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Tuesday Open Thread

by In Wales Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 10:10:10 AM EST

For today's thoughts


Display:
I belatedly put the message into last night's OT but the photoblog theme this week is 'old things'.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 10:11:22 AM EST
BBC NEWS | Politics | Minister 'to quit' in PM protest
Scotland Office minister David Cairns is to resign from the government, the BBC understands.

Rumours of another 2 considering their position

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 10:19:03 AM EST
So, did Clarke's piece the other day act as a catalyst?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:24:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. looking at it it does appear that there is a concerted effort by the other Scots politicians to get rid.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: And so it begins ...
One of my favorite quotes from a history text began, "In 400 BC the world was old, and knew it ..."  Unfortunately, I've spent years trying to find that quote again, and even though I could swear it was in one particular book on my shelf, I can never find it.  Accept however, as a starting point ... in 400 BCE, the educated elites of  Western Civilization were poignantly aware of the history and peoples who preceded them.  Egypt's pyramids were as ancient, then, as the last ruins of the Colliseum are today; and the ziggurats of Babylon, then standing, were nearly twice that age.  The sun-drowned temples of Thebes and Memphis were still the active sites of ongoing worship. And the histories of these peoples, their rulers and kingdoms, were known to legend if not scholarship, which would come a hundred years later when the staff of Alexander sat down to translate the Babylonian archives into Greek.

A thoughtful diary on the passing of greatness.  Recommended.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 10:54:49 AM EST


The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 06:24:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now we know where BofA is getting the money to pay a 50% premium to buy Merrill...

Dow Jones newswires via CNN Money: BofA, Merrill Could Cut Banking, Trading Overlap

Though Bank of America is the acquirer of a company that some on Wall Street feared could fail on its own, Merrill Lynch remains a powerhouse in several businesses that overlap with its new parent - primarily investment banking, trading, and retail brokerage. At the same time, Bank of America is certainly the stronger of the two in commercial banking, even though Merrill is has what is considered the largest commercial bank among standalone brokerage firms. The end result will likely lead to overhauls and layoffs at both companies, not just Merrill, as Bank of America strives to realize cost savings of $7 billion by 2012.


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 10:59:09 AM EST
The feast of the cannibals. Get out the big iron pot.  Dinner just arrived on foot.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:52:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did y'all know that John McCain invented the BlackBerry?

(Presumably he means the device and not the fruit, but you know....)

Doesn't know how to use a computer but invented the BlackBerry.

I ever tell you guys how I invented the cotton gin?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 11:17:46 AM EST
The original lessor of two weevils?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 11:27:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven, you bastard, I almost choked on my coffee...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:50:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My apologies Chris ;-)

But I note that one of my favourite light writers, Patrick Campbell, once did a 1500 word piece on the effects of a sneeze while eating a cheese and tomato sandwich. He was sitting at his typewriter in the South of France thinking of his next piece of humane fluffery for his weekly column back in Blighty. He found his subject.

I owe you a coffee.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and hick-up while eating hot rice with butter and salt on it. That one was 'interesting'.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:26:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Takes bolls to post one like that.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For TBG (Diadeo/Hotline Tracker, via Open Left):

ECONOMY 9/12 9/13 9/14 9/15 9/16
McCain 43% 44% 41% 40% 36%
Obama 45% 47% 50% 47% 47%

Similar story here, eight point swing.

ENERGY POLICIES 9/12 9/13 9/14 9/15 9/16
McCain 43% 44% 44% 42% 38%
Obama 45% 45% 47% 46% 50%

And all from just a five point partisan advantage.

Potentially big jump last night for Obama as the economy dominated the news.  Possibly just noise, but I kind of think there's at least a little bit of reality to it -- a combination of a fading bounce and the economic crisis.

Assuming Gallup shows little or no change today, the race seems to have gradually shifted from a slight McCain lead to a slight Obama lead in the last five days or so.

