Some interesting, unusual reads:

How the big banks rigged the market (FT)

Are stock markets still undervalued? (Telegraph)  I don’t know…

New emails show AIG mulled bank payment disclosures (Reuters)

Bad Bet: How Wall Street Lost Managed to Generate Another $100 billion in losses (Marketwatch)

Souring Mortgages, Weak Market Force FHA to Walk a Tightrope (WSJ)

Why Big is Bad; Alex Pollock on Sarbanes-Oxley and the Financial Crisis (IRA)

Google Sends Right Message to China’s Police State (Bloomberg)

One of the biggest challenges for American intelligence is the way the brain works (Boston Globe)

Top 5 Reasons Porn-for-Profit Is Dying (The Daily Beast)

25 Most Influential Journalists in History

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.

46 Responses to “Tuesday Reads”

  1. jeff in indy says:

    don’t need fancy polls or charts, my phone has literally stopped ringing for construction loans:

    and it gets down to jobs, jobs…jobs.

  2. The latest on China from the excellent Australian journalist John Garnaut

  3. hgordon says:

    BR: Your link to “Why Big is Bad; Alex Pollock on Sarbanes-Oxley and the Financial Crisis” actually goes to “A Tale of Two Banks: Florence Savings and JPMorgan Chase”, which in any case is an interesting article that gives further evidence to why “big is bad”

  4. slyng1 says:

    I’m a bit late in seeing this, but it’s a great piece nonetheless:

  5. Transor Z says:

    WRT 25 most influential journalists. Photojournalists deserve mention, too. Their images have become part of American iconography:

    Iwo Jima (Joe Rosenthal)

    Ruby shooting Oswald (Bob Jackson):

    Saigon execution (Eddie Adams):

    Kent State (John Filo):

    Terror of War (Nick Ut)

    Oklahoma City (Charles Porter IV)

  6. bondjel says:


    I’ve recently read about ten books, including yours, on the financial crisis. I am now reading for the second time a book I recommend to you very highly: Joe Stiglitz’s FREEFALL.

    Jim Bond

  7. Some great videos:

    San Francisco in 1906

    Trip back in time to traffic ‘anarchy’

    Pigeon: Impossible

  8. Gatsby says:

    Offline Book “Lending” Costs U.S. Publishers Nearly $1 Trillion

  9. Celine Dion reaches peak of the decade’s Ultimate Top 10

    All she had to do was stay in one place instead of touring like other top acts. Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews Band come in close behind in combined album sales and concert revenue for the decade.

  10. Grunschev says:

    I shouldn’t even comment about anything resembling a top-ten list, but I can’t resist. The first two journalists I thought of before clicking the link don’t appear at all. Really? Maureen Dowd over H. L. Mencken and A. J. Liebling?

    As for Anderson Cooper, wasn’t he a reality show host before Katrina? I’m thinking “The Mole.” But what do I know?

  11. leftback says:

    Forgive me if you have read this, but here is a nice explanation of why the OTHER most crowded trade in the universe (the curve steepener that every hedge fund has on – along with the short USD: long commodity play) may not be a winner in the next few months, after all:

    Fear and loathing of the long bond may be alleviated by the Fed making small adjustments at the short end to move investors out along the curve without resorting to rate hikes. Domestic investors will be persuaded to buy more munis, Treasuries and Build America Bonds in order to continue to float the bloated US public and private debt.

  12. MorticiaA says:
    YouTube video — only 1:44, but very impressive and creative. It reads and means exactly the opposite when read backwards. It won second place in a contest called “u @ 50″ and is done by a 20-year-old.

    As for the journalist list — Brit Hume and Cokie Roberts listed in the same group? NPR actual journalist right there alongside FoxNews hack: Proof why I dislike lists (except for BR’s daily reads!).

  13. Mike in Nola says:

    Hey, Barry, looks like Stiglitz must have read your book, or at least has read TPB:

    lefty: one of the reasonably competent commentators (can’t remember which) suggested last year that the buying of treasuries will likely switch from foreigners to US citizens and that will help with the bond sales. It’s pretty much the same pattern that Japan followed. If you don’t trust stocks and bank accounts pay zero, treasuries are about the only option.

    On another point, it was interesting that CNBC’s headline was that stocks will rally if the Republican wins in MA. I suppose those who will buy don’t realize that the only things pumping the markets are Bernanke and Obama’s stimulus. No more stimulus and housing and with it, the markets will collapse. I rather would like to see that, as it will get us where we’re going a lot quicker than the current water torture. The Dr. Housing Bubble blog has had some good analysis of how overprices the CA markets still are in some areas relative to median income. Until prices bottom, the housing market can’t improve.

  14. Mannwich says:

    Simon Johnson regarding the Dem’s trap they’ve built for themselves and how to get out. I, for one, have been repeating this very thing since he took office. But, then again, people like me don’t matter.

