Items of Interest:
The Man Who Crashed the World -- Almost a year after A.I.G.’s collapse, despite a tidal wave of outrage, there still has been no clear explanation of what toppled the insurance giant. The author decides to ask the people involved—the silent, shell-shocked traders of the A.I.G. Financial Products unit—and finds that the story may have a villain, whose reign of terror over 400 employees brought the company, the U.S. economy, and the global financial system to their knees...
The problem with Joe Cassano wasn’t that he knew he was wrong. It was that it was too important to him that he be right. More than anything, Joe Cassano wanted to be one of Wall Street’s big shots...
discussion:Felix Salmon: When journalism misses the big pictureDave Hoffman / Concurring Opinions: What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?
Unemployment Numbers Leading, Not Lagging, Indicator -- Slowly but surely, as green shoots come and go but fail to yield much, a growing number of people will begin to understand the nature of the problem. El-Erian echoes my own oft-stated view regarding employment when he says: "It takes time to restructure an economy that became over-dependent on finance and leverage [i.e., bubble-driven]."
Folks will only realize that we have a real hole to dig out of when they grasp the fact that the Federal Reserve's money printing, aided and abetted by greed on both Wall Street and Main Street, created the bubbles. These, combined with the authorities' abdication of responsibility, caused us to experience more than a decade of "bubblenomics." ...
Goldman Says Morgan Is All Wrong About Fed's Quantitative Exit -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says when it comes to inflation, the Federal Reserve can relax. That kind of talk makes Morgan Stanley nervous.
Joachim Fels, co-chief global economist at Morgan Stanley, sees a risk that the Fed will keep the easiest credit since the Great Depression for too long. Ed McKelvey, U.S. economist at Goldman in New York, says those concerns are overblown, and that officials have time to deploy as many as 10 options for ending their $1.1 trillion aid to the banking system and economy without letting consumer prices climb.
The debate underscores a widening division among economists ...
Michael J. Panzner / The Huffington Post: How Long Before the Fed's Days Are Numbered?
Big Banks Don't Want California's IOUs -- A group of the biggest U.S. banks said they would stop accepting California's IOUs on Friday, adding pressure on the state to close its $26.3 billion annual budget gap...
Michael Shedlock / Global Economic Analysis: Tell Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Citigroup to Go to HellBryan McAffee / Right Pundits: Banks Tell California: No IOUsEd Morrissey / Hot Air: Big banks saying no to California IOUsBrian Leubitz / Calitics: Stalled. — John Myers tweets an impasse:Agnes Crane / Commentaries: Calling all banks honoring California IOUsCalculated Risk: Fitch Downgrades Calif. long-term bond rating to ‘BBB’
CNBC: California IOU Holders May Turn to Check Cashers
Obama Adviser Says U.S. Should Mull Second Stimulus -- The U.S. should consider drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small,” said Laura Tyson, an outside adviser to President Barack Obama...
Wall Street Journal: Is a Stimulus Sequel in the Offing?Edward Harrison / naked capitalism: Does the US need a second stimulus package?Free exchange: Theories of a third stimulusBen Smith / The Politico: Polls: Most against second stimulusMichael van der Galien / PoliGazette: Obama Adviser: Hey, How About A Another Useless Stimulus?Johnny Roosh / Shot in the Dark: A Bit Too Small — Last month our Supreme Leader was quoted as saying …Brian Faughnan / RedState: Doesn't Anyone Here Know How to Play This Game?Pat Austin / And So it Goes in Shreveport: Will There be a Second Stimulus?Huma Khan / Political Punch: An Interview with President ObamaEric Zimmermann / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room: Tyson suggests second stimulusRasmussen Reports: Just 27% Favor Second Stimulus Plan This Year, 60% OpposeJennifer Bendery / Roll Call: Boehner Rips Administration Over Stem Cell Policy
Consumers Fall Behind on Loans at Record Pace -- Soaring U.S. unemployment and a shrinking economy drove delinquencies on credit card debt and home equity loans to all-time highs in the first quarter as a record number of cash-strapped consumers fell behind on their bills.
Delinquencies on the value of all card debt soared to a record 6.60 percent from 5.52 percent in the fourth quarter as more cardholders relied on plastic to meet day-to-day expenses, the American Bankers Association said...
The Real Deal:
Foreclosures could put houses in plastic -- Fast Wrap, a franchise operation based in Reno, Nev., describes its work as asset protection. Think shrink-wrapping on a massive scale. Now trying to get a foothold in South Florida, Fast Wrap claims to physically protect everything from furniture to cars to boats -- and even houses and industrial buildings. It has 11 franchises, and recently opened one in Dania Beach, conveniently close to a slew of foreclosed homes in the tri-county area.
The last ones, in particular are proving to be a boon to Fast Wrap. The company applies a film (available in white and several other colors) that takes the shape of the property to which it's applied. The company increasingly finds itself wrapping incomplete homes and larger developments to protect the properties from the elements and keep out the unwanted...
- Economic Recovery Faces Serious Hurdles - Irwin Kellner, MarketWatch
- Bob Shiller Didn't Kill the Housing Market - Katie Benner, Fortune
- Testing Time for the Stock Market - Randall Forsyth, Barron's
- A Recession in the Wallet and On the Finger - Stephanie Rosenbloom, NYT
- Uncle Sam Bails Out Captain Morgan - Ryan Donmoyer, Bloomberg
- Unions: Why We're Better Off Without Them - Kevin Kelly, Newsweek
- To Rise In Business, Make Friends In D.C. - Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard
- Breaking Down the Obama IRA - Lisa Scherzer, Wall Street Journal
- Retirement: Why Panama Is the New Florida - Michelle Conlin, BusinessWeek
- Is It a GS Conspiracy If Everyone's In On It? - David Weidner, MarketWatch
- More Bank Regulation Is Not the Answer - Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
- Who Killed California's Economy? Five Suspects - Joel Kotkin, Forbes
- Hedge-Fund Industry 2.0 Now Taking Shape - Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg
- Why Hope (or Fear) Is a Bad Market Bet Now - Jon Markman, MSN Money
- How Obama Could Introduce a Petrol Tax - Michael Levine & Mark Roe, FT
- Obama Creates Drilling Disincentives - Robert Bryce, Wall Street Journal
- France, Unlike U.S., Is Deep Into Stimulus Projects - New York Times
- A New Stimulus Plan for the White House - John Crudele, New York Post
- Stuttering Stimulus Talk from Biden - Editorial, Investor's Business Daily
- The Silver Lining within Rising Jobless Numbers - John Tamny, RCM
- Despite Jobs, Recovery Is Still On Track - Brian Wesbury & Bob Stein, Forbes
- The Challenges of Communicating the Crisis - Robert Teitelman, The Deal
- In Housing, Even Hindsight Isn't 20-20 - Edward Glaeser, Economix
- End to 'Panic and Paralysis' Not the Same Thing - Real Time Economics
- An Interview With Burton Malkiel - Lawrence Strauss, Smart Money
- Venture Capitalists Return to ABCs - Claire Cain Miller, New York Times
- Post-Bankruptcy GM Will Have Work Cut Out for It - Washington Post
- Banks Get Stingy on Credit; New Cards Down 38% - USA Today