Thursday, December 31, 2009

SAR #9365

Recoveries aren't what they used to be.

Over/Under:   We will eventually learn that the US war in Yemen started some time ago. The US and Yemen are now looking for targets in Yemen for air/cruise missile strikes in retaliation for the botched attack on an airliner that al Qaeda in Yemen foolishly claims credit for. There are thought to be as many as 300 al-Qaeda fighters in the country. The morning line is $300 billion and 4 years. Place your bets.

Too Big To Flail:   The banking reform bill ensures that the next time around the Fed will hand out as much as $4 trillion to failed banks. That's twice what they got this time around, so you know they'll stop taking stupid risks...

If, Then:   Would you buy a GM car? A Pontiac? One that was no longer being produced? What about a Saturn? What if they knocked $7,000 off the price? This is part of their plan to make the cars they still produce profitable. So they say. They'll make it up on decreased volume, later on.

Haze:   Back on 9/11, didn't you wonder where the hell the SAC intercept fighters were – those that had stood ready to intercept and shoot down Badgers and Bears for all those years? Now do you wonder, just a bit, how once again our massive, costly, intrusive security apparatus fails to stop a known(?) terrorist from getting a visa and boarding an airplane headed into the US, don't you wonder just a bit if all this incompetence isn't pretty convenient for extending the security state even further into our lives? Fear, that's what they're feeding us. And for a reason.

Pithy, Pithy:   “To preserve the balance [with the US] we must develop offensive weapons systems, not missile defense systems as the United States is doing.” That's Putin, being his shy, inscrutable self.

Pulling the Sled:   Most of us are looking for a rescue, not a solution.

Tag, You're It:   For over 20 years NSA, the Feds, Local Police and Barney Fife have been able to listening on your secure mobile phone conversations. Now, the encryption algorithm used all those years – A5/1 – has been deciphered and published. Electronics experts say it will only be a matter of time, a short time, before the 14 year old kid on your block will be listening in. The phone companies say this is not true, that the breaking of the code is not a serious thing and that the person who did it should be sent to Guantanamo.

Bruce Williski:   Russian scientists are planning now to save the world from a catastrophic collision with a giant asteroid 26 years from now. Pixar will do the animations.

Shortfall:   In both FY2010 and FY2011 Social Security tax receipts will be below outlays, by about $10 billion each year. Means a few things: (1) Congress can no longer steal from the Social Security fund. (2) The Treasury will have to start paying back some of the money 'borrowed' from the fund in years gone by. (3) The Treasury is already broke. (4) Taxes will go up, probably by raising the amount of income taxed. (5) Soon, outlays will have to be controlled, probably though means-testing. Ha. And you thought passing a health care bill was difficult.

Plasticity:   Bank of America “gave a lot of cards out to our customers." And the customers used the cards. But they aren't paying them back very promptly, if at all, with a 13% default rate and $4.5 billion in losses for BofA's credit card division. Industry-wide, cardholders repay less than 17% of their outstanding principal each month.

Power-Down:  Setting an energy-saving example for the rest of the world to follow, Nepal has decreed 51 hours a week as “electricity free”, and next month may make it 12 hours a day, not necessarily consecutively. The blackouts are due to decreasing flow in the rivers used for generating power.

Cheers!   HSBC Group Chair Stephen Green sees people and governments are now paying the price for the damage the bankers have done, and will be paying off these mountains of debt for years to come. Unemployment will continue to rise in many countries. The new world order is underway, and it speaks Chinese.

Porn O'Graph:   Deficits don't matter, Ronnie told us so.


Demetrius said...

Happy New Year.

It isn't going to get any better. The Market Oracle on 25 December (the right sort of day for pessimistic predictions) reckons on food prices doubling or tripling. So if the proportion of income needed for food reverts to pre 1960 levels what happens?

Anonymous said...

Tag, You're It: ....

If all US communications are subject to intercept, then how can criminals do bizness? Maybe a lot of the Contraction is due to wiretapping and other obstacles that prevent the usual "deals" from being done. Experience in other totalatarian societies has shown that as surveillance increases, economic activity declines. See STASI. Wall Street Rainmakers must be extremely wary in their use of these communications systems.

OSR said...

The Kleptocracy must be absolutely confident in their assessment of the stupidity of the American public. Otherwise, Ron Paul would have perished in a fiery plane wreck years ago.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to the lot of you. Bound to be no worse than it was. Traveling, be back at the weekend.

TomOfTheNorth said...

Re: 'Haze' & The Fear of Attack.
You may be correct in that 'THEY' seek to instill fear as a tool of control. However at this late date and particularly with regard to the inadvertently foiled NWA bomb plot, 'THEY'RE' more likely conveying total incompetence. The continuing inability to enforce the most casual barriers to illegal entry into this country has likely convinced the electorate that we probably need some new 'Change We Can Believe In'. Obviously most folks are focused on economic issues. That will quickly reorient should something blow up.....

Best wishes to all for the New Year!

Here's to better days...

fajensen said...

Tag, You're It:

All telecoms equipment sold in the last 15 years (probably more), has an inbuilt "Lawful Interception Interface" where traffic is available unencrypted to "the proper authorities". Now, with "IP everything", thats pretty much the archiving of everything we do or say that will be archived for up to seven years (by Law, here in the EUSSR - in case the law is changed retroactively I suspect).

So the news is, basically, that "We", with great effort, can now do a tiny little bit of what "They" have been taking vast amounts of our money for doing all the time.