Top 10 links: Foreign bank pullout; Bond vigilantes; Attacking the banks; Mafia link
9th Feb 09, 6:58pm
Here's my top 10 news links of the day. I welcome additions in the comments below Are the Australians panicking? Australian PM Kevin Rudd set up a special fund to lend to property developers stranded by exiting foreign banks. But did he really need to do it? Tony Boyd at businesspectator.com cites an interesting research report from Hamish Tadgell at GSJBW suggesting the Australian banks can handle any pullout without Federal help. I'm beginning to wonder if Rudd is a panic merchant. Surely not Personal Computer sales are forecast to fall in 2009 for the first time in 8 years, according to IDC reported in Ft.com. And I thought I was worried... Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from the Torygraph has a very scary line in economic commentary. This one is a doozy that points out bond investors are worried about being swamped by a wave of government paper. Thanks to various Andrews on the site for pointing this out. The British implosion goes on Roger Bootle reckons British house prices have much further to fall than the 18% they have fallen already. Fair enough. Here he is in the Torygraph too. Fuhgeddaboudit There is growing talk that the Bernard Madoff scandal may well have included a large element of money laundering for dirty Russian and South American money. Curiously, many of these Russian and South American funds have not come forward to authorities...This from the always excellent John Taplin. Wealth transfer? Anthony Quirke from Milford Asset Management (with Brian Gaynor) has attacked the banks for overcharging on mortgages here in his Stuff blog. He is right to have a go at the banks, but not on mortgages. Banks have largely passed on the OCR cuts to mortgage rates, but have passed on hardly anything to business rates. Anthony also hasn't taken into account the extra 150 bps or so the banks are paying for the 30% of their funding from overseas. But still worth a look. The Private Bad Bank The talk emerging from Washington is that the new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will try to get private sector involvement in the bad bank, thus removing the political pain from an increasingly touchy subject. This from the New York Times. I don't think Obama and the rest understand how deeply, deeply unpopular TARP 1 was and how little they trust bankers and politicians spending their money. Hat Tip to Calculated Risk for this one. Steven Phone Home? Even Steven Spielberg can't get funding to do the deals he wants to do these days. Spielberg had secured US$1 billion of funding to set up his Dreamworks studio again outside Paramount, but he is struggling. This from FT.com Get the tailender Receivers for Bridgecorp are chasing former Australian fast bowler Craig McDermott for money. Oh dear. A good story from Denise McNabb at the Independent. Old digger not dead yet Rupert Murdoch reckons newspapers are not dead yet. He would know. He specialises in living forever. This in the Sydney Morning Herald.