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Economy Not Nearly Good Enough To Take Credit For Everyone Getting Knocked Up Circa Sandy

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Only your raw sexual magnetism/the lack of cable/light/food can do that.

Late last October, Hurricane Sandy pumped six feet of water into the lobby of a residential building in downtown Jersey City, trapping Meaghan B Murphy and her husband, Patrick, in their apartment and leaving them without electricity for days. Ms. Murphy, 37, deputy editor of Self magazine, is expected to give birth to her third child at the end of July. “We were content with two children; three were not in the plan,” she recalled. “But with no power, no TV, no lights, even without that much food, there was not much else to do.” “And my husband is so handsome,” she added of Mr. Murphy, a 33-year-old private client manager for a bank. “I couldn’t resist.” Call it Sandy Syndrome. Several New York hospitals are bracing for an increase in births during the last weeks of July and early August. That would be about nine months after power failures and floods caused by Hurricane Sandy paralyzed large swaths of the New York metropolitan area and kept couples at home.

“There’s definitely an uptick,” said Dr. Jacques Moritz, director of the division of gynecology at St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. “This is just old basic physiology. There’s no Internet and no cable. What else is there to do?’ Some doctors, while acknowledging the increase in the number of anticipated births, are reluctant to immediately make a correlation between the storm and the expected blip in the birthrate. “Obviously, people are talking about ‘Sandy babies,’ ” Dr. Grunebaum said. If there is an increase, it could be attributable to other factors, including an improving economy. Still, Dr. Moritz said, “I don’t think the economy has gotten good enough to say that last October people were deciding to have babies.”

Preparing For Hurricane Babies [NYT]


Ray Dalio's "Biggest" Worry About The Global Economy Involves Hitler Circa 1933

Earlier today, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio sat down with Andrew Ross Sorkin for a wide-ranging chat about QE3, China, gold, American competitiveness, monetary policy, and his general outlook on life and the economy. While there are a whole bunch of issues that Dalio could be worried about, his biggest fear? Is "another leg down in the economies causing social disruptions, because deleveraging can be very painful...but when people get at each other's throats, the rich and the poor, the left and the right, and so on, you have a basic breakdown, that becomes very threatening. For example, Hitler came to power in 1933, which was the depth of the Great Depression, because of social tension between the factions." What Worries Hedge Fund Titan Ray Dalio? [CNBC]

Vikram Pandit Not Feeling Sandy Weill's Break-Up The Banks Call

About a month ago, retired Citi CEO Sandy Weill set his alarm an hour early, got out of bed when it was still dark, ate a piece of rye toast, told Joan he'd see her when he'd see her, took the elevator downstairs to wait for the car that drove him out to Englewood Cliffs, and went on CNBC to proffer a small suggestion to Wall Street: break up the big banks. Perhaps you heard about it? Not many people were receptive to the notion of Weill giving them advice on the matter, which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that in his day, Weill couldn't get enough of big banks and was the man responsible for cobbling together the behemoth known as Citigroup, an institution so huge it can barely support its own weight. The response by most, in fact, was "Shut it, you old bag." But what about Vikram Pandit, the lucky guy who inherited the place? What did he think of Weill's tip? After giving it some good thought-- really and truly considering it-- for a few weeks, he's decided to take a pass: Citigroup’s chief executive has knocked back the idea of big banks being split up after calls from people such as his predecessor Sandy Weill. But not for the reasons you might think! Pandit actually agrees with Sando because if you think about it, Citi's already been broken up and is basically the bank it was before the merger that resulted in it needing firefighters to use a giant pulley system to lift it out of bed and get around every day. Pandit said Citi, formed in Mr Weill’s time with mergers such as the acquisition of Travelers in 1998, had already gone back to the basics of banking, and aside from some global markets businesses had sold most of the units from that deal. “What’s left here is essentially the old Citicorp,” he told the Financial Times. “That’s a tried and proven strategy. Why did it work? Because it was a strategy based upon operating the business and serving clients and not a strategy based on dealmaking. That’s the fundamental difference.” So we're all on the same page here. Citi Chief Rejects Calls For Bank Splits [FT]