My afternoon train reading:

• Recounting Ackman’s Other Investing Misses (DealBook)
• Europe Growing Again Means Boost for Global Economy (Bloomberg)
• Nocera: Don’t Kill Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac! (NYT) see also Affording a home harder for average buyer (CNNMoney)
• U.S. Population Distribution by Age, 1900 through 2060 (Calculated Risk)
• The U.S. Virgin Islands Are in a Catastrophic Recession (Slate)
• The war on drugs is breaking the Justice Department’s budget (Wonkblog)
Are the Dems as corrupt as GOP? Lobbyist Secretly Wrote House Dems’ Letter Urging Weaker Investor Protections (Mother Jones) see also Privatizer in Chief Obama Blames Reckless Homeowners (Economic Populist)
• A Better Stronger Sunscreen–Powered By Ancient Underwater Bacteria (Fast Company)
• How the Internet Ecosystem Works (College Humor)
• The Writing on the Wall for the NCAA (WSJ)

What are you reading?


Smartphones Expose Camera Makers’ Shortcomings
Source: WSJ

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.

8 Responses to “10 Tuesday PM Reads”

  1. swag says:

    I think, somehow, that you have already posted “Porn Sex Vs. Real Sex”. If so, I apologize for wasting your comment moderation time.

  2. Francisco Bandres de Abarca says:

    Don’t call it a comeback:

    The Falcon X (heavy lift) rocket will also employ a RP1/Lox combo engine. The early SLS flights, in all probability, will employ SRBs, a la the Space Shuttle. Looking forward to experiencing the body-jostling rumble!

  3. denim says:

    Privatizer in Chief! How appropriate. A place in history.
    circa 2005 “Senator Obama, what is your place in history?”

    circa 2013 “Here’s the problem that President Obama did not address yesterday: Today’s debt deflation and economic shrinkage are pushing federal, state and local budgets into deficit. This is forcing public spending to be cut back proportionally. That cutting will push state, local and federal budgets even further into deficit. This is why we are hearing calls to start selling off public infrastructure – to buyers who will become new customers for Wall Street investment banks.

    It is the same phenomenon we are seeing in Europe. The newest economic prize is the right to buy rent-extraction rights to turn public roads into toll roads and similar rentier tollbooth installations. All this increases the cost of living and doing business, making the economy high-cost even as it is being impoverished.

    That is not a solution. It bears out the classic principle that the solution to every problem tends to create new, even larger problems. Often these are unforeseen. But today’s problems in the making are all too foreseeable. What is needed is to keep translating the President’s speeches into their subtext.”

    bears repeating: “…What is needed is to keep translating the President’s speeches into their subtext.”

  4. dream-king says:

    WRT golden age journalism – I buy a number of positive elements the article mentions. However, those advantages seems to be blunted by some failures:

    1) news organizations increasingly lack the staying power and resources to stick with complex international stories

    2) the credibility of our news sources (Barry notwithstanding) has been weakened in the aggregate, and in the specific with the fewer organizations capable of taking on corruption and power

    3) the fragmentation of journalism is welcome because it opens up additional perspectives, but no one should kid themselves that the 4th estate is no longer as effective (and probably won’t be again) in being effective in keeping an educated public informed about important, complex events. It was bad when there were only 3-4 news shows, but when they spoke you could count on a significant part of the population being reached and receptive.

  5. DeDude says:

    I agree with Nocera that killing F&F is a bad idea. In their original form they worked perfectly well. The reason they got into such serious problems was that we turned them into private for profit companies with the standard Wall Street control fraud leadership and business models. The fix we need is to again turn them into non-profit government agencies that exsists to serve the people, not their CEO’s. Force F&F to be responsible lenders with strickt underwriting standards, and let the private sector have all the high-risk mortgagees that it want and can handle (i.e. with appropriate capital backing of their gambles).

    F&F actually did a great and important service that someone would have to do even if these companies were closed. They allowed for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage – so important for the ability of families to obtain a “predictable” homeownership that only can be terminated by some major “adverse event”. At the same time they turned these mortages into a highly stable investment instrument needed by insurance companies and pension funds to function and provide their services. F&F are specialized experts at “credit risk” and can, therefore, cover that risk at a fair and low price, and in the process provide insurance companies with a mortgage based security that has no credit risk and only carry interest level risks.

    It is probably true that this could be provided by the private sector although at a higher price. But problems arrive in a crisis when the interest of the country (prevent a collapse) and the interest of the mortgage bundlers (stop loses and preserve capital) are in direct conflict. At that time there is no other choice for government than to force at least one bundler to continue to provide credit even at the risk of its capital. In the last crisis that is what we did with the private companies Fannie and Freddie. We forced them to continue to provide credit at a time when nobody in the private sector was willing to do that. In the next crisis we will have to do the exact same thing (take-over/backstopping) to whoever does most of the mortgage bundling, because the economy would be destroyed if housing suddenly became an all cash market.