Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SAR #11018

The unimaginable becomes imaginable when people take to the streets.

Snidely, Whiplashed:  GMAC has agreed in a Maryland case that it would dismiss every foreclosure case in the state that relied on affidavits signed by robo-signer Jeffery Stephan. Stephan has admitted to signing 10,000 false affidavits a month. GMAC can refile on each of the approximately 10,000 houses, but only if they submit to mandatory mediation between borrower and lender before moving to foreclosure. Will this expand to all the other robo-signers and foreclosures in other states?

Just Asking;  Would Tunisia's food-price-based recall election seem more important if it had been held in Riyadh?

Final Exam:  There is $830 billion in outstanding student loan debt in the US – more,even, than credit card debt. But there are far fewer debtors and they are far less likely to pay their debts (60% is not being actively repaid). There seems little hope that most graduates (or more likely, drop-outs) will be able to repay their loans. Ever. But that's okay, most of them didn't need the education anyway – let the banks repossess it.

In for a Penny in for a Pound:  The Irish central bank is printing up the money it needs to support the Irish banks. This wouldn't be a problem except they are printing Euros, not Pounds. They did tell the ECB that it was doing so, but it did not ask “May we?” It will be interesting if this sort of inflationary printing becomes popular in the other PIIGS.

Liar's Poker:  Venezuela Claims Its Oil Reserves Surpass Saudi Arabia's...

Heresy:  Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser says the Fed does not know what to do, hasn't got the power to do much, has far exceeded its statutory authority, and is trying to do the wrong thing. Bernanke would like to send him straight to bed without supper, but that, too, is beyond the power of the Fed Chairman.

Alarums!  The International Energy Agency (IEA) finds current oil prices to be “alarming” and fears they will have a negative impact on the global economy if OPEC does not “signal its intent to lift supplies.” Or better, demonstrate it can. OPEC raised its forecast for 2011 world oil demand growth by more than 1.23 million barrels but did not increase production quotas even as prices reach a 27 month high. We may never know if production increases (or decreases) because the US Energy Information Agency is going to stop publishing its International Petroleum Monthly which has been the one relatively reliable source for global production data.

Higher Education: Whistleblower Rudolf Elmer has given Wikileaks CDs detailing the tax-evasion and money laundering on 2000 high profile Swiss bank clients, including 40 powerful politicians.” Elmer said he had done so “in order to educate society.”

Potemkin Budget:  The $720 billion (plus the cost of actual wars and the waste and bribery that goes with them) US defense budget: (1) Is required by the threats the US faces. (2) Makes the US safer than a more reasonable figure, say $100 billion, would. (3) Is the result of Bush, Reagan and the GOP. (4) Is necessary. (5) Is just right after Secretary Gates's $78 billion in cuts. (6) None of the above.

Childhood's End:  Senator Lee (R-UT) maintains that the nation's child labor laws are unconstitutional and prevent parents from fully capitalizing on their assets because children are not generally involved in interstate commerce. Never mind that in US v. Darby Lumber (1941) the Supreme Court has long since dismissed this fantasy. Maybe the Roberts court will bring back the 16 hour 6 day week, too.

1 comment:

Demetrius said...

Re Higher Education. Keep your eye on taxjustice.blogspot.com and taxresearch.org.uk and the Frontline Club had a video of the Assange wikileaks event.