Most linkfests involve me discussing what I have read. Today, I am posting a list of what I would be reading, if I was doing my normal commute, time in the office, etc.

Jittery Companies Stash Cash (WSJ)

Please Listen to Sheila Bair (Dealbook)

The Easy Money’s Been Made (Barron’s)

Can Citigroup Carry Its Own Weight? (Sunday NYT)

Goldman Looks to Buy Fannie Tax Credits (WSJ)

• Left/Right Politics gets interesting:

-The GOP Establishment Must Be Purged as the GOP Loses in NY-23 (RedState)
-Alan Grayson, the Liberals’ Problem Child (Week in Review)

• Newspaper Pro & Con:

-Business Is a Beat Deflated (NYT)
-Newspapers aren’t doing as badly as you think (Slate)

Why AT&T Killed Google Voice (Andy Kessler)

DVR, Once a Mortal Foe, Is a Friend After All (NYT)

What are you reading ?

Category: Financial Press

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.

59 Responses to “Afternoon Reads”

  1. Michael M says:

    “The timing was awkward. The government shut down $4.7 billion-asset Park National on the same day that its community development arm, Park National Bank Initiatives, received $50 million from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at a ceremony in Chicago. That money is intended to stimulate investment in low-income communities on such projects as charter schools, health clinics and stores.”,0,502486.story

  2. MRegan says:

    From the article on Grayson:

    “Not everyone thinks so. Mr. Grayson joins colleagues like Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota; Pete Stark, Democrat of California; and Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, in what the decorum-minded see as a bipartisan playpen reserved for political problem children. So for party leaders, the behavior often forces a question: Do you cheer, or wince, or both?”

    Bachmann is a halfwit, Stark is likely a crook, and Wilson has a problem with pigmentation. Herszenhorn’s grouping is stupid. He was told what to write and he wrote it.

    Grayson is a right about Cheney. What most aren’t getting about Grayson is that he is enjoying this.

  3. call me ahab says:

    here’s a good little read showing Geither’s incredible insight-

    “Geithner “Burned Billions,” Shafted Taxpayers on CIT Loan, Prof. Bill Black Says”

    ” . . .being the lender of last resort, the government should have guaranteed we’d [taxpayers] be the first to get paid if CIT eventually filed Chapter 11. By failing to do so, “it’s like he [Geithner] burned billions of dollars again in government money, our money, gratuitously,” says Black.

    Black believes the problem stems from regulators’ fears that if the banks recognize a loss on the bad assets it will create a domino effect that will wipe out the entire financial system.

    If that’s true we’ve got to get rid of capitalism,” he warns, “because if we can’t recognize losses in a capitalist system we have no future.”

    so . . .recognize profits but never recognize losses- no matter how long it may take-


  4. TripleB says:

    “Nouriel Roubini Still Partying with Hot Chicks While the World Ends”

    If that’s your definition of hot. I think his 15 minutes of fame are up….

  5. rww says:

    “The primary difference between Japan and the United States at this point of their respective monetary malaises is that whereas Japan created a nation of zombie corporations, the United States is creating a nation of zombie households.”

    via Annaly Capital:

  6. MRegan says:

    Here’s a bit of courage* to contemplate:

    *youth is a wildly dangerous condition.

  7. bsneath says:

    Ahab, so the $2.3 billion taxpayer contribution is wiped out and Goldman Sach’s negotiated a “less good” agreement with CIT because originally they stood to gain $1 billion if CIT filed for bankruptcy.

    You don’t suppose Geithner’s original acceptance of a junior position was influenced by Goldman Sacks?

  8. call me ahab says:




    not sure- my only impression is that throwing money around w/ the hopes that banks will somehow come out a later time w/ a clean balance sheet is wishful thinking-

    i thought capitalism was supposed to be for the “big boys” taking a risk and accepting the consequences-
    but it ends up only applying to those businesses w/ little clout

  9. call me ahab says:

    “GAO: Full recovery of auto investment unlikely”


    what a slopped up mess of an economic system we have become

  10. Bruce in Tn says:

    @MR Regan:

    Great story. I saw a Chinese citizen walk out in front of a tank on television a few years ago, just about the same idea. However, the Chinese revolution died aborning…

  11. Moss says:

    GS has no conscious.

