Commentaries

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from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 2-1

President's budget (gpoaccess.gov)

Barney Frank: The poor should rent, not own (Indiviglio, Atlantic)

Citigroup said to plan sale of private equity unit (Keoun/Keehner, Bloomberg) Citi cites raising cash to pay down debt as the reason to sell this unit. Of course this would also get Pandit some brownie points with Paul Volcker, who wants commercial banks out of private equity, hedge funds and proprietary trading...

HCA owners get $1.75 billion payout (Lattam, WSJ) Speaking of private equity...a nice payout for investors in one of the biggest LBOs in history.

All those little Stuy towns (Morgenson, NYT) Bullying as a business model...

Goldman Sachs and the $100 million question (Times UK) This is a thinly sourced article that claims Lloyd Blankfein will get a blowout $100m bonus for 2009. If true, talk about giving the finger to, well, pretty much everyone.

Five myths about America's credit card debt (Manning, WaPo)

Happy palindrome day! (imgur)

Barefoot running: How humans ran comfortably, and safely, before the invention of shoes (Science Daily)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 12-31

Bankers get $4 trillion gift from Barney Frank (Reilly, Bloomberg) David pours over HR 4173, all 1,279 pages of it. He finds some interesting nuggets. One of the bigger problems I see is the proposed insurance fund that would pay for resolving systemically dangerous banks. Talk about moral hazard!

Show some balls (Saletan, Slate) A colorful take on new TSA security procedures.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Frank changes mind, now favors pre-funding

From Alison Vekshin:

Barney Frank, chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, reversed course and will support requiring financial firms to prepay into a fund the government will use to unwind large firms after they fail.

If Frank's legislation passes, there will be an explicit taxpayer guarantee backing the high risk activities of the big banks.

Frank shines some light on G.E.

The price of reduced political risk? For General Electric, it’s worth some $6 billion of added market value this morning.

G.E..’s finance arm, GE Capital, had a investor presentation on Tuesday that was impressive on many fronts but not entirely convincing on the regulatory outlook. Obama’s proposed financial overhaul, as outlined in the June white paper, would force the company to spin off its giant finance arm, resulting in higher taxes and increased costs

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