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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — March 3, 2009

Items of Interest:

Paul Krugman:
Zombie financial ideasCalculated Risk looks at the latest plan floated by the Treasury — to make low-interest, non-recourse loans to private investors who buy bad assets — and immediately gets it: this is a plan to drive up the prices of toxic assets by creating a lot of moral hazard...

Indeed. Every plan we’ve heard from Treasury amounts to the same thing — an attempt to socialize the losses while privatizing the gains. We’re going to buy up all the bad assets at premium prices; no, we’re going to offer the banks guarantees against losses; no, we’re going to let private investors buy the stuff, but offer them de facto guarantees against losses in the form of non-recourse loans...

discussion:
Jeannine Aversa / Associated Press: Fed launches new $200B consumer credit program
related:
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times: The Case for Saving A.I.G., by A.I.G.
discussion:
Bloomberg:
Bernanke Says Insurer AIG Operated Like a Hedge Fund
discussion:
Jonathan Stempel / Reuters: Ex-CEO Greenberg sues AIG, alleges fraud
Eric Etheridge / The Opinionator: A.I.G.: Rage Against the Machine
Mary Kane / The Washington Independent: When It Comes to AIG, Even Bernanke Has Had Enough
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Huma Khan / Political Punch:
Bullish Obama Suggests Nation Should Buy! Buy! — President Obama told Americans to take a look at investing in the stock market this afternoon, a remarkable utterance for an American president, especially as the Dow Jones Industrial Average proceeds on its course Southward.

"What you're now seeing is ... profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you've got a long-term perspective on it," the president said on a day that trading continued to hover under 7,000...
discussion:
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary: It's Only Your Life's Savings
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs: Market as campaign
Owen Thomas / Gawker: Barack Obama, Stock Analyst
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Huma Khan / Political Punch:
discussion:
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NY Times-DealBook / Deal Professor:
Harvard, Private Equity and the Education Bubble -- There have been a number of bubbles over the past decade that we now know about. Unfortunately, we are also about to find out if there was an education bubble.

Fueled by endowment gains and tuition increases, universities in recent years have gone on a building, faculty and program expansion spree. I have personally seen it in the law school realm. Instead of the historical 12-credit loads, the norm over the past few years in law schools has trended towards nine to ten credits. This allowed for more research, but also meant that the faculty needed to expand to continue offering the same course levels. Salaries also rose as law schools and other areas of universities competed for top talent...
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zero hedge

Calculated Risk

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

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