Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Thursday Open Thread

by Jerome a Paris Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:38:04 AM EST

The bailout watch continues...


Display:
As i see what's unfolding in Washington, i feel as if i'm having my pockets picked once again.  It's a good thing i'm not an economist, for then i'd either know i'm having my pockets picked, or i'd be lying.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:50:34 AM EST
Hey, could you please drop me an email? I'd like to pick up your brains about a technical issue and I see you don't publish it, despite our extremely cunning spam deceivers.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 10:36:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
markets are optimistic that the bailout will indeed happen quickly.

Could they be right? Maybe our political analysts can tell us if we should short bank stocks (if we were allowed to)?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:51:11 AM EST
I think it could happen quickly, but it really depends on what the WH's intentions really are.

If they and Bernanke are loooking to a one last dip into the Treasury's pockets before bailing in January, then this could last forever if the Dems hold to protecting the US govt finances. After all, this plan is no rush job cobbled together as a panic measure, however much it is presented as such. It has been months in the making and has been carefully crafted to a specific agenda determined some while back.

However, if the dems resist the siren sounds of republicans running around shouting "fire"and work towards something akin to the Dodd plan, then it's entirely likely it could be enacted quickly unless the repugs resist them because it doesn't meet their "requirements".

I guess it all comes down to what the government's and the Fed's real intent is and how much the legislators are prepared to compromise.

I'm more interested in whether McCain will hide from the debate and what the media will say if/when he does.
Yesterday was just so entertaining. I thought it couldn't get better when I went to bed, but then Letterman happend so's I could laugh this morning away. It's funny how if a dem did a stunt like that their candidacy would be toast, but the tradmed are still desperately trying to take McCain seriously.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:10:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After all, this plan is no rush job cobbled together as a panic measure, however much it is presented as such. It has been months in the making and has been carefully crafted to a specific agenda determined some while back.
Evidence?

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:31:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There were a few articles on it.  Treasury's been working on this laughable plan for months.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:36:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Links?

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory Structure

March 2008

May 2008. US are witnessing implementation of these "objectives." Pending further Congressional approvals:

V Intermediate-term recommendations (89)

This chapter describes recommendations focused on eliminating some of the duplication in the US regulatory system, but more importantly on modernizing the regulatory structure applicable to certain sectors in the financial services industry (i.e. banking, insurance, futures, and securities) with the current framework. These recommendations serve as a useful transition to the optimal regulatory structure. However, each intermediate-term recommendation stands on its own merits, as well as on its merits as a transitional element.

VI The Optimal regulatory structure (137)
VII Conclusion

::

peenackers always broadcast. And their propaganda organs always fill the void with bullshit.

All the short-term recommendations are now law.

Mr Dodd and colleagues will institute intermediate recommendations. While voters argue whether Treasury can make a profit for them.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:38:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot believe it - it's not that complex.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:44:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See this dKos diary.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that them claiming it wasn't a panic measure? Why would we believe them?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:49:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but would you expect the bill to be any more competent given a few months?

I remind you: It took FEMA four days to get water to the Super Dome.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:54:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find this more ominous from a banking system perspective
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley may be among the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion U.S. plan to buy assets from financial companies while many banks see limited aid, according to Bank of America Corp.

``Its benefits, in its current form, will be largely limited to investment banks and other banks that have aggressively written down the value of their holdings and have already recognized the attendant capital impairment,'' Jeffrey Rosenberg, Bank of America's head of credit strategy research, wrote in a report dated yesterday, without identifying particular banks.

The plan might precipitate an immediate collapse of the "bad banks" whose default would arode the balance sheet of their "good bank" creditors.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:51:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But note the reason why the BoA guy says it's more beneficial to MS and GS - they've been more realistic in sharply writing down their impaired assets.
by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:54:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably they've been able to because they are better capitalised than the other investment banks (Lehman and Merrill didn't make it), and more able to value them than the commercial banks.

