Links 8/22/09

Scientists: New species of worms release ‘bombs‘ Associated Press

EU considers bluefin tuna protection Financial Times

Weekend Doom and Gloom Challenge Economic Populist

Orwellian Madness “Bernanke Saved The World” Michael Shedlock. Even more extreme than the NY Times article we panned a couple of nights ago.

The Folks Who Missed the Largest Financial Bubble in the History of the World Are Confident That the Recession is Over Dean Baker and
Economic No Spin Zone Michael Panzner

Credit Crisis Is a Big Draw for Finance Museum New York Times

The high frequency trading post I did not write Ed Harrison. It appears Tyler Durden’s podcast got removed from Bloomberg. Perhaps it will be restored.

America May Need to Find Another Financier Floyd Norris, New York Times

Geithner Says No Tilt to Goldman Wall Street Journal. Please, what else COULD he say?

The prosaic professor Edward Luce, Financial Times. Interesting discussion of Obama losing control of the health care debate.

The Best of Behavioral Finance Anomalies Baseline Scenario

Over-exposed Mogambo Guru. Explains why we have such good housing number…it’s all Ginnie Mae!

Is there scope for fiscal stimulus for debt-intolerant countries? Carmen Reinhart, Vincent Reinhart, VoxEU

Antidote du jour:

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  1. attempter

    Re the Bernanke and "recovery" pieces:

    In every tragedy, the dramatic arc requires that moment late in the development where everything seems to be turning out alright after all, right before the descent of complete darkness.

    Often there's even a designated buffoon like Bernanke.

    Re the Obama piece:

    But others point out that it is August – the traditional media silly season. Washington is going through a heatwave. And Mr Obama could still return from his holiday next week in Martha’s Vineyard to rustle up a compromise that would get some kind of healthcare reform enacted in the autumn. It might disappoint the liberals. But by the standards of the last 70 years, it would be a feat to pull off any healthcare reform at all.

    “People wrongly believe that the president is the commander-in-chief of the economy when in fact no one is,” says Mr Schneider. “If the economy pulls out of recession, Mr Obama will be fine. Bill Clinton survived the Monica Lewinsky impeachment because the economy was growing.”

    Man, articles and commentators like this just don't get it.

    Obama ran, campaigned, promised not on any particular policy, but on a thoroughgoing CHANGE of the way things were done in America. THAT'S what the people voted for. That's the mandate he was handed.

    We now KNOW that Obama is a traitor; that every promise he uttered about breaking the corporate Washington system and forcing real reform was a LIE; that he NEVER intended anything but to continue the Bush corporatist system; that on health care his goal from the start was not reform but the opposite:
    to further redistribute wealth from America to a handful of parasites by leaving the system intact but corraling a conscript market for those parasites through "mandates".

    That leads us to the idiocy of the piece, which still thinks any "bill" they pass will represent some kind of "reform", when on the contrary we know ANY bill they pass will only make things worse, and will only be intended to make things worse.

    The only decent people here are the true progessives in the House who have promised to block any such treasonous bill. (Now they have to keep that promise, and people better make them do it.)

    As for Schneider's patented Washington idiocy,

    1. We know this is not typical Washington bullshit, and our reaction is not typical political bullshit.

    2. We remember the political situation of last winter, how helpless and pummelled the Reps and the banks were, and the mandate Obama had, so we know damn well Obama and the Democrats could have done anything they damn well pleased. And so they did.

    3. We've seen all along how Obama's betraying us on the economy as well, literally pimping out the country to a handful of bankers.

    That's how angrt I am, and I was never an Obama supporter. I was skeptical but willing to be convinced.

    I can only imagine how enraged someone who truly did believe in him must be.

    But this article and the establishment happily chirp that this is all just the August "silly season", and Obama can soon get back to business as usual.

    Man, we better not let that happen.

  2. Moopheus

    Re: Ginnie Mae–My wife and I closed on a house a couple of months ago, and while we got a fairly old-fashioned conventional conforming loan, everyone we met during the house-hunting process, the realtors and so on, mentioned the FHA loan program. We know people who did buy with FHA loans, because they didn't have a lot of money for a downpayment. So while I don't know if that alone accounts for the big rise in sales, but those loans were definitely getting heavily promoted. If you're looking for a house now, someone is going to make sure you know about it. Obviously, one would have to be concerned about actively encouraging one of the major factors–low-downpayment loans–of the housing bubble.

  3. Anonymous Monetarist

    Merrily, we rhyme along…

    Published: August 15, 2009

    The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans now have a larger share of total income than they ever have in records going back nearly a century — an even larger amount than during the Roaring Twenties, the last time the US saw such similar disparities in wealth.

    An updated study from University of California-Berkeley economist Emanuel Saez shows that, in 2007, the wealth disparity grew to its highest number on record, based on US tax data going back to 1917.

    The last time the US saw similar differences in income was in 1928 and 1929, just before the start of the Great Depression.

  4. fresno dan

    "Orwellian Madness "Bernanke Saved The World""
    I don't know what is more astounding – that people would believe any prediction Bernanke would make, or that Bernanke would make any prediction.
    Based on Bernanke's past record, we're heading off a cliff.

  5. Hugh

    I had to laugh Dean Baker's take on the declaration by central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole that the recession was over was almost exactly what I wrote on the same subject last night. Can we really trust the pronouncements of people who never saw an $8 trillion housing bubble and reacted slowly and ineptly to it when they tell us that hey, it's all over? Now they are talking about unwinding the paste and chicken wire they used to keep the system from falling completely apart. And they can make this announcement even though not one problem underlying the housing bubble and the financial meltdown has been even marginally addressed. Incredible. It just re-inforces by opinion that the world economy is going to go splat in 2011.

    I know all the Bernanke hagiographies we are seeing now are part of a campaign to get him renominated to the chairmanship of the Fed. He has shown himself to be a crony capitalist's best friend. I can even understand why much of the financial press that have uncritically hyped and pimped for Wall Street would echo this view. But still I would think that more financial writers would, like you and Mish, express not just criticism but condemnation for a man who did so much to create this crisis and did so little to really fix it.

    Geithner is such a Goldman sockpuppet. I found it interesting though in the article that the author Deborah Solomon only mentioned a couple of the Goldman connections while leaving a lot of them out, including the fact that Dudley Geithner's replacement at the NY Fed is another Goldman man. Instead she points out that neither Geithner nor Bernanke ever worked there.

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