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Friday, January 30, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — January 30, 2009

Items of Interest:

Gross Domestic Product -- Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third ...

Econbrowser / Economics Roundtable: Oh yes it's a recession all right
Tim / The Mess That Greenspan Made: U.S. economy contracts at 3.8 percent pace
Seeking Alpha / Pfblogs.org : Random Observations on the GDP Announcement

GDP Drop: Not As Bad As Feared, But Worse Is Ahead — The government reported that fourth quarter GDP contracted at an annual rate of 3.8%. That does not approach the 7.8% in the second quarter of 1980 or the 10.4% post-war record set in the first quarter of 1958...

Calculated Risk:
GDP Declines 3.8% in Q4 — I'll have more a little later ... From the BEA: GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: FOURTH QUARTER 2008 (ADVANCE) From MarketWatch: U.S. Q4 GDP down 3.8%, inventories limit downturn The U.S. economy contracted at a 3.8% annualized rate in the fourth quarter but the decline would have been worse except that the government counts an unwanted buildup of goods ...

Peter Cohan / BloggingStocks:
Great news: GDP shrinks only 3.8% in Q4 — Filed under: Economic data , Politics , Recession , Financial Crisis The final quarter of the great national nightmare -- our 43rd president -- ended with the worst quarterly performance of our GDP since 1982, when Ronald Reagan was in office. The 3.8% decline in Q4 was the worst quarterly result since a 6.4% annualized plunge in the first ...
Giuliani: Corporate plums help keep NYC afloat — Bonuses for Wall Street fat cats are easy political fodder in uncertain economic times, but former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Friday cutting corporate bonuses means slashing jobs in the Big Apple...related:
Angry senator wants pay cap on Wall Street ‘idiots’ — WASHINGTON (CNN) — One day after President Obama ripped Wall Street executives for their “shameful” decision to hand out $18 billion in bonuses in 2008, Congress may finally have had enough. — An angry U.S. senator introduced legislation Friday …
----NY Post: Obama says Wall Street corporate behavior, the height of irresponsibility ... shameful----
Obama Calls Bonuses ‘Shameful’ as Dodd Vows to Reclaim Money
DownWithTyranny!: Rudy To The Rescue— Defending The Rights Of The Rich To Plunder The Rest Of Us
Tom Taulli / BloggingStocks: Government's claws waiting for private equity?
Zachary Roth / TPMMuckraker: Cuomo's Office Looking At Several Fixes For Merrill Bonuses
Yves Smith / naked capitalism: Congressional Sound and Fury Over Wall Street Bonuses Sure to Signify Nothing
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Giuliani Defends Wall Street Bonuses While Slamming Tax Cuts For The Poor -- Yesterday, reacting to a New York State Comptroller report showing that Wall Street banks doled out $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008, President Obama denounced the practice as “shameful.” “That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful, and part of what we’re going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility,”...

Appearing this morning on CNN, however, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani stridently defended the practice of enormous bonuses untethered to actual performance, warning that ending the tradition “really will create unemployment” ...
David Goldman / Inner Workings:
Make them buy stock -- Rather than claw back already-paid bonuses of about $18 billion, as some grandstanding Democrats suggest, Wall Street firms should issue common stock to employees in that amount and require them to invest the after-tax portion of their cash bonuses in the stock of their firms. The proceeds should be used to repay the government for funds injected into their firms. That will satisfy the public, which quite reasonably objects to the use of its tax money to compensate bankers who make an order of magnitude or two more than the average taxpayer, and it will incentivize the bankers to work hard and manage risks well...
Big Money / Slate:
Give Back The Bonuses -- Wall Street has no business rewarding itself this year.

It is refreshing to have a president capable of telling economic truths...
Cuts Coming Next Week at ‘The Wall Street Journal’ -- When Gerard Baker starts his new job as The Wall Street Journal's new deputy editor in chief next Wednesday, he'll have a lot of names to learn. But not quite as many as if he'd started sooner.

According to multiple sources within and close to the Journal, the newsroom is due to undergo another round of personnel cuts late next week. It's unclear exactly how many employees will be affected, but two sources put the number of people being targeted at 50...

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia