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Tag >> Obama Administration
Feb 17

Why service exports won't resurrect the economy

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionObama AdministrationObamaFederal Reserveeconomycost cuttingconsumer spendingChinaCFOCEOsCareers/ManagementBankingAIG

Ron F

I find this op-ed today on exports more than confusing. Essentially, the author, a business professor and former chief economist at the Dallas Fed named W. Michael Cox, says that President Obama's call for the U.S. to compete more effectively on that basis should not focus on boosting manufactured goods.

But it seems to me that our so-called comparative advantage in services that Cox says is a sufficient source of GDP growth has in fact put us at a disadvantage to countries such as China and Germany.

Feb 17

Banks' conflicts of interest apparent in Greek swaps

Posted by Ron F in Volcker RuleSecurities and Exchange CommissionRiskRegulationPaul VolckerObama AdministrationJP Morgan ChaseJamie DimonJ.P. Morgan ChaseGoldman SachsGlass-SteagallGlass Steagall ActFederal ReservederivativesCongressBernankeBanksbanking reformBankingbank failuresbailouts

Ron F

The increasing scrutiny of the swaps that Goldman Sachs arranged to help Greece hide its debt shows once again why investment banking should not be subsidized by taxpayers.

Yes, the separation of commercial and investment banking imposed by Glass-Steagall with that in mind may seem antiquated, and it may not have prevented the financial crisis. Surely it would have had no bearing on what happened in Greece. And neither would the Volcker Rule, which doesn't even go far enough in terms of the U.S.

Feb 16

Andrew Hall's conflict of interest looks much like Andy Fastow's

Posted by Ron F in TradingRegulationObama AdministrationEnronenergycomplianceCitigroupCFOBanksBanking

Ron F

Does anybody else have problems with the fact that the head of the energy trading unit that Citigroup sold to Occidental last year is setting up a hedge fund?

It would be an entirely different situation if Andrew Hall were leaving Occidental to do this, but he isn't. Instead, he will wear both hats simultaneously.

Feb 11

Larry Summers to big bankers: Go to Mars

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationObama AdministrationObamacomplianceBanksbanking reformBankingbank failuresbailouts

Ron F

The back and forth over President Obama's "praise," or whatever you want to call it, for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein via an out of context Bloomberg take is really overdone.

Worse, it misses the fact that Larry Summers seems to have (emphasis on "seems") a road to Damascus moment.

Feb 11

Why the federal deficit is indeed sustainable

Posted by Ron F in RiskrecoveryrecessionObama AdministrationObamainflationeconomydollardebtcareer/management

Ron F

At long last, an economist takes head-on the anti-Keynesian nonsense we've been hearing from both the right and center (or at least from President Obama himself in his State of the Union address) that says the government should treat its budget the same way families do, by tightening its belt during hard times.

Randall Wray of the University of Missouri spells things out pretty clearly here, but let me hit the high points for you.

Feb 10

It's the global economy, stupid

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionObama AdministrationObamaeuropeeconomyCongressCareers/Managementcapital expenditurescapexbailouts

Ron F

Lost in the hubbub over the financial condition of Greece and other weak E.U. members is the fact that the U.S.'s member states are in terrible shape as well, and those such as California and New York have bigger economies. Except that Barry Ritholtz has some data on this.

While Greece's economy is only the 34th largest in the world, California's is the 8th largest, equal to that of France.

Feb 09

The real issue underlying the B of A case

Posted by Ron F in Securities and Exchange CommissionRegulationObama AdministrationKen LewisHenry PaulsonFederal ReserveFedCongresscomplianceBernankeBanksbanking reformBank of AmericabailoutsAndrew CuomoAIG

Ron F

We've obviously got Bank of America on the brain around here, but the case raises one more issue that I don't think we or anyone else has fully addressed.

Charles Gasparino hints at it when he points out that Ken Lewis is likely to call Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson to testify on his behalf.

Feb 04

GOP says health care should be run like Wall Street

Posted by Ron F in Securities and Exchange CommissionSarbanes-OxleyRiskRegulationreformPhil GrammPaul VolckerObama AdministrationObamahealth insurancehealth careGlass-SteagallGlass Steagall ActFederal ReserveFASBEnronCongresscomplianceBanksBanking

Ron F

My apologies to all the technocrats out there who want us to stick to corporate finance, narrowly defined. But the Republican counter-proposal to Obama's budget is just too ridiculous to pass up in at least one major respect.

As James Kwak points out today, the party recommends that we reform health care the same way we did Wall Street after the Crash of 1929, with an emphasis on more disclosure so consumers can make better informed choices.

Feb 03

CareerBuilder: 42 percent still jobless after a year

Posted by Stephen Taub in Obama Administrationjobsjoblessnesshiringgrowthcareers

Stephen Taub

The folks at CareerBuilder are desperately trying to put a positive spin on the dismal job market.

In a press release Wednesday the online employment firm celebrated the "resiliency" of Americans by pointing out the fact that 58 percent of those laid off in the last 12 months have found new positions. Nice try, guys.

Feb 02

Private investment a stopgap for state and local budgets

Posted by Ron F in TaxrecoveryrecessionObama AdministrationGoldman SachseconomyCashCapital

Ron F

A growing number of state and local governments are leasing highways, airports and other public property to private investor so they can devote dwindling tax revenues to maintenance and improvements of other infrastructure. Much of the investment in these so-called public-private partnerships is coming from  pension funds and private equity. But observers doubt the trend is sustainable.

This piece describes a burst of such activity recently seen in the U.K. and Canada. But Hawaii, Illinois and Pennsylvania also have plans to lease their housing authorities, toll roads and railroad terminals.

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