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

The Counterpoint to CR’s Argument, as Stated Below

We already gave them $900 Billion. (Or, as I would prefer to write it, just so everyone understands: $900,000,000,000. About 3,000 a person, or 26.7% of the annual median household income, assuming a family of four.) What would makes anyone think another $700,000,000,000 will solve the problem? Just because “sooner or later, you’re talking about […]

Dean Baker Explains It All to You

UPDATE: Krugman comes to the same conclusions, more concisely. (That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.) And Brad DeLong has modified his original position to the point where it’s got a good chance of working going forward. I started a “What is an Asset” post yesterday, which got sidetracked by Brad DeLong’s urging that […]

Dear Brad, This is the person you say we "don ‘t have time" to worry about

My Loyal Reader sends another example of those glorious, worthy individuals about whom “we do not have time” to worry: Former [AIG] Chief Executive Officer Maurice “Hank” Greenberg may try to end government involvement in the company “as prompt [sic] as possible,” his attorney David Boies said in an interview this week. Greenberg…has said the […]

What is an Asset?

I like Brad DeLong, conceptually. Even his errors in judgment are based on rational principles. And he has a really useful piece up right now about “dealing with financial crises.” (One of the nice things about it is that it also completely undermines his earlier suggestion that the Fed was wrong not to ease on […]

We have part of an answer

Documentation of a minor disruption: Lehman won’t return “billions” of frozen prime-brokerage assets “in the short term,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrator for the Lehman bankruptcy. Meanwhile, several hedge funds are planning to sing the Bono phrase from “Do They Know It’s Xmastime?”* to their cohorts at Morgan Stanley: Hedge funds that account for less than 10 […]

Saying It All

Unlike Fannie and Freddie, AIG was royally and truly doomed. The Fed tells us so: In unusual and exigent circumstances, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, by the affirmative vote of not less than five members, may authorize any Federal reserve bank, during such periods as the said board may determine, at […]

Roubini’s not wrong, but…

Let’s stipulate what “everybody knows”: There are some assets in the capital markets, many of which are mortgage-related, that were seriously overvalued over the past several years. Many of the others are Credit-related (CDS and CDOs and the like). Most of the two asset types listed above are reasonable concepts that, if they are commoditized, […]

Trickle-Down in Action?

The Yahoo! headline says most of it: GMAC slashing workforce; reducing mortgage lending. I discussed the GMAC problems at Marginal Utility almost eighteen months ago. Things haven’t gotten much better since then. But some of the Mortgage Industry players have changed partners: Lender GMAC Financial Services said Wednesday it will close all of its 200 […]