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

Ten Years Have Got Behind You

It has been almost ten years since: Bear Stearns folded Lehmann collapsed of its own free will I posted on this blog All of the above Those who guessed “c” or “d” are optimists. Those who are expecting a long series of posts dwelling on the correct answer of “b” (with some references to “a” […]

Derivatives, water and financial risk

David Zetland comments on future funding of ‘water’ risk management.  There are plenty of examples of misguided government interventions, as well as examples of private enterprise run amok.  Now a derivatives market? : The danger of flashing wrong signals Have you heard the stories of people who have driven through fields, into lakes or off […]

Social Security as you know it, it’s over, forget about it.

I caught a bit of Jennifer Granholm’s The War Room for 2/23/12.  She was talking gasoline prices and had Ron Klain on for his ideas. He is a past chief of staff for Gore and Biden as VP’s. Mr. Klain also published his thought at Bloomberg2/20/12. This post is not about solving the rising gasoline […]

And So Happy Xmas…Now with Canadian Content

A couple of days ago, James Bianco, chez Ritholtz, noted a WSJ article entitled “Dividend Stocks Become the Heroes”: This year, the 100 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index with the highest dividend yields are up an average of 3.7% before dividend payouts, according to Birinyi Associates. The 100 lowest-yielding stocks are down […]

GOP wants to repeal Dodd-Frank: instead they should listen to Nassim Taleb

by Linda Beale GOP wants to repeal Dodd-Frank: instead they should listen to Nassim Taleb Nassim Taleb, the author of the book on long-tail events, suggests in a Nov. 6, 2011 op-ed in the New York Times that “it is only a matter of time before private risktaking leads to another giant bailout like the […]

How can the Fed precommit to a permanent expansion of the money supply ?

A challenge for monetary authorities in a liquidity trap is that it is hard convince people that they won’t reverse expansionary policies as soon as the economy leaves the liquidity trap. The other problem is that they can’t do much other than affect expectations while the economy is in a liquidity trap. This suggests that […]

Is This A Bad Thing? Sane Economists would say No.

Yes, I’m working with the null set again, but Peter Bockvar, chez Ritholtz, raises the most common objection to the Greek restructuring’s likely effect on the CDS market: [I]t will…potentially destroy [the sovereign CDS] market to the point where it will go away. The unintended consequence of what will be next will be those looking […]

Notes toward A Blog Post on Chrystia Freeland’s Interview of GE CEO Jeff Immelt

UPDATE NOTE: The following isn’t complete. Many of my notes from the latter part of today’s interview can be found on Twitter, hashtagged #Immelt. At the moment, I both (1) don’t have easy access to them and (2) have other things that need to be done. Feel free to look there, and/or mention anything you […]

Joined the GE Capital Board in 1997

The cause of that “small tax bill”: Immelt said a small tax bill for 2010 was due to more than $30 billion in losses related to GE’s financial services business during the financial crisis. In 2009, GE Capital’s losses were so large that it company overall lost money on its U.S. operations. GE’s federal taxes, […]

A Brain-Dead "Financial Reporter" at NPR Defines the Problem

Via Doctor Black, who printed the answer but not the question: PIGNAL: This is actually the second bailout for Dexia. In 2008, it had to be bailed out after exceptionally imprudent investing, including in U.S. subprime mortgages. This time around, it was basically dealing with the legacy of the past, and it was trying to […]