Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SAR #8009

"Let us think for you, since we're better at it."
Motto of Long or Short Capital

Flip Flop : Science seems to progress by doubling back. Now a study shows that the benefits of moderately increased exposure to sunlight -- namely the production of vitamin D , which protects against the lethal effects of many forms of cancer -- outweighs the danger of sunlight. To SPF or not to SPF, that's the question.

More Dirt : When all the environmental costs of making fuel out of corn, soy, sugarcane, and palm oils are considered - the fuel to plow the land, run the tractors and trucks, process the stuff, plus the environmental damage and the reduction in food supply, biofuel production turns out to be worse for the environment than fossil fuels. Ah, but they didn't take into consideration the subsidies!

The Plan : Research shows that requiring voters to present identification lowers the participation of legally registered blacks and Hispanics. Research also shows that fewer than 40 fraudulent voters have been caught in the last election cycle. Hope this helps you understand why the GOP is so fervid about voter IDs.

Take Two And Don't Call Me : Turns out that Big Pharma doesn't need the high prices for research (13% of sales) but for advertising (25% of sales). Thats $60 billion in annoying TV ads telling you to beg your doctor for the pink pills.

Well Gol-ly : A suicide bomber killed two Indian soldiers in southwestern Afghanistan yesterday. No big deal, you say. But wait, did you even know there were Indian soldiers in Afghanistan? Do you wonder what Bush bribed them with?

Black Not White : In a foreclosure case, Countrywide assured the judge that it had 'generated' letters that had never existed so as to "convey" that the claimed events had occurred; that the documents were not 'fabrications,' but rather were re-creations of events that had occurred. Except they hadn't, you see.

Left Hand/Right Hand : Moody's says that the geniuses on Wall Street created so many "information asymmetries" that it is impossible understand them fully. The ability to track risk has declined "probably forever. It is extremely unlikely we will ever know... where every risk lies." If you don't know what the risk is, how can you reasonably take it?

Don't Look Behind The Curtain : The unseen hand of the free market had another triumphant year as globalism continued to spread. What it seems to spread is American manufacturing jobs; we lost another 375,000 of them. The good news was we created a net 1,050,000 jobs. True, that was less than the population increase. It's also true that 29% of these new jobs were waitresses and bartenders. But we need more bartenders, given our poor jobs outlook.

New Kid : India's Tata Motors is selling its new "people's car" for $2,500. That's a lot of money in India, but while the average income is $500 a year, it is thought that at least 30 million of the 1.1 billion Indians will be able to buy the car within a year or two. Any idea how much CO2 another 10 million cars will dump into the air? Or 20 million? Progress.

Gambling : Tropicana - the casino people - lost their NJ gaming license due to a "lack of business ability, a lack of financial responsibility and a lack of good character, honesty and integrity." They owe some folks $1.34billion and couldn't pay, so the bankers said, "No problem, just give us a little on the juice and we'll up the vig by 3.6%." Tropicana ponyed up $7 million and is happy to be paying 10.5% interest on the billion. At least their were no broken legs. Yet.

No comments: