Friday, May 11, 2012

What We’re Reading, 5/11/12

Every morning, we poll the staff and round up their favorite economic, financial and political reads of the day. On our minds this Friday morning: a million J.P. Morgan stories.  (Plus Abraham Lincoln and hamburgers.)

"J.P. Morgan’s $2 Billion Blunder," by Dan Fitzpatrick, Gregory Zuckerman and Liz Rappaport (Wall Street Journal). Serious drama at J.P. Morgan — a bad bet in the bank’s Chief Investment Office lost it some $2 billion in the past six weeks, and it could lose an additional $1 billion in the second quarter. A statement from CEO James Dimon pretty much says it all: The strategy was “flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored,” he said, and the mistake “egregious” and “self-inflicted.”

"J.P. Morgan’s Loss: The Explainer," by Heidi Moore (Marketplace). A super-readable FAQ on the loss, for those of us unversed in the intricacies of corporate bonds. You friendly curator doesn’t want to belabor this story much further, but two other relevant reads, for the curious: "A Shock from J.P. Morgan is New Fodder for Reformers" (Nelson Schwartz, New York Times) and "Wall Street’s Go-To Guy Trips Up" (Robin Sidel, Wall Street Journal).

"Jobs and the Election: A Weekly Tracker," by David Leonhardt (New York Times). The Times, in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, is launching a weekly report that predicts job growth and unemployment over the course of the election. This week’s numbers: 182,000 new jobs a month from now until October, 7.9 percent unemployment in October.

"Super PACs: Follow the Money — If You Can," by Marcus Stern, Kristina Cooke and Alexander Cohen (Reuters). While we’re talking money and politics, this Reuters story is worth a read. Some super PACs are organized as a series of shell companies, making it nearly impossible to figure out where money comes from or where it goes. 

"Empire of the Bun," by Lesley Bargar Suter (Los Angeles). How one devout-foodie-turned-entrepreneur built an LA restaurant empire. (Your friendly curator suggests reading after lunch.)

And in other news: Abraham Lincoln did not really invent Facebook, The Times looks into the fanatic, frenetic, Twitter-heavy life of finance blogger Joe Weisenthal, and in Nevada, Google’s car can drive itself.


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