News Round-up: 1 Oct 2008

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Times are tough! So, what should we do? Escape, of course… to house heaven. I have a few dream spots where one could move to forget about all the market turmoil to start things off right in our round-up.

For those of you who want the hard hitting credit crisis stuff, there’s lots of it in the credit crisis section. See George Soros’ comments in particular. His banking crisis plan is identical to mine (see mine here). It’s not rocket science, but it does require a non-ideological approach.

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Bloggers have done a bang-up job of reporting and analyzing this whole mess. I profile some of the best stories in the next section. Special mention goes to Tim Iacono’s interview with Easy Al Greenspan and Michael Panzner’s story on Wachovia’s CEO touting his company right up until it collapsed. Sounds familiar.

I fill things out with the usual real economy and political stories followed by a few technology applications you might find useful in the technophile’s corner.

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Enjoy!

House heaven
In Brussels, a Town House With a Vintage Vibe – NY Times
What You Get for … $750,000 – NY Times (In Wyoming, Austin, TX and Portland, ME. Not bad at all.)
For Sale in … Tuscany, Italy – NY Times (Heaven!)

Credit Crisis
Recapitalise the banking system – George Soros, FT
FDIC wants to raise deposit insurance limit: source – Reuters (yes! Do it now)
Wells Fargo still waiting for right deal – Reuters (These guys are generally smart and conservative – a favorite along with M&T Bank and JPM)
Short ban seen exacerbating sharp market drop – Reuters (we all warned this was likely. Idiots!)
SEC to banks: firesale prices not always necessary – Reuters (Mark-to-market or not!)
Politicians rail against fair value accounting – FT (Don’t mark to market? I’m sceptical)
I’m a bail-out sceptic – Kenneth Rogoff, Guardian
Government moves to calm consumers by protecting savings up to £50,000 – Guardian
Santander: What you need to know about B&B’s white knight – Telegraph
RAB secures future with three-year lock-in – Telegraph

Blogs
National Debt to Exceed $10 Trillion Tomorrow – Calculated Risk
How AIG Facilitated European Banks Circumventing Minimum Capital Requirements – Naked Capitalism (I have been saying for some time now that Europe will get very bad soon. You have been warned)
An Interview with Alan Greenspan – The Mess That Greenspan Made
Fair-Value Accounting & FASB 157 – Big Picture
Libor: 6.88% – Market Movers
Bernanke Learns Lessons From Great Depression – Real Time Economics
A Look at Case-Shiller Numbers, by Metro Area – Real Time Economics
How Bad Could Things Get? – Market Movers (very bad is the answer)
Japan household spending down 4.0% in August; spending on services hit hard – Japan Economy News & Blog
Fiction as Truth – Financial Armageddon (Wachovia’s CEO was touting his company right up to the bitter end)
Case-Shiller Price Declines by City – Calculated Risk

Real Economy
Volvo Trucks to Eliminate 1,400 Jobs as Demand Slows – Bloomberg
UBS to Cut 1,900 Investment Bank, Equities, Fixed Income Jobs – Bloomberg
Tesco warns crisis could spread to consumer economy – Telegraph

Politics
Palin’s troubles mount for McCain – Reuters
Bailout Bullies – Portfolio (who’s to blame for the bailout failure?)
Congress decides it is worth risking depression – Martin Wolf, FT (Wolf is right on target about the risks)
Consequences of no bail-out – FT Lex
Palin and the Supreme Court – Political Animal

Technophile’s Corner
Five Password Utilities for Portable Freedom – PC World

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