Weil on Finance, P.M.: German Austerity and Irish Stout

Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
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It's that time of day again, dear readers. Here's some of what I've been reading this afternoon.

Let's see if Congress can create a new housing bubble and blow up the market again

Robert Pozen, a lecturer at Harvard Business School and the former chairman of MFS Investment Management, has a cautionary article for Real Clear Markets about major exemptions in the Dodd-Frank Act that let banks lend without risk and customers borrow without substantial down payments. Regulators are still writing the Dodd-Frank rules, and he doesn't like what has been proposed. "This combination is a recipe for another housing crisis," he says. But as long as home prices keep going up, how many voters are going to complain about bad policy decisions?

What's Angela Merkel's next move ?

Der Spiegel asks if Chancellor Angela Merkel's victory in the German general election will mean "the end of Austerity Angie." Notwithstanding her overwhelming win, she will need a coalition partner. "Many in Europe are hoping an alliance with the center-left Social Democrats would mean a change in the chancellor's harsh austerity policies. Those hopes may be dashed," write Charles Hawley and Daryl Lindsey. Similarly, Andrew Higgins of the New York Times says there is no hint of a new approach.

Twitter leaning toward New York Stock Exchange listing

That would be instead of the Nasdaq, according to Bloomberg News reporters Douglas MacMillan and Sam Mamudi. And no wonder, after the technical glitches Facebook endured when it did its IPO on the Nasdaq last year. A final decision hasn't been made yet.

A backlash against Guinness? In Ireland?

Diageo Plc, which owns the Guinness brewing company, is taking heat for "crass exploitation of a nation's weakness for alcohol by a multinational corporation profiting handsomely from products linked to some of our society's gravest ills," according to Irish Times correspondent Conor Pope. The news hook is that this Thursday is Arthur's Day, which isn't a real holiday, because Diageo invented it four years ago. Mainly it's is an excuse for people to drink a lot of Guinness.

AIG Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche . . . Not good

Click the link to see. Enough said.

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To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Weil at jweil16@bloomberg.net