Saturday, October 17, 2009

Economic News of Note - 17 Oct 2009

Birth-Rate Study: In Recession, Fewer Women Having Kids - TIME

Another casualty of the recession: Birthrates. US Birthrate down more than 2%.

Apple joins Chamber of Commerce exodus over climate change scepticism | Environment |

As fluffy as this may sound, this is a portent of bigger battles between companies that have historically benefited from externalized costs and those that seek a more accurate reflection of the true production costs.

AIG's Benmosche: The tone deaf CEO - Oct. 6, 2009

AIG head is the most tone-deaf CEO out there. Ends with an interesting quote: "He called us idiots, he called us corrupt," said Sherman, the California lawmaker. "I do have to thank this guy for his insults. He caused us to wake up from being completely asleep." He had a hell of deal going (US taxpayers funding his business), but he's so goddamned greedy, he's screwing it up. He just can't help himself.

Rolfe Winkler » Blog Archive » TARP deadbeats | Blogs |

US Taxpayers getting screwed by the bailouts. CITIGROUP amongst the deadbeat bailout recipients. Any talk of the US taxpayer 'making money on this deal' is total bull.


Great discussion of what's driving the collapse of the dollar. There's no doubt that Obama's spending is causing international concern about the dollar. But just as important is the new status quo of "too big to fail" for the financial sector and what that means for various aspects of Federal Reserve policy. The implicit government guarantee of a few GSEs was an important factor in the financial crisis. There's now an explicit government guarantee of every large financial institution on Wall Street. Almost two years after the Bear Stearns debacle, there are still no plans by the government to unwind or repudiate that guarantee. He also makes a very good point that the current trend may have overplayed itself, at least in the short term.

The Lost Generation - BusinessWeek

Huge unemployment rates for recent graduates. The market you graduate in makes a huge difference in your career. This could be one consequence of the Recession that lasts and lasts. I'm very glad I graduated when I did. Many friends of mine are not so lucky.

China buys the world - Start your engines (8) - FORTUNE

China's global shopping list. The Rio Tinto escapades were particularly interesting.

No shame in walking away from mortgage - The Big Money-

Walking away from mortgages is a legitimate tactic, or so the article argues. The system was designed to prevent debt slavery and to encourage banks to be careful about who they lend to.

Quiet Atlantic hurricane season a boon for insurers | U.S. | Reuters

Insurance companies rake in huge profits on quiet hurricane season, thanks to El Nino.

Ruling could undo thousands of foreclosures -

Thousands of foreclosures potentially overturned because of lost paperwork. Was the paperwork lost, or was it destroyed to hide a trail of criminal malfeasance by mortgage brokers?

Emphasis on Growth Is Called Misguided - The New York Times

Poking holes in G.D.P. as a measure of economic health of a country

Utility Snubbed by Banks Shows States Pay Too Much (Update2) -

Government entities get screwed when borrowing money. AAA government debt more expensive than AA- private debt. Utah (AAA rated) was charged 0.11% more on $500 million in bonds than Wal-Mart (AA2/AA). This is a huge disparity and I have no idea why it isn't covered more. Investing in government bonds is about the safest thing you can do and the returns are, in relation to the risk, surprisingly good, but never spectacular. Is there a reason for the institutional bias?

Europe Richer Than America -

EU now richer than NAFTA. Europe, as a whole, has been hit less by the Recession than the US. _____________________

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