Monday, January 12, 2009

SAR #9012

Things that can't happen, are about to. - Mish

Seasoning: According to the Bureau of Lying Statistics, jobless claims dropped to 467,000 initial claims last week, seasonally adjusted. The actual number was 726,420 and continuing claims reached 5,316,124. Take a pinch of salt with the 'seasonal' adjustments.

Head of the Class: The number-one desire of people responding to Obama's "Open for Questions" webpage is that a Special Prosecutor (named Fitzgerald, preferably) be appointed to investigate the crimes of the Bush Administration, - including torture and warrantless wiretapping.

Seriously: By February, Saudi Arabia will lower its output to 7.7 million barrels a day, 300,000 barrels below the 8mbd target set by OPEC. This has nothing to do with the Israel's invasion of Gaza nor with peak oil. The Saudis said so.

TARP Tap: First Bush said he'd leave the second half of the tarp $700 billion for Obama to distribute. Then Obama said some of it should go to the people, not Wall Street. Now Bush is planning on asking Congress for the money, vetoing their denial and letting Paulson have one last potlatch.

Changing Paradigm: Given that there are too many of us using too much of the earth's declining resources, What's the plan?

Manifests' Destiny: Last fall the Congress approved the sale of 1,000 bunker-buster missiles to Israel. They began arriving in Israel in early Decemer and in Gaza this month. Now the US is shipping 3,000 tons of ammunition to Israel later this month - 325 standard 20 foot containers. They'll be delivered this month, too.

BoogeyMan: There is no monster under the bed and Social Security is not going away.

Speeding Bullet: Production from Mexico's Cantarell, the world’s third-largest oilfield, fell 33% in the last year after falling 21% the previous year. In the early 2000's Cantarell pumped 2 mbd. It is now down to 860,000 barrels a day. Mexico's net exports were 1.9 mbd in 2004 and will be 750,000 barrels a day in 2009. And about zero in 2012.

Inquiring Mind: It's reasonably easy to make my kids tell me what they want $100 for - and to have them show me the sneakers, too. It's even easier to read the credit card statement and see where the real money went. How is this different than accounting for $350 billion in TARP funds?

Strains: Fisherman are blockading an oil terminal in Mexico, workers are demanding the government provide electricity to restart 500 factories in Nepal, 800 schools in Kyrgyzstan are closed because there is no electricity to heat them, fuel shortages have forced a resumption of "load shedding" in Uganda , and Bulgaria - among others - is shivering for lack of natural gas from Russia.

Pick a Number, Any Number: Candidate Obama was going to create a million jobs. Last week his economic stimulus would produce 2.5 million jobs. Now the same plan - with businesses siphoning off a big chunk of the money - will "save and create" 4.1 million jobs in a couple of years. Meanwhile, the country lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, over 1.5 million jobs in the last three months and real unemployment rate is about 15%.

What Heat? Scientists keep refining how certain they are (90% or more) that very bad things are going to happen to the environment. The rest of us keep ignoring them.

The Devil Made Me... The reason Citibank is backing Sen. Durban's proposal to let bankruptcy judges 'cram down' mortgage principals is that (1) the number of cases that the courts can handle is very small and (2) a judge's order will keep investors in bad mortgage backed securities from coming after Citi for their pound of flesh.

Anarchy Anyone? Large areas of Mexico are expected to soon slip into anarchy as the level of drug violence increases and the government's budge dwindles with Cantarell's output. In anticipation, the US is preparing to use "military law enforcement" to contain the bloodshed to the south side of the Rio Grande. Posse Passé Comitatus, for sure.

Porn O'Graph: Unemployments sadististics. (Note: SGS = Shadow Government Statistics)


Anonymous said...

Regarding "TARP Tap", didn't Obama ask Bush to request the money from Congress so it's available when he takes office? If that's the case, then Paulson shouldn't touch it.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

CC - If you are correct and BHO did ask Bush to order in the money so it would be sitting on the front stoop when he gets there I don't get to use the 'Paulson's potlatch' comment.

Anonymous said...

On Senator Durbin's "cramdowns":

Well, hey, weren't Senator's getting sweet mortgage deals from Countrywide and others? Hey, didn't Gorilla Mozillo have a special line for these Influential People to call to get special treatment?

Well, as the Judge or Magistrate Judge looking at that Mortgage, might not the phone be ringing from some Influential Person asking for a cramdown on that Mortgage for a friend?

Might not friends of the Influential People now be putting themselves in position for a future cramdown decision?

After all are not all Federal Judges who control the Federal Courts where these cramdown decisions will be made political appointees? And haven't all Federal Institutions which have been involved in FIRE economy been tainted by Influence? So what will be different with cramdowns?

Looks like more FIRE economy to me:

We'll here all about it X years from now and then just "move on".

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The strangest thing about the TARP plan (and the rest of the FED and Treasury giveaways, investments, swaps, underwriting, guarantees etc.) is the absolute docility of the American people. Certainly Bush's administration made it pretty clear 'the people' are not considered when decisions are made, but that's been true since Vietnam and long before.

Still, in the old days they did more than bitch under their collective breath. But then, the US used to permit some limited freedom of speech and assembly.

It's become all looters all the time and doesn't seem to be changing.
- ckm

Anonymous said...

Regarding "Pick a Number," what does anyone really expect of an incoming's not like he's gonna say, "Folks, I may talk like I have plans,but the truth is I'm scared silly and I'm and deeply pessimistic that we'll get out of this any time soon."

Anonymous said...

I live across the border from Tijuana and my mom lives across the border from Juarez. Between the hellishly long waits to cross the border, thanks to the patriot act, and the extreme violence down there, these cities are buckling under the loss of one of their primary income sources (tourism). Not long ago I was talking with a Mexican orphanage director who said that where they used to receive children because the parents couldn't feed them now they receive them because their parents have become crack addicts. (And the orphanages are rapidly becoming overwhelmed.) All in all, revolution might not be that far down the road for Mexico.