Felix Salmon

Corzine’s culpability

The good news, today, is that Jon Corzine is testifying; the bad news is that he’s almost certainly not going to say anything substantive in his testimony. His prepared statement is a bit odd: he says that he has “had limited access to many relevant documents, including internal communications and account statements, and even my own notes, all of which are essential to my being able to testify accurately” — and then says that somehow he might have been able to gain such access between now and January, as though anything will have changed between now and then.

Counterparties

Here’s the leaked report from European Council President Van Rompuy  — FT

Can TomTom help solve the congestion problem?

Traffic congestion is one of those problems to which there is no single silver-bullet solutions. If a city has too much congestion, the main thing it needs to do is build out much better public transportation infrastructure — something which takes many years and many billions of dollars. But failing that, or in the mean time, is there anything else?

Will the ESM guarantee Eurozone bonds?

TBI’s Simone Foxman has got her wonk on and is getting into the weeds of Eurozone bail-in policies — a crucial subject about which there isn’t nearly enough public coverage. Simone says that I’m wrong, and that the EU is in no way intending to guarantee the debts of the PIIGS. And I very much hope that she’s right about that.

Smackdown of the day: Bloomberg vs the Fed

Historically, it was hard for institutions to reply in any effective manner to press reports which they thought were full of egregious errors and mistakes. They could complain to various editors, and maybe even get a short response on the letters page, but they rarely got the opportunity to reply in their own words and at the length they thought the reply deserved.

Counterparties

Uh-oh: construction’s grinding to a halt in Chinese “ghost towns” — WSJ

How the ECB could be forced to print money

The European Central Bank has been notoriously reluctant to print money during this crisis. But what if it had to?

The euro zone’s terrible mistake

The FT is reporting today that the new fiscal rules for the EU “include a commitment not to force private sector bondholders to take losses on any future eurozone bail-outs”. If this principle really does get enshrined into some new treaty, it will be one of the most fiscally insane derelictions of statesmanship the world has seen — but it certainly helps explain the short-term rally that we saw today in Italian government debt.

Counterparties

Mario unveils a new austerity budget to rescue the princess save Italy’s credit rating — NYT