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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This week's gimmick

The taxpayer bailout of the mortgage fiasco has begun. You wonder how many cutesy moves the Fed will try before they all stop working. Probably right about the time the African-American guy or the woman takes over the White House.

Comments (10)

The Times would never admit that the market move was more a reaction to Spitzer than to the Fed.

I don't think today's rally had ANYTHING to do with Spitzer, as evidenced by the fact that equity indexes were broadly lower the day the news broke.

The next day (today), the DJIA had it's biggest point gain in 5 years, despite no change in the Spitzer resolution (will he or won't he resign/get indicted).

I also wonder how any independent observer could expect the Fed to remain on the sidelines with the current meltdown in the credit markets.

Does it benefit the public to sit idly by while credit/liquidity is withheld from even the most credit worthy borrowers?

I agree with Mr Bog that the taxpaying public will get stuck with some stinky paper if the banks get to swap that debt for US Treasury debt.

However, the credit markets are getting frozen and pretty soon it would be pretty bad for any borrowing, so maybe this is impetus for banks to loosen up since cutting their costs of funds didn't do the trick.

The U.S. financial markets have been exposed as a huge house of cards now. The dollar is starting to look like the Brazilian cruzeiro. We just keep printing money and handing it out to clowns like Countrywide to squander. Cut taxes while fighting the most expensive war in history. "Stimulus payment" checks for everyone. $4 a gallon gas by Memorial Day. And three quarters left under Bush. Time to buy canned tuna and guns.

the DJIA had it's biggest point gain in 5 years

Yeah, which got us back to where we were last Thursday. The dream is over, friend -- time to wake up.

"The Times would never admit that the market move was more a reaction to Spitzer than to the Fed."

You're right, this had nothing to do with today's gains.

Bush #1 introduced the massive S&L bailout, not to be outdone chimpy will preside over the super-duper subprime bailout...good deal!

It feels like I am still looking for the center, or two edges and maybe I can settle for a point halfway in-between. But there is no edge or shape, only texture to it. Whatever 'it' is.

Point of information: In Eustace Mullins' 'Secrets of the Federal Reserve,' (at Modern History Project .ORG), is documented that Prescott Bush was given, owned, one (1) share in the Fed.Reserve, (Warburg, Morgan, Harrimans, others, owned 200 to 400 shares, etc.) So when Prescott died in 1972(?), (or '74, I get him and J. Edgar Hoover interchanged), did? could? son G.H.W.Bush inherit the 1 share? So, is a share in the Fed.Resrv. transferrable?

Anyway, here's an item with more an international perspective, (know wonder I can't find an edge -- the world is round), and simply, while I'm unsure what it is 'connected to,' or how, it is talking numbers that make the Fed's $200 Billion pale in the circumstances. (And Bush Mastermind has a featured role in the thick of it.)

Bush family private equity fund in deep trouble as Financial Tsunami rolls on, Global Research, March 10, 2008.

Carlyle Capital Corp. Ltd., a subsidiary of one of the most influential USA private equity funds and closely tied to the Bush family, is in default on several of its securities. ... Carlyle’s lenders have issued margin calls in excess of $400 million. ...

Because the securitization revolution was premised on the flawed illusion that by spreading risk throughout the global financial system, risk would disappear, once the weakest part began to collapse, confidence in the multi-trillion entire edifice of securitized debt began to collapse. The process unravels over time which is why most have the illusion of a localized crisis. In reality, centered in the US economic and financial sector, what is now underway is a crisis not even comparable to the 1930’s Great Depression. ...
Bond fund managers in New York and London tell us they have never seen such troubles in the municipal bond market before.

The market for floating rate or auction-rate municipal bonds in the US, once thought safe, entered crisis as losses tied to sub-prime mortgage bonds and related securities threatened so-called monoline bond insurers' AAA ratings, causing investors to avoid the bonds they had insured. The same monoline insurers, specialized New York financial security insurance companies, had insured sub-prime mortgage securities and municipal debt. The monoline companies guarantee about half the $2.6 trillion of outstanding state and local government debt, some $1.2 trillion. Higher interest rate costs for states and local governments will aggravate local US fiscal crises as the depression spreads, creating a self-reinforcing downward spiral. The process is in its early stages yet.

Bush(#1) Mastermind did his S&L-whatever, (Carlyle was deep in BCCI, too, mixed in with that bank's holdings of CIA drug-money revenues slush, and Saudi Royals' deposits ... but that's another story, go fish google), and the same MasterPastor 'presides' in whatever "super-duper subprime bailout" works out, now -- just saying, 'chimpy' ain't got nothing to do with nothing, totally a 'cut-out,' propped up front until it's time for him to take the fall into his scapegoat fate, (which I date about May 15, only a couple of months to go, as I 'premonitioned' in some thread before).

About the "canned tuna and guns" gotterdammerung!, some are saying 'goober peas and village people gusto.' That is, the oceans are fresh out of tuna for a while -- holy mackerel! -- and there ain't enough Fed.Resrv.Notes in a wheelbarrowful to buy a bullet. Fancy-schmancy words, but there's this:

Food to 2050, by Stuart Staniford, March 10, 2008.

This post continues an exercise I began a month or so ago of trying to figure out how civilization could be moved to a mostly sustainable footing by 2050, while still being recognizable as civilization, and in particular allowing some continued level of economic growth between now and then ....