Assuming for simplicity's sake it holds up, look for the state polls to match this late-weekend or early next week.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweet trend lines.

Looks like Shiny Sarah has stopped being a distraction, the focus is back on McCain, and really - he's a raving dork on anything substantive. Shades of Jim Callaghan's 'Crisis? What crisis?' in the 70s.

I think the business wing of GOP™ has realised that Palin/McCain would reign mainly for the insane, and that even Obama would be better for business than a fundie wackjob and a senior citizen with anger management issues. The business wing likes money, but they don't like it enough to want to die. Case closed.

Apparently McCain had a breakfast TV meltdown this morning, which can't have reassured anyone who watches breakfast TV.

A few more of those, and it's proverbially over.

It's also become obvious that McCain is one of life's coast-alongs. He's not smart, he's not stylish, he's not commanding, he's not personable or a guy you can have a beer with. He's not even ambitious enough to be more than ordinarily corrupt.

He's really just rich, no more than ordinarily ruthless and vain for a Republican pol, a bit stupid, and somewhat unlucky.

The more he says now, the worse it's going to be for him - which should be interesting to watch.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:37:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It gets better:

So Carly "HP Rallied 10% When They Fired My Ass" Fiorina thinks neither McCain nor Palin could run a major company.

Obama camp response:

If John McCain's top economic advisor doesn't think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?  Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn't understand as well as he should.


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:18:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding...

PANCAKES!

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:23:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When life hands you lemons - demand a bailout.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:02:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
The business wing likes money, but they don't like it enough to want to die. Case closed.

Murdoch reads the runes better than most...

We only need to see which way FOX is jumping for an idea of where this will go....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fox basically called Tucker Bounds, one of McCain's strategists, a liar today, if that gives you any idea.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:22:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Be fair to McCain, What he really said was:
"Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committee so you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that's what he did.
The Blackberry was actually developed by a Canadian company.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except the US is lagging behind Europe on mobile phone network technology, and on broadband deployment.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they had to go off-shore to qualify for the tax breaks!  And I am certain McCain voted for those--before he voted against them.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:16:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lazaridis was a student at the University of Waterloo and founded his company there.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:17:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, who's genius idea was that, to give companies incentives to set up abroad, promoting a rise in unemployment?

what logic informed that decision? that it would make stuff cheaper, so the consumer's happier?

....to pay less of his gone-with-the-offshore-wind paycheck, to buy stuff made by brown or yellow folks in 'free trade zones', where unions, or any workers' rights are forbidden?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:24:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And here I thought gin came from distilled white grains.  Now I learn it comes from cotton!

'Tis a tonic to the mind at ET.  Learn new things each & every day.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget the lemon, you heathen.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:10:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SO puts a wedge of lime in hers.  And her granduncle was a member of the British Foreign Service.  So she should know.  The knowledge is passed genetically.  Or ginandtonicly.  Or something.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, lime for me, too.  But you know the Finns are a weird bunch, Sven more so than most. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:19:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my dear ol' mämmi

Whadda ya mean wired? ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 11:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News
More News U.S. »

Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 11:24:39 AM EST
D1oh, sorry didn't see this when preparing the screengrab downthread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lehman's London Landlord Says Rent Payments Are Insured by AIG  

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 11:56:07 AM EST
Did you see this one? Apparently, there was a Reuters' report on this last year, but I missed it.
http://www.forbes.com/business/2007/11/30/florida-bush-lehman-biz-beltway-cx_mb_1130florida.html

During the primary season, I was wondering where ol' Jeb got off to.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Lehman could back up AIG....Oops.  Maybe then Bof A.  They will try anything.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:49:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Much more important to the UK press - all of it - is the fact that AIG sponsors Man U. And what's going to happen to the richest club of the country if AIG pulls out of its four year £59.8m sponsorship deal two years early?

And by the way, did you know that AIG also sells insurance?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:43:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other news...

