Afternoon Links 8-21

August 21, 2009

Japan turns to taxis for help in selling government bonds (Bloomberg) A peak into our own future?

Why the Austrian, Keynesian, Marxist, Monetarist, and Neo-liberal economists are all wrong (Jesse’s Cafe) A very good piece questioning various economic schools of thought. I’m a fan of the Berliner school, as in philosopher Isaiah Berlin. His pluralist approach — it’s better to know many small things than one big thing — is a better way to think, IMHO. I highly recommend his essay The Hedgehog and the Fox.

Existing Home Sales and first time buyers (Calculated Risk)  The stock market is thrilled with today’s existing home sales data.  CR notes that first-time buyers are jumping in right now, but that demand will wane.  Tax credits are driving home sales the same way C4C drove car sales.  A lot of demand is being pulled forward.  He has more in this follow-up post.

An alternative Big-mac index (Economist)

Morgan Stanley makes hiring push (WSJ) John Mack is beefing up his sales & trading teams. Someone’s got a little Goldman envy…

Schadenfreude alertRise of super-rich hits a sobering wall (NYT)

New phase of crisis, securities sink banks (WSJ) Guaranty was done in by option ARM MBS it held. Dozens of other banks are being hammered by trust preferred securities. This piece is actually all over the map, pointing to a lot of problem areas without adequately explaining how, in the grand scheme of American banking, they all fit together. A good read nonetheless.

Recession hammers booze cruises (BBC) Isn’t the liquor biz supposed to be recession proof? ;)

Just Swell.  Bill’s strength has surfers psyched (City Room, ht JL)  Hurricane Bill is bringing “EPIC” waves to the east coast.  I’m not a surfer myself, but I used to do consulting work for Surfline, the top surf-forecasting site quoted in the article.

Two days ago I linked to the video of Usain Bolt winning the 100m, yesterday he literally ran away with the 200m championship, finishing in world record time of 19.19 (the # on the clock was later revised) and beating the second-place finisher by 7 meters!

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