Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SAR #8296

The problem with capitalism is capitalism.

Simpleton Math: Warren Buffet claims that cash equivalents (US Treasuries) are "a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value." The poor suckers who have held 3-Month T-bills for the last 8 years have a total return of 31%, while those who invested in Big Board stocks lost 28% and those who chased stocks on the NASDAQ are down 67%.

Desperadoes: The American public wants, and now. That's what got us in this mess. And they want the credit mess done and the recession over, sunshine in every pot, and soon. Tomorrow, if not later this afternoon. Take a deep breath and hold it. Okay, take another breath.

Two out of Three: The Arctic Ocean is getting warmer and less salty as sea ice melts. The Arctic is 9º F above normal. Global warming is a myth.

And Then Add ... To whatever total funding the Fed and Treasury are handing out to all comers these days, add another $600 billion to underwrite private purchases of toxic paper held by money market funds. I've lost count, but the total's got to be over $2 trillion. Question: What happens when they discover that none of this is going to work for long?

Genius: Kerkorian is taking a 66% loss on a billion dollar whack at Ford. Makes me feel better. Not smarter, but less alone.

The Shouting: Sub-prime foreclosures will be tapering off in 2009, giving the false sense that the worst is over. Not so, Alt-A and Option ARMs will then begin failing and build to a crescendo in 2011.

Playing Favorites: Why so little outrage over Paulson's $125 billion "gift" to the Big Banks? AIG was put on a very short leash, why do Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley deserve preferential treatment?

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Even though oil prices have declined, overall input costs to farmers are at an all-time high. Farmers need loans and loans are hard to get. Expect less food, more expensive food, more volatility in supply and prices. And not just in third country markets.

Vaporware: The IEA says that "clean coal" is not around the next several corners. Little progress is being made on carbon capture and storage, not enough research funds are available, and it will never work anyway it only sounds good in the coal ads.

States Rights: Twich believes in states rights only if they are far enough right, elsewise the Federales should step in. Like banning gay marriage, gay sex, and certain vegetables.

Not Quite All The News: The headline reads "Californian who registered voters charged with fraud." It should read: "GOP firm continues fraudulent voter suppression." And yes, the guy works for McCain .

Shhh! It's a Secret: DARPA wants software to go through miles and miles and days and months of space based videotapes that will use face-recognition and other biometrics to identify, index and retrieve the information. Automatically. Means they can do it, and just need a way to be more effective at determining if that was you leaving the house the other day.

Convenient: Saudi Arabia's cumulative net exports from 2006 to 2009 will be more than a billion barrels less than they would have been if the Saudis could have maintained 2005's export rate of 9.1 mbd. Nice of them to forego a billion times an average of $80 or so a barrel. Or was it necessity?

Porn O'Graph: Standard and poor performance.


alex said...

hey this website is great - keep up the good work! i wish i had as much time to be able to post as often and as extensively as you do!

one worry i have is, how can we reach enough people with the message that this whole capitalist system is disintegrating and it's time to build something better from the ground up?

can websites and blogs really reach enough people, or do we need to take the message directly to people's homes/workplaces/schools, and what would that look like?

students for a democratic society

CKMichaelson said...

alex - I'm not sure you can drag people who have been indoctrinated in the Great American Myth - the one where we all can win the lottery and be rich, rich, rich - you can't drag them into the light. You can rant about workers vs owners, the corporation as a person, etc. etc. I think
Jonathan Haidt's essay on What Makes People Vote Republican is a good explanation of the futility of trying.

But it keeps up my typing skills. -ckm

Anonymous said...

Alex, if you were an employee with a problem, you wouldn't go to your boss without having a proposed solution ready to present at the same time. Same here. Don't just tell me the contraption is busted beyond repair. If you have solutions, get out there and start proposing them!
Best wishes.