Thursday, January 1, 2009

SAR #9001

If the government does not take care of the people,eventually the people will take care of the government.

Casualties: The Hatfields have casually killed at least 400 McCoys and wounded another 1500 of 'em. Hamas' ability to govern is reportedly "seriously impaired", as is what little remained of Israel's moral authority. Given its record in Iraq, the US stands mute.

Enough: "The total cost of sending a single soldier to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan is about $775,000 per year." Tell me again about the vital national interest in Afghanistan, and at what price per barrel Iraq becomes a break-even project.

Just Numbers: By April over 2,000 malls are expected to close, and the shuttering of 200,000 stores is predicted for 2009. Impossible? About 160,000 went under in 2008. One quarter of all stores are facing financial distress, as are 95% of customers.

Carnival: AIG is propositioning the little red headed girl, again. "Just once more, please, pretty please. Let's renegotiate just one more. You liked it, I know you did..." What's a poor girl to do, once she's lost her reputation?

Clarity: The median price of a house in California in May, 2007 was $484,000. The median price of a house in California in November, 2008 - eighteen months later - is $258,000. That's a 46% decrease in the median price. Remember, trends start in California.

Path Integration: That's finding your way home when you don't have a GPS. Solar orientation, electromagnetism, odor trails and such. If you're a fiddler crab, you count the length of each step, sum them all up, and when it's time to go home you simply deduct the length of each step, counting down to zero.

Emperor's Clothing: The experts and their media puppets keep muttering that credit, more credit, is the solution to the economic bust, that the problem is a lack of trust. Damnit, when are these folks going to realize the problem is too much debt, most of it the stinky bad un-repayable kind. Until that debt is repaid or written off and we start living on what we produce, we're not going to get to Bountiful.

Cheer Up: The October Case-Shiller only seems terrible. After all, the index is an average of prices over the last three months and thus reflects sales negotiated about 6 weeks earlier. All of which means today's numbers are worse. Much worse. Horrific.

Peace Effort: If the Palestinians want Israel to stop dropping bombs on them and crushing their houses with tanks, they must stack all their weapons in a huge pile and all their clothes in another and stand naked and mute while Israel decides which of them to kill. So says Bush, on behalf of the American people - who were not asked.

Ownership Society: As you suspected all along, Wall Street gets the profits, the workers get the losses, Greenspan gets to wring his hands and Bush moves to Highland Park.

Put Your Hands on the Hood: Historically the spread between the best corporate AA non-financial bonds and the Fed Funds target is about 20 basis points. Today the spread is 615 basis points. In your best grown-up voice tell me what sort of future would make this reasonable.

Christmas Club: Investors have pulled $32 billion from their hedge funds last month. Think how much it would have been if many funds didn't have the "you can't get your money back" clause.


Anonymous said...

"Christmas Club: Investors have pulled $32 billion from their hedge funds last month. Think how much it would have been if many funds didn't have the "you can't get your money back" clause."

As regards this story, what would redemptions have been if TARP and all the other FED Dumps had not been available?

Which raises another question, how many Hedgies applied for and got FED or TREASURY Loot?

Did Madeoff apply directly or indirectly? If so, who decided he wasn't on the Dance Card?

Anonymous said...

The US is not "mute". Hey Hamas....don't start something you can't finish.

CKMichaelson said...

It wasn't the American's bellicosity that I questioned, but their lack of a moral high ground.

Anonymous said...


There is no moral high ground in that place. Only pain, suffering and stupidity on all sides.

CKMichaelson said...

True, and even worse is the apparent lack of a way out....