Frontrunning: December 30

  • Here comes Spain: Spanish banks start to unload property portfolios (WSJ) Some brilliant insight: "Accumulating properties also stopped a sharp drop in prices, avoiding the painful write-downs banks are required to book when the value of their assets falls." The FHA will not be reading this article
  • How uou like your strong euro now Europe? After two years of crashing banking systems and economic recession, the euro zone enters 2010 with a full-blown debt crisis (WSJ)
  • Treasuries set for worst year since 1978 as U.S. steps up sales (Bloomberg)
  • First Brazil now Russia: Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says Russian stocks "too expensive", nobody cares (Bloomberg). In the meantime Templeton's Mark Mobius, who after a 104% rise is still down relative to 2007 (56% decline in 2008) says "If you compare Russian valuations now with other major countries, it’s not overpriced. There are still opportunities there" One wonders who is pitching their book
  • E-mails inside AIG reveal executives struggling with growing crisis (WaPo)
  • Just in case you thought the "recovery" was for real, GMAC to demand $3-$4 billion more from the Obama endless bailout fund (Bloomberg)
  • More debt supply on deck: $130 billion in Build America Bonds to be sold quickly as congress is set to change subsidy rules (Bloomberg)
  • Geely bid for Volvo makes Goldman-backed boss disregard Toyota (Bloomberg)
  • Paris plus Texas equals an American dream of striking oil in France (TimesOnline)
  • Fidelity and Vanguard lead list of worst performing mutual funds of the decade (Bloomberg)
  • Keeping the Yemen story on the front page: look for [WMDs/nukes/the great Kindle channel stuffer] to be found there soon to quite soon (Bloomberg, WaPo, NYT)