But that point is the plan is likely to help the banks that least need it from a solvency point of view.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:58:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both Merill and Lehman were also pretty agressive in writing stuff down by the end. But they couldn't afford reality, as you say. In the case of GS it's ability was helped by jumping out of the residential RE pyramid scheme before it collapsed, and then betting against it, making money that way.
by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:04:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, GS was the first bank to get out of subprime, and remember that Paulson was the CEO and left for the Treasury in 2006, at the top of the housing bubble.

He knew what was coming. He and Bernanke just expected the Fed's balance sheet to last a bit longer.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:08:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GS and MS get a huge cash handout, they reinvent themselves as 'proper' banks to insure some of their losses, and they wipe out the immediate competition.

Because they have significant cash assets they can afford to go on a buying spree after prices stabilise.

Is there a downside here? (Not counting PR loss of face, which only really matters if it's translated into policy.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:31:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because they have significant cash assets they can afford to go on a buying spree after prices stabilise.

The will need to go on a buying spree for regional depository banks. At least the suggestion is that MS will merge with a large traditional bank but that GS will acquire some small ones.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:39:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They will not need to go on a spending spree. Has Paulson not already reserved the "right" to assign agents and consultants in the matter of "resolution"?

viz.

(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;

Does Dodd's plan eliminated that "right"? I dunno. What I do know is the "crisis" amounts to controlled demolition by FRB "core banks" and "primary dealers."

the OCC supervises the five largest bank derivatives dealers in the United States.

See this article on industry consolidation following the S&L RE scam. Regional banks and remaing S&Ls are now being seized by FDIC, predictably, slowly and steadily.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Consolidation in the U.S. Banking Industry:
Is the "Long, Strange Trip" About to End?
, FDIC Banking Review

You will not get that story on Krugman's blog. But it might get a mention in one of his many, many books. I wouldn't know though.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So why would the Bushies want it?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:56:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It might carry them over to January 21. The Fed needs to be able to make two more bridging loans to the banks (two end-of-quarter dates to go) and as Jerome pointed out in his recent FP story the Fed is out of Treasury Bills.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DKos:

Deal said to be near on big financial bailout (w/update: looks like we get equity)


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:13:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So can George have one of his signing statement moments and say that the Fed dosen't really need to take the equity?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:36:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doubtful he'll even try.  Bush looked genuinely scared last night.  He was even able to pronounce "mortgage-backed securities" properly.  It was weird.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think he had one of those talks with people that he's had throughout his life, and been told that this is the point where he's really screwed everything up and its now time for the adults to take over.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
He was even able to pronounce "mortgage-backed securities" properly.  It was weird.

Whoa. Apocalypse now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama says they're near a deal, presumably taking word from Dodd and Reid.

McCain says the world will collapse if he doesn't go and get involved, and that the bill would not pass as currently constructed, even though he's not even on the relevant committee.

As McCain has been acting like a complete nutcase for the past 24 hours, I'm inclined to believe Obama.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:38:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, Bloomberg says Bush is basically caving on everything the Dems demanded.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:42:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a bad sign.

It's as if they had caved on everything the Dems would have demanded in 2002 just to get the Iraq war authorisation.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:44:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why a bad sign?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:45:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It means the financial sector really needs the $700bn.

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The financial sector would need way more than that.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why are you laughing?

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S.c.h.a.d.e.n.f...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People (well, younger colleagues) keep telling me about their friends in London or in trading rooms here in Paris who just got fired. I have a hard time feeling sorry for them.

They drank the kool-aid.

Oh - but never mind, Le Canard Enchainé reported Wednesday that French traders that come back to France and work between one day and one month (but not more) in France after losing their job in the UK apparently get indemnified on the basis of their UK salary - ie they get the ASSEDIC ceiling which is around 5000 eruos per months.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:37:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome things he's decoupled from the US financial sector?

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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm also part of the victims - ie my activity is now starved of funds even though we never did anything stupid.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The GOP leadership can't get the House Republicans to sign on.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 06:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The House Democratic Leadership are staying firm in their fundamental position: This is Bush's bill and he has to get the House Republicans to sign on and vote for it.

House Republicans are saying they are getting 10/1 no/yes calls from their constituents.

Bush has nothing to offer the House Republicans.  McCain has no leverage over the the House Republicans.  The House Republicans are in full revolt against their leadership.

