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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — March 26, 2009

Items of Interest:

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: FOURTH QUARTER 2008 (Final) — Fourth quarter 2008 — 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 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008

discussion:
Diana Golobay / Housing Wire: GDP Contracts 6.3% Annually in Q4
Jack Healy / New York Times: Shares Higher, Despite Mixed Economic Signals
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The Big Picture:
New Home Sales Fell 41% in February 2009 -- No, New Home Sales data did not improve. In fact, they were not only not positive, they were actually horrific. The year over year number was a terrible down 41%. Sales from this same period a year ago have nearly been halved...
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Jeffrey Sachs / Financial Times:
Obama's bank plan could rob the taxpayer — The Geithner-Summers plan, officially called the public/private investment programme, is a thinly veiled attempt to transfer up to hundreds of billions of dollars of US taxpayer funds to the commercial banks, by buying toxic assets from the banks at far above their market value...
discussion:
Richardson & Roubini, NY Daily News: Give Credit to Geithner's New Plan
John Tamny / RCM: Once Again, Timothy Geithner Gets It Exactly Wrong
James Pethokoukis / Capital Commerce: Alternatives to the Geithner Plan
Lee Brodie / Fast Money: Has Tim Geithner Rescued America?
Dealbook: Dick Bove: Are Those Bank Assets Really So Toxic?

more discussion:
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary: The Flim-Flam — Smart people differ on how successful Tim …
Henry Blodget / Clusterstock: How Tim Geithner Is Robbing You Blind
Nouriel Roubini / Nouriel Roubini's Global …: Jeff Sachs's Critique of the Geithner Plan
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Rahm Emanuel's Short Freddie Mac stay made him at least $320,000Chicago Tribune:
Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant — Short Freddie Mac stay made him at least $320,000 — Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up …
discussion:
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Washington Post:
Geithner to Propose Vast Expansion Of U.S. Oversight of Financial System — Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to propose today a sweeping expansion of federal authority over the financial system, breaking from an era in which the government stood back from financial markets …
discussion:
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress: Beware — Gingrich Warns That Obama's Financial Regulation Plan …
Patricia Murphy / Political Machine: Morning News Round-Up
Mary Kane / The Washington Independent: Geithner's Plan and the New Reality of Shanty Towns
Krooney / TIME.com: Geithner Gets Down to Business
Karl Denninger / The Market Ticker: Geithner Grows a Brain?
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC: First 100 days: More financial overhaul
James Piereson / The Corner: Too Big to Fail, Once More
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Diana Furchtgott-Roth / RCM:
Obama's Spending Billed As 'Investment' -- As every politician knows, if you define spending as "investment" it sounds less extravagant. Take that new car you’ve always wanted. The $40,000 price tag is high. But hey, if it’s an investment in the future, it may last longer and save money on repairs, and so, you tell yourself, maybe it pays for itself....
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Wall Street Journal:
China and the Dollar — Markets don't like Treasury talking down the dollar's status. — As if the dollar didn't have enough problems, Timothy Geithner took China's bait yesterday and said he was “quite open” to its suggestion this week to displace the greenback with an “international reserve currency.” ...
discussion:
James Joyner / The Atlanticist: Geithner Dollar Remarks Create Panic
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Richard A. Epstein / Wall Street Journal:
Is the Bonus Tax Unconstitutional? — The Supreme Court defers too much to Congress. — Bills now winding their way through Congress would tax between 70% and 90% of bonuses paid to any executive earning in excess of $250,000, if he or she is employed by a business that received more than $5 billion from U.S. bailout funds...
discussion:
Betsy Newmark / Betsy's Page: How the Supreme Court might look at the tax on executive bonuses
J. Kwak / Baseline Scenario: Are All of These Rescue Plans Constitutional?
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New Hoovervilles Are Sprouting

2009 Shanty Towns - monder Hoovervilles
Jesse McKinley / New York Times:
Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns — FRESNO, Calif. — As the operations manager of a outreach center for the homeless here, Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center....
discussion:
Dan Collins / pw: Fact-Checking Obama's Presser
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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