good things come to an end.
The Future is Now: The US and Pakistani military both deny that Pakistani troops fired on US military helicopters along the border and forced them to return to Afghan airspace. Witnesses on the ground were told not to believe their lying eyes.
This Way to the Exit: S&P. Moody, Fitch and A.M.Best have offered to show AIG the door. Any further downgrades will require AIG to post more collateral. It doesn't have a whole lot of collateral laying around. S&P has lowered Washington Mutual's rating to "junk", while Fitch estimates that 45% of WaMu's payment option ARMs will default. Say "goodnight," Gracie.
Quiz: How much longer will they blame all this on "sub-prime mortgages"?
Elephant, What Elephant? US industrial output fell 1.1% in August. Production has now fallen 1.5% in the past year and 2% since the peak in January. The only thing growing in the US seems to be the number of bankruptcies.
Tell Mike it was only business... So far this year DOD has sold or transfered over $32 billion in weapons and military gear to foreign governments, most of whom we'll eventually alienate enough that we'll have to go take the stuff away from them.
That was Then, This is Now: In July EDS said reports it would fire a significant portion of its workforce were untrue. It is, however firing is 24,600 - 7.5% of its employees. Define "significant". It is also writing off $1.4 billion in "goodwill". Goodwill is defined as how much too much you paid for something, in this case it is 10% of what Hewlit-Packard paid for the privilege of owning EDS.
Into the Valey of Death... One in every 416 US houses entered foreclosure during August. How are things on your block?
Deadly Sin #Eight: The SEC has decided that only betting that stocks rise in value is to be allowed. That stocks sometimes fall in value is an embarrassment and should not be discussed in front of the women and children and retail investors. That's the short of it.
Bear Stearns, the fifth-largest US investment bank. Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest US investment bank. Merrill Lynch, the third largest US investment bank. AIG, the world's largest insurer. Washington Mutual, the sixth largest bank in the US. Wachovia, fourth largest commercial banking chain in the US. What happens to all the small banks that had invested in Fannie and Freddie and Merrill and Lehman's and AIG?
Blue Plate Special: With Bear and Lehman and Merrill gone, when do Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs get served up to the wolves? Does it turn out to be an all-you-can-eat buffet?
Tortise and Hare: Ten days ago, US gasoline inventories were at their lowest since 2000. If refinery fills to the pipeline distribution system are shut down for over a week, it is quite possible that there will not be enough product available to keep the flow running. It will be interesting to see which wins the race, continued consumption or refinery resumption.
Happy Days Aren't Here Quite Yet: Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis expects the rest of 2008 and most of 2009 to be tough for financial services. That's why he spent $50 billion buying a financial services company. Lewis expects charge-offs to continue to rise until sometime in 2010. Then do they level off?
Porn O'Graph: Shanghai wins the High Dive.