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People's currency

The FT's Davos blog offers a range of informed comment as our leaders gather in Switzerland to consider the economic mess we're in. But will the ongoing spat between the US and China over the renminbi exchange rate overshadow all else at the World Economic Forum?
posted by Abiezer on Jan 28, 2009 - 17 comments

What if things just keep getting worse?

"Civilization is Just a Thin Veneer. In the absence of law and order, men quickly revert to savagery. As was illustrated by the rioting and looting that accompanied disasters in the past three decades, the transition from tranquility to absolute barbarism can occur overnight. People expect tomorrow to be just like today, and they act accordingly. But then comes a unpredictable disaster that catches the vast majority unprepared. The average American family has four days worth of food on hand. When that food is gone, we'll soon see the thin veneer stripped away." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 28, 2009 - 179 comments

Dating A Banker Anonymous

Dating A Banker Anonymous Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships. Via
posted by ColdChef on Jan 28, 2009 - 167 comments

Black and White Indie Filth

“It is going to be rough for us Top 20 publishers. It will be epic for anyone smaller. Lots of folks will vanish due to this, even some bigger guys.” - Hard times ahead for indie comics: Diamond Distribution, which has an effective monopoly on American comics distribution, will be raising it’s wholesale benchmark, meaning many of the comiocs currently available in comics stores will soon be dropped. In a further blow to the adult comics market Diamond will be dropping that section from the print version of Previews, in favour of a PDF only available to retailers. Comics are about to get a whole lot blander.
posted by Artw on Jan 21, 2009 - 76 comments

Dubai-bye

The real estate crisis has started to hit the fantasyland capital of real estate, Dubai. Projects are being abandoned and workers skipping town just the Dubai tower tops out at 818 meters. Pre-vi-ous-ly.
posted by dances_with_sneetches on Jan 20, 2009 - 18 comments

“They didn’t tell me I had to do anything particular with it”

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

Personal stories from the front lines of the American bailout.
posted by plexi on Jan 18, 2009 - 63 comments

Religious takes on the global financial crisis

The Dalai Lama blames the financial crisis on a decline in spirituality. Hindus blame it on greed. Saudi Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, blames the crisis on ignoring God's rules. Jewish scholars say we could have avoided a crisis by following Talmudic traditions. Pope Benedict sees the global financial system as "self-centred, short-sighted and lacking in concern for the destitute." Is it right to pray for the economy? (a Christian perspective). A Malaysian conference brings together Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, and Sikhs to discuss the crisis.
posted by desjardins on Jan 14, 2009 - 93 comments

Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000!

Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000! A few years ago, some financial wizards thought the good times would go on and on and on. The mega-market could bring Dow 30,000 or Dow 36,000. Maybe the real estate boom will not bust.
posted by Yakuman on Jan 10, 2009 - 52 comments

"Please pay no attention to the problems we are failing to address"

The End of the Financial World as We Know It. "We have a brief chance to cure ourselves. But first we need to ask: of what?" How to Repair a Broken Financial World. "There are obvious changes in the financial system to be made, to prevent some version of what has happened from happening all over again."
posted by homunculus on Jan 5, 2009 - 48 comments

Another one bites the dust...

No Bailout for the Arts? Many organizations could use the help.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 30, 2008 - 21 comments

If Admiral Ackbar had dyslexia, he'd say...

TARP, SSFIP, EESA, CPP, TALF, MMIFF... Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the new acronyms coming out of the US Treasury Department lately? Here's a handy PDF reference guide to untangling the US government efforts to rescue banks, financial corporations, and other companies.
posted by Asparagirl on Dec 29, 2008 - 10 comments

Video: Krugman's Friday address to Nat'l Press Club

The president of a Savings & Loan sent the following email to his family: If you have one hour of your time to invest in learning more about the current economic crisis, I highly recommend you click on one of the two below links and view [Paul Krugman's Friday address to the National Press Club]. His remarks take about 1/2 hour followed by 25 minutes of Q&As. I believe you will find watching it worth your time. P.S. If you decide to view Krugman's speech, I recommend you view it "full screen" for the best effect of viewing his body language. Link 1, Link 2 [more inside]
posted by spock on Dec 21, 2008 - 63 comments

Free is just another word for nothing left to do.

