Busy day (again) Here is what I saved for later in terms of reading material:

• Short Sellers Do Work of Cops on Doughnut Break  (Bloomberg)

• As Financial Reformer, Dodd, Again, Dogged by Appearance of Conflict (ABC News) Questions Over Wife’s Role on the Board of Futures Exchange That Could Benefit From Proposed Derivatives Rules

Chicago Fed National Activity Index is a surprisingly good forecaster of economic activity (Chicago Fed)

Einhorn vs Allied Capital, Round Two:

-SEC inspector general raises red flags in new report (SEC)
-Redacted Special Investigator’s Report (WAPO)
- Einhorn wants complete, un-redacted report released (Reuters)

• New Home Sales at Record Low in February  (Calculated Risk)

• Who needs payroll cashing banks? Just go to Wal-Mart (Salon)

• Money DOES buy you happiness… if your friends have less of it (Daily Mail)

• Google to China: Your move (GMSV)

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.

18 Responses to “Wednesday Reads”

  1. tagyoureit says:

    Short Sellers Do Work of Cops on Doughnut Break (Bloomberg)

    This reminded me of a recent trip to New Hope, PA with my wife and son. We were in the Dunkin Donuts after taking a ride on the train. A local officer walks in, put’s his hat down on the counter next to us and declares, “Mmmmmm, donuts!”. I almost spit milk out of my nose.

  2. Apart from Michael Lewis’ latest, I’m reading a letter from Ernst & Young to a client, defending itself against the Valukas report.

    I’ve posted an actual copy (PDF) of the letter here: http://www.contrarianpundit.com/?p=612

    What do you think, Barry?

  3. jpm says:

    As Financial Reformer, Dodd, Again, Dogged by Appearance of Conflict

    Gimme a break ABC. That’s not just the *appearance* of conflict: That’s an *actual* conflict.

  4. dza says:

    +$1, JPM. Funny. Why can’t they just call it for the fraud that it is?

  5. alfred e says:

    Well, perhaps all the truth will eventually leak out, but it’s taking a long time.

    Just more evidence of the total incompetence and corruption.

    The SEC is less than useless and needs to disappear totally. Why are we even bothering to perpetuate the sham? Oh, investor confidence? Guess again.

    And gee, Dodd is appearing to be more like Gramm and his wife everyday. Want to be corrupt and rich and powerful? Become a senator married to a well-connected wife that you can help with new laws.

  6. dza,

    to your Q: , here’s one answer: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It


  7. Jojo says:

    I don’t recall seeing anyone in the MSM feature this story from about a week ago. Perhaps the raw numbers are still too small to worry about?
    March 19, 2010
    Number of People Living on New York Streets Soars

    The Bloomberg administration said Friday that the number of people living on New York’s streets and subways soared 34 percent in a year, signaling a setback in one of the city’s most intractable problems.

    Appearing both startled and dismayed by the sharp increase, a year after a significant drop, administration officials attributed it to the recession, noting that city shelters for families and single adults had been inundated.

    Robert V. Hess, the commissioner of homeless services, said in a subdued news conference that the city began feeling the increase in its vast shelter system more than two years ago. “And now we’re seeing the devastating effect of this unprecedented poor economy on our streets as well,” Mr. Hess said.

    The city’s annual tally indicated an additional 783 homeless people on the streets and in the subway system, for a total of 3,111, up from 2,328 last year. That is in addition to almost 38,000 people living in shelters, which is near the city’s high.


  8. TripleB says:

    San Francisco Chronicle teams up with Bloomberg for business news:


  9. rktbrkr says:

    Does this scream “stop paying” to BAC mortgagees deeply underwater? And who isn’t? This seems incredible!

    Bank of America is giving some of its most troubled mortgage borrowers relief from the threat of foreclosure.

    The bank, the largest mortgage servicer in the country, said Wednesday it will forgive up to 30 percent of some customers’ total mortgage balance. The homeowners must be at least 60 days delinquent on their loans and owe more than 120 percent of their homes’ value.

    The plan is part of an agreement the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank [BAC 17.57 0.44 (+2.57%) ] reached 18 months ago with state attorneys general to settle charges over high-risk loans made by Countrywide Financial Corp. The loans were made before Bank of America acquired the mortgage lender in mid-2008. Bank of America has since stopped making those loans.

  10. perra says:

    February Chicago Fed NAI summary: http://www.chicagofed.org/digital_assets/publications/cfnai/2010/cfnai_march2010.pdf
    Wonder what March will bring…

  11. Event_horizon says:

    Short Sellers Do Work of Cops on Doughnut Break (Bloomberg)

    As a physician, this article reminds me of the equally-inept FDA. It has long been known that members of the FDA’s drug-approval panel often “retire” from their post to go work for the pharmaceutical industry. No conflict of interest there… which leads me to ask: Is there ANY governmental regulator out there not captured by the industry they regulate? Good god, man, this country is going to hell-in-a-handbasket.

    FDA, GlaxoSmithKline, and Avandia, for example:

    Good thing for class-action lawsuits… hope all those currently or formerly on Avandia pile on this…

  12. wunsacon says:

    >> Good god, man, this country is going to hell-in-a-handbasket.

    Uh oh. Someone’s not happy.

    May I interest you in a tax cut (without cutting spending)?

  13. troubled times says:

    So the SEC still doesn’t want to level with the public. Its beyond arrogance

  14. farmera1 says:

    Could it be Bernanke is seeing the light for needed regulation????? Simon Johnson’s take on the battle for regulation.


