Monday, April 14, 2008

SAR #8106

The difference between an optimist and a pessimistis that the pessimist is usually better informed.
Claire Booth Luce

Previews: This week the banks again do their laundry in public. Citigroup will write off another $10 billion. Merrill about $5 billion. Germany's Deutsche Bank is looking to dump $55 billion. Deutsche Bank's toxic leveraged loans exceed their shareholders total equity.

Examination: The Army is upset that soldiers who joined in order to take advantage of the education benefit incentive to join the Army leave the Army as soon as they have qualified to take advantage of the education benefit that was the incentive for them to join the Army. Somebody certainly needs a tad more education.

Rat Race: Doctors are always saying "Exercise more... " Well, not if you are mouse. Prostate tumors grow more quickly in mice who exercise. Print this out and put it in your wallet, just in case.

Distinct Difference: Wachovia, the nations 5th largest bank just got a $7 billion "infusion" from "investors". They raised over $8.5 billion two months ago; that's already gone. The investors got a 15% discount on Wachovia stock. If it sounds more like Wachovia is paying 15% interest on a loan, you don't understand the difference between an "infusion" and a loan shark.

Co-eds: Boys and girls may learn differently, but both boys and girls do "markedly" better scholastically in mixed classrooms at all grade levels. Classrooms with 55% females also improves the boys' behavior, math and science scores. Beats homework.

Foresight: Merrill Lynch does not plan to raise more capital right now. "We deliberately raised more capital than we lost last year." CEO John Thain said. That's a good plan, John. We're proud of you.

This Just In: A 40 year study of 1,500 women documented that those who drank wine regularly were considerably less likely to suffer from dementia. I hope my scotch study turns out as well.

Prodigal Son: Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan gets beaten up regularly these days for his part in the housing bubble. Fair enough. But in his book he admits he knew that Iraq was about oil, that Bush's taxes were disastrous, that Republinomics was a sham, and that he kept his mouth shut to keep his job. He joins a long list of administration whores.

Apocalypse Now : Basic access to food is slipping out of reach of people in developing poor, forgotten countries. The cost of rice has risen 75% in two months; the price of wheat doubled. Desperation has turned deadly in a dozen countries. The situation is desperate. Countries that can produce food now desperately need to produce more. Yet Americans would rather feed SUVs than human beings.

Picture Porn: US banks' net borrowings make an ever girmer picture. The vertical lines on the far right of the chart are part of the data. The chart is here.

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