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

Simon Johnson on Tim Geithner and Elizabeth Warren

Simon Johnson offers pointed criticism of the role Timothy Geithner has played to date in the Great Recession and bank regulation, in particular as an advisor and architect to the Obama economic team and how that policy is presented and pursued in Congress. Another worthwhile read.

Lender of Only Resort?

Ken Houghton, having realized there is still a Commercial Paper market, looks at one implication of it. One of the things that gets ignored in all the fussing about government debt is how small it is by comparison to corporate debt. The shortest-term debt, Commercial Paper, can be very interesting. With a maturity that is […]

Never Blame on Hyperoptimism what can be attributed to malfeisance

Dr. Black starts digging into the question why so many Georgia-based banks fail. The picture painted isn’t pretty: The review also contains a photo of a planned 238 townhouse project that the bank financed for $5.6 million in 2007 even as the real estate market was softening. By September 2008 about three quarters of the […]

Rumours of "Green Shoots" are Exaggerated: Illinois

After my previous posts on Georgia, it seems only fair to note the bank closings in Illinois today. There have been 13 bank closings posted (as of right now, about 6:50pm) in the state of Illinois since last March. That alone is significant—but, even more interesting, six of them occurred today. This exceeds the previous […]

Noted for the Record, Failed Bank edition

With today’s (well, yesterday’s) five closings, the total of failings of U.S. banks since March of last year to 69. Of those, slightly more than 20% (14) are from the state of Georgia. Excepting the much larger California, there have been more failings in Georgia than in any two other states combined. Also as a […]

"Banks Just Don’t Go Under"

Did no one in Georgia pay attention in the 1980s? It’s not just reputations that are on the line. Board members, also known as directors, could be held personally liable for a bank’s demise. Experts are expecting a wave of lawsuits against directors to be filed in Georgia over the next year or two as […]

Someone whose list of Bad Banks Matches Mine–and Goes Further

Ken Houghton finds someone who is more pessimistic than I am. Via News, I see that Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D., has come up with a list of Large Banks Likely to Fail: Seven institutions — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, GMAC LLC, SunTrust Banks, Inc., and Fifth […]

May Day MayDay

What do you mean “we’re broke”? The first encouraging sign in a long time from the Fed and the Treasury is in the link above. After it became common knowledge that the “stress tests” were only going to be window dressing, the question on everyone’s mind became only “How much more is it going to […]