Early links (New York), Aug. 31

August 31, 2009

Whose view of the state of U.S. banking do you find the more compelling?

Page one, Wall Street Journal: “Raft of Deals for Failed Banks Puts U.S. on Hook for Billions” (Wall Street Journal)

Page one, New York Times: “As Banks Repay Bailout Money, U.S. Sees Profit.” (New York Times)

Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog is withering in her criticism of the New York Times article, calling it “intellectually bankrupt.” The Times article notes that the eight biggest banks that have repaid their obligations to the government have produced a $4 billion profit for taxpayers.

Smith says:

Help me. Credit 101 is that your best borrowers repay first (unless you gave them overly generous terms, of course, then they might hang on to the proceeds). A quick but not conclusive search suggests that only a small portion of the TARP has been retired, so it is wildly premature to declare victory.

(Naked Captitalism)

With the recent rally in shares of Fannie Mae, A.I.G. and Citigroup in mind, Vix and More has created the JunkDEX index (Vix and More)

The tale of Christopher Flowers, seemingly everywhere during the financial crisis and now “struggling to salvage a series of ill-timed investments that he made just before the financial crisis got really ugly.” (William Cohan, Fortune)

Briefs or boxers? Men’s underwear sales as a leading economic indicator (Washington Post)

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