Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SAR #8261

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Pssst! Now the Treasury is pimping trying to arrange a marriage for WaMu; planning to use the same dress Bear and Lehamn's wore.

The Buck Stops: The Reserve's Primary Fund - a $62 billion money market fund - has 'broken the buck'. That is, the nominal $1 value has dropped to 97 cents. Lehman's, of course.

Single Payer System: Why can't the we have nationalized health care? We already have nationalized housing, the auto industry, and now we're nationalizing the insurance industry.

For Training Purposes Only: The US Defense Department is selling Israel 1,000 'bunker-buster' bombs. The GBU-39 'smart bombs' can penetrate six feet of reinforced concrete and have a 50 - 50 chance of coming within 20 feet of their targets. The other 50% of the time they seek out wedding parties.

Death by a Thousand Cuts: What, exactly, has changed with BofA buying Merrill Lynch? Does changing the name make it more profitable? The main change appears to be that the hermaphroditic result of the merger has access to the 'permanent emergency' loan window at the Fed, where they can exchange equities (such as Ford bonds and GM stock) for Treasury notes. What happens when the companies whose stock the Fed is holding go bankrupt?

Roget's: Paulson repeatedly said there would be no (more) bailouts for Wall Street. So what are we going to call giving $40 billion $70 billion $85 billion of the taxpayers money to AIG? A down-payment?

Risky Business: The effects of hurricanes Katrina, Rita , Gustav and Ike raise serious questions about the plan to increase oil supplies through offshore drilling. Some infrastructure that was destroyed by Katrina is not back in operation. More was damaged by Rita, Gustav and Ike. Putting rigs farther and farther out into the Gulf - in harm's way - is not a sound business plan.

Cold Shower: "The Volt is coming, the Volt is coming." Maybe so, but it sure is dragging a long extension cord. A battery that will take you farther than the next McDonald's, last more than two years and cost less than $20,000 seems about two economic collapses in the future. I'm not convinced my laptop's battery isn't going to explode...

Structured Sentence : Which of the following is correct: (A) Will Citi collapse? or (B) When will Citi collapse? Usual prize, disclaimer, etc.

Dominoes: As Lehman's and AIG dump their holdings, those who hold similar paper will be forced to write down the value of their holdings. Hedge funds, which are generously unbalanced with short-term liabilities invested in long term assets are particularly vulnerable as their sponsoring institutions become short of capital. About 100 hedge funds were dependent on Lehman's.

On the Never-Never: There is a phenomena in the desert, where the horizon recedes as you travel towards it. Same thing seems to happen with oil sands projects. The break even price is always just $5 or $10 more than the current price. Canadian projects are getting shelved now because they need $105 a barrel to justify the investment. Investment money is getting hard to find and more expensive, too.

Crime Doesn't Pay; Failure Does: John Tain, Merrill Lynch's CEO and chief trader Thomas Montag, having guided Merrill Lynch into BofA's loving embrace, are now in line for $47 million in consolation prizes. Tain had worked atMerrill for 9 months, Montag was there for just over a month. Minimum wage went up this year, to $6.55 an hour.

1 comment:

kwark said...

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Exactly. The taxpayers are left to deal with the toxic waste while our so-called free-enterprise system rewards all the gamblers.