Archive for August 1st, 2009

Why is China’s stimulus working so much better than ours?

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

New Republic:

China is worried about its investments in U.S. bonds; America is worried that the Chinese economic model is unsustainable; and neither much like the position of mutual dependence. What’s more, it’s becoming apparent that the two governments are not equally adept at managing their economies, and that the one doing worse is not the one with a disastrous legacy of state-mandated production, but instead the one that until recently was an icon of economic dynamism.

Kansas City Chiefs face first test under fiery new boss Haley

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Canadian press:

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t get a leisurely day of meetings and meals to kick off training camp.
They ran. Not just a shake-out-the-cobwebs run. A timed run, the last part of their pre-camp physicals. Don’t make time, don’t practise Saturday.
Clearly, this isn’t the pat-on-the back, glad-to-see-you greeting the Chiefs got from coach Herm Edwards. New boss Todd Haley is all business, all the time. His players will be in shape or they won’t practise.

Five Thirty Eight — 2010: It’s All About the National Swing

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Five Thirty Eight:

Nate links to a Congressional Quarterly list of ratings for 2010 congressional races andconcludes that, although these listings give a sense of which races are more likely to be competitive, the CQ chart doesn’t really say much about the chance that there will be a “wave” election that would switch partisan control to the Republicans.

The same day, Matthew Yglesias links to a recent Congressional Quarterly reportentitled, “2010 House Outlook: Democrats Look Secure” and concludes that, yes, the Democrats look secure to keep their House and Senate majorities.

Can China Save the World? By BILL POWELL

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Time:

With the U.S., Japan and all of Europe mired in the worst global recession in 30 years, China has shown a restorative strength that six months ago many doubted it had. A devastating slump in exports crippled growth late last year, but on the back of a $586 billion government stimulus program – about 13% of GDP, spread over two years – China has snapped back. The economy grew 7.9% in the second quarter and will now probably expand 8% or more this year. Evidence of increasing momentum appears almost every day. Factory production has begun to edge up, in part because Chinese consumers continue to spend money at a healthy pace. Auto sales, helped significantly by government subsidies for small-car purchases, hit an all-time record in April and will easily surpass those in the U.S. this year. Overall, retail sales in China this year are up 16%

Funkhouser wins case on Kansas City volunteer ordinance — Kansas City Business Journal

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

The Kansas City Council’s 2008 ordinance prohibited elected officials from using family members as volunteers in their official duties. Circuit Court Judge Justine Del Muro ruled Friday that the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague and constituted prohibited special legislation

Goldman’s Quarter-Trillion-Dollar Cushion

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Forbes:

Everyone thinks that Goldman Sachs ( GS – news – people ) makes its record profits by being the riskiest trader on the block. It turns out, however, that Goldman is a lot more conservative than one might imagine when trading credit default swaps–perhaps the most controversial securities in all of the markets.

KU Medical School accepts 14 students through Rural Scholars program — Wichita Business Journal

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Fourteen students statewide were guaranteed admission to the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita after being accepted through the school’s Scholars in Rural Health program.

The group will start at the medical school in 2011.

Smart Money: How Health-Care “Reform” Could Kill the Market’s Rally

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

STOCKS CONTINUE TO make new recovery highs. It’s no coincidence that, at the same time, President Obama’s approval ratings are making new lows. And the probability that his so-called health-care reform, an attempt to have government take over what amounts to about 17% of the U.S. economy, is heading for defeat.

WSJ — Wind Power: Best of Times, or Worst of Times?

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

WSJ:By Keith Johnson

Are things looking bright or gloomy for the wind-energy business? Both it seems-which is what is whipsawing stocks in the sector.

First, the glum news. Big wind-power developers such as FPL’s Next Era and Iberdrola Renovables have been very cautious on the prospects for new projects in the U.S., the world’s biggest wind-power market.

KU football season tickets a hot item

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

KU Sports: Apparently, a dismal economic climate isn’t enough to dampen anticipation for the upcoming Kansas University football season.

