Links: 2009-01-16 – Banks, Ireland, and Africa

There is a lot of news out there so I have broken the links up into distinct sections. But, I have three topics of particular note today. They are banks, Ireland and Africa. Let’s start with banks.

Everyone has heard what is going on at Citigroup and Bank of America. But, how about this analysis: Citigroup sells assets (Smith Barney stake) and gets a government bailout. Bank of America buys assets (Merrill Lynch) and gets a bailout. It sounds an awful lot like crony capitalism. I see zero accountability in all of this.

Then, there is Ireland. You will remember that I mentioned a while back that I saw similarities to Iceland and I predicted that Ireland’s banking system would collapse. Well, I do see the Allied IrishAnglo Irish (that’s the 2nd AIB Freudian slip) takeover as a chink in the armor, not a positive move by a bold government. I will be posting more on this later today I hope.

Finally, I wanted to point out what is happening in Africa. This continent is highly leveraged to commodities. Those commodity prices are imploding and that is bad ews for African economies. As bad as it is in the G-7 and the West, it is much worse in Africa. G-7 governments should seriously consider how they can best help Africa here because the suffering there will be much greater than it is in rich countries.

Now, I can get off my soapbox. It’s Friday and a 4-day weekend in Washington D.C. This place is in a real party mood. I have some inauguration parties to attend, so I may not be writing a ton this weekend. Let’s hope the markets have a nice Obama rally. We’ll see.

In any event, all the best.


Anglo Irish investors will get compensation – Times Online
Anglo Irish collapse – what it means for UK savers – Telegraph
Irish prime minister defends decision to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank – Guardian
Ireland plans drastic cuts to prevent debt crisis – Telegraph

Citigroup and Bank of America
Bank of America and Ken Lewis crash back to earth – Telegraph
Citi to split up group as BoA loss hits $2.6bn – Times Online
Bank of America Receives $138 Billion of Rescue Funds –
Banks’ Loan Losses Could Reach $2 Trillion – Real Time Economics
Citi Posts $8.3 Billion Loss; BofA Has $1.8 Billion Loss – DealBook Blog –

Jobs cuts loom at diamond mines –
Unemployment wave hits Africa –
Zimbabwe rolls out Z$100tr note – BBC News
Oprah Winfrey May Become Ambassador to South Africa, M&G Says –

Honda to shut UK production for 35 days – Times Online
Commercial property ‘will halve in value’ – Guardian
Sweden’s response to 1990s crisis – a model for toxic bank plan? – Telegraph

Odds and Ends
Wii sales break US record –
Star Tribune Employees Put Some Blame on P.E. Debt – DealBook Blog –
Baltic Protests Erupt as EU’s Worst Economies Shake –

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