If We Treated Bankrupt Countries Like Bankrupt Banks

Norway + Greece = ?? If busted sovereigns were banks, policymakers would know exactly what to do:  fold the bankrupt country into a designated “acquirer” with a strong (or at least stronger) balance sheet, which is then given a package of cheap financing, guaranties, and indemnity (or maybe not) in return for straightening out the...
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Refinance Redux, or, “Thanks, Greece!”

Cost-Benefit Criterion “Quitting smoking is easy.  I’ve done it lots of times.” OK, so refinancing isn’t completely painless — there are some fees involved, and some paperwork to fill out (natch). But, the operative question to ask isn’t, “how long has it been since I refinanced?” or even “how much will it cost?” Rather, it’s...
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Markets’ One-Two Punch to Investors, Savers

Three Reasons Investors Are in a Funk Gauging from investors’ current bleak mood, you’d guess that the Dow Jones was down horrifically — to 6,000 or 7,000 or even lower. Instead, while recent volatility has admittedly been through the roof, the Dow has “only” dropped to just below 11,000, as of this morning. That’s less than 15%...
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Trading Parking "Birthright" for a Mess of Pottage?

Chicago & Privatized Parking In an effort to streamline unethical practices and boost illegal profiteering, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced sweeping new plans Monday to overhaul his city’s “antiquated” system of graft. According to Daley, Chicago’s once-great fraudulent institutions have grown obsolete, and City Hall is no longer bilking taxpayers out of as much money...
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Saving States & Countries vs. Investment Banks

Discretionary vs. Non-Discretionary Bailouts Watching the latest round of debt problems emerge — this time involving sovereign states like Greece — reminds me of my not-so-happy experience as a “newbie” landlord a few years ago (turned off by the experience, I quickly sold the property). Immediately after taking title, my (long-term, holdover) renter started presenting...
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Financial "Miranda Warning" for Goldman Sachs Clients?

Oops, They Did it Again! If we’re not going to shut down rogue investment banks like Goldman Sachs, or break them up into smaller, less economy-threatening pieces, how about at least requiring that they give their clients (hard to believe they still have any) the equivalent of a financial “Miranda warning.” Something like this perhaps:...
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