Monday, January 21, 2008

SAR #8021

No farmers, no food. No diesel, no farmers.
Not intuitive, but true.

More Hints : Reversing itself, Canada is rewriting its training manual for diplomats that cited the US as a hotbed of torture. "I regret the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the manual," Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister said. Canada neither withdrew nor apologized for including the US among the world's leading torturers; merely stated they were embarrassed for us. Me too.

Teen Pregnancy : Dinosaurs went through a phase of rapid growth and maturation, complete with teen pregnancy, according to a new study. Imagine telling a horny teenage dinosaur to 'just say no.'

For Your Own Good : One of Britain's biggest property funds was forced to shut its doors to withdrawals following panic selling by small investors. Scottish Equitable said that 129,000 small investors in its £2bn property fund will not be able to access their money for up to a year. The closing was taken "to protect investors following a significant level of customer withdrawals." Ah, they are not letting the customers withdraw their money in order to protect the customers from withdrawing their money.

Ethics : To fill up the tank of one SUV once with ethanol requires enough grain to feed one person for a year.

Sounds : According to historian Andrew Gause, "One thing to realize about our fractional reserve banking system is that, like a child's game of musical chairs, as long as the music is playing there are no losers." Music? I don't hear any music.

Competition : Computer experts claim a mass cyber attack could leave 70% of the US without electricity for six months. An attack not reported in the news media was a recent attack in an unidentified country that "caused a power outage affecting multiple cities." The goal seems to have been extortion, operating much like the local power company.

Understanding the size of the swamp : Look at this another way. Banks have written off over $100 billion in capital. Under our system of fractional reserve lending, most banks are leveraged 10 to 1. A destruction of $100 billion in bank capital results in reducing available lending by $1 trillion. Now do you understand the... concern?

Selflessness : Ever wonder how Big Pharma gets the 'volunteers' for the human trials of new concoctions? Simple, they pay people. Which people? Well, not Donald Trump. The poor, of course. Imagine, all those poor people lining up so rich people can get new and better drugs the very same poor will never be able to afford.

Grouper : Worldwide, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 75 percent of fish stocks are over-fished. In poor regions fish are the main source of protein. Rich nations grind up the fish and feed it to cattle and cats.

Monoline : Trouble in the $2.3 trillion bond-insurance business (monoline insurance) could trigger another wave of write-downs from banks and brokerage firms. When a bond insurer is downgraded, all the securities it has guaranteed are also downgraded. Ambac, which guaranteed $67 billion, has been cut from AAA to AA ; 137,390 muni bond issues and 114 other securities have been downgraded. New terms to learn, replacing 'subprime' as villaio;0n: monoline and sleazy.

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