Two recent stories out of New York tell a lot about what’s going on in the U.S. economy. They also force us to examine whether we are going to do something about it or instead whether we will just sit around and have the same stupid, divisive arguments that we usually do. Continue Reading
Here were the Finance Addict’s top stories this week. Plus, check out our GIF of the Week after the jump!
- Davos shocked to hear that poor people exist. When you start hearing the language of Huxley and Orwell on the slopes of the Swiss Alps, then you know that something has shifted.
- Trust in business and politics reaches critical point. We don’t really trust corporations or government. Can we reverse this? And if not, then what?
- Germany seeks permission to drown. Germany and France want to ignore a key lesson from the crisis and play fast and loose with Basel III.
- More tangled tales from TARP. As the Special “Pay Master” for TARP, is Ken Feinberg a legal laureate gone rogue? Or is he being railroaded?
- A White House nudge towards strategic default? A 2008 memo to President-Elect Barack Obama contains a counterintuitive endorsement for strategic default.
- Trusted advice? Hardly. Dale Westhoff is the Global Head of Structured Product Research at Credit Suisse and apparently the firm’s chief propagandist.
- Saying “No” to the yes-men on fiscal stimulus. Does recent research from Virginia Tech shed light on why the fiscal stimulus debate went wrong? Continue Reading
Ok, I exaggerate. But that’s my cynical first impression after finding the following diagram in the briefing book for the gathering of the good and the great at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Click for a larger size.)
As you can see “Severe income disparity” is #1 on the Top 5 risks list this year, after having failed to make the short list for the preceding 5 years.
Now it’s not as though the attendees of Davos were completely inattentive to the economic plight of the less fortunate all this time. Continue Reading
Edelman is one of the world’s most respected public relations firm. Every year they do a big global survey in order to report on that most elusive of subjects — trust. For this year’s edition they asked 1,000 members of the general public in each of 25 countries to respond to their online survey, but also at least 200 members of the “informed public” in each country — richer, older, college-educated and eager consumers of news and public policy.
So, who do they trust, what do they want and what does that mean for you and me? Continue Reading
Every 60 days the Government Accountability Office issues a report on the various TARP programs. Each report looks at how the Office of Financial Stability, the body currently overseeing all TARP programs, is performing on a given metric. The latest report looks at the estimated lifetime costs to U.S. taxpayers of the programs still in operation, and also at how the Treasury communicates these costs to the public. As for this latter question the short answer is: very selectively, indeed.
The following are some notable facts re the lifetime costs for some of the programs that are still up and running. Continue Reading