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

"A Man With a Briefcase Can Steal More Money than any Man with a Gun"

Ken Houghton I would prefer not to talk about AIG, especially since we already have two posts on it today: Robert brilliantly puts it into context, while DOLB goes for blood. But the Gorgeous, Brilliant, and Talented BessNormally-not-this-astute-or-succinct Equity Private posted the perfect summary. And Floyd Norris is on fire as to why this move, […]

Is Douglas Holtz-Eakin still an economist?

Via Dr. Black, we get CNN reporting: Younger, healthier workers likely wouldn’t abandon their company-sponsored plans, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s senior economic policy adviser. “Why would they leave?” said Holtz-Eakin. “What they are getting from their employer is way better than what they could get with the credit.” And why is it better? Because of […]

You Can Lead a Horse’s Arse to Water, but…

You can’t make him think—or own to loan. Krugman notes: [L]ast week Joe Nocera of The Times pointed out a key weakness in the U.S. Treasury’s bank rescue plan: it contains no safeguards against the possibility that banks will simply sit on the money. “Unlike the British government, which is mandating lending requirements in return […]

So Why Did we Give SunTrust "bailout buying" money?

Via Dr. Black, Alpha Bank and Trust of Alpharetta is now FDIC-owned. In related news, PNC is paying about $5.6 billion for midwest-based National City, which was a major player in subprime until everyone realized they weren’t any good at it. As noted previously, the claim was that monies given to “regional leaders” such as […]

Blind-Reference of the Week

Late to the party, but FelixMatthew Malone (via The Divine Bess) quotes from Andrew Lahde’s good-bye letter, the follow-up to the one in which he noted that he only plays fair games, and the Fed is currently rigging the roulette wheel, so he’s taking his 800%+ return from last year and going home. This ‘graf […]

Wasting More Money

The leadership at Wells Fargo must be royally peeved at this point: Stable national players like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo are already digesting acquisitions. A second group of so-called super-regional banks are well positioned to take over their competitors, officials said, but have been reluctant to undertake or unable to complete […]

Ms. Osell Buys Her Dream House

Mortgages are a bitch: [I]n addition to the $300k that we already knew was still outstanding on their mortgage…they had another mortgage on this place. And so the reason they’ve been inexplicably stalling and quibbling over how much they’ll pay to do the repairs that are doubtless going to be required by the VA assessor […]

Let the Rich Bail Them Out

Stormy Let the Rich Bail Them Out. So says Bernie Sanders, now the Independent, junior senator from Vermont, formerly the “longest serving independent member of Congress in American history”– sixteen years. Bernie makes some cogent points: This bill does not effectively address the issue of what the taxpayers of our country will actually own after […]

Optimism from the NYTimes, but is it warranted?

The headline of this piece is “Deposit Plan Will Cost Banks More.” Is there any evidence in the text that this is true? The closest I can find is: After forgoing premiums from 1996 to 2006, the agency must now turn to struggling banks and ask them to pay more, putting more pressure on the […]