Easy Street: April 6

Easy Street is Marketplace's morning roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the world beyond. You can see more links throughout the day at http://twitter.com/moorehn

Top Stories

The Great Subprime Turnaround: Wall Street is now fighting to own all those mortgages no one wanted before. (And that AIG wasn't allowed to have). The Federal Reserve's auction wraps up today.

Gold bugged: Gold has hit a new record. Again.

Banks

Novel arguments: The Senate banking committee will hear about the fate of community banks in a hearing today. One banker plans to complain that banks would lend more if only regulators would stop asking so many questions. Okay.

Investing

Stock Markets

Nasdaq, rebalanced: The Nasdaq rebalanced its composite index. Marketplace host Bob Moon and I talk about why Nasdaq snubbed Apple stock and what it means. Bonus: special guest star Josh Brown, aka The Reformed Broker.

Artisan Partners: The asset manager filed for a $250 million IPO to...repay its debt.

Charlie Munger Explains It All: Warren Buffett's right-hand man explains why some of his investments overlapped with Berkshire Hathaway's. Last week, David Sokol unburdened himself to CNBC. Say what you will about the Berkshire Hathaway folks, they certainly do not consider silence a virtue- which reminds us of a cartoon in this week's New Yorker: a group of businessmen bickering with one snarling, "Everybody sees right through your damned transparency!"

Bond Markets

The Ghost of Christmas Future: Why were foreign banks such big beneficiaries of the Fed's largesse in 2008? Bloomberg explains why Dexia, the French bank, borrowed from the U.S. Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. Here's why the Fed gave Dexia money: Dexia invested in a lot of U.S. municipal projects, including in Los Angeles and Chicago. A failure of Dexia would have been a failure of the municipal bond markets.

The Washington Matrix

Government shutdown: The Atlantic has a nice rundown of what a government shutdown would mean. Lions and tigers at the National Zoo will be fed. As our regular contributor Jill Schlesinger points out, so will ravenous politicians.

Dimon glinting: JP Morgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, calls banking reform "idiotic." Dimon has never been inhibited by subtlety, but smack talk about Dodd-Frank will surely win him even more fans on Wall Street.
Related: Bankers and Treasury still seem to be talking to each other. Bygones!

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.

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