James Pethokoukis

Dubai and the dollar

November 27, 2009

My pal Felix Salmon makes a good point about the dollar and Dubai. The greenback initially slid on the news. But isn’t the greenback supposed to be a safe haven. Felix opines as follows:

The politics of the bailout

November 23, 2009

From the Times:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn told the CBI annual conference of business leaders that another huge call on public finances by the financial services sector would not be tolerated by the “man in the street” and could even threaten democracy.

Just how much danger is Tim Geithner in?

November 20, 2009

When both Paul Krugman and the WSJ editorial page are hammering you, as they are Geithner, either you are doing something really right or really wrong.

Wall Street pay continues to be the Great Distraction

October 27, 2009

Again, all this focus on Wall Street pay distracts from more important issues.  Gary Becker summarizes:

Wall Street pay is the Great Distraction of the Great Recession

October 22, 2009

If I made of list of factors contributing to the recession and financial crisis, Wall Street pay would come in around 6th, after 1) easy monetary policy; 2) TBTF; 3) US housing policy; 4) global savings glut/China labor shock; 5) Wall Street group think.  Yet pay is where so much energy is being directed at this issue thanks to its populist appeal. America hates TARP so Washington needs to make amends by hammering execs at TARP recipients.

Tryanny of the status quo: homebuyer tax credit edition

October 21, 2009

A great point made by the Tax Foundation about the National Association of Realtors and its support of the homebuyer tax credit:

Winning the fight for the financial crisis narrative

October 21, 2009

In an FT piece, Daniel Yergin lists the many competing explanations for the financial crisis: 1) too much leverage; 2) rapid financial innovation; 3) wrongheaded or incomplete regulation; 4) government home ownership policies; 5) high US indebtedness; 6) too much greediness, not enough fear; 7) bubblicious easy credit; 8) hubris from years of global growth; 9) global securitization as a transmitter of crisis; 10) the oil spike; 11) intrinsic evil of capitalism.

Paul Volcker: Obama’s forgotten man

October 21, 2009

The most devastating part of the NYTimes piece on Paul Volcker’s lack of influence on WH economic policy comes into the very last sentence of the piece:

Is Geithner Wall Street’s man in Washington?

October 8, 2009

Yes, the treasury secretary talks to bankers, says the Associated Press:

The calendars, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies — Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — whose executives can reach the nation’s most powerful economic official on the phone, sometimes several times a day.

John Taylor on the Lehman anniversary

October 1, 2009

From his blog:

Two weekends ago the big news was the one-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the ensuing panic. But when you look at the data, the real one-year anniversary of the panic is closer to now.