Lunchtime Links 11-30

November 30, 2009

Four years of calling the global financial crisis (Steve Keen) The latest from Steve. Lots of helpful charts. We’ve a long way to go till we successfully de-lever the economy.

Investors face huge losses as Dubai abandons company (Robertson, Times UK) Not that investors thought Dubai had the liquidity to rescue Dubai World. They’re hoping for a bailout from Daddy Abu Dhabi, which doesn’t seem to be in the works.

Could cap and trade cause another market meltdown? (Morris, Mother Jones) Interesting. Mother Jones is a very liberal publication and yet they’re arguing that cap & trade, which is the compromise designed to reduce carbon emissions, is a bad idea because it will enrich banks that make markets in carbon offsets. Matt Taibbi made the same point in his vampire squid piece. I confess to being a global warming doubter, only because I studied the subject in university and wondered, given the complexity of the models involved, how any reliable scientific conclusions could be drawn from them. But if we are going to reduce carbon emissions, it seems like a straight carbon tax would be a much better idea.

An empire at risk (Niall Ferguson, Newsweek) Ferguson quotes Krugman’s infamous 2003 column.

The right reform for the Fed (Merkel, Aleph blog) David tears apart Bernanke’s Saturday op-ed. Not that there’s much chance of it, but my hope is that the Senate decides not to confirm Bernanke for another term. (His confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday.) Support for him is based on the premise that he’s acquitted himself well cleaning up after the financial crisis. But Bernanke is merely repeating Greenspan’s mistakes which inflated the credit bubble in the first place. He’s not cleaning up the problem. He’s sweeping it under the rug.

Fed tries theater ads to burnish image (Puzzanghera, LA Times) Look for PSAs from Ben Bernanke in your local movie theater….

AIG may face $11 billion shortfall in insurance reserves (Carney, Clusterstock) JC quotes a Sanford Bernstein report.

Bad scrabble strategy, from Alaska (Marginal Revolution)

Man robbed of $2 million bank withdrawal in Taiwan (Jennings, Reuters)

Guatemala’s “skullmongers” (AP) A different kind of ambulance chaser.

Dogs may have trouble with doors, but 3-week old kittes, not so much…


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Bring back your “must read” label. I would sure put Steve Keen’s piece in that category.There are always going to be those who have a handle on what is going on in the economy. The challenge is to be able to pull those out from the mass of voices, all sounding of great authority, who assail the public with their ideas.The reward is great – you can keep from losing your shirt, or at least as much of it as others – but it can be very difficult to tell who is giving the true account for the many who are not versed in economics.

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