Even if gasoline falls to $1 a gallon,
Penny Billions: AIG is asking (?) for more money because they're going to have to settle the bad bets they made on Iceland. The Fed already has claim to more assets than AIG has, so what they got to offer?
Open Season: Saving Wall Street financial firms and the auto companies and the insurance companies and and and... will cost so much we will have no money left for health care or retirement. That's the plan. That's always been their plan; take the money and run.
Lunch Bunch: Coupons. Tuesday Night Specials. Two for One. More Early Bird Specials. The wait at the local steak house is brief. Reservations at my favorite Thai place are no longer needed.
Wrong Bogeyman: The economic downturn has far less to do with the lack of trust on Wall Street than it does the lack of cash on Main Street. And the cash has been seeping away from Man Street for years, with every job shipped overseas. Sub-prime mortgages may have been a bad idea; globalization was worse.
Bonfire of the Vanities: Detroit has burned through more cash in the last three months than all its stock is worth. If the Treasury doesn't give them more money to throw on the fire, they'll throw themselves on the pyre.
Nose / Face: With tax revenues plunging, states with mandatory "balanced budget" laws (or constitutions) must curtail state investments and social programs exactly at the wrong time. Neocon nirvana: they've made the state to help the poor & unemployed.
Bogeymen: Of 108,000 purported terrorist threats reported to the FBI, only 600 were found worthy of investigation. None of these has panned out yet either. Be afraid, just not too afraid.
Silver Lining: GMAC says it's ResCap subsidiary is having trouble maintaining "adequate capital and liquidity levels," and may not continue "as a going concern." On the up side, ResCap owns Ditech; maybe those annoying TV ads will go away too.
Revisionist History: Employment fell by 240,000 in October. August was revised from a decline of 84,000 to a drop 127,000. September went from 159,000 to 284,ooo. By the time they revise October, the number will be close to 400,000.
Spade's A Spade: Ambac is asking the Fed for a helping from the TARP fund, and not being coy about it: "This is an Ambac begging bowl,' said David Wallis, Ambac's chief executive officer.
Highlights from the Executive Summary
of the IEA's 2008 Oil Market Report
Time Is Running Out: Current energy supply and consumption patterns are "patently unsustainable." Despite a temporary fall in price, "the era of cheap oil is over." The future of human prosperity depends on rapidly transforming our economies to a low-carbon and environmentally benign energy system. Decarbonization of the world's energy sources is required if we are to prevent "catastrophic and irreversible damage to the global climate."
Oilfield production declines- at a 6 to 9% rate, will mandate 64 mbd of new production - six new Saudi Arabia's - by 2030. This does not appear possible. The world's endowment of oil would be large enough only if the reserves claimed by OPEC were accurate, including the massive and mysterious increases in reserves that were claimed to have occurred overnight in the mid-1980s.
The consequences of inaction in reducing and eliminating carbon emissions are a global average temperature increase of 6°C (10°F) by 2100. It may not be technically possible to restrain emissions enough to limit the rise to 2° or 3°C.
"Time is running out."
Rant of the Day: Ilargi's revolt-ing.