Monday, May 19, 2008

SAR #8140

Financial numbers seem to come out of
rabbit-filled hats.

Peace In Our Time: On Sunday, Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann said "I believe we are getting closer to the end of the financial crisis."

von Clausewitz: Oil will soon be the central theme of politics. We have reached the point where there simply isn't enough to go around and the only way to stay in power is to promise to get 'more'. Instead of promoting ways to adapt to having less oil, politicians will run on some variant of " Arabs have lots of oil and they are bad people."

Co-Conspirator: In areas where house prices are plummeting, Fannie Mae will no longer require down payments. Wouldn't want the new suckers to have negative equity before they get the locks changed. This is a Good Idea because Fannie Mae has changed its computer model to predict fewer defaults. No, no; they really said that.

Rhetorical Question: Johann Hari, in The Independent, asks "Are There Just Too Many People in the World?"

Only The Guilty: The folks at Internal Security want to use the far-reaching abilities of military satellites and 'other monitoring technology' to gather data on Americans and to then share that data with the local cops. Chertoff assures that the information will only be used to ensnare lawbreakers and conspirators.

California Humor: A proposal to ration water to customers, including two oil refineries, in San Francisco's East Bay, as a 'temporary measure' to remain in force only until the problem, which was caused by the lack of rain for the two previous winters, is cured by next winter's rains. The system's name: "East Bay MUD".

The Big Un-Easy : Nearly half the oil industry's experienced staff is nearing retirement. With them go irreplaceable knowledge, experience and skills. Replacement petroleum engineers, petro-geologists and roughnecks have not been identified, much less trained. Maybe Army recruiters could moonlight.

Psychic Bailouts : Now they want the taxpayer to bail out the Alt-A, subprime, pay-option householder because the loss of a house causes psychic trauma. Why not just issue them the same pamphlet on How To Live In A Cardboard Box we give veterans ?

Table of Contents: The ABX - Asset Backed Index, is the benchmark reflecting the value of mortgage-backed derivatives. It tracked ABS in series, by date of issue. The 08-1 ABX was scheduled for January 2008, but not enough sub-prime mortgages have been issued base a guess as to value on. The volume has dropped from billions a measly few hundred million - not enough to bother with.

Docked: A German studying graduate oceanography at MIT on a National Science Foundation grant has been told by Our Protectors that he can't work around ships and docks in the US because he poses a security threat. Five thousand such letters have gone out from Homeland Security. Sure don't want no over-educated German scientists working 'round here.

Costume Party: Turns out that General Petraeus' big cache of Iranian weapons weren't Iranian after all. Good thing, too. If Bush&Co. had even a scimitar with Farsi on it the war would be underway already.

Porn O'Graph: Banks borrow reserves.... big deal?

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