Afternoon Links 4-22

April 22, 2010

The busted homes behind a big bet (Mollenkamp/Whitehouse/Toianovski, WSJ) Great piece this one.

Peripheral panic in Europe (Alphaville) Greece CDS spreads blew out even more today as the EU said the country’s ’09 deficit vs. GDP  was almost a full 1% higher than government figures. Meanwhile Moody’s downgraded Greek debt and the country’s 10-year notes fell dramatically, now yielding over 9% vs. 7% just two weeks ago. (As a bond’s price falls, its yield increases). Clusterstock has a good chart.

Russia debt sale shows risk is back! (Connaghan/Froymovich, WSJ) Despite panic in Europe about a prospective Greek default, Russia was able to sell $5.5 billion worth of bonds. It’s the country’s first international bond sale since it defaulted in 1998. The 1.25-1.35% spread of U.S. Treasuries is just the latest sign of the apocalypse that folks are back to chasing risk.

For good financial reform we need more chum (Payne, HuffPo) Erica makes a good point. The importance of Goldman v. SEC is that it has concentrated more minds on financial reform.

Can’t stand to sit too long? There’s a desk for that (Manjoo, NYT)

Bond market will never be the same after Goldman (Michael Lewis, Bloomberg) Good column, though I think I disagree with Lewis’s conclusion that the Goldman case will fundamentally change the bond market, or any securities market for that matter. Casinos Wall Street will always find new and better ways to separate speculators from their money. The idea that it was once an idyllic place where investors were safe is just not true. If you want safe, don’t go to Wall Street, go to Valley Forge PA where you’ll find boring, low fee, low return Vanguard mutual funds…

Existing home sales increase, helped by tax credit (CR) Pulling demand forward. Note the jump late last year when folks thought the tax credit would expire. It was extended to this year but won’t be extended again.

Facebook privacy policy WTF (imgur) You’re checking my browser history? Really? This is not out of date. I checked.

Sausage Gravy & Biscuit machine (tumblr) Who thought this was a good idea?

Found on a whiteboard at Google

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