Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

If You Think I Believe it’s 1931 Again, You Should Ask the Greek Guy

Via Robert’s Twitter Feed, and to avoid ranting about 401(k)s before the end of May, here’s a Rant Well Worth Reading. (Warning: PG-13 or R rating; D. Aritophanes channels The Rude Pundit). Clean Excerpt: What’s the catch? That’s the beautiful thing … there is none! It’s all totally risk-free for you from start to finish! […]

Thought-Experiment: Assets and Securities

Ken Houghton wants to sidebar today into looking at the general application and implications of an Accounting Identity: Assets = Liabilities + Equity (A=L+E, or the ALE Rule). Let us assume that, since the housing bubble burst, I believe that my house has fallen in value by too much. I would understand a 20% decline, […]

Risk and Aversion, Take 2

Following up on Robert’s post (he started later and finished earlier): Dr. Black: [T]he idea that all this came about simply because the banksters decided a bit of extra risk was good is an idea only a macro finance person could sanely entertain. All right, I represent that remark in more ways than one. So […]

The Two Sides of AIG

In this corner, as previously mentioned, Yves Smith goes for the slam dunk: Let’s see, the credit default swaps market, due to some netting, is now somewhere north of $30 trillion (as opposed to its earlier “north of $60 trillion” level). Investment banks were believed to have hedged most of their exposure via offsetting contracts, […]

This Makes More Sense–or Does It?

Dr. Black (you know the site) links to AIG Strike Three. And unlike the Citi debacle previously discussed (relatively) positively and rather negatively here, this one makes some form of sense. The difference comes down to the meaning of an accounting concept: ongoing concern. More below the break (yes, this might get wonkish. It’s me, […]

Can We Stop Pretending Nationalisation is a Bad Idea? The WSJ has.

I’ve spent most of the past two weeks alternating between dizziness and sleep. Maybe the dizziness explains why I find myself in agreement with a WSJ editorial: In a better world, Citi would have long ago been put into bankruptcy. The FDIC could have taken over and disposed of the bank’s assets, while protecting insured […]

Still KISSING income inequality

by divorced one like Bush Let’s talk jazz: Still cashing the income inequalityberries, clams, dough, heavy sugar, jack, kale, mazuma, rubes, simoelan, voot. It’s all money. I started this series to develop a simple model of income inequality so that I wouldn’t sound like I was chewing gum and people wouldn’t get all balled up […]

A Spoonful of Sugar and TARP Part 2

Tom Bozzo Reader Roger Senserrich listened to the Obama reply that also caught CR’s eye and sends a relatively favorable (to the administration) interpretation: Let´s see if it makes sense. 1. Obama says that America doesn´t nationalize; it is not something we do. That´s actually false; ask IndyMac or WaMu shareholders on what hit them. […]

The TARP-May-Produce-a-Profit Meme can now be laid to rest

Duff and Phelps, which tends to be the rating agency you go to if S&P or Moody’s won’t rate you highly enough, provides a convenient evaluation table (p. 22 of this report) for the marvelous negotiating techniques and acquisition skills of the previous Administration. Since the current Administration is now threatening to continue with the […]