Monthly Archives: September 2007

Ben Stein Watch: September 30, 2007

I’m a uniter, not a divider. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I don’t like to engage in the politics of personal destruction. But as Jonathan Landman might say, we have to stop Ben Stein from writing for the Times. … Continue reading

Posted in ben stein watch, Media | Comments Off

Song of the Year

On the fourth day of Crisis the markets sold to me Foreclosure loans Three French funds Two structured notes and a sub-prime bankruptcy. From Tim Price, of course. Go read the whole thing.

Posted in humor | Comments Off

Could the UAW buy GM?

As part of the GM-UAW settlement, GM is paying $29.9 billion upfront into an animal called a VEBA, or Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association. It will also add somewhere between $5.4 billion and $7 billion more to that VEBA down the … Continue reading

Posted in labor | Comments Off

Look Who’s Winning a Liberty Medal

A rock star receives the Liberty Medal yesterday in Philadelphia. With her is some Irish dude. (Via TED Blog. Photograph by Jim Young/Reuters/Landov.)

Posted in development | Comments Off

Apple Solves International Roaming Problem

Thank you, Apple! The iPhone is a great product, but one of its biggest weaknesses was the fact that it was incredibly easy to run up enormous cellphone bills if you use the data services abroad, either inadvertently or on … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Comments Off

Adventures in Aggregation

The entire econoblogosphere, in one place.

Posted in technology | Comments Off

Proof that Manhattan is Still the Capital of the World

Posted in Media | Comments Off

Econowisecrack of the Day

Tyler Cowen: Mark Broski, a loyal MR reader, asks: If you woke up one morning and said to yourself, "You know what my problem is? My damn discount rate is too high." What would you do, if anything, to lower … Continue reading

Posted in economics | Comments Off

The Economics of A-Rod

I neither know nor care much about baseball, which means I don’t read Will Leitch’s Deadspin. I did, however, read his excellent article in New York magazine about what’s going to happen to Alex Rodriguez’s contract at the end of … Continue reading

Posted in sports | Comments Off

John Carney Doesn’t Like Shareholder Democracy

How much do you care about shareholder democracy? John Carney, of Dealbreaker, cares a lot. He’s a fan of people like Lynn Stout and Larry Ribstein, who say that shareholder democracy is a very bad idea, and he’s willing to … Continue reading

Posted in governance | Comments Off

RBS Acquisition of ABN Amro More Likely Than Ever

In the battle for ABN Amro, the consortium of RBS, Fortis, and Santander has now clearly bested its rival, Barclays. The RBS consortium’s bid is about 20% higher than Barclays’ bid, thanks largely to Barclays’ sinking stock price, and Barclays … Continue reading

Posted in banking, M&A | Comments Off

The Greenspan Irony

Congratulations are due to Alan Greenspan, whose book still sits atop the Amazon bestseller list, and which sold, the WSJ says today, 129,000 copies in its first week. Or, to be precise, it sold at least 129,000, and probably more … Continue reading

Posted in fiscal and monetary policy, Media | Comments Off

Metaphor of the Day

Nouriel Roubini: The literally plunging figures in new home sales – now down another 8.3% in August alone, the lowest level in seven years – are the last nail in the coffin of a housing market that was comatose until … Continue reading

Posted in housing | Comments Off

Morgan Stanley’s Email Problem

Morgan Stanley has been fined $12.5 million for not providing emails. The Wall Street journal also notes that the company was also fined $15 million in 2005 for not providing emails. It doesn’t note that Morgan Stanley was ordered to … Continue reading

Posted in banking, law, technology | Comments Off

When Bonuses are Contraindicated

Should companies pay out performance-related bonuses? It turns out that such payments might well be counterproductive: The logic of bonus payments itself seems straight-forward: by paying a bonus on the condition of success, the successful outcome becomes more attractive to … Continue reading

Posted in pay | Comments Off

The Search for Consistently Uncorrelated Assets

Are you worried about your stock-market exposure? Buy into something even more bubblicious: natural resources! That seems to be the message of a recent article in the Journal of Financial Planning by William Coaker. Coaker went searching for one of … Continue reading

Posted in investing | Comments Off

Something Smelly at the Fahey Fund

Michelle Leder points out that the Fahey Fund’s web design leaves something to be desired, and might have tipped off investors to the sketchiness of the operation. She might have added that the email address for the fund manager was … Continue reading

Posted in hedge funds | Comments Off

An Interactive Guide to the Econoblogosphere

Have at it.

Posted in Media | Comments Off

Why 2-and-20 is Here to Stay

So here’s the weird thing about that Citigroup survey of pension-fund managers. Apparently the notorious 2-and-20 fee structure is doomed, even though the fund managers are going to increase their allocation to alternative investments: Almost 60% of managers surveyed indicated … Continue reading

Posted in hedge funds | Comments Off

Airline Economics Datapoint of the Day

Market capitalization of AMR, the parent of American Airlines: $5.4 billion Value of AMR’s AAdvantage frequent flier program: $6 billion

Posted in stocks | Comments Off

Misleading Chart of the Day

The Wall Street Journal has a story entitled "Tech Stocks Get Giddy " today – and yes, the smiley is in the headline. It’s accompanied by a dreadful chart showing three stocks which are currently at all-time highs: Research in … Continue reading

Posted in charts | Comments Off

GE, the Old-Fashioned Lender

Do you remember when commercial banking was all about knowing your client and your clients’ industry and having strong relationships and parking billions of dollars in loans in some dusty old part of the balance sheet which never got marked … Continue reading

Posted in bonds and loans | Comments Off

Alan Greenspan, Comedy Mastermind

The penguin nails it.

Posted in fiscal and monetary policy | Comments Off

When a Property Bubble Isn’t Speculative

Now that I’ve started noticing the "speculative bubble" meme, I seem to be seeing it everywhere. The latest person to use it incorrectly (IMHO) is none other than Robert Shiller: According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller US National Home Price … Continue reading

Posted in housing | 1 Comment

Who Won in the GM Strike

Andrew Leonard asks today whether anybody won in the showdown between GM and the UAW. "There’s no triumph in this deal," he concludes. "Just resignation." I’m slightly more optimistic, and I’d say that both sides won. After all, a strike … Continue reading

Posted in labor | Comments Off