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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — April 14, 2009

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, March 2009, year-over-yearCalculated Risk:
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 White House blog:
“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...
Floyd Norris / NY Times:
The Case of the Missing Month — I blogged the Goldman Sachs call this morning, starting at 7 a.m. The newest posts are at the top. — 7:50 a.m.| Call Over: The call ended quietly with little additional talk about December.... How Quickly We Forget …
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 Sachs
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
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Burr told family to withdraw everything from bank — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) says when the financial crisis began he encouraged his wife to withdraw all the cash she possibly could from their local bank. — During a speech on the economy last night, Burr related his immediate reaction the week the crisis began...
Matthew Yglesias / Myglesias: Richard Burr is Trying to Start Bank Runs
James Shea / blueridgenow.com: Sen. Burr speaks on economy
Matthew Yglesias / Myglesias:
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

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