Saturday, September 17, 2011

SAR #11258

Would it help if we kept a list?

Reversal:The White House says that all those who thought they heard Obama say he would make changes to Social Security should have their hearing checked. The administration's suggestions to congress “will not include any changes to Social Security.” It will however, “include tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid”. Unless, of course, it doesn't.

Hints: A key official at China's central bank says “The incremental parts of our of our foreign reserve holdings should be invested in physical assets." Just for the record, US Treasury bonds are not “physical assets”. What's he have in mind? “We would like to buy stakes in Boeing, Intel, and Apple” And congressmen, they're always a good investment – ask Wall Street.

Poor Showing: A tad over 15% of Americans live in poverty, and 22% of US children live below the poverty line. You remember children, the ones that weren't going to be left behind?

Me Too, Or Ten: Citigroup, joining a growing number of banks looking for ways to suck more money out of their customers, will now charge $10 a month for accounts with less than a $1,500 minimum balance. Take X as the number of accounts at Citi – say a million or so, just to keep the math simple. That's $1.5 billion bucks that Citi gets to use for free, for every million customers... unless you chose to pay them to keep your funds at their fine institution.

Hoarders: Here's why unemployment is high and job formation low: non-financial US companies are sitting on over $2 trillion in cash that they can't find any good use for. They don't need new factories – there's no unmet demand for their stuff. They don't need more production, they certainly don't need more workers. Soon they will begin to feed on themselves.

Pros, Conning: The Democrats are accusing the Republicans of taking advantage of unfairly rigging presidential elections closer to a direct popular vote by - in Pennsylvania, as an example for other states under GOP control – by changing the apportionment of electoral college votes to gerrymandered Congressional districts, instead of winner-take-all for the state.

Smoking Gun: Scientists have now proven that 'Gulf War syndrome' – which affects about 25% of Gulf War veterans- is the result of brain damage due to exposure to sarin nerve gas. The reports do not suggest whose sarin was the culprit.

Porn O'Graph: Engulfed and devoured.


Demetrius said...

GWS, so to do with neurology and the particular chemistry of the body. Well yes. It was always going to be hard to find, it is a pity that the governments involved, notably our UK one, were so reluctant to really look for the causes.

Degringolade said...

Hello: Been a while since I checked in, just thought that I would take a moment to point out that $10.00/month for one million account is 120 million a year. 1.5 billion is a tad rich, unless you count them being able to turn out that many loans with that amount of capital.

Reading the original article about the Sarin link....Hmmmm...I strongly support treating the troops, but I can't really say that the data presented in the article proved anything.

Anyway, just a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate your hard work and excellent posts.

All the best

CKMichaelson said...

Ah, I see I have been unclear. It wasn't the fees I was speaking of - although $120 a year on let's say a $1,200 balance is a 10% annual fee. And if you are poor and can only keep $600 bucks tied up, that's a 20% fee and pretty free money for the bank. But what I had in mind were the millions - Citi does have millions of accounts, right? - of accounts which will keep a minimum of $1,500 in the bank. And each account that leaves $1,500 sitting around avoiding the account fee, lets Citi use that money, free. And for each million such accounts - and Citi mush have multiple millions of such accounts - Citi gets to use the money free, which is $1.5 billion per - knowing the marks are going to keep the money there to avoid the fee.

What would you rather have, $120 a year in fees, or $1,500 in perpetuity to play with, with the chance to charge them $120 a year if you get tired of letting them play with your money.

CKMichaelson said...

On the sarin item - I find it interesting that so many troops show signs of sarin poisoning. I would have thought that the US would have been able to detect Saddam's massive use of nerve agent and would have publicized it. On the pother hand, if it was US & friends using the sarin, I would have thought they'd have been a tad more careful...


Degringolade said...

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

Yup, the banks are vermin. That much is agreed, but how to quantify scumminess?

Perhaps those artists over at South Park may have a starting point for everyone.

I apologize for the crudity, but when one is speaking of banks and their ilk, it is difficult to do otherwise.

kwark said...

RE "Me Too, Or Ten:" Isn't it the nature of fractional reserve banking that your friendly bank has always gotten to use your deposits? So any fee they establish on minimum balances is icing on the cake over and above the amount they make after leveraging the increment of your depost by 10 or maybe 50. Isn't it really just about extracting MORE money from the customer to cover all the failed bets they've made in the over leveraged games they play?

Drewbert said...

Well it is also the bank trying to encourage people to keep more money in their checking account. Get the customers into the "$1,500 is the new $0 to avoid the fee"

This has a way of helping to recapitalize the bank... if only just a little bit.

The fees for accounts with less than $1,500 also help recapitalize the bank too.

CKMichaelson said...

All in all, a capital idea.


I'm Not POTUS said...

Did anyone try to find out if the "biological antidote" all the troops were forced to take and sign a waiver against claims of harm actually did some harm to them.

Is there a statistical disparity in the ratio of GWS cases compared to soldiers form other nations who participated in combat but were not injected?

CKMichaelson said...

Perhaps Demetrius could shed some light on the British contingent...