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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Evidence of Deflation and Fed Whoredom

 Items of Interest:

You must know that prices are on a downward skid when a john offers a hooker $10 and a box of Tastykakes for her services.

Michelle Sahn / Asbury Park Press:
Police: Man seeking sex offered undercover cop $10 and box of Tastykakes -- ASBURY PARK - Police arrested 19 men who they say solicited an undercover officer, including one man who offered her $10 and a box of Tastykakes in exchange for a sex act.

All 19 men from Monmouth and Ocean counties were charged with solicitation of prostitution. They offered the undercover officer amounts ranging from $10 to $100 in exchange for a sex act, police said. City police set up the detail around 11 a.m. Friday, and it ran until 5 p.m. that evening, with most of the arrests made between noon and 2 p.m. and 4 and 5 p.m., said Detective Capt. Anthony Salerno...
Todd Harrison / Minyanville:
The Main Event: Inflation vs. Deflation -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard shot a warning over the bovine bow last week, offering the US is at risk of falling into a Japan-like deflationary trap...

William Greider / The Nation:
Deflation, Not Deficit, Is the Real Threat

Pimco's El-Erian Sees 25% Chance of U.S. Deflation, Double-Dip Recession

Wall Street Journal:
Pimco's Chief Exec El-Erian Says US On "Road To Deflation"

Deflation Downer - Pe Titan Moelis to Give Back $750m

Wall Street Journal:
Defending Yourself Against Deflation

Josh Lipton / Minyanville:
Protecting Your Portfolio Against Deflation -- Investors don't seem worried about a deflationary death spiral, but given the fears of some at the Fed, it's prudent to consider the risk...
All is not lost. Washington's Federal Reserve whores still come at a higher price.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb / Huffington Post:
The Regulator Franchise, or the Alan Blinder Problem -- The story is as follows. Last year, in Davos, during a private coffee conversation that I thought aimed at saving the world from, among other things, moral hazard, I was interrupted by Alan Blinder, a former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, who tried to sell me a peculiar investment product. It allowed the high net-worth investor to go around the regulations limiting deposit insurance (at the time, $100,000) and benefit from coverage for near unlimited amounts. The investor would deposit funds in any amount and Prof. Blinder's company would break it up in smaller accounts and invest in banks, thus escaping the limit; it would look like a single account but would be insured in full. In other words, it would allow the super-rich to scam taxpayers by getting free government sponsored insurance. Yes, scam taxpayers. Legally. With the help of former civil servants who have an insider edge.
I blurted out: "isn't this unethical?" I was told in response, "We have plenty of former regulators on the staff," implying that what was legal was ethical...
naked capitalism:
Taleb Calls Out Alan Blinder for Questionable Ethics -- This may all seem to be so “dog bites man” in America so as to no longer elicit any outrage. The famed regulatory revolving door, and all the benefits that former officials and their new private sector masters gain from a legally permitted but socially destructive form of trading of insider know how is now considered business as usual in the US...

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