Prognosis: No Deal will be reached.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 06:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No deal.

That's that then.  McCain and Boehner torpedoed the bill.

Fair enough.  It's their funeral.

The Dems should load the bill up with every little thing they could ever want, throw it on the table, and say, "This is our only offer, assholes.  Take it or leave it, it's your funeral."

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What would be the results of that? would george have to veto unacceptable to him provisions? or would the more acceptable electoraly prospect be for some GOP legislators to try and engage in some disruptive action to stop the dems plan going through?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:13:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The result would be, "Put up or shut up," instead of allowing the Republicans to play these stupid fucking games.

By the way, do you have a link to those UK betting site aggregators?

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:15:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
try This

incidentally, the more tab at the top of that page gives current odds being offered by each individual bookmaker on a state by state basis as well.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.  Still running 69-71% everywhere.  Pretty impressive, since they seem to think Obama takes the Kerry states plus IA, NM and CO, but is less than 50/50 on the other key red states.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:30:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re Veto:  The President has to either pass or veto an entire bill.  He does not have 'Line Item Veto' authority.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:30:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.  Governors do in many cases though.  I know Richardson does in your state.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:39:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was Bush's Bill.  He was the one who gave a televised speech saying, "Either this passes or we're all gonna die."  It's his party holding up passage.  Let them take the heat.

Meanwhile, McCain and Idiot have moved the economy front and center.  That's an issue Dems win by double digits.

Since No Deal then McCain either backs off on his No Debate pledge or gives Obama 2 hours free TV time.

Hey!  I'll take it all.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:17:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Credit Derivatives Market Shrinks 12%, First Decline

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Credit-default swap dealers reduced outstanding contracts for the first time amid efforts to cut risk by cleaning up the derivatives market.

The volume of trades in the worldwide market fell to $54.6 trillion from $62 trillion in the first half, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said in a statement yesterday. It was the first decline since New York-based ISDA started surveying traders seven years ago.

Credit-default swaps grew 100-fold since 2001 as insurance companies, hedge funds and investors used the derivatives to protect against bond losses and speculate on companies' abilities to pay their debt. Traders are unwinding trades and protecting against losses after credit markets froze amid the worst U.S. housing crisis since the Great Depression. Regulators are starting to call for more oversight of the unregulated market following the bankruptcy last week of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

U.S. Economy: Home Sales, Durable Goods Orders Drop

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Sales of new homes in the U.S. fell in August to a 17-year low and orders for durable goods dropped more than forecast, evidence of the mounting risks to the economy that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned of yesterday.

Home sales decreased 11.5 percent, more than forecast, to the lowest annual rate since the 1991 recession and the median price sank to a four-year low, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Bookings for goods meant to last several years declined 4.5 percent and orders excluding transportation equipment were down 3 percent.

The credit crisis that brought down Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and American International Group Inc. this month is making it harder for companies to invest in new equipment and for home buyers to get financing. Bernanke yesterday told Congress the economy has ``decelerated broadly,'' feeding speculation that the Fed will lower interest rates by year-end.

And all these "20-year lows" neglect the growth in US population in the meantime...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:40:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hold-to-Maturity is the new Mark-to-Myth: James Saft | Special Coverage | Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Paulson and Bernanke's 'Hold-to-Maturity' plan is really just the new 'Mark-to-Myth', and even its heroic proportions are not likely to paper over solvency problems in the banking system.

The Federal Reserve Chairman told lawmakers the plan to spend $700 billion to buy up bad assets would allow banks to avoid unloading loans at fire sale prices.

"Auctions and other mechanisms could be devised that will give the market good information on what the hold-to-maturity price is for a large class of mortgage-related assets," Ben Bernanke said, trying to persuade a skeptical Congress that the plan he has been pushing along with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will give value for taxpayers' money.

Banks are forced to mark their assets to market, a process that has become increasingly painful and likely to lead to bank failures as a shortage of investors and the swiftly declining performance of the underlying collateral have driven prices lower.

