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

Hoisted from Comments (thought not here)

UPDATE: D-Squared chimes in, saying in less than 100 words what took me a couple of thousand (though with no quotes): After the “first hundred days” in the term of a new Democratic President comes the next stage; the almost impreceptible transition among his supporters from saying “of course, he’s been hampered by all sorts […]

I Blame This on the NHL

With all the talk of “Detroit,” you would think that Michigan would have lost the most employees, as a percentage of same, on the year. After all, the scariest graph of the U.S. MSAs isn’t scary for nothing. But the Regional and State Employment data is out for October (h/t CR), and there’s a different […]

Thanks to Ben Bernanke, Ben Bernanke Doesn’t Need to be Reappointed as Fed Chair

by Tom Bozzo Back in 2005, I argued at Old Marginal Utility that “Greenspan exceptionalism” was not very well founded in that observers rarely engaged in a proper counterfactual analysis of how well Alan Greenspan performed relative to the next best monetary policy technocrat. That’s a fairly stringent evaluation criterion, and even Brad DeLong’s glass-half-full […]

Peter Dorman of Econospeak Writes, So I Don’t Have To

I’m just going to “Go Thoma” on him, since I can’t find anything to cut: Barack Obama tells us we should not investigate American intelligence agents or their overlings who are responsible for torturing hundreds of suspects in their custody. We have to forget about the past, he says, to concentrate our attention on the […]

PPIP: Bad, Maybe, But Not THAT bad

Tom Bozzo I’ve been hearing about various potential schemes to game the PPIP, and Jeffrey Sachs gets in on the action with a pure self-dealing scenario (via Americablog): Here’s how. Consider a toxic asset held by Citibank with a face value of $1 million, but with zero probability of any payout and therefore with a […]

Back-of-the-Envelope: Making Sense of TARP

Suppose I told you that there was a crisis with a stock, say, GE. That the price of the stock had dropped around 75% in the past year. And you responded, “But the problem is solved; the prices of long-term Call Options (say, the January 2011 20s) has gone up, as has their Open Interest. […]

Why is Obama asking for new power for the Treasury?

By Divorced one like Bush This past weekend I wrote about the OCC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and 4 rulings that this office has made over the last two presidencies. 1. Preventing state AG’s and the state banking departments from investigating and regulating national banks. 2004.2. Allowing Banks to become real estate […]

An Excess of Moderation?

Tom Bozzo In this round-up of “experts” (Cramer?!) on whether to “soak the Rich” at the WaPo (the title of which, given the actual Obama budget plans, reminds one that mainstream discourse has really lost sight of the true rich-soaking possibilities), what really bugged me was this from Laura D’Andrea Tyson selling spending restraint in […]

The Charity Defense

by Tom Bozzo Much like the largely if not totally hypothetical family farm that might need to be sold off to cruel agribusiness to pay “death taxes,” I suspect that trotting out charities as the Real Victims of Obama administration plans to reduce tax expenditures on the wealthy is the latest Luntzian effort to put […]