My afternoon train reads:

MF Global: Crime, Comedy and the Cover-Up (Huff Post)
• Main Street’s $100 Billion Stock-Market Blunder (Smart Money)
• Stock valuations now versus last April (Market Watch)
• For the Costliest Homes, Foreclosure Comes Slowly (WSJ) see also JPMorgan, BofA Strain for Qualified Staff to Clear Foreclosures (Bloomberg)
• Our Nation’s Toughest Job (ThemisTrading)
• Wall Street Confesses to Bonus Culture’s Ills (Bloomberg)
• Apple Sends Invites to March 7 iPad Event (WSJ) see also Apple to Unveil New iPad Next Month (Bloomberg)
• Why Republicans Are Fighting To Repeal Obama’s Medicare Cost-Cutting Board (TPM)
• I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave (MoJo)
• The ocean’s deepest depths (BBC)

What are you reading?

Will the EU Recession Wreck the U.S. Recovery?

Source: The Fiscal Times

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.

16 Responses to “10 Tuesday PM Reads”

  1. mathman says:

    In answer to the Euro question:
    a) Recovery? What recovery? Do you mean, do i still have a job?
    b) If that doesn’t, the $5 + /gal gas will.

    Does the Euro answer line up well wit, as an analogy?:

    FedEx truck hits NY Amish buggy; adults, kids hurt

    GE Breaks Law, Avoids Taxes. Gets Billions From Gov’t, Avoids Taxes. Gets White House Post – Ah, You Know The Rest.

    “GE paid an effective tax rate of 2.3 percent or less over the past ten years. What did the government do for GE while it was paying little – and often no – taxes? Let’s see:

    The government let it off with just a slap on the wrist – more than once – after it repeatedly broke the law.

    The government bent the rules so that it could receive bank bailout money, although it wasn’t a bank, saving it from destruction and giving it billions in profits.

    The government rescued it even though it had already blown a reported half-billion dollars on a shady mortgage firm that hired strippers and at least one ex-porn actress to sell its loans, shafting thousands of homeowners and leading many of them into foreclosure.

    The government gave it favorable tax treatment for moving thousands of jobs offshore.

    And to top it all off, President Obama honored it (and undoubtedly helped its sales) by naming its CEO to be his “Jobs Czar.”

    You’d think GE would be more than 2.3 percent grateful for all these favors. But apparently our tax code reads “To whom much is given, very little will be required.”

    To be sure, GE has probably avoided paying its fair share of taxes in a “legal” way – if the word “legal” can be used to describe a system where corporations pay for the privilege of influencing politicians to bend the law in their favor.

    Free Ride

    As the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) press release explains, the corporation paid 2.3 percent at most – and perhaps much less – over a ten-year period. It’s possible that GE paid no taxes at all. GE is one of this country’s many poster children for the unpleasant truth: Despite conservative yowling that the corporate tax rate is too high in this country, most of our biggest corporations use their lobbyists and tax lawyers to avoid paying their fair share.

    That’s especially unjust when the country’s struggling through hard times and corporations aren’t. But it’s never more unjust than when the tax evader is a company like GE, which owes its government so much – for the juicy government contracts, for the slaps on the wrist (and no prosecutions) for repeated criminal fraud, and for bending the rules so that it could reap billions in giveaways from the same government it so gladly stiffs at tax time.

    In fact, GE paid no taxes at all in 2010. Think about it: CEO Jeffrey Immelt and his senior executives mismanaged their company so badly that it would have crashed and burned without the estimated $85 billion in loans it received from the US government. Those loans reaped billions for GE – and cost the rest of us just as much – because they were issued at no-interest or low-interest rates.

    And how much did they pay for being rescued?”

    America Ain’t Great?!, said the dyslexic patriot.

  2. Jojo says:

    Now we are getting to the core of the problem…
    People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say
    Date: 28 February 2012

    Many people lack the mental goods needed to choose the best candidate.

    The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

    The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

    As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, “very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is,” Dunning told Life’s Little Mysteries.

    Nagel concluded that democracies rarely or never elect the best leaders. Their advantage over dictatorships or other forms of government is merely that they “effectively prevent lower-than-average candidates from becoming leaders.”

  3. PeterR says:

    ‘Will the EU Recession Wreck the U.S. Recovery? ”

    Yes, especially if it coincides with a major Middle East problem (AKA Iran).