...Carly Fiorina demonstrates her uncanny Republican ability to see through difficult questions and think on her feet.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shades of Georgia? The head of parliament Yatsenyuk declared the end of the coalition of democratic (sic) forces that support the government this morning. The orangies are out and Yushenko ain't feeling all that good himself. Elections in the near future?
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:08:55 PM EST
Oh. I'm talking about the Ukraine. Looks like Nato is slipping away there.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:10:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Worst Financial Crisis Since the Great Depression

Nouriel Roubini | Sep 16, 2008

(prefaced by a long quote/summary of his August piece.)

 Since...August financial and economic conditions are severely deteriorated; we are now closer to the financial meltdown that I described in my February paper...Stock prices are sharply down and there is a risk of a market crack; interbank spreads and credit spreads are wider than ever since the beginning of this crisis; Lehman and Merrill are gone and soon enough Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will also need to find a larger partner with deep pocket or risk getting in severe trouble; the biggest insurer in the world - AIG - is teetering near bankruptcy; the biggest US S&L - WaMu - is effectively insolvent and close to going bust; dozens of other banks are near bankruptcy; there is a beginning of a silent bank run as depositors are nervous about their assets; the panic is mounting in financial market; the CDS market is frozen because of the collapse of Lehman and the soon collapse of AIG, WaMu and other financial institutions; many hedge funds are now teetering as their losses are mounting; investors in fixed income - including preferred stocks - have experienced massive losses; overnight LIBOR spiked over 300bps to over 6% as panicky investors seek the safety of cash while the Fed lost control of the Fed Funds rate yesterday as the liquidity demand push such rate from the target of 2% to over 6%; the financial turmoil is becoming global with stock markets all over the world plunging.

      Worst of all policy authorities are now running out of bullet and going towards desperate measures that will end up being counterproductive.

    Now that the collapse of Lehman is leading to the risk of the generalized run on the shadow banking system...the policy reaction is to try to build a new set of levies while the financial perfect storm of the century has destroyed the first sets of levies. This reaction includes the following steps.

    First, the Fed is accepting even more toxic collateral for the TSLF and PDCF, including even equities; so now after having nationalized the mortgage market via the takeover of Fannie and Freddie the government is also starting to manipulate directly the stock market.... And the Fed takes massive credit and now market risks by its effective purchase of equities.

    Second, the Fed is waving Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act that restricts how much commercial banks can relend liquidity to their investment banking affiliates;....so Citi, JPMorgan and Bank of America can happily use or raid their FDIC-insured deposit to support their bankrupt broker dealer operations. This is reckless as abuse of this new form of subsidization of near insolvent broker dealers with commercial banking deposits may eventually impair the viability and solvency of their commercial banking regulation.....This desperate policy action shows that even the broker dealers arms of non-independent broker dealers (Citi, JPM, BofA) are now at the risk of a run on their overnight liabilities.

    Third, an attempt to bail-in the private sector and provide a private lender of last resort support of the financial system is at work: ten major global banks will each fork $7 billion to create a $70 billion fund; each of these firms could borrow up to a third of such fund or $23 billion. But this private lender of last resort (LOLR) facility will not work since if any firm were to access this facility in case of a run on its liabilities panic will ensue - as the use of it will signal severe trouble - and the run will continue....
    Fourth, since Lehman is bust the new line of defense was the takeover of Merrill by BofA. After taking over the insolvent Countrywide now Ken Lewis is making another reckless gamble by taking over at a vastly inflated price another distressed broker dealer. This is dangerous behavior for BofA. The lesson for Mack of Morgan Stanley and Blankfein of Goldman is that they should find a buyer today.... As predicted here months ago no independent broker dealer will survive.

    Fifth, the Fed may cut the Fed Funds rate and discount rate today. But this policy rate cut will make no difference to the fundamental solvency and credit problems of the economy. The economy does not suffer only of illiquidity; more seriously it suffers of severe credit and solvency problems that the Fed cannot address in any way.

