Brad Setser

Brad Setser: Follow the Money

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Rock Chalk Jayhawk

by Brad Setser
March 30, 2008

There is one big reason why haven’t quite gotten around to focusing on the economic data and financial market moves this weekend.

Next Saturday is going to be interesting. UCLA-Memphis and Kansas-North Carolina. Wow. I wonder how many entries in Econbrowser’s pool had all four number one seeds advancing.

UPDATE.  Econbrowser question answered: 16 entries, including one by Dr. Hamilton himself, correctly picked this year’s final four.    

6 Comments

  • Posted by ndk

    Although I didn’t get the typewriter that happened to produce Shakespeare, I’ve had at least Melville-grade luck so far. Ranked #179 overall right now.

  • Posted by DC

    BusinessWeek on Comrade Bernanke’s financial bailout for Wall Street at taxpayer expense
    http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/GAM.20080328.RCAPITALISM28/GIStory/

    Socialist-style Fed or financial saviour?

    The cover of the latest issue of BusinessWeek shows Ben Bernanke in profile against a bright red and orange backdrop, pensively stroking his grey beard and looking remarkably like Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

    The imagery is intentional and pointed.

    “Comrade Ben is determined that there will be no financial meltdown and no depression while he is in command,” economist Ed Yardeni wrote to clients. “Given the initial reaction [on Wall Street], I suppose this means we are all financial socialists now.”

    Guaranteeing Bear Stearns’ portfolio of troubled investments sets a bad precedent by transferring potential losses from the market to taxpayers, complained Allan Meltzer, a professor of political economy at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University.

    “I do not believe the current system can remain if the bankers make the profits and the taxpayers share the losses.”

  • Posted by Anonymous

    Brad-

    The tourney has been a great escape from the real world gloom and doom! Some great games for sure.
    Also was time to get those taxes done and realizing there is no way in heck they aren’t going up to pay for this debacle, which is still unfolding.

    It certainly appears that Wall Street and the financiers are dirtier than the Teamsters funding that other casino called Las Vegas years ago. The treasure they are extracting from ‘deregulated’ (aka cornered) markets is simply amazing when thinking of commodities of late and electricity deregulation. This distortion to any macro level analysis, I believe is becoming substantial. Wonder if you could provide some insight to this in the future; I believe Rachel while you were out covered this.

  • Posted by Anonymous

    Amounts wagered up 29.5% to £364.7m (2007: £281.6m)
    Group operating profit* up 275% to £7.5m (2007: £2.0m) in the quarter – £11.7m year to date (2007: £4.0m)
    Operating profit* at 18.2% of net gaming revenue (2007: 5.8%) versus stated target of 13%
    http://www.sportingbetplc.com/pages/1/Home.stm

    perhaps cannablizing casino growth:

    “Once considered recession-proof, casinos have become such huge investments that any possibility of less-than-spectacular business threatens entire projects…” http://www.onlinecasinoadvisory.com/casino-news/land/cosmopolitan-and-plaza-foreclosed-1555.htm

    http://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2008/3/6/casino_stocks.jpg

    so just hope your pension plan or mutual funds weren’t long casinos – or bear stearns for that matter – and, if so, your on-line sports bets cover the losses.

  • Posted by Guest

    I wish everybody would stop throwing the word Socialism around. This is NOT SOCIALISM! Socialism is the redistribution of wealth from the rich (capitalist/bourgoiuse) to the worker poor (proletariat). What the government is doing is exactly the opposite of socialism, as they are taking taxpayer money and redistributing UP the economic scale. This is closer to feudalism, which Marx thought was the predecessor to capitalism, or just extreme crony capitalism.

  • Posted by DC

    The global economic baton passes to Asia
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/30/opinion/edcohen.php?page=2

    The West’s moment, I thought, is passing. Money and might are increasingly elsewhere. America’s little dose of socialism from Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson might stave off the worst but cannot halt the trend.

    Then I arrived in Hong Kong. The talk was all about how U.S. economic woes could impact Chinese growth. Might it tumble to 8 from over 11 percent? And what of India, powering along with growth of a mere 8 percent or so?

    The West should have such troubles! Even revised downward, these growth rates are at levels Europe and the United States can only dream of.

    Decoupling – another Hong Kong buzzword – is not possible in an interlinked world: Export-led Asian economies are vulnerable in some measure to U.S. troubles. But that measure dwindles as the Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese domestic markets explode.

    Asian statistics can be numbing. With one third of humanity, the numbers get big. There are now 450 million cell phones in China.
    What you feel in Asia, said Claude Smadja, a prominent global strategist, is “a burst of energy, of new dreams, and the end of the era of Western domination.”

    Hong Kong purrs. Its efficiency and high-speed airport train make New York seem Third World. All the talk of Shanghai rising and Hong Kong falling was wrong: They’re both booming. Mainland Chinese tourists come here in droves to play and spend.

    Everything passes. In the 17th century, China and India accounted for more than half the world’s economic output. After a modest interlude, the pendulum is swinging back to them at a speed the West has not grasped.