... two very helpful UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports: World agriculture: towards 2015/2030, and the sequel World Agriculture: Towards 2030/2050. ...
Let's start with a look at what the FAO scenario has for average nutrition. This next graph shows both history and projections to 2050 for daily dietary energy (in Kilocalories/day/person) in various regions of the world, as well as the global average.

... by 2050, the world would need to be producing about 50% more food than it is today (by weight - somewhat more in terms of energy in crops, since the meat component grows more than 50%). This contrasts with roughly doubling the planetary food production over the last 40 years. However, it's still an awful lot of extra food to produce - the required absolute increase in food production is similar in size to what has been achieved in the last forty years.

Let's now consider a variety of potential bottlenecks to achieving this kind of increase in food production. One major area of concern (water) I will reserve for its own future piece, but I address the other big potential constraints ....

In a kind of 'door prize' bonus, off Jack's posted link to NYTimes 'Money Business,' there was a Top-Ten-Activity link to the following, the NYT's own pitiful entry in the reporting derby of "Where in the World's the Food?" (... and do they take a check, paper, or plastic ...?)

[Concatenate two lines for URL ]

The Food Chain -- A Global Need for Grain That Farms Can’t Fill, By DAVID STREITFELD, March 9, 2008

Wheat prices have doubled in the last six months. Corn is on a tear. Barley, sunflower seeds, canola and soybeans are all up sharply.

It might be getting to be time to revisit Salem's good ol' Capital Press (.COM)

"The dollar is starting to look like the Brazilian cruzeiro."

I hear you, but every time I hear the McCain/Hillary/Obama machines working, it is more promises of stuff the govt is going to give people and more cutting taxes talk. This does not bode well.

The folks running the show at federal level need to be straight with the American public that the ONLY way to avert financial catastrophe is to raise taxes and do some real spending cuts--across-the-board for the next 20 years. Simple.As.That. :)

Sorta some follow-up ...

Carlyle Expects Banks to Seize Assets, JOSEPH ALTMAN, March 13, 2008

NEW YORK — Carlyle Capital Corp. said it expects creditors to seize all of the fund's remaining assets after unsuccessful negotiations to prevent its liquidation, sending its shares plunging.

The Amsterdam-listed fund shook financial markets last week after missing margin calls from banks on its $21.7 billion portfolio of residential-mortgage-backed bonds. Carlyle's troubles have amplified fears that billions of dollars of depressed mortgage-backed securities will flood the market, reducing their value even further.
More than $5 billion of Carlyle's securities have already been sold, but the fund tried to negotiate with the banks to prevent the liquidation of the remaining $16 billion.
Shares tumbled 94 percent to 18 cents in Amersterdam. The shares have lost more than 98 percent of their value this year and traded at $12 just last week.

More than a year ago, the fund leveraged its $670 million equity 32 times to finance a $21.7 billion portfolio of AAA-rated residential mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It borrowed money from ...

And in the Making-Money-Hand-Over-Fist Dept., say fin, c'est fine.

New Color $5 Bills Come Out Today, JEANNINE AVERSA, March 13, 2008

WASHINGTON — Abraham Lincoln is getting a little color in his cheeks. New $5 bills ....
It's the latest in a series of redesigned notes aimed at foiling phony-money makers ....

Ya' know, this storyline continues the 'Currency Crisis,' started in a news item sent down the memory hole, intended to vanish it before 'the internets' safety-net was invented. Which arrived in time, though, and in fact saved it, and "the truth is out there" to google.

Somehow, in early Herbert Bushbutcher admin, (circa 1989), Saddam, yes that Saddam, got or was given an authentic $100 dollar-bill printing plate -- authentic, as in from the US Treasury, one of four in stock. C-notes were printed in Iraq and flooded into US circulation, '90-'93. Two (mainstream) news stories (I saw) at the time, made note of the me$$ of exce$$, without knowing the source to report.

'Intelligence Committee'-types in Congress were told, though, and made aware ... and that was when Clinton squeaked in, Herbert lost info-control, and very short (mainstream) page-29 news got published of what Saddam had in his hands. About then, ('93, '94, '95 ... dotCOM bubble), the plan was laid in law to redesign the $100 dollar-bill, in order to invalidate or obsolesce the printing plate Saddam had. The 'cover story' was that the new design would strand the warehoused C-note 'assets' ill-gotten by drug dealers, who would not dare trade in their piles of old for the new model. Also in that time, the Gang of Newt took over Congress and all hell broke loose. (Also, the internets started, but that's a different story.)

So, and then and so therefor, to cover up the cover story isolated on the $100-bill, they added a paragraph saying 'a redesign of all the currency.' And floated the idea of Reagan's visage somewhere in it. And when the currency was denied him, they tried him on the specie, (coins). But Ronnie Raygun wasn't going on dimes (IKE, after HST, after FDR) or dollars (Susan B. Anthony, after IKE, after JFK) either. Then came the day of down the chute Newt.

The friggin rightwingers canNOT keep their minds off the fantasy of money-by-printing-paper. They redesigned the bills and then redesigned the redesign, to keep the 'issue' in play, and each time around they try to sneak Ronnie into the picture. But then they lost 'control' on Senate and House and today's new half-sawbuck $5 is at the end of playing out the string.

Another piece of the story was the piled pallets of shrink-wrapped $100s, which our troops found where the WMDs were NOT. WTF is it that everything Fed.Res.Herbert touchs turns out to be 'funny money'? Go figure. Mad Herbert's pal Saddam's 'Monopoly money' was more than one billion-worth in two different locations, phony as the Chimp in The Fright House.


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