Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fast Look around

A fast look around:

Uh, really? 45% of wealth destroyed? No way. Maybe of easily traded wealth, but if speaking of overall wealth this from the CEO of Blackstone just has to be an exaggeration.
""Between 40 and 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half," Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society. "This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime."
Genentech (a stock that SIMM used to hold) agreed to be bought out by Roche after an 8 month battle. From CNN:
"Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) said Thursday it sealed a friendly deal with Genentech Inc. (DNA) to buy the 44% of the U.S. biotech company that it doesn't already own for around $46.8 billion, after raising the offer price to $95 a share....The agreement ends a nearly eight-month battle, in which Genentech repeatedly rejected Roche's offer."
Forbes reports that the world has 332 fewer Billionaires than last year. This has yet to create a call for Billionaire conservation programs, but is interesting fodder for newscasts everywhere.
Oh and Buffett is no longer the richest. That falls back to Bill Gates.
"Bill Gates lost $18 billion but regained his title as the world's richest man. Warren Buffett, last year's No. 1, saw his fortune decline $25 billion as shares of Berkshire Hathaway fell nearly 50% in 12 months. Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim HelĂș maintains his spot in the top three but lost $25 billion."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are disasters. The best analysis I have seen of just how bad they are comes from the BusinessInsider at ClusterStock.
" Over the years and spread across millions of home buyers, that 25 basis point savings adds up to a lot of money. With Fannie and Freddie holding or guaranteed mortgages on 31 million homes worth about $5.5 trillion at the end of 2008, borrowers would have saved over $10 billion in 2008. The numbers change from year to year. But last year Daniel Gross reported in an article for Slate that Professor White believes it could add up to more than $100 billion in current dollars over the years.

Comparing that $100 billion savings against the government's pledge of $400 billion in financial support for Fannie and Freddie raises the question of what good these companies ever did. The drawings on that pledge are still less than $60 billion--around $45 billion for Freddie and $15 billion for Fannie--but are expected to exceed $100 billion by the end of 2009. If further drawings come to pass it will mean that even using the most optimistic estimates for the interest rate savings provided by Fannie and Freddie, the companies have been huge costs for taxpayers with no net tangible benefits."

How Much Is $1 Trillion:
"If someone says they want to spend another $1 trillion on anything, just think that your taxes would have to double to pay for it. That makes the mind-boggling sum a lot clearer."
And last but not least again from ClusterStock, the Economic Crisis hits TV is a look at how the news is coming into TV shows.

The best clip is from the Simpsons:

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