Information about finance, the economy and business. Entertaining and informative. Seeking Alpha Certified Mark Sunshine Chairman & CEO
  1. Hooverism Makes A Comeback In The New York Times

    Last Wednes­day the New York Times Economix Blog pub­lished an arti­cle writ­ten by Casey B. Mul­li­gan sug­gest­ing Pres­i­dent Obama should con­sider let­ting “a bank panic run its course”. While Dr. Mul­li­gan is an Eco­nom­ics Pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago and the New York Times is one of the most respected pub­li­ca­tions in the world, […] [read full story]

    Posted in: Credit Crisis, economy, Finance, Hoover Adminstration, New York Times, Public Policy
  2. Another Big Win For Energy Economics 101: Demand Destruction Isn’t Good For New Investment

    On Mon­day the Wall Street Jour­nal ran an arti­cle that described the end of the golden era for oil refin­ers. It is a great arti­cle that, unfor­tu­nately, was pub­lished many years too late to be con­sid­ered news. Just as grav­ity is a force that brings all objects to earth, pub­lic pol­icy that destroys the demand […] [read full story]

    Posted in: economy, Energy, Finance, Oil, Politics, Public Policy
  3. Bankers Get A Big Surprise: People Without Money Can’t Pay Back Their Debts

    Con­sumer lenders that out­source their credit deci­sions to con­sumer credit rat­ing agen­cies aren’t learn­ing from past mis­takes. By now lenders should have noticed that blind reliance on credit scores doesn’t work. Even so, most lenders con­tinue to dis­re­gard good under­writ­ing fun­da­men­tals and then can’t fig­ure out why they con­tinue to have bad credit per­for­mance. It’s […] [read full story]

    Posted in: BANKS, Credit Crisis, economy, Finance, Politics, Public Policy
  4. Federal Reserve Truth in Lending Rules Needs To Go Back To Grammar School

    I have received a big response to my recent arti­cle about credit card bills and whether or not con­sumers are being over­charged. A lot of frus­trated read­ers have pri­vately e-mailed me with their own very strong over­charg­ing suspicions.

    For­tu­nately, the credit card over­charg­ing prob­lem can be fixed with sim­ple solu­tions that can be imple­mented imme­di­ately. Every day gram­mar school kids learn three basic lessons which if applied to bank credit card billing will instantly solve the prob­lem. The three lessons are…

    Show your work
    No free do overs
    What’s good for the goose is good for the gan­der. [read full story]

    Posted in: BANKS, economy, Federal Reserve, Finance, Politics, Public Policy, REGULATION, Regulatory Reform
  5. Who Owns The Derivatives Market –Industry Concentration Takes On A New Meaning

    The entire debate about the reg­u­la­tion of deriv­a­tives con­tracts takes on a new mean­ing in light of the OCC’s Quar­terly Report on Bank Trad­ing and Deriv­a­tives Activ­i­ties, Sec­ond Quar­ter 2009. The OCC (Office of the Comp­trol­ler of the Cur­rency) pub­lishes all sorts of inter­est­ing reports and hand­books that are largely over­looked by the media. And, the Deriv­a­tives Report is one of those OCC reports that almost no one seems to look at or care about. [read full story]

    Posted in: BANKS, Credit Crisis, Credit Default Swaps, Economic Statistics, Finance, Politics, Public Policy, REGULATION, Regulatory Reform
  6. And Now For Some Really Bad Economic News…(with readable charts)

    Last night I posted an arti­cle with a num­ber of charts that I got from the St. Louis Fed­eral Reserve.  Imme­di­ately, I started receiv­ing e-mails telling me that the charts weren’t read­able.   It is my fault that the charts aren’t read­able and I apol­o­gize for post­ing an arti­cle with unread­able charts.  I have attempted to […] [read full story]

    Posted in: Finance
  7. And Now For Some Really Bad Economic News…

     The U.S. econ­omy has a long way to go before the eco­nomic recov­ery will be either sus­tain­able or robust.  Mon­e­tary indi­ca­tors don’t look good and are once again get­ting worse.  I am con­cerned that the finan­cial sys­tem hasn’t recov­ered enough for the Fed­eral Reserve to with­draw from its pro­gram of quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing.   While most of the […] [read full story]

    Posted in: BANKS, Credit Crisis, Economic Statistics, economy, Federal Reserve, Finance, Liquidity Trap, M1, M2, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Politics, Public Policy
  8. New York Business Is Threatened By The Worst Law Of The Decade

    On Sep­tem­ber 1st a new power of attor­ney law became effec­tive in New York State and I think it may win the prize for “The Worst Law of the Decade”. With­out mean­ing to effect com­mer­cial trans­ac­tions, sev­eral months ago this eso­teric and extremely tech­ni­cal law was amended by the leg­is­la­ture and signed by the Gov­er­nor. While New York law­mak­ers had good inten­tions, they wanted to pro­tect senior cit­i­zens from being abused in con­nec­tion with the grant­ing of pow­ers of attor­ney, the actual law goes far beyond what was intended and is a dis­as­ter. Because of a series of draft­ing errors and omis­sions, the law inad­ver­tently expands the new power of attor­ney rules to include rou­tine com­mer­cial and busi­ness trans­ac­tions. Accord­ing to the TriBar Opin­ion Com­mit­tee (a well respected non-partisan legal panel) the new power of attor­ney law threat­ens to bring New York com­merce and bank­ing to a halt. [read full story]

    Posted in: Law, Politics, Power of Attorney Law, Public Policy
  9. Bank Compensation Limits – The Federal Reserve Follows Through

    Last week’s late break­ing news that the Fed­eral Reserve was fol­low­ing through on its plan to change how it reg­u­lates bank com­pen­sa­tion is being fol­low up by this week’s G-20 meet­ing on how bank com­pen­sa­tion curbs can be inter­na­tion­ally coor­di­nated among the large economies. Sur­pris­ingly, how­ever, the media is act­ing as if reg­u­lat­ing bank com­pen­sa­tion is a new issue. It isn’t new at all but rather a prob­lem that they chose to for­get about for the sum­mer. [read full story]

    Posted in: Bank Compensation, BANKS, Credit Crisis, economy, Federal Reserve, Finance, Politics, Public Policy, REGULATION, Regulatory Reform