Monday, June 2, 2008

SAR #8154

Unqualified statements are almost always wrong.

Socialized Capitalism: Fed Vice Chairman Kohn suggests that Wall Street investment banks and securities firms be given permanent access to Fed Funds even after (or if ever) the markets stabilize, "as long as regulators tighten oversight of the companies." Central bank, central planning.

Dancing With Your Date: Research shows that the US Senate's climate change legislation will reduce natural gas supplies while greatly increasing prices. The study was done for the American Exploration and Production Council by energy consultant Wood Mackenzie, Ltd. Similar research by those in favor of the legislation came to the opposite conclusion.

Catch: Fisherman from Spain have joined those from France, Italy and Portugal in national strikes to protest the raising cost of fuel for their boats.

Careers in Computing: Tap, trap and tape e-mail, voice and text messages, internet traffic for fun and money. Comcast - apparently a wholly owned subsiderary of NSA - is looking for computer engineers to handle "reconnaissance of subscriber intelligence for its National Security Operations, helping "meet the nation's intercept needs." Just pick up the phone, they're listening.

Repeat That Slowly Please: Michigan lawmakers plan to raise residential electric bills by as much as 15% so businesses and schools can pay less. It is possible that the lawmakers will be the one getting an education.

Boys Being Boys: US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said there was no quick fix to high oil prices, which he called an issue of supply and demand. He also said that Gulf countries pegging their currency to the dollar was "a sovereign decision" and that the US is powerless to impose its will on them without invading. He didn't really say that, but he probably wishes it were the good old days.

What Happened? Responding to Scott McClellan's assertion that Bush "was less than candid and honest" in selling the war, Ari Fleischer said "I guess that last vestige of decency is gone." Long gone.

Terminology: during the housing boom, those in financial circles called Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain 'Club Med'. Now that the bubble has burst, they've become the 'PIGS'.

Hungry Nation: Since 1994 and NAFTA, Mexico's grain imports have tripled. Today about 40% of its food is imported. In a few years it will cease to be an oil exporter. Which raises the question: If the US kicks out all the immigrant labor - which sends home billions of dollars - and the oil money is gone, how will Mexico pay for the food? What happens to the Mexican government when it cannot feed the citizenry? And what will the hungry population do to the the flimsy border fence?

Bygones : US Defense Secretary Gates has issued a set of thinly disguised warnings to China, telling it not to be an energy bully. We called 'dibs' on that years ago.

Date Rate: Moody's and S&P insist that MBIA and Ambac are Triple A concerns. Others are simply concerned: "The only thing holding [MBIA and Ambac] at AAA is the model that the rating agencies claim they use to judge that capital and the fact if they downgrade them, it'll push them into default," says an analyst at Credit Derivatives Research.

Porn O'Graph: US hose house prices; flooring?

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