The Stash

Worth Reading
November 13, 2009

Sheila Bair: TARP investments were a bad idea. A quick return to normalcy could be a very bad idea for the Fed. On the return of our rising trade deficit. Bartiromo out as columnist at Bloomberg's BusinessWeek. Why democracies don't get corrupted by natural resources.

Some Gratuitous French Bashing
November 13, 2009

From the July 7, 2009 New York Times: “America is six months behind; it has wasted a lot of time,” said Patrick Devedjian, the minister in charge of the French relance, or stimulus. By the time Washington gets around to doling out most of its money, Mr. Devedjian sniffed, “the crisis could be over.” ... The confidence evident in the words of Mr.

Another Argument for a Jobful Recovery
November 13, 2009

Noam's been recently floating the wacky idea that the coming employment recovery could be here much sooner than the last two jobless recoveries have led most of us to expect. I was skeptical about his argument, but here's some more evidence that maybe we shouldn't expect a worst-case scenario for job growth. Riccardo DiCecio and Charles Gascon of the St.

Worth Reading
November 12, 2009

New Fed rules severely restrict banks' ability to charge overdraft fees. Dollar carry trade not as big as some fear. Stop the madness: The Fed needs to be independent. Geithner: U.S. borrowing far less than expected to fix financial system. Should Apple be charging more than 99 cents for songs on Itunes?

Taming the Fed, Intelligently
November 11, 2009

The Chris Dodd proposal that has regulators and the Hill in an uproar (to say nothing of the banks) seems to contain the kernel of a very workable compromise.

Worth Reading
November 11, 2009

Is monetary policy still too tight? NYT looks at Bernanke's battles with legislators. Were oil prices a bigger part of the recession than given credit for? $4.2 trillion in maturing debt could prolong the credit crunch. How statistical time machines can compare SCOTUS justices across decades.

Worth Reading
November 10, 2009

Ex-Bear Stearns fund managers acquitted of subprime-related fraud charges. Why big news on diminishing oil supplies didn't move markets. Under Dodd's plan, commercial banks would lose ability to name Fed directors. Mark Thoma has a new blog. Treasury a little too selective in releasing loan modification stats.

Should We Care About the "Big" in "Too Big To Fail"?
November 10, 2009

Oftentimes when you debate a skeptic of structural reform on Wall Street, the skeptic will say something like: "Why are you so worked up about 'too big to fail'? Lehman was far from the biggest bank on Wall Street, but it caused plenty of damage." If anything, "too-interconnected-to-fail" is the real issue, they'll say--implying that this makes addressing the problem utterly futile, since severing interconnections is a lot harder than limiting bank size. In my experience, this can temporarily wrong-foot you long enough for the other person to seize the rhetorical advantage.

Today in "Too Big To Fail": More Shrinkage Momentum
November 10, 2009

Very interesting development on the "too big to fail" front today: The Journal reports that Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter is planning an amendment to the systemic risk bill currently before the House Financial Services committee. The amendment would partly revive certain New Deal-era restrictions on banks:  Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D., Colo.) is working on a separate amendment that would allow bank regulators to impose restrictions prohibiting certain companies from operating both a commercial bank and an investment bank if capital reserves fall below a certain level.

Worth Reading
November 09, 2009

Fred Mishkin: Fed shouldn't worry about asset bubbles right now. Inflation expectations have returned to a historically normal range. Study: A higher minimum wage can reduce obesity. Dallas Fed: Don't blame protectionism for the decline in global trade. Banks just as happy buying Treasuries as making loans.

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