Links: 2008-12-14

Hello again and happy Sunday reading. I have recounted a few of the latest rubbernecking tales about Bernie Madoff and his massive fraud again today. But, my focus is a bit different today.

You will see a lot of stories about the UK. In the wake of the massive $11 billion writedown by HBOS on Friday, there is a lot of news coming out of the UK. Most of it isn’t good.

Otherwise, it’s the usual potpourri from around the net. Other news stories can be found at our . The newsfeed is also available via RSS.



naked capitalism: SEC Skipped Normal Inspection of Madoff Hedge Fund

Here’s my first Madoff story from Yves Smith. Apparently Madoff was clearing his own trades and the SEC was not doing its homework. No regulation leads to fraud.

Geneva banks lost more than $4 billon to Madoff: report | Reuters

Calculated Risk: Hotels: Occupancy Rates Keep Falling

A poor economy means poor hotel revpar (revenue per available room – kind of like seat capacity for airlines). Just this morning on The Today Show, there was a segment about amazing hotel and vacation deals in the U.S.

Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: China To Print Money To Combat Deep Slowdown

China is not looking good of late. I have it from some good sources that things are a lot better there than we may think. However, I remain skeptical. Let’s see how the data flow proceeds going forward. In the meantime, here is what Mish has to say about things.

The UK

Here are the UK stories featuring a plunging pound, political infighting and questions about favoring savers at the expense of debtors.

Plunging pound not the Government’s business, Treasury minister says – Telegraph

John Major backs help for savers – Telegraph

BBC NEWS | Business | Pound ‘buying less than a Euro’

Recession: Bank of England may have to print you a pocketful of cash to spend – Telegraph

Pensioners head for lifetime of debt as burden on retirees grows to £72 billion – Telegraph

Nicola Horlick’s anger at £33 billion swindle – Telegraph

Estate agents fear collapse in rents as ‘reluctant landlords’ flood the market | Money | The Observer

Top economists talk unconventional Fed policy | Reuters

U.S. property recovery to start by spring: Zell | Reuters

Sam Zell is a smart man but you have to wonder about advice from a mn who bought the Tribune at the top of the market only to see it go bust the very next year.

Banks and consumers brace for new credit card rules | Reuters | Willem Buiter’s Maverecon | Confessions of a crass Keynesian

Obama stimulus could reach $1 trillion: report | Reuters

Paul Kedrosky: Chart du Jour: Bank Leverage Worldwide

A very good chart on bank leverage over the past years in various countries. Highly recommended. Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion

Economist’s View: Which is Best, Monetary Policy, Government Spending, or Tax Cuts?

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