U.S. firms build cash buffer to European crisis in Q3

U.S. firms continue to stockpile cash reserves in preparation for any shocks that may occur from the Eurozone crisis.  U.S. firms held their largest amounts of cash reserves on record during the 3rd quarter of 2011.

Alternative careers for economics majors

http://www.bungie.net/inside/aboutus.aspx#25100

“It’s the economy, stupid! Drive players to invest in our game economy by analyzing the subtleties of behavioral economics and pondering the pitfalls of specialization and free trade. Theorize why people make irrational economic choices and use the tricks you’ve learned to ensure players only make the irrational choices you want them to. Create an economic system that will fulfill a player’s needs just as much as shooting an alien in the face.

The Economy Designer at Bungie will develop a robust and rewarding game economy that drives player behavior toward intended goals and validate those systems through intense simulation, testing and iteration. You’ll design the systems and mechanics which drive in-game trade, satisfy the players’ need for possessions and wealth whilst ensuring rewards retain their intended value despite attempts to exploit or grief the system. You will determine what data is necessary to mine, ensure we have all of the hooks necessary to gather that data, and come up with all of the interesting metrics and questions we should ask of that data. You will run simulations of these mechanics based on expected player behavior and test these simulated results against actual player behavior; tuning the live system accordingly.”

 

Could virtual economies change how economic theory is tested?

Secret Loans

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse……”

 

You know what…Bernanke has constantly hinted that there needs to be a firm fiscal policy addressing our poor economic conditions. But take into consideration these massive loans. How can congress, or anyone for that matter, make policy suggestions when all the cards aren’t on the table.?