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Chris Whalen critiques Obama stimulus speech

Chris Whalen is a well-respected banking sector analyst who often appears on CNBC and Bloomberg. Below he gives his view on Barack Obama’s stimulus package speech and the need for banking sector restructuring. Below that is a video of President Obama’s speech (he does a lot of thank yous before getting to the substance). You should note that Obama delivered […]

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We are in depression

We are in depression

The results of my poll are back and  according to readers we are clearly in Depression.  A plurality of you voted for depression with a small ‘d,’ edging out those who see Depression with a Big  ‘D.’ I agree with this assessment as I also voted for a depression with a small ‘d.’  Let me tell you why. In my view, […]

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Bloomberg talks about the meltdown in Eastern Europe

The video below gives an excellent view into the issues affecting European banking. Tom Keene, who is Bloomberg Radio’s editor-at-large, sees the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the ultimate solution to the problems in Eastern Europe. As the IMF is funded in large part by richer nations, any bailout will ultimately be financed by those countries’ taxpayers.

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Will sovereign wealth funds pour yet more money into the West?

Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are losing money hand over fist, which should leave one wondering whether their appetite for Western assets will continue to bolster those markets. Funds in Asia and the Middle East have been hit by a double-whammy of losses on existing foreign asset portfolios and weak domestic markets due to the fall in oil prices in the Mideast and an absence of de-coupling in Asia.

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Links: 2009-02-17

Eastern European currencies crumble as fears of debt crisis grow – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph CDS report: Emerging exposures hurt banks – FT Alphavile ‘Drunk’ Japan minister to resign – BBC News Schwarzenegger Prepares to Layoff 20,000 – Calculated Risk Decade at Bernie’s – Paul Krugman – NYTimes.com China to US: We hate you – FT Alphaville November 2012: a dystopian […]

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Geithner and Summers consolidate power

If you recall, a few months ago there was a lot of speculation in Washington about Paul Volcker being named a ‘car czar’ to deal with the problem with the Big Three automakers. That idea has fallen by the wayside. President Obama has named Larry Summers and Tim Geithner to head his auto team. Obviously, these two gentlemen are consolidating […]

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Kansas and California and the race to U.S. state insolvency

California’s problems are well-known. They have been in the making for sometime. When I predicted a U.S. state would go bust this year, California was very much on my mind. But, frankly, Kansas was nowhere on my radar screen. Now both states have gotten my attention.

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A reminder about new mark-to-market rules in Europe

Danielle, a European reader, recently asked what is going on in the European Union regarding mark-to-market. Basically, the EU has already relaxed mark-to-market requirements as an outgrowth of the market turbulence surrounding Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy. Below is an October article from Business Week highlighting the key issues.

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Does Japan’s economic implosion mean anything?

Overnight, the Japanese government released figures for Q4 2008 GDP that pointed to a depression-like fall in the Japanese economy. GDP contracted 3.3% from Q3, or 12.7% using the U.S. convention of annualizing those numbers. This is the largest such quarterly contraction in Japan since 1974. While a very poor number was expected, this number was even worse than forecast.

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IMF Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Charlie Rose

The man who recently uttered the D-word about the global economy tells all to Charlie Rose.  The video is from this past Friday.

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Poll: Is this a recession or a depression?

Poll: Is this a recession or a depression?

On February 6th, I started a poll asking whether the global economy was experiencing a recession or a depression. In the interim, I have tried to stay neutral on the issue. Now it is time to close out the poll. Below you can add your vote. I will release the final results tomorrow.

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UBS is sitting on billions in bad student loans

Below is my translation from an excerpt in the Swiss newspaper NZZ:

In 2008, the lucrative business with loans to U.S. students came to an abrupt end. Today, UBS sits on paper that could still be worth $8.4 billion – or less. The collapse of the market for student loanshas increased the barrier to a good education for young Americans.

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