Some afternoon linkage before the weekend begins:

Geithner says derivatives blindsided the gov’t (Associated Press)

Beazer Homes, a one-company crime wave (Floyd Norris)

Subprime Resurfaces as Housing-Market Woe (WSJ)

Artificial Stimulus (Dan Gross, Slate)

ECRI on The Great Recession (2008-2010) (Canada Housing Crash)

Lost ‘Animal Spirits’ May Worsen Economy, Roubini, Shiller Say(Bloomberg)

Two Authorities on Fed Advise Congress Against Expanding Its Power (NYT)

No One Saw This Coming”: Understanding Financial Crisis Through Accounting Models (Dirk J Bezemer, Groningen University)

What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You? (NYT Magazine)

Anything else worth killing some tress over? Did I miss anything good today? Please use the comments . . .

Category: Financial Press, Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

52 Responses to “Friday Afternoon Linkage”

  1. franklin411 says:

    I agree with Dan Gross that it’s way too early to know if the stimulus is working. For now, it seems to be doing what it said it would do–create or save 3.5 million jobs. People are attacking it as if it was sold as something that was supposed to restore full employment by now! Ridiculous.

    As far as a second stimulus, I’m opposed to that. But. This country is in desperate need of investment in infrastructure and education. A recent study by the Society of Civil Engineers rated America’s infrastructure a D, and estimated that we need to spend $2.2 trillion over 5 years just to bring our crumbling nation up to code.

    We shouldn’t have a second stimulus…but we should fix our country. IIRC, the GOP complained that the stimulus didn’t have enough infrastructure spending, so presumably they would support such an enterprise (assuming they are honestly interested in good government, which may be a real stretch!).

  2. cvienne says:

    Here Franklin…

    You probably missed this up in the right hand corner of your screen…

    Money won’t buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem.
    —Bill Vaughan

  3. CNBC Sucks says:

    Bob Shiller is one of The Great CNBC Sucks’ favorite economists, but the man needs to get off the “animal spirits” meme ASAP. Shiller has a ton of other great intellectual capital so I don’t know why he keeps going back to that Keynesian crap. Yeah, I agree that “animal spirits” are a partial determinant in what’s happening in the economy, but there are also the other factors such as The Curmudgeon’s international wage arbitrage and natural resource constraints. I don’t think America can fundamentally get out of this hole just by feeling good about itself, sorry.

  4. cvienne says:

    …and Franklin

    Re: “As far as a second stimulus, I’m opposed to that. But. This country is in desperate need of investment in infrastructure and education”

    As far as I can see, everytime THE GOVERNMENT spends money to fix out infrastructure, all I see are 6 workers standing around a hole to watch the 7th worker dig the hole…

    And all I see are TEACHERS who have nothing better to do than to spend their day on the blogosphere talking about how great it is when the party of their political choice is in power…

  5. Bruce in Tn says:

    FDIC Said to Withhold CIT Debt Guarantees Due to Risk

    “CIT, the century-old lender to 950,000 businesses, became a bank in December to qualify for a government bailout and received $2.33 billion in funds from the U.S. Treasury. The lender has reported more than $3 billion of losses in the last eight quarters, faces $10 billion of maturing debt through 2010 and hasn’t had access to the corporate bond market in more than a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

    This newbie bank had 76 billion of assets at the end of the first quarter…has been a “bank” for all of 6 months….by the way, Obama has been in office now 6 months…that is 1/8 of his term…we’ve seen 12.5% of the contract we gave him January 20th…I still don’t get it…debt deleveraging with more debt…same pie, we just call this one cobbler instead of fruit pie…7/8 to go…

  6. cvienne says:

    @The Great CNBC Sucks

    “Yeah, I agree that “animal spirits” are a partial determinant in what’s happening in the economy, but there are also the other factors ”

    yeah, that reminds me of the retailers all blaming the weather because they can’t sell their sweaters or bikinis…

    I mean EVERYONE KNOWS, open a shop close to karen and you’d improve your potential margins & sales on shoes & bikinis…

    It’s all in the business plan…

  7. Marcus Aurelius says:

    From the first link:

    “Establishing a comprehensive framework of oversight is crucial,” Geithner said in his opening remarks to a joint hearing by the House agriculture and financial services committees.

    Like the one our grandparents gave us?

    Once again: Deregulation of banking and/or finance is foolish. And, as we are seeing, the old saying about fools and their money is as true now as it ever was. Never trust anyone who says they can be trusted.

    J F’n C, we’re a nation of freekin’ imbeciles.

