Items of Interest:
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses — President Obama vowed to try to stop the faltering insurance giant American International Group from paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives, as the administration scrambled to avert …
discussion:Jonathan Martin / The Politico: March Madness: How W.H. plays defenseConor Clarke / The Atlantic Business Channel: What's the point of a “nation of laws”?Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo: WHY IT'S CUTTINGMichelle Malkin: No duh! White House “worried about bailout backlash”Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute: The 22nd Book: The Book Of The DeadDavid Sirota / The Huffington Post: Economic Credibility Gap: Obama Defies His Own Economic Team …Matt Miller / Blogs and Stories: Give the Bonuses Back-Or ElseNoam Scheiber / The New Republic: Obama to AIG: Nuh-UhSay Anything: Welcome To Socialism: Obama Will Use Bailouts As Leverage …Massie Ritsch / OpenSecrets.org: Before the Fall, AIG Payouts Went to WashingtonDan / Riehl World View: Another Day, Another TownSandy Levinson / Balkinization: “every legal avenue”Felix Salmon / Portfolio: How to Not Pay the AIG BonusesMary Kane / The Washington Independent: Obama Speaks Out on the AIG Bonus FraySteve M. / No More Mister Nice Blog: PLEASE, RIGHTIES, MORE LIKE THIS — President Obama wants …Sara Murray / Real Time Economics: Secondary Sources: Troublesome AIG, How to Repair It, RegulationMatthew Continetti / Weekly Standard: Obama Also Very Angry at AIGRoy Edroso / Runnin' Scared: AIG Bonuses, “Counterparty” Payments Pissing Everyone Off (Updated)Jill Tubman / Jack & Jill Politics: AIG Bonuses: Is the Outrage Fake or Real?
discussion:Jane Hamsher / The Huffington Post: Obama's AIG Comments Raise More Questions Than They AnswerAli Frick / Think Progress: Why Are AIG's Contracts Sacrosanct But Not Union Workers' Contracts?The Politico: Obama: Block AIG bonusesKate Phillips / The Caucus: Frank Joins Chorus on A.I.G. Bonus OutrageRobert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog: The Real Scandal of AIGJeff G. / protein wisdom: Heartache for the progressive LeftElana Schor / TPMDC: Dem Congressman on AIG: ‘One of Those Times We Have to Amputate’Jules Crittenden: Dawn Over Firedoglake? — Not exactly, but it's a start.James Joyner / Outside The Beltway: Outraged or Just on the Other Side?Todd Beeton / MyDD: President On AIG: “I Get It” — On Saturday the news …The Garlic / The Reaction: Breaking! ... Obama takes action, siezes AIG's March Madness …
AIG Bonuses: A Double Edged Sword – In this morning's New York Times, Adam Nagourney writes about concerns within the Obama administration that the latest news about bonuses paid to AIG executives could spark "a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street" that might "end up being directed at Congress and the White House and could complicate President Obama’s agenda." How real is that threat since, for the moment at least, the Obama administration appears powerless to stop it?** ...
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic: Measuring the Backlash Against Wall StreetDomenico Montanaro / MSNBC: FIRST THOUGHTS: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINEEd Kilgore / Democratic Strategist: AIG Fever—the Broader Stakes for ObamaAndrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish: Polling The Anti-AIG PopulismAlex Koppelman / Salon: Obama's populism problemJohanna Neuman / Top of the Ticket: Obama outraged at AIG bonusesJoe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice: Political Class Braces For AIG Bonuses To Become Catalyst For Outrage
The sanctity of AIG's contracts – Apparently, the supreme sanctity of employment contracts applies only to some types of employees but not others. Either way, the Obama administration’s claim that nothing could be done about the AIG bonuses because AIG has solid, sacred contractual commitments to pay them is, for so many reasons, absurd on its face...
Aaron Zelinsky / The Huffington Post: Larry Summers: Stop the AIG Bonuses. Yes You Can.Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Business Channel: AIG and the rule of lawNew York Times: Bonus Money at Troubled A.I.G. Draws Heavy CriticismJames Joyner / Outside The Beltway: Obama Trying to Block AIG BonusesEmptywheel: Obama to Geithner: Get That Bonus Money BackRobert Smith / NPR: AIG Executives' $165M In Bonus Money Draws IreBig Tent Democrat / TalkLeft: Obama To Attempt To Block AIG Bonuses
discussion:Gregg Levine / Firedoglake: BREAKING: NYAG Cuomo Subpoenas AIGThe Raw Story: Obama: ‘pursue every legal avenue’ to block AIG bonuses
A Modest Proposal For AIG – AIG claims that it promised bonuses to its derivative traders and that it can't break its contracts. Sounds like AIG is using legal formalism to avoid a messy court fight. Contracts, like promises, are often broken when premises change. Financial products brought the firm down; why hasn't AIG informed the people in that unit that if they want their bonuses, they're going to have to sue to get them?...
discussion:Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute: Wow. Let's Play “Double Or Nothing” With AIG Bonuses, Then Assault Someone.Foon Rhee / Boston Globe: Frank disgusted by AIG bonusesAllahpundit / Hot Air: Video: Obama outrageously outraged by AIG outrage; Update …Liza Porteus Viana / Political Machine: Obama Wants AIG Bonuses StoppedThe New Republic: An AIG Bonus Idea: “So, Sue Me!”
discussion:David Corn / MoJo Blog: Obama: Assisting and Attacking AIG at the Same TimeBrad / Sadly, No!: Bill Kristol is (gulp) making sense
Cuomo Seeks A.I.G. Bonus Information – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday afternoon that he has not received information about the American International Group’s bonuses and will be issuing subpoenas momentarily. The bonus checks were sent out Friday...
