If they can't grab power again this time,
they will grab whatever they can.
Lesson: Paulson says the banks have to lend out the money, quickly. It's like when your Dad caught you smoking as a kid and made you sit there and smoke the whole pack.
Kibitzing: "I don't think we can escape damage to the real economy. I think we almost inevitably face a considerable recession." Paul Volcker, former head Fed. Those "banks have been nationalized... which is something that hasn't happened before in the history of developed countries."
Magic of Markets: As oil drifts below the $80 level, it is below the marginal cost ($80 - $100) of bringing new oil to market. While high prices destroyed demand, low prices will destroy supply. And demand can rebound much, much faster than supply. Alternative energy has lost its fisnancial luster, too, and will diminish, not grow as is needed. Ah, the wisdom of the free market.
Enquiring Minds are (Finally) Asking: What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? What do we have to gain by staying another day? They have no oil and we'd be better off without their poppies. The next president should order the troops home then attack the real threats to our national security: Big Oil, the neo-cons and the US Military Budget.
Why Is Barak 'Black'? White mom, black dad. Why is he not as 'white' as he is 'black'? If he is not white then he should not be black, either. Whatever happened to 'half-breed' or some of those other terms?
Grinch: Nouriel Roubini says the coming recession will be the worst in 40 years, lasting a couple of years, with unemployment at 9% and house prices falling another 15%. "We're going to be surprised by the severity of the recession and the severity of the financial losses.'' he says. Well, not all of us.
Against the Grain: Over 90% of all world trade goes by ship. Or would, if banks would honor other banks' letters of credit. But they are not, so "there's all kinds of stuff stacked up on docks..." Grain shipments are crucial.
A Start, Maybe: Repairing the financial system may help financiers, but it will not stop the severe worldwide recession that is gathering just off-stage. Of course, Bush's goal is just to keep it off-stage until he is, too.
Wages of Sin: In England, some 100 town councils (think city governments) put their payroll money in Icelandic banks to cleverly earn a few pence more. How clever, how frugal, how the hell are they going to pay the garbageman and road crews come payday, with their funds frozen in sunny Iceland? Greed was once a sin.
In the Long Run... Hold 'em, financial advisers advise. The market always recovers. Except for when it doesn't, of course.
Offense Beats Defense: The Pentagon is already lobbying for another $100 billion a year, above its previous requests. This seems to be a way of painting the incoming administration into a corner so that their budget will increase, not decrease as would happen in a reality-based world.
Shut-Ins: Of the 694 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, 81 are still unmanned following Hurricane Ike. This has lead to 44% of the Gulf's oil production still being shut in, as is 38% of the Gulf's natural gas production.
Voter Fraud Fraud: Massive fraudulent voter registration has been reported all over the country. Reported by Fox and its fellow-travelers. Trouble? You betcha! The trouble is that it is not true. None of it. Who has been arrested? No one! Who has been indicted? No one. The actual crime is this: Acorn has registered over 1.2 million low income, Democratic-leaning voters in the last couple of years. Imagine, trying to let poor people vote. Next thing you know they'll be wanting all the votes counted.
Porn O'Graph: Credit / Debit, nationally.