Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SAR #13156

The revolution is over, and Gordon Gekko won.

Fog Of Revolution: It is become clear that the nerve gas sarin has been used in the conflict in Syria. What isn't clear is which side, if not both, used it. The brutality continues to escalate, with child soldiers dying regularly, non-combatants targeted, and now Shia from Iraq are joining to fight with the Syrian government forces.

Incompetence: Evidence suggests that the IRS persecution of right wing groups was so poorly supervised that at least 75% of the political groups singled out for special attention were not opposed to Obama. Even Senator Graham (R-SC) admits “there is no evidence that the White House directed the IRS to target conservatives.” Typical democrats, they can't even organize a fake conspiracy.

GI Bill's Benefits: The Joint Chiefs trooped up to Capitol Hill to claim that - contrary to available evidence - they should be left to address the epidemic of sexual assault in the military with "reasonable recommendations" that would leave commanders the ability to continue to pervert justice. They maintain that any change in their ability to consider a rapists service record when letting them off lightly would undermine their authority —a view shared by Sen. Inhofe (Denialist-OK) who thinks women don't belong in the military except as camp followers anyway. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) believes that the “hormone level created by nature” was to blame for rapes and thus male soldiers are only doing what comes naturally.

Question: If the recession ended four years ago, what's going on now?

Chrysler Imperial: Chrysler has refused to comply with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request that it recall 2.7 million 2002 – 2007 Jeeps because it does not believe the fuel systems are defective even tho they occasionally burst into flames after rear-end collisions. Their risk management estimates suggest paying a few lawsuits would cost less than actually fixing the problem.

Headlines: A member of SEAL Team 6 has 'come out' as a transgendered ‘Warrior Princess’. In Colorado a bull moose fell has been caught making indecent advances on a – very realistic - statue of a bull moose. 

Judgment Day: The House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice approved a nationwide ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The vote was 6 to 4, the six being Republican males. Never mind that it is blatantly unconstitutional under Row v Wade and every similar law has been overturned in the courts. These are Republicans and they believe the Constitution means whatever they want it to.

A Pinch or Two of Salt: When you read that the housing market is recovering, keep in mind that the 'recovery' is greatly the result of speculators fat on QE gobbling up thousands of houses in the hopes of making a profit by renting them out and then making a killing by selling them once they've bought enough to drive the prices up. Ordinary folks are not allowed to bid on the tens of thousands of houses being sold off by the government. The GSE's will sell off 20,000 houses in June alone. In some of the most depressed markets these bulk sales are  enough to drive up prices and give the appearance of a revival. Blackstone , for example, owns 26,000, Colony Capital has 10,000 and so on. The investors are required to rent the properties for a period of time, to prevent immediate flipping and flooding of the market. It's the GSE's way of washing their hands and their consciences at the same time. So now it is not only banks and servicers who are keeping homes off the market to keep from depressing prices, these speculative investors are contributing to the illusion of tight inventories by either renting them out or – nearly as often – letting them sit empty, in hopes of driving up prices. This strategy is not looking like it will be a winner. The consumer is not back, the nightmare is not over. And the most recent economic data suggests more problems ahead, not sunshine. We’ve been here before.

The Parting Shot:



Matte Gray said...

Regarding those headlines: I think gay moose sex is still illegal in all 50 states.

Anonymous said...


I remember reading in an academic business journal back in the 80s about this phenomenon, that is calculating how much $$$ damage a defect might cause if not remedied as opposed to actually fixing the defect. The article even discussed mortality rates in some cases. The whole risk management analysis was called The Lemon Equation.

I believe these criminals have moved way forward in these matters since the 80s. I would think by now they use legal risk software to determine the likelihood of being prosecuted for a given crime. There are probably companies acting as should-you-commit-the-crime consultants.

Anonymous said...

I know a retired successful car dealer. He says recalls are good as they bring people back into the dealership, giving you a chance to reestablish their business...

How many Ralph Nadar wannabees are scanning the news for the first wreck where the defect might be their ticket to big bucks?