Monday, March 17, 2008

Economics Blogs to Check Out

The Bear Stearns bankruptcy bailout is a bit comical since Bear Sterns was the one I-bank that did not participate in the LTCM bailout in 1998. Word out on the street is that Lehman Brothers is the next domino to fall, and they have to do some esplainin' about their balance sheets. Honestly, I enjoyed seeing Bear Sterns fall as those cocksuckers cancelled my interview with them when I was a senior in college looking for a job. Yeah, I know 9-11 and the recession made you cut down interviews, but you scheduled one and then sent me an email to say it was cancelled. I was only going to work for you dipwads for 5 years tops anyway. Ha, the jokes on you guys now as I still have a job.

It has been a joy to read some extremely well done econ and investing blogs about the Bear Sterns collapse. Here are a few links I check out daily. The great thing about these guys is that they actually look at the numbers, the data, the BS and try to help you understand what is going on behind the scenes. Some of it is tin foil hat-ish and some is incredibly enlightening.

"Mish" writes about econ and is in the deflation camp. I agree with him because I think as more Americans have less cash to spend on consumer items and odd investments, the price of things will fall. Look at all of the "leap year" and "sta patrick's day" sales stores had this year. I like how his signature name is the same as a French Canadian finger sandwich. At Memere's house on Christmas eve, you can always count on mishes.

Winter Watch is brilliant, funny and truly eye opening. I have learned more in reading his articles than in 4 years of economics classes at Cornell. The comment board is somewhat annoying, but the writer, Russ Winter, writes in a clear manner and with style. I do agree that what we are seeign now is a deflation in some assets but rapid inflation in others (energy & food). I differ in that I think shortly it will all be going down. One of his best posts described how fictitous capital, which is a concept he commonly writes about is created. Fictitous capital is when your neighbor sells their house for 200K when you thought all homes in the subdivision were 150K. Suddenly, you and all of your neighbors go to your banks and get home equity loans and what have you based on these new property values. Has anything really changed? Is your home really worth more? No. This loan which is a debt to you is a credit to some investor who expects those mortgage payments to act as a bond. This investor is holding onto a fictitous thing of value.

The Big Picture and Calculated Risk. I go to these two in back to back link clicks. Big Picture is written by barry ritholtz who manages to answer emails (yup, he answered mine) and is pretty witty. He can break down complicated things into easy to understand terms. I consider that a sign of true mastery of a subject. Calculated Risk is housing focused, and the writers do an amazing job of breaking down how the mortgage world really works. Well, how it is suppose to work before the last few years of douchebags in power suits and whores in short skirts and 5 inch heels talking about closing condo deals.

Greg Mankiw. Harvard professor who posts quick thoughts or links. Very intelligent and has a habit of showing data that challenges preconceived notions and does the "follow the numbers" routine rather than come up with his idea and then find data to back it up. The opposite of Paul Krugman.

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