Saturday, June 21, 2008

SAR #8173

A very nasty period is soon to be upon us; be prepared.
Bob Janjuah , Royal Bank Of Scotland.

The US "We Don't Torture", Inc.: Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, testified before Congress that over 100 ("Last time I checked it was 108.") detainees have died in US custody. Further, "we have murdered at least 25 people in detention."

It's Official: More than a dozen government agencies have joined to warn that global warming will cause more severe droughts, more severe and more frequent flooding, and that tornadoes and other once rare events will become commonplace. The White House is recalling the report and sending the authors to Guantanamo for re-education.

You Bet Your Life Profits: Ever consider that the people running Big Oil aren't building more refineries because they know they would run out of crude before the plant was fully depreciated? They are in business to make money, making gasoline is secondary.

California Leads The Way: Former UCLA economics professor Chris Thornberg says house prices must fall at least 40% from their peak to return to historic norms. He estimates prices will decay by 50% before the bottom is reached. Case-Shiller suggests California is half-way there.

Pour encourager les autres: Martha Stewart has been refused a visa to Britain because of her criminal convictions for obstructing justice. Fair notice, Mr. Bush.

Footnotes: On top of counting the decline in the market value of their bonds as a profit, now banks are changing the rules without telling the other side - the stockholders. Wells Fargo, for instance, used to write off home equity loans that were 120 days behind. Now it's 180 days, which will let them hide bad paper longer.

Days Of Our Lives: Saudi Arabia may announce an increase in production this weekend at the OPEC meeting. But they may not, too. Tune in tomorrow. But can they meet the promise with actual oil? Tune in this fall.

Wrong Place/Time: An eight-month investigation found dozens, perhaps hundreds, of men the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments. Innocent men, incarcerated, interrogated, and tortured for years. Not the worst of the worst, simply the unluckiest.

Poll: Less than half the people in the US think global warming is a serious problem. They were unable to include the folks in Iowa.

Required Reading: Robert Hirsch, energy expert and author of the Energy Department's 2005 report on peak oil says "we now don’t have 20 years; we don’t even have 10" before the onset of "a global recession that deepens each year for more than a decade," during which "populations are going to suffer beyond what most can imagine."

Developments: Investment in U.S. commercial real estate fell 70% in the first quarter from a year earlier, $48 billion vs. $158 billion.

Porn O'Graph: You can bank on it.

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