The Fed’s $7 Trillion Secret Loan Program

The Fed has some ‘splainin’ to do! Continue reading

The Fed’s $7 Trillion Secret Loan Program:

 

Eliot Spitzer on the aforelinked scandal revealed by Bloomberg:

Imagine you walked into a bank, applied for a personal line of credit, and filled out all the paperwork claiming to have no debts and an income of $200,000 per year. The bank, based on these representations, extended you the line of credit. Then, three years later, after fighting disclosure all the way, you were forced by a court to tell the truth: At the time you made the statements to the bank, you actually were unemployed, you had a $1 million mortgage on your house on which you had failed to make payments for six months, and you hadn’t paid even the minimum on your credit-card bills for three months. Do you think the bank would just say: Never mind, don’t worry about it? Of course not. Whether or not you had paid back the personal line of credit, three FBI agents would be at your door within hours.

Yet this is exactly what the major American banks have done to the public.

Or, as Jon Stewart asked, “How the f*** is it that Martha Stewart went to jail?

 

(Via Daring Fireball)

Gruber finds the perfect quote.

 

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US

Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor? Continue reading

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US:

Like HP, Dell is believed to be putting most of its faith in Windows 8 tablets for the US market. It won’t have this option until mid-to-late 2012, however, and will essentially concede its share of mobile tablets for a year.

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network)

Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor?  Execution of course has been lacking by announcing tablets so early the market had moved on to more advanced tablets, but that begs a serious question: Why is Dell behind?

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US

Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor? Continue reading

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US:

Like HP, Dell is believed to be putting most of its faith in Windows 8 tablets for the US market. It won’t have this option until mid-to-late 2012, however, and will essentially concede its share of mobile tablets for a year.

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network)

Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor?  Execution of course has been lacking by announcing tablets so early the market had moved on to more advanced tablets, but that begs a serious question: Why is Dell behind?

Fareed Zakaria: How Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality

Party Politics: How Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality – TIME:

“In fact, right now any discussion of government involvement in the economy — even to build vital infrastructure — is impossible because it is a cardinal tenet of the new conservatism that such involvement is always and forever bad. Meanwhile, across the globe, the world’s fastest-growing economy, China, has managed to use government involvement to create growth and jobs for three decades. From Singapore to South Korea to Germany to Canada, evidence abounds that some strategic actions by the government can act as catalysts for free-market growth.”

This is why I don’t have respect for “the new conservatism.”

Wall Street Is Already Reacting Negatively To Debt Ceiling Fight

Wall Street Is Already Reacting Negatively To Debt Ceiling Fight:

[UPDATE: Forgot to add the previous paragraph that follows.] In other words, and completely contrary to what GOP leaders are saying, two major financial market participants are warning that there will be a Wall Street-related price to pay if the debt ceiling is not raised as needed.

The best indication of all that the market has already started reacting negatively is the current trading of credit default swaps on U.S. debt. As of late May, the number of CDS contracts — essentially insurance policies on the possibility of a default — had risen by 82 percent. Equally as important, the cost of a CDS — the best indication of how much riskier U.S. debt has become — rose by more than 35 percent from April to May. Last week I spoke to a number of people who calculate such things for a living, and they said this change means that the interest rate the U.S. government has to pay has already increased by as much as 40 basis points compared with what it otherwise would be. This means higher federal borrowing costs and deficits, and overall higher interest rates on everything from car loans to mortgages to credit cards.

(Via Capital Gains and Games | Washington, Wall Street and Everything ….)

Grade school social studies class: Congress has the Power of the Purse.

When You’re Last Year’s News

You’re the Boss: A System That Encourages Small Businesses Not to Hire Older Workers:

“I have good reason to suspect that my costs and the costs of all of my employees are going to go up if I hire an older worker…

Our current system hides these costs, and I’m sure that this is a large part of the difficulty that older workers have in getting hired. Some of you will probably object that my system would result in lower wages for older workers. In some cases it might, but that beats no wages at all. As I said in my last post, it may be illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, but there’s always a way to rationalize hiring any given worker over any other one. If we can put a price on the insurance costs, then the skills and experience that older workers bring to the table can be properly accounted for.

Postscript: Yes, I know that a single payer system would solve this problem. But it ain’t gonna happen, so I’m not waiting for it.”

(Via Business and Financial News – The New York Times.)

Markets don’t make moral decisions.  They make economic ones.

I Thought Tax Cuts were Supposed to Create Jobs

GOP spending plan would cost 700,000 jobs, new report says:

“A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday…

[This] report comes on the heels of a similar analysis last week by the investment bank Goldman Sachs, which predicted that the Republican spending cuts would cause even greater damage to the economy, slowing growth by as much as 2 percentage points in the second and third quarters of this year.”

(Via Grasping Reality with a Sharp Beak.)

Predictably, the GOP goes after the messenger when it can’t rebut the message.  It’s a surefire way to determine who’s lying or incompetent and who’s not, who’s got a grip on reality and who’s in denial.  And sure enough as I kept reading:

Republican leaders frequently claim that cutting government spending will create jobs by removing the fear of higher taxes from the minds of the nation’s business owners and entrepreneurs…

So far, the Republicans have been unable to marshal an independent analysis that reflects that view. [emphasis mine]

In other words, they are pulling this economic “theory” clean out of their ideological butts.

Amos on Economic Justice

“We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!’ The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!” What does that say about minimum wage?

USCCB | NAB – September 19, 2010:

Am 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! ‘When will the new moon be over,’ you ask, ‘that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!’ The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: ‘Never will I forget a thing they have done!'”

(Via United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

This was the First Reading at Mass this morning on the theme of the day: socio-economic justice.  I always read this Bible passage as a general attack on the exploitation of the poor and so it is.  But it’s worth examining exactly what’s going on here.  Diminishing the ephah and adding to the shekel is pretty straightforward: It’s evil to cheat the poor.  But buying the lowly for silver the the poor for a pair of sandals hit me because it speaks to the morality of living wages and paying people below them.

Continue reading “Amos on Economic Justice”

Morally Impoverished Economics?

One must wonder whether physicians, nurses and other workers toiling day and night in health care — let alone the medics and helicopter pilots who risk their lives to help the wounded — see their work and its product quite as Mr. Limbaugh casts it.

One further wonders whether families with a cancer-stricken member are likely to view going without health care as the moral equivalent of going without a beach house.

via Is Health Care Special? – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com.

Great article.  There are moral dimensions to healthcare and it shows how economics can handle something as thorny as morality. But, as for Limbaugh, I can see why Jon Stewart calls him a douche.  Wow.

The Man in San Fran

Here on a long term business trip. Teaching a course and running the program encapsulating it. In addition meeting up with Wharton alums and networking my proverbial ass off. Difficult being away from my family. Miss them terribly. Just makes me more determine to squeeze this trip for all the value I can.