Links: 2009-01-16 – Banks, Ireland, and Africa

There is a lot of news out there so I have broken the links up into distinct sections. But, I have three topics of particular note today. They are banks, Ireland and Africa. Let’s start with banks.

Everyone has heard what is going on at Citigroup and Bank of America. But, how about this analysis: Citigroup sells assets (Smith Barney stake) and gets a government bailout. Bank of America buys assets (Merrill Lynch) and gets a bailout. It sounds an awful lot like crony capitalism. I see zero accountability in all of this.

Then, there is Ireland. You will remember that I mentioned a while back that I saw similarities to Iceland and I predicted that Ireland’s banking system would collapse. Well, I do see the Anglo Irish takeover as a chink in the armor, not a positive move by a bold government. I will be posting more on this later today I hope.

Finally, I wanted to point out what is happening in Africa. This continent is highly leveraged to commodities. Those commodity prices are imploding and that is bad ews for African economies. As bad as it is in the G-7 and the West, it is much worse in Africa. G-7 governments should seriously consider how they can best help Africa here because the suffering there will be much greater than it is in rich countries.

Now, I can get off my soapbox. It’s Friday and a 4-day weekend in Washington D.C. This place is in a real party mood. I have some inauguration parties to attend, so I may not be writing a ton this weekend. Let’s hope the markets have a nice Obama rally. We’ll see.

In any event, all the best.

Ed

There is a lot of news out there so I have broken the links up into distinct sections. But, I have three topics of particular note today. They are banks, Ireland and Africa. Let's start with banks.Everyone has heard what is going on at Citigroup and Bank of America. But, how about this analysis: Citigroup sells assets (Smith Barney stake) and gets a government bailout. Bank of America buys assets (Merrill Lynch) and gets a bailout. It sounds an awful lot like crony capitalism. I see zero accountability in all of this.Then, there is Ireland. You will remember that I mentioned a while back that I saw similarities to Iceland and I predicted that Ireland's banking system would collapse. Well, I do see the Anglo Irish takeover as a chink in the armor, not a positive move by a bold government. I will be posting more on this later today I hope.Finally, I wanted to point out what is happening in Africa. This continent is highly leveraged to commodities. Those commodity prices are imploding and that is bad ews for African economies. As bad as it is in the G-7 and the West, it is much worse in Africa. G-7 governments should seriously consider how they can best help Africa here because the suffering there will be much greater than it is in rich countries.Now, I can get off my soapbox. It's Friday and a 4-day weekend in Washington D.C. This place is in a real party mood. I have some inauguration parties to attend, so I may not be writing a ton this weekend. Let's hope the markets have a nice Obama rally. We'll see.In any event, all the best.Ed
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