Why do they call them 'securities'?
Teaching Point: We reported this yesterday, but it deserves another hearing: "The director of the Congressional Budget Office said that the proposed Wall Street bailout could actually worsen the current financial crisis." Class dismissed.
Mighty, Fallen: Someone snuck up on Japan and pasted a surprise trade deficit right in the middle of August. The sound you're hearing is a global alarm.
Bitch, Bitch, Bitch: One David Hernandez is causing problems with Homemade Security because they won't give him a passport. He doesn't qualify for one because he has an Hispanic last name and lives near the Mexican border. He was born in the US. His mother was born in the US. His grandmother was born in the US. He is a US Army veteran. Me, I'm Scots-Irish.
Vocabulary: Notional Value, as used by Bernanke and Paulson, means '"let's pretend".
Silenced Fiction Discount Window borrowings stand at $262 billion. The Fed is the lender of last resort, and a lot of financial firms are way beyond last resort. Last rites, perhaps.
Done With Mirrors: South Africa's electric utility, Eskom, is going to increase its output by 4% to meet a 6% increase in demand.
Roadkill: Bill Heard Enterprises, the world's largest Chevy dealer, closed all 13 of its car lots this week. Those who lived by the installment plan. Greed, too.
Terry Putin and the Pirates: A Ukrainian freighter carrying 33 Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Kenya has been hijacked off the Horn of Africa. A Russian missile frigate is in pursuit. Tom Cruise will be cast as the Captain.
Clarification: It is not a taxpayer bailout of Wall Street. No current US taxpayer is going to pay another dime in taxes to support the Paulson Plan. We're going to borrow it all and add the $700 billion to the national debt, which we are absolutely never going to pay.
Dearly Beloved: The Census Bureau is saddened to announce that sales of new houses fell in August to an annual rate of 460,000, a 34% drop from last year and a 58% drop from 2005's peak. The family has asked that donations be made to the Paulson/Bernanke fund.
Going Down? Durable goods orders fell 4.5% in August, after a meager 0.8% rise in July. Biggest drop since January 2007 and before next month.
Sign / Countersign: The US acknowledges that Pakistani and US Forces exchanged gunfire for about 5 minutes in a dispute over Pakistani airspace. Every day brings us one step closer to some very realistic joint maneuvers.
600# Gorilla: The rate of CO2 emissions growth since 2000 has increased at a rate 4 times that of the 1990's. The increase dwarfs the most dire scenario projected by the IPCC.
Heads / Tails: If a member of Congress votes 'Yea', the voters are going to be pissed. If a member votes 'nay' and the economy tanks - as it most likely will regardless - the voters are going to be pissed. Remember, for members of Congress getting re-elected is job one.
Smokey the Bear: Alaska's AG is suing to kill subpoenas issued by the Legislature in its investigation of Gov. Palin's firing of the head of Alaska's troopers. Perhaps Smokey smells fire.
Cliff Notes: Before we let Paulson/Bernanke spend more than $1.47 on their latest bright idea, make them show us one - just one - step they have taken since August 2007 that has done a damned bit of good. Does their record suggest they have any idea either what is wrong, or what to do about it, or what comes next?
Porn O'Graph: The not new news.