  12. m111ark says:

    I am reading today,
    have read many yesterdays,
    and will read for many tomorrows:

    The Urantia Book

    always something new to learn.

  13. Bruce in Tn says:

    Consumers Unlikely to Keep Pace

    “So far, though, the signals are mixed. U.S. exports rose an inflation-adjusted 14.7% in the third quarter, their best performance in two years, but the gain was more than wiped out by a 16.4% increase in imports as American consumers bought more from abroad. Businesses boosted their spending on equipment and software by 1.1%, but overall business investment fell 2.5%, dragged down by a flagging commercial-real-estate market.

    “We don’t think the kind of pillars are there for a strong recovery,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities.

    Historically, business investment has rarely led U.S. expansions, in part because it makes up only about a tenth of the economy, compared with more than two-thirds from consumer spending. It made the primary contribution to GDP growth in only two of the past six recoveries. The first of those, in 1980 and 1981, lasted only one year. Exports, which make up about 11% of the economy, haven’t made the biggest contribution to any U.S. recovery in at least 40 years.

    Some, though, still believe this time can be different, in part because China and other developing countries have kept growing at a strong pace. “There is considerable scope for export growth,” said Eric Lascelles, chief economics and rates strategist for TD Securities. “A lot of people are banking on the U.S. recovery not being driven so much by consumers but by exports.”

    ..It will be different this time. Trust me on this.

  14. MRegan says:

    Regarding the story of the Iranian student who confronted Khamenei, one thing that struck me about it was the obvious weakness of the regime’s figurehead- a psychological weakness. Quite simply, he fled- and failed in his role as High Priest: “The prayer that Khamenei was scheduled to lead at the end of the ceremony did not occur amid his hasty departure.”

    The tea leaf readers* should mull over this one.

    *Or those who read the grounds of a stiff cup of Turkish coffee.

    Maybe someone gave quiet voice to this in a prayerful tone:

    “Joy’s certain path, oh Saki, thou hast shown–
    Long may thy cup be full, thy days be fair!
    Trouble and sickness from my breast have flown,
    Order and health thy wisdom marshals there.
    Not one that numbered Hafiz’ name among
    The great-unnumbered were his tears, unsung;
    Praise him that sets an end to endless care!”- Hafiz

  15. Pat G. says:

    Our bought and paid for Congress at work.

  16. Bruce in Tn says:

    I have a yellow lab. All labs love to eat. This one certainly does. The time change today has brought about a lot of serious looks. My wife has determined to feed her an hour later, so that it will be the same time as our daily routine. This has, however, brought about some very serious staring and moaning for the last 30 minutes from our dog. It is as though she is trying to send a mental message to us who have obviously lost our minds and forgotten about feeding time. We have also been on the path to the food bowl and back many times, but again the idiot humans seem to have broken down in some sort of paralysis. If you could see anxiety in a dog, this is it…

    I’ll let you know if she survives another 15 minutes…

    B in T

  17. Christopher says:


    Redhate is home to the nuttiest of the nutters.
    What’s next ….links to white power sites??

  18. m111ark,

    is this that which you were referring to?
    re: GS

    “Do not mess with Janet Tavakoli.

    Yesterday, I linked to an anonymous blogger/Goldman apologist who wrote that Tavakoli “has always been more bark than bite. Being provocative is part of her shtick.”

    Janet has since written a further analysis of the Goldman-AIG situation. She not only has bit, and pretty much tore the Goldman apologist’s leg off, but she is glowering at Goldman so fiercely that if I were Goldman I really wouldn’t move in her direction, and I would really keep my mouth shut and try to get the same out of Goldman apologists. Goldman should consider itself lucky that she is only arguing that:…”
    “…As PhD economist Craig Pirrong makes clear, all of the talk of “reform” and “regulation” coming out of Washington is just for show (without any substance), to appease the populist anger:

    Rather than a serious effort to address systemic risk, this [proposal on bank oversight] seems to be populist boob bait, a response to popular outrage against taxpayer banking bailouts, rather than a serious attempt to address TBTF. Not a surprise, and quite understandable, but not a major improvement of incentives.
    Indeed, a 725-word story from Harper’s proves (again) that Congress is trying to fool the American people:…”

  19. bergsten says:

    I read through the DVR article and my first thought was, “I weep for humanity because people are so stupid that they record TV and sit through the commercials anyway .”