  8. CNBC Sucks says:

    cvienne – Am I hearing you right? Are you suggesting that karen should post a photo of herself modeling her newly bought shoes and bikini (and don’t forget the Italian bag)?

    Do I hear a second (from leftback, most likely)? If so, we can move this proposal to a vote.

  9. callistenes says:

    Don’t know if Marc Faber is ok with it but the July GBD is on scribd.

  10. Pat G. says:

    “Blindsided”? That’s the excuse they’re giving while they pick pocket us.

    On expanding the FED’s power, I’m with Paul on that subject: abolish it. The reason; do an audit.

  11. willid3 says:

    i suspect that since of the 300+ billion in spending, and 400+ in tax cuts. that only a small part of the spending has occurred, but all of the tax cuts have (and this time unlike the tax cut 2003) i actually noticed some difference . but in a 14,000 billion dollar economy, 700+ billion is almost a rounding error.
    and we have to many headwinds. the wage arbitrage sponsored by wall street (in part as their plan to increase the amount of loans they could make. and the fake profits!). and the collapsing wages that continues (now back to about 2000 levels. soon headed to 1990s levels). and job destruction that has already wiped out all jobs from the last administration. soon headed even lower

    and a new credit card….trying to come up with some thing besides scam. but can;t

    and another take on bankslaughter

  12. willid3 says:

    Marcus Aurelius, i think when they say trust us is the first hint that you can’t.

  13. willid3 says:

    is Beazer homes the model of the current debacle? they just went all in? and are getting off with a beating with a wet noodle?

  14. willid3 says:

    there is also this about the FED

    maybe not such a good idea to add consumer protection to an agency that isn’t sensitive any thing wall streeters and banksters

  15. willid3 says:

    another voice for a some time recovery. from an unexpected source. also not sure why he is surprised about the lack of recovery. consumers (aka workers) have to many headwinds to fight to support a recovery

  16. The Curmudgeon says:

    I’ve had it w/ the clever and/or overworked phrases, too. Animal spirits? What, are you saying we should hunt, kill and devour something to jump start the economy? Can we start with Goldman Sachs? What’s really ironic about the phrase is that it implies the government needs individuals to show initiative and drive and ambition to make their piece of the pie bigger, while the government simultaneously seeks to destroy these self-same animal spirits by confiscating wealth and turning the country into a nanny state (or Bailout Nation, if you prefer).

    I saw a headline on Bloomberg today that some economist thinks the economy is on “the cusp of stabilization”. Now my American Heritage defines “cusp” as “a point or pointed end”. How the hell can you be on the cusp of stabilization? Wouldn’t tettering on a cusp be inherently unstable? Oh, but he sounded so clever.

  17. CNBC Sucks says:

    I have had it too, you insightful Curmudgeon you. I just blew up on the other thread. The intelligent and informed frequenters of this blog are completely out of touch with mainstream society. Nobody cares about any of this crap, you poor (well, some of you are rich) lonely men (and I do mean men)!

    It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s time to boogie. Get down. Put away all your macroeconomic and geopolitical troubles and ask yourself: Am I emo or indie?

    Maybe, I will try some Extra Crispy…

  18. mcHAPPY says:

    I am not sure if any Americans have access to BNN here in Canada, however there was just a great interview with Elizabeth Warren aired. It was refreshing, nearly as refreshing as Rosenberg’s stint on Squawk Box this week. Unfortunately it also shows how, moving forward, the big banks and CEO’s have learned not a thing.

  19. Pat G. says:

    @mcHAPPY “the big banks and CEO’s have learned not a thing.”

    And they never will until it costs THEM.

  20. Bruce in Tn says:

    Boosting Sales With Booze

    “One method to get men interested in shopping is the tried-and-true allure of a good drink. Stores that host shopping events where the guest star is beer, bourbon or another potent potable are finding that men more likely to stay and shop with a drink in their hands.”

    …I am thinking this would work for blog sites, too. When a comment was left, a coupon could be mailed to the blogger’s address good, for say, Jack Black or some other lubricant….

  21. Tom K says:

    Three problems with the Stimulus:

    1. Money is hitting the economy too slowly. From Rich Lowry’s article today “According to Doug Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, only about half of the $308 billion in spending will make it out the door by the end of fiscal year 2010 (i.e., by next September). That’s about $150 billion during the next year and a half in a $14 trillion economy – in other words, a trifling 0.70 percent of the economy during that period. Only 11 percent of that spending will take place by the end of fiscal year 2009. ” – ONLY 11%!