ZIRP! Not an exclamation, it stands for Zero Interest Rate Policy. One country to try this was Japan in 2001, using the euphemism Quantitative Easing in an attempt to fight a multiple year long recession. The most current country? The United States of America. [more inside]
posted by eriko on Dec 16, 2008 - 50 comments

Septimius Severus - the Barack Obama of the Roman Empire?

Is history repeating itself? Note quite 2000 years ago, the Roman hegemony got its first black leader - a former senator whose father was African and mother was white. Septimius Severus inherited a failed military campaign in Iraq and an ailing economy. He first resolves the situation in Iraq, undertakes a number of new building projects, stamps out governmental corruption, raises taxes to pay for wage increases (and kicks British arse a few times). Ultimately though, it all might have only hastened the Empire's decline.
posted by zaebiz on Dec 8, 2008 - 95 comments

What is 10 or 20 Trillion US dollars between friends?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the award-winning book The Black Swan, (previously), was interviewed recently by Charlie Rose: A conversation about economics with Nassim Taleb (as well as Time Magazine.) Taleb is more pessimistic than Nouriel Roubini, (previously, previously) who thinks that the total sum for this current global meltdown may be somewhere between 10-20 Trillion US dollars.
posted by gen on Dec 5, 2008 - 19 comments

Tanta Vive!

The Compleat ÜberNerd: a fascinating series of blog entries detailing the nitty-gritty behind the mortgage industry by Calculated Risk's "Tanta." If you're curious about automated underwriting systems or the ins and outs of mortgage servicing or if you just enjoy some Mortgage Pig Excel art, Tanta was the blogger for you. Tanta, otherwise known as Doris Dungey, passed away on Sunday morning (NYT obit, CR obit).
posted by mullacc on Dec 1, 2008 - 15 comments

It’s 1929 again

Can China Adjust to the US Adjustment? Prof. Michael Pettis of Beijing University on the macroeconomic parallels between the present crisis and that of the 1930s, with China playing the role today that the US played back then.
posted by Abiezer on Nov 28, 2008 - 23 comments

haven't had a dream in a long time

'You loser!" screamed Katie, aiming a vase at her husband. "You've destroyed my life,'' she continued, hurling it. "Just look at my hair, look at my nails! You loser, you jerk, you nobody."

Katie's husband, Jack, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back on her thrice-weekly visits to Nicky Clarke, the nail salon in Harvey Nichols, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at Space NK.
posted by plexi on Nov 28, 2008 - 91 comments

The greatest histories are always written in the toughest times

Je ne comprends pas anglais, Former Canadian PM Jean Chrétien forgets his second language as he and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent use their elder statesmen status to discuss bringing down the six week old Conservative government in Canada after the promised economic stimulus turned into cutting travel expenses, cancelling pay equity and the right to strike for federal workers, and changing the party funding law in favour of the ruling Conservatives under PM Stephen Harper. The opposition still vow to topple the government even though the funding change appears to have been dropped. But the largest opposition party is effectively leaderless and they need the Bloc Quebecois support. Could the next Prime Minister of Canada be Gilles Duceppe?
posted by saucysault on Nov 28, 2008 - 295 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 comments

Enough with the "sexy librarian" jokes.

In economic hard times, public libraries generally get a lot busier. With that in mind, here's a handy list of the top 20 things librarians in public libraries wish patrons knew or did (original article here).
posted by The Card Cheat on Nov 26, 2008 - 115 comments

Watch out for the Holnists.

Russian professor and information warrior, Igor Panarin, has predicted the collapse and breakup of the USA. (Potential artists' renderings 1 2) The interview was originally reported in the Russian newspaper, Izvestia. (Google Translated) The prediction has been met with varying levels of credulity, scoffed at by some and embraced by others. The prediction, which goes so far as to speculate exactly how the US might reorganize, was posted to Drudge and has offended many bloggers who, while excited by the prospects of secession, are insulted by the insinuation that the south may go Hispanic and not Confederate.
posted by Telf on Nov 26, 2008 - 106 comments

Special Bail Out Offer, No Payments Until January 20th

Have we jumped over all the hurdles in our ongoing economic fiasco? Probably not, the next hurdle is Credit Cards. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Nov 25, 2008 - 99 comments

AAA?

