Rolfe Winkler

Evening Links 12-7

December 7, 2009

Update from this morning: Neel Kashkari joins PIMCO (Ishmael, Alphaville)

TARP cost estimate falls $200 billion (Somerville, Reuters) Even after this latest reduction, the administration still estimates TARP will cost $141 billion. We may be getting more back than we though, but we’re not making money. Remember, the Fed still has north of $1.0 trillion or mortgage-backed securities on its balance sheet, the value of which is not clear.

Economic calcification, Japanese edition

December 7, 2009

Japan’s labor market is desperately troubled. For years, the number of temporary workers has been on the rise as Japanese employers find it harder to afford full-timers. Like the rest of the Japanese economy, the labor market needs the flexibility to deflate. But the government won’t allow that to happen. The latest example is a proposal to ban manufacturers from hiring temporary workers (Otsuma/Hagiwara, Bloomberg):

MBA: CMBS deterioration continues

December 7, 2009

From the Mortgage Bankers Association:

Delinquency rates continued to increase in the third quarter for most commercial/multifamily mortgage investor groups, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report.

Video: The unemployment game show

December 7, 2009

A clever way to explain the difference between U-3 and U-6. From Mint.com.

Neel Kashkari, off the grid

December 7, 2009

This is a fun story: The $700 billion man (Laura Blumenfeld, WaPo)

It all began as it ended, abruptly. [Neel] Kashkari was a 35-year-old business school graduate from a suburb of Akron, Ohio, who had gone to Washington in 2006 to learn how government worked. Then came the recession, and through a freakish set of circumstances, mixing pluck, cataclysm and luck, he was appointed by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as the federal bailout chief.

Evening Links 12-6

December 6, 2009

(Reader note: One bug we’re still trying to work out is that links in the top line of a post aren’t “hot” in the front-page view of the blog. If you click “continue reading” the link is available)

Geithner: “none…would have survived”

December 6, 2009

Secretary Geithner acknowledges what most doomsdayers were saying last fall, that without the government’s extraordinary rescue measures, the entire financial system was on the verge of collapse. (Miller/Harper, Bloomberg)

Bank failure Friday

December 4, 2009

More Georgia! Update: And AmTrust!  That’s a $2.0 billion hit to the DIF…

Gold gets hammered on jobs data

December 4, 2009

Is Bernanke still trapped if the unemployment rate has suddenly started to fall?

The gold market, the bond market and Fed funds futures are all reassessing what Bernanke will do. Maybe he will be able to raise rates sooner than expected.

Welcome to the new Reuters!

December 4, 2009

Hi readers.

As you can see, we’ve launched a cool new site. I’m a big fan of the new layout.

Bunning grills Bernanke

December 4, 2009

This was a good clip from yesterday’s confirmation hearing…

North Korea devalues currency

December 3, 2009

From Richard Lloyd Parry, writing for the Times of London: North Koreans in misery as cash is culled

Luchtime Links 12-3

December 3, 2009

A cloud still hangs over Bhopal (Mehta, NYT)

Japanese companies cut capital spending at record rate (Ujikane, Bloomberg)

Black caucus seeks to ease radio’s woes (Lipton, NYT) This is certainly interesting. Remember the CBC skipped the vote on the financial reform package. They want the administration to pressure Goldman and GE to renegotiate loans to a prominent black radio station in NYC.

Evening Links 12-2

December 2, 2009

CBC sits out vote… (Brush, The Hill) The Congressional Black Caucus didn’t show up for a vote this morning on Barney Frank’s financial reform package. It passed the Financial Services Committee, but the administration may have to buy the CBC’s support to get the legislation through the full House.

Lunchtime Links

December 2, 2009

Fears grow about overheated U.S. debt market (Sender, FT) Dividend recaps (see yesterday’s post) aren’t the only controversial debt deals coming back to marketm, so are PIK toggles and Covenant Lite loans. Like option ARM and liar loan mortgages these would qualigy as Ponzi units of finance under Minksy’s framework.