March 17th meeting topics and announcements

Hey guys,
Holy crap a lot has happened in the past week. We can’t possibly talk about all the juicy details, but you know we’ll try!!
We’re meeting tomorrow, as usual, at Columbia University in Room 409/410/411 (whichever is open to us) of the International Affairs Building at 118th and Amsterdam (go into the building on 118th and go up the half-staircase directly in front of you past the elevators, and turn left twice into a side hallway). If you don’t know how we roll, details can be found here.
Let’s meet early tomorrow, at 2:00 in Room 409, to discuss May Day plans.
  1. Strike Debt is in the news.
  2. Occupy the NRA is having a protest on Monday.
  3. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher is still our hero: watch him call the TBTF situation “crony capitalism”.
Annotated topics for tomorrow:
  1. SAC and the $614 million insider trading penalty. Can we do a complete top-down cost-benefit analysis of fraud on Wall Street now? Just how profitable is criminality when we think about it as a business plan?
  2. Cyprus is being bailed out by its people. They’re removing money out of savings accounts, kind of like a negative FDIC guarantee. That might encourage people to remove their money from banks. More likely it will encourage rich people to put their money in Switzerland.
  3. Expand Social Security instead of contracting it, says Barro twiceThe 401K experiment in the US is over, and people are removing money from their 401K’s in huge numbers. Are we finally hearing sanity emerge?
  4. JP Morgan’s whale loss is bolstering calls to end TBTF. They blamed bad VaR models and insufficient risk limits but since they manipulated both, fixing them won’t help. It’s also useful to think about fear of losing money versus greed in the context of the whale loss.
  5. The CFPB is looking into private college loan practices. Liz Warren is saying like it is on Republican attempts to defang the agency.
Please send me other topics. See you all tomorrow!
p.s. it will be St. Patrick’s day tomorrow. I expect people to be dressed and to behave accordingly.