Links 5/27/09

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Giant dinosaurs ‘held heads high’ BBC

Tiger mauls NZ zoo keeper to death Times Online

Banks Aiming to Play Both Sides of Coin Wall Street Journal. A more accurate title would be “Banks Shamelessly Ask Permission to Game PPIP in the Open.” After all, if they did it through friendly intermediaries, it just reduces the subsidy to the banks, which was the whole point of the exercise, right?

Japan, Korea, Detroit and banker bonuses John Hempton

Recession Imperils Loan Forgiveness Programs New York Times

Will Higher Education Be the Next Bubble to Burst? The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Finance-Government Complex & The End of U.S. Economic Dominance Satyajit Das (hat tip reader Earl Crockett)

Purchase Accounting Rules Set to Deliver $29 Billion Profit Windfall to JP Morgan and Other Banks Jesse (hat tip reader DoctoRx) and Revisiting WaMu Felix Salmon. WaMu reportedly was hit by the start of a bank run, but that does not explain the FDICs’ response. Did it think it could not provide enough liquidity? Or was WaMu losing uninsured deposits, and had enough at risk of flight that the FDIC could not effectively intervene. I am not saying Bair made the right decision (on the surface it looks like a colossal error) but the complaints I have seen do not appear to have considered all possibilities.

Germany’s Subprime Crisis: Interview With Achim Dübel Institutional Risk Analytics

Strange but true – the credit specs are back John Dizard, Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

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  1. ndk

    After all, if they did it through friendly intermediaries, it just reduces the subsidy to the banks, which was the whole point of the exercise, right?Indeed, but sunlight has most decidedly not been the goal of any of the recapitalization and confidence creation schemes out there.

    I can say scheme without it being loaded, because I’m in London on the tail end of a crazy series of business trips, about to depart for home sweet home. Thanks for the excellent literature for the flight.

    Re: higher education, from my perch, there are already extraordinary budget pressures striking the industry from the state budget crunches. The private schools are insulated to some degree, but play on the same field and are leveraging the opportunity. There are hiring and travel freezes all over the place, and some schools are facing budget cuts as large as 10% on the top line.

    Individual salaries aren’t that high, though there is indeed some fat on the bones. Particularly where the workers are unionized — and I’m pro-union — a significant fraction of the staff does very little for the university at all.

  2. Carrick

    Gmail isn’t working for some reason…

    Don’t know if anyone is familiar with this place, but it may more-or-less disappear physically (its been on the decline in other respects for a while.)

    The Danish “Freetown” of Christiania, a forty year-old anarchist artists’ enclave built on an abandoned military base in Copenhagen, just lost a decisive property rights case to the increasingly right wing government.

    Christiania Loses Court Challenge

    Copenhagen’s Bohemian Soul

  3. attempter

    After all, if they did it through friendly intermediaries, it just reduces the subsidy to the banks, which was the whole point of the exercise, right?.

    Yes, if your goal is simply to hand over the loot, which it certainly is, then isn’t subterfuge and charades a “market inefficiency”?

    Re so-called “higher” education, it’s long been clear that colleges are mostly rent-seekers by now, and that at least where it comes to the “humanities”, if the point was supposed to be to use education to create the whole man, people with fuller, more human souls, then colleges long ago abdicated in favor of corporate prostitution. By now the only point of going through the whole rigamarole (other than getting to par-tay for four more years) is to jump through artificial credentials hoops (barriers to workplace entry, to control supply among the already financially better-off) and gain access to networks.

    Needless to say, none of this adds any social or economic value.

  4. ronald

    The Calif State College and University system has become far less about higher education and much more about corporate job training, commercial real estate development,massive administrative overhead,rural city development.
    The result has become a bloated government educational bureaucracy
    prying on the public’s desire to educate children that provide degree’s that should be offered at the community college level or traditional job training sites.

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