    2. Most of spending that is getting to people is being saved, and it’s likely much of the funding going to state/local governments is going to be diverted to paying off debts or funding long term ‘unfunded services’.

    3. The Stimulus is going to result in a structurally larger government providing more services for infinitum. Larger deficits are going to result in higher taxes or higher interest rates, slowing both business and job growth.

    Will the stimulus work? We will probably never know. If the economy turns up by the end of this year (as is expected), I’m sure the Obama Administration will take credit, meaning much of the remaining 89% of the funds (deficit spending) will be essentially wasted on trying to revive an economy that is already recovering.

  22. Bruce in Tn says:

    California ‘Incompetence’ Leaves Banks to Ponder IOUs

    July 10 (Bloomberg) — California’s government-issued IOUs have put community banks in a no-win situation. Either they add the state’s debt to their balance sheets, or they face the prospect of losing depositors.

    “It’s an unfair position to put banks in where we’re allowing the state Legislature to go on and we’re financing it,” said Kevin McPhaill, executive vice president of Porterville-based Sierra Bancorp, which has 23 branches in California. “If you don’t take the warrants then you have the risk of losing customers.”

  23. Bruce in Tn says:

    …This sums it up best, I think…

    “I don’t like the fact that this is getting jammed down our throats and we’re financing the incompetence” of the government, Francis said in an interview. “It would be very difficult since we’re a small bank not to take one from a customer.”

  24. Bruce in Tn says:

    …And some might go so far as to take the above position for the US taxpayer and the present government bail out programs…

  25. cvienne says:

    @Tom K

    ” If the economy turns up by the end of this year (as is expected)”…

    IT WON’T

    “I’m sure the Obama Administration will take credit”…

    They’ll find a convenient scapegoat…

    Hell, the best thing that could happen to the Administration would be for us to suffer a MAJOR HURRICANE season or another TERRORIST ATTACK, so they could have something to blame their lack of performance on…

  26. constantnormal says:

    Off Topic query to the wisdom of the sheeple …

    What is the quote that goes something like “when a man has to choose between supporting the truth and what puts food on his table, it is awfully difficult to convince him of the truth” and who said/wrote it?

    Mark E Hoffer, this sounds like a job for the Man of a Million References.

  27. Bruce in Tn says:

    Well, as I wrote over the last few days…when California IOU’s can be traded…by definition that means they are debt and not money….and this has happened with the SEC’s blessing…If this goes on past October and no one has been paid, then truth will finally dawn on some people…

    Just think about it…

  28. EAR says:


    Like many throughout the web, you don’t join the fray, you seep in like radon or carbon monoxide.

    A rabidly partisan mind can never present a good idea or a constructive solution… ever.

    The consistency of bias in your perspective coupled with the fact that this is a relatively non-partisan forum really indicates a lack of self control.

    It’s tedious.

  29. constantnormal says:

    Is it too late to throw some more logs on the GS software fire?

    Just to clarify, “subversion” is a development content management system, with nothing subversive about it — you’re supposed to read it as “sub-version”, as in facilitating multiple versions of a code project during development. So don’t go all paranoid, it’s just the name of a storage management system.

    I suspect it’s way too late to get your own copy of Goldman’s gold from the site. ;)

  30. philipat says:

    What is happening here? I find myself agreeing with Barnie Franks!!!!

  31. cvienne says:


    “The consistency of bias in your perspective”

    I’m going to have to disagree with that characterization, but nonetheless I’ll APOLOGIZE if my approach offends you…

    I think you mis-interpret my criticism of the present Administration…I mostly point my criticism there because, well, THEY are in charge and are THEREFORE in power to change things…Yet if you have read my other posts thoroughly, you’ll note that I have no PARTY bias…

    If the New York Yankees are my favorite baseball team (and they’re NOT BTW), anyway, if they WERE, I wouldn’t be sitting here pointing my finger at Babe Ruth, Billy Martin, or even George Steinbrenner as the problem…I’d be asking Alex Rodriguez, & CC Sabathia to do what we paid them to come here and do…

    …on the subject of non-partisan forum…I’m not sure how to parry that statement…I DO see a lot of politics being discussed here…I’m impressed that it usually doesn’t disintegrate into a shouting match the likes of which you see on all the MSM junk flying around…

    Some material is presented with the touch of a feather, some of it is presented with the whack of a hammer…My style is more the latter (although in calmer moments, like this one, I’m free to debate)…

    I simply feel that in this world, unfortunately CHANGE doesn’t occur via a great debating society…That’s just what intellectuals do at tea parties…

    Mark my words, when Washington finally DOES change, it will be when an angry mob shows up with pitchforks (& NOT with briefcases full of debating notes)…my 2 cents

  32. RW says:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair

    Sinclair also said things like, “the private control of credit is the modern form of slavery,” but be careful because he was one of those evil Socialists: Really was, officially and by his own word and hand and not simply because some simpleton who couldn’t tell the difference between a totalitarian and a teetotaler said so.

