Evening Links 6-24
The Great American Bubble Machine (Rolling Stone via ZH) Matt Taibbi strikes again, this time taking on Goldman Sachs. What makes the story so refreshing is the language RS lets Taibbi use. The fraud and corruption occurring at the highest levels of finance is obscene; Taibbi describes it with obscenities.
US Treasury Auction changes may overstate bids (Reuters) Is Treasury manipulating bond auctions to overstate the interest of foreign lenders?
Not Paying the Mortgage, Yet Stuck With the Keys (WaPo) Remember the odd conclusion to NYT journo Ed Andrews’ article about his debt troubles? That he’d stopped making his mortgage payment eight months prior but hadn’t heard a word from his bank? There’s a method to the madness and it isn’t just that lenders are swamped with mortgage delinquencies. Lenders are watching all levels of government work to reflate the credit bubble. Their hope is that if they hold on long enough, reflation will bail them out. This seems foolish since the reflation, if it comes, will likely be temporary. The Fed/Treasury/FDIC/et al can’t maintain their rescue facilities forever. Agnes Crane makes the point more directly in a great post from this afternoon, which outlines how banks are extending commercial real estate loans hoping borrowers will magically become solvent once more.
Some Chrysler Dealers See Lending for Car Inventories Cut off by GMAC (WSJ) Sounds like GMAC is making responsible lending decisions for a change.
California lawmakers reject budget fix, state could begin using IOU’s next week (LA Times) Three cheers for CA Controller John Chiang, who is holding political feet to the fire.
Updated MTA Payroll (Empire Center) 10% of NY transit workers make over $100k per year. Some Long Island Rail Road workers seem to do particularly well. On a related note, the MTA is trying to raise revenue by selling naming rights to subway stations.
The Newsweekly’s Last Stand (The Atlantic) Along with most of print media, weekly news magazines are dying. The Economist bucks the trend.
Physics Discussion Ends in Skateboard Attack (SF Chronicle)