Thursday, April 17, 2008

SAR #8109

Things that cannot go on forever, don’t.

Simple Math: 24 previously admitted + 9.5 current confession = $33.5 Billion. Or, $33,500,000,000.00 That's how much Merrill Lynch has lost in less than a year. These folks want to manage your investments, too.

Revisionist: The President has a new plan to curb US greenhouse gas emissions. The old plan was to hope they would go away. His new plan is to hope they go away by 2025 or that his buddies can get rich pretending it did. Or both.

A Rose By Any Other Name: Scents produced by flowers readily bond with pollutants and lose the aromas that attract pollinators. In the 19th century, a flower's scent could travel up to 4,000 feet. Today the range is less than 1,000 feet. It may still be called a rose; it no longer smells like one.

Equality: The world's wealthiest 200 individuals have more money than the poorest 2.5 billion combined. What would Jesus do?

All Over But The Shouting: JPMorgan/Chase says the credit crisis is over. That's why they're paying 7.9% interest to raise another $6 billion. What's your mortgage rate?

Conscience: How should a well-fed American react when some people are actually eating dirt? Shame, I suppose. Wouldn't it be refreshing if one of our Presidential wanna-be's would actually make this a campaign issue? But then we'd all switch to FOX and watch American Idol.

Auction Blocked: In California, 97% of foreclosures sent to auction are coming back unsold as lenders refuse to take the bids. And this is after they've knocked 21% off the previous loan.

6 or 12/2: Cars are getting better mileage, so we'll save on gasoline. But the less gasoline we buy, the less money there will be for road repairs. They'll have to double the tax on gasoline. So we'll spend the same on filling up. Some savings.

Takes One To Know One: Washington Mutual - no stranger to bad loans - is now forecasting credit card losses of 10% this year, double current levels.

Diplomatically: The US State Department is once again picking volunteers to be sentenced to the Zigurrat in Baghdad.

My Pet Goat: "Reading is Fundamental", the oldest and largest children's literacy organization in the US, tries to help schools with No Child Left Behind requirements. Bush's 2009 budget eliminates funding for the program.

FDIC : What does the FDIC have in common with the bond insurance folks? Neither can actually pay off on their guarantees. The FDIC has just $52 billion in reserves. The failure of a bank a only 10% the size of Bear Stearns would wipe out the FDIC. Mattress World is having a sale.

Best Guess: When do the wars start? The ones between the nations of the starving and the nations that refuse to export grains? Contest, usual prize. Winner must name all three: Attacker, Attacked, Month. Actual date will be used in case of a tie.

Reality Shows: There's only so much money. And unless there is an increase in the money supply, what goes up somewhere must push something else down. The prices of life's essentials - food, energy, healthcare - are rising. The prices of the things we are stuck with - houses, 401ks - are falling. Pull up a chair, this can go on for longer than you suspect.

All Over the Map: Exclusive Marco Island, Florida provides today real estate porno; take a look.

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