Links 2/10/08

Sorry for being a little light on posts tonight. I can only stand so much annoyance in one evening, and the ongoing bank bailout machinations are a rich source.

Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund:

In light of the current bushfire tragedies in Victoria, the American Australian Association has established the Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund that will enable tax-deductible donations from the United States to be directed to the Australian Red Cross for the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Fund.

Donation form here. I hope you will consider giving. Even a small amount would help. The loss of life relative to the size of the population is greater than what we suffered in 9/11. And Australia sent troops to Iraq despite polls running 94% (an unheard of level in surveys) against the war. AAA dedicated webpage with links giving updates. BBC slideshow with audio (not for the fainthearted)

Why Republicans Won’t Support the Stimulus Robert Reich

GM Plans Pay Cuts For Salaried Workers Michael Shedlock. Deflation watch.

Bullion sales hit record in rush to safety Financial Times

Why government guarantees are a double-edged sword Viral V Acharya and Julian Frank, Stern Finance (hat tip Independent Accountant)

Financial Versus Actuarial Models of Risk David Merkel

JPMorgan Analysts Double Jumbo-Mortgage Loss Forecast Bloomberg (hat tip reader Steve L)

House and Senate Stimulus Bills in Perspective Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

Speculators Affect Commodity Prices, Gensler Says Bloomberg

Will China have to choose between social stability and long-term growth? Michael Pettis

Recession? No, It’s a D-process, and It Will Be Long Barron’s (hat tip reader Scott). A must read.

Antidote du jour:

…and a little more hopeful image from Victoria, hat tip reader Ron:

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  1. Scott Frew

    A telling commentary on our times (referring to the Aussie firefighter). If only financial analysts had been as good at putting out the fires within their own establishments.

  2. Independent Accountant

    I read Merkel’s piece. I am an old “fuddy duddy”. I’ve even had stockbrokers call me that!

  3. Anonymous

    Speculators and commodity prices. Commodities are being bought and sold. Sounds like a candidate for (shudder, wail) a sales tax. Whatever happened to the Tobin tax?

  4. lineup32

    an offical announcement given little or no public airing that speculation in commodities impacts price.. finally! Our financial system has become infected with speculation on every level so a recognition by the gov’t that these activities in fact are distorting market pricing hopefully will lead to further unraveling for the players.
    Once credit rationing started the liquidity in the commodity markets disappeared and suddenly the price of oil and other commodities dropped significantly yet nobody would call a spade a spade but finally an offical recognition.
    Part of this recognition is the fact that governments around the world watched in horror as commodity prices went ape shit impacting society on every level. This was and is another strike against American financial muscle used throughout the world for gain and clearly the world has had enough.

  5. Anonymous

    Obama and Timmy have screwed up faster than anyone might have imagined; now we really need change, versus hollow dishonest bullshit! I think we will see every democrat run out of office within 4 years!!!!

    Florida’s GOP Gov. Charlie Crist is mulling a 2010 Senate run that would put him within range of the Oval Office in 2012, the Washington Post reports.

    Newt Gingrich has 1.1 million subscribers to his email list, 4,825 Facebook friends, and was the election’s most influential voice outside the two presidential campaigns on everything from gas prices to the Wall Street bailout, Politico reports. So will the former speaker of the House run for president in 2012? “I’ll look at it in January 2011,” he says

    Shell-shocked Republicans are casting about for a savior for 2012, and believe it or not, the name most often floated for this Moses-like role is none other than Newt Gingrich, writes Bob Novak of the Chicago Sun-Times. It’s a “very risky choice,” admits one strong Newt-booster, but after failing miserably in their attempts to win independents and moderates, Republicans are anxious for some “old-time religion

    Republican rising star Bobby Jindal sought to quash speculation today that he’s planning a presidential run in four years. The 37-year-old Louisiana governor said he has no interest in the White House and instead plans to run for re-election in 2011.

  6. russell1200

    I couldn’t make it through Reich’s piece.

    The Repubs are generally a bunch of wanton know-nothings. But I really doubt that their concern is that the plan will work and that Obama will get all the credit for it.

  7. GG

    “And Australia sent troops to Iraq despite polls running 94% (an unheard of level in surveys) against the war.” Is that supposed to arouse my sympathy for them? That they participated in an BS illegal war killing innocent thousands, if not millions? Granted its a terrible situation over there, and I don’t have any qualms donating, but that’s probably the WORST pitch ever. Reading this, I am much inclined to rather say they got what they deserved. Their bad karma is getting back at them, just like the USA. Good riddance the USA and its cronies in the western world.

  8. Yves Smith

    Anon of 1:08 PM,

    The point is that

    1. Australian hearts were in the right place on Iraq. They were massively opposed.

    2. Nevertheless, when John Howard, joined at the hip with Bush (but too much of a pipsqueak for Bush to notice) decided to commit troops, Australians served. And the populace did the “we support our troops even if we hate the war” bit.

    3. 250 million people demonstrated against the war in Sydney. That’s over 5% of the population. Did you see anything remotely like that in the US?

  9. lineup32

    Memo to Reich: Republicans are the opposition party! This issue is the Democrats and their ability to place a meaningful financial agenda that is not full of pork and political payoffs. Big tent political parties such as the Democrats sounds great during the election cycle but quickly run for cover,political payoff’s and fact finding tours abroad once the election is over.

  10. mikus

    The Barrons interview was interesting. Does anyone have any recommended reading material on the Japanese or Latin American debt crises?

  11. Yves Smith

    eek, I was running out, had written “250 thousand out of a population of 4 million” then decided the over 5% characterization was more impressive, then edited it incorrectly! Zounds.

  12. Anthony


    Thanks for promoting the Bushfire relief fund. I live in Victoria and the devastation has been mind numbing.
    The fire was intense due to the hot weather, strong hot, dry winds. It was made worse by the fact that these areas have become popular with people moving out of the city, “tree changers” as they are called here. Also the lessons of the 1939 fire about managing our forests have been forgotten.

    Thanks again, and I enjoy (!?!) the blog.

  13. Kevin Smith

    Hi Yves — this evening Google ads on Naked Capitalism is offering:
    Nicole Kidman Naked
    Jessica Alba Naked
    Angelina Jolie Naked
    Tyra Banks Naked

    Why no naked men?

  14. john bougearel


    as I glance through this Feb 10 lineup of headlines on NC this evening, I see nothing but good cheer! Just another rotten day at teh office!

    Now I will go scroll the messy details!

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