- FT.com – How libertarian dogma led the Fed astray – Henry Kaufman
The original Dr. Doom speaks. Hat tip Yves Smith. “The Federal Reserve has been hobbled by at least two major shortcomings that were primarily responsible for the current and several previous credit crises. Its failure to spot the importance of changing financial markets and its commitment to laisser faire economics were big mistakes and justify a fundamental overhaul of the Fed.”
- In Dubai, Defaults Hit Developers – WSJ.com
Developers here are scrambling to prevent a wave of investor defaults as they struggle to survive this city-state’s real-estate bust. During a frenzied property boom, many investors bought property on speculation, expecting to be able to quickly flip homes — sometimes entire floors in buildings — before construction was finished. But in recent months, prices have cratered, some falling by more than 50%.
- Firms Warn of China Protectionism – WSJ.com
Foreign businesses are beginning to warn against rising protectionism in China, saying that the country’s massive stimulus program plus a raft of new regulations are discriminating against non-Chinese companies.
- Pandemic Risk Grows as New Cases Emerge – WSJ.com
The United Nations public-health agency raised its global alert to phase 4 from phase 3. The change recognizes that the new A/H1N1 virus spreads from person to person, and signals that governments should prepare for outbreaks. Phase 6 is a pandemic.
- More Homes in California Are Selling – WSJ.com
California’s housing-market slump showed hints of improvement in March, with sales of existing single-family homes increasing 64% from the prior-year period and median home prices rising month-to-month for the first time since August 2007, according to a trade group report.
- GM Offers U.S. a Majority Stake – WSJ.com
GM is asking the Treasury Department for an additional $11.6 billion in loans, on top of the $15.4 billion it has already received. It envisions giving the government at least half ownership of the company as payment for half of the loans. At the same time, GM said it would use stock instead of cash to pay off half the $20.4 billion it owes a United Auto Workers fund to cover retiree health care. That stock would leave the union owning about 39% of GM.
- America The (More) Segregated – Real Time Economics – WSJ
America is a more segregated society today than it was in 1970 — when one looks at the tendency of rich, poor and middle class to cluster together, says economist Tara Williams, who studied 216 cities and finds that the bulk of this new segregation occurred during the 1980s at the same time as the gap between the incomes of rich and poor widened substantially.
- Bair Seeks to Expand Power, Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’ – Bloomberg.com
Somehow I get the feeling that Shiela Bair is not singing the same tune as Tim Geithner. Or is she preparing for Citi’s eventual demise? Hat tip Humphrey. “Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair sought authority to close “systemically important” financial firms, marking her boldest attempt yet to expand the agency’s reach. “
- Seesmic Desktop: An Early Look at the Future of Facebook Apps
Beta partner Seesmic Desktop (Seesmic Desktop reviews) is the first of which to give us an inside look at what the Facebook Open Stream API actually means for us end users. Their new release is scheduled to be pushed out to the public in the next few days. This is just a taste of what what the future holds for our favorite applications.
- Geithner, Member and Overseer of Finance Club – NYTimes.com
Even as banks complain that the government has attached too many intrusive strings to its financial assistance, a range of critics — lawmakers, economists and even former Federal Reserve colleagues — say that the bailout Mr. Geithner has played such a central role in fashioning is overly generous to the financial industry at taxpayer expense.
- Track The Spread of Swine Flu With Google Map » My Digital Life
- How We Got in Over Our Heads – Miller-McCune Online Magazine
Political economist Johnna Montgomerie called the issuing of credit cards and other forms of consumer debt a “pyramid scheme” in which banks and other lenders made money by issuing more and more cards to people who went further and further in debt. Consumers whose wages had stagnated indeed became addicted to this source of credit, but so did the companies which relied on those revenue streams.
- Conde Nast will close Portfolio business magazine – Reuters
Conde Nast is closing its Portfolio business magazine two years after it launched, making it the latest casualty of a dearth of ad spending afflicting the entire publishing business.
- Lifehacker – Smub.it Shares and Stores Links with a URL Tweak – mobile apps
Mobile service Smub.it takes web addresses you put after its URL, like smub.it/https://lifehacker.com, and provides a grid of links to email, Twitter, Delicious bookmark, or otherwise share them from mobile phones and web browsers.