Friday, August 26, 2011

SAR #11238

In American politics, facts are irrelevant.

Appetizers: CDS for several large European banks is at historic highs – higher even than in 2008, and have sought over $4 billion in emergency funding from the ECB, a big jump from the half-billion they sought the day before. But the ECB's got the cash – they got it from the US. Yields on Greek bonds are at 45% and rising and Greece has put emergency liquidity measures in place as their banks make a “last stand”. For the second Greek bailout, Ms. Merkel rejects the whole idea of collateral, but the Finns would not go along without some. Cyprus only days from needing a bailout and France has unveiled a new austerity plan – exactly the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time. And finally, Spain, Italy, France, Greece And Belgium have extended their bans on short selling, 'due to market conditions.' Desperate measures all. And you thought Bank of Bernanke America was a big deal.

More of the Same: Unemployment claims rose to 417,000 last week and the moving average moved up to 407,500. Extended benefits have expired for more than 1.2 million Americans so far this year.

Mistaken Identity: Warren Buffet is not a charity, nor is he anybody's kindly uncle. His $5 billion has but two purposes – to safely earn 6% from Bank of America and hold options on 7% of the company, while protecting his much larger investment in Wells Fargo – on the theory that a BofA failure would seriously discombobulate the economy. It also gives the lie to BofA's insistence that it did not need capital.

First Cut's Always the Deepest: Eric Cantor, the Leader of the House Republicans, says – just as he did when the tornado leveled Joplin MO, that there will be no emergency federal funds for survivors of Hurricane Irene unless offsetting cuts are made to other spending programs – like food stamps, or unemployment benefits, or his salary.

Data: In 2008, the average annual income of the richest 400 Americans was $227.4 million -- and that was before 10% of us lost our jobs.

Pot in the Kettle Business: The Pentagon has been... encouraging?.. the MSM publish a string of 'The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!' stories in the last few days. China says that the US is “exaggerating” the threat posed by its military spending, and points out the the US doesn't have any high ground to complain from – spending about $1 trillion to China's $91.7 billion.

All the News that Fits: One way to quickly terminate a Fox News on-air interview is to bad-mouth Sara Palin. Ask Karl Rove.

Spotted Quiz: What do the following dead guys have in common? Benjamin Rush, John Hancock, John Jay, John Witherspoon, John Peter Muhlenberg, Charles Carroll and Jonathan Trumbull Sr. They are the nation's founding fathers, according to the Texas State Board of Education. In addition, Texas 11th-graders will learn all about how "missionaries moved the United States into the position of a world power."

Once Upon a Time: I once lived in a country where justice was a believable concept, where work was fairly rewarded, where the police responded to the citizenry, where there was a decent regard for the law and a decent social safety net for those who needed help, and where a decent retirement was part of the social contract. My grandchildren think I'm making this up.

1 comment:

TulsaTime said...

THat old Buffet feller lost his reputation with me after he bailed out Goldman last time around. Having the most money is usually a temporary condition, and this may just be the hole to prove it. Then he can go back to Margaritta-ville and be broke like the rest of us.