    But then, I realized this article is in the “Ads and Media” section of the NYT — this article was written for the people selling commercials. Of course they are going to say people sit and watch them.

    Speaking of staying on message (at least I think it’s the message), is CNBCS (and or Obama) annoying you?

  20. bergsten says:

    @Moss 5:09 No conscience either.

  21. bergsten says:

    @Bruce 5:09. Randy Newman wrote a musical some years ago called “Faust” (I suspect you can guess what it’s about). He used the word “aborning” in one of the song lyrics, and nobody in the audience knew what it meant, so rather than change it, he had the character stop the song, explain what it meant, then continue.

    How’d the dog thing work out?

  22. Mannwich says:

    @Bruce: My own dog (a mystery mutt from the dog shelter in Spanish Harlem) is so obsessed with eating, she starts staring us down for her dinner in the early afternoon, almost EVERY day, especially if her pal Wilson (the golden retriever we care for from time to time when our neighbor goes away, which is often) is around. She has to compete with him over everything, but is especially intense about food because he used to steal her treats when she was a youngster. We thinks she’s got a little border collie in her, hence the neurotic intensity over food and other things.

  23. The Curmudgeon says:

    The Goldman attempt to purchase tax credits from Fannie just floors me. Chutzpah and hubris, Goldman, it is you.

    Here’s the deal: Goldman, that has now a massive tax liability to the government because of how cleverly they were able to manipulate the government during the crisis that they not only survived, but prospered (at Tiny Taxpayer’s risk, but nevermind that for now) graciously wants to purchase tax credits from a company that is under government “conservatorship”, i.e., that is, in effect a part of the government. This would allow them to pay less than full dollar for taxes by agreeing to a sham accounting transaction, where the government, i.e., the entity that collects taxes, effectively sells to Goldman a decreased tax liability (if the credit is bought at a discount) and receives NOTHING in return. (A credit for taxes owned by the entity that collects them is effectively meaningless.)

    Everyday I get more cynical, and then get up the next day to realize that I haven’t been cynical enough.

  24. Mannwich says:

    @bergsten: LOL.

  25. VennData says:

    Doug Kass is on the record saying the American Dream is over.

    …. man he must be mega-short. One good dart throw back in March…

  26. Mannwich says:

    @Curmudgeon: This last grab for the spoiled meat on the carcas that is the U.S. will go on by Wall Street until their is overt violence. I’m sure of it now. Not advocating it by any means, but I’m pretty sure this is going to happen at some point. Might take longer than some of us think, but that’s the path we’re on.

  27. The Curmudgeon says:

    @ Mannwich:

    I think I’m gonna change my handle to The Anarchist. I thought I was just grumpy. I’m past grumpy. For very good reasons, I’m getting mad.

  28. scepticus says:

    CNBCsucks, I have no idea what a ‘British Schumpeterian progressive’ might be but I hope I can’t be described as such. Sounds like a tory in a moated mansion pretending to be a streetwise hetreodox economist.

    Mudge, all empires in history have been created by expropriation of the wealth of others. These days it’s called exporting inflation, and can be achieved by military, monetary, and political means. The inevitable inflationary exit is called, giving back what was taken, and should not be overly lamented.

  29. madman130 says:

    What kind of conservative Hoffman is? He got Palin’s endorsement so I am guessing
    1. He is a social conservative
    2. He would like to bomb Iran
    3. He is a name only fiscal conservative.

    Not a progress I would like to see. Libertarian all the way baby…..

  30. Pat G. says:

    @ Manny 6:03

    Once people begin exhausting the two, soon to be three unemployment extensions it will start. Unless, the plan is to keep the unemployed on benefits until they reach retirement.

  31. Marcus Aurelius says:


    ‘aborning’ is the word of the day.

  32. bergsten says:

    @Venn — Kass is in Florida. Of COURSE he thinks the American Dream is dead.

