This is the Times editorial page on the NY State deficit. Note how fiscally conservative they are when discussing this issue.
Taxpayers on hook as some bailed out firms prove frail (Tse, WaPo) TARP investments in CIT and United Commercial bank were recently wiped out (= $2.6 billion). AIG and GM have received tens of billions they’ll never be able to pay back. Taxpayers may have purchased a bit of breathing room with TARP, but busted balance sheets will eventually have to be recapitalized anyway, as shareholders are wiped out while certain creditors eat their share of losses.
Lawyer crashes after life in fast lane (Koppel/Esterl, WSJ) Big Florida ponzi.
Buffett admits: Burlington not cheap (Frye, Bloomberg) Buffett was so eager to deploy his cash that he was willing to overpay for Burlington. What I think may be going on in his head: in a world likely to experience many more bubbles and busts, lots of paper wealth will be wiped out. Not a bad idea to turn cash into tangible assets.
Wall Street faces “live ammo” as Congress aims to unravel banks (Vekshin/Schmidt, Bloomberg) Yves complains that this isn’t enough, that size isn’t the only problem. She’s right, but I think these are good discussions to have. We’ll have to wait to see what’s in theKanjorski amendment, but I like where his head’s at. To Smith’s point, we desperately need to SIMPLIFY banks, not just shrink them. Ironically, today is the 10 year anniversary of theGramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the last vestiges of Glass-Steagall. Besides GLB, we also need to dump the CFMA….
From Deborah Solomon and Jonathan Weisman at WSJ:
The administration wants to keep some of the unspent [TARP] funds available for emergencies, but is considering setting aside a chunk for debt reduction, according to people familiar with the matter. It is also expected to lower the projected long-term cost of the program — the amount it expects to lose — to as little as $200 billion from $341 billion estimated in August.
…but that doesn’t mean the overall employment picture will get a lot worse.
From today’s “Breakfast with Dave” e-mail:
There are serious structural issues undermining the U.S. labour market as companies continue to adjust their order books, production schedules and staffing requirements to a semi-permanently impaired credit backdrop. The bottom line is that the level of credit per unit of GDP is going to be much, much lower in the future than has been the case in the last two decades. While we may be getting close to a bottom in terms of employment, the jobless rate is very likely going to be climbing much further in the future due to the secular dynamics within the labour market.
The public debt will likely pass $12 trillion this week, up another trillion since March. With Obama’s left flank calling for a second stimulus – which is really a third stimulus if you count George Bush’s tax rebates – there’s still no serious discussion about how to deal with debt. The bond market is telling us not to worry. But if history is any guide, the bond market is wrong.