November 27

“What you need to know to navigate today’s economic debate.”

At the Stroke of Midnight, the Shopping Began (NYT)
While the economy is showing signs of recovery, consumers are still deeply worried and are continuing to cut back, which is likely to affect holiday shopping.

Dubai’s Investment Troubles Leave Markets Unsteady (NYT)
Markets in Europe were higher after a sell-off in Asia sparked by news that Dubai’s main investment vehicle was seeking to suspend debt repayments.

Taxing the Speculators (NYT)
While a financial transactions tax would not completely prevent any future crisis, it could generate substantial revenue while providing a useful check on reckless short-term speculation.

Boomtime Politicians Will Not Rein in the Bankers (FT)
Avinash Persaud writes that regulators have been captured, too.

Limit on Bank Fee Won’t Be Painless (BreakingView)
Financial institutions have been collecting up to $30 billion a year in overdraft fees and regulators and politicians are competing to rein them in.

Default Swap Reforms Roiled as Aiful Tests Settlement (BLM)
Wall Street’s system for determining payments on derivatives linked to the debt of defaulted companies is showing cracks less than a year after securities firms changed practices to avoid “Draconian” regulation.

Big U.S banks May Be Forced to Raise More Capital Soon (Reuters)
Most big U.S. banks may be forced to make public offerings soon if the Treasury demands payback of the funds it issued under the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Japan Shows Concern as Dollar Slides (NYT)
The country’s finance minster has become increasingly vocal about the yen’s strength, fueling talk that the government may artificially weaken it.

Time is Up for Short-Term Thinking in Capitalism (FT)
Al Gore and David Blood write that we need to reconsider the basic building blocks of commerce and markets: accounting, disclosure, incentives, regulation and responsibility to start developing ‘sustainable capitalism’.

Fed Tightens Rules on Regional Directors (WSJ)
The Fed unveiled new restrictions on directors of its regional banks Wednesday, following a controversy that spurred the resignation of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Stephen Friedman as chairman of the New York Fed’s board earlier this year.

Ex-UBS Banker Seeks Billions for Blowing Whistle (NYT)
Bradley C. Birkenfeld, who helped American clients illegally evade taxes and then helped the United States government find them, could reap a giant reward.

Truce Opens Door for AIG, Greenberg (WSJ)
AIG said it has agreed to settle all legal disputes with former chairman Hank Greenberg, former CFO Howard Smith and two companies headed by Greenberg.

Obama’s Big Gov SWAT Team(BW)
How a small cadre of technocrats is trying to make government more efficient.

Faltering Climate Deal Prodded by U.S., China Pledges (BLM)
Pledges by China and the U.S. to set numerical targets for their greenhouse-gas emissions through 2020 may reignite stalled progress for a global climate agreement at negotiations next month in Copenhagen.