Anatomy of a Meltdown - Ben Bernanke and the financial crisis (in one page)
posted by Gyan on Nov 24, 2008 - 61 comments

Petition to recommend Michael Pollan for Agriculture Secretary under Obama

Pollan for Agriculture Secretary? It has been suggested (and previously) that Michael Pollan, author of Second Nature, The Omnivore's Dilemma, might make a good Secretary of Agriculture. This would be a dramatic departure for an office that has a decades-long history of steering US agriculture policy to the advantage of the largest agribusiness corporations. Especially given Obama's potential connections to Big Corn, how silly would we be to anticipate real change in US ag policy, relevant as it may be to the economic, energy, climate, and national security issues he campaigned on? Via the Brian Lehrer Show.
posted by maniabug on Nov 17, 2008 - 66 comments

Letter From Iceland

Letter from Iceland. There you see the Iceland of today – the victim of an economic 9/11 and one of the very few places in the world where the words “financial meltdown” can be used without fear of exaggeration. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 15, 2008 - 33 comments

They laughed at Peter Schiff

The laughed at him. Foretelling the doom and gloom of the mortgage crisis as a pundit in these 2006-2007 interviews, Peter Schiff held to a grim economic outlook. Recently in the Washington Post, Schiff writes: "Our leaders irrationally promoted home-buying, discouraged savings, and recklessly encouraged borrowing and lending, which together undermined our markets."
posted by thisisdrew on Nov 14, 2008 - 33 comments

sovereign risk and the current economy

Another economic post. With the debt and equity markets in a comparative calm, a lot of people are asking what next? One area little examined is the idea of sovereign risk. Basically, those with the armies make to rules, and you don't want to be invested there when they change the rules,. The USA has been the power behind globalisation for over half a century, enforcing the rules of the marketplace we have grown to accept. Some are questioning whether it can maintain this position. [more inside]
posted by bystander on Nov 3, 2008 - 15 comments

The Golden Calf

And the LORD said to Moses, "Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Oct 31, 2008 - 60 comments

Can I pay my taxes with a student loan?

After an historic near-collapse (p), a federal bailout to the tune of $85,000,000,000, a second federal bailout to the tune of $37,800,000,000 and one hell of a party (p), the news on A.I.G. just keeps getting better. Now: Fed arbitrage! Paying down a 9% taxpayer loan with a 2% taxpayer loan? Genius!
posted by jckll on Oct 31, 2008 - 7 comments

Waking from "‘the deep slumber of a decided opinion"

Financial Regime Change? Robert Wade, professor of political economy and development at the London School of Economics, "argues that we are exiting the neoliberal paradigm that has held sway since the 1980s" and considers the "causes and repercussions of the crisis, and errors of the model that brought it to fruition." Prof. Wade was making similar predictions last year.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 25, 2008 - 24 comments

Wassupdate

The Wassup boys have had a tough eight years, but things are looking up. (SLYT.)
posted by william_boot on Oct 24, 2008 - 59 comments

online services and tools

200+ Tools for Surviving the Economic Crisis l Free printable Basic Budgeting Worksheet l Building Your First Budget l How To Create a Budget l How to Make a Budget and Stick to It l Frugal Family Recipes. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 20, 2008 - 37 comments

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room It's been a few years since this documentary came out, and if you haven't seen it yet, you must. Just click and watch. The film is artistically made, enlightening, and ultimately infuriating. It takes on greater resonance in light of the current economic climate. (Too many previous posts to list.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Oct 18, 2008 - 70 comments

Whoa, Nellie! The Great Epizootic of 1872

Running Like Wildfire — Imagine a national disaster that stopped 99% of American transportation in its tracks; shut down the country; halted shipping and trade; hobbled counter-insurgency operations, and helped Boston burn down. It spread from Canada southward to Cuba and westward to the Pacific, crippling all that Americans took for granted: their cities and towns; their supplies of food and consumer goods; their jobs, businesses, and the national economy. Such was the Great Epizootic of 1872.
posted by cenoxo on Oct 18, 2008 - 24 comments

Andrew Lahde's goodbye letter

Retiring hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde: "All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."
posted by finite on Oct 17, 2008 - 37 comments

"Can I interest you in a faith-based account?"

