Posts tagged as:

recession

Irrational markets: V-shaped edition

June 8, 2009

The market shot up late this afternoon because Paul Krugman stated: “I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer,” he said in a lecture today at the London School of Economics. “Things seem to be getting worse more slowly. There’s some […]

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The Inviolate Principle...?

May 29, 2009

Those naive financial journalists at The Atlantic are back! Andrew Gelman pointed me toward this misguided look at the latest auto bankruptcy (you know the one I mean). Key quote: Purists -- and virtually every academic economist one happens to encounter -- wonder what happened to the once inviolate principle of rewarding risk-takers. You'll have […]

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First 100 days (of the stimulus bill)

May 28, 2009

The White House is praising the stimulus bill, saying that it has created 150,000 jobs in its first 100 days. Unfortunately, in the last 100 days 9,000,000 people filed jobless claims for the first time.  Thus, the stimulus bill has offset less than 2% of the jobs lost, or - to spin it positively - […]

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Green shoots?

May 22, 2009

With all this "green shoots" talk, I almost forgot that R sent me this picture: I think it speaks for itself.

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Dead shoots?

May 22, 2009

Happily, I've only used the term "green shoots" one time in the brief history of TGR, and then only sarcastically in the title of this cartoon (which I stand by, as this post should make evident). The term has always struck me as ridiculous, and not solely because it was first uttered at a time […]

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Aggravation (but keep reading)

May 16, 2009

I happen to like this article by Niall Ferguson for the Times Magazine, in particular this bit: Human beings are as good at devising ex post facto explanations for big disasters as they are bad at anticipating those disasters. It is indeed impressive how rapidly the economists who failed to predict this crisis — or […]

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Projections of future losses may appear closer than they are

May 7, 2009

AK pointed me toward this piece from The New Yorker, "Stress Test Results: In Line With Other Estimates," which I excerpt here in its entirety. I've bolded the last sentence: From the moment the Treasury Department announced its plan to stress-test the country’s nineteen biggest “bank holding companies,” the process was dismissed as a whitewash. […]

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From the "future knowledge" file

April 25, 2009

Just overheard on Charles Schwab radio (a story for another time): Astute investors know the stock market typically bottoms before the economy. If only an investor could identify a bottom without the benefit of hindsight, such knowledge would actually be useful.

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A casualty of chance

April 20, 2009

I discovered this Atlantic article ("Why I Fired My Broker") on MB's blog.  I came to enjoy it in the end, but while I was reading it I was struck by how representative it is of contemporary financial journalism.  This is the new cookie cutter article: naive reporter is encouraged by rich capitalists to invest, […]

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"Bright" ideas

April 20, 2009

It's hard to believe FT Alphaville is taking this seriously, but they are: markets and sunspot cycles. Apparantly, as this very convincing graph shows, recessions correspond with the regular sunspot cycle: As this plainly demonstrates, there is a perfect correlation with sunspots and recessions.  Except for that little recession in the 1930's, but that one doesn't count, […]

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Where green shoots come from

April 17, 2009
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TIME: "It's over!"

April 14, 2009

TIME magazine has called it over - thanks for coming, everyone, and please watch your step as you disembark the ride. In an article titled "More quickly than it began, the banking crisis is over," the intrepid financial analysts at TIME lay out their argument: But, the great banking crisis of 2008 is over. It […]

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On revisions, episode II

April 4, 2009

It occurs to me in looking at the revised payroll numbers that each month's revision creates the illusion of a bottom having occurred in that month, since the revisions to past months are almost always below the reported number of the most recent month. But it is widely accepted that the employment bottom will lag other indicators, […]

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Policy & Depression

April 4, 2009

UCLA Economist Lee Ohanian, who recently published a paper on the role of the New Deal in prolonging the Great Depression (I covered it here), wrote to Professor Mankiw with a preview of his follow-up implicating Hoover's policies as well: I conclude that the Depression is the consequence of government programs and policies, including those […]