    Therefore any rally from Fed actions today will be short lived. When Bear was rescued the financial market rally lasted two months; when in July the Fannie and Freddie legislation was proposed the rally lasted a few weeks; when the actual nationalization of Fannie and Freddie occurred a week ago the rally lasted only one day. The ability of policy authorities to prop financial markets is rapidly eroding as market participants perceive that policy makers are desperate and running out of options. At this point the perfect financial storm of the century cannot be contained. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the one of the coming financial and economic train wreck.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:43:35 PM EST
Perhaps CERN has created a black hole afterall.  Perhaps somoeone can explain to me how they got it to appear on Wall Street.  Or is it Wail Street?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Citi, JPMorgan and Bank of America can happily use or raid their FDIC-insured deposit to support their bankrupt broker dealer operations


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

As I replied late to Len's kind comment about my illness in the OT Monday (after he emailed me to let me know), I'd like to say again:

Thanks for all the good wishes - and especially to Len (who's been very supportive by email)- I'm almost in tears.

I'm so sad I can't attend the Paris meetup - I really enjoyed meeting people last time - and sad that I can't participate here, though I look in briefly, and wistfully, from time to time.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:58:03 PM EST
it was too late to add anything that you would see. So - more good wishes for return to good health.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:28:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we need to see Ted in the Blue Corner and Sven in the Red Corner, but we've got neither this time.

Get well soon, and get in training....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:22:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Glad to see you again Ted - the same from me: Best wishes, and an expedient recovery.

Have a balloon, too.

by Nomad on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:23:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seen on the CNN frontpage:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:29:34 PM EST
Thank You!  That is TOOOO good!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 01:40:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is old, but it seems to take a while for ONN videos to make it to youtube. Here's another that I couldn't find on youtube when I first saw it.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:49:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(click for larger version, tough to read this one)



Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, we're off and running.  No change in the FED, DJ going down/fluctuating.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:18:54 PM EST
DOW is down 100; can neg 200 be far ahead?  Keep you posted.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DOW fluctuating wildly; was up 100; all over the place.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:46:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watching the ticker is like watching static on a TV.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This comes through 5 minutes after I book my travel to London and back

Following the fire in the Channel Tunnel last Thursday we were able to re-start limited operations on Saturday.  We are currently running a restricted timetable with fewer services, longer journey times and intervals of several hours between some trains.  

We advise that you consider rearranging travel planned for the next two weeks unless absolutely necessary.  This especially applies if you are travelling over the weekends of Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2008 and Friday 26th September to Sunday 28th September 2008.

If your journey is essential, then you should check in for the train time given on your ticket and we will endeavour to put you on one of the next available trains.  Please be aware that you could experience extended waiting times, particularly between Friday and Sunday when there may be a delay of up to several hours before boarding. Your journey time will also be significantly longer than normal.

As we are not operating the last trains of the day Eurostar check-in will close significantly earlier than usual:

  • London check-in will close at 18.45 (BST) until further notice
  • Paris check-in will close at 20.00 (CET) until further notice
  • Brussels check-in will close at 20.30 (CET) until further notice

For the most up to date travel information please consult eurostar.com (http://as1.emv2.com/I?a=A9X7Cq1FYI6t8Rf_iar3Luji1w)

If your journey is non-essential you can exchange your tickets for travel at a later date, or get a full refund up to 60 days after your travel date.  Due to the high volume of calls at the contact centre we would be grateful if you could email us with your request if possible, quoting your booking reference, contact details and stating whether you require a refund or exchange.  If you wish to exchange your tickets please indicate your preferred dates and times of travel.  You can email us at mailto:contactus@eurostar.co.uk.  Alternatively you can call us anytime up to 60 days from your travel date.

When considering alternative travel dates we suggest that you consider travel from October onwards when we expect to offer a more consistent travel experience.  I will keep you updated as the situation improves.

