Evening Links 7-29

July 30, 2009

(send links, pics, vids to rolfe.winkler at thomsonreuters)

Desperate AZ may sell capitol buildings to raise money (Arizona Republic)

Accounting gimmicks help Wells Fargo (and others) boost profits (WSJ)

FDIC poised to split banks to lure buyers (WSJ)  “The strategy, which is likely to begin soon, is aimed at selling the most distressed hunks of failed banks to private-equity firms and other types of investors who may be more willing than traditional banks to take a flier on bad assets. The traditional banks could then bid on the deposits, branches and other bits of the failed institution that are appealing.”

Bollinger sees first amendment for economy (Bloomberg)  I’m not sure what to make of this article.  The “first amendment” thing sounds interesting, but the writer goes nowhere with it, instead he digresses into a wide-ranging piece about Bollinger and the issues he has faced at Michigan and Columbia.

Do bigger fiscal deficits necessarily mean we need China more today? (Setser)  Brad argues that we’re actually less dependent on China.  We have a smaller trade deficit, which lowers our funding needs.  And a smaller portion of the fiscal deficit is being financed externally.  But there are big problems with this argument as his commenters point out.  For instance, yeah a lower portion of debt is financed externally, but isn’t that because total issuance has exploded?  And central banks are piling into shorter maturity debt, which puts much more pressure onto Treasury when it comes time to refinance.  But Brad still has some of the best and most interesting charts in the econo-blogosphere.  Read this post if just for those, and for the contrary opinion.

Trustee liquidating Madoff’s business sues the wife (Reuters)  Ruth Madoff ain’t out of the woods.

On seasonal adjustments for data (CR)  Fascinating stuff.  Read this link in conjunction with his comments on yesterday’s Case-Shiller data, which was widely reported as showing an “increase” in house prices.  Don’t be fooled, he argues, prices will be falling again come autumn.

Big spenders tend to marry big savers (Reuters)

Senate bill would ban texting while driving (WaPo)


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