Jessica Pressler / New York Magazine: Bonus Buster Andrew Cuomo Gets a Super-Friend!Randyj / TIME.com: AIG SUBPOENAED — New York AG Cuomo issues subpoenas …Russell Roberts / Cafe Hayek: Andrew Cuomo, man of system
Ben Bernanke's Greatest Challenge -- Fed Chairman Discusses Recession, Financial Rescues And Recovery In Wide-Ranging 60 Minutes Interview
Aside from the president he's the most powerful man working to save the economy, but you have never seen an interview with Ben Bernanke.
Bernanke is the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, better known as the Fed. The words of any Fed chairman cause fortunes to rise and fall and so, by tradition, chairmen of the Fed do not do interviews - that is until now.
The Federal Reserve controls the economy by setting interest rates. But after the crash of 2008, Bernanke invoked emergency powers, and with unprecedented aggressiveness has thrown a trillion dollars at the crisis...
Mr. Practical / Minyanville:
Illiquidity -- Only much lower prices will get economy flowing again.
Real economic liquidity is generated by productivity, which increases income by either increasing revenues or decreasing expenses, or both. This is what creates real wealth and raises the standard of living. Printing money does nothing to raise the standard of living, and desperate calls for the government to do something in reality does nothing but transfer real wealth from one person to another.
A true deflation (which we are in) will continue until prices drop enough, and enough unsupportable debt is destroyed...
Feds go after Bernard Madoff's riches -- Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of Bernard Madoff's four homes and other assets after Madoff's guilty plea to masterminding a massive investment fraud.
Madoff is in jail at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan after pleading guilty to operating on the largest Ponzi schemes in history.
He faces 150 years in prison when he is sentenced June 16.
Many of the assets are held in the name of Madoff's wife, Ruth. That should not prevent the government from seizing them, said former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon of Simon & Partners...
Minyanville: Will Mrs. Madoff Slip Out the Back Door?
James Freeman / Wall Street Journal:
Bear Stearns: The Fed's 'Original Sin' -- One year ago today, the Federal Reserve saved Bear Stearns from bankruptcy. The central bank's agreement to invest $30 billion (later reduced to $29 billion) in Bear's opaque securities greased a sale of the firm to J.P. Morgan Chase. For the first time since the 1930s, the federal government was putting taxpayers at risk to rescue a Wall Street investment bank. To this day, the government has not explained precisely why.
J. Dorfman / Bloomberg:
Bear Stearns Shows Why Heavy Debt Is Murder
The Johnsville News:
Bear Goes Broke [March 16, 2008] -- WSJ: Bear Stearns Cos. reached an agreement to sell itself to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., as worries grew that failing to find a buyer for the beleaguered investment bank could cause the crisis of confidence gripping Wall Street to worsen...
TJN: October 2008 News/Events
- The Resurrection of Wall Street Titans - Andrew Bary, Barron's
- Americans Need To Start Taking Some Risks Again - Daniel Gross, Slate
- It Ain't Heavy, It's a Bottom - Doug Kass, TheStreet.com
- Has The Economy Hit Bottom Yet? - Vikas Bajaj, New York Times
- Real Capitalists Nationalize - Kevin Drum, Mother Jones
- Blame the Economists, Not Economics - Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate
- Union-Loving Free Traders Unite! - Jagdish Bhagwati, New Republic
- Where Did All The Wealth Go? To Our Kids - Rob Atkinson, The Atlantic
- Can Former eBay Chief Whitman Save California? - P. Sellers, Fortune
- The Shadow of Depression - Robert Samuelson, Washington Post
- Free Trade Is the Gateway to Recovery - Peter Mandelson, Times of London
- How to Turn a Recession Into a Depression - Bill Frezza, RealClearMarkets
- White House Must Free Larry Summers - Noam Scheiber, New Republic
- Obama's Incompetent Socialism - Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, NY Post
- Don't Be Fooled By Last Week's Rally - David Bogoslaw, Business Week
- Only Invest When Congress Is Away? - Donald Luskin, SmartMoney
- Sam Waksal Was Right All Along - Robert Kolker, New York Magazine
- Give Ratings Agencies An F - Jerome Fons & Frank Partnoy, New York Times
- A Shotgun-Wedding Proposal for Banks - Larry Kudlow, RealClearMarkets
- Capitalism Needs a Revived Glass-Steagall - Nigel Lawson, Financial Times
- When We Ban Short Sales, We Ban Share Buyers - John Tamny, Forbe
- What Could Have Averted the Housing Bubble? - Market Movers
- Bear's End? Wishing Won't Make It So - Bill Fleckenstein, MSN Money:
- When Good News Comes, What Should We Expect To See? - Econbrowser
- Why Letting Lehman Go Did Crush the Financial Markets - FT Alphaville
- Why Is the Japanese Experience So Important? - Balance Sheet
- How About Some Good News for a Change? - William Easterly
- Three Lessons from the Bernie Madoff Scandal - Predictably Irrational
What a Fine Mess ....