    A Trap Of Their Own Design – Simon Johnson

  15. Greg0658 says:

    retreating tonight to see Avatar – can’t stand to sit around and be fed team “state AttGen” vs “Madison Ave Male Model” coverage (Soc’s vs Hero’s) .. I heard via MSM that Haiti relief is coming in faster than Katrina … imo we Americans expect us to carry our own water and will carry water for outsiders because its a real job opportunity …
    whiners – be all you can be – be a MIC provider:

    related story to Haiti now and the future and USA now and future:

  16. Mike in Nola says:

    Manny: I’ve thought the same thing for most of a year. A columnist on the FT wrote a a similar article in yesterday’s issue.

    If the polls get bad enough, I’m sure Obama will have no trouble throwing Geithner and his banker buddies under the bus just as he did his pastor and his grandmother.

  17. Steve Barry says:

    Who is writing this script? Nobody would believe it…Ted Kennedy, whose lifelong goal was universal healthcare, dies, his party loses the seat he held for 46 years, and thus all but blows their healthcare bill.

  18. Steve Barry says:

    This Coakley has the charm of a piece of gum on the floor, BTW.

  19. Jojo says:

    The porn story link was interesting!

  20. Mike in Nola says:

    Steve: can’t say I’m unhappy. I think Howard Dean was right when he said that it would be better to pass nothing than what Congress has concocted under the guidance of lobbyists.

    Maybe this will act as a 2X4 up the side of the head to Obama and the Congree and they will start looking out for the interests of voters instead of lobbyists.

    This is from someone who can count on one hand the number of votes he’s cast for Republicans in 40 years.

  21. @MorticiaA

    Very cool

    @Steve Barry

    Someone shook up and opened a huge can of irony on the Democratic party tonight didn’t they? It appears the Kennedy curse is still alive and well, reaching back from the grave even.

    To use a football analogy, someone (might we say the US voter) has just intercepted Obama’s game winning touchdown pass in the end zone with no time left on the clock.


  22. Mannwich says:

    @Mike in Nola: Unfortunately (or fortunately for entertainment purposes), knowing the clueless Dems, they’ll come to all of the wrong conclusions about why Coakley lost the election and why they’re losing popular support of the people.

  23. Transor Z says:

    @Mike in Nola:
    Ditto everything you just said.

    If you’re not from Mass. you probably can’t understand how much the “Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan” gaffe the other night hurt her. We kinda have a thing for the Red Sox here.

    But here’s hoping Obama and the DEMs get a clue out of this.

  24. Mannwich says:

    @Transor: That’s a pretty big gaffe for sure, and as a native Mass-hole (29 years there) and huge Sox fan, it pains me to see that, but I hope that wasn’t a deciding factor for a lot of people. Do you think that it was? Wait, don’t answer that. I think we’re in deeper trouble as a nation than I though. ;-)

    Having said that, I’m somewhat amused the Dems have found a way to blow things yet again. “Hope & change” have given away to “apathy & disgust”. I’ve officially “retired” my voting hand until further notice.

  25. Steve Barry says:


    Forgot the Kennedy curse…good point…it lives.

    Let’s see how the market reacts…if it is so smart, it would have already built this in, LOL. Actually our market is so stupid now, it keeps going up. I am sure the next leg down (and it will be a doozy), must be triggered from Asia…it is coming VERY soon.

  26. Mike in Nola says:

    Manny: You are probably right; they’ve got all those highly paid consultants like Brazile to tell them what to do. She certainly helped Gore a lot. The should talk to the last really successful Dem strategists: Carville and Bill Clinton.

    Well, maybe BO will start listening to Tall Paul a little. Bernanke hasn’t been confirmed yet.

  27. Mike in Nola says:

    Shame about the porn stars. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. What will we all do late at night? Guess I’ll have to get a copy of Left4 Dead 2 :)

  28. Mannwich says:

    @Mike: They can talk to us for free and we’d probably give them better political advice than they’re highly paid “experts”. I might not do it for free, but I’d probably cost a lot less than those folks.

  29. Transor Z says:

    @Manny: It was more that it reinforced Coakley’s image as someone who can’t relate to everyday people. I actually like Martha as AG but she was a dud as a Senate candidate.

    The Coakley and Brown TV ads were nonstop over the long weekend. Coakley’s were 100% negative and Brown’s were only maybe 25% negative. She didn’t articulate a constructive platform.

  30. Mannwich says:

    @Transor: I hear you, although I’m not sure we needed some inane (and ridiculously false) remark about Schilling and the Yankees, for the Sheeple to realize that. She and the Dems took that seat for granted and got what they deserve, IMO.

