- The slum solution to housing crisis in Argentina
"Without space to accommodate new housing in its intricate corridors and dirt roads, the shanty towns of Buenos Aires have grown upwards."
- TweetDeck Desktop Relaunches Tonight: New Features Galore! – Mashable
- Obama frets on debt, sees U.S. unemployment rising
"I am concerned about the long-term issue of our structural deficit and our long-term debt because if we don’t get a handle on that then there’s no doubt that at some point whether it’s the Chinese, the Koreans, the Japanese, whoever else has been snatching up Treasuries are going to decide that this is too much of a risk," he told Bloomberg. Rising health care costs put the biggest strain on the budget, so curbing those costs would help shore up U.S. finances, he said. Obama has proposed overhauling the health care system to cover those without insurance, but critics have questioned how he will pay for that without worsening the fiscal position" I think you know how he’s going to pay for this already.
- FT.com – MySpace cuts ‘bloated’ staff
We’re talking 30% here. Think of MySpace as the Yahoo to Facebook’s Google.
- FT.com / Martin Wolf – The recession tracks the Great Depression
Martin Wolf picks up on the Eichengreen theme and runs with it.
- High Housing Starts Do not Reflect Reality – Realty Check with Diana Olick – CNBC.com
We saw a lot of spec building that doesn’t necessarily translate into sales.
- Blame the B-Schools? – CNBC.com
One guy says blame the B-Schools. The other says don’t. Who is more convincing?
- Ideas for fixing the economy – Felix Salmon
- Large U.S. corporate bankruptcies accelerate – Reuters
This is testament to the fact that 2008 was the year in which the effects of the financial crisis were felt. Now we get the effects of any garden variety recession: corporate bankruptcy, loan losses, unemployment.
- In defence of naked short selling – or why the crackdown on a phoney problem may cost taxpayers billions – John Hempton
- Alcohol’s Good for You? Some Scientists Doubt It – NYTimes
- $13.9 Trillion Total Maximum Government Support Announced – Calculated Risk
Very good chart on where the aid and bailout money is coming and how it sums.
- Recycling, Larry Summers-Style – Real Time Economics
A must-read. Summers is using Paulson metaphors to describe policy agenda. What does that tell you about the likely reform agenda to be presented by Obama?
- Did rising oil prices trigger the current recession? – James Hamilton
Hamilton says: "My paper concludes that the economic downturn of 2007-08 should be added to the list of recessions to which oil prices appear to have made a material contribution"
- Banking Problems In Southern Europe Send The Whole World Running For Cover – Edward Hugh
Hugh argues banking problems in Spain and Greece will add to European problems as Europe has been mostly focused on Eastern Europe.
- Union anger as BA asks staff to work for free – Guardian
- Caja Madrid y Santander financian los fichajes galácticos de Florentino – Finanzas
Apparently Caja Madrid and Banco Santander are the banks financing the enormous spending spree by Real Madrid who have recently purchased Ronaldo from Man U and Kaka from Milan. This Spanish-language article gives the details.
Cushing, OK is the actual hub for which the WTI oil contract is traded. Population: 9,000. This post shows what the inventories are by company and what the tanks actually look like.
- Transparency: The Largest Bankruptcies in History | GOOD
Here is a good visual on the largest bankruptcies ever. (hat tip, Michael)
- FTD.de – Nach Insolvenz: Arcandor zieht Sparten in den Strudel – Unternehmen
For those of you who cannot read German, this is a Financial Times Germany article highlighting Arcandor, a major German retailer. They have gone bust as the government refused aid saying their problems pre-dated the downturn and are company-specific. This bankruptcy is now having knock-on effects for suppliers. Germany’s economy is in very bad shape.
- FT.com – Spanish house sales suffer record fall
The percentage drop was 47.6 percent! That is massive and a testament to why I have put Spain in the same class with Ireland, the U.S. and the U.K. as the bubble markets.
- FT.com – Seven protesters killed in Iran rally
The photo with this story shows Ahmadinejad with the Russian president. Obviously, Russia is not greatly concerned with events in Iran.
- Renault boss defends state help – BBC News
"Renault’s president has defended the right of the European car industry to receive cash from governments."
- Don’t Break the Law When You’re Breaking The Law – Cassandra does Tokyo
I think this is hilarious – especially because I had a very similar incident last year near the beach (gloating spouse in tow and kid in the back as well).
Distraction of the day
David Letterman apologizes for telling an over the top joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter.