"If money isn't loosened up, this sucker could go down" - George W. Bush warned in September 2008

Friday, May 14, 2010

Really great links - China - Libertarians for bailout - Dodd's financial reform bill - Gloom and doom

Michael Pettis - Beijing’s stop-and-go measures - "Real estate has also been affected. According to one report, after surging in early April, property prices in Beijing dropped a shocking 31% in the past month. I don’t know whether this is believable – I am always nervous about taking any of these numbers too seriously given the amount of manipulation that occurs – but clearly there is nervousness in the Beijing market"

Models & Agents - Greece - "Greece may be too small (and too wayward) to bail but it’s become systemic by association. And while the rescue of an idiot who put his house on fire may be against one’s libertarian philosophy, keeping the fire from spreading elsewhere is (as we’ve painfully come to learn) sound policy"

WSJ - C. Asness & A. Brown - Dodd's financial reform bill - "In the bill, a "swap" is defined as "any contract or transaction that has financial, economic or commercial consequence involving purchase, sale, payment or delivery with any contingent clause." We challenge lawmakers to think of any contract or transaction that doesn't meet that definition—from buying detergent with a money-back guarantee to getting a rain-check at the car wash. If you maintain a "substantial" net position in swaps, or if your failure to perform under your swaps could cause "significant" losses, you are considered a "major swap participant." And you really don't want to be one considering how you'll be regulated.
        "Substantial" and "significant" are never defined. The bill does not say whether they are to be measured relative to the global economy, or the financial positions of you and your counterparty, or for that matter to the average humidity of a mid-summer afternoon in Cleveland. All of this is to be named later."

John B. Judis - The Case for Economic Doom and Gloom - Dotcom bubble - "Paul Volcker summed up the situation thusly: “The fate of the world economy is now totally dependent on the growth of the U.S. economy, which is dependent on the stock market, whose growth is dependent upon about 50 stocks, half of which have never reported any earnings.”"

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