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  • Cash held by commercial banks topped $1T for the first time Friday. For now, they're still sitting on their newfound liquidity, but the Fed's "curse on cash, hexed as it was last week with the Fed's Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP)," will - sooner or later - force banks to start lending.  [View news story]
    The is no credit crunch for most banks:


    Dec 22, 2008. 08:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Boys Cautiously Bullish - Barron's [View article]
    I am cautiously optimistic as well. I am not ready to blame everyone on wall street. Just the big banks and large institutions.

    I am compelled to note, that most of the banks in the country are doing a lot better than what most bailout headline articles would have us believe.

    Take for instance the "small" FirstBank in Colorado... It has done just fine. Why? Here are some highlights from their website:

    - FirstBank is well capitalized according to all regulatory guidelines. FirstBank's assets total $9.3 billion as of September 30, and deposits were $7.9 billion. FirstBank continues to experience solid growth in both assets and deposits.

    - FirstBank reported outstanding results for the first nine months of 2008. FirstBank’s net income was $95,146,000 through the third quarter of 2008, up 29% from $73,631,000 last year.

    - While most banks can only insure up to $250,000 of your money through the FDIC, FirstBank’s 25 separate charters make it possible for your deposits to be insured up to $6.25 million

    - FirstBank does not originate, hold, or purchase subprime mortgage loans or securities. Continued focus on credit quality has enabled them to succeed in all economic cycles.

    See all the details of why I am a long time customer of this Colorado bank []right here[/url]

    It is also worth noting that a recent report, shows that it is only a [b]few very large institutions[/b] that are in financial difficulty and it is those firms that are having a hard time obtaining credit. (and need bailouts!)

    However, there are a huge number of banks out there (like FirstBank) who didn't make bad bets, who didn't get involved in the subprime markets, and they're doing just fine with [b]no credit problems at all[/b]: [url=mast-economy.blogspot....]More details here.[/url] Lending is actually up among these banks. (and has been all year!)

    Let's figure out how to claw back that some of those $Billions to bail out the bad management at the large institutions and somehow reward those good bankers in the second tier banking market who didn't (and still don't) make risky bad bets.

    I could be bullish on that too.

    [][b]Good News Economist[/b][/url]
    Dec 22, 2008. 12:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Good, The Bad, And the Inaccurate Oil Forecasts [View article]
    Nice article Bill.

    I think one thing you can say is: "what comes down must go up."

    But as with all markets (including oil), timing predictions and swings are almost always wrong.

    Good News Economist
    Dec 21, 2008. 02:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Deflation Scam [View article]
    I have to agree that all the deflation talk is a scam. I just wrote a short article at: mast-economy.blogspot....

    What indeed is occurring is not widespread price declines, but a huge fall in the cost of energy. For most of the year, high energy prices have caused consumer prices to soar, reaching a 17-year high in July. But energy prices have fallen about 70% since then.

    BUT, other prices in the core of the price index have remained steady. This is double good news. Significantly lowered energy prices have helped every American with their monthly (if not weekly) budget and the risks of deflation are very slim.

    Dec 21, 2008. 12:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Depression Not Imminent, But Inevitable [View article]
    The FED has already indicated that it will do everything in its power to insure credit during this time.

    The reason that insurers are moving into the shadows is that in the current environment there is a significantly diminished need for them.

    The fewer insurance companies the better.

    That's good news.

    Good News Economist.
    Dec 19, 2008. 11:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There's Some Good News Behind the Dollar's Rebound [View article]

    I write about good news, only to bring in some balance to the "sky is falling media." I appreciate a good article like Liens here, that also bring balance to the constant negativity advanced in the mainstream.

    Go read "The Worst Hard Times" by Timothy Egan, to see how bad things really were back in the great depression.

    You obviously didn't have a look at my blog, or you would note:

    1) Most reputable economists now predict unemployment to top out at 8% at the WORST. As Hoover was leaving DC, he and his treasury secretary did absolutely nothing! Unemployment was at 30% and he said, "There is nothing more to be done." Thank the Lord for FDR. Ask your grandparent or other elder about that time if you'd rather not read about the facts of that time. Given all that HAS been done on a global scale since Oct, I doubt we will see 8% during this downturn.

    2) Go look at the facts about Real Estate. Did you catch the fact that mortgage applications since late November are at an all time high... that California housing prices are beginning to rebound.... and the mortgages that are being originated currently are not sub-prime?

    3) Yes, you are right on about my "Good News Cherry Picks". That is exactly what my blog does. Only Good News, their is plenty of bad news everywhere else.

    4) Bailouts? I thought you said unemployment was out of control? Ogden L. Mill's (Hoover's do nothing), would have clearly said, "do nothing", and Herbert would have agreed.

    Bush's action today (and Obama's in January) is clearly not repeating that incompetence.

    Dec 19, 2008. 11:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • There's Some Good News Behind the Dollar's Rebound [View article]
    Read some books or articles by Mark Hirschey, Professor of Business at the University of Kansas. Much of the dire commentary on the U.S. economy is significantly overblown.

    Hirschey is the co-author of “Investments: Analysis and Behavior” (McGraw-Hill, 2008), a textbook that combines the study of behavioral finance with an introduction to the field of investments. This KU economics research expert has also written 100s of other scholarly economics publications.

    Hirschey agrees with much of what I've been blogging at
    that there is a ton of good news out there and it is grossly underreported.

    The reality is:
    1) we are in a recession.
    2) it is no where close to the Great Depression
    3) almost all Good News is getting ignored in the mainstream media.
    4) with no good news reported, fear slows our propensity to move forward economically with hope for the future.
    Dec 19, 2008. 08:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big 3 Bailout: The Silver Lining [View article]
    Hey Herbert Hoover,

    Do you remember what you said as you exited the white house in 1932? It was something like: "my fellow Americans -- there is nothing more to be done. We have done all that we can do." An incredible self fulfulling prophecy. Unemployment was at almost 30%!

    FDR comes in and restarts the banking system in 4 days!! In another 100 days puts in place the New Deal and the US sees the greatest job growth in history.

    This current "crisis" is not even close to the times of the great depression and the accompanying dust bowl. One thing is certain, the current administration is doing a ton compared to the Hoover administration and the incoming one plans to do a lot more.

    Whether the bottom is here or not, one thing is certain -- this will not be a protracted recession. Buy assets now, stock, oil, something concrete. Next Christmas you will be glad you did.

    See my "good news" blog at

    Dec 9, 2008. 12:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment