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News from around the web: 2009-11-05

Be sure to see William Shatner’s poetic reading of Levi Johnston’s tweets below. Pretty funny. Buffett Revisits Hunting Ground for Survivors: Alice Schroeder – Bloomberg.com "Buffett isn’t as bullish as he sounds." Clever fools: Why a high IQ doesn’t mean you’re smart – New Scientist I have always said George W. Bush is NOT dumb. He is just wilfully anti-intellectual. […]

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Walt Mossberg reviews the Droid

The Motorola Droid is the so-called iPhone killer. Is it the real deal?  Mossberg seems to think so. See also: Motorola’s Droid Is Smart Success for Verizon Users – Walt Mossberg, WSJ

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The coming collapse of the municipal bond market

Why aren’t more municipal bonds being downgraded by the ratings agencies Fitch, Moody’s and S&P?  If you look at sovereign debt in revenue-constrained countries like Greece, Portugal or Ireland, the ratings agencies are issuing warnings.  But, states and municipalities are suffering from the same revenue constraints. Tax revenues have plunged. Governments have shut down services to save cash. And they […]

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Fed to keep “exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”

That’s all you need to know. Source FOMC statement – Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

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News from around the web: 2009-11-04

I was interviewed on the BBC last night about the GM/Opel/Vauxhall deal. I am waiting for video before posting any more about it.  My general feeling, however is GM’s backing out is being driven by reflation as GM no longer needs to sell Opel/Vauxhall in this economic environment. Quite frankly, I think it is a bit premature to think reflation […]

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Russia, sovereign debt defaults, and fiat currency

I have said on a number of occasions that a sovereign nation that issues debt in its own fiat currency cannot default involuntarily.  The case most people point to as a counterfactual is Russia in 1998.  I mentioned Russia in a recent post: Countries that have gone bust, Russia, Mexico, and Argentina were borrowing in foreign currency because of interest […]

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Time to Cut Taxes?

Time to Cut Taxes?

The following is a re-print of the latest monthly newsletter from Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners, published with the express permission of the author. Visit www.arpllp.com to learn more about Absolute Return Partners. You can reach the firm by email at [email protected] This post on taxes and budget deficits should remind one of three recent posts here which take […]

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The new Japan, domestic consumption, and the neo-liberal thought machine

Several notable economists prognosticated on what Japan should do to get out of their malaise in the 1990s but none of them understood the problem or the options available to the sovereign government. They all gave poor advice. The way Japan recovered after that decade of poor economic outcomes was through fiscal policy. Monetary policy had little to do with […]

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Trouble in Ireland as Fitch cuts debt two notches to AA- and deficits soar

Fitch, the credit rating agency, has just downgraded the sovereign debt ratings for the Republic of Ireland from AA+ to AA-.  That is two notches and is proof-positive that the ratings agencies are worried about the hole in Dublin’s finances. If you read the Irish press this morning, it is all doom and gloom and has a lot to do […]

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The creeping power grab by the executive branch and Federal Reserve

The power grab at the Federal Reserve is a topic I first broached back in February when the Federal Reserve was creating its alphabet soup of liquidity programs to pull us back from the brink of financial disaster. I was troubled about Fed policy then and I am still troubled today. I am equally disturbed by what is happening in […]

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