Manufacturing and corporate profits are both in recession mode, even though the rest of the U.S. economy continues to limp along.» Read More
St. Patrick's Day Rally! [MarketWatch]
President Obama seeks to reassure on Japan crisis—but the phrase "We Do Not Expect Harmful Levels of Radiation" doesn't exactly sound definitive. [CNBC]
The New York Times has begun—rather rudely—autoplaying video on its front page. Check it out. [NY Times]
And now—with their new paywall—you can pay them for the privilege of having your music interrupted! [CNBC]
Bank CEOs to get rich(er) [DealBook]
Whenever I critique efforts to legislate for proxy access or other measures designed to make corporate governance more democratic, I inevitably get attacked for being a shill for management.
A gentler form of that attack came recently from Nell Minow, board member of GovernanceMetrics International and a film critic for Belief.Net. (Full disclosure: that sounds like a pretty sweet combination of jobs to hold.)
In response to one of my semi-regular diatribes against shareholder democracy, Minow writes:
There are two different ways the jury can take Anil Kumar's testimony, which finished yesterday.
The final argument between the defense and Kumar, the prosecution's witness, basically sums it up.
Have you ever noticed how few public companies are run on anything like a democratic basis?
They have some of the trappings of democracy. Elections for directors; ballots on important—and sometimes unimportant—questions of corporate governance or strategy; investor meetings that sometimes resemble a New England townhall.
"The challenges, on a global scale, are considerable: A nuclear power disaster; concerns about anemic growth and inflation; Middle Eastern discord; oil supply worries."
When I wrote that, earlier today, the irony hadn't yet fully occurred to me—especially in the context of advice to a president .
If the plotline of this movie sounds familiar that's because it is. The original melodrama is set in 1979—the power plant is Three Mile Island, and the president is Jimmy Carter. And the precedent for a remake isn't a favorable one.
If you happen to see our president tell him this: Now might be a good time to put together a little soirée in the East Room of the White House—just to let the folks hear your voice and to let them know you're still at the helm.
Because your countrymen are getting restive.
Instant messaging and twitter may allow traders to be more profitable than when they work alone or under centralized command.
A new study by a team at the Kellogg School of Management found that internet tools that allow traders to collectively process information without central coordination can increase trading profits.
The emotional investor roller coaster is on hyperdrive as the nuclear situation in Japan remains unknown. With 2011 gains wiped out and now the Yen soaring the markets wait to see if the central banks will intervene.
With all these questions weighing on the markets, I asked Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody's Analytics to offer us his insight.
Ever since the nuclear plants began deteriorating in Japan, there's been no shortage of coverage in the media. But it's been very hard to find anything on the bottom line: how bad could this get? If everything goes wrong, if we get multiple meltdowns, what happens? What's the worse case scenario?
Aid Groups Temper Their Contribution Aid groups say Japan, one of the world's wealthiest nations, has the ability to deal with the disaster's aftermath on its own [Wall Street Journal]
Japanese helicopter-dumping water on reactor — in what some see as a Hail Mary pass to avert disaster. [CNBC]
LIBOR probe widens! [CNBC via FT]
Yen approaches all time high. [Reuters]
[Reuters | Hat Tip: ZeroHedge]
Fukushima's Heroes . [NY Post]
An analysis of mortgage fraud settlement—and how it may benefit the banks. [DealBook via ProPublica]
Markets seem to be be moving higher and shirking off bad news no matter what, strategist Michael Farr says.
Barclays was hit by a $108.5 million fine on Thursday as it allegedly worked with super-rich clients in a way that could have facilitated financial crime.
A class action lawsuit accuses banks of conspiring to limit competition in the $320 trillion market for interest rate swaps.