Thursday, June 5, 2014

SAR #14155

"The meaning of modern existence has devolved to nothing more than comfort and status; discovery is a non-factor. All modern man seeks are food, sex, and comfort, and he/she devotes his/her life to nothing more than mundane things." Paul Rosenberg
Pre-Revisionism: And so it begins. After a unanimous chorus from the big banks assuring us that the disastrous first quarter GDP numbers were due to the weather and that the second quarter would see a phenomenal bounce back as pent up demand was unpent, they're all now backpedaling as quickly as possible. BofA dropped their 2Q2014 GDP growth guess from 4.1% to 3.6, Goldman's guess went from 3.8% to 3.4% and Credit Swiss chopped its confident 4.0% forecast to just 3.0%. The future's just not what it used to be. 
What's Not To Like? United Health, citing an immense jump in profits from the Obamacare bonanza, is increasing its quarterly dividend 35%.

Paper Moon: In a process that goes back to the Middle Ages, if I put a ton of whffle in a bonded warehouse and get a receipt for it, I can then use that receipt – maybe thousands of miles away – to secure a loan. It's still done with all sorts of commodities today, and it is called 'rehypothecation'. Funny thing; turns out that at least in one major Chinese port,, the aluminum and copper (and whiffle) represented by warehouse receipts doesn't seem to actually exist. Ooops. What happens to a trust-based system once the trust is gone? "At least the gold is still there." Right?
It's A Date: The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal to stop same-sex marriages in Oregon.

Analysis: The new EPA CO2 emission regulations mean that utility and coal mining lawyers have lesss than 15 years to find 30% more loopholes. What, you thought the Kochs were going to roll over and play dead?

A Play In Three Acts: First we read top secret documents released by Edward Snowden that say the NSA is collecting vast numbers of facial photos. Then the NSA chief says it is collecting only foreigners' faces. That is then re-stated to claim that the NSA may “inadvertently” collect American photos, but that its use of facial recognition software stays within legal guidelines. Note that that last one admits collecting the images, but pretends that it uses them only 'legally'.

Simpleton Math: In the last two years house prices have gone up 20%. Wages have not. After the 2008 housing collapse, more than 7.5 million homeowners lost their houses and even today, about 9 million are still underwater.

Datapoint: the US Census Bureau says that in 2012 (latest data available) 20% of all American kids were living in poverty. 
The Parting Shot: 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paper Moon

"American Express had recently created a new division that specialized in field warehousing, which made loans to businesses using inventories as collateral. American Express wrote De Angelis warehouse receipts for millions of pounds of vegetable oil, which he took to a broker and discounted the receipts for cash. This proved to be an easy way to get money, so De Angelis began falsifying warehouse receipts for vegetable oil he didn’t have.

American Express sent out inspectors to make sure that De Angelis had the vegetable oil that acted as collateral, but what they didn’t know is that many of the tanks were filled mostly with water with a minimum of oil floating on the top to fool the inspectors, or that some of the tanks were connected with pipes to other tanks so the oil could be transferred between tanks when the inspectors went from one tank to the other. "

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