as I’d like to blame anyone who ends up in that position, it doesn’t seem to have been entirely his fault.

    As for “Faber: 2009 to be Catastrophic Bloomberg (hat tip reader Dean)”, let me say only that a headline of “Faber: xxxx to be Catastrophic” has been a common interview theme with the man since at least 1983, and about once every decade the man is proved correct, for a while.

  5. Anonymous

    I read the smoking gun piece. It sounded to me like they were being more than polite.

    The cherry on top is the child sitting very well on the lift.

  6. Anonymous

    The muni bond market is a “pay to play” system – including how bonds are initially allocated. That aside, Obama has stated that he would like the Fed to prop up the muni mkt the way the Fed has propped up the CP mkt. If you were worried about how much the underwriters and brokers currently take advantage of the system, just wait until they have a new entity to take advanatage of. The abuse will be ten times as worse as it is now. Municipalities will suffer from higher costs and taxpayers will be on the hook twice – once to pay the higher interests costs due to fleecing and again when the municipalities can’t pay back the bonds and the Fed is on the hook to bail them out.

  7. donebenson

    Anarchus: You have your opinion of Marc Faber, from which I would not want to disabuse you. But I have spent good money subscribing to his newsletter for 15-20 years, and he has both made a lot of money for me, and saved a lot of money for me. If you only watch his occasional comments on TV, you really don’t know what he is thinking and recommending. But that’s fine with me, because if too many investors started paying attention to his insights, they might not work out so well.

  8. dd

    John, thank you for the link. Most informative and coherent analysis of the crisis and the one that proposes a sensible plan to restore confidence in markets.

  9. john bougearel

    You got to feel for the kid, that is probably his dad.

    Can you imagine the horror, the horror I say of being that dad’s kid!

  10. Anonymous

    The dirty rotten son of a bitch will soon be gone. But his minions John Kyle (AZ) and John McCain (Az) will be with us.

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