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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow May 28, 2009

I found it amusing, in more ways than one, that the soccer team with UNICEF on its jersey trounced the one with AIG on its jersey (FC Barcelona over Manchester United for the European Cup). Now, here are some things to tickle your intellect. Or incense it.

If Citigroup’s too big to fail, isn’t California? (The Nation)
“How can there be federal funds readily available for banker bonuses but not to keep teachers in the classroom with their students? It must have been the kids who caused the meltdown.”

Is a commercial real estate bust inevitable? (Fortune)
“Still, loan volume looks positively healthy next to the action in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market, the packaging of loans into bundles sold to investors. There has been no U.S. issuance of CMBS this year — just two years after bond issuers sold a record $221 billion’s worth of those types of securities, according to data from research firm Dealogic.”

The global balance of power is shifting (Times of London)
“The first and most obvious is the rise of the middle class in developing countries and its emergence as the main engine of global growth in the decades ahead. Even if the US and other rich economies recover more rapidly than expected from the recession, it is clear that almost all of the global growth in consumer spending and industrial investment is going to occur in what used to be called the Third World and is now described, more appropriately, as the emerging markets.”

8 companies we loved and lost during the recession (Real Clear Markets)
“The global financial crisis consumed a variety of businesses, from iconic brands like Pontiac to popular retailers like Circuit City and The Sharper Image. Here is a look at eight companies that we loved and lost in the recession.”

Bill Clinton: I Should Have Raised More Hell About Derivatives Being Unregulated (NY Times/Economist’s View)
“They argued that nobody’s going to buy these derivatives, we’ll do it without transparency, they’ll get the information they need. And it turned out to be just wrong; it just wasn’t true. … That rested on a lot of assumptions, including the fact that the ratings agencies would do a good job, which didn’t happen, in evaluating risk. So I very much wish now that I had demanded that we put derivatives under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and that transparency rules had been observed… That I think is a legitimate criticism of what we didn’t do.”

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