News round-up: 13 Nov 2008


I have been doing these round-ups rather sporadically now, but the news flow is still considerable. In fact, the news flow is so much that I have off-loaded my links onto a feed which you can access here.

The main story I am following is the sheer lunacy of bailout schemes in the US. This morning I heard Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley on Bloomberg radio lamenting the switch by Hank Paulson completely away from the TARP plan that he sold to Congress. While one can certainly debate the merits of this plan or that plan, I am incredulous over the cynical way the Bush Administration sold one plan and is now running with another. Yves Smith has a good story on this. Paulson Now Admits Mendacity – Naked Capitalism. FT Alphaville also covers Yves take and adds a few more. Views on Paulson’s U-turn. And then there is Dean Baker. Paulson Abandons TARP, Where’s the Ridicule? Needless to say, Americans should have learned from Iraq not to trust anything coming from the Bush Administration. By the way, Asian stocks sold off on the news. Asia slumps amid bail-out U-turn.

Another item of note was the fact that Germany’s GDP contracted for a second quarter. They are clearly in recession along with New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, the US, and Denmark. France and Spain report tomorrow and are likely to join the party. Germany moves into recession.

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As for the market tumble, foreclosure increases, the Alaska vote going to Begich and a host of other issues, I will leave that on the news feed. Do read the feed — there are a host of good stories there like a video from Paul Kedrosky showing Bill Ackman on Charlie Rose.

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