The Foreign Desk

Is Goldman being obstructive, or the crisis commission being obtuse?, The Foreign Desk

Is Goldman being obstructive, or the crisis commission being obtuse?

I have a suspicion that the good people of Goldman Sachs think that the good people of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission are idiots.
The great Vampire Squid has gone and shot itself in the tentacle by dumping 2.5 billion pages of internal documents on the FCIC, such a stupidly large quantity of information that it [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 4:40 am

Why cash is king for the Street’s economists

A jaw-dropping moment on business television here last week. Citigroup's director of economics and market analysis, Steve Wieting, was asked what an investor with a 20-year time horizon should put in her portfolio. His response: not shares, or even bonds, but cash.
Cash? That investors should just put their money under the mattress for two decades is [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 17 May 2010 at 4:48 pm

Getting government to ‘gold plate’ credit ratings isn’t funny – it’s tragic

How ironic that the most laughable provision in the Wall Street reform bill going through Congress should have been proposed by a stand-up comedian.
Al Franken, satirist and former star of Saturday Night Live, now a Democrat Senator, won bipartisan support for an amendment that puts a government regulator in charge of the credit rating process. [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 17 May 2010 at 4:39 pm

Dow Jones insanity shows the need to regulate the murky world of dark pools

We don't know all the causes yet of Thursday's bout of insanity on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but this much is clear: regulators have lost control of the equity market.
If you've been bewildered and frightened by the complexity of the credit markets, where untold dangers lurked, undetected, until they exploded into the credit crisis, [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 1:37 am

Take that, Paul Volcker

It has become almost taboo to criticise Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, whose sepia-tinted plan to break up the banks has unfortunately become a touchstone of the debate on financial reform. If you are against the "Volcker rule", you must be for Wall Street, so watch out for pitchforks.
The rule, [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 1:32 am

Coastal voting: Trying to pick the member for Weston-Super-Mare from India

It's been a shamefully long time since I voted in an election. Truth be told, the last time I actually crossed the ballot box with my pencil was 1997, the year of the Blair landslide, when I was living in Cardiff and working for a regional newspaper. During the last two previous elections I was [...]

By | Eagle Eye, The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 10:34 am

General Motors’ deceitful ad campaign

Excellent. Someone is calling Ed Whitacre, chairman of General Motors, on the outrageous, deceptive ads he is running on national TV here at the moment.
In the commercial, he says:
I’m Ed Whitacre from General Motors. A lot of Americans didn’t agree with giving GM a second chance. Quite frankly, I can respect that. We want to [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 8:16 pm

Arizona’s ugly immigration row is about religion as well as race

The dispute regarding Arizona’s new law cracking-down on illegal immigrants has seen endless allegations of racism thrown around, principally by opponents who fear that it will lead to police harassment of anyone who happens to have olive skin.
Behind the scenes, though, the ongoing controversy is also sparking an ugly and increasingly tribal clash between members [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 30 April 2010 at 2:47 am

Which is the party of awful bigots?

Only one of the three main UK political parties had NOTHING positive to say about the contribution of immigrants to the UK in their manifestos this election.
Can you match the paragraph with the party? 
“Britain has always been an open, welcoming country, and thousands of businesses, schools and hospitals in many parts of the country rely [...]

By | Eagle Eye, The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 28 April 2010 at 10:22 pm

Fatima Bhutto and her dislike of “dodgy questions”

 Fatima Bhutto, the smart, stylish and charming niece of the late Benazir Bhutto has been getting some pretty good press of late for her new memoir Songs of Blood and Sword. Much of the book is taken up with the by now well-known saga of the feud within the Bhutto clan and of the chilling [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 26 April 2010 at 4:56 am

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