Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SAR #9133

Is cause and effect that difficult a concept?

Foiled: The administration apparently plans to release a May 7, 2004 CIA report that shows that torture does not work, was not medically safe, and that one-time VP Dick Cheney is lying when he claims "hundreds of thousands" of lives were saved. Apparently it was more matter of ruining hundreds of lives to appease sadists at the top of the Bush administration. Photo's to come, maybe.

Headline Only: "U.S. Foreclosure Filings Hit Record for Second Straight Month"

Entrails: Hedge funds will make about $2.5 billion from their CDS holdings on GM, if GM goes bankrupt. The top GM executives have dumped all their shares. Guess who's gonna take the loss? Got a mirror?

Check the Sofa Seats: No one at the Fed has the faintest idea where $9 trillion dollars have gone. The same people don't know what losses the Fed has suffered on its $2 trillion portfolio, either. Relax, these are the people who are going to rescue us.

Again: House prices fell again in March, down just 1% from February and 14% y/y.

Could Be Worse: Yes, U6 unemployment is above 15%. Yes, that's terrible. But at the peak of the Great Depression U6 was over 37%. Today's numbers merely match 1930 - not later on.

Saved! The current market rally is based on the chance that fewer of us will soon be homeless.

Whoa: Advanta, which only issued credit cards to small businesses, with $5 billion in outstanding balances and facing an 18 - 20% write-off , has canceled everyone's card. A million of them. They hope that their customers keep paying down their balances, as though the companies were using the cards for lunch and morning donuts, not payroll or accounts receivable management. If each small business averages but 3 or 4 employees, is this another 3, 4, 5 million unemployed?

Nope, Not the Sun: Research published in both Science and Geophysical Research Letters, concludes that the sun and cosmic rays cannot explain the observed global warming. Now for the spin cycle.

For Consideration / Wish I'd Said: "You take Rush Limbaugh's listeners away from the Republican Party base and there isn't a lot left." Mark Steyn.

Numerology: Unemployment figures are people, people who will not be productive members of society for months, maybe years, people who are not able to pay the utility bills, buy food and clothing, make mortgage or rent payments. Investors worry about the banks, the stores, the profits. Someone should worry about the people.

Headline Only: NYC charging rent at homeless shelters.

Ex-ports: Exports from mainland China declined 22.6% year-over-year in April, exports are off 17.4%. Worse, the dreaded second derivative was essentially flat..

Judgment: Eliot Spitzer was spending his own money. That's not a problem for the country. Tim Geithner, at the NY Fed and in his current incarnation, that's another story. To see the system's flaws up close, read Spitzer's article.

Free Advice: Oppenheimer's Brian Belski: "We have a new bull market. Who cares whether it is cyclical or secular. Let's just be happy that the worst is now behind us, and frankly, just buy." Free, and worth it.

Porn O'Graph: Mortgage Brokers find new jobs.

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