WE MOVED to San Francisco and Brooklyn and Mission Hill. We jumped from job to job. Put off marriage. Never bought a place. And we never heard the end of it. We were drifters, they said. Layabouts. No respect for work and real estate or the value of a good pair of cufflinks.
But now, in the cold glare of a recession, everything looks different: We’ve got no house to lose, no career to dash, no school-aged children in need of pricey Wii gaming systems.
Not recession-proof, exactly, but recession-resistant, at least.
It’s almost become akin to shooting fish in a barrel: find a TARP recipient — there’s over 400 of them now according to the latest report from Treasury — and then troll through their recent SEC filings to see how at least some of that money was spent on enriching an executive (or two).
Now I know that banks say that the TARP money is separate. And to be fair, while the disclosure was recent, the money appears to have been handed out several months before the bank took TARP funds. But in the end, money is inherently fungible and at the very least, it doesn’t look good to be handing out money with one hand and taking taxpayer help with the other.
If any single human being stands at the center of the global economic crisis, it’s U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. This afternoon, Geithner took his hands off the intricate machinery long enough for an interview with Adam Davidson.
NPR: Hear: Geithner’s Stress Test via Planet Money. SO awesome to hear a little spin-off podcast get the goddamn Secretary of the Treasury Geithner to follow their ongoing doll-house/bank metaphor. Wonderful.
Then they realised that people might actually want to take stuff off the web and watch it on TV, and the networks freaked out and did what they usually do—close their fist around the sand even tighter.
Slateinbrief summarizes my the recreational nerd part of my week so succinctly.
The story printed in the Seattle Times portrays a starry-eyed, helpless group of individuals that were taken advantage of by a slimy real estate agent (who is inexplicably not named by the Times), shady lenders, and overzealous salespeople. … It would appear that Nancy Bartley, the author of this article, had a story in mind that she wanted to tell, and did not bother to even spend 30 minutes researching the supposed victims online and in public records.
…when we are given a more complete picture of the individuals involved in this story, it becomes clear that it is not as cut and dry as the Seattle Times has made it out to be. In reality, it would appear that everyone in this story likely attempted to victimize everyone else, and in the end, they all lost.
Seattle Bubble comes out blazin’. I hope they continue to eviscerate half-assed, panic-fuelling reporting like this.
Now this gets interesting. Team Obama tried to (basically) preemptively deny the Citi special pleading. The “neither bank asked for increased government assistance”: is misleading. Citi’s request for conversion of preferred to common IS a plea for help; it lowers the cash drain and puts the taxpayer pari passu with common shareholders, rather than in a slightly favored position.
This week is going to be interesting seeing who wins out within Obama’s team(s).
“$7 taxi 02/17/09 11:45am balance: $22,896
8:49 AM Feb 17th from mobile web”—fstarlite's financial twitter feed, via @buzz. I first read 'balance' as 'ambulance' and couldn't figure out why the guy rode in so many ambulances. Then I reasoned out that he must be an EMT and was reciting how much each ride cost insurance…then I re-read the word.
FiveThirtyEight.com takes on the current thinking in Washington and makes some serious sense. So good to see smart people parsing signal from noise about this. (Via PlanetMoney and every other financial blog today.)
“Sure, eating great food is nice, but unlike music or other forms of art, you can’t share it with others for free, so fixating on it too much is a rather masturbatory exercise. Just because one likes good food does not in and of itself make them interesting”—ario’s digital detritus - what’s good
To remain stealthy, they must refrain from using active radar—this means they only detect objects which create their own noise, and can lead to collisions with silent objects. Like another stealthy sub.