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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — April 29, 2009

Items of Interest:

David Leonhardt / New York Times
After the Great Recession — On April 14, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, trying to explain why he was taking on so many economic issues so early in his administration. He argued that the country needed to break its bubble-and-bust cycle and cited the New Testament …

Reihan Salam / The American Scene: Obama's Interview with David Leonhardt
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog: Obama mulls end-of-life care
Kevin Drum / MoJo Blog Posts: Are Canadian Banks the Answer?
Andrew Leonard / Salon: Obama's shout-out to Joe Stiglitz
Michael Shaw / BAGnewsNotes: Kander's Obama: The Listener
Kevin Hayden / American Street: What and how Obama thinks
Arnold Kling / EconLog: Obama on Health Care
Greg Wythe / Greg's Opinion: Late Morning Read: 4/29/09

Amity Shlaes, New York Post:
Obama's 100 Days: Modeling Roosevelt -- Obama is now thinking about what comes after his "Hundred Days." Although the president's first legislative period was modeled on Franklin D. Roosevelt's original "Hundred Days," Obama, a big FDR fan, may find more in FDR to emulate...

Daniel Gross / Slate: What Should Obama Do in His Next 100 Days?
US Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Gross Domestic Product-- Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth ...
Calculated Risk:
GDP Report: The Good News — Although Q1 GDP was very negative due to the sharp investment slump (this was expected, see: Q1 GDP will be Ugly ), the decline in Q1 was weighted towards lagging sectors. Click on graph for larger image in new window. This table shows the contribution to GDP for several sectors in Q1 2009 compared to Q4 2008. The leading sectors are on the left, ...

The Economist: Is the Grim GDP Number Better Than It Appears?
Bloomberg: Economy in U.S. Shrank at 6.1% Rate in First Quarter
Economics Roundtable: Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

NY Times:
U.S. Economy in 2nd Straight Quarter of Steep Decline — The government reported gross domestic product shrank at a 6.1 percent yearly rate, but the numbers suggested that the worst of the recession may be easing...
ABC News:
Fed Says Signs Recession May Be Easing — The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it sees signs the recession is easing and that the economic outlook has "improved modestly" since last month. The Federal Reserve says it sees signs the recession may be easing but warns the economy is likely to remain weak...
Banks Upgrade From Catastrophic to Awful -- Institutions still in no condition for recovery...

Peter Hahn, a former managing director of Citigroup and now a fellow at London’s Cass Business School, was reported by Bloomberg as saying: "When you look at the income numbers that have been put out by banks recently they contain so much fudge and financial manipulation. You could say that the automobile industry has a clearer future at the moment." ...
David Reilly / Bloomberg: Banks Juice Profits Ahead of Stress-Test Results
Colin Barr / Fortune: Stress Tests Pressure Banks To Stuff The Mattresses
David Pauly / Bloomberg: If Banks Are Too Big to Fail, Take An Ax to Them
New York Times: Feeling Secure, Some Banks Want to Be Left Alone -
Government to Banks: We Recommend Throwing Good Money After Bad -- Every month, it seems, Washington dreams up new and fantastic ways to funnel taxpayer money towards a growing list of undeserving recipients.

Now, in the latest attempt to coerce banks into modifying delinquent mortgages en masse, the Treasury Department plans to offer cash incentives to lenders who lower interest rates or forgive principal on second liens (so-called "piggyback" loans). According to Bloomberg, the new program aims to simplify the modification process and help struggling borrowers avoid foreclosure...
NY Times:
Phoenix Leads the Way Down in Home Prices -- The price of single-family homes fell in February in 20 major metropolitan areas, including Phoenix, where home prices have fallen by half...