Weil's View on Finance
Hello, View readers. Here are some of my morning reads.
Say no to Larry Summers, Janet Yellen and Donald Kohn
Forget the current crop of candidates to lead the Federal Reserve, writes Edwin Truman, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics: “What the U.S. and the world need is a Fed chair who will shake up the institution. They must be an effective manager as well as an intellectual leader who implements a transformation of the Fed as it enters its second century. That person is more likely to be a well-informed outsider than an entrenched insider.”
Hewlett-Packard is back to its old ways
There will be no growth next fiscal year, says Meg Whitman, H-P’s chief executive officer, scrapping an earlier prediction. She is doing another management shakeup. Revenue declined last quarter across most of the company’s businesses. Same old H-P. Aaron Ricadela of Bloomberg News says “the roadblocks to Hewlett-Packard’s turnaround are mounting.”
San Diego’s housing market is on fire
Columnist Herb Greenberg is back at The Street and moving back home to San Diego, where he finds the housing market frightening. All-cash buyers are driving prices above pre-crash levels. “With our desire to move back to San Diego, we have been watching the housing market there closely for well over a year,” he writes. “The velocity of the rise in prices in such a compressed amount of time was not just disheartening for potential buyers (us!) but appeared irrational and unsustainable.”
Protecting Detroit’s last remaining treasures from creditors
Adam Levitin, a Georgetown law professor, wrote a terrific piece this week for Salon about creditors eyeing the world-class act collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts, worth an estimated $2 billion, now that Detroit is in bankruptcy proceedings. “Letting creditors liquidate the city’s cultural patrimony would doom Detroit to a stillborn restructuring, the ultimate in penny-wise, pound-foolish decisions,” Levitin says. “It would also be wrong legally.”
If I mess up anything here, it’s because I “mis-wrote” it
The Brits have some delightful euphemisms -- such as the word “mis-selling,” which means ripping off other people. The Telegraph reports that the U.K.’s biggest banks have agreed to pay 1.3 billion pounds ($2 billion) “for years of mis-selling credit card and ID theft insurance.” Seven million people could receive as much as 300 pounds each under the deal with the country’s Financial Conduct Authority. The regulator says the banks referred credit-card customers to an insurance company that sold them policies they didn’t need.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)