Monday, May 3, 2010

SAR #10123

Turns out Taleb's swan wasn't really black, just covered in oil.

How High Is Up?  $12.5 billion in clean-up and fines and lawsuits, plus a crash in BP stock, an off-shore drilling “pause”, unemployment along the Gulf Coast except for giving birds baths, plus a fishing ban, and then another downward leg in the collapse of the economy.

Rehearsal: A t least half of the Greeks have pledged to protest the IMF's austerity measures in the streets, and they're not waiting for them to be imposed.  Protest is a very flexible word.

Market Farces:  Wonder how many houses would be sold in the US, and at what price, if Fannie and Freddie didn't underwrite 96.5% of all mortgages and FHA insure most of them?  Close your eyes and try to imagine what would happen to the 'free market' in housing and banking without these artificial props.  For entities supposedly on a diet, they sure seem to be putting on weight.

Mission Creep:  The price tag on bailing out Greece has crept up to €135 billion.  Just yesterday it was €45, marked up from €25 last week. Don't get all excited, the first act's not over yet.

Tomato/Tomate:  All Arizona teachers will be frisked to see if they are carrying accents, especially those dreaded Spanish accents.  If you don't speak perfect Amerikun you can't teach in Arizona.

Prevention: Despite what you are going to hear on FOX and talk radio, Obama's socialist drilling program did not cause the oil spill.  And the right can't insist that the government let private enterprise solve all our problems and then turn around and insist that the government didn't clean up after the capitalists quickly enough.  Well, they can and will, but they shouldn't.

Ubiquity:  There are shocking revelations that the wealthy in Greece do not pay their share of the tax burden.  Why this is a shock, and why it is limited to Greece is a mystery.

One World:  “Bankers of the world, unite!”  The president of the European Central Bank wants to establish a central global regulatory agency to insure that the bankers can continue to rob the poor without interference from local governmental agencies.  The idea is worded to suggest that reining in the financiers is the goal, but we all know better than that.

Take-Home Quiz:  How long is 'long'?  If the question was 'How long can the Fed keep rates at zero?' the answer is  a) years,  b) until unemployment falls to 8%,  c) until the cows come home, or  d) all of the above.

Why Drill There?   The public has been misled into thinking that offshore drilling will lead to energy independence (it won't), cheaper fuel prices (it won't), or some sort of lessening of global warming (it won't).  What it will do is make oil companies richer and every now and then spread oil along the coastline and generating never-ending lawsuits.

Wishes/Curses:  Whichever party gets its wish and wins the British elections will have the satisfaction of being in power when it all goes to hell in a handbasket.  They will get the blame for the suffering to come and be a forgotten party for the next twenty years.   Same here.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:  The DOJ investigations into crimes at Goldman Sachs can easily slip out of control and incriminate some of those actually responsible.

Bell, Tolling:  Countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy have been living beyond their means for years, and masking the extent of their debts. Just like the U.S.  Now the fiat money ponzi scheme has collapsed and these countries face severe downward adjustments in wages, social services, lifestyle and government programs, with higher interest rates and significant increases in taxation.  Just like the U.S.  If you think this cannot happen here, think again.

A Thousand Words and More: Pictures.


rjs said...

re the take home quiz: rates will be kept at zero until the banks are recapitalized by an extended period of borrowing from the Fed at zero and lending back to the treasury at 2%...

Anonymous said...

One World:

Rotten, corrupt and coopted National Regulatory Agencies all failed but now one set of Global rotten, corrupt and coopted Regulatory Agencies will protect us. Even the New World Order doubters should now see the End Game.

One problem for these Gangsters will be to control the Underground Economy as the somewhat educated Masses figure out their ways to Game the Global System.

Anonymous said...

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

"The American courtroom is created by a legal aristocracy who will stop at nothing to keep money and power in the hands of a few "power-elite" control mongers. Much to my disappointment, at this stage in my legal career the eerie similarities between the runaway American courts and the fantasy holodeck can no longer be denied. This Divine Right of Kings is still alive and well, but hidden carefully within the bigger holodeck called America.

Although we have been indoctrinated by our government-run schools to blindly believe that justice is found in the courtroom, the American Court is what I call "Holodeck Law" where nothing is as it appears. A television commercial coined the phrase, "image is everything," and as long as the public is unaware that American "justice" is a mere image, the government hand will always be quicker than the public eye."

LIke Finance, Justice is a Fraud. It is the Department of Injustice. We are all now victims of this Injustice System, another indicator of a fascist regime.

K Ackermann said...

Jesus... there's no shortage of outrageous things to look at.

I may as well add another one...

The link below examines the official report of Iceland's banking system failure, and it turns out that the owners of the 3 largest banks in Iceland must have read Bill Black's book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.

It's important to remember that assets worth 7 times Iceland's GDP were vaporized, and the report has some very juicy references to behavior of the bank owners. 10 of Parliment's 63 members had been granted loans that range between 1 and 40 million euros.

Also, I have to admit that I raised my eyebrows when I found out a judge is releasing those pranksters in Michigan who were training to shoot police. It's not a case of double standards; it's just that white people are more trustworthy, and have purer hearts than... less white people.

Another also... it didn't take long find out there is a law that could limit the claims against BP. Don't worry, though; it only applies to damages awarded for loss of income and economic suffering. They will still have to pay for actually cleanup... for now.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

KA - Right you are, there's just too damned much going on: oil, floods, Greece, deficits, bailouts and thets and... the beat goes on and it is us they are beating on.


Dink said...

"The DOJ investigations into crimes at Goldman Sachs can easily slip out of control and incriminate some of those actually responsible."

An inadvertent oilspill of justice.

fajensen said...

In No Way will this blow up:

"ECB Comes to Greece’s Aid by Waiving Collateral Rules"

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank joined the international rescue of Greece, saying it would indefinitely accept the country’s debt as collateral regardless of its country’s credit rating, underpinning gains in the bond market.

AkA: Borrow at 2% in Frankfurt to buy 20% yields in Greece using the Greek "assets" as security will be an effective way to recapitalize our secret off-shore accounts!

For as long as it lasts - free money tends to be grabbed at an exponential rate; It's like when Norway decides to eliminate rats and pay money for dead critters: Rat-Farming becomes a productive investment (tis true).

So, If I were an international investment bank I would be grabbing Greek debt as fast as possible - and, if At All possible print more of it to loot while the ECB vault is open!!

And there is Spain, Ireland, Slovakia, Portugal, Latvia e.t.c.