Monthly Archives: January 2009

Fed Running Out of Bullets

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“Fed To Hold Rates Near Zero” is the news headline today. It is not really news. What were they supposed to do? They can’t increase the rates. Zero is as low as you can go. There were about six notable … Continue reading

This Winter of Our Hardship

Image courtesy of flickr/Wayne MacPhail

The ‘Winter of Our Hardship’ are the words of President Obama in the inaugural address. He refers to the common dangers that we face in his somber message. The common danger is that this recession turns into a depression. In … Continue reading

The Impact of the U.S. Economic Crisis on the Rest of the World

Image courtesy of flickr/Kennington Fox

For those of you who are familiar with some of my research, you know how I have railed against people overselling the concept of “Global Diversification”. While there is an obvious benefit to diversifying your investments, it is not fair … Continue reading

The Essential Need for Transparency

Image courtesy of flickr/Jurek Durczak

We recently learned that the U.K. financial institution, RBS, lost $41 billion. We also learned that Citigroup lost $8 billion. How are we to interpret these numbers? Would you be surprised if it was the reverse, with Citi losing $41b … Continue reading

Unemployment Fast Forward

Image courtesy of flickr/Daquella Manera

The unemployment rate in December 2008 was 7.2%. We heard that initial claims for unemployment were greater than expected last week. What does this mean? As usual, it is difficult to navigate the data. We were told there were 589,000 … Continue reading

What Do We Do About Banks?

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The government has dumped $45 billion of cash and back stopped over $100 billion in troubled assets for each of Citibank and Bank of America. Current market capitalization of Citi is about $17 billion and Bank of America about $27 … Continue reading

Here’s an Idea: Let’s Throw Some Good Money at Good

Once upon a time, there were three good banks: Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Citigroup. When the financial crisis started, these banks stepped up and seemingly did some favors for the government. JP Morgan acquired Bear Stearns (with some … Continue reading

Unemployment and Recessions

“The worst job numbers since 1945”, we heard from CNN this morning. Well, that is not true. Today is different from 1945 for two reasons. First, our population is much larger. Second, there was an important technical factor — WWII … Continue reading