Links 3/7/09

Salacious content driving the adoption of ebooks? ITWorld

Scholes Advises ‘Blow Up’ Over-the-Counter Contracts Bloomberg. Of course, the industry association (the ISDA) howled.

Random Musings On The End Of The American Experiment Bob O’Brien. Zeitgeist watch.

Economic Crisis Takes a Toll on Flower Shows New York Times

Death of Highly Leveraged Illiquid Strategies? Pension Pulse

IMF: Fifth of Britain’s GDP spent so far on bailouts Guardian

Foreclosure Crisis:Working Toward a Solution March Oversight Report Congressional Oversight Panel (hat tip reader Elizabeth). I looked briefly at only a few bits, but it does mention mortgage fraud (!) and probably has other juicy tidbits.

US admits rising automaker uncertainty Financial Times

Dudley hits out at banks’ ‘self-interest’ Financial Times. The new head of the New York Fed is making many of the right noises. Will he walk his talk?

Antidote du jour:

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  1. donna

    I shall now start a fantastic new career writing erotic subway fantasies for ebook readers….

  2. Anonymous

    for those who are fans of London Banker (retired from blogging) he posted on RGE yesterday – here is the post:

    “Hi, all! Things are definitely tightening here in my corner of the world, but interestingly, no one here is even close to as pessimistic as those on this blog. Of course, the RGE crowd self-selects for pessimism, but out here the focus is on navigating forward.

    Even if the real estate, equity and bond markets collapse, there is still an economy – and a global economy too. What most people counted on for savings will evaporate, but that affects the top tier of most developed economies, not the working class and lower middle class. These working people haven’t had savings or secure pensions, except in their homes and government pensions, for the past quarter century or so. The working class and most of the middle class will lose their corporate pensions and 401k savings, many will lose their homes. The top tier will lose their savings and investments too.

    Anger in the middle class and the top tier will lead to reforms, but for now that means in the USA that they are trying to axe Medicare and Social Security as a way to reinforce the top tier’s extraction of even greater share of a shrinking government take from the economy and world savings. Obama could be Clinton on steroids, as it was Clinton that killed the welfare entitlements.

    Obama looks to me like the American Tony Blair. Blair was Thatcher’s favourite successor, turning on the base that elected him, and I suspect Obama would have been Reagan’s favourite. Blair intoduced consultants and public-private partnerships to the UK government, vastly increasing the debt and streaming huge profits to private sector cronies. Obama looks determined to do the same, if he can finance more debt, with the able assistance of Geithner and his crowd.

    Socialise losses – privatise profits. Still the same game!

    It won’t end well, but that’s only the collapse of the dollar and the USA, the UK and some of Europe. The rest of the world is beginning to accept that America is collapsing and is assessing the alternatives to American leadership. There are many, and some are more attractive given the lawlessness and violence of American leadership for the past decade or so.

    America represents only 350 million or so of the 6.2 billion people on this planet. American leadership – politically and economically – was good for a few decades, okay for a few more, and bad for the last few. It is time for a change. The destabilisation will be costly, but I’m pretty sure the end result will be better than many now expect – at least on average for the global population, if not for Americans.

    I was reminded this week that the surest way to rig an election is to pre-determine the short list so that whoever gets the votes is owned. Obama or Clinton or McCain maybe didn’t matter. They all work for the same masters.

    The rest of the world doesn’t have to serve them, and maybe they are realising it is time for emancipation. Maybe that is why there continues to be optimism out here”

  3. brushes9

    Excellent article, thx!

    But, London Banker is not factoring in the role that violence in the street will play in the days ahead, which could portend an unexpected trajectory:

    Current American leadership requires one of their own to be killed and dragged through the streets – ropes, Glock 9’s, machetes, burning tires..the works, to make the necessary, political decisions!

    Give it time. The image is required, by the both rich and the poor and it will be delivered.

    Obama could manage this chaos and right the ship, in the end. But, some poor sucker needs to die.

  4. Anonymous

    London Banker is Nuts. And obviously not retired. Nor was he ever a banker in London

  5. Doug

    The Congressional Oversight Panel report is worth a read… for whatever reason, mortgage fraud discussion has mostly fallen off the radar, but it was a huge part of the foreclosure crisis and also the troubled/toxic assets which are looking for “relief”.

    Even as late as mid-2008, there were blatant cases of for-profit mortgage fraud still going on, as I detail in this blog entry about a 500% LTV mortgage:

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