"Chance is the name we put on our ignorance."
Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Painter of Battles.
Photo Finish: Will Pakistan or Iceland be the first nation to go bankrupt? Where do they go to file?
Goodmorning: Today is "Lehman credit default settlement day." Losses to protection writers are expected to be in the 80 cents-on-the dollar range. Coffee up!
Twist and Shout: According to Paulson, the TARP bill permits the Treasury to "use up to $700 billion to inject capital into financial institutions, to purchase or insure mortgage assets.... " But then he backed away from it. Wouldn't want to do the right thing... Besides, both the Treasury and the Fed do whatever they want and then ask permission.
Drill Here, Drill Now: American dependency on imported oil will slowly decline over the coming years. It won’t be the result of the development of alternative energy sources or drilling in Chesapeake Bay. It will be accomplished through devastating poverty.
Technical Oops: A US governmental review of the extensive and expensive data mining done by Homemade Security, the FBI, CIA and Dick Cheney's office concludes that it simply does not work. It does, however, invade citizens privacy without cause, so the government agencies will keep using it. Profiling done at airports by minimum wage TSA drones isn't effective either, nor is torture. Take your shoes off and stand quietly.
Essay Question: Describe in detail the functioning of a sustainable economy operating within the resource bounds of this planet.
Snorkeling: Moody's says that house prices have fallen to the point where 15% of homeowners don't own any part of their house. The 12 million without any equity - who would not get a penny if they sold their homes - will grow to 20 million (25% of all owner occupied houses in the US) after prices fall another 20% as predicted.
Better Never, Than Late: The US military now acknowledges that at least 33 women and children were killed in a Predator strike in Afghanistan last August, not the 5 originally admitted. The military revised its figures after cell phone videos of the attack showed the bodies of the dead.
The Prescription: Over 5,000 U.S. physicians have signed an open letter calling on the candidates for president and Congress "to stand up for the health of the American people and implement a nonprofit, single-payer national health insurance system."
Vacation Plans: See Henry. Henry runs a bank. Henry's bank is insolvent. Henry's bank's assets aren't worth the paper they printed on. Henry needs either recapitalization or a plane ticket to Brazil, he does not need any more 'liquidity'.
Posse Comitatus: At least one Senator, Patrick Leahy (D, VT), has become concerned that the Army has assigned combat troops to Northern Command.
Conventional Wisdom: Furthering the right-wing assault on Social Security, Tom Brokaw thumped the "Social Security crisis" drum repeatedly at the Nashville debate. Social Security is not in crisis. Medicare has a problem, but it is the problem of greedy drug manufacturers, insurers, and private hospitals wildly inflating their profits and sending the bill to the taxpayers.
Consider the Source: The National Association of Realtors reports that pending home sales rose in August, indicating a rise in home sales in October. Snapping up those
Better Safe, Then Sorry: If you are against the death penalty or the Iraq war (redundant) stay out of Maryland. The State Police there have been putting those folks' names on the list of suspected terrorists. Having been caught doing so, they apologize and are sorry. Sorry they got caught.