  33. call me ahab says:

    pat g-

    Ratigan has it right on Geithner- by extension it shows excessively poor judgement by Obama who has now demonstrated to all Americans- outside of his skill to read a teleprompter- that he is an empty suit

  34. call me ahab says:

    “the American Dream is dead.”

    you mean it isn’t? Who says?

  35. bergsten says:

    @Ahab — well, the first thing we gotta work out is, what is it anyway?

  36. jc says:

    Another StimPak – the third not the second – maybe Team O’B wants to distance themselves from continuation of Bush/Paulson sunday night special deals for family & friends.

    Uuuh, if the recession is over why do we need another stimulus?

    Obama’s Advisers Are Considering Second Stimulus, Locke Says

    By Pimm Fox and Mark Drajem

    Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama’s advisers are “seriously” considering proposing a second stimulus measure to boost the economy, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in an interview.

  37. ssny2000 says:

    An article for those of the bullish persuasion by David Dreman of Forbes & the bear rebuttal at

    and also a History Lesson from the Twenties Vs. Today

  38. manhattanguy says:

    It’s time to fire Tim Geithner by Dylan Ratigan

    Spot on!

    Still holding my short positions from last week.

  39. jc says:

    O’B should have dumped Turbo Timmy and Uncle Ben, both are part of the problem, not the solution.Now we’re in too deep to quit. Free money, StimPaks and record deficits until hyperinflation puts every homeowner “above” water, makes every US investment in a dead bank or automaker a winner and wipes out the Chinese and other foreign investments in US paper.

    Political turmoil in China could be the unintended consequence of a de facto devaluation of the US Peso, decades of Chinese investment of export driven profits in US paper wiped out and tens of millions of Chinese jobs making gizmos for Walmart gone in a flash. How you gonna send them back to the farm after they’ve seen Shenzen?

  40. call me ahab says:


    another stimulus will never happen-

    will be entirely too many voices in opposition-

    political suicide


    american dream to me is upward mobility and increased prosperity-

    think we’ve seen the most of that

  41. Mannwich says:

    Get ready for another round of stimulus. It’s coming.

  42. manhattanguy says:

    Re: another round of stimulus

    Let’s print more money.

    Buy gold, we are going to see double digit inflation in a couple of years.

  43. jc says:

    Initially Team O’B talked up a 3rd stim as a “jobs” package, now the “S” word is back in circulation. How can they justify another stimpak while claiming the recession has ended? It must be a jobless recovery – like 1931, 32…etc

  44. Mannwich says:

    They are NOT going to stop until it all blows up. That much is clear. Forget about getting back to productive activities that actually put us on solid footing for the long term. The money grab is upon us.

  45. jc says:

    Hyperinfation is the ultimate “fix”. When every home is $1M plus then everyone is whole, the foreign debt is effectively wiped out and ending COLA on Soc Sec and other “transfer” payments solves that problem too.

  46. Vilgrad says:

    Read about our coming National Suicide.

  47. call me ahab says:


    dude- not going to read if you don’t participate in the TBP discussion

  48. from the earlier thread “What backs the Buck?”

    “The ability to pay taxes. Nothing else. The rest is all smoke and mirrors…”
    “The dollar will have backing as long as people can be persuaded to pony up to pay for the assets listed above…”

    “I’m glad you guys are finally coming around to the realization that “the full faith and credit of the United States Government” is morally equivalent to “at the point of a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile”.”

    “The War Machine will devour the State. That’s how it works.”

    “@MRegan: “Will devour?” How about “IS devour-ING?””

    We can see how it plays on the Finance side, and part– International– of the Geo-Political side, though, what happens when We look at those forces from the Domestic POV?