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Industrial production in perspective

April 3, 2009

This post by Krugman inspired me to take a look at how the industrial production index has fared lately.  At first glance, the recent drop is pretty massive: But looking at it on a log scale tells a very different story: Krugman makes the point that the plunge paused in 1931 before resuming, and that […]

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On revisions

April 3, 2009

A lot of headlines this morning are noting that the jobs report is "in line with expectations", with a change of 663,000 vs the survey median of 660,000. What gets ignored is the revised number. For 13 straight months, the prior month's number has been revised lower by a significant amount after the fact - […]

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Bank Holiday Ends?

March 28, 2009

Now that Dimon has admitted that "March was a little tougher," does the party end?  Can we go back to thinking of the banks as villainous institution which can't manage their own risk to save themselves (poor choice of words)? We don't always get a look into the month-by-month performance of the big banks; their […]

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Misreading misleading charts

March 26, 2009

This chart caught my eye because it is potentially misleading (click to zoom).  It shows the year-over-year change in hotel occupancy rates, from 2001-2009. My first impression, on viewing the small chart, was that we haven't hit the low of the last recession.  But (as the box very clearly points out) the low of the […]

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Worst Weekend: Roundup

March 23, 2009

Unusually, the NYTimes published three opinions this weekend which all slammed Obama - from authors who usually gush about the administration. I don't back off my own opinion that the Times editorial writers are a bunch of pseudo-populist fair-weather fans, but as usual they manage some salient points in their rants: Let's kick it off with […]

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Empty lot > Trump?

March 20, 2009

Las Vegas real estate summarized in one picture:

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Andy Kindler visits Wall Street

March 14, 2009

Clip from David Letterman featuring an excellent Krugman montage:

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Ken Lewis makes dubious claims

March 9, 2009

BOA chairman Ken Lewis has written an opinion for the WSJ ("Some Myths About Banks")  containing the following "myth" and rebuttal: The banks are insolvent. In the past 18 months, we've seen fewer than 50 bank failures. That compares to about 2,000 failures or closings of commercial banks or savings institutions between 1986 and 1991. There may […]

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Maybe they don't get it

March 4, 2009

Thomas Friedman's opinion in today's NYTimes (Obama's Ball and Chain) contains the following two paragraphs: I’m worried. We’ve just elected a talented young president with many good instincts about how to propel our country forward, extend health care to more people, make our tax code fairer and launch a green industrial revolution. But do you […]

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The Crisis of Credit Visualized

March 2, 2009

This visualization of the credit crisis is fantastic:

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Hot wheels

March 1, 2009

German youths are protesting their country's economic troubles by torching Porsches and BMWs. Unfortunately I don't think their strategy is going to improve anything.

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A sense of despair

February 27, 2009

For once, I agree with Paul Krugman when he writes: There’s so much to like about where Obama is going — health care, transparency in government, ending the war in Iraq. And the stimulus bill is OK, though not big enough. But on the question of fixing the banks, many of us are feeling a […]

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Bank of America?

February 26, 2009

Excellent graphic from the NYTimes magzine article, "More Than One Way to Take Over a Bank:"

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Is this the bottom?

February 23, 2009

It's sort of like when little kids ask, "Are we there yet?" over and over and over: www.IsThisTheBottom.com

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But names will never hurt me

February 11, 2009

There is a fascinating debate raging right now among the world's most prominent economists, who are kicking and screaming at each other across newspaper columns, interviews, and their personal blogs. The diatribe was ignited by this January 22 opinion in the WSJ by the esteemed Robert Barro, whose class I was fortunate enough to attend one […]

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Thoughts on Obama's first primetime press conference

February 9, 2009

Remember this, the controversial "3am phone call" ad? How about this response? Last Thursday, President Obama wrote an opinion for the Washington Post which contained the following paragraph: And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will […]

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