As many securities are so complex that they seldom trade, and given that few want to buy them now anyway, banks sometimes must mark the assets according to modeled prices, a process sometimes referred to as 'marking-to-myth' by doubters.

...

If it is a subsidy, what not call it one?

And though $700 billion is a lot of money, it is not enough to wipe the slate clean and leave banks with workable balance sheets; the plan only works if that $700 billion, which equates to far less in terms of capital relief, is leveraged by attracting new money from outsiders now sitting on the sidelines.

But I find it hard to credit that the sovereign wealth funds of the world, having already been burned though their disastrous investments in banking last year and this, will feel that a price arrived at through what promises to be an opaque process gives them the confidence to buy in now.

"It is hubris to say they are going to set the prices and everyone will just mark to market their assets accordingly," said Tim Brunne, a credit strategist at Unicredit in Munich.

...

Alternatively, the government, which has bottomless pockets and no liquidity risk, may simply arrive at a price based on what it, or its advisors -- and one wonders who they could be and if they saw this whole disaster coming -- think is a fair bet on what repayment flows will be.

There is also the issue of protecting the taxpayers, who may justifiably argue that they should share in the benefit of any subsidy offered to the industry in return for footing the bill.

But taking equity stakes in banks in exchange for below market funding or asset sales probably would, as it did with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, choke off any hope of new equity infusions from actual investors seeking profits.

It's easy to understand why the United States is placing a low value on moral hazard and is considering an apparently indiscriminate reward for those who took too much risk.

The stakes are very high, and a disorderly deleveraging will be worse than an orderly one, even if the orderly one isn't perfect.

The debate about what whether or not the U.S. will need a massive intervention of public capital into its banking system and wider economy is over. The crisis requires a huge outlay of public funds, both to clean up after the many banks that will fail and to soften the blow to homeowners and consumers.

mark to myth, indeed...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 02:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lobbyists in 'feeding frenzy' - USATODAY.com
WASHINGTON -- The financial services industry, which has spent billions on lobbying and campaign contributions over the last decade, is scrambling to make its case for a proposed $700 billion bailout plan amid deep public skepticism.

Wall Street firms, commercial banks and insurers are lobbying on an array of issues -- from beating back proposals to make it easier to reduce mortgage debts in bankruptcy courts to fighting, unsuccessfully so far, to retain control over executive pay.

"You have a feeding frenzy going on," said Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan watchdog group.

pirhana alert?

just got through seeing a report on floating motor home-cruisers, giant gin-palaces, eco-nightmares, and how sales are rising for these monstrosities!

the reporter said there were a lot of customers worth $1-10,000,000, newly arrived on the market.

lobbyist getaway?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 02:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, recession here now:
The CSO said that the Gross Domestic Product measure of output fell by 1% in the first six months compared with a year earlier.

Gross National Product, which excludes profits from multinational companies, fell at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter.

A breakdown showed that capital spending in the period was down almost 19% on the same period last year, hit by the slump in house building as well as lower spending on machinery and equipment.(RTÉ

Hopefully the analysis that the country outside Dublin would bear the brunt of it will be correct, from my selfish point of view.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:54:51 AM EST
My favourite kind of DKos diary, 'I (verb, noun, ...) today'.

No inspiring or exciting story here! I just kinda got a break from some people re: my studies and am happy about it. No money involved, even! What kind of bailout is that? Feeling duped now.

(...)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:40:08 AM EST
Man, were you missed on the banks of the Seine.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I missed you all too. And the whisky, of course. But not going was worth the foregone good times, in the end.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:05:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seconded.

'cept I got your Caol Ila.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne's share, I mean. duh.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bureau of Labor Statistics |  Mass Layoffs Summary | 23 Sepp 2008

MASS LAYOFFS IN AUGUST 2008

In August, employers took 1,772 mass layoff actions, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S.  Department of Labor reported today.  Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer; the number of workers involved totaled 173,955, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Layoff events reached a program high for the month of August (with data available back to 1995), and associated initial claimants reached its highest level for the month since 2001.  The number of mass layoff events this August increased by 260 from the prior month, while the number of associated initial claims rose by 22,784.  In August, 599 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 72,244 initial claims.  Over the month, mass layoff events in manufacturing increased by 156, and initial claims in-creased by 14,774.  (See table 1.)

