Bond Traders Begin to Get Up Off the Canvas (WSJ)
It really is looking like the whole liquidity crisis was nothing more than a really bad dream. Maybe we have Ben Bernanke's aggressive actions to thank. This time the committee to save the world was just a committee of one. Well, two if you count Ben Bernanke's consiglieri Jim Cramer. Anyway, banks are finding it easier to sell debt again, as they've been able to unload twice the volume of First Data debt than they had originally anticipated. It's not totally clear why that is. Maybe it's due to the return of liquidity, or maybe it's just that everyone's quote screens started working again, so they can price these deals.
The Long Petard: The New York Times and Sarbox (The American Thinker) (via Ideoblog)
This may come off as a bit of applied nitpickery, but The American Thinker does a good job explaining how the New York Times, long a fierce advocate of SarBox, may have violated one of its principles through its decision to give MoveOn.org an ad at a discount rate, and how it dealt with the followup inquiry. Clearly the Times is in bad need of better internal controls.
AMR Draws Fire From Iceland (Forbes)
Shareholder activists in Iceland urged AMR yesterday to unlock value, and were behind a much talked about report that suggested AMR's frequent flyer unit had more value than the airline itself. That's hilarious, although a little confusing. Sort of reminds us of when people used to say that GM's lending arm had more value than the car operations. Yes, but... that lending was for people buying GM's cars (that, and mortgages, which, well, we know how that turned out). Anyway, interesting to see Iceland step up to the Shareholder activism game. We thought the only thing they did there was hydrogen energy and selling the genome of its populace.
Greenspan's Memoir Racks Up Sales (WSJ)
Quite surprising that folks are actually reading Greenspan's book. Maybe they'll be interested in something that would really help them understand economic conditions these days. May we suggest this?
Oil Rises Above $83 as Sliding Dollar Spurs Commodities Demand
It's odd; there hasn't been all that much talk about peak oil lately, perhaps because the price of oil is now so intimately associated with the weakness of the US Dollar? Which is causing which to move? Or is there any distinction? Once it gets expensive enough, in Dollars, it'll make sense to have your friend in Canada ship some gasoline to you. Eh, Canadian gas taxes probably would make that prohibitive.
Wal-Mart Prices Aim for Younger Medicine User (NYT)
Quick! Someone call the Center for Science in the Public Interest! Wal-Mart has expanded the number of drugs being sold for $4 to include a number of pills aimed at youngish people, like ADD drugs and birth control. Does Wal-Mart really want to get the younger generations hooked on pills? It would seem so. Shameless. What's next, having sugary cereals on a shelf level that you could grab if you're five feet tall. Outrageous. Sugar cereals should only be behind locked shelves, like Nicorette gum.
FREAK-TV: Name Your Kid Fido If You Want (Freakonomics)
Not to dis the Freakonomics guys or anything, but they're really into kid names aren't they? Like, really into 'em.
Tennessee Says No to Free Trade. With Mississippi. (The Agitator)
Quite amusing; Tennessee is threatening to seize the cars of people coming from Mississippi with too many cigarettes. They're probably worried about cigarette smuggling/tax arbitrage. But come on -- they're cigarettes.