Deadman's picture

    Playing God and Taking Shortcuts ...

    This financial crisis is more than what it appears.

    It is symptomatic of a society that at some point over the last 30 years lost its way by seeking not the road less traveled, but instead the quickest route.

    It is the culmination of a mindset that increasingly became interested in pursuing immediate gratification at any cost.

    Look around you. In every area of modern life, the shortcut has become the rule, not the exception.

    Deadman's picture

    Government Debt: The Final Bubble

    Could this be the beginning of the end for our markets' last great bubble?

    An auction today of $34 billion in 5-year U.S. government bonds didn't go over so well, fetching prices well under what analysts were expecting.

    Ruh-roh.

    Oh I know, it may not seem like that big of a deal. The debt still got sold, unlike an unsuccessful auction for 40-year bonds in the UK. The fact that our auction resulted in yields (which move in the opposite direction of the price of bonds) of 1.849% versus the expected 1.801% seems like rather unimportant, inside-baseball type of stuff.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Don't Raise the Barricades

    A recent World Bank study indicates a disturbing rise in trade protectionism around the world in response to the economic crisis. Here are a few examples:

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/23/09: (The Geithner Bank Stability Plan)

    Details of the Geithner bank stability plan came out today, and Wall Street for one loved it. And why not,  for the plan basically allows financial institutions to take the worse of the toxic assets rotting away on their balance sheets and pawn off the vast majority of the risks of nonpayment onto the U.S. government (and ultimately the U.S. taxpayer).

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    Deadman's picture

    Eliot Spitzer: A thoughtful voice of reason (alas, without any power)

    I strongly encourage everyone to watch this video as former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer gives  thoughtful, reasoned insights into a whole host of recent topics related to our financial crisis, including AIG bonuses, Obama's performance, the media's impact, regulation, etc.

    I recommend the 20-minute Fareed Zakaria CNN interview in its entirety, but if you only have limited time, Spitzer offers a concise explanation into the cause of our current economic situation for a few minutes starting at about the 10:45 mark.

    Deadman's picture

    Public-private partnership proposal poses plenty of problems

    Oh goody. Looks like we're about to hear the details of Geithner's long-awaited financial stability plan, which has as one of its key components a public-private investment pool designed to help rid our system of the toxic assets rotting away on bank balance sheets.

    Apparently, the Treasury will hire four or five private investment managers to run a fund that will purchase the assets. The government will then match whatever monies the private firms manage to raise and invest.

    Deadman's picture

    The Congress AIG Bonus Bill: Bravo! (Seriously...)

    Great. Now there's a backlash to the backlash to the AIG bonuses, and everyone is scolding Congress for acting so rashly in crafting a bill designed to recover 90% of the bonuses in taxes.

    Conservatives are complaining the bill is unconstitutional and unproductive. In his Obama interview, Jay Leno said he's frightened about its implications, and our own Genghis is mocking the effort.

    Gimme a break.

    Deadman's picture

    CBS, Microsoft: Brilliant NCAA Tournament Silverlight strategy

    Well, except for a couple of close final games (sorry A-man about the Illini loss), it was a pretty uneventful first day in the 2009 NCAA March Madness tourney (you know it can't have been too interesting when your girlfriend correctly selects every game but one - she feels your pain A-man!).

    So I figured instead of discussing the actual games, I'd quickly mention an interesting side issue surrounding CBS Sports' online coverage of the tourney.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    China: Tiger on a Leash

    As the U.S. sinks deeper into recession and China gorges itself on ever greater quantities of American debt, you will start to hear about the "Chinese model" and the end of American hegemony. Yet China remains tethered by a stiff leash which will ultimately choke the charging tiger once it runs out slack: its government.

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/17/09: Zombie Banks and Executive Suicides

    Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley yesterday went on the radio and suggested AIG executives do what their Japanese peers often do when the proverbial shit hits the fan and either "resign or go commit suicide."

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    Deadman's picture

    AIG Chief on Bonuses: Our 'Hands are Tied...' Are You F-in Kidding Me?

    Apparently, $175 billion doesn't buy what it used to.

    AIG has decided that it has no choice but to pay out $165 million in bonuses to employees due to contractual obligations. And the government has decided it has no legal recourse to stop the payments.

    Deadman's picture

    Cramer v. Stewart: Wow!

    I have railed against CNBC host Jim Cramer for some time. I enjoy him greatly as an entertainer, and when he focuses on the inner workings of the stock market, I think he does a pretty decent job of educating regular investors as well.

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/11/09: Grading Obama's Presidency??

    So some jackass reporter decided to ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to grade President Obama's performance after a whoppin' 50 days in office. Seriously? You could pass the question off as harmless, silly journalistic tripe, but I think it's symptomatic of a rush to judge and criticize anything and everything Obama is trying to accomplish. It's unhealthy, unproductive and unfair. The time to hand out grades will eventually come, but for now, how about giving the president a break and let him do his job.

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    Deadman's picture

    Whaddya know?? Markets go up too! ...

    I am usually the bearer of such depressing market and economic news, I have to at least give some props when there are some good things to talk about.

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    Deadman's picture

    Happy Weekend!! ...

    This is a fun chart to look at - thanks to http://dshort.com. Assuming this market meltdown proves to be a reasonable fascimilie of the big, bad one, as I believe it will, we have a long way down yet to go.

    We are so overdue for a decent-sized short-term relief rally, I think we may get one as soon as next week, but I bet when all is said and done we get much closer to that down 89% total.

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    Deadman's picture

    Could an economic depression make us less depressed?

    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

    I don't know many very happy people. I know people who are content enough, I suppose. I know plenty of people who do a decent job at hiding their discontent. (As for myself, I'm probably somewhere in between those two categories, leaning toward the former).

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/2/09: (Abuse, Co-Dependency and Fear of Change)

    Today, I discuss codependent, abusive relationships, and our general resistance to change. Deadman understands the deal. He, too, just wants to relive the good old days and focus on things that will always stay the same, like the Middle East conflict.

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    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/1/09: (Obama's War on the Wealthy)

    Been away all week on business, listening to my colleagues and the talking heads on CNBC bitch and moan about Obama's budget and economic policies. They believe he's declaring war on the wealthy and is going to destroy the economy with his increased tax hikes.

    Are you fucking kidding me?!?

    Oh yeah, I feel a rant coming on ...

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    Deadman's picture

    Nationalize Now

    I am going to try and keep this as short as possible because I'm off on a biz trip tomorrow (expect a lot less blog activity from me for about a week) and have things I need to get done before then.

    But I just had to comment on the statement released jointly this afternoon by the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), and the Fed.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Get Yer Hot D-Bills Here!

    Loyal readers have been anxiously following dagblog.com's financial troubles in this difficult economy. On Tuesday, after dagblog's appeals for federal assistance were rebuffed, I sadly announced that all the other members of the dagblog team would have to be let go.

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