From January through August 2008, the total number of mass layoff events (seasonally adjusted), at 12,542, and initial claims (seasonally adjusted), at 1,274,765, were the highest for the January-August period since 2003.

The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in August, seasonally adjusted, up from 5.7 percent in the prior month and from 4.7 percent a year earlier. In August, total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 84,000 over the month and by 283,000 from a year earlier.

Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the Chinese central bank | PR | 25 Sep 2008

"We are in the same boat, we must cooperate," Yu said in an interview in Beijing on Sept. 23. "If there's no selling in a panicked way, then China willingly can continue to provide our financial support by continuing to hold U.S. assets."

An agreement is needed so that no nation rushes to sell, "`causing a collapse," Yu said. Japan is the biggest owner of U.S. Treasury bills, holding $593 billion, and China is second with $519 billion. Asian countries together hold half of the $2.67 trillion total held by foreign nations.
[...]
China should stop intervening in the foreign currency markets and thus allow rapid appreciation of the yuan, he said. While this would cause pain for exporters, China could ease the transition by using its strong fiscal position to aid those who lose their jobs. It also should stimulate domestic demand to offset lower income from overseas sales.

Without yuan appreciation, China will continue to accumulate foreign reserves, which means further accumulating "IOUs from the U.S.," said Yu. "This is paper and it may default and it will not increase China's national welfare."

A reason to enact Dodd's plan to buy out the global securities market before recess-- end of business 26 Sep 2008 to 18 Jan 2009?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:40:52 AM EST
There's no reason why Congress cannot vote to postpone the recess...

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 Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:09:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
North Carolina (Rasmussen):

Obama 49
McCain 47

Ras also says McCain is polling significantly lower in his national tracking poll the last two nights.  The headline number for the three nights is now O49-46M, and it sounds like Obama will go up, and McCain down, tomorrow, putting it back on the path to being in line with the other tracking polls finally.

GOS/R2K says it's O49-43M now.  Seven-point spread on the one-night numbers (O49-42M), so it may be widening.

Jim Lehrer also revealed that he notified both campaigns, prior to McCain pulling out, that he was going to switch the topic to economics on Friday because of the crisis.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:05:34 PM EST
After looking at it last night, I've been watching the numbers on the gambling sites. During Georges speach last night, there was a snap towards McCain, but as soon as it was over, it drifted back over the next half an hour. then all day the odds have been sliding In Obamas direction, slowly all day  Suddenly in the last hour though theres been a couple of percent leap towards Obama, No Idea what has caused that. McCains odds have been drifting out more slowly, gradually losing ground.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I noticed that.  I wonder if our rogue trader caught Nate's piece.  Intrade has shown a much larger Obama surge.  He's approaching 59% to win now.  What do the others have it at?  I know Iowa Electronic has it at about 63, or did a few hours ago.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm looking at UK betting site agregators, Obama was at 2/1 on and climbed to 2.5/1 so thats a move from 66% to 71%, as the day has gone on, more bookies have been shifting towards the new odds level,as the intrade has been crawling up.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:25:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and he's just leapt up again, another percentage point, this is surreal.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It might have something to do with this:

Daily Kos: McCain Hasn't Read Paulson's Plan

ANCHOR: As for the massive Wall Street bailout McCain insists it have...

JSM: Oversight that is effective and transparent. We need people like Warren Buffet and Mike Bloomberg and Mitt Romney to have an oversight of this. We can't put that responsibility in the hands of one person.

ANCHOR: The crunch question. Would you vote for it as it's presently constructed?

JSM: I have not had a chance to see it in writing so I have to examine that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's going to be big if it gets any coverage.  McCain's whole play of "suspending" his campaign seems to be evaporating.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain's whole campaign seems to be evaporating.

Are the debates still on, or is Obama going to be having a conversation with an empty podium tomorrow?

(Not that's necessarily an either/or.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama has apparently told Lehrer he's willing to do a sit-down with Lehrer or a townhall in which the folks in the audience can ask questions.