    “But at the same time as the legislative prospects look bleak (although not impossible), we should recognize that Paul Volcker has already won important adherents to his general philosophy on big banks, including – most amazingly of late – Ben Bernanke, at least in part. In a speech Saturday, Bernanke was blunt,

    “It is unconscionable that the fate of the world economy should be so closely tied to the fortunes of a relatively small number of giant financial firms. If we achieve nothing else in the wake of the crisis, we must ensure that we never again face such a situation [like fall 2008].”

    You may dismiss this as empty rhetoric, but there is a definite shift in emphasis here for Bernanke – months of pressure from the outside, the clear drop in prestige of the Fed on Capitol Hill, and the pressure from Paul Volcker is definitely having an impact.”

  15. Mike in Nola says:

    So, how may $100′s of millions ya think Bill Gross made from spooking the treasury market yesterday?
    Wasn’t long ago he was supposedly buying treasuries. i’m sure PIMCO refrains from trading for at least a week before and after his appearances on the Evi Network. Something the SEC should look into, but it’ll never happen.

  16. Mike in Nola says:

    Sorry for the typos. Shoulda used the hardware keyboard. Meant the Evil Network, of course.

  17. “It is unconscionable that the fate of the world economy should be so closely tied to the fortunes of a relatively small number of giant financial firms. If we achieve nothing else in the wake of the crisis, we must ensure that we never again face such a situation [like fall 2008].”


    if ol’ BenBer isn’t including the G-~8 Central Banks, then, yes, chalk it up to “empty rhetoric”.

    if you looking for a sea-change in attitude, wait til’ he starts coming w/ something like: “…A free market is not a lawless market. It is governed by natural law and judges and juries administering that law. It is governed by agreements that merchants make among themselves, and judges and juries that handle disputes that arise. It is governed by the consumer who has the say-so of whether or not to buy a product or service. Liability is assigned to those who are responsible. Losses, when they occur, are borne by those who are responsible. They are not spread to taxpayers by edict or force. A free market is not chaos. It has governance, but it does not stem from the variable and fickle authority of legislators who take bribes and lobbyist money. It stems from jurists who follow a body of jurisprudential principles.

    A free market is definitely not a State-regulated and State-controlled market. Once the State starts legislating markets, the consumer’s say-so disappears. Merchant agreements become targets for anti-trust. Product innovation deteriorates. Once the State starts legislating markets, the weak sisters petition the State to halt the successful companies in their tracks. When the EU fines Microsoft an unbelievable amount of money and diddles around with the details of what Microsoft may or may not include in its operating system, there is no free market any longer.

    Once the State gets into the act, it plays favorites. Some businesses that have losses are bailed out. The business does not pay the price of its errors. The losses are shifted to taxpayers. That is what is happening today. This is the opposite of a free market.

    When we have a central bank that controls the amount of high-powered money in the economy and when such a bank can bail out at its own discretion whatever financial institutions it pleases and in whatever amounts it pleases, we definitely do not have a free market in money or banking. When bank deposits are insured, we have no free market in banking. When we have government-sponsored enterprises with direct lines of credit to the U.S. Treasury that buy mortgages, we do not have a free market in banking or mortgage lending or housing.

    Free enterprise means that losses are borne by those responsible for them. When the U.S. government plays favorites and bails out the institutions with losses that it selects, there is no free market.

    In sum, government forces wealth transfers by uncalled for violence, whereas persons exchange goods and services without such violence in a free market. The one is criminal in nature, the other peaceful. The one makes slaves of persons, the other respects their liberty…”

  18. IDG News Service — As expected, AT&T announced on Wednesday that it will offer its femtocell product, called MicroCell, across the continental U.S. beginning in mid-April. …”
    “…The traditional business model represented by femtocells such as AT&T’s MicroCell is now only one of many potential uses of the devices, including use in medium-sized enterprises and in public areas. Femtocells are also expected to play a key role in the deployment of coming LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks…”
    “IDG News Service — A delayed flight didn’t stop Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Weinmann from scoring a cool US$15,000, a brand-new iPhone and a trip to Las Vegas at the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest in Vancouver on Wednesday.
    The security researchers developed an undisclosed attack on the iPhone’s mobile Safari browser to get access to a phone and then run a program that sent the phone’s SMS messages to a Web server.
    It is the first fully functioning attack on an iPhone since Apple (AAPL) released version 2 of the device in 2008, said Charlie Miller, the hacker who is set to follow the iPhone attack with an exploit he hopes will hack into the contest’s MacBook Pro (his takeaway, should he succeed: the laptop and $10,000)…”
    “…Morrow called for convergence between networks using the two 4G technologies. He said service providers should allow for roaming between LTE and WiMax networks, using devices that can connect to both. Carriers in the U.S. in particular have an opportunity to do this, he said. Morrow pointed out that chip maker Beceem Communications announced a chip last month that includes both WiMax and LTE capability.
    Still, Morrow said WiMax is far from dead. He said 600 million people around the world are within reach of a WiMax network and 1 billion will be by the end of this year. “That’s a market that’s big enough to be around for a long time,” he said.
    Sprint’s Hesse appeared just before Morrow and also cited the possibility of adding LTE. In an on-stage interview at the keynote session, CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent asked Hesse why his predecessors at Sprint had chosen WiMax in the first place. “It was time to market,” Hesse said….”
    Continue Reading

    yoo hoo GOOG ~