Finance Discussion Continued

At Ethan’s request, rather than continue the discussion of finance in his post, I’ll post my response to commenter David TC’s response to me.  If people have an interest in continuing the conversation, they can do it here. I wanted to get a response up before day’s end so I apologize if the post is…

From one bourbon newbie to another…

Until a few days ago, the only Robert Parker (“RP”) I was aware of was the late author of the Spenser books.  There is another: the influential and controverisal wine critic.  Seeing as I neither drink wine nor read anything pertaining to wine, I had no reason to know that he created the 100-point rating…

For the whiskey drinkers

First of all, if you are not a reader of Chuck Cowdery’s blog, I strongly recommend that you become one.  His blogging output is consistent and his material is very informative.  His site has helped me in a number of ways including introducing me to a number of whiskeys that I may not have thought…

Payday Lending – Some Thoughts

There was an interesting discussion in the comments section of this post about payday loans.  I assume everyone here knows what they are, but just in case someone does not, payday loans are short-term loans of generally two weeks or so that are taken out by borrowers with the expectation that the loan is paid in full…

Damn you Wal-Mart…

As much as I want to get a substantive post on the front page, I keep getting distracted.  This article about Wal-Mart is yet another distraction, but one I wanted to share with everyone, especially since the very mention of Wal-Mart generates a buzz here (I believe the last post reached something close to 1,110…

The Deep Divide

Responding to the post by Br. Chris, I think Matt Taibbi has a point.  Tea Partiers and other small government types were opposed to the bailout and would like to see an end to crony capitalism and the marriage between big business and big government.  In theory, there is nothing wrong with this.  However, the message, as demonstrated by people like Sarah Palin,…

Clueless…

Not that I am surprised to see editorial garbage floating around over at Investor’s Business Daily (I read it so you don’t have to), but Rep. John Boehner’s attempt to put Republicans on the side of taxpayers in the fight for financial reform is one of the worst I have seen in a while.   That…

Facts and Assertions

Mark Calabria at Cato seems a little annoyed that people like Simon Johnson are hammering Mitch McConnell for his defenses of doing nothing (Brother Scott addresses here).  He blames this primarily on: This familiar canard is based upon the oft repeated assertion that the failure of Lehman proved that we cannot simply let large financial companies enter…

Addressing Goldman’s defenders…

Writing at RealClearMarkets, John Tamny attempts to defend Goldman Sachs against the SEC’s allegations.  His defense, aside from the SEC bashing (some of it deserved), seems to hinge on a simplistic Trading 101 description of how the world works.  I’m not convinced: Investment products at any Wall Street firm frequently materialize due to demand from…

The Magnetar Trade

I’ll have some additional thoughts on the Goldman Sachs/SEC summed up in a post early next week, but in the meantime, a similar situation with another hedge fund is required reading.  A very indepth article is available at ProPublica.  Let the outrage begin.

Freedom Scam?

Debbie Schlussel calls Sean Hannity’s Freedom Alliance charity a scam.  If a charity is only spending 12% (or less) of the money it brings in to provide the services that the charity was set up to provide when the appropriate benchmark is somewhere around 75%, then if that charity was soliciting me for money, there’s no way in…

Financial Must-Read

Rortybomb takes on shadow banking and why the proposed Volcker Rule falls short.  Be sure to follow the links. He’s got a lot of good information and the illustrations are very accessible to a lay audience.

Technicalities

John Carney has some interesting commentary on the first day of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings.  He writes: A structured credit product—whether its as simple as a mortgage backed security or a complex CDO—is not necessary flawed if it produces losses. Even enormous losses. Indeed, it might be perfectly well-designed but still deliver the…