Thursday, June 19, 2008

SAR #8171

When Homeland Security talks about "security"
they really mean "control".

Take An Umbrella: The Royal Bank of Scotland is advising clients to expect a global stock crash and massive credit crunch within three months. July, August, September. Pick a date, place your bets.

Progress: The Iraqi Foreign Minister says that the new bilateral security agreement will end US contractors immunity from prosecution when they commit rape, murder and mayhem. The contractors, who outnumber and sometimes out-gun US military forces, are viewed as vital by US planners, and as thugs by the rest of the world.

Rare, Very Rare: Feedlots are loosing $139.56 a head on cattle for slaughter, and that's before the corn was flooded. Put some in the freezer today; probably a better investment than gold or oil over the next few months.

Growth Spurt: India and Iran, with the cooperation of Pakistan, have agreed to build a natural gas pipeline from Iran's gas fields to India's homes and factories. Washington opposes the pipeline because that gas is supposed to belong to the US... .

Benefits: Wachovia says it wants applicants to understand the key feature of "Pick-A-Payment" mortgages. The key feature is you don't have to pay your mortgage, but can live in a nice place rent free for quite a while before Wachovia kicks you out.

Joe Friday: World food prices were up 60% in the last year. World oil prices are up over 80% in the last year. Natural gas prices are up 160%. Them's facts.

The Fix Is In: In a desperate and doomed attempt to placate both industry and the population, Mexico has reached an agreement to fix the price of over 150 items, from tuna to coffee to beans, for the rest of 2008 as a way to fight inflation. Like supply side policies in the US, that this approach has never worked doesn't dim its luster.

Hat Dance: Mexico may increase crude production to 3 million barrels a day next year. May not, too.

Outlook Look Out: To sell it, it has to get to the store. Often once it's sold it has to be shipped to the customer. Shipping is generally a good gage of the economy. FedEx reports fewer shipments, much higher costs - through 2009. Buckle up, watch your step.

Oil Shale Salvation: No commercial oil shale project has yet to show a profit, or even that it might. Commercial production is several years and several major technical, environmental, political, and financial solutions away. But it'll save us one day. Meanwhile, let's drill in the National Parks.

Let Them Eat Cake: William Poole, former president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve says the Fed must be careful to keep from encouraging wage increases as the economy tanks and prices rise. Wouldn't do to let the proles get used to eating and all.

Going, Not Gone: Hedge fund head John Paulson sees global write-downs from the current mess exceeding $1.3 trillion. At that rate, we're still in the first quarter, a long way from half-time.

Porn O'Graph: Mortgage Equity Withdrawals: MEW.

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