Afternoon Reading

Somethings I have bookmarked for later today:

ZeroHedge: Q1 Bank Trading: Only Interest Rate Derivatives (Make That Goldman Sachs)

New Yorker: Sheila Bair and the White House financial debate.

The LA Times: Personal bankruptcies surge in Southern California
The region had the nation’s biggest percentage jump in 2008, and the number this year through April is up 75% despite a 2005 rule overhaul aimed at curbing filings by those who would benefit unfairly.

Vanity Fair: Did the Sons Know?

San Francisco Fed on the Jobless Recovery Redux? “Our analysis generally supports projections that labor market weakness will persist, but our findings offer a basis for even greater pessimism about the outlook for the labor market. Specifically, we suggest that the relatively low level of temporary layoffs and high level of involuntary part-time workers make a jobless recovery similar to the one experienced in 1992 a plausible scenario.

OCC Report: Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities: Q1 2009

Comstock Partners: Why the Economy Will Remain Weak: The key factor to consider is that the current recession was caused by a credit crisis following an artificial boom and therefore bears more resemblance to the great depression following 1929 or Japan after 1989.than it does to the series of recessions experienced in the post World War ll period.

Bloomberg: Record Correlation Hints Herd Collapse: Investors are moving in lockstep like never before, driving up stocks, commodities and emerging markets and risking a replay of last year, when they all plunged the most since World War II.

Reuters: Big Finance reverting to bad old ways — No sooner has the financial system begun to stabilize than Big Finance is reverting to its old ways — aggressive hiring, remuneration on steroids, wriggling out of regulation or threatening to decamp to evade tougher supervision. These are is not the rantings of some crypto-Marxist City-basher, but the considered view of one of Europe’s most thoughtful financial regulators.

Freddie Mac June 2009: Update shows foreigners continue to dump agency paper. US primary dealers hold a record $368B of agency, MBS, Treasury and corporate debt, most of which has a maturity of less than three years.

Karl Denniger, citing S&P mini-futures, asks, ‘where is the SEC’ on the blatant front running?

●  Scientific American: The Science of Economic Bubbles and Busts

BBC Magazine: Giving up my iPod for a Walkman. The Beeb gives a 13 year old boy a Gen 1 1980 Walkman for a week:

“It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette. Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn’t is “shuffle”, where the player selects random tracks to play. Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down “rewind” and releasing it randomly – effective, if a little laboured.”

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