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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — March 25, 2009

Items of Interest:

Nine of the Dirty Dozen of the Credit CrisisRolling Stone:
The Dirty Dozen -- Meet the bankers and brokers responsible for the financial crisis - and the officials who let them get away with it

WAS Chairman of the Federal Reserve (1987-2006)
WHAT HE DID Pushed for sweeping power to regulate Wall Street — and then failed to use it. Fueled "irrational" bubble with low interest rates.
WORST MOVE Called derivatives like CDOs "extraordinarily useful"; regulating them would be a "mistake."
NOW ADMITS He was "partially" wrong to not impose tougher oversight.

Mr. Too Big -- KEN LEWIS
IS CEO of Bank of America (2001-present)
WHAT HE DID Created ultimate too-big-to-fail company, buying up Fleet, MBNA, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch.
WORST MOVE Failed to catch a $15 billion loss at Merrill before buying the firm; needed $20 billion bailout to close deal.
NOW SAYS It's a false "claim" to say "the banks that caused this mess must be held accountable."

Housing Wire:
New Home Sales Rise After Hitting Record Low -- After dropping over 10 percent in January, new single-family home sales rebounded 4.7 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 337,000, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The upward movement in February’s sales was the first nationwide increase since last July, and well above the 323,000 pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Nonetheless, February’s sales were still down 41.1 percent compared to the same time last year...
New York Times:
Dear A.I.G., I Quit! — The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group's financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G. — DEAR Mr. Liddy, — It is with deep regret that I submit …
Andrew Leonard / Salon: Poor, poor, plutocrats
Michelle Malkin: The rule of the mob
Beth Shaw / Right Pundits: Jake Desantis: Dear AIG, I Quit
J.G. Thayer / Commentary: The Face of Untrammeled Greed
A.L. / The Anonymous Liberal: About That AIG Resignation Letter
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute: Forget It, Jake - It's Chinatown
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion: Finally, Someone Says “Take This Job And Shove It”
Michele / Six Meat Buffet: Jake DeSantis is Shrugging
Highway to Hell?

New York Times:
E.U. President Calls U.S. Stimulus the ‘Way to Hell’ — BRUSSELS — Transatlantic tension over the handling of the global economic crisis intensified on Wednesday when the prime minister of the Czech Republic, which holds the European Union presidency, described the U. S. stimulus measures as the “way to hell.”
Mark Silva / The Swamp: Obama's stimulus ‘way to Hell:’ EU chief
Kevin Depew / Minyanville:
United States of Adequateness --
'"Is it rational for us to say all institutions should be well-capitalized both in the good times and in the bad times? Or are there ways for us to say in more distressed times like what we're facing right now, maybe it's OK to be adequately capitalized?"
- Acting Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, Scott Polakoff, speaking during U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday
ABC News:
Down But Not Out: From Hedge Funds to Pizza Delivery -- Ken Karpman Plummeted From a Six-Figure Salary to Earning $7.29 an Hour...

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