  33. EAR says:


    No need to apologize.

    The tone and depth your response belies my characterization of you.

    This is one of those times I appreciate being proven wrong.

    BTW, I like the Yankees analogy and the fact you are not a fan.

  34. karen says:

    Is friday afternoon linkage close enough to friday night music?

    two subjects i want to avoid forever: CA and MJ

  35. Rupert says:

    constantnormal Says:
    “What is the quote that goes something like “when a man has to choose between supporting the truth and what puts food on his table, it is awfully difficult to convince him of the truth” and who said/wrote it?”

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on him not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

  36. Mike in Nola says:

    Some economist jokes:

    Don’t know if I mentioned it already, but a lecturer at a recent continuing legal education seminar pointed out the bright spot in the economic collapse: no one has blamed it on the lawyers. And lawyers can now look down on investment bankers.

  37. alfred e says:

    Well, I got here late again. And there was a great jazz guitar at the ceremony but I can’t remember his name.

    But there is a great tribute to MJ at He did so many really, really good songs. I forgot.

    Jazz, definitely. He and Quincy Jones formed the best music team in history.

  38. alfred e says:

    Man, I tuned the mtvmusic MJ tribute and am actually dialed in f or the first time. Knew the music. Did not know the videos. Or the contributors: Martin Scorsese director. COOL.

  39. Mike in Nola says:

    Here’s an interesting thought from Robert Reich. Even if you don’t like him, it’s worth the read. Says it much better than El Erian. Although, WTF with the carbon reference?

    When will the Recovery Begin? Never.

  40. The idea was transparency. If the Obama administration was spending $797 billion as stimulus money to jump-start the economy, end the recession and bring down the unemployment rate, U.S. taxpayers had a right to know where the money was going.

    Is the government’s stimulus plan enough to get the economy on track?And so the White House started, a Web site to let people do just that.

    But it’s a work in progress. The government’s General Services Administration quietly put out a release Wednesday night saying the site would be redesigned — for $9.5 million and, perhaps, as much as $18 million in the next five years. …
    older ‘news’: U.S. military documents, obtained by ABC News, list the brother of Afghanistan president Karzai as a “problem maker” in the pay of drug lords.

    Wali Karzai is described in the documents as “receives money from drug lords as bribe to facilitate their work and movement.”

    The documents, marked secret, appear to be part of a “U.S. military targeting assessment” produced in January 2005. The documents were downloaded from a computer flash disc sold at an Afghanistan street bazaar for $200.

    Nine other prominent Afghanis are also listed as “problem makers” for a variety of reasons, including connections to opium drug lords.
    In testimony before the US Senate Tuesday, legal representatives of the Obama administration not only defended the system of kangaroo military tribunals set up under Bush, but affirmed the government?s right to continue imprisoning detainees indefinitely, even if they are tried and acquitted on allegations of terror-related crimes.

    This assertion of sweeping, extra-constitutional powers is only the latest in a long series of decisions by the Democratic administration demonstrating its essential continuity with the Bush White House on questions of militarism and attacks on democratic rights.

    The testimony, given to the Senate Armed Services Committee by the top lawyer for the Pentagon and the head of the Justice Department?s National Security Division, came in the context of a congressional bid to reconfigure the military tribunal system set up under the Bush administration.

    In 2006, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act in an attempt to lend legal cover to the system of drumhead courts set up to try so-called “enemy combatants,” which had been found unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. The high court subsequently ruled against the congressionally revised system as well.
    ht tp://
    from 43 to 44–the only “Change”, “We Can Believe In.”

  41. alfred e says:

    M in Nola: Perfect. Dead on. Yeah, I did not like him.

    But this commentary is dead on. No wasted words. In a nutshell.

    Never to be disputed or disproved.

    Quite a quandary for our politicians that would like to get re-elected on change you can believe in.

  42. alfred e says:

    @MEH: Correct. Nice to see you back on line.

    “Change you can believe in.” Well yeah, kind of like Willie’s “I fell your pain”.

