Jonathan Weil has a great column on Bank of America, noting that it’s trading at a price-to-book ratio of just 0.54. That’s not because it’s losing money, but rather because no one believes the bank’s numbers. And it’s easy to see why that might be, when BofA insists that its Countrywide goodwill — all $4.4 billion of it — remains unimpaired, even as the brand name has been dropped.
It’s easy to see the logic behind the Fed’s latest bout of quantitative easing. Indeed, the official Fed statement lays it out quite plainly: the economy is struggling, and needs all the help it can get; meanwhile, inflation is lower than the Fed would like to see. Since rates can’t be lowered below the zero lower bound, all that’s left is QE.
Don’t believe for a minute that the likes of Rand Paul are bringing a whole new level of nutty to upper-house politics, in contrast to staid and boring countries like the UK. Via Joseph Cotterill and Charlie Stross, here’s an astonishing speech made in the Mother of Parliaments by David James, a/k/a Baron James of Blackheath.