Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Overheard at the People's Bank of China

"Americans came to depend a lot
On their debts, which they tend to extend a lot,
But good fortune favors
A nation of savers,
And not those who borrow and spend a lot."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mr. Geithner's Lingering Resentment

"The stimulus had its effects, 
And avoided some financial wrecks, 
But while saving the banks, 
Did I ever hear thanks 
As they cashed in their big bonus checks?"

Special thanks to guest contributor Andy Golub!

Monday, March 29, 2010

US Spending Rises, US Incomes Don't

When the fear of depression engendered it,
We saved 'til we learned the extent of it,
But an outlook that's flat
Isn't bad as all that,
So we've loosened up lately and spent a bit.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No Interest

Said a thrifty young fellow named Dave, 
Who brought cash to the bank for to save:
"With rates nearly zero,
I'll keep my dinero
To paper the walls of my cave."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not Lovin' the Recovery

At McDonald's they have a confession:
"We'd prefer to go back to recession.
We sell more dollar menus
At each of our venues
When folks are afraid of depression."

Thanks to Kelly Evans for analyzing fast food's elasticity of demand - "Ahead of the Tape."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

@TomKeene_ Interviews Pay Czar Ken Feinberg

"Can you say," asked Tom Keene of the Pay Czar,
"Mr. Feinberg, how numbered your days are?"
"Optimistic'ly, when
We've accounted," said Ken,
"For where all of the stim'lus outlays are."

Thanks to Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt of Bloomberg Surveillance, for a fascinating interview!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jobless Recovery: Q & A

"Tell me: why do the people complain so,
When it's plain the economy gains so?"  

"Though statistics agree 
That we've grown GDP,
Unemployment's a pain, and remains so."

Friday, March 19, 2010

America: It's Now or...

Said London, Pa-ree and Berlin again:  
"Those Democrats mustn't give in again.
It's better to tweak
Health reform where it's weak,  
Than to wait twenty years and begin again."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Shameless Plug

Real Time Economics converses
In topics that speak to our purses, 
But they’ll kick up their heels 
With a few Irish reels, 
And a couple of Keynesian verses.

Thank you, Phil Izzo, and all your colleagues at Real Time Economics, for appreciating the limericks (when you're not on the clock, of course)!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Legislative Analogy

"Say," Speaker Pelosi exuded,
When her colleagues to sausage alluded,
"If this casing we're filling
Is best after grilling,
Who cares how the wurst was extruded?"

(Special thanks to Wolfgang Babiel and his late brother Rolf, of Hallo Berlin sausage cart at 54th and 5th Ave, NYC)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chris Dodd Enthuses

"At long last," the Senator said,
"My banking reform's put to bed;
It'll hammer a nail
Into 'Too Big to Fail' -
At the brokers, the banks - and the Fed."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Currency Trade-Off

"I concede," says Premier Wen Jiabao,
"That the West wants a stronger Yuan now,
But if I acquiesced,
There'd be labor unrest
Here at home, which we could not allow."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Overheard at the Senate Banking Committee

"When panic and fear were the norm,
We sought regulatory reform,
But in 2010
Banks look solvent again,
So to rock the boat seems like bad form."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Inflationary Exports

Chinese manufacturers report
They're constrained because labor is short;
The resulting wage crisis
Could raise US prices -
A matter of no small import. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Naked (Short) Truth?

EC President Manuel Barroso
Says: "The health of the Euro is so-so;
While some may debate
Whether speculative traders
Have caused this, I tell you I know so."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday

On this day, when the century was new,
The internet stock bubble blew;
And just one year ago
The Dow Jones hit a low,
So happy birthday, Bull Market - who knew?

Monday, March 8, 2010

In- / De- cisive Analysis

Said Bernanke, stroking his beard,
"This '-flation' is worse than I feared;
All the research I see 

Is pointing to 'de-';
It's the 'in-' crowd that strikes me as weird."

Midnight Maintenance

This blog post is only a test
To keep search engines suitably impressed,
Though its pointless appearance
Has conspiracy theorists
Distracted, intrigued and obsessed.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Micro-Skepticism 101

Adam Smith saw the Wealth of the Nations
In the market's benign machinations,
But belief in the Hand
Which, Unseen, guides as planned,
May show irrational expectations.

Overheard on a CDO Desk

"When wall street was frothy and cheery, 
We practiced the greater fool theory:
We bundled the crap
To sell to some sap, 

But now buyers are wiser and weary."

(Thanks to guest contributor Andy Golub)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mr. Papandreou's Siren Song

"Greek austerity plans are a winner,"
Said George P., as he sang for his dinner;
With Frau Merkel to shore up
Support within Europe,
He warbled, "Ich bin ein Berliner."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Gentleman from Kentucky Has Yielded

When Senator Bunning demurred
On the jobs bill the Senate conferred,
His friends on the right
Slowly backed out of sight,
'Til at last the poor Senator concurred.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Couldn't Put 2 + 2 Together

"The SEC's catching Madoff was hopeless,"
Says his nemesis, Harry Markopolos.
'mongst the agency's ills?
"Computational skills
Below those of the general populace."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Says Warren Buffett, the Omaha Oracle,
"I've found bargains that may prove historical.
'Mid the market's great pains,
I bought some toy trains,
If I may be a tad allegorical."

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