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Friday, April 17, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — April 17, 2009

Items of Interest:

Bloomberg:
Yellen Signals Letting Lehman Collapse Was a Mistake -- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen signaled that it was a mistake to allow Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to collapse, saying the firm was “too big to fail” and its bankruptcy caused a “quantum” jump in the magnitude of the financial crisis.

“I am told that Lehman had insufficient collateral” for the Fed to provide loans, Yellen said after a speech in New York yesterday. She noted that she was “sitting in California” at the time of the Fed deliberations and “wasn’t involved in anything having to do with it.”

Yellen’s remarks are the strongest to date by a Fed official blaming the Lehman failure for a worsening in the crisis. She echoed calls by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke for new powers for federal authorities to take over and resolve failing nonbank financial firms...

related:
Bloomberg:
Bernanke Says Crisis Damage Likely to Be Long-Lasting -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the collapse of U.S. lending will probably cause “long-lasting” damage to home prices, household wealth and borrowers’ credit scores...
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CNN Money:
GM to convert $48B debt to equity -- The Obama administration has directed General Motors Corp to prepare a new debt restructuring plan that would convert all of the $48 billion the automaker owes bondholders and its major union into equity, people briefed on the plan said Friday.
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Arloc Sherman / cbpp.org:
Income Gaps Hit Record Levels In 2006, New Data Show — Rich-Poor Gap Tripled Between 1979 and 2006 — New data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that in 2006, the top 1 percent of households had a larger share of the nation's after-tax income, and the middle and bottom fifths …
discussion:
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway: Rich People Have Lots of Money
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Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
Goodbye Bland Affluence — Get ready for authenticity chic. — A small sign of the times: USA Today this week ran an article about a Michigan family that, under financial pressure, decided to give up credit cards, satellite television, high-tech toys and restaurant dining, to live on a 40-acre farm and become more self-sufficient.
discussion:
Free exchange: Long live American materialism
Joshua Claybourn / In The Agora: Goodbye Bland Affluence
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