Saturday, July 26, 2008

SAR #8208

It is neither moral nor sane to believe that any government
should have the power to put people in cages for life.

Dominoes: At their weekly Friday night after work get-together the guys at FDIC stopped by First National Bank Holding Company in Scottsdale, AZ and closed all 28 branches of 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank, in Nevada, Arizona and California. In an act of generosity, they gave all depositors, including those with funds over the FDIC insured limits all of their money back.

Just Maybe, Or Maybe Just: If oil has dropped to the low $120's because the bloom is off the speculators, well that's probably okay. But if rapidly declining demand caused the fall, a lot of other things are going to fall a lot harder.

The Damage That We Do: US driven globalization via US dominated WTO trade rules to allow subsidized US farm surpluses to force native farmers in impoverished countries to become part of the problem. But the bigger problem is greed and the law of unintended consequences - another way of saying "we didn't think this one through" - that's part of the problem. Letting them eat dirt is not part of the solution. Or shouldn't be.

You Say Tomahto... The Food and Dodge Administration has narrowed the culprit in the nationwide salmonella outbreak to that type of tomato generally known as the jalapeño.

Repeat After Me: “The projections in the Outer Continental Shelf access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.” Energy Outlook 2007, U.S. Energy Information Agency.

Less Is More: Oddly enough, the rising price of food will lead to increased obesity. As fuel becomes more expensive, growing and delivering healthy food will become ever more expensive, while 'food products' crammed with corn sweeteners and such will remain relatively cheaply available. Thus the poor will be forced to eat cheaper and less nutritious calories.

Getting Rich As The US Goes Broke: A trillion dollar US budgetary deficit is not only possible, but arguable possible. Run to 'other' currencies, short the dollar, don't sleep at night. Even it it works, it'll seem sinful.

One Explanation: In the scramble to blame speculators for $140 oil and to blame speculators for $120 oil, a simple point is being missed: It is pretty clear that while we can limp by at $120 and maybe survive $130 oil, an awful lot of things simply don't work at $140. And when those things start shutting down, the price of oil goes down. And pretty soon we'll cycle through that process again. And again. It's called demand destruction.

The Other Shoe: Leonard Pitts Jr., one of the more thoughtful columnists writing today asks: "You Think Slavery Ended in 1865?" Go read.

Folly By Golly: There is no good reason to attack Iran and every good reason not to do so. So, will they? Quite possibly. Why? Because they can. That may be the best explanation.

Mark To Myth: The National Australia Bank has marked nearly a billion dollars worth of AAA super and senior "strips" at 10 cents on the dollar. Is NAB being over-cautious or simply realistic? Better hope they are a bunch of nervous Nellies, because a similar truth-telling markdown by a couple of big US institutions would end the good times.

Porn O'Graph: Banking on the good times.

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