Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.
April 29, 2013 at 8:16 AM
Swans, iTunes, Feds and Dreamliners flying
• If you’re attending the Investment Management Consultants Association’s annual conference at the Washington State Convention Center, you’ll get a chance to hear Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who is scheduled to speak today. His 2007 book on random, unpredictable events, The Black Swan, came out in 2007 and the title became a synonym for the financial crash that so few saw coming. (Nouriel Roubini, the NYU professor who also foresaw the disaster, later called it a “white swan” because financial bubbles and crashes go back centuries, but nevermind).
Taleb’s new book, Antifragile, looks at how to build human systems that not only resist shocks but get better as a result. Taleb often takes on critics using Twitter and Facebook. Recently, he was ambushed himself. Mirth ensued. On Wednesday, the conference has scheduled Neil Barofsky, who was the special inspector general over the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
• Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the Apple iTunes Music Store. How long is that in Internet years?
• The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday. The policy-setting arm of the Federal Reserve is unlikely to change interest rates with unemployment still high and growth weak. After the anemic 2.5 percent GDP growth of the first quarter amid continued tame inflation, don’t expect any quick “exit strategy” from the expansionist policies of recent years. You can read the minutes of the March FOMC meeting here.
• Northwest stocks to watch: Boeing (BA), with Dreamliner commercial flights resuming; Weyerhaeuser (WY) after strong first-quarter earnings beat expectations; Amazon.com (AMZN), whose shares fell more than 7 percent Friday after disappointing earnings (is the magic gone?); Flir Systems (FLIR), announcing the retirement of CEO Earl Lewis.
• And Don’t Miss: The bigger context of the Reinhart-Rogoff debate | Ritholtz
Today’s Econ Haiku:
In some euro parts
It’s worse than the Depression
And that turned out well