What if we'd let them privatize Social Security?
Choreography: Stock markets lost $1.2 trillion on Monday even though the central banks stuffed $680 billion more down the rabbit hole. What's going on in Washington is a made for TV drama. It's going to take two Paulson plans a day just to break even. "$700 billion is just one tenth of one percent of the estimated $700 trillion in outstanding derivatives. It's like owing $100, and offering a dime as full and final payment." (Ilargi, again.)
Guestimate: The SEC is expected to advise financial companies that they may "rely more on assumptions" in valuing toxic assets. For example, assume this circle is a cow...
Mirror Image: Mr. Bush has discovered - from his puppet in Georgia - that bullying is more fun for the bully than the victim, and has decided that bullying is wrong. When done by Russians.
Market Summary: Fed Funds jump to 7%. Libor is at 6.88%, 30-day Eurobank's at 5.05%. There is no trading taking place, there is market in the credit market.
Psst! Over Here! SecDef Gates warns that while technological solutions to complex wars support the military industrial complex, the actual threat to the US will require low-tech combat against broken states and terrorists, and not grand adventures in push-button warfare against Dr. No.
Omerta: Breaking the media's code of silence about the devastation in Houston, Galveston and the Texas Coast, reports are surfacing that over 400 people are still missing in the wake of Hurricane Ike.
Transposition: Every time you read about "ailing Wall Street firms" or "crippled investment sector" and similar, you will get a better understanding of the item if you mentally substitute the phrase "greedy, poorly managed, self-serving".
One Liner: According to the latest Case-Shiller report, house prices are still falling sharply and will continue to fall for some time. According to economists, housing is the key to the credit market crisis. Homework assignment, add 1 + 1.
Time bomb: Arctic scientists have discovered evidence that millions of tons of methane are being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed. Scientists believe the previous abrupt releases of such sub-sea methane has been responsible for periods of rapid global warming.
One-A-Day: Looking ahead to another crisis: "By as early as next year our demand for electricity will exceed reliable supply in New England, Texas and the West and, by 2011, in New York and the mid-Atlantic region." As a result, the Forbes article cautioned, "...get ready for spiking electricity rates, brownouts and even blackouts..."
New Rules: If you ask Twitch a question she can't answer, which is most of them, the McCain campaign complains of "gotcha journalism." If a voter asks her a question, a serious violation of the protective screen around Palin has broken down.
Back At The Ranch: 'They' say the problem is that credit markets are frozen because no one knows who might actually pay back a loan. That's the point of the bailout, to loosen up lenders by giving them money from the Treasury to play with. Then the lenders will try to con the American consumer, who is overdrawn, overdue, and already drowning in debt, to take on more debt. That's what this whole crisis is about; the cow has dried up and they want more milk.
How Many Zeros: According to the Bank of International Settlements, global outstanding derivatives exceed $1.14 quadrillion dollars. That's $1,140 trillion. $1,140,000 billion. And so on.
Ghost of Politics Past: Mikhail Gorbachev is launching a new political party, independent of the Kremlin and the KGB. The party will stand for legal and economic reform and promote the growth of independent media. It remains to be seen if Putin will stand for it.
Reinheitsgebot: A tiny colony of 45 million year-old yeast retrieved from a piece of amber is being used to make a curiously interesting beer with a "weird spiciness at the finish". Comes from a very old recipe.