    One is continually amazed by how many intelligent people do not see the shite about to hit the fan.

  4. Iamthe50percent says:


    In other words, Democracy is the worst system, except for all the others?

  5. AtlasRocked says:

    Plato knew Democracy was a bad idea 2400 years ago, it was failing then like it is now, this is why the Founding fathers put in APPOINTED senators, not elected ones:

    “….In their ignorance they tend to vote for politicians who beguile them with appearances and nebulous talk, and they inevitably find themselves at the mercy of administrations and conditions over which they have no control because they do not understand what is happening around them. They are guided by unreliable emotions more than by careful analysis, and they are lured into adventurous wars and victimized by costly defeats that could have been entirely avoided.”

  6. ssc says:

    I read the Smart Money thing earlier (“main street’s 100 billion blunder”), LOL, as if “wall street pros” are hitting it out of the park (John Paulson, George Soros, Bill Gross,… the list of pros made wrong bets is just about endless). I think I’ve only read 2 articles from Smart Money in many years, and both of them were so off the mark that one wonders if there is anybody in charge..

  7. Jojo says:

    You can’t believe anything any more. Here’s a hell of a good Photoshopped example.
    Banker’s 1% Tip is a Hoax; Real Receipt Obtained

  8. JimRino says:

    England seems to pass better laws, and give it’s citizens better benefits. The US Democracy has real problems.

  9. gman says:

    Cost of homeownership v. renting close to 30 year lows!
    “I will always rent” LMAO..the average mkt participants intellect is an insult to chimps!

  10. mad97123 says:

    Main Street’s $100 Billion Stock-Market Blunder – It seems like poor reporting when we read about all the “profits” mainstreet has missed. Profits are only realized when someone sells. The $100 billion in “missed profits” are largely unrealized gains in the account of those who held and are getting back to breakeven (perhaps with 1998 levels in dollars worth 50% less). If everyone who thinks they have a profit wants to REALIZE their piece of it, all the profits will all be gone in a flash.

    As Mark Hulbert pointed out today, the market is still overvalues by 35-45% on 10 year trailing earning basis, so we’ll see just how much of this paper “profit” sticks by the end of this cycle.

  11. sellstop says:

    From the TPM article:
    “You can control health care one of two ways,” Coburn said. “You can allocate resources from a bureaucracy, from a government-related planned manner that saves money and actually rations care. Or you can say, even with its defects, market forces might allocate it better.”

    A government allocated health plan would use the available dollars to provide a basic level of service to many. The private insurers will ration health care by the ability to pay. And they know that as they do that there will be an outcry to increase the “premium support”. Like there always is. They claim to want to cut govt. but only want to cut their taxes. Govt. just gets bigger. And by the way, why do they object to the payments to providers in Medicare. They are smaller than the payments of the insurers. Govt. continues to hold the line on prices but privat payments continue to go up. And they try to tell us that the private market forces will contain costs. The market for health care is about selling life to desperate people. How can it going to the highest bidder contain costs. It is unethical.
    On a parallel theme. How about a grassroots effort to raise the taxes on the rich to balance the budget. Then the rich would have some skin in the game and maybe govt spending could and would actually get trimmed. Just wondering…..


  12. bonzo says:

    @sellstop: a balanced budget amendment is a dagger pointed at the rich, precisely because it their taxes which would be raised first, which is precisely why we won’t get a balanced budget amendment (nor a balanced budget). On the contrary, once the rich have finished asset stripping the middle class of their stocks and houses, and herding them into bonds and rental property, we’ll get still bigger deficits and high inflation (with Argentine-style understated CPI statistics) so as to complete the process of middle-class impoverishment.

  13. [...] – Further, further reading. [...]

  14. V says:

    In light of that warehouse story, are you going to change the Amazon affiliation ???

  15. slackful says:

    Sal and Joe are indefatigable, I really admire that in them. I wonder if they’ve stopped to think that part of what makes Mary’s job so difficult is that people like them, who have a vested interest in changing the rules in their favor, are hectoring her with their withering, data-analysis-free lobbying at all times of the day and night? One problem she faces is that populist political pressure about the HFT bogeyman is forcing her to take actions that she knows will increase costs to the average investor. The pressure, one observes, has reached the point where she is in fact going to take one of these actions. Sigh. Long live indefatigability, and protection for the technologically challenged.