On a positive note I would like to assure you that Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel Tunnel, is working hard to enable additional Eurostar services to be restored following the fire.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:21:11 PM EST
I can't get my London tickets refunded and flights are expensive even with the eurostar reimbursement. What a pain.  
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why can't you get your tickets refunded?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:32:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First great western won't refund my advance singles for whatever reason.  To change the date and times would be 10 quid each way.  

Any idea what i can do? I'll ask eurostar if they can refund me for the cardiff-london tickets since their delay is the reason I am paying nearly 60 quid for a journey I won't take.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:42:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you book them together?

This is where general-purpose travel insurance comes in handy.

Also, as far as I can remember credit (not debit) cards have sone sort of built in insurance, at least in the US.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:06:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I had a year's worth of travel insurance but it would have run out during the summer...
Will try the credit card option, although it will involve phone calls I suspect?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless you have special terms on your credit card (and it's possible you may have), the standard terms are here at Motley Fool.

Buy anything for between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card and you have valuable rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. It means that when you buy something using your credit card, your contract is with both the trader and the card issuer. They have equal liability for anything that goes wrong so you can take action against either of them to get compensation. The legislation is restricted to goods sold for more than £100 and less than £30,000 but it's tremendously useful in situations where, for example, the goods are damaged or don't turn up, or the company goes bust.

As I'm reading that, your credit card company is jointly liable with the vendor to make sure you get what you've paid for.  Unfortunately, it only applies above £100 and...it isn't the vendor of the London-Cardiff tickets that has let you down...  :/

by Sassafras on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 12:29:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is where general-purpose travel insurance comes in handy.

At least if it isn't with AIG...

Seriously, does this type of insurance ever make sense? Don't you end up paying more in premiums than you are likely to collect, while the maximum you stand to lose is not that high?

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It covers theft, medical cover and accident as well as cost of tickets.

Travel insurance paid for a new camera when I had one stolen, so no - certainly not a waste.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if you're travelling outside of the EU, then the medical cover is usually rather important, should you end up needing it, IME.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's why I get it when travelling to the U.S. But I was wondering if it made sense inside Europe. I never bothered with it when I was living in the U.S. as my employer's health insurance covered me even outside the U.S. - one of those rare cases where the U.S. system was better that the European ones.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:50:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's why I get it when travelling to the U.S. But I was wondering if it made sense inside Europe.

Don't be silly.  It's the Yurpians who'd mug you.  We'd just shoot you. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I missed a land connection after getting ill in Morocco, the travel insurance paid to fly us home.

All the flights were booked.  After a week failing to get us on a flight, the insurers had to fly all of us (I had my children with me) home business class. It cost them over £3000.

I was paying about £80 for annual cover...

by Sassafras on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 12:08:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I the only loser here who'd risk waiting at the station? (Once waited two hours)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It says a wait of several hours especially on the weekend. If I miss my connection to Cardiff due to that, I have extra expense of hotel and travel etc.  
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
REVISED EUROSTAR TIMETABLE

LONDON - PARIS
Departure - Arrival
05.22 - 09.03 (also calls at Ebbsfleet)
06.55 - 10.57 (Ashford)
07.27 - 11.13 (Ebbsfleet / Calais)
09.25 - 13.02 (Ebbsfleet)
13.22 - 16.57 (Ashford)
13.38 - 17.03
15.04 - 18.57 (Ebbsfleet)
15.29 - 19.17 (Ebbsfleet / Calais)
16.55 - 20.57 (Ashford)
17.30 - 21.02
19.00 - 22.57 (Ebbsfleet)
19.29 - 23.26 (Calais)

PARIS - LONDON
Departure - Arrival
06.43 - 08.21
08.07 - 10.29 (Calais / Ebbsfleet)
08.52 - 10.36 (Ashford)
10.13 - 12.17
12.13 - 14.17
12.43 - 14.34 (Lille / Calais / Ebbsfleet)
14.43 - 16.36 (Calais / Ashford)
16.13 - 18.24 (Ebbsfleet)
16.43 - 18.36 (Ebbsfleet)
18.13 - 20.27 (Ebbsfleet)
18.43 - 20.42 (Ashford)
20.43 - 22.34 (Ebbsfleet)

Now, they are advising people to show up at check-in at their scheduled time, but be prepared for delays.