    But like I said, I’m sure the Dems will come to all the wrong conclusions as to why they lost. Obama needs to clean house soon. My guess is Timmy will be the first be sacrificed. He’ll probably land at Goldman or PIMCO.

  31. Steve Barry says:

    How’s this for the ultimate irony…this Brown guy eventually become’s president while Ted could not.

    Listening to his speech, he has the fire and charisma of Obama, but relating to the common man. I like him.

  32. rustum says:

    This election is like a Hollywood movie and Brown is a hero.

  33. Transor Z says:

    Steve: hopefully it means Sarah Palin’s 15 min are up.

  34. Mannwich says:

    @Transor: I don’t think so. Hate to say it, but I think she’s just getting warmed up.

  35. Transor Z says:

    Kerry Healey, Romney’s Lt-Gov is on NECN and mentioned that this is a big deal within the GOP b/c northeast moderate republicans were getting drummed out of the party. With the nat’l attention Brown is going to get, that dynamic is going to change. I thought that was a really sharp and revealing comment.

  36. Mike in Nola says:

    Manny: Interesting development here in Houston. For awhile there have been adverstising in the Chronicle of one of those “leadership conferences” featuring a lot of tired old Republicans who are on the speaker gravy train: Collin Powell, Rudi, and, introducing Sarah. Today I heard a radio ad offering admission to a whole office for $15.

    Steve: Don’t know that I can get enthusiastic about a guy who supports waterboarding.

  37. Market effect:

    Markets love gridlock and the current market seems to love anything so this should make for gains tomorrow, no?

    I think the only casualty (pun intended) would be the health care related stocks. Futures not appearing to notice tonight

  38. Mannwich says:

    @Common: I think it goes the other way, meaning that it signifies the endless bailouts over and done for, as the faux-populist campaign goes into high gear for the Dems and GOP (if they are smart). I think it’s “sell the news” time. Remember, what’s good for the economy and country isn’t necessarily good for “the market”. I think this means that QE and implicit support for the TBTF’s is coming to a close.

  39. cgb22 says:

    I would not hire the writer of the 25 top journalists.

  40. graphrix says:

    Barry, I know that this made my must read list today. I got a good laugh out of it, and I definitely thought you might too.


    BR: It was even funnier when Bruce Mac created it last week, and I posted it here on 1/14

  41. LLouis says:

    I just watch an amazing report from Anderson Cooper in Port-au-Prince Haiti. He’s covering the scene of a looting, walking among the looters with a cameraman, showing and describing the details of the looting, how one group seems to controls the looting and sells the goods on the spot.
    The tension increases as more and more young men arrive on the scene, to try to grab and ”steal” from other’s hands. Fighting follows, pieces of concrete are thrown, a teenager gets hit on the head. Anderson grabs the teenager to bring him away from the scene. The teenager staggers and holds on to a barrel. His head is covered in blood, which flows from the top of his head, he’s about to lost consciousness.
    Then Anderson takes the boy in his arms to bring him on the other side of a barricade where the boy will be taken care of.

    The impact of these video reports are invaluable. Many others can be seen on CNN website.

  42. mhschuller says:

    I´m reading Jürgen Janssens latest take on an upcoming renewable energy crash in “Energy: end of the world”:


  43. Steve Barry says:

    Euro has been really weak for 2 days…Asia market weak last night. The rubber band is very stretched…something is going to give soon.

  44. Mike in Nola says:


    I need to stop listening to NPR. Have avoided video, but when I bring my wife to work in the morning I switch it on and wind up with the same feeling I got listening to reports of the Katrina aftermath after driving out the day after it hit. Only this is 10 times worse.

    As to the looting and lack of services, they come from the lack of a central government. Bill Quigley had an observation on that here which was pretty true. He is widely reviled in New Orleans because he takes his Catholicism seriously.

  45. Greg0658 says:

    Avatar – a blacker than imagined blend of “Legend”* (Tom Cruise saves the unicorns) and Dances with Wolves (Kevin Costner leads natives away from encroachment**) throw in a 3D experience of “Rock em Sock em Robots” (old b&w tv ad):

    * from memory – has no Gd’s in it vs. like 6 (didn’t count em)
    in 3 subdivisions: Temporal / Structural / American football penalty

    on that MA / USA political matter – returned to see polls got it right – today the representative #s are:
    Senate D-57-57% R-41-41% I-2-2%
    House D-256-58% R-178-41% I-0 V-1-1%*
    Maybe this matter** will get us fired up to regain that fleeting control from the powers that be on those east coast entities of Madison Avenue Wall Street and WashingtonDC.

    * 19th Congr Dist of FL – Rep Wexler resigned from Congress on 3January2010. WashintonDC by the numbers:

    ** you know that year of Congressional focus -
    World’s Best Medical Care?:
    “the disturbing truth is that this country lags well behind other advanced nations”