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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tell me on a Sunday

Announcing goofball rescues for big financial institutions that ought to be liquidated has become a Sunday tradition in Washington and New York. Today it's Citigroup that's going to be artificially kept afloat. The tax money will be transferred directly from our children and grandchildren to the incompetent swine who currently run that sorry bank, and to the shareholders to whom they pay rich dividends.

Details of the plan are still sketchy, but then again, details of how we're going to avoid another Great Depression are also still sketchy. Indeed, accounting for the hundreds of billions of dollars that Henry Paulson has already handed out to his friends is also still sketchy. Make that nonexistent.

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Details of avoiding another Great Depression are still sketchy because they don't exist. Alas, we are going to experience exactly that. Except worse.

In 1929, we still hadn't peaked in oil discoveries, much less extraction. We grew enough food for all with almost no petrochemical inputs. We had topsoil measured in feet rather than inches throughout the Midwest. Salmon runs throughout the Northwest were still at the same levels as they had been through prehistory. The landmass was still drained by wild rivers that supported a fabulous array of species since lost. We had a financial crisis but, otherwise, were in pretty good shape.

Today's great robbery comes on the heels of the world's longest "live for today because tomorrow we die" bash in history, and all of the primary resources bases are on their last legs. Most of the oceans are now wet deserts, devoid of life. Even Iowa topsoil is now down to less than a foot, and the great mass of US ag land has been compacted into a cement matrix and saturated with chemicals. Our aquifers are so depleted that they are giving up, stranding century farms without water. We have liberated enough fossil carbon that, even if we completely stopped this instant, the global climate will still be trying to find an equilibrium point for another few centuries, and we may well run into a positive feedback trigger or too that causes us to have a radical climate shift into a wildly different state. We have created whole classes of superbugs who take front-line antibiotics like you and I take tea. And we have bred and bred and bred, all while making the poor the world over work like slaves to provide us with the wealth we squander so carelessly.

As Jefferson said, "I tremble when I think that there is a just God."

Friggin' AAAAAA-men!, George.

Notice most of the empirical destitutions relate to the land, proper. Whatever re-invigoration we accomplish in our coming Reformation among ourselves, as a pragmatic policy we must never again allow private interest, (greed 'profit'), as the superior or sole claim to the legal disposition of land use and abuse. No land is an island unattached to adjoining land; ALL land is a public interest in some degree -- the oil and gold (and water and air) and natural 'landed' resources belong to ALL of us -- and representative government, (the 'state') can NOT substitute as 'sheriff' agent relieving local land inhabitants of their duty and responsibility to maintain legal 'public condition' claim and accord on the land, by personal involvement, actions, and judgment. Every resident (citizen) to be informed of herself or himself as constituting a walking, talking, legislative-executive-judicious body, and consciousness.

'We live here, that's who says we own the land. We (locals) are the proprietors.'

I have noticed that in the last week, shoppers have been going crazy here in Salem. Every store I go to is busy and shoppers carts are full. I don't know if this is an anomaly or what, but retail is looking good right now anyway.

Wow, Tensk. Reminds me of catechism 101 class where I learned about the church's social teaching --the one that posits there is no absolute right to private property.
And yes, I know that doesn't get put into practice much and one church in particular has lost it's social teaching credibility by cynically using church law in a civil suit and evading responsibility by "hiding" its assets in plain view--claiming parishioners own the property--har, har.

mp--Retailers with a lot of product who are finding it harder and harder to get credit (think Circuit City) will gladly dump that product at or below cost just to get their hands on some cash. Buy it now if you can.

Rich dividends? Surely you jest.... I own Citi and I am skrewed. Got NOTHIN'.

Save yourself, and stock up on canned goods at COSTCO. This is where we are headed.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Citi have a Huge credit card bag?

Maybe the Feds will take title to those debts in exchange for 25 Billion in Real Funny Money?

Not to fear as the Prez Elect has promised to bring us the Change.

Citigroup has paid ever increasing dividends of between $1.10 a share and $2.16 a share over the last five years.


Just in time for the morning editions:

Citigroup will get US guarantees for $306 Billion (Billion, not Million) of its troubled assets and other mortgages PLUS a $20 Billion cash infusion (this on top of the $25 Billion TARP money it received last month). In exchange, the US will get $27 Billion of preferred shares paying an 8% dividend.


The only measure i can figure out if these bailouts are working is the bank's stock price. I figure institutional and professional investors who are more knowledgible than me can judge if these are going to work and this will show up in the share price.

As of today, Citi jumped more than 50%, however this is still only about $6 a share, down from over $50 in 2007.

I don't think anyone is getting much of a dividend on a $6 share, but I could be wrong.

Aren't the Saudi's major owners of Citigroup? That might help explain things...

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