Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SAR #8149

We face the most serious recession of our lifetime.
George Soros

Words Fail: A Save the Children report documents widespread sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeepers and official and NGO aid workers.

Insecurity: If house prices decline just 20% (and that's becoming the minimum guess) about 16 million mortgages will be underwater. That means 30% of all mortgaged houses in the US will have zero or negative equity. Some retirement plan.

Run Away, Run Away! Currency speculators are speculating that the decoupling of oil prices from the US dollar will cause the currencies of the Gulf States to soar and that of the United States to swoop.

Tube Socks: The US Army was ready to defend the Fulda Gap, not fight in downtown Baghdad. Even has the wrong bullets, still. Seems bullets are specialists and the Army is using 100 yard bullets in 30 foot situations. The Pentagon's solution is for the troops to aim better, not to change the whole supply routine just because the entire battlefield has changed.

Come As You Are: The world is dependent on cheap, abundant oil. Every critical system from transportation and agriculture, to housing patterns and defense rely completely on the continued availability of a substance that is not going to be nearly so available nor affordable. Ready or not.

Rats/Ship: Former Bush White House flack Scott McClellan now admits that he consistently lied from the Press Room podium. That's not the news, we already knew that. The news is he now wants to defend his acts by blaming Bush, Cheney, Rove and Libby for "misguiding" him.

Runnymede: An American citizen named Al-Marri has been held in a military brig for over six years. No trial. The President's lawyers continue to argue that in order to keep the citizens safe, the president must be able to incarcerate some of them indefinitely. Watch "A Man For All Seasons", then meditate on the basis for all constitutional freedoms, habeas corpus.

The Factor Factor: AIG figured its CDS-related losses would be about $900 million. Turned out to be $9.1 billion. What's a decimal place between friends?

No Waiting This Time: Everyone got all excited with the March decline in miles driven. Wait a couple of months and see what $4 gasoline will do. The last time 'miles driven' declined was 1979 and before that 1973. Gas lines then, credit lines now.

Vintage Year: The 2007 Subprime, Alt-A and Prime Jumbo mortgages are the worst ever. Delinquency rates are running as much as 400% of the 2006 crop at the same age. Stock up now, before they get more expensive to have!

Porn O'Graph: Monthly Mortgage Rate Resets: Oh, my.

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