Sunday, April 27, 2008

SAR # 8119

In 1929 they defenestrated themselves out of shame.
Not this time, for they have no shame.

Louis Bryan

Piggy Bank: S&P does not view the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as "imminent", but you might want to start putting your loose change in a jar.

Now and Then: There are three reasons for the global rise in food prices/food shortages. The traditional: Climate change. Economics: China is exchanging its depreciating dollar reserves of US dollars for oil, rice and meat. Population is increasing, land isn't.

Friendly Skies: More match making in the airline world, now that Northwest is engaged to Delta. United has apparently asked both Continental and US Air to the prom and Continental doesn't want to dance. American can't make up its mind whether to date US Air or to go steady with Continental, who is being quite coy. Word is that United is not sure who the father is but really needs to get hitched. Ah, shotguns in the spring.

Two Plus Two: Oil has gone from $10 a barrel in 1998 to $120 today. Population is predicted grow from today's 6.5 billion to 8.3 billion in 2030. What will be the price of oil in 2030?

Terms of Endearment: Interest is the rent charged for the use of money. Beyond a certain base amount, the interest charged is based on how likely it is the debtor will actually pay back the loan. Federal Funds are at 2.25%. Bank of America, the nation's second largest bank, has to pay 8.125%. Merrill Lynch, third largest securities firm, has to pay 8.25%. And Citibank, the largest investment conglomerate, is paying 8.4%. I can get a 30 year mortgage for 6.125%.

One Damned Thing After Another: South Africa may be the poster child for the future: It is suffering from extreme shortages/outages of electricity. Now the fuel industry warns that crumbling oil pipelines and decrepit refineries are unable to reliably supply current, much less future needs. No electricity, no fuel, no food - no future.

Every Little Bit: In 2007, Countrywide CEO Mozilo was paid $10.8 million and gathered another $121 million in stock options while he led the company to a $704 million loss. He was also reimbursed $48,377 for his charitable contributions.

Global Politics for Dummies: Some nations, Group (A) use a lot of oil. Some nations have a lot of oil (Group B). Some of the Nations in Group A want to keep others in Group A from getting oil from those in Group B. The third group, C, has neither the oil nor the armies to get any and are not in the game. One nation is in both Group A and B and has a distinct advantage in this race.

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