What We’re Reading, 3/14/12
Every morning, we poll the staff and round up their favorite economic, financial and political reads of the day. On our radars this morning: Toms shoes, student debt, and boatloads of next-week analysis on the J.P. Morgan loss.
"J.P. Morgan May Lose Sway in D.C.," by Scott Patterson and Victoria McGrane (Wall Street Journal). The fall-out from J.P. Morgan’s massive trading loss continues: as if the big-name executive departures weren’t bad enough, a number of the firm’s political allies are also backing away. Patterson and McGrane quote an unnamed banking lobbyist, who says J.P. Morgan’s loss “sets us all back.”
"Obama’s Wall Street Problem," by Ben White (Politico). Banks aren’t the only ones feeling the J.P. Morgan sting. Wall Street’s suffering image might also hurt Obama, who claimed to shake up Wall Street after the 2008 collapse.
"How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform," by Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone). No one can say with any certainty that more strident financial reforms would have prevented the latest Wall Street drama. But Dodd-Frank is certainly weaker than it could be — and Rolling Stone has a stinging, longform history to prove it. Taibbi’s true to form: “The giant reform bill turned out to be like the fish reeled in by Hemingway’s Old Man – no sooner caught than set upon by sharks that strip it to nothing long before it ever reaches the shore.”
"Analysis: The Core Problems with J.P. Morgan’s Failed Trades," by David Henry and Carrick Mollenkamp (Reuters). If you’re still wondering how J.P. Morgan managed to lose that startling $2 billion, Reuters has a solid rundown on the firm’s bad investments (and investment strategies). Also worth a read: Maureen Farrell’s take on J.P. Morgan and “massive speculative bets,” which major banks still make en masse.
"Missing: Stats on Crisis Conviction," by Jean Eaglesham (Wall Street Journal). How many executives landed in jail for their role in the financial collapse? Good question! No one knows.
"A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College," by Andrew Martin and Andrew Lehrin (New York Times). Ninety-four percent of B.A. students take out loans to go to school — more than double the borrowing rate a mere 20 years ago. (In more optimistic news, however, this year’s graduates will also see better job opportunities than the three classes before them.)
"Can the Euro Avert Collapse?" By Andy Robinson (The Nation). Robinson weighs the euro’s future from Spain, where debt and unemployment look particularly tough.
"Here Be Dragons: Anthony Bolton," by Robert Cookson (Financial Times). ”Britain’s Warren Buffett” composes classical music, can’t use chopsticks, and struggles to recoup two years of poor returns.
Happy reading, Tumblers!