Daily Reading – Thursday, April 14, 2011

FT Alphaville: This year’s oil bill – $2,400bn according to Morgan Stanley

Crude oil doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when one thinks of natural wealth redistributors.

Yet in 2010 the transfer of income from oil-importing countries to oil-exporting countries amounted to some $1,600bn — or 2.6 per cent of the importers’ GDP. With oil prices now hovering around $110 a barrel that redistribution will only increase. The barrel bill, so to speak, is about to get bigger.

FT Alphaville: Glencore’s trading strategies disclosed!

Courtesy of Glencore’s intention to float filing on Thursday an insight (finally!) into the previously shy commodity powerhouse’s closely held trading strategies.

FT Alphaville: Goldman says there’s been a copper collateral crackdown

You never can tell with Goldman Sachs, can you?

On the one hand they revise their copper market outlook and advise to take profits; on the other hand they claim not to believe in the surplus inventory story.

On the one hand they say collateral financing was never an issue; on the other hand they say there has now been a major crackdown on the practice (which never really existed).

FT Alphaville: Greek-out! Again!

Greek CDS to the moon! And all because of one German finance minister.

The Big Picture: Corporate Tax Rates, Then and Now

GE paid no taxes; Goldman Sachs paid $14 moillion last year. The GAO reported in 2008 that “two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”

The Big Picture: Hoenig: The New GSEs Are Citi, Bank of America

“We allowed these commercial banks with special federal protections over a decade to increase their risk profile greatly. And thus we increased the fragility of the system.”

“You’re subsidized GSEs; You’re public utilities for goodness sakes.”

-Thomas Hoenig, Kansas City Federal Reserve President

The Big Picture: Why Has No One on Wall Street Gone to Jail (Yet)?

The Times piece today is a huge 4,000 word column, highlighted by a graphic comparison of the S&L crisis, where over 1000 bankers went to jail, and the current situation.

Macro Man: Plants vs Zombies

A Portuguese, a German, a Greek and an Irishman walk into a bar. The German pays.

Casandra Does Tokyo: Credit Where Credit is Due

Shame on Michael Lewis (apparently suffering a bout of PJ O’Rourke syndrome) for his woeful Bloomberg piece satirizing of the Fed handling of disclosure relating to liquidity provision in the heat of the moment. I am all for satire and criticism and satirical criticism is even better. But one must be careful to be “more or less right”, else one becomes a demagogue – using a kernel of truth or plausibility to prey upon ignorance or misunderstanding – say for example, like Glenn Beck.

The Reformed Broker: Peak Fish and Other Insights from Agriculture 2.0

Agriculture 2.0 San Francisco was a great event. So much knowledge, so many smart people…

Slope Of Hope: Staring at a Beautiful Top

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