Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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more than I can say

Good afternoon. Look for trillion dollar annual US deficits for the next 10 years, says the CBO. Last Friday was a busy day for the FDIC, shutting down three banks and two corporate credit unions. Commercial real estate prices fell 5.5% in January. The jump in existing home sales is more indicative of foreclosures moving upmarket than returning health. (More on that here, at Calculated Risk.)

Both the UN and a Russo-Chinese consortum want to ditch the US dollar as a reserve currency. The Fed's plan to buy treasuries now includes the 30-year. This is still an extremely bad thing. Buying starts tomorrow. See if you can spot when the announcement hit the floor in these charts. C'mon, guess. (Charts good only for today, Tuesday, 24 March 2009.)

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone discusses the regulatory capture of the US government by the financial system:
So it's time to admit it: We're fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity....

People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — "our partners in the government," as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.
It's long, but a pretty good article, you should check it out.

A few reactions to Geithner's plan for bad bank assets: Mish at Global Economic Analysis doesn't like it, saying that the "Government has agreed to finance 93% of the loan, and it is a no recourse loan. This provision is in place for one reason only: To insure that investors overpay for bad bank assets, at taxpayer expense." Paul Krugman and James Galbraith are both displeased, with similar commentary from Mr. Galbraith. Karl Denninger has severe reservations, but does not hate it, and thinks with the right tight restrictions, it could work. Here's the kind of looting hook he wants not to be in the actual implementation. Joseph Mason at RGE Monitor this it's a good start, but "not a 'toxic' asset program, per se, but really just an asset program" and he wants to see it expanded.

All I have time for right now; everything else is music. Good luck.

eta: who puts quotes in URLs? Seriously, wtf?
Tags: economics
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