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from Rolfe Winkler:

Morning Links 1-7

Tim Geithner covered up AIG's payments to counterparties (DealBook) Timmy G. knew it looked bad for AIG to pay out 100¢ on the dollar to counterparties like Goldman. So he told AIG to shut up.

Obama buget will raise "carried interest" tax (Comstock, Business Insider) Awesome proposal from the Prez. Recall that hedge-funders and PE guys can treat their partnership income as capital gains. As a result they're only taxed at 15% instead of normal income tax rates of 35%. Last time this came up, Chuck Schumer killed it. This time it's likely to happen.

Obama OKs taxing high-end health plans (Werner, AP) Another good move. It's Republicans who've argued that such health plans should be taxed so this will get bipartisan support if Dems get on board. Unions oppose it so this demonstrates some backbone from Obama.

New Japanese finance minister calls for more stimulus, weaker yen (Kajomoto/White, Reuters) Debt surpassing 200% of GDP doesn't faze the new guy...

David Blanchflower, the man who knew too much

Goodhart’s Law states that if you rely on a single measure to set economic policy, it will mislead you. Charles Goodhart coined it in 1975 when he was senior adviser to the Bank of England it was targetting growth in the money supply. It’s taken longer for the law to apply to the Bank’s targetting of inflation through interest rates set by the Monetary Policy Committee, but it’s arrived now.

The MPC’s brief is simple; the committee must set Bank Rate at a level to keep inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index, as close to 2 percent as it can. The acceptable range is one per cent either side. By and large, helped by a decade when the cost of goods was constantly falling, it had managed to do what it’s supposed to do. Today’s decision to leave Bank Rate at the nominal level fof 0.5 percent reinforces the expectation that the CPI will stay inside its range.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Fed: Stop the presses

On Thursday, the Bank of England said that it would run its printing press a bit faster while the European Central Bank hinted that theirs might slow down sooner than expected.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve's printing press is running low on ink, and Ben Bernanke has his own choice to make: Buy a new cartridge or shut the thing down. He should shut it down.

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