The ailing economy has given rise to excellent gallows humor. [period is NSFW, MLYT/MLNews]
posted by Korou on Oct 16, 2008 - 3 comments

Chomsky on the elections, economy

Chomsky on the elections, economy
posted by Dragonness on Oct 14, 2008 - 101 comments

The Stakes

The Stakes, 2008. Eight of the Washington Monthly's contributing editors "consider the looming challenges that America is likely to face—in the economy, education, the courts, and other areas—during an Obama or McCain presidency, and how, based on what we know about the two men, they are likely to handle them." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2008 - 25 comments

R.I.P Good Times

Sequoia Capital presentation on the bleak scenarios for the economy and how start-ups should prepare. Last week the famous (the firm funded Apple, Oracle, Cisco and Google, among others) venture capital firm Sequoia Capital held a meeting for the firm’s portfolio companies. There, partners presented their views on what went wrong with the economy, what the prospects are for a quick recovery (Hint: the presentation is called 'R.I.P. Good Times' ) and what startups can do to survive. Here are the PowerPoint slides used in their presentation. I suggest a stiff drink before viewing. VIA [more inside]
posted by mojohand on Oct 12, 2008 - 55 comments

The Money Meltdown

The Money Meltdown is an excellent site clearly summarizing the banking crisis, with links to articles of varying complexity, including an dry (but readable) economics paper summarizing the lessons from 42 previous banking crises and a guide from the Brookings Institution on what the next President needs to do. And yes, they also reference the podcast just discussed.
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 6, 2008 - 12 comments

"Putting your money where our mouth is."

Strategery is a unique hedge fund.
posted by infini on Oct 3, 2008 - 25 comments

Mackerel Economics in Prison Leads to Appreciation for Oily Fillets - Wall Street Journal

As dollar flounders, inmates stack mackerel
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 2, 2008 - 70 comments

The Ebay Solution?

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain may be computer illiterate, but his campaign does think highly of eBay. Sen. McCain and Governor Palin have each suggested eBay as a fix for the economy, tool for government reform, and strategy for homeland security. Perhaps it's because former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, in spite of disagreeing with parts of his technology platform, is co-chair of McCain's campaign?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Oct 1, 2008 - 24 comments

US Bailout bill, TARP, and economists' and journalists' reactions

Following the recent preciptious downturn in the US banking sector, a compromise draft bill is going to a vote in Congress today. The text of the bill [110-page pdf]; The Wall Street Journal's summary of the bill; an open-for-comments public analysis of the bill at publicmarkup.org. Some questions answered and unhappy acceptance from economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman; a strenuous rejection from Nouriel Roubini; via same, an IMF study of 42 banking crises from 1970 through 2007; further criticism from Nomi Prins for Mother Jones.
posted by cortex on Sep 29, 2008 - 654 comments

Buy My Sh*t Pile, Henry!

Buy My Sh*t Pile, Henry! With our economy in crisis, the US Government is scrambling to rescue our banks by purchasing their "distressed assets", i.e., assets that no one else wants to buy from them. We figured that instead of protesting this plan, we'd give regular Americans the same opportunity to sell their bad assets to the government...
posted by jim in austin on Sep 23, 2008 - 47 comments

RTC II

Banning short selling? Firing Chris Cox? Treasury Secretary Paulson has reportedly floated the idea of an 80s-style "Resolution Trust Corporation." Maybe we're finally turning the corner...or at least stopping the hemorrhaging.
posted by uaudio on Sep 18, 2008 - 124 comments

The Fed "hopes" A.I.G.

The Fed has decided to bail out A.I.G. with an $85 billion dollar loan deal, which will result in 80% of the company being owned by the government.
posted by aheckler on Sep 16, 2008 - 263 comments

Two Americas Separated by a Common Capital City

Two Washingtons: Washington, DC is defined by its income inequality. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Sep 6, 2008 - 34 comments

Fannie and Freddie under conservatorship.

Fannie and Freddie have now been placed under conservatorship. [more inside]
posted by SeizeTheDay on Sep 5, 2008 - 93 comments

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