Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for TheAtlantic.com. More
Thompson has written for Slate, BusinessWeek, and the Daily Beast. He has also appeared as a guest on radio and television networks, including NPR, the BBC, CNBC, and MSNBC.
Two reasons, actually. 1.) Because, as I note in my piece this week, there's evidence that the banks--at least the four biggest ones--are semi-delusional about the size of the losses they still face. Historically, the banks themselves have been about the worst source you can find for an honest assessment of their own financial situation.
2.) Because, as the Times notes in its TARP repayment piece today, the race to return TARP money seems much more about seizing a competitive advantage and identifying oneself as a "healthy bank" than actually, you know, being a healthy bank. (Well, that an wriggling out of government-mandated pay restrictions.) From the Times:
Steep declines in the economies of three of the U.S.'s biggest trading partners -- Mexico, Japan and Germany -- underscored the severity of the global recession and put pressure on major industrialized nations to revive moribund global trade talks.
On Wednesday, Mexico became the latest country to report a plunge in output. The country's gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 21.5% in the first quarter, the worst performance since the 1995 peso crisis led to an International Monetary Fund and U.S. Treasury financial rescue. This time, Mexico has insulated itself somewhat by arranging a $47 billion IMF credit line in advance.
Mexico's decline followed by a day Japan's report that its economy contracted in the first quarter at a 15.2% clip, its worst performance since 1955. Last week, Germany said its first quarter decline in GDP, an annualized 14.4%, was the worst since 1970.
Ouch, Picard. Since I've already Twittered about this article (literally) and asked for micropayments from my comment section (still waiting, guys...), I guess the only thing left to do with this piece is blog it. To value creation and beyond!
Wages are compensation for value creation. And journalists simply aren't creating much value these days. Until they come to grips with that issue, no amount of blogging, twittering, or micropayments is going to solve their failing business models.
The Obama administration is bent on becoming a major player in -- if not taking over entirely -- America's health-care, automobile and banking industries. Before that happens, it might be a good idea to look at the government's track record in running economic enterprises. It is terrible.No, that's not really true:
John Thain figured seven months ago that he was just one rung down the corporate ladder from becoming chief executive of the largest consumer bank in the U.S. Now, he is trying to climb back from the professional disaster that followed.
In an effort to restore his sullied reputation, the 53-year-old Mr. Thain is striking back at Bank of America Corp. He claims the bank lied about its role in the giant bonuses and losses at Merrill Lynch & Co. that cost Mr. Thain his job in January, after Bank of America bought the troubled brokerage.
"Getting fired is one thing. But nobody has the right to say things that they know aren't true," said Mr. Thain, who had been Merrill's chief executive, during one of a series of interviews with The Wall Street Journal.
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