Ryan's Feed
Nov 8, 2012
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Counterparties: Cliff Notes

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The fiscal cliff (née taxmageddon) has been looming for months — yet, as Binyamin Appelbaum says, it never got any real traction during the campaign. But now that the campaign is over, the issue is everywhere. After all, if Congress doesn’t act, we’re headed straight for another recession, thanks to a mix of automatic spending cuts and expiring tax cuts. (For background, see our previous posts. The WSJ has a simple visualization of what’s in the fiscal cliff; Tracy Alloway flags a handy calendar, which includes when the debt limit will likely be reached).

Nov 5, 2012
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Counterparties: Things fall apart

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Infrastructure: you never really appreciate it until it breaks down. As America did after Katrina and the 2007 Minnesota bridge collapse, we are once again suddenly paying attention to infrastructure. That happens when subways flood, power lines fall, and storm barriers are notable by their nonexistence.

Oct 26, 2012
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Counterparties: Fannie and Freddie’s slow metamorphosis

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Today, FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to cost taxpayers $76 billion through 2014, instead of the previous projection of $142 billion. But that may not be enough to save their regulator’s job. Shahien Nasiripour reports that the Obama administration is pondering a recess appointment to replace Ed DeMarco, who was named the acting director of FHFA in 2009.

Oct 24, 2012
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Counterparties: A billion more reasons for Bank of America to regret acquiring Countrywide

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The DOJ has filed a $1 billion civil lawsuit alleging that Countrywide committed fraud “spectacularly brazen in scope” by selling defective mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2007-2009. (Full PDF here).

Oct 22, 2012
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Counterparties: China – Your guide to presidential bluster

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Among tonight’s foreign policy debate topics is the vague-yet-lofty “the rise of China and tomorrow’s world”.

Oct 17, 2012
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Counterparties: This time is entirely normal

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How you feel about the American economy right now depends on your answer to one question: are we recovering from a recession or from a financial crisis?

Oct 10, 2012
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Counterparties: Wall Street’s oddly lucrative malaise

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Wall Street is having a hard time enjoying itself these days. Bloomberg recently reported there was “no sexiness … no fun … no intellectual intrigue” left for some bankers, and wrote that $63 billion in big bank profit somehow just isn’t enough. New York magazine declared that, faced with tighter regulations and falling profits, Wall Street had been fully emasculated.

Oct 8, 2012
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Counterparties: Is Newsweek real?

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Newsweek/Daily Beast has become something of a media whipping post in the last several months. Editor Tina Brown, Michael Wolff wrote last month, is “the most famous magazine editor of her generation”, “engaged in a desperate and operatic struggle.” This summer, the family of the late Sidney Harman stopped pouring money into the company, and Barry Diller suggested that Newsweek could move into online-only mode.

Oct 4, 2012
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Counterparties: What’s holding back mortgage lending?

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Even with mortgage rates at record lows and the Fed’s recent $40 billion per month commitment to the market, mortgages aren’t terribly easy to get these days. Mitt Romney, for his part, blames confusion over “qualifying mortgages“. But the mortgage market is also being held back by the scourge of “put-backs”.

Oct 2, 2012
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Counterparties: How to build a safety net for the fiscal cliff

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We’re entering a strange time in the politics of the American economy. If Congress doesn’t act by January 1, a series of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts will kick in. This “fiscal cliff” or “taxmageddon”, the CBO says, will send us back into recession and slash GDP.

    • About Ryan

      "Ryan McCarthy is a Deputy Editor of Reuters.com and edits Counterparties.com with Felix Salmon. Previously, he was the Business Editor of the Huffington Post."
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