Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SAR #9257

Maybe it won't be so bad...

Second Derivative: Last week 2007-vintage AAA rated sub-prime mortgage-backed derivatives were going for 28 cents on the dollar. Why is there no recourse to the rating agencies for the losses incurred following their ratings – does this not constitute investment advice?

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service: All books, CDs and videos are all due back to the Philadelphia public library system by October 2, 2009, when all services, programs, libraries and buildings will be closed. Saving money the old-fashioned way, saving pennies, one public service at a time. Ben Franklin would be proud.

Too Big Too Fix: Steiglitz says we haven't fixed the system. Liz Moyer says we can't. And Treasury says the financial system will be fine as long as we keep the IV running “for the indefinite future.”

GM Gets into the Used New Car Business: Years ago I worked in a jewlry store that had a 'money back guarantee'. Surprising how many items got brought back after Christmas, New Years, Prom Night. But diamonds don't depreciate. Cars do, and driving a brand new car for 60 days risk (and cash) free will kill the new car smell and eat up the first-day-off-the-lot depreciation. But I'm sure GM thought all this through.

Character Sketch: “I may have lived the wrong life,” says a former Merrill Lynch investment broker who now lives on a bench in Tompkins Square.

Flying Dutchmen: Bargains galore – bulk carries 96% off previous lease prices. Ship 40 foot containers for pennies. Choose from 12% of the world's fleet – they're anchored off Malaysia, hundreds of them. No crew, no cargo, no place to go.

Let Me Count The Ways... Peak oil. Economic collapse. Swine Flu. Global climate change. Over population. Failed states. We face so many complex global problems that our attention span cannot embrace them all, much less solve all or even most of them simultaneously. But no other way will do. In harmony with everyone, else nothing will be accomplished.

Precedent? Taiwan's ex-president Chen Shui-bian has been sentenced to life in jail. Makes you kind of wistful, eh?

The Nays Have It: Everybody wants the government to do something about peak oil and global climate change, but not in their neighborhood. The UK's new Department of Energy leader says that not enough electric power capacity is being built because large parts of the public oppose wind farms, or nuclear power, or energy imports, whilst demanding an unchanged lifestyle. By 2016, he says, push will come to shove.

Winning/ Losing: The International Energy Agency says the recession did not cause as big a drop in oil consumption as expected. Which means that the price will go up even faster when demand picks up.

Linkage: As the US deserts its role as the consumer of last resort, those who have prospered – or at least survived – by pandering to America's consumptive binge will have to reduce their exports, and thus their production and thus their own levels of existence. Don't blame me, I just bringing the message.

Investing 101: Investing, the art of looking into the future a bit further than 4 EST.

Too Much Peaking: There are a large number of disasters awaiting us: peak oil, peak water, peak food, debt, population, etc. Assigning each one even a small probability of occurrence results in a high probability that one, at least, will occur. A collapse of some kind is on the unavoidable horizon.

Previews: In Pakistan a group of about 20 women and children were killed in a stampede for flour being haned out by an NGO. Not a rare event, but seems closer to home these days.

Porn O'Graph: Paying up, or down, our debts.


Anonymous said...

GM Gets into the Used New Car Business:...

The Sixty Day Ownership Society brought to you by Obumma Motors.

TulsaTime said...

That there Ratigan fellow seems to have summarized our sorry situation very well. It certainly seems to fit .

I like that precedent thing too, except for the US it is hard to know where to stop. Some of those folks could stand a does of their own medicine. Bush, Chenney, Rummy (Greenspan too?) should know the joy of 180+ waterbooarding sessions in a month. Not to extract any information, just for old times sake. Perhaps we can add Paulson to that list?

Bill said...

Precedent: Why stop with Bush? If you're going to go down that path, you can't simply focus on Bush.

Noam Chomsky -- the MIT professor of linguistics who has become a sort of guru to hard-left America bashers -- typically overstated his point when he asserted that "if the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every postwar American president would have been hanged."

Among the capital crimes committed by American presidents, according to Mr. Chomsky, were the counterinsurgency campaign in Greece (Truman), the overthrow of the Guatemala's government (Eisenhower), the Bay of Pigs (Kennedy), the Vietnam War (Johnson), the invasion of Cambodia (Nixon), the attack against East Timor (Ford), the increase in Indonesian atrocities (Carter), support for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (Reagan) and on and on to the Obama administration for indiscriminately killing civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What hypocrites you folks are for singling out Bush.

CKMichaelson said...

Bill, we've got to start somewhere, and Bush is the one with the most evidence for the most crimes against humanity.
And Tulsa - you're right about Dylan Ratigan - I cite his rant in tomorrow's SAR. Shame on you for reading ahead of the class.

Bill said...

Spoken like a true ideologue. And I am probably a racist for mentioning Obama, right?

You crack me up!