Despite the more frugal nature of the current American consumer, KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Friday that the university had sold approximately 35,000 season ticket packages as of last week, roughly 1,000 more that it had sold at a similar point last summer and 4,000 more than the team sold total in 2007.

The messy issue of ‘too big to fail’

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Lawmakers are quickly learning that “too big to fail” may be too complex to legislate away.

The issue of determining which financial firms are worthy of a government rescue, which first took hold when the credit crisis intensified last fall, has been a subject of persistent — and divisive — debate

KC man accused of robbing Leawood bank — The Star

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office: David Brown, 36, Kansas City, Mo., has been charged with one count of bank robbery, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today

WSJ — Cash for Cash for Clunkers: Will That Mean Tougher Environmental Rules, Too?

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

The House just voted to pump another $2 billion into the car-scrappage program, which apparently burned through $1 billion in a week. (Cars.gov took down the fuel gauge that showed the remaining money earlier today.)

Now, the question is: What happens to the environmental targets

Guaranty Bank, which counts Carl Icahn as one if its backers, is teetering on the edge of insolvency

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

NEW YORK (Fortune) — Guaranty Bank is hardly a household name. But the Austin, Texas-based thrift’s looming failure is shaping up as a big headache for bank supervisors — not to mention a black eye for Carl Icahn and others in the smart money set.

Guaranty (GFG) could be soon seized by the government in what would be the biggest bank failure in a year that has already had 64 of them. Last week, the bank warned investors to expect a federal takeover after regulators forced a writedown of its risky mortgage investments and a bid to raise new capital failed.

Got $100M? Have KU Med School named for

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The new dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita is putting naming rights for the school up for bid.

California Is Still Not Out of Its Budget Hole

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

By JOHN FUND

Sacramento, Calif.

California has avoided fiscal reality for so long it’s fitting that the state legislature reverted to subterfuge last week while voting for its third budget deal in nine months.

Part of the latest deal-which depends in equal part on real cuts and accounting gimmicks to close a $26 billion gap-was a proposal to raise revenue by allowing new oil drilling off of existing platforms near Santa Barbara. It was a move that had been endorsed by that county’s own board of supervisors last year. But environmentalists and 43% of voters remain fiercely opposed, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

WSJ: Businesses Are Poised to Lead Way Out of Recession

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

BY JUSTIN LAHART

After registering its steepest downturn since the end of World War II, the economy looks poised to start growing again. But with consumers expected to keep a tight lid on spending, a recovery hinges greatly on how businesses behave in the months ahead.

If they stop slashing their inventories and investment, it could mark the first legs of an upturn. Business showed some signs of healing in the government’s report on second-quarter gross domestic product, but executives remain very cautious.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Saturday, August 01, 2009

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8 (see trends).

Obama electorate recedes in Virginia poll

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Politico:

Obama carried Virginia with 51% of the vote, so the pollster’s data suggests that — if voters are responding accurately to questions about their plans to vote in the governor’s race — the electorate that Obama activated — young and African-American voters primarily — will sink back into passivity in the off years. Black voters were 20% of the electorate last November; they’re 17% in that survey.

WSJ — Fake Out: Forged Letters Urged Congressman to Vote Against Climate Bill

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

The fight over impending climate-change legislation in Congress appears to be getting dirtier.

A Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist forged five letters purportedly from minority groups and sent them to Virginia freshman Congressman Tom Perriello, urging him to vote against the House energy and climate bill in June, according to the Charlottesville, Va., Daily Progress.

Mr. Periello eventually voted in favor of the bill, and withstood an avalanche of political ads specifically targeting his stance on the legislation.

The Daily Progress says that Bonner & Associates, a D.C. lobbying firm long active in organizing grassroots campaigns, was behind the forged letters. The fake letters purported to come from the NAACP and a group called “Creciendo Juntos.” Bonner & Associates apologized to the two groups for the “mistake”, the paper reported, and fired the person responsible for the fake letters.