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from Unstructured Finance:

UF Weekend Reads

Don't get pranked tomorrow. Remember, it's April Fool's Day. Here are the latest Weekend Reads as selected by Sam Forgione.

 

From Fortune:

Hedge fund manager Paul Singer's hardball approach has benefited Republican candidates as his fund battles in court with nation's that have defaulted on their debt.

From The Guardian:

Zoe Williams writes about how Stephanie Flanders, the BBC economics editor and a former speechwriter for Tim Geithner, relishes bad news.

From Columbia Journalism Review:

Paul Starobin questions whether financial journalists should accept fees to speak at Wall Street-sponsored events and gets some interesting responses from journos on the receiving end of that largess.

from MacroScope:

The real facilitators of Europe’s crisis talks

“Sometimes it’s good to do these things in person,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said after meeting with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to discuss what to do about Europe’s debt crisis.

But it’s not easy pulling off a 72-hour, five-city blitz of European officials to proffer advice and some discreet prodding. It involves crossing the Atlantic Ocean twice and darting between Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Marseille and Milan, holding eight face-to-face meetings and three media sessions, as well as speaking with heads of state, finance ministers and central bankers.

from Reuters Investigates:

Intrigue in China’s U.S. Treasury buying

A Reuters exclusive today describes a method China used recently to hide some of its U.S. Treasury purchases - "US caught China buying more Treasuries than disclosed."

Treasury officials said they were simply modernizing outdated procedures two years ago when they revamped the rules for participating in government bond auctions.

from Christopher Whalen:

Why Congress should vote no on raising the debt ceiling

By Christopher Whalen
The opinions expressed are his own.

"A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies."

--Karl Marx – Friedrich Engels
The Communist Manifesto

There is a specter haunting the industrial nations, too -- the specter of debt default and deflation. All of the powers of the post-WWII regime of neo-Keynesian economic management have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: Fed Chairman Bernanke, European Central Bank Head Jean-Claude Trichet, Democrats in the American Congress and the German centrist tendency under Angela Merkel.

from The Great Debate:

Why Obama won’t axe his economic advisers

SUMMERS

The following is a guest post by Joshua Spivak, a research fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform at Wagner College and a lawyer. The opinions expressed are his own.

Trying to draw some direct implications between the country’s economic doldrums and the Obama administration, House Minority Leader John Boehner called for the firing of the administration’s economic team, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Boehner may just be looking to score some easy political points, but he is following in a grand tradition. With nearly every electoral or polling downturn, a president is faced with calls to remove cabinet members and other senior advisors.

from Breakingviews:

Geithner stress test sermons lack moral force

By Rob Cox and Richard Beales

Timothy Geithner can't put his money where his mouth is. The U.S. Treasury secretary, who is joining fellow G20 finance ministers this weekend in Busan, South Korea, has lately been urging other countries to conduct bank stress tests. But his credibility falls short in at least one important respect: future tests are absent from America's financial reforms.

Geithner's message is spot on. Subjecting America's 19 biggest banks to tough scenario analyses, disclosing the results and requiring subsequent capital raises helped draw a line under the financial panic. The exercise gave comfort to customers and regulators about the health of the banking system and led to banks adding nearly $200 billion in new capital.

from Breakingviews:

Geithner presents timely challenge for EU banks

Michel Barnier wants Europe to be better prepared for the next financial crisis. But the EU's financial market chief's plan for bank taxes seems to miss the point. Timothy Geithner's push for EU-wide stress tests raises questions of its own. But at least the U.S. Treasury Secretary has identified the core problem facing Europe's financial sector.

The current euro zone crisis has its roots in sovereign debt. But concerns about banks' exposure to risky sovereign debt have led to strain in the European inter-bank funding markets. There are also signs that U.S. money-market funds, which hold more than $500 billion of euro zone financial assets, are drawing back.

from MacroScope:

Spitzer: NY Fed “an absolute sinkhole”

To say former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is no fan of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York would be an understatement.

After arguing financial regulatory reform proposals being discussed in Washington fall short, he said:

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

SCENARIOS – Reshaping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to lay out the Obama administration's broad vision for restructuring mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday in congressional testimony.

Geithner has said that any specific legislative proposals will not come until 2011 at the earliest. His testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday is expected to be the first step in a long journey to make changes to the existing housing finance system.

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