Information about finance, the economy and business. Entertaining and informative. Seeking Alpha Certified Mark Sunshine Chairman & CEO

Category Archive: economy

  1. The Economy’s Shape Is A Mystery That Isn’t Important To Solve

    Today Cather­ine Ram­pell of the New York Times authored a story in the Week in Review that quoted an econ­o­mist who stated there are “as many views of the econ­omy going for­ward as you have let­ters of the alpha­bet to describe the recov­ery”.  I was dis­ap­pointed by the arti­cle because rather than focus­ing on the […] [read full story]

    Posted in: Credit Crisis, Economic Statistics, economy, Finance, New York Times, Public Policy
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Consumer Credit Needs Common Sense Reform

    Pres­i­dent Obama’s effort to reform the bank­ing sys­tem doesn’t address the system’s biggest prob­lem which is how con­sumer credit is under­writ­ten in the United States. With­out excep­tion, no mate­r­ial con­sumer loan is made in Amer­ica with­out the borrower’s credit bureau first being pulled by prospec­tive lenders and a credit score used to clas­sify the bor­rower as good, bad or mid­dle risk. Credit scores are sup­posed to accu­rately pre­dict the prob­a­bil­ity of default by con­sumers, but in prac­tice credit scores don’t pre­dict much of any­thing. Banks blindly rely upon the junk put out by con­sumer credit rat­ing agen­cies and are get­ting burnt by ignor­ing the most basic rule of under­writ­ing which is to know their cus­tomer. While banks know borrower’s credit scores and infor­ma­tion on the credit bureau that isn’t the same thing as know­ing their cus­tomer or things like their customer’s assets, lia­bil­i­ties and earn­ing power. [read full story]

    Posted in: BANKS, Credit Crisis, economy, Finance, Obama, Politics, Public Policy, REGULATION, Regulatory Reform
  9. How Did Economists Blow It? Part 3 – The Assumed Markets Theory

    Two week­ends ago Paul Krug­man explained in a New York Times Mag­a­zine arti­cle that many econ­o­mists can’t fore­cast the econ­omy because they have a cultish belief in the nearly always wrong effi­cient mar­ket the­ory. Mr. Krugman’s solu­tion, an aca­d­e­mic exor­cism where econ­o­mists renounce their loy­alty to the effi­cient mar­ket the­ory and swear alle­giance to neo-Keynesianism, has cre­ated quite a stir in the pro­fes­sion and prompted a num­ber of per­sonal and pro­fes­sional attacks on Mr. Krug­man. Unfor­tu­nately, both Mr. Krug­man and the effi­cient mar­kets believ­ers are both wrong. The the­ory is cor­rect but the con­di­tions nec­es­sary for the effi­cient mar­kets the­ory to work don’t exist. [read full story]

    Posted in: Credit Crisis, economy, New York Times, Paul Krugman, Public Policy, REGULATION