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Why Was the Market Up Today?

The stock market recovered 485 points of yesterday’s selloff. Why? I think it was because of the SEC annoucement regarding mark to market accounting, but it could also be anticipation that Congress will eventually pass something. Frankly, I don’t know and I don’t think it makes any difference. Whatever is done or not done, the…

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Our Money is Broken

A more worthy selection in today’s WSJ is this selection from Judy Shelton: The world is not ending. Despite the wrenching turmoil in global financial markets and morbid allusions to the death throes of capitalism, it ain’t over. Not until people quit believing in themselves, not until people quit believing in a better future. But…

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Safe in My Think Tank

My article yesterday got a big response, most of it positive. Several emails accused me of being a comfortable rich person who doesn’t give a damn about poor people. Several, who apparently can’t read my bio, accused me of being some ivory tower academic. Today, the WSJ, supposed bastion of free markets, takes a similar…

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Lombard Agrees

Lombard Street Research agrees with me (via Barrons): U.S. CONGRESS STRUCK A BLOW FOR FREEDOM yesterday, giving the lie to its critics on Wall Street and the administration, who have shown a far weaker grasp of principle. My colleague Brian Reading argued for a buyout rather than a bailout a few days ago, and that…

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More on Mark to Market

The bill that failed yesterday had a provision that allowed the SEC to suspent mark to market accounting rules. This story from MarketWatch has details: SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) – Congress is looking at playing with mark-to-market accounting rules as part of the now-stalled $700 billion-dollar bailout plan for the U.S. financial system. A provision in…

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Deregulation did Not Cause the Credit Crisis

Peter Wallison destroys the myth that deregulation caused this mess (via Bloomberg): Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) — In the debate on Sept. 26, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama argued that the current crisis in the financial markets is the result of Republican deregulation. The advertising from his campaign has been saying the same thing, and this…

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Conference Board Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September for the third straight month, even as consumers’ assessment of the current economy plunged to the lowest level in 15 years, the Conference Board reported today. The consumer confidence index rose to 59.8 from 58.5 in the month of August. Economists were expecting a reading of 58.5. Consumer confidence…