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WSJ Editorial Calls for Breakup of Citigroup (WSJ) The WSJ editorial page is generally as useless as the NYT editorial page, both are predictably partisan….always. This opinion is well-considered, though.
10 Big Firms Get Approval to Leave TARP (Bloomberg) Not on the list were Citi, BofA and Wells Fargo. A big unanswered question remains the terms of repayment. Taxpayers were given warrants in order to participate in “upside.” Banks are trying to weasel their way out of buying back those warrants at a fair price. Will Treasury let them? Our guess is yes. [By the way, the Economist points out that even after they pay back TARP money, the big banks are still very much wards of the state...ht Steve L]
Michael Lewis Interview (CNN) The Liar’s Poker author speaks to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “There is a great tradition on Wall Street of making a fortune, creating a mess, and then making a fortune cleaning it up. But to do it on this scale is breathtaking to me.”
Beware False Bottoms in Real Estate (Mark Hanson)
Apple Halves Price of iPhone (Reuters) Steve Jobs, recovering form pancreatic cancer, was going to make an appearance. He didn’t.
Plug Pulled on Trust Fund Babies (NYT) OA lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a year not long ago. It was a rather remarkable juxtaposition of high rents and tattered/tatooed people.
U.S. to Press Europe for Tougher Bank Stress Tests (WSJ) The blind leading the blind? Actually, as pathetic as our stress tests were (and Elizabeth Warren is already pressing to rerun ‘em) it appears they were far superior to Europe’s.
Top Chinese Banker Calls for Wider Use of Yuan (Telegraph) Some Japanese commentators had previously floated the idea of yen-denominated U.S. debt. Here a top Chinese banker calls for yuan-denominated debt. Issuing debt in dollars gives us the advantage of being able to print whatever currency we need to pay off our obligations. Foreign bond buyers now see this as a threat, so they want to lend in their own currencies.
“Manualist” Plays Bohemian Rhapsody….