The Bailout: The core of Geithner's plan is to lead the horse to water again. The horse being overspent customers, the water being bank credit. How many times are they going to do this before they figure out the damned horse is bloated?
A Stitch in Time: Panasonic has ordered the families of its Japanese employees in parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, former Soviet states and Latin America to send their families home to Japan by the end of September “well ahead of possible confusion at the outbreak of a global bird flu pandemic.” Reported by Bloomberg, UPI, National Post, Canada, Taipei Times, and others. Who knows, but are we sure the global disaster they're preparing for is bird flu?
Whimper: After last year's hullabaloo, drama queen Bret Farve's retirement from the Jets goes nearly unnoticed.
Lost In Translation: Obama distances himself from "the Swedish solution" because we have too many banks and it is not our tradition for the government to take such steps. Nationalizing the top 5 or 6 would suffice. And the US tradition of the government helping out crippled capitalists doesn't seem to be working very well.
New & Improved: The
Bush Obama Administration continues to refuse disclose any information on the kidnap and torture renditions it is secretly carrying out around the world. Freedom Power of the Press: McGraw Hill paid Barry Ritholtz an advance to write a book on the credit debacle. McGraw Hill owns S&P. S&P is one of the big three credit rating agencies. Ritholtz's book suggests that being paid for ratings by the rater is a bit like asking a prostitute if it was good for her. McGraw Hill wants its money back.
Half A Loaf: Merrill Lynch forecasts that global oil production, which has been declining at a 4.5% per year average recently, will decline faster in the future because non-Opec production - about 60% of today's output - has peaked and begun to decline and new discoveries do not replace the loss. Luckily, the world's economies are declining fast enough that we won't be inconvenienced by the lack of oil.
History Lesson: Speaking of old American traditions, during the panic of 1873 angry mobs dragged bankers from their offices and hanged them. Just saying...
Truly Vile: Big Pharma is working to remove $1.1 billion from the stimulus bill that is for research comparing various medical treatments for cost and effectiveness. They argue that such information would reduce employment in the drug and nostrum industry. True.
Here There Be Tygers: The blank spots in Geithner's plan should be labeled like the undiscoverd parts of vast continents on old treasure maps.
Truth Commission: Republican Betsy McCaughey, once NY's Lt Gov, claims the stimulus plan includes a 'new bureaucracy', the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, which will "monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective," with the aim of making sure your doctor is doing right by you. Except. Except the NCHIT isn't new, it's a first term Bush invention and it has nothing to do with treatments and everything to do with computer ready records. Gotta watch 'em all the time.
Too Clever By Half: Almost half of all the derivatives of derivatives ever sliced and diced and foisted off on the unsuspecting have now defaulted. Clever, very clever.
Wish I'd Said That: Read the first 4 paragraph of Ilargi's intro over at Automatic Earth for February 11, 2009 and say Amen. Then write your state and federal representatives and the editor of the local paper.
Porn O'Graph: Headed off at the gap.