Prieur’s readings (April 5, 2010)

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This post provides links to a number of interesting articles I have read over the past few days that you may also enjoy.

Joshua Brown (Christian Science Monitor): Tired of market bears? Here are four bulls who’ve been right so far. March 24, 2010.
How did we reconcile the factual erudition of the bears with the blatant and definitive reality of green quote screens all year? Well, we relied on a small but worthy cadre of voices who gave us the Intellectual Cover we needed to be bullish.

Mark Hulbert (MarketWatch): Looking beyond the valley, April 2, 2010.
According to the Presidential Election Year Cycle, this year is not supposed to be a particularly good one for the stock market. But some devotees of this cycle are nevertheless bullish – and thereby hangs a tale …

John Hussman (Hussman Funds): Unpleasant skew, April 5, 2010.
Here and now, it does not matter which “data set” we live in – whether we are presently in a temporary lull prior to a second wave of credit difficulties, or whether we are in a typical post-war recovery, the present set of conditions would hold us to a defensive investment stance.

Michael Burry (The New York Times): I saw the crisis coming. Why didn’t the Fed? April 3, 2010.
Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, proclaimed last month that no one could have predicted the housing bubble. “Everybody missed it,” he said, “academia, the Federal Reserve, all regulators.” At this point there is no reason to reflexively dismiss the analysis of those who foresaw the crisis. Mr. Greenspan should use his substantial intellect and unsurpassed knowledge of government to ascertain and explain exactly how he and other officials missed the boat. If the mistakes were properly outlined, that might both inform Congress’s efforts to improve financial regulation and help keep future Fed chairmen from making the same errors again.

Shahien Nasiripour (The Huffington Post): Top Fed official wants to break up megabanks, stop the Fed from guaranteeing Wall Street’s profits, April 2, 2010.
The US should bust up its megabanks and impose strict laws curbing the size and complexity of financial institutions, a top Federal Reserve official told The Huffington Post. In a 45-minute interview, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig called for a fundamental redesign of a broken US financial system.

Paul Krugman (The New York Times): Financial reform 101, April 1, 2010.
Let’s face it: Financial reform is a hard issue to follow. It’s not like health reform, which was fairly straightforward once you cut through the nonsense. Reasonable people can and do disagree about exactly what we should do to avert another banking crisis.

The Economist: Time to rebalance, March 31, 2010.
America’s economy is set to shift away from consumption and debt and towards exports and saving. It will be its biggest transformation in decades.

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