Thursday, August 14, 2008

SAR #8227

A war could make everything different.
Not better, just different.

Distinction: The US helped Kosovo gain independence from Serbia; dropped bombs, sent troops. Russia is helping South Ossetia in its struggle for independence from Georgia; dropped bombs, sent troops.

Handouts: The only way the GOP can reduce taxes on most US companies would be to give them money, for two-thirds of them pay no federal income taxes and haven't since 1998. Foreign companies pay even less US taxes than homegrown ones do.

Creative Lying: Say a bank is stuck with unsold LBO paper. Loan is pretty risky. Loan is reported as sold for 85 cents on the dollar. Bank gives buyer a loan for 80% of the purchase, buyer puts up 20% - 17 cents on the dollar. Buyer agrees to eat the first 17 cents in loss (from face value?) and the bank agrees to eat the rest. Bank has sold the LBO loan paper at 17 cents on the dollar and reports getting 85 cents on the dollar. Bank lies.

Vive la Difference: Alt-A; the new subprime. Or “We’re all subprime now!”

Pulp Friction: Set aside the comics and pay attention; you won't learn the truth in the Pentagon propaganda outlets, print or television. Facts: The dust-up between Georgia and Russia was started by Georgia. Georgia is a police state run by a US-backed president. Georgia would not have invaded South Ossetia without US permission. Class dismissed.

Simpleton-ification: In a preemptive strike to keep scientists from blaming global warming on the emissions causing global warming, the Bush administration has decreed that the politically appointed heads of federal agencies can decide for themselves if dams, mines, mountaintop removal, power plants and such might harm endangered profits. This reverses 35 years of required environmental reviews of the environmental impact of greed.

They Laughed When Bill Sat Down To Play The Piano: On December 31, Bill Miller (Legg Mason's Value Trust hedge fund manager) owned 15 million shares of Freddie Mac at $34.07. By March 31, they had fallen to $25.32 and Bill had lost $131 million. But by then he owned 50 million shares. By July 31st, those 50 million shares were valued at $8.17 each and Bill had lost another $857 million while increasing his holding to 80 million shares. As of today those 80 million shares have dropped to $5.37 and Bill's down another $220 million. Maybe Bill does better in bull markets.

Musical Chairs: As credit markets continue to close down and banks raise their lending standards, no-one seems eager to extend credit for a house mortgage, a car, a student loan. Without expanding credit, without debt increasing, the US consumer economy will simply stop.

Money Talks : Even with significant domestic investments, oil producers sovereign wealth funds will keep growing and growing, like the Energizer bunny. The returns on their investments in dollar denominated capital markets have been very disappointing. How long before they become more active in managing their investments and our economy?

Porn O'Graph: The Alt-A Re-Cast Schedule.

1 comment:

HoosierDaddy said...

If you want to point to US hypocrisy on South Ossetia, it seems the more salient example would be Texas.