He should, if that happens, offer to foot the bill.  Ole Miss and the city of Oxford spent a lot of money to get this together, and it really is bullshit, unbelievably selfish, that McCain has done this to them.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think John McCain understands stuff like cost. After all, his wife pays for everything. As for selfish, well duh !! He's a republican.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I reckon the Onion or Jon Stewart must see stuff like that and wonder how they can top it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:37:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well that takes me back to the Tom Lehner quote

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:58:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a reason Weekly World News does better satire than The Onion these days without either of them having changed their game in years.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:40:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

INVESTMENT BANKERS FLOOD INTO MEXICO & CANADA

TORONTO, CANADA - Thousands of proud but recently fired investment bankers are flooding into Mexico and Canada in a desperate bid to find steady work and job security that are no longer available in the U.S.!

A spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol says an astonishing 500 to 1,000 citizens are crossing our Northern and Southern borders every day, some with the help of smugglers who charge up to $10,000 a pop to pack them in refrigerator boxes or roll them up in carpets and sneak them over in trucks.

Mexican border patrol officers are now working around the clock to stop this new influx of American immigrants.

"They used to try to stop us from heading over there, but now they want to come over here," says one member of the Mexican policia whose squad lines up to stop flow of briefcase-carrying freeloaders.
"They make fun of us and don't want us over there," he says. "Well, we don't want them over here either!"

"I grew up in America and I love my country, but Lord knows, I have to make a living," Peter Starmeyer, 38, says from the makeshift plywood and cardboard shanty he now calls home on Toronto's increasingly seedy west side.

"When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and I lost my job, I had no other choice. The only way for me to keep living the American dream was to move to Canada where businesses value and respect workers and try to help them hold on to their jobs."



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:05:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My favorite is still the scene in The Day After Tomorrow, in which Americans try to get into Mexico only to find Mexico seals the border.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah I almost posted that one to the salon yesterday.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:46:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the thing to worry about is if these guys have some tie-in with Diebold, they run Obama into an overwhelming favourite and then clean up.

And it don't matter who the favourite is, and it don't matter what the exit polls say, it doesn't even matter who anybody actually votes for, it's who the USSC says is President gets to be sworn in. Maybe the bookies have a sweetheart deal with them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is, they can't steal it if it's not close, and when you see Obama pulling into the lead in places like North Carolina and Florida -- maybe even Indiana by now -- it's a sign that this election could -- not necessarily will, but could -- turn into a massive landslide.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if you don't believe me, I offer McCain's behavior as solid evidence.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Without a paper trail, how could you ever know it was ever anything other than close ? People lie to pollsters you know.

And the repugs have barely started their voter suppression stunts yet.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:59:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People don't lie to pollsters enough to change results on that kind of scale.  Polls are almost always correct.  It's the imperfections of modeling where they get it wrong, but the differences aren't great enough to account for Obama going from winning (say) 350 EVs to 250.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, plausible deniability. And they already stretched that pretty far in the last few elections.
by Trond Ove on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See Drew, many Europeans have now a hard time believing there can be any such thing as free and fair elections in the US of A.
by Bernard on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are two types of obvious rigging I can think of, and what goes on in the US is more complicated.

  1. Old communist style - votes are counted, but there is only one party on the ballot, and/or the penalty for voting for opposition parties is imprisonment or death.

  2. Sham democracy style - multiple parties on the ballot, but the country's leader has enough power to falsify the results.

In the US there are signs of localized corruption - "soft" rigging like not having enough poll stations in poor and heavily democratic districts, and potentially some "hard" rigging with some diebold machines.

In states where the republicans have a lot of control, they might be able to move the results one or two percentage points. Given how close the 04 election was, some shenanigans in Ohio was all that was needed (whether or not the results actually were tainted). In 2000, Florida was so close it was within the margin of error (even within the margins of the best possible design of an election system, in my opinion); from there, the local power apparatus finished the job.

The disenfranchisement of fellons is another issue.