I suspect they'll be running on a first-come, first-served basis but even if they were to guarantee a seat for trains leaving at the same time as listed on your ticket, my return trip (20:13 departure) is not one of these trains.

Which means I can probably get to Paris, maybe a bit late, but I run a real risk of getting stuck on the way back - and I can't really affrord that.

So I might not go to the meetup.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can get a flight to Paris on friday for 133.  I can get flights back but it is expensive.  I don't know what to do right now. ARGH.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:43:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Take the train to the port; grab a boat ride; get the train in France?

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most likely fully booked. And I did that for the April Paris meetup and it was a royal pain in the neck because of the huge waiting times at either end of the crossing.

Helen crossed over by ferry on Monday...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looked into that the other day. outrageously expensive and time consuming.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:09:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It made for nice day trips with Jonathan both ways last Spring... but it is time-consuming.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:47:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that expensive if bought in advance - though with trains on either end it does add up. But you have to factor in the chance to stop in Dover, Calais and Lille.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 05:00:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can always show up early on sunday and hope enough people would have been discouraged, and thus find a place earlier in the day...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, the 19th to the 21st quite exactly.

This is becoming a serious problem for you, Mig and Sassafras. :-(

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm now flying - will be there friday and leave monday. I'll put my details in the Paris meetup diary.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
England is most crowded country in Europe - Telegraph

The number of people living in England has overtaken the population density of Holland, which has traditionally been the most densely-populated major nation on the continent.

The count, which has been attributed to higher levels of immigration, shows England now has 395 people per square kilometre.

The figures were obtained in a parliamentary answer from the Office of National Statistics.

In 2008 the average number of people per square kilometre in Britain was 253, rising to 395 in England.

Latest figures from Holland show that its population density was 395 a square kilometre in 2002 and 393 in 2005. It is estimated that English population density will rise to 464 people for every square kilometre by 2031.


(the clue being that the population density of Holland is 1105 people per square kilometre)

(the stats are odd, too, we did not have a population decline between 2002 and 2005 AFAIK, and neither did we win that much new land)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 02:47:41 PM EST
Plenty of room up here in Scotland....outside the Central Belt, that is...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:25:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm fine in Berlin, but if I can ever go anywhere freely, in the UK it would be Cornwall. The palms are already there, and it should become properly subtropical in the near future, the gulf stream holding and all...
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:39:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks 1105 is per square mile. (16,400,000 / 41,500 = 395)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand I find that despite net emigration since 2004 (I am guessing a result of restrictive immigration policy), the total population of the Netherlands is increasing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:28:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember that the Northern chunk of the Nethermands is rather empty too. If you start taking bits out to twist numbers...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:45:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
D'oh.... (walks away in shame)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 05:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And now one of my favourite bands EVER is playing in cardiff and the tickets are all sold out which means paying nearly 100 quid through a 3rd party to go and see them.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 03:22:50 PM EST
would want to know which band that is...
by Nomad on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kings of Leon.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:09:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

FT's Alphaville cannot quite believe it.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:44:28 PM EST
You have to admit it's unbelievable.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:45:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems quite easy to believe to me.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, how is syndication, Jerome?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 04:59:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember Ike?

