Rolfe Winkler

Circuit City files for bankruptcy protection

November 10, 2008

Circuit City made the filing today:

Circuit City Stores, the struggling electronics retailer, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, becoming one of the biggest, best-known corporate names to collapse amid the faltering economy. …

WSJ Op-Ed: “global depression?”

November 10, 2008

David Roche has an interesting op-ed in Saturday’s WSJ:

The bottom line is that, assuming further credit losses from global recession take U.S. and EU tier-one bank capital back to where it was before state injections and capital raisings, then financial-sector credit would have to shrink 37% just to keep leverage constant at precrisis levels — that’s how you get global depression.

Quick Hits (and some philosophy)

November 10, 2008

One world government? No.  Still, when UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown says we should “seize the moment” to build a “global society,” I get a bit queasy.  Will leaders at this week’s G20 meeting propose a new supra-national framework to solve various world problems? (See the bottom of this post for more)

GM: Hat in hand

November 7, 2008

GM’s latest earnings report is ugly.  They burned through $6.9 billion in Q3 and have $16.2 billion left.  According to the release, they need at least $11 billion to keep operating.  If true, that gives them only a couple more months before they’ll be forced into bankruptcy.  (Not sure what status is on the $25 billion loan for all three automakers that has already passed Congress.)

Someone’s making money on Gold

November 7, 2008

Seen the “Gov’t Gold” ad campaign running on CNBC? The one selling tenth-of-an-ounce gold coins for $98 each? Compare to the spot price for a full ounce of gold at $734. That’s a tidy mark-up.

DTCC Data Doesn’t Disclose Real Dangers

November 6, 2008

Arthur Kimball

Bloomberg has some bad news for those of us who thought the recently issued report by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) was a nice glimpse of what the market for credit default swaps (CDS) truly looks like. It isn’t.

Heavy will lie the crown

November 6, 2008

Did y’all notice that Obama didn’t seem very enthusiastic during his victory speech last night?  He was clearly tempering expectations:

Plumbing of CDS becoming clearer

November 5, 2008

Arthur Kimball

A great deal of important information regarding the credit-default-swap (CDS) market has come out over the last week. Many of us who have tried to keep abreast of this unregulated insurance market have been proven in some ways to be quite the Cassandras. The systemic threat posed by CDS may have more to do with how the contracts work than with how they are used. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. In fact the problem is pretty big.

Quick Hits

November 4, 2008

—Ugh.  Obama looks like he’s going to win and already Dems are talking about reviving the “Fairness Doctrine,” which would force conservative talk radio to balance itself out with liberal programming.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Rush Limbaugh or his imitators.  I think their rhetoric is detrimental to our society; they twist truth to make their ideological points.  And yet, wouldn’t this be a violation of first amendment rights to free speech?  Every minute of liberal programming mandated by Democrats would be a minute that Rush is off the air.  That’s tantamount to shutting him up via legislation.  And who decides what qualifies as properly “liberal” programming?  If liberals can do this, why can’t conservatives retaliate by mandating an equal allocation of public university professorships be given to registered Republicans?  Obama must resist his party on issues like this.

OA’s endorsement…

November 1, 2008

At the risk of pissing off many of my readers, I thought I’d step into the election buzzsaw with an endorsement. And by “OA’s” endorsement I mean my own.