Friday, Aug. 7 2009 @ 8:37AM
Congress Gets an Upgrade: $500 Million Slated for Purchase of Eight More Planes as Lawmakers' Travel Soars (WSJ)
Solution: One-way tickets.
Job Losses Slow as Rate Drops (WSJ)
This just in. Drop in the unemployment rate "suprising." Perspective: "Though still a terrible loss by historical standards, the data suggest a turning point is at hand after job cuts earlier in the year that totaled as much as 700,000. The economy has lost 6.7 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007."
Key Lawmaker Received Countrywide Loans (WSJ)
That's not the whole story. NY Congressman Edolphus Towns, the sorry-ass successor to Henry Waxman as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, resisted calls for a probe of a Countrywide mortgage program. Then it turns out that Towns had received loans from Countrywide, one of the major bottom-feeders in the subprime market.
Palin Autographed Xbox on eBay for $1.1 Million (Anchorage Daily News)
Sentiment Readings Disturbingly Bullish (Pragmatic Capitalist)
"I would liken the current environment to a card counter who has just been on a tear playing blackjack, but finds that the deck is currently running low on face cards. The odds now favor the house. You can stay and press your luck, but the smart move is to simply walk away from the table."
AIG Posts $1.82 Billion in Net Income, First Profit Since 2007 (Bloomberg)
You would think this means that the government won't have to be so panicky as it dismantles AIG, which means that its valuable assets won't be practically given away, which means that taxpayers won't get even more screwed than they have been by AIG's $182.5 billion bailout.
Study finds women directors damage profits (FT)
"Female directors ... had a better record of attending board meetings. ... Yet while those traits often helped badly governed companies, the Ferreira and Adams study suggests that increased monitoring can have a negative effect on well-governed businesses." Are any businesses "well-governed"? In any case, don't shoot the messenger.
Another Hurdle for Jobless: Credit Checks (NYT)
You prospective employers are going to hold our bankruptcy against us? What do you think happened to us after we lost our previous job?
Security experts scramble to decipher Twitter attack (Computerworld)
What was the motive for the Twitter outage? Political (to silence a Georgian activist)? Pissy (nerds' contempt for Twitter)? Pure hacking fun? Whatever, it's a big deal for the rapidly growing phenomenon of social capitalism.
Rodeo booms despite US recession (Telegraph U.K.)
"If anything, the deepest and longest American economic downturn since the Great Depression appears to have boosted the popularity of the Wild West events." And your point is ...?
How To Blow A Bubble (Baseline Scenario, James Kwak)
Greenspan's Fed used to be the "bubble-maker-in-chief." Now, "the ideological initiative may be shifting towards Goldman Sachs."
Hedge Funds Rally as Cash Flows Back In (WSJ)
Investors are writing more checks to Stephen Schwarzman, so that's got to be a good thing.
New York Times Co. confirms Globe is for sale (Boston Globe)
That's not much of a surprise. Neither is the fact the Times hired Goldman Sachs to do the selling. Yet more fees for extremely healthy Goldman, which got bailed out by taxpayers and now is hired to bail out the NYT.
Paying for News: Let's Get On with It (Seeking Alpha, Fred Wilson)
"We can talk until we are blue in the face about whether people will pay for news or not. Talk is cheap. Actions are not. So I'm eager to see the experiments begin." He likes the Financial Times's approach. From an earlier post by Wilson, "Monetize The Audience, Not The Content": "The best freemium models allow anyone to use the service for free and then convert the most serious/frequent/power users to paying customers."
Court OKs nearly $17M in Madoff case legal fees (Newsday)
Most of it goes to Baker & Hostetler; most of the rest goes to trustee Irving Picard, who says he won't take a penny but will give his share to his firm — which is Baker & Hostetler.
Citigroup Takes U.S. Stock Trading to New Levels (Bloomberg)
Attention, history buffs: On Wednesday, Citigroup became the first stock on U.S. exchanges to exceed 2 billion shares being traded in one day. Click on this for other record-setting days.