Saturday, October 25, 2008

SAR #8299/Weekender

What's worse, politicians who know they are lying,

or economists who don't?


Numerology: Black Thursday fell (bad pun) on October 24th, 1929. But that was just the initial crash. There were two more legs down, with a catastrophic drop on Black Monday, the 28th, and again on Black Tuesday, the 29th. Enjoy the weekend!

Cover Girl: The highest paid person on the GOP presidential campaign staff is Amy Strozzi. Strozzi? Oh, Twich's traveling make-up artist.

Lead By Example: GE Capital Corp, in an act of self-sacrifice, has announced it will be the first commercial paper-hanger to avail itself of the taxpayers' money at low, low introductory interest rates by selling commercial paper to the Fed next week.

What Happened? Banks are not lending to hedge funds. The funds liquidate positions in stocks, commodities. This drives down prices. The farmer can't get a loan to plant. The shipper can't find a bank to honor a letter of credit. The wholesaler's bank won't lend against inventory and the warehouse can't make payroll. Soon there's no food in the supermarket. Chain reactions.

Picky, Picky: There have been 3.82 million "existing homes" sold YTD. At that rate, fewer than 5 million will be sold this year. If they are sitting there empty, they are houses, not homes. After 11 months they are REDUCED! houses.

Fine Balance: The balance between petroleum supply and demand was so fine that a small shortfall sent the price from $70 to $140 a barrel in a year. A small but growing excess has brought the price down below $70 in a couple of months. This proves, rather than disproves, that we have reached peak oil.

Fine Print: Before you run off and invest in the banks, read the small print packed in Paulson's TARP plan: No dividends may be paid on common stock until the 'infusion' is paid back. None on preferred stock either, although they will accrue the dividends for later payment.

Dead In The Water: Brazil's ambitious plans to save the developed economies by producing billions of barrels of oil from those deep off-shore fields have run up against a lack of financing. You can't borrow your way out of debt.

Bad Movie: The banker throws the farmer out of his house. The plutocratic miner poisons the valley with lead. The Bush Administration weakens the rules to help both. Dudley Doright is nowhere to be seen.

Showers, then Rain? In weather forecasting, the next 12 hours is usually accurate, the next 12 is about 75% right, the third 12 hours is about 50%. Anything after that is a guess. Economies are far more complex than weather systems.

Nouriel Roubini: The world is heading for a protracted two-year recession that will end America's dominance in the world and may lead to "a massive, ugly war." Roubini "would not be surprised" if major stock markets close for a week or two. The markets are in a sheer panic. Over 30% of hedge funds will close. There is not going to be enough IMF money to support Iceland, Belarus, Hungary, Ukraine, Pakistan, Argentina and more. Some put Russia on that list.

Porn O'Graph: Stock up! A year's supply...

1 comment:

supernikita said...

GE has been reported not to honor its payment obligations under an LC until the applicant come up with more cash. This blatant breach of contract towards the beneficiary should not go unpunished. I opt for not allowing GE to avail itself of government funds as long as its conducting unfair business practices.