Round-up: Views on AIG, stock strategies and the economy
As CNBC’s on-again, off-again call for the calvary for AIG held the stock market’s attention, Tyler Cowen posted what may well be what we’ll remember about this unusual day: “It’s a little scary that the world’s largest insurance company hasn’t planned for a rainy day.” (Marginal Revolution)
Mark Thoma is monitoring the bailout-moral risk debate on AIG and sides with Willem Buiter in the FT this morning. “Unless we are very certain that telling AIG to ‘go away’ will not endanger the overall economy, then protect jobs and the economy first and foremost by ensuring, minimally, that an orderly liquidation occurs,” he posted in the Economist’s View.
Count Stan Collender at Capital Gains and Games as one of the surprised at the sudden shift of events. After two weeks off the gird, he returns Tuesday and notes “a substantial change in the reporting on the financial situation. There was a certain almost arrogance and swagger just before I left. The mantra was that Bear Sterns was the beginning of the end of the problem. I don’t hear that now.”
Marc Gerstein isn’t too interested in the blame game. “Exotics or not, if you lend a ton of money to people who can’t pay it back, you’re going to suffer.” He puts growth and sentiment models to the test and concludes “we’re still likely to be better off if we own reasonably valued shares of companies with demonstrated records of being able to grow earnings” despite the wrenching transition taking place in some sectors. (Gerstein used to write an investment column at Reuters.com and is now at Portfolio123).
On the broader economic front, Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal looks at Monday’s Industrial Production release and concludes: “For about a year we have been blessing the disconnect between financial chaos and construction depression on the one side and real-side economic ‘weakness’ elsewhere in the economy. Let’s hope the disconnect continues. But it looks as though it isn’t: the recession has spread out from construction into goods production broadly.”