Links: 2009-05-02

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  • Berkshire’s Munger Favors ‘100% Ban’ on Credit Swaps – Bloomberg.com

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Vice Chairman Charles Munger said he supports an outright ban of credit- default swaps to prevent speculators from profiting on the failure of companies.

  • The Mess That Greenspan Made: Mortgage lender blowback

    I was wondering when the man with a tan was going to get the perp walk treatment. Well it looks like he is finally going to court.

  • Gillian Tett – Genesis of the debt disaster

    “In the 1990s, a young team at Wall Street investment bank JP Morgan pioneered a new way of making money – credit derivatives. Within a decade, the market for these exotic securities had exploded to more than $12,000bn – and some people later blamed them for fuelling the global financial fiasco. In the first of two extracts from her book, Fool’s Gold, the FT’s Gillian Tett reveals how the innovation genie was first let out of the bottle – and eventually devoured the system, to the horror of its creators.”

  • FT.com | Willem Buiter’s Maverecon | Derivatives and attempted state capture in Kazakhstan

    Willem Buiter is on the case. What’s the saying? “There’s something wrong in the state of Kazakhstan.” or something like that. I like his references to Morgan Stanley as St. Manley Organ — sounds phallic.

  • Justice Souter to Retire From Court – WSJ.com

    And Obama has the votes to put a real liberal in there now. Conservatives are unhappy. Supreme Court Justice David Souter has disclosed plans to retire, two congressional aides briefed on the decision said, a move that would create the first vacancy on the high court for President Barack Obama to fill.

  • Investors.com – Google Checkout Fee Hike Rings Sour Note

    Google Checkout is good! But, this is not. EnsignTech.com owner James Vann was recently planning to replace eBay’s (EBAY) PayPal electronic payment service with Google (GOOG) Checkout as an option for customers placing large orders on the site. Vann was intrigued by Google Checkout’s ability to store customers’ shipping and billing information and quickly process credit card payments. Then the Web search giant added another detail to the service: higher fees. “When they announced the price hike, I decided that it really wasn’t worth it to switch ,” he said.

  • CARPE DIEM: Unemployment Rate for PhD Economists = 0%

    Why did I get an MBA instead of a PhD? This story makes me wonder.

  • Senate Won’t Let Judges Alter Mortgages in Bankruptcy – NYTimes.com

    I am in favor of cramdowns. They work for corporates, why not individuals. Anyway, it’s not going to happen as this story attests.

  • US recovery in May 2009? New evidence based on a surprisingly robust linkage | vox

    When will the US economy turn around? World renown macroeconomist Bob Gordon – a member of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee since 1978 – documents a surprisingly robust link between the business cycle tough and the lagged peak in unemployment claims. According to this link, springtime for the US economy is just around the corner.

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