Afternoon links 9-1

September 1, 2009

One quarter century penance just starting (Evans Pritchard) I agree with his view of the pain to come, though not with his prescription of quantitative easing. I don’t see that as a solution, merely a delaying tactic. Until the banks are recapitalized, nothing will have been solved. QE is just another way to prop them up.

US commodities rattled by China derivatives stance (Reuters) This was weird: “China’s regulator of state owned enterprises, the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), has told six foreign banks that [state-owned enterprises] reserved the right to default on contracts…” Reserving the right to back out of a contract?  WTF?

Florida lost $250 million on NY’s Stuyvesant apartments (Bloomberg) Ouch.

Sheila Bair op-ed (NYT) The FDIC Chairman (not Chairwoman, according to her placard at meetings) is not a fan of establishing a single regulator for the banking system. A big reason is that FDIC might lose much of its power to protect depositors by forcing banks to take corrective action. Hopefully policy-makers are paying attention.

What underwear says about the economy (WaPo) A cute article, though I have my doubts about any economic metrics that measure activity, inflated as they are by easy credit.

Make your own kaleidoscope (zefrank)

Mormon’s become victims in $50m scam to sell gold (Bloomberg)

At 16 she won $3.7m, at 22 she’s broke ( $500k on cocaine? I did a search for the average retail price per gram — I guess it’s in the $100 area. That means she blew ~5,000 grams of coke. Wish I could think of a neat way to conceptualize that…

Clever dude…

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China is running out of food and could become a law onto itself. The power of numbers and reserves will backfire, particularly when product recalls occur, then again, will they take notice or care ? Not sure where underwear fits into the picture, maybe we can expect 7 billion low grade underwear items produced from all the cotton China is importing. Or maybe they want to soften their own economic downfall.

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