Afternoon Links 9-17

September 17, 2009

Barclays accused of trickery in $12.3 billion toxic asset sale (Telegraph) Speaking of off-balance sheet games, Barclays lent $12.6 billion to a limited partnership called Protium so that Protium could buy $12.3 billion worth of Barclays’ toxic assets. So Barclays rids its balance sheet of thee toxic assets — which are subject to fair value accounting rules — in exchange for a loan — which isn’t. It’s a shame accounting rules permit such shenanigans. Neil Unmack has more.

FDIC finances sale of troubled mortgages (NYT) Remember PPIP? Unfortunately it hasn’t died. I hope to have more on this later. If you want to hear the conference call describing the transaction, the replay is here: (866) 392-0223. It starts five minutes in…

Teen birth rates highest in most religious states (MSNBC) According to researchers, it’s because these communities typically frown on birth control. I wonder if they control for socio-economic status…

Oklahoma students can’t pass citizenship test ( 75% can’t name the first president.

World’s tallest man (BBC)

21 accents in 2.5 minutes (YouTube)

Interview with Bill Black (BearishNews)

The Earth revolves around the sun, right? Not *quite* true (NASA)

Making noodles…by hand

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