Daily Kos: Meanwhile...Folks in Houston Living in Complete Mayhem

First, there is no water. None whatsover. Nothing comes out of the tap and they are told that if something does come out it is not drinkable. - No electricity, and they are told there won't be any for 2-4 weeks or more! (Again, having lived through several hurricanes I can tell you that this his unheard of.)  Normally we were out of power for 2-4 DAYS, NOT WEEKS. - No gas.  My brother waited in line for 5 hours! today to get some gas.  And that is with the 5 gallon limit that they allow you to get. While in line at one of the 2 gas stations open nearby, there were 3 fist-fights. The other one had to be patrolled by police to break up fights and stop people from cutting in line.

PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO LOSE IT. - No food.  There is only one grocery store open nearby (if you can get to it) and the lines stretches for blocks.  My dad says it is so jam-packed that there are hundreds of people waiting to check out.  And they are so full that they can only let someone in as someone else goes out- 2 people out, 2 people in (like they do in a nightclub if they are over capacity).  

Yikes.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 05:25:28 PM EST
Well, good to know it's not wholly a racial thing, I guess.  Just plain ol' incompetence.

Another episode of Leave the Liberals to DieTM, no doubt.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 06:50:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, we're losing Houston and it wasn't even flooded like NOLA?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 06:57:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they ever get it right on even the second try?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Political Picture - Osama Bin Laden
see Sarah Palin pictures

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 05:44:52 PM EST
and found myself saying things in what little French I know.  I thought if Jerome heard me he'd ban me.  
:-D

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 05:47:57 PM EST
Bloomberg | Treasury Said to Be Considering AIG Conservatorship:

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury is considering taking over American International Group Inc. under a conservatorship as one option to address the insurer's crisis, according to two people briefed on the discussions.

Executives from AIG, bankers and Treasury and Federal Reserve officials are meeting today on the company's situation at the New York Fed. A number of options are under being discussed to fill a shortfall of $75 billion to $100 billion in funding, one of the people said. The talks are continuing, he said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which have been leading efforts to find a private-sector solution, informed the Fed that such an effort would be difficult, the person said. Under another option, the Fed would extend a loan to New York-based AIG, according to a person informed of the matter.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson earlier this month seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and put them into conservatorships, where officials will oversee the firms and aim to protect their assets.

When did the Giant Talking Penis get the authority to do that?  Do we just not bother asking Congress for laws anymore?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 06:53:46 PM EST
We can't get spend five billion bucks to get basic health care to the uninsured of the whole country, but we can violate the Constitution to take over AIG.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 06:58:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to Hooverville - population, almost everyone.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:04:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is it illegal and what would you do if you were Treasury Secretary?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Takeovers require an act of Congress, if I'm not mistaken.

As Treasury Secretary, I'd let it fail, and I'd be trying to focus the president on employment and energy-infrastructure programs, instead of focusing on bailing out Wall Street.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to read Globalization and its Discontents for a peek at the institutional priorities of the Tresury Department.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 05:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know.  I keep meaning to read some of Stig's books for the masses but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 07:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding...

Someone get Nancy Pelosi's fat ass up to the Hill.  I expect a sternly-worded letter on Hanky-Panky's desk by the time I get to the office tomorrow.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:03:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fed to Give A.I.G. $85 Billion Loan and Take 80% Stake

Does taking an 80% state constitute a a conservatorship?

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AIG may get $85-90 bln bridge loan in govt-brokered deal: CNBC

The Federal Reserve is negotiating a $85-90 billion secured bridge loan for American International Group Inc. (AIG.N), according to a report on CNBC.

Shareholders would be severely diluted by the bailout that involves the bridge loan. The government would receive AIG warrants for most of its equity in the bailout being negotiated. CNBC said the deal would give AIG incentive to sell its assets quickly to help pay off the bridge loan.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and others are involved in the talks, CNBC said, adding that the bailout plan being negotiated "isn't a conservatorship."



A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns
by Alexander on Tue Sep 16th, 2008 at 07:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, that's SOCIALISM- French style!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 04:49:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're All Communists Now.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Sep 17th, 2008 at 07:19:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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