Monday, February 14, 2011

SAR #11045

Other things are never equal.

Business As Usual: The media are all full of comments, analysis and predictions about how the government will wind down Fannie and Freddie and get out of the housing business. Yawn. This is the initial jockeying to determine how Wall Street will get the government to underwrite the risks while giving them the rewards for hiking mortgage rates. I suggest a moratorium on the whole process until a bill actually passes congress. It'll be a couple of years, so relax.

Wording: The Justice Department has ruled that the FBI can obtain phone records “without oversight.” And apparently without warrants, too.

Better Late Than... Egypt's successful first step towards democracy is worrying the old guard for fear that this could be the start of something big. Bahrain has begun proactively granting concessions after blatant bribery didn't work. Protests continue in Yemen, while Algeria, Jordan and Sudan have large scale protests of their own to contend with. Women in Italy have finally gotten fed up with Berlusoni and taken to the streets, and there seems to be a leaderless but growing thirst for change emerging in the US.

Why Not? A US study has linked pesticides to Parkinson’s disease, as concerns grow for the possible damage we have done to ourselves in the name of progress and profits.

Earned Errors: Those who do not want the government to mess with their Medicare and Social Security and despise those who free-load on the public are just reacting to the lies the politicians have told for years. Folks, Social Security is not a pension plan. Medicare is not health insurance. They are transfer payment programs, where the government takes tax money from some taxpayers and return the money to other taxpayers in the very same budget year. The people have been misled to believe they are (or someday will) receiving the benefits “that they paid for.” Nope, they’re just getting other people’s money.

You Don't Count: The reason the collapse of municipal bonds won't be a big 'systemic' crisis is that Goldman Sachs and friends don't hold munis – you do. They are mostly owned by “people small enough to fail”.

Unclear on the Concept: Vermont is considering a law that would require sex offenders to user their real names on internet social networks. Duh.

Whose Ox? So-called Community Bankers are afraid that phasing out Fannie and Freddie will lead to them being cut off from the write 'em and dump 'em and collect the fee loan-milling they've become used to and force them to actually consider the credit-worthiness of their customers. That is, they claim, no way to make a profit.

Cut Them off at the Pass: Obama is going to burn down the barn to save the horses. Or at least shred the budget in an attempt to save it from being cut to pieces by the Republicans. He'll do it with love, not anger. It'll make all the difference.

Wish-consin: Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) says he is going to cut benefits for current and former public employees, castrate their unions, and call out the National Guard to put down any protests the citizenry may raise. Did he stop to think that many of the National Guard are public employees, many are married to public employees? He says, “We're broke. And it is time for us to pay up.” Note that the “we” and the “us” are two different groups.

If Only: Investigation into the death of Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for former president Musharraf for his role in the conspiracy that lead to her assassination.

Porn O'Graph: The gas ceiling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wording: The Justice Department has ruled that the FBI can obtain phone records “without oversight.” And apparently without warrants, too.

Even a Police Bumbler like Inspector Clouseau would understand that Professional Criminals and Racketeers are not going to use regular phones. What ID must be shown to get a cell phone, for example? This is the mirror image of Professional Terrorists bypassing the Bumblers' detection efforts, thus leaving only Joe Lunchpails to be Stasied and Scanned.

Which raises this question: in this day and age of legal or illegal communication intercepts by the State, how do America's really dangerous criminals, its Business Racketeers, communicate? It certainly is not be regular means. (Some may remember that UBS sent criminals into the US to advise Americans how to evade taxes among other things. Methods us were fake ids, credit cards, changing hotels, patterns of travel. Well organized crime. One may also wonder by what means they communicated with head office and bosses.)