U.S. Mulls Future of Fannie, Freddie (WSJ)
Supposedly the talks have started in Washington DC about what to do about Fanny and Freddie if, you know, that thing happens, that's never going to happen, but there's always a chance it could happen, as likely as it is. Like, it's not going to happen, ever. But just in case something totally unexpected -- some once-in-lifetime-event -- were to happen, it might be good to have some contingency planning. Not that it's necessary. Fanny and Freddy should still be able to raise cash relatively easily. But just in case they can't. And the government isn't talking bailout. But if it came to that, where they needed a bailout, then the government needs to have a plan, even if it needs to bail them out, which is never going to happen, or at least it's unlikely. Gotcha... Meanwhile, ex-Fed Gov Bill Poole says that Fanny and Freddy should be considered insolvent right now. He always did tell it like it is.
Abu Dhabi Buys 90% Stake in Chrysler Building (NYT)
So that happened. Note that Abu Dhabi only bought a 90 percent stake. That 10 percent still held by Tishman Speyer Properties? It's the land that sits below the building. The NYT says that this means that they will still control the property as needed. Does it? What's stopping Abu Dhabi from lopping off the iconic top of the building and replacing it with something that plays more to garish, rich, MIddle Eastern sensibilities. Isn't, for example, there a way to replace the art deco top with some kind of representation of the globe of the entire world? Also, what's stopping Abu Dhabi from just picking up the building (piece by piece) and taking it home.
Reports: Iran test-fires more missiles (CNN)
More missile testing. Expect more "roiling".
A Grown-Up's Guide To Summer Rock Festivals (WSJ)
Guaranteed the WSJ wrote this article just to depress its audience and make fun of it. It's about outdoor rock concerts that are more geared to adults than to teenagers who want to mosh and listen to System Of A Down (that's what the kids are listening to these days, right?). So basically, these concerts are for people that need modern comforts, befitting their age and material status, but still like to rock out all day. Amenities include thai massages, wine-paired-meals and Tarot card readings. Also, some just ban kids. So depressing sounding. Still, what we wouldn't give to sit in a plush chair listen to a 35-minute Sebadoh set right now.
Defending World Series of Poker champion eliminated from competition (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jerry Yang, who may or may not be the CEO of Yahoo, is definitely the reigning World Series of Poker champ, but not for long. The social worker from California was bounced from the Main Event yesterday, ending the impossible dream of an impossible bid. It was a pretty quiet, unassuming reign for him. Though he's a pretty quiet, unassuming guy. He is into serving the lord, so at least for the year, it was nice that the champ wasn't a total degenerate. That will probably end this year.
Wachovia confirms Steel to lead bank (AP)
Wachovia got the Undersecretary of the Treasury Robert Steel to be its new CEO. The company also took the moment to announce that it was setting aside $4.2 billion in bad loans. How many of you could've guessed the Undersecretary of the Treasury's name before this announcement?
Passover, Coke, and Ethanol (Cafe Hayek)
This post takes a little bit of time getting to its point, but it's a good one for Coke purists, who pine for those tall bottles of Mexican Coke cause supposedly they contain real sugar, and not corn syrup. Russ Roberts surmises that with the cost of corn syrup soaring it will soon be economical for Coke to switch back to real sugar for its normal American Coke. As for the Mexican Coke using real cane sugar stuff, are we sure that isn't a myth? Maybe it's true. In a 3-second search, we didn't find anything debunking it.
A Girl Named Florida (Marginal Revolution)
Dealbreaker really needs to produce the definitive list of these books... Alex Tabarrok points us to the derivatively titled The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. Customers who bought this book also bought: Nudge, Sway, The Logic of Life, and Predictably Irrational, though apparently not Fooled by Randomness, Freakonomics or Blink, which is odd.
Taking Stock Of Tech Startups In Paris (AVC)
VC investor Fred Wilson's been on a European tour, checking out the startup scene across the Continent. Pretty sure he's in Germany at this point, as he recently concluded a stay in Paris, where he got to check out the local startup scene. The whole thing reminds us of Warren Buffett's recent trip to Europe. Buffett (and we're presuming Wilson, though we don't know his full track record) haven't been very active in Europe. But best to start laying the groundwork now, so when it's time, you're read. Anyway, a good post on what the Parisian startup scene looks like.