Friday Quote

March 20, 2009

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas A. Edison

New York City

March 20, 2009

File under amazing things you can see in NYC.  Click the picture to go Neither More Nor Less and see the entire set.


The Dollar.

March 19, 2009

From Naked Capitalism,

The idea of a US partial default is far from a loony line of conversation; we did it less than 40 years ago.


March 18, 2009

So Goldman lends money to its employees (who are being caught by capital calls in funds they are invested in) who then give the money back to Goldman?  Does that rhyme with Ponzi?

Goldman … is offering to lend money to more than 1,000 employees who have been squeezed by the financial crisis. The loans, offered via e-mail last week, could range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.


It is unclear how many Goldman bankers and traders will take up the bank’s offer. The funds periodically require investors to add more money, and late last year, Goldman’s most senior management and board began to realize some employees might have trouble living up to this obligation after receiving low bonuses, according to a person briefed on the situation.

Employees in the funds are contractually obligated to meet requests for more capital. Several funds have such capital calls scheduled for April. Employees who fail to make the payments risk losing their jobs, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Via NYT.

The Dollar

March 17, 2009

This, in addition to the fall of the dollar this week, could have some impact on the Fed’s planned $100 billion sale of cash-management bills.  From the WSJ,

Foreigners sold a net $60.9 billion in long-dated U.S. securities in January, after buying $24.3 billion in December. Including changes in banks’ dollar holdings, short-term securities and nonmarket transactions, net foreign capital outflows totaled a record $148.9 billion in January, compared with $86.2 billion in inflows in the previous month.

Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon Corp., said the big outflows are a concern and could represent a trend away from the flight to quality that has boosted purchases in U.S. assets in recent months.

“This was a truly awful report, throwing into question the funding of the U.S. current-account deficit,” he said in a statement.

This might be where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

The Dollar

March 13, 2009

Perhaps just a comment, perhaps there is more to it?  Even after the Secretary of State became a bond saleswoman for a day.  From the AP,

China’s premier expressed concern Friday about its massive holdings of Treasuries and other U.S. debt, appealing to Washington to safeguard their value, and said Beijing is ready to expand its stimulus if the economy worsens.

Friday Quote

March 6, 2009

Following up on the Black Swan references from last week and this week, one more quote for good measure.

“Our inability to predict in environments subjected to the Black Swan, coupled with a general lack of the awareness of this state of affairs, means that certain professionals, while believing they are experts, are in fact not.  Based upon their empirical record, they do not know more about their subject matter than the general population, but they are much better at narrating – or, worse, at smoking you with complicated mathematical models.  They are also more likely to wear a tie.”

– Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan