Executive Summary: We are screwed.
- Keith Hazelton
Simple Truth: Here's the bottom line on the AIG bailout and the TALF. They are stealing taxpayer money. They want you to be upset about the couple hundred million in bonuses. They do not want you to notice the couple of trillion they have stolen so far, nor to notice they are getting ready to steal a whole lot more.
An Observation: "The Administration really thinks the public is full of idiots." (Yves didn't add that the Administration is right.)
Who Gets to be Geppeto? The CBO says Obama's budget will be $1.85 trillion short this year - $100 billion more than the White House guessed. Between 2010 and 2019, according to the CBO, deficits will total $9.27 trillion - about 35% higher than the administration claims.
Silver Linings: Pemex is "optimistic" that the decline in Mexican oil production can be reversed by dirilling more holes and throwing monehy down them. Petrobras's reports that Brazil's oil and gas production was up 5.6% in February, YoY.
Jeffersonian: Rumblings of real class warfare are in the air. We, the People - to coin a phrase - have seen real wages stagnate for 30 years, seen the rich get richer, seen a foreclosed sign hung on the American Dream. We're not interested in saving the capitalist system, we're interested in fairness - and jail time for more than a few. Perhaps even real democracy -not one dollar one vote - with respect for workers, reasonable pay, progressive taxation, proper pensions and actual health care. Maybe not yet, but soon.
Bearing Down: Russian exports declined 50% in the first 2 months of the year, while GDP shrank 8%.
Wrong, Wrong,Wrong, & Wrong: The House's 90% tax on AIG bonuses is wrong because (1) It makes contracts worthless. (2) It is retroactive. (3) It is punishment for something that was not a crime. (4) It is political grandstanding, not leadership. (5) All of the above.
Slippery Slope: Sources claim the president wants new tools to ensure that the government can
take over deal with any business in the country important non-bank institutions at any time and for any reason in danger of bankruptcy that pose risks to the financial system.
Tiny Tim's Asset Plan: The Geithner Christmas Club plan for curing the banks of their toxic assets reportedly involves some rich guys putting up 3% and the taxpayers putting up 97% and the rich guys taking all the profits and none of the losses. What could possibly go wrong after all private investors are "kind of doing us a favor".
Desert Shade: The Mojave Desert may seem like the ideal place to locate solar energy projects, but Senator Feinstein says that she is concerned about what these projects would do to the aesthetics of the region, the threat they would pose to the tortoise population,
and the lack of sufficient contributions to her re-election PAC.
Quoted: "There’s no reason that the top tax bracket should have such a relatively low floor. A guy who makes $300,000 should pay more taxes than a guy who makes $30,000 but by the same token a guy who makes $3 million should pay even more."
Location, Location, and Price: Barbara Desoer got a promotion that caused her to move across the country. Her employer said it would buy her $1.675 million house if she couldn't sell it. She couldn't, so Bank of America bought it from her and has it for sale at $1.295 million. The Charlotte market has a six year inventory of million dollar houses. And Deoser? She's the new head of Countrywide Financial.
Porn O'Graph: Home, Empty Home.