Economics and Investing:

Reader HPD pointed us to this commentary by Mish Shedlock: Preliminary Stress Test Results. What a sham! HPD also mentioned this: Futures Fall, BofA May Need $35 Billion in Capital. HP had these incisive comments: “Expect BofA (and Wells Fargo) stock to bounce after the initial decline. Geithner has taught the market that he will throw a lifeline to any large bank, no matter how insolvent. Thus is capital misallocated in a centrally planned economy.” He added in a later e-mail: “Outrageous! But did we really expect anything different? …Gee, I wonder why all the major servicers are sitting on aged REOs [Real Estate Owned] .. Notices of Default (NODs) delayed seemingly indefinitely to avoid the paper loss. What is the POA [power of attorney] exposure? Are checking accounts swept nightly to avoid reserve requirements? (Yes they are.) Is this accounted for in the “tests”? Who is holding [the] CDS [(credit default swap) derivative paper] on the US government? How is that unwound? Don’t worry, you’re already on the wrong side of the swap. [Some rantyness snipped.] We live in a centrally planned economy, the long term ramifications of which we cannot predict. How many times can a dead cat bounce? Does the government have the wisdom to manage such an economy?”

M.W. flagged this from The Wall Street Journal: 401(k)s Hit by Withdrawal Freezes; Investors Cry Foul as Some Funds Close Exits; Perils of Distressed Markets

LJ in England sent this: Bank holds interest rates at 0.5% as it prints extra £50 billion in cash

Obama Releases Details of $3.4 Trillion Budget Plan