Must Read — Kyle Bass: Testimony before the FCIC (fcic.gov) Bass is a hedgefunder that made big profits betting against subprime. His testimony has many fascinating facts and figures. [The pie charts on page 9 look familiar.]
Obama to push tax on too-big-to-fail banks (Nasiripour) Not a lot of details: “the planned tax would be imposed in a way that targets firms’ riskiest activities, such as proprietary trading. It would be crafted in a way that doesn’t affect a financial company’s retail banking, so that the cost theoretically would not be passed on to retail customers — but it wasn’t clear exactly how that would work.” And will it tax other TBTF firms besides banks? What about insurers? What about GE? Update: WSJ says the tax will target bank liabilities.
Earthquake in Haiti may have killed over 100,000 (Farie/Varner, Bloomberg) The epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude quake was 10 miles from Haiti’s capital city.
Google China spat shines spotlight on cyberspying (Prodhan/Lee, Reuters) Google has consistently tried to thread the needle between the revenue opportunities provided by the Chinese market, and the censorship restrictions imposed by the Communist Party. This attack was so egregious that Google said it’s had enough.
Prime jumbo RMBS delinquencies jump to 9.2%: Fitch (Golobay, HousingWire) ht Implode-o-Meter.
SEC proposes effective ban on naked access (Younglai/Spicer, Reuters)
FDIC’s Bair blasts other regulators for reluctance on banker pay plan (Paletta, WSJ) I’d hoped to share the video archive with all of you but a day later it’s still not available. There are good arguments that additional curbs on pay will be both tough to design and ineffective at curbing risk. A better regulator is failure. But that’s not Dugan’s point. He just wants to protect banks.
VIDEO — Lennart Green does close up card magic (TED talks)
Clever 2010 calendar (imgur)
Another dose of Martian awesome (Plait, Discover)
A Chinese thanks Google for standing up to the communists (more)…