Links for today

SCHWEIZ UBS LOGOUBS tax crackdown widens to Hong Kong – WSJ

The U.S. crackdown on clients of UBS AG is widening into a global hunt, with the government detailing in court documents how the Swiss bank and outside advisers helped Americans hide money using enterprises set up in Hong Kong.

Goldman Sachs’s Cohen says Recessionr is ending ‘now’ – Bloomberg

Fed extends TALF program for commercial real estate – Bloomberg

The Federal Reserve extended by three to six months an emergency program aimed at restarting credit markets, a move that may cushion the commercial real- estate industry from rising defaults and falling prices.

Bargains to be had in municipals – WSJ

Bargains to be had in municipals – WSJ

Investors are pouring into municipal-bond funds as never before, making some of early summer’s screaming buys far less attractive to investors. But bargains still exist. A sweet spot nowadays: double-A and single-A munis maturing between 10 and 20 years.

The paper that doesn’t want to be free – NYT

ftnytNot long ago, when other media executives were convinced that the only way to succeed on the Web was to give away their content, The Financial Times played the eccentric.

Reader’s Digest US files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – Guardian

Reader’s Digest has put its US business into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a restructuring plan agreed with lenders to try and reduce the publisher’s $2.2bn (£1.35bn) debt burden.

Key feature Of Obama health plan may be out – Wash Post

Racing to regain control of the health-care debate, two top administration officials signaled Sunday that the White House may be willing to jettison a controversial government-run insurance plan favored by liberals.

Fox Business needs a lift. Could it be Don Imus? – NYT

The News Corporation needs television viewers to find the Fox Business Network, and it thinks the cowboy-hat-wearing radio host Don Imus could help.

Barclays lures US traders with $50m pay package – Guardian

City bankers will come under renewed pressure this week as the chancellor, Alistair Darling, draws up plans to clamp down on City bonuses and as it emerged that Barclays is luring a team of five traders from a US bank with a package potentially worth £30m.

Supreme Court to hear case on executive pay – NYT

posner croseThe Supreme Court will hear the case this fall, as anger over huge bonuses paid to the executives of failing firms continues to grow. The case, Jones v. Harris Associates, may turn out to be the court’s first significant statement on the corporate culture that helped lead to the Great Recession.

Weak consumer spending will last for years – naked capitalism

It has been my thesis for some time that we are seeing a secular change in consumption patterns in the United States.  This will have grave implications for a world economy used to seeing the American consumer as an economic growth engine and consumer of first choice. Retail sales in the United States have fallen 10% since peaking in November 2007. Much of this decline represents a permanent fall in consumption by overly indebted American consumers.

Market valuation as a backdrop – Abnormal Returns

One thing we cannot say with confidence what the market is worth at any point in time.  Each and every valuation method discussed out there has its drawbacks.  What we can say with some level of confidence that the market has moved from a state of undervaluation to either fair valuation or moderate overvaluation.  Let’s take a look at some of the evidence for this.

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