    “On July 9, 2008, the US Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation permitting government spying, including immunity to telecommunications companies involved in secret domestic surveillance programs. With the stroke of George W. Bush’s pen, the US is now a police state by definition.
    The extent of the spying program, and its larger implications, have been revealed by Mark Klein, who blew the whistle on secret domestic spying program of Bush/Cheney’s National Security Agency (NSA) and AT&T:
    AT&T whistleblower: spy bill creates infrastructure for police state
    The update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, called the “FISA compromise”, or more appropriately, the “spy bill”, largely completes the triumph of the Bush/Cheney administration and a bipartisan criminal consensus. By convenient design, the FISA revision derails pending law suits filed against the Bush administration’s corporate spying partners (AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon), silences (the largely empty-to-begin-with) congressional investigations into Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying program. Presidential nominee Barack Obama and the Democrats have now moved to silence all discussion about the issue….”
    “Last week’s announcement that the terrorist threat warning level has been raised in parts of New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., has led to dramatic and unprecedented restrictions on the movements of citizens. Americans wishing to visit the U.S. Capitol must, for example, pass through several checkpoints and submit to police inspection of their cars and persons.
    Many Americans support the new security measures because they claim to feel safer when the government issues terror alerts and fills the streets with militarized police forces. As one tourist interviewed this week said, “It makes me feel comfortable to know that everything is being checked.” It is ironic that tourists coming to Washington to celebrate the freedoms embodied in the Declaration of Independence are so eager to give up those freedoms with no questions asked.

    Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference…”
    “…American citizens had assumed that the Patriot Act and the FBI Guidelines assured that only foreign aliens could be placed in military detention centers, unprotected by the U.S. constitution. But on June 10, 2002, an American citizen was declared by Bush, without due process, to be an “enemy combatant” and to have no constitutional protections. This American citizen was thrown into a naval brig in South Carolina….”
    “..Of course, Abdullah al Muhajir, a U.S. citizen also known as Jose Padilla, has been branded a “known terrorist” with ties to al Qaeda, so almost no one is speaking out against this abrogation of constitutional procedures. A reputed “terrorist” who is said to have been building a “dirty bomb,” Padilla, a New York-born man of Puerto Rican descent, is assumed to be beyond the pale, not worthy of judicial prerogatives. But what happens when Bush or the FBI brands you as a “terrorist” because you appear to be a dissenter, denying you your constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen?
    Attorney General Ashcroft explicitly stated that terrorists do not deserve constitutional protections…”

    When the ‘Money’ is Nothing, it ain’t about ‘the Money’..
    –sorry, for the Long Post.

  49. Onlooker from Troy says:


    I too was floored by the stupidity and/or laziness of people who would watch commercials on a DVR recorded show. There’s no way I’ll watch commercials anymore. TIVO is the greatest thing since sliced bread, although my TV watching time is quite limited compared to the average citizen.

    But at the same time I’m happy to hear it. If advertisers can continue to make money even with the DVR revolution because so many people are willing to watch commercials anyway, that’s a win for me too. It just means that they don’t have to find more intrusive and harder to avoid advertising strategies that would be detrimental to my quality of life and/or cost me something. So keep watching those commercials sheeple!

  50. HarryWanger says:

    Article at the Detroit Free Press puts the Ford story in perspective.

    “Since 2006, Ford Motor Co. has slashed 45% of its North American workforce — a move that has contributed to more than $4.6 billion in cost reductions at the once-ailing Dearborn auto company.

    Ford ended September with 74,500 workers in North America. That includes 21,300 salaried workers and 50,200 hourly employees, most of whom are represented by the UAW and Canadian Auto Workers.

    At the end of 2005, before the automaker launched its “Way Forward” turnaround plan, Ford had 135,700 employees in North America. That included 35,600 salaried workers and 100,100 hourly workers.”

    -Half the company in 4 years. Amazing.

  51. bergsten says:

    @Onlooker 9:10pm — I remember reading somewhere that TIVO had filed for a Patent that would detect someone fast forwarding over commercials and show “still” or slow scan commercials instead — thereby not only torturing you, but generating extra revenue by selling multiple adverts in the same space.

    If that isn’t pure evil (TV screens with adverts at the gas pumps is a close second), I don’t know what is!

  52. Bruce in Tn says:

    the dog got fed, and we didn’t have to give her a valium…

    life is good.

  53. mthomas says:

    I just saw that the gold price is up big this evening cuz it was announced that India’s Central Bank bought $6.7 worth of gold from the IMF. For this to happen with gold trading near its all-time high is a very bullish sign in my opinion

  54. arthur.i says:

    “Could America Go Broke” (I thought we already had…)

    Something out of yesterdays The Washington Post:

  55. catman says:

    re: Alan Grayson. The only worthwhile thing in the NYT these days is the crossword.