Items of Interest:
Retail sales in March tarnish economy's glimmers of hope -- A weak March retail sales report out Tuesday suggests consumers are still not in a shopping mode, dealing a setback to the growing hope on Wall Street and in Washington that the worst may soon be over for the battered economy...
Retail Sales Decline in March -- On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 1.1% from February to March (seasonally adjusted), but sales are off 10.7% from March 2008 (retail and food services decreased 9.4%). Automobile and parts sales declined 2.3% in March (compared to February), but excluding autos, all other sales declined -0.9%.
Stephen Roach / Bloomberg:
Averting Depression as the Consumer Fades
Mish / Global Economic Analysis: Retail Sales Plunge "Unexpectedly"
The Big Picture: Surprise! Retail Sales Fall
“The House Upon a Rock” -- Perhaps the heart of the [President's] speech was focused on the core weaknesses of the economy that led to the crisis we see now, and the pillars of the new economy the President envisions to ensure such a crisis will be kept at bay in the future...
Now, there's a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men. The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when "the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."
It was founded upon a rock. We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity -- a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad...
Conor Clarke / The Atlantic Business Channel: Goldman's Big Earnings and Orphaned Losses
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture: How to Puff Up Earnings, Goldman Sachs Style
Paul Krugman: Bush budgeting lives — at Goldman SachsDday / Hullabaloo: The Obama Speech: Best And Worst — I decided to take in the …Joseph / CANNONFIRE: Goldman Sachs — another case of website censorship?Barrett Sheridan / Newsweek Blogs: Goldman's Gold — Floyd Norris blogged the Goldman Sachs conference call this morning.Moe Tkacik / TPMMuckraker: Did Goldman Hide AIG Payout In The “Orphan Month” Of December?
Matthew Goldstein / BW:
It's Time for Goldman To Give Back AIG Money
Joshua Brown / Seeking Alpha: Goldman Sachs Backlash Picking Up Steam
The Deal: What Do Goldman's Results Mean for Other Banks?
Christine Harper / Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs's Viniar ‘Mystified’ by Interest in AIG
Yves Smith / naked capitalism: Goldman CFO Viniar “Mystified” by Probes into Relationship with AIG
Wells Fargo Needs Tens of Billions in Extra Capital -- Wells Fargo may have posted a record profit recently, but it’s important to note that left to its own devices the bank would have gone out of business already and not be posting any profits at all. Indeed, it appears to be undercapitalized by tens of billions of dollars...
Chris Bowers / Open Left: Obama Addresses Pro-Nationalization Critics
- Why Wall Street Has Become Unnecessary - Jim Jubak, MSN Money
- Stress Tests Likely Spur Traders To Make Riskier Decisions - Economist
- The Fed Throws a Party and No One Comes - Caroline Baum, Bloomberg
- The Price Is Right on Main Street - Irwin Kellner, MarketWatch
- TARP Lives--Geithner's Got Room To Spend - Joshua Zumbrun, Forbes
- It's Time To Prepare Another Stimulus - Mort Zuckerman, US News & WR
- A Coordinated Global Stimulus Is Needed - Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate
- Big Upside and Juicy Yield Among MLPs - Dimitra DeFotis, Barron's
- Barack Obama vs. The Banks - John Judis, The New Republic
- Spring Has Sprung In Sickly Economies - Barton Biggs, Newsweek
- Market Fizzle? Don't Believe Market History - Wesbury & Stein, Forbes
- Investing Strategy For a 10-Year Bear Market - Paul Farrell, MarketWatch
- TARP the Life Insurers? This Is Nuts - Larry Kudlow, RealClearMarkets
- Banks Are Trapped In TARP's Roach Motel - Editorial, Washington Times
- Financial Titans Find a Friend In Bloomberg - David Chen, New York Times
- The Financial Crisis Has Turned Corner - Michael Spence, Daily Telegraph
- Cap and Trade Sticks It To Everyone - Aparna Mathur, The American
- Taxpayers Get Really Tea-Ed Off - Editorial, Investor's Business Daily
- Dollar's Fade Won't Support Street's Party - Paul Kennedy, Bloomberg
- More Than Ever, We Need Currency Leadership - John Tamny, RCM
- Do Not Ban Golden Parachutes - Jonathan Macey, Wall Street Journal