    Now all we need to do is learn how CIA drug smuggling gets funneled into presidential elections.

    Most will find that off the wall. Guess again. Right MEH?

  43. From the link:

    What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?

    “Boom, baby!” Santana shouted as he put down the phone. “It’s all about getting inside their heads and understanding what they need to hear,” he told me later. “It really feels great to know I’m helping people in pain.”

    …..while you get your commission for taking the guy for an extra $2,000

    How is this any different from a doctor going around and breaking people’s legs and then feeling good about giving them a shot and a cast?

    Wow! This and the whole article was quite the stomach turning ordeal. You are our debt slaves but we are here to do you a favor and take one of the five chains off your body….ok we’ll take two off. That makes us friends and we are helping you. Like us and what we are doing in order to like yourself. Better yet love it!

    I think the debt slavery industry has now crossed the line and become a cult. Cults often psychologically abuse, confuse and mislead people convincing them that they are doing good for them while taking their life savings and worldly goods away. How is the credit card industry any different from a cult now?

  44. cn,

    see: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
    Upton Sinclair

    Rupert did you that solid, I was, merely, 2x-checking..

  45. alfred e,


    a rich, and full, History, of such, to be seen encompassing, both, (D) + (R)-types..

  46. scm0330 says:

    1- for you to claim that the porkulus is “saving or creating 3.5MM jobs” is pure agitrop.
    2- for you to claim that we’re not spending enough on education is also pure agitprop. i think it’s only due to F411 fatigue that persons here don’t challenge that statement of yours. it may be true that some inner city facilities are in disrepair; and i’m sure we can both agree that some impoverished rural and/or southern school districts don’t get a fair bite at the funding pie, and that in the south, some of this is due to lingering racist public policy. but viewed as a whole, the unionized public school colossus is a systemic failure, and it is not due to not spending enough money. we have never spent so much as now, for such a little return. more money is not the solution – accountability from educators and adminstrators is.
    3 – i stand amazed that you are basically “one book ahead” of the undergrads you’re going to teach a few weeks, and combined with your lefty doctrinaire view of the world, you’re going to be handing out grades to people. what a country!

  47. Bruce in Tn says:

    Mike in NO:

    I read the Reich piece…and I gather that he likens recovery to coming back to the exact same spot we were in, not a general uptick in wealth creation, gdp, etc. I think he’s just written this to be fiesty. If the whole thing prior to 2007 was primarily due to low interest rates and unsustainable borrowing, then we don’t need it.

    Kind of like someone massively obese that undergoes a gastric bypass. The lard of excess debt is gone, and the patient may be smaller, but he/she has more energy and is much healthier and productive…

  48. mathman says:

    A lot of students are turning away from college now for two reasons – their parents financial situation has become tenuous and/or “what’s the point when there are no jobs!” i’ve watched enrollment fall in many of the colleges around here: Villanova canned all their adjunct faculty, Cabrini has laid off some adjuncts (and those that are left will have increased class sizes to limit the number of classes), and Harcum is on the verge of closing due to low enrollment (of course they’ve been on the edge for years).

    down at the bottom of this link: and

  49. Mike in Nola says:

    Bruce: Your description isn’t as provocative :)

    But, I think Reich’s description makes explicit what most of the populace doesn’t yet get and what El Erian doesn’t really make clear, i.e., that the borrowing/building/frivolous spending scheme is over, not coming back and that there will have to be a fundamental change in the economy. While we may be leaner and healthier in time, it may take years before our politicians and a majority of voters accept that we can’t revive the old model.

    In the meantime, there will be plenty of reflation plans from the left and right. I consider the calls for tax cuts the same as those for stimulus plans, it’s just that the recipients are different.

    MEH: you’re not doing your credibility here any good. Do you believe in the drug flights from Columbia directly into Arkansas during the 1990′s? There enough money from corrupt businessmen around that they don’t need the drug money.

  50. M in N,

    you mean, like this?:

    I never said Anything about ‘direct flights from Columbia’..

    or, like this?:

    which, of course, has, even, less to do with ‘direct flights from Columbia’..


    do you me a favor, the next time you want to talk about ‘credibility’, come with a real counterpoint, or two, or ten, not some hackneyed ‘rule of thumb’ from Prole School..
    ht tp://ww

  51. alfred e says:

    @MEH: “Two gunshot wounds to the head suicide. How does one do that?

    Unless they’re an incredibly bad shot.

    Was he a Marine? Reminds me of a story during my “days” of a Marine gate guard that put a pistol to his head, pulled the trigger and blew his nose off.