Lunchtime Links 7-15

July 15, 2009

Wells Fargo sells $600 million of distressed assets at 35 cents on dollar (Edward Harrison)  Imagine if they tried to sell their book of home equity loans and option ARMs…

The sound of recession, Salvation Army bells in July (True Slant)  Leaving my office yesterday in Times Square I noticed a bell ringer on the corner of 42nd street and 7th Ave, which I thought was pretty odd.

Coalition to attack plan for Fed powers (FT)  The Fed has proved to be a terrible regulator, probably because its quasi-private status makes it an arm of the financial sector more than an arm of the government.  This isn’t necessarily bad.  Do we really want Congress in charge of the money supply?  Can you imagine how much worse they’d handle it?  But if the government is going to root out systemic risks, it needs a body totally independent of the banking system to do that.

Mortgages are now a bank’s best friend (NYT)  Banks are taking the Fed’s cue to reflate the bubble.

Online bartering grows (Inc)

Shining results aren’t solid gold (WSJ)  Goldman is making lots of money, but taking lots of risk to do so.  And why shouldn’t they?  They’re too big to fail!

Republican chart of Democratic health care plan (docs.house.gov)  To be fair, the biggest health care boondoggle of the last 20 years may have been the Medicare drug plan, which Bush signed into law.  At the same time, it’s important to question the wisdom of creating a gigantic new federal bureaucracy to operate our health care system.

Lenny Dykstra’s financial career….

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