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Global Finance Chatter: February 9, 2009

“All the news that fits, we print!”

This is the news summary from mainstream media sources (MSM), blogs, financial professionals and our analysis. We provide this to give you a short overview of what is happening in the world based on some of this blog’s themes (international finance, charts, markets, and so on). Please comment so we can improve our selection to make this section useful.

Global summary

U.S. markets were down slightly mid-day (realistically, unchanged) as we await President Obama’s press conference at 8:00pm ET. Global markets were mixed, again waiting word on US rescue packages. The real surprise is in the currency markets with the US Dollar down everywhere, notably against the British Pound (down .85%). Treasury yields are also much higher with 3.05% for the 10-year, 3.7% for the 30-year (see the UK Telegraph article, below).

Dissecting the Financial Crisis
  • A YouTube video from a C-SPAN call in with Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) is up describing some of the Fall 2008 TARP approval process. There is no reason to doubt Rep. Kanjorski’s narration, however, the reasons for passing the TARP remain dubious. For instance, if there really was an electronic run on the banks, couldn’t the Fed have stepped in and either used its authority to “print money” or declare a bank holiday (link to PDF file)? Two, the supposed run started the same day Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. The video appears below:
US Markets
  • General Electric (GE) shares were up nearly 15% mid-day on hopes for a bank rescue package. Actually, a possible dividend cut helped boost share prices. GE has suffered from the financial crisis and from the possibility that it may lose its AAA credit rating. (Note, authors of this blog may hold a position in GE shares, please read our disclaimer).
  • Top tech blogger Robert Scoble discovers what might be the Google killer. In Is the Real-Time Web a Threat to Google Search? Scoble notes that sites like Twitter and Friendfeed are able to perform social-based searches using a large set of metadata gleaned from your friends and contacts recommendations. In other words, searches that are a lot more useful than Google.
From the Blogosphere
  • In Pitchfork Watch, The Cunning Realist links to protests outside the house of William Frey, CEO of Greenwich Financial Services, LLC. Such protests, not a good sign.
  • UK Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (in MSM columnist mode) notes that the US Fed will have problems financing all the new debt required to pay for the TARP, stimulus, tax shortfalls, etc, … Meanwhile the global economy continues to fall apart absent any real action.

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