- California nears financial ”meltdown” as revs tumble
Can you say “Bankruptcy or Obama?”
- Countrywide Exec Warned The Fed On Toxic Mortgages – Tom Lindmark
Apparently, the head of risk at CFC was ignored not only by senior management but by the Fed too. This is Bernanke’s Fed we’re talking about, not Greenspan’s.
- St. Regis resort in Dana Point faces foreclosure sale – Los Angeles Times
This is a 5-star mega resort now going toward foreclosure. The leisure sector is getting killed.
- Palin Blasts Letterman – Political Wire
This Letterman Pailin dust-up is pretty funny. Check out the two attached videos.
- FT.com, Nouriel Roubini – Latvia’s currency crisis is a rerun of Argentina’s
Stop stealing my thunder. The Argentina meme is mine! Seriously, though, Roubini’s editiorial is a must read for anyone who thinks systemic risk is completely gone.
- Beige book: Few signs of economic recovery – Izabella Kaminski, FT Alphaville
This should give us pause about the reflation trade. I am still expecting a Q4 or Q1 end, but you can see there are a lot of headwinds. “Wednesday’s Fed Beige book is more of a deflation alert than anything else”
- U.S. Temporarily Suspends Policy of Deporting Widows of Citizens – WSJ.com
“Under the current interpretation of federal law, some immigrants whose American spouses had died faced possible deportation because their legal status was in limbo. The rule applied to immigrants who had been married for less than two years or whose green-card process hadn’t been completed when their spouses died. The clause, known as the “widow penalty,” had resulted in a spate of lawsuits.”
- Posner, the critics and the blame game – Gwen Robinson, FT Alphaville
Basically Posner is trying to defend the indefensible. Take a look at what Kwak and DeLong have to say about his arguments
- How Trillion-Dollar Deficits Were Created – Barry Ritholtz
A very even handed look at why the deficit is so large and why nothing is being done about it.
- Russia: These Guys Don’t Miss A Trick – Edward Hugh
The russians are at the forefront of the move to diversify away from US Dollars. Hugh argues they like this even more because it reduces their debt burden.
- Cancer: The Cost Of Being Smarter Than Chimps? – Science Daily
“”The results from our analysis suggest that humans aren’t as efficient as chimpanzees in carrying out programmed cell death. We believe this difference may have evolved as a way to increase brain size and associated cognitive ability in humans, but the cost could be an increased propensity for cancer,” said McDonald.”
- FT.com – Czech PM backs Merkel on monetary policy
Frankfurt, we have a problem: ““I’m not too far away from her opinion myself,” Jan Fischer, a non-party technocrat who took over as Czech premier last month, told the Financial Times in an interview.”
- UK recession may have ended in March – Telegraph
I am hearing a lot of bullish economic commentary: Japan, US, China, Brazil and now the UK. This would be a remarkable turn for the UK if it ultimately proves true. While I am sceptical, you should remember that house prices have turned up recently according to both Halifax and Nationwide.
- Citi Sets Plan to Convert $58 Billion in Stock – Deal Book
Wasn’t this an obvious outcome? JPMorgan Chase and Goldman get to repay TARP funds, but Citi remains grossly undercapitalised. So they have to move up the capital structure to the preferreds. Sub debt is next if this proves inadequate.
- Sweden forced to take emergency loan amid Latvia crisis – Guardian
This can’t be good. The Swedes are borrowing €3 million from the ECB. Clearly, this is the place to watch for signs that the credit crisis still is not over.
- Humans prefer cockiness to expertise – New Scientist
“Ever wondered why the pundits who failed to predict the current economic crisis are still being paid for their opinions? It’s a consequence of the way human psychology works in a free market, according to a study of how people’s self-confidence affects the way others respond to their advice.”