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Tricky

Tricky
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  • Rep. Spencer Bachus says a broad implementation of the Volcker Rule could kill U.S. competitiveness. In a letter to Geithner and other regulators, the heir apparent to head the House Financial Services Committee urged them to consider whether a new rule limiting risky trading by U.S. banks may handicap them globally. Felix Salmon: Cutting profits from prop trading is a feature, not a bug.  [View news story]
    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
    Nov 5, 2010. 12:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is China Carrying the World? [View article]
    John, your last paragraph was an argument presented in the full Economist article (I happened to read it last night).
    Nov 5, 2010. 10:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Few nations are optimistic about Geithner's idea that the "currency war" can be ended if everybody just agrees to limit their current-account deficit or surplus targets to less than 4% of GDP. China's vice foreign minister says the plan smacks of "a planned economy."  [View news story]
    US economic leaders got bitchslapped by both China and Germany today. Ben and Tim must be relieved they're going into a weekend to recover.
    Nov 5, 2010. 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The ECB turns down a request to disclose internal documents showing how Greece used derivatives to hide its government debt, citing "the substantial and acute risk of adding to [market] volatility and instability.”  [View news story]
    LOL. That pesky truth -- I just *hate* when it adds to volatility and instability
    Nov 5, 2010. 09:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Morning After in Washington: Republicans Now Co-Responsible for Economy [View article]
    For the first time I can recall, I agree with American in Paris. In politics (I mean this to apply to all parties) it's really easy to chirp vague and breezy slogans from the sidelines. Now it's time to propose specific and painful legislation.

    A-I-P nailed it on spending. For all the bitching about spending cuts, defense and entitlements swamp everything else combined. Yet the tea partiers attacked Obamacare for... being a danger to Medicare. And found arguments of how the Dems were going to be a danger to Social Security. Um okay. And they attack anyone who proposes cuts to defense as *soft*. Okay, so were are you going to cut that is actually going to make any appreciable difference? Even if they were successful in repealing Obamacare (which isn't likely) and preventing any further stimulus, we've still got a massive deficit.

    Oh, but they're going to magically cut taxes, not do any painful or unpopular cuts and manage to bring federal finances into good order. I see.

    Make no mistake, I'm not saying the Dems could do any better and they certainly didn't when they had their chance. I'm just calling BS on the Reps... I despise politicians of all stripes.
    Nov 3, 2010. 01:57 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Corporate Downsizing Is Essentially Over [View article]
    Tom, I am generally not a CPB fan. But I didn't see anything in this post that gave the GOP credit for the drop in layoffs he discusses in the article. His praise of the GOP was discussing his predictions for the business environment going forward.
    Nov 3, 2010. 01:41 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • News Corp. (NWS) has attracted 105,000 paying customers to the online editions of The Times of London and The Sunday Times since it started charging for access this summer - but at a sacrifice of a 62% online readership drop. New York Times (NYT) beware: This experiment looks like a failure.  [View news story]
    Not so fast. TechCrunch did an interesting article today analyzing the numbers, looking at likely hard $ per subscriber (and remember, they look at ads too inside the paywall) vs. the CPM revenue of all the free readers. Not so clear cut it's a failure.
    Nov 2, 2010. 06:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Lockheed Martin's (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, already the Pentagon's costliest weapon acquisition, may see its entry into service delayed by as much as three years and additional cost overruns of up to $5B, Reuters reports. Total cost for the jet is already 64% above initial estimates, topping $382B.  [View news story]
    No problem, just put it on my tab
    Nov 2, 2010. 09:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nevada and Florida are near the top of the list of best business-tax climates in the country. They're also among the tops in unemployment; what are they doing wrong?  [View news story]
    We have a winner. Really not that hard if you think about it and apply a little common sense.
    Oct 28, 2010. 01:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Greek 10-year bonds tumble for a third straight day, with the yield jumping 58 basis points to 10.34%. Last year’s budget deficit will be revised above 15% of GDP by the EU, Greece's finance minister says. Prime Minister Papandreou is being forced to pare back some of his austerity program as his political support deteriorates.  [View news story]
    The two previous posters nailed it -- the only surprise is how fast the restructuring is going to occur.
    Oct 27, 2010. 10:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Demand Won't Stay Down Forever [View article]
    That's nice. But what if you can't actually afford a home? What if the lender won't lend to you and you don't have the cash?

    I'm not making any specific predictions about housing prices, just pointing out some big missing pieces in the argument of "there will be more people who want houses, so therefore prices will automatically go up"

    Living with your parents (or renting) may not be "the first choice" (to use the authors words), but what if you don't have any other choice?
    Oct 26, 2010. 09:20 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As a blackout drags on and talks show no sign of movement, the likelihood grows that the dispute will prevent 3 million Cablevision (CVC +0.5%) subscribers from seeing Fox’s (NWS +0.1%) scheduled broadcast of the World Series. The FCC has given the two sides until the close of business today to provide evidence of “good faith negotiations."  [View news story]
    Beat me to it! I live in TX so was going to poke the northeast types how the World Series blackout doesn't matter since the Rangers knocked the Yanks out of it, hehehe!
    Oct 25, 2010. 02:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed may purchase up to $2T of assets to stimulate the economy, says Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius, and could announce QE2 on Nov. 3. Hatzius expects "an announcement of $500B or perhaps slightly more over a period of about six months. The key question, however, is not the size of the first step, but how far Fed officials will ultimately need to move to achieve their dual mandate of low inflation and maximum sustainable employment."  [View news story]
    "The key question, however, is not the size of the first step, but how far Fed officials will ultimately need to move to achieve their dual mandate of low inflation and maximum sustainable employment."

    Obviously, they don't see any mandate for a sustainable debt position.
    Oct 25, 2010. 11:53 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Britain's plan to cut 500,000 government workers - equivalent to 3M layoffs in the U.S. - comes at a time when the private sector is unable to pick up the slack, Paul Krugman laments. British will suffer from the government that took office at "the height of the austerity fad," he says, but the U.K.'s cost of borrowing has dipped to its lowest level in two decades.  [View news story]
    UK will bite the bullet and feel considerable pain. France will cave into the protesters, not do any meaningful reform, and then get bailed out by German and US taxpayers (via the EU and IMF, respectively).
    Oct 22, 2010. 11:04 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are We Heading Into a Hyperinflationary Storm? [View article]
    What I think will happen -- high inflation, but not hyperinflation. As many good articles have pointed out, hyperinflation usually requires some very serious political/societal breakdown, which only a small number of squeeky alarmists really see on the horizon.

    I think the most likely scenario is a deliberately engineered high inflation/debasement, as the US did right after WW2 to reduce its high debt burden -- 40% inflation over 3 years. That's "high", but not "hyper".
    Oct 20, 2010. 01:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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