Saturday, October 11, 2008

SAR #8285 Weekender

It is difficult to understand the apathy

of the average American.

When Will It End? When Americans begin to understand that their sense of entitlement is an illusion. When those who 'moved up' in the last 5 years realize they've made a horrendous error. When 'affluent' Americans realize they are not and go back to living within their incomes. In other words, when Hell freezes over. It will be a long one.

Desperation: They have no shame... The McCain/Palin campaign has dropped to appalling levels of dishonesty and distortion. "They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent's record -- into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia." New York Times

Hey, Why Don't We... : Hamid Karzai reportedly has asked Saudi Arabia to arrange power-sharing talks with the Taliban. Karzai is a US puppet, Saudi Arabia depends on US military might to keep the royals royal, so whose Big Idea is this?

First In, First Out: California has asked for a $7 billion advance on taxes it will never collect. They are just the first. All of the states face increasing budget deficits - and many have balanced budget constitutional clauses. Next?

Waiting : Before cargo get loaded into freighters, sellers generally want proof they will be paid. That proof is a letter of credit from the buyer's bank lodged with the seller's bank. Deals are falling through and grain piling up in ports because more and more sellers banks don't trust the buyers bank to be solvent by the time the ship makes port.

Cat / Bag: Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, asked what EU leaders would be discussing at this weekend's discussions said, "There is talk of suspending markets for the time needed to rewrite (international finance) rules." Then he said he hadn't said that.

A Word of Caution: We are not stupid. We studied what went wrong in the Great Depression. We know the way through this is to spend money. Unfortunately "we" are not the ones deciding policy. Henry von Goldman-Sachs Paulson is.

One Down: Lehman's credit default settlement was 8.625 cents on the dollar. The write-offs and payouts could be as much as $270 billion, but will probably be much lower as Lehman's bonds had been traded down to about 13 cents on the dollar already, which may explain Lehman's demise.

Does "No" Mean "Soon"? In a prepared statement, General Motors said it is not considering bankruptcy. On the other hand, S&P thinks GM, Chrysler and Ford's bankruptcies are ever more possible. No president wants a US car maker to fail on their watch, so watch the November 5 to January 20 window, when 43 and 44 can blame each other.

Conjugating: Forced margin selling by hedge funds because of arbitrary private bank policies has created a major problem in the financial markets. I sell, you sell, he, she or it sells, we sell, they sell. Oh hell.

Paradox: Why is it that those who led us into this wilderness now claim they know the way out? The financial crisis is becoming a full scale political disaster, so keep in mind that the first rule of leadership is to do whatever you have to do to stay in power.

Momentum: Stocks will continue to fall because unemployment continues to rise ( there were more Americans with jobs in August '07 than in August ‘08). Over 70% of U.S. GDP comes from consumer spending. Unemployed consumers don't spend.

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