James Pethokoukis

Explaining Orszag’s maybe move to Wall Street

December 2, 2010

Former Obama budget chief Peter Orszag to Citi? Maybe. What, you thought the big banks hated Obama’s financial reform?Just listen to KC bank president Tom Hoenig in the NYTimes:

Why Wall Street should fear Sarah Palin

November 12, 2010

The only people in Manhattan who are probably eager for a Sarah Palin presidential run are the supposed comedy writers at “Saturday Night Live.” Wall Street bankers, on the other hand, not so much. Big Money has been snarkily dismissive of Palin’s recent opining on monetary policy, the dollar and the dangers of inflation. But guess what? A “free-market populist” campaign in 2012 would likely further highlight that Palin’s not too big a fan of them, either. And her economic musings are yet another sign she’s running

A bank tax? Really?

October 18, 2010

I just did a CNBC  spot debating whether robust banks profits should spur new efforts to tax them. Here were my talking points:

The recovering financial system

October 12, 2010

The St. Louis Fed had put together a “financial stress index.” It incorporates a number of financial variables.  And it looks a whole lot better than it did two years ago.

Obama vs. the hedgie

September 21, 2010

Here is a bit-o-goodness from my Reuters Breakingviews column on the Obama-CNBC town hall yesterday .

How will the midterms affect the stock market?

September 20, 2010

The always insightful and interesting Ed Yardeni gathers some numbers on elections and market returns:

For banks, financial reform taking turn for the worse

June 24, 2010

Wall Street always knew financial reform was coming. The big banks never really thought there was a chance of killing it, not that they really tried to. In fact, once the effort moved into 2009, they wanted it over sooner rather than later. The longer the process dragged out, the greater the chance of something crazy popping up and the more political and profit damage they took. For instance: The “break up the bank” movement was almost successful. As it is, the Volcker rules and derivatives reform may end up far tougher than their worst-case scenario.

U.S. economy still starved for credit

June 21, 2010

So says Paul Kasriel of Northern Trust: “I consider this financial sector net credit contraction the major headwind for the economy, preventing a more normal robust cyclical recovery.”

The danger of small banks

May 24, 2010

Binyamin Appelbaum of the NYT tries to simply things for me:  ”Broadly speaking, there were two ways for the federal government to respond to the financial crisis. The Obama administration chose more regulation.”

Wall Street scores a win on financial reform … for now

May 21, 2010

A sigh of relief is due on Wall Street. The procedural finale for the U.S. Senate’s debate on financial reform came just in time for the big banks. The bill just kept getting tougher as the talk dragged on. But it could have been worse. While banks’ future activities and profitability may get pinched, their core business model appears intact. In the end, Wall Street got nicked, not nuked. Some observations: