In the US, anger has become a form of entertainment.
Deja vu: Some of the maneuvering behind the PPIP is quite reminiscent of the schemes made popular by Enron. The potential hazards here are, clearly, enormous, as are the amounts of money to be stolen. The Administration explicitly rejects the suggestion that the banks are going to end up shamelessly bidding on each others’ assets. But there's already a spiffy market in false noses and fake beards.
Visiting Alien: The FDIC is funding 85% of the PPIP give-till-it-hurts program so Geithner and Bernanke won't havaea to ask Congaress for themoney. But not to worry. Sheila Bair, FDIC chairwoman, says, "We project no losses.” And if there are, the Treasury will bail out the FDIC and the taxpayers of some future generation will bail out the Treasury.
Try That Here! A poll showed that nearly half of the Frence would approve of locking up the bosses. I'd like to see the results of that one in the US. Or one about trials for war criminals.
Career Suicide: Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, chair of the congressional oversight committee monitoring the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, said "The very notion that anyone would infuse money into a financially troubled entity without demanding changes in management is preposterous." I think she means you, Timmy.
Lingering: George Soros says the US is in for a "lasting slowdown" and could face a Japanese-style period of low growth with high inflation. There may be some signs of life in the US economy by late 2010, but Soros stresses the "may".
Serenity: Maria D'Antuono, 98, waited 30 hours to be freed from her ruined home after the Italian earthquake. She spent the time knitting.
Slow Learners: A NY Times poll shows that 31 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the Republican Party. It is not surprising that this is the lowest endorsement rating in 25 years. It is dumbfounding that 1 out of 3 people who are allowed to vote think well of the party that brought torture to the country, that eavesdropped on phone and email and internet conversations without warrant or cause, that encouraged the death of a major US city by ignoring the plight of millions of Katrina victims, that instituted an unlawful war based on known lies, and that set American science back by a generation. Why does anyone who can read and write support this bunch?
Foregone Conclusion: General Petraeus's top expert on guerrilla warfare says that Pakistan could collapse within six months. Lord knows we're doing all we can...
Speeding Bullet: The insular US media has kept the US citizenry ignorant of the fact that the world economy is falling much faster than it did in 1929 - 1930. The world economy is plummeting now as it did in the Great Depression, but much faster. As in so much else, the US is not representative or understanding of the experiences of the rest of the world.
Constant Gardner: "Pfizer to Pay £50 Million After Deaths of Nigerian Children in Drug Trial Experiment."
Tiny TALF: To date only $3 billion in asset backed securities have been sold under the TALF program - far less than anticipated. There are lots of buyers for the Fed backed securities, but an absolute dearth of credit card and auto loan seeking customers. No loans, nothing to securitize. Maybe the Fed and Treasury might consider considering the customer in their plans.
More, Always More: Meredith Whitney sees house prices falling another 30% nationally, ending with a 50% drop from peak to trough.
Touch Up: The PPIP is not really elitist, designed only to enrich the rich, just because you have at least $10 billion in order to qualify for the government's free handout. Them that has, gets. Plans are underway to allow two Blacks, a lesbian and 3/5ths of a Latino an opportunity to participate, just to be inclusive.
Porn O'Graph: Location, location, location.