27 February 2010

Economic smörgåsbord

I use the "smörgåsbord" format for items that I have neither time nor inclination to devote a full post to.  Articles about the economy tend to be sufficiently gloomy that I really don't want to spend time pondering them in depth.  But some have info that someone may want or which I may want to link to later.  Herewith some links that have been sequestered in a bookmark folder for several months.  Pick and choose, or just skip down to the more cheerful little girl in the blue dress.

Three articles about the bonuses on Wall Street.  This from TMV: "Currently, according to news reports, just 23 top investment banks, hedge funds and other Wall Street firms will get $140 billion in bonuses this year, a sum almost exactly equal to the estimated $142 billion in budget shortfalls for all 50 states in fiscal 2010." And echoes of the same from MSN and from The Guardian.

An interesting graphic showing where all those people went from the collapsed financial firms.  Out into the street?  Perhaps the clerks and secretaries.  The rest?  To other financial institutions.

Some people still have lotza money.  Stories about Sarkozy's shower and purchasers of impressionistic art.

Mother Jones thinks the first-time home-buyer tax credit is just an act of Congress that will create another housing bubble.

Peter Schiff and Nouriel Roubini were good at predicting the recent financial downturn.  In November Schiff opined that the future was good for gold, but not for U.S. stocks.

"Too big to fail" discussed at Swimming Freestyle and at TPM.

A thread at Reddit that I really should give a full post to, but for now just a note that local credit unions may offer signicant advantages over large banks.

The state of Minnesota, traditionally economically strong, is facing financial woes, including severe budget deficits, with many banks at risk not because of the housing crisis alone, but because of the ongoing weakness of the commercial banking sector.  The Financial Times discusses the latter problem in greater detail.

Several prestigious universities have reported precipitous falls in their endowments because in recent years they shifted their assets from low-return investments to more risky collateralized capital ventures.  The same crisis is less well known, but equally severe in many cultural institutions such as museums and operas.

How Congress creates loopholes in the banking regulations for some financial institutions such as General Electric.

Der Spiegel online is one of the sources I use to read about the health of the European economies (the other is the Financial Times).  Recent articles have discussed whether Greece will go bankruptwhether the EU should save Greece from bankruptcy, whether the EuroZone could cope with a nation's bankruptcy, and how a currency crisis could ripple through Europe.

An eye-opening graph at Swimming Freestyle about public long-term debt if current fiscal policies are maintained.

Yglesias shows an unemployment graph with cautions that it will not improve any time soon.

Nouriel Roubini sees any economic recovery as being "very dismal and poor."

Two graphs in Andrew Sullivan's column compare this economic downturn to previous ones and depict the ratio of jobless workers to job openings.

Enough already.

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