Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
solarbird

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Unfortunate timing

Good morning! All you new people really picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue start reading my LJ, because this week is the week of Norwescon, and I work this thing, and it's a big convention, and I have an absolute crapton of stuff to do this week, so there won't be a lot of updates. Sorry!

That said, I'll try to throw a couple of things up this week anyway - at least, until Wednesday evening, when I'll be on-site for the convention. Like, check out the Yen action today. The dollar is stronger against the Yen than it has been in months, and it's out of line with other trading, so interesting. I don't know what it means yet, though. And Glenn Greenwald has a long and rather depressing column outlining the personnel swaps that allow regulatory capture by the financial system over the regulators. It sounds dull, but it's not; you really should read it. These relationships are why and how we see looting operations like this one, which will be executed to get around to get around executive compensation and other limits attached to taxpayer bailouts by Congress, just for example. So you probably should read that. C.f. also this commentary on Treasury Secretary Geithner's Gift To Pimco, one of the bailout plans shilled as likely to make a profit that in fact only actually works if taxpayers take huge losses.

You might also find Mish's in-depth analysis of the housing data from March to be of interest, as well as the sleepy ol' New York Times finally noticing how gosh darn it those initial jobless numbers just keep coming in way too rosy, and getting revised sharply down a month or two later when nobody's paying attention. He notes:
Here are the total job losses reported for recent months, as originally reported and as shown in the latest revisions.

August 2008: Initially 84,000, revised to 175,000

September 2008: Initially 159,000, revised to 321,000

October 2008: Initially 240,000, revised to 380,000

November 2008: Initially 533,000, revised to 597,000

December 2008: Initially 524,000, revised to 681,000

January 2009: Initially 598,000, revised to 655,000

February 2009: Initially 651,000, as released today.

On average, from August through January, the first estimate was too optimistic by 112,000 jobs.
Pretty cool, huh? Mish also has some more hammering on the BLS's "birth/death model" here - you know, the one that's adding tens of thousands of theoretical jobs to the employment data every month in the middle of this recession.

Also, courtesy Karl at Market Ticker, we have this tasty article on mortgage insurers not paying off in whole - only in partial payments with IOUs for later. Good luck with that, guys. It's making life harder for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are of course now taxpayer responsibility!

But the biggest and mostly not covered story - it's still developing - is that the data indicate that foreign central banks aren't going to finance much of the US's 2009 fiscal deficit, at the same time that deficit is going to be hugemongous in ways that redefine both huge and mongous. Central banks aren't buying treasuries; there have been some very strange T-bill auctions lately; it appears as though purchases are going to have to be domestic, which means you're going to have the recent tricks you've been seeing with the Fed et al buying Treasuries. And there's no good way out of that. There just isn't.

There'll be more, should I have time later.

eta: Holy crap: "The world's leading central banks on Monday said they would set up swap arrangements that would allow the U.S. Federal Reserve to provide foreign-currency liquidity to U.S. financial institutions." And the dollar index is up today?
Tags: economics, good news everyone, politics, take that ineternets
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