Archive for April, 2009

Wal-Mart Sees Some Encouraging Signs In Sales Mix

I’m a big fan of Wal-Mart but not as a shopper. I think that the enormous data they mine from their network on a real time basis provides the best insight to the American consumer available. So, when they come out with information I take note. Here is their latest announcement: Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s  U.S. […]

Q1 GDP: Miserable But Maybe The Bottom

The headline number today is the 6.1% drop in GDP for the first quarter. Expectations were for a drop of 4.7%. Let me give you a few of the key statistics and then I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the commentary I found on the Web today. The key factor in […]

SEC Decides To Figure Out How Scams Work

This is one of those articles that makes you ask, what have they been doing. From the WSJ: The Securities and Exchange Commission, hoping for a better shot at catching the next big fraud, is working on plans to set up teams of specialists who focus on specific kinds of wrongdoing. Robert Khuzami, the former […]

Obama Administration Lands A Punch-Banks Counterpunch

The stress test exercise seems to be blowing up in the faces of everyone. Banks are disputing the criteria, lobbying for more time to raise capital and generally trying to discredit the whole exercise. From the NYT: As Washington pushes banks to mend their finances, the banks are pushing back. Emboldened by newfound profits and […]

An Historian’s View Of The Banking Crisis

Bloomberg has an interview with historian Liaquat Ahamed that’s pretty intriguing. He discusses the similarities between the banking crisis of the 1930’s and today. Ahamed: Under Herbert Hoover, Congress created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which was designed to provide loans to banks. It started in 1932, and it provided about $1.5 billion in loans that year. Then […]

Modifying Investors’ Loans Isn’t In Their Best Interest

Barbara Kiviat has a post up on the Curious Capitalist that discusses the new rules regarding second mortgages under Obama’s housing rescue plan. It’s a good post with some interesting thoughts beyond the new regs. One idea she throws out concerns investor owned properties: First, the Administration continues to ignore the problems caused by investor-owned […]

What Constitutes A Good Tax Regime?

Connor Clarke notes today that Arlen Specter is a flat tax supporter and posts an example of what Specter’s flat tax return might look like as well as his own thoughts on the flat tax. I like the progressive income tax, so I find the flat tax unappealing for moral reasons. But I also find […]