Sunday, December 23, 2007

SAR #7358B

If you believe the Fed is looking out for you,

you believe in Santa Claus.

~ Rep. Barney Frank

Compassion: Bush, fresh from kicking kids off of the CHIPS children's health program, has now cut $700 million a year in Medicaid reimbursements to schools for things like speech programs and physical therapy sessions. Transferring those costs to school districts is the same as ending them, for schools do not have the resources to afford them.

Me Too ! Saudi Arabia is entering the Sovereign Fund business with an initial investment of over $1 trillion. Ah, finally getting around to Ed Dirkson's "real money."

Upmanship: Goldman Sachs last week estimated mortgage losses of $500 billion. Now Barclays estimates the credit debacle "may make 1929 look like a walk in the park," with losses in excess of $700 billion, plus a further $200 billion in defaults on commercial property. Plus growing losses on credit card defaults. A $1+ trillion mortgage loss is possible if the middle class walks away from negative equity mortgages. The S&L crisis was only $160B.

Double Nought ! Fella called James Geffen is on trial in NY for using $78 million to bribe senior officials in Kazakhstan to let the US exploit their oil and gas resources. Admits he did it, says he did so as an agent of the CIA. I believe him. Cheaper than invading Iraq.

Once More, With Fleecing: In the late 1990's we experienced one of the most powerful popular delusions in financial history: that the average person could sit in front of a screen and get rich by day-trading. Popular Capitalism, an oxymoron. The end came swiftly and painfully; $7.1 trillion of stock market wealth evaporated. People went from flipping stocks to flipping houses. Stock margin was replaced with no-money-down liar loans. It took only 6 years to go from one bubble pop to the next. Pick a number, any number.

Yellow Pages: J Walter Thompson advertising agency has a $750,000,000 contract for Marine Corps advertising through 2012. At 38,000 recruits a year it works out to about $5,000 for each. More efficient to just offer them the money, direct.

Ready: 1 2 3 Everyone is watching and waiting for everyone else to move. The unspoken universal thought is this: "If it were really so serious, surely someone would do something?" To prevent runaway climate change, we must cut almost all of the world's current emissions - cars and power plants. No electricity, no mobility. Never happen voluntarily.

Memory Lane: I can remember when the Republicans were a political party, not a business.

Nothing Up My Sleeve: Don't believe the Wall Street touts claiming the emerging markets have "decoupled" from the US economy and their growth will lead the world forward without the American consumer. Hogwash. From whence did their trade surpluses come? Take $800 billion of easy spending home equity refinancing away from the American consumer and you're going to see a lot of lost sales by China.

My Plan: Is it possible that an administration that could not helicopter bottled water to desperate people trapped New Orleans in 2005 can stop the coming recession? Their plan seems to be to postpone the mess as far as possible into the future. Mid-March, the way their plans have worked out so far.

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