Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SAR 11304

Every bubble meets its pin.

Constitutional: If you believe that increasing volatility as the market swings between greed and fear presages a market crash, you might want to stay in bed for a while longer.

Enlightened Self Interest: Forgotten in all the rushed top-level secret talks has been one simple stumbling block to all their grandiose plans... the choice, at end of day, is up to the Greek citizenry and they are feed up and are not going to take it any more. Papandreau has decided to let the people have their say via the ballot instead of via the riot. Will they chose to be destituted to the greater glory of French and German bankers, or will they chose to be free in their penury?

Direct Quote: "... our blacks are better than their blacks." Ann Coulter, GOP something-or-other. skinny female who smugly makes money saying outrageous things.

A Madoff Moment: MF Global was either to stupid, or too clever, to keep its money from commingling with its customers money. Either way, $700 million is missing – lost, strayed or stolen. Why are we no longer scandalized when those in the finance sector steal a billion dollars? Commingling is a felony; wanna take bets on prosecution? How far do you trust the greedy bastards, er... morally impaired .. people handling your funds?

The Center Cannot Hold: Today's best in doomsterism comes from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who sees a distinct risk of civil unrest and domestic terrorism if Italy undertakes the rapid descent into austerity that the EU is demanding. He fears that “anarchy is loosed upon the world...

Us vs Them: The inequality issue is not college graduates versus non-graduates. Income is not flowing to the broad class of college-educated knowledge workers. Yes, they've got jobs and yes they make a bit more than the others with jobs, but the real increase in income has not gone to them. It has not even gone to the top 10%. And #Occupy is wrong, too. The greater part of the money has gone not to the 1% but to the 0.01%. Can you spell 'oligarchy'?

TMI: “Woman Won't Be Charged for Posing Nude Inside Horse Carcass”

Amendment: While great stretches of the world are going swiftly downhill and a large number of its own citizens are unemployed, the US House has scheduled a vote to 'reaffirm' In God We Trust as the US official motto. An attempt to change it to In Goldman Sachs... was withdrawn. No one suggested it should read "In one or more gods some of us trust." Well, I did, but...

Be Prepared: Chick-fil-A, a religious Christian fast-food chain known for its piety in being closed on Sundays, gave nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2009. Go ahead, eat more chicken - just do it somewhere else.

Black & White: Let's try to explain it this way: Is Social Security a) a self-funding program, or b) part of the federal budget. If a) then in years when the fund runs a surplus it puts the extra money in a trust fund that is invested in US Treasury bonds. Years when it runs a deficit it cashes in some of those Treasury bonds to make up the difference. It has several trillion dollars in the trust fund (or to put it another way, it holds several trillion dollars worth of US Treasury bonds). It has enough, in fact, to keep paying 100% of its pensions for about 35 years – and projecting beyond 35 years seems a pretty iffy proposition. On the other hand, if it is only a line item in the federal budget, then it has no shortages nor overages, no surpluses or deficits – no more than the Defense Department has an annual shortfall or surplus. But you cannot have it both ways, not even if you are a Republican.

Remembrance: A 9-foot tall statue of Ronald Reagan, one-time actor, propagandist and Republican president, has been plopped down in front of Washington National Airport. Why?

Porn O'Graph: Seems like old times.


Anonymous said...

If private individuals were the beneficiaries of fraudulent comingling of funds, the Govt. would claw that shif back in a minute.

Why does it seem that the financial counterparties that received these ill-gotten margin calls are going to get to keep the cash?

kwark said...

Anonymous - Well, because no one has stopped them for years and any "enforcement" in the foreseeable future will likely be of the sort accomplished by angry mobs.

Re "Black and White" Actually CKM, the Republicans have had it both ways for years (on many subjects). Whatever position fits the argument of the moment - the public rarely remembers anyway.

CKMichaelson said...

Best laugh I had yesterday came when my wife asked me if anyone would go to jail for this.

On the wider view, kwark is right on about both the flexibility of the politicians and the forgetfulness of the voters. (It is not only the GOP who take all sides of the issue, or say one thing to get elected and another once they are, or give legislation Orwellian titles...).

But lordy, I get so tired of lies about Social Security - although I don't know why that particular set bothers me more than the other lies we're told on a daily basis.