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Top 10 at 10: 'Fudge tests not stress tests'; PPiP gaming starts; 'Tea Party' tax revolts brewing

Posted in News

Here's my top 10 links at 10 am. I welcome your additions in the comments below

1. Here's more detail on how US taxpayers are subsidising the profits of the big US banks via AIG. A cracking read from SeekingAlpha. H/T Gibber.

2. Meanwhile, the CFO of Goldman Sachs said he was 'mystified' at the intense interest in how much profit Goldman made from AIG in its March quarter result, which was better than expected and accompanied by a plan to raise US$5 billion to help repay its TARP loan.

3. Here's an excellent wrapup on the Goldman Sachs result from FTAlphaville, which points out Goldman somehow made a packet in the quarter. There's some mystery there.

3. US retail sales fell unexpectedly in March, as did the Producer Price Index, Bloomberg reports. Maybe the green shoots of recovery are looking a bit brown.

4. The Dow closed down 1.7% on worries about the economy and lower banking stocks, MarketWatch reports.

5. Here's what the best minds of a generation are doing in America right now: working out how to game the PPiP Toxic debt plan to make hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers money for themselves and their corporations. A classic post from Rortybomb.

6. America is just like Germany from 1919-23, according to Avery Goodman at SeekAlpha. I don't agree, but it is an interesting argument. I don't think you can compare post-WW1 Germany with America. Different planets.

7. Paul Walker at Anti-Dismal has an excellent round-up of what's really happening with US trade policy under Obama, and in particular how the Doha round is bogged down.

8. Nouriel Roubini at RGE is now saying the downside scenario used by the US Treasury in its stress tests for the major banks is already more optimistic than what is happening now. Roubini describes the Stress tests as 'fudge tests.'

9. Here comes the civil unrest and the tax revolts in the United States. An excellent piece here from USAToday on the Tea Party movement.

10. Even the blue bloods have lost big in this market meltdown. It looks like the Harvard pension fund has lost US$11 billion or 30% of the fund after some cocky fund managers bet big on commodities and interest rate derivatives. Here's an excellent behind the story piece from Forbes. Schadenfreude opportunity. HT OptionARMageddon.

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Apparently, the Goldman Sachs accounts

Apparently, the Goldman Sachs accounts completely missed out December 08, due to them deciding to shift their financial year from Oct-Nov to Jan-Dec. The December figures are reported to have included huge write-offs, and these losses were conveniently not carried over into their most recent results.

http://norris.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/the-case-of-the-missing-month/
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/how-to-puff-up-earnings-goldman-sac...

Chris Martensen blogs that he's finding it hard to keep pace with his cynicism.
http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/america-being-looted/16444

I'm starting to know how he feels.