A few other things to keep in mind - Obama is pro business. He is not a left wing radical. McCain is unstable - to the point where I think the business community is worried. Thus I don't see a reason to expect higher levels of corruption than we've had indicators of in the past two elections.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:25:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain's second hail mary pass today will have pissed off almost everyone.

He probably thinks he's being Mr Mavericky, or something, but it's more likely that he's shot his campaign in the head.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yep, and I don't think this election will be close enough for the corruption that is present to effect the outcome anyway.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The McCain/Palin campaign is so screwed-up even the US press is starting to notice, and report it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Events are outside of their control at the moment thought.

Fake outrage is difficult to produce when the entire economy is unraveling in front of the voters.

And they are running out of time.

by Trond Ove on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

US `will lose financial superpower status'

The US is poised to lose its role as a global financial "superpower" in the wake of the financial crisis, Peer Steinbrück, German finance minister, said on Thursday as he called for a regulatory crackdown on financial markets.

"The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multipolar" with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament.

(...)

"Crisis management alone will not rebuild the lost confidence," he said. "We must civilise financial markets, and not just through moral appeals against excess and speculation. Self-regulation is no longer sufficient."

The US belief in "laisser-faire capitalism; the notion that markets should be as free as possible from regulation; these arguments were wrong and dangerous," he said. "This largely under-regulated system is collapsing today."

The US had failed in its oversight of investment banks, Mr Steinbrück said, adding that the crisis was an indictment of the US two-tier banking system and its "weak, divided financial oversight."

He pointed the finger at Washington for failing to take seriously proposals Berlin had made as it chaired the Group of Eight industrial nations last year. These proposals, he said, "elicited mockery at best or were seen as a typical example of Germans' know-better attitude."

You go, peer!

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:44:39 PM EST
Makes me glad i made the move, just to hear a politician say something intelligent and thoughtful.

He pointed the finger at Washington for failing to take seriously proposals Berlin had made as it chaired the Group of Eight industrial nations last year. These proposals, he said, "elicited mockery at best or were seen as a typical example of Germans' know-better attitude."

almost as good as Joschka Fischer poking his finger at Rumsfuck.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schadenfreude is a german word, of course....


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:32:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what is proposed is not the nationalization of private corporations but rather a corporate takeover of government. The marriage of highly concentrated corporate power with an authoritarian state that services the politico-economic elite at the expense of the people is more accurately referred to as "financial fascism." After all, even Hitler never nationalized the Mercedes-Benz company but rather entered into a very profitable partnership with the current car company's corporate ancestor, which made out quite well until Hitler's bubble burst.

Robert Scheer, in the Nation, senses that the tail and the dog may be just the reverse from what our popular wisdom suggests.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:58:57 PM EST
Certainly as you noted, there's lots of questions to be asked about Paulson's conflict of interests.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]






you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 01:50:35 PM EST
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/25/16545/2914/720/608457

There's lots more.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You two can try to top my McCainPANCAKES stuff, but you'll never do it. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:09:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a scary McCain'08/Palin'09 bumper sticker out there...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 02:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Way too much fun.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:27:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writers 16 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Warned of a possible financial panic, key Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle Thursday on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and said they would present it to the Bush administration in hopes of a vote within days.
ADVERTISEMENT

Emerging from a two-hour negotiating session, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the Banking Committee chairman said, "We are very confident that we can act expeditiously."

"I now expect that we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate (and) be signed by the president," said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

The bipartisan consensus on the general direction of the legislation was reported just hours before President Bush was to host presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain and congressional leaders at the White House for discussions on how to clear obstacles to the unpopular rescue plan.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 02:16:03 PM EST

Lawmakers Agree on `Principles' of Rescue Deal

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Congressional negotiators said they reached a bipartisan agreement on a ``set of principles'' for a $700 billion financial-rescue package to inject fresh capital into the paralyzed credit markets.

Lawmakers agreed that legislation should include provisions on oversight of the Treasury-run program, limits on executive pay and a section on homeownership preservation, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said.

Still unresolved is whether the bill will include a provision allowing bankruptcy judges to change mortgage terms. The Treasury would have $250 billion available immediately, said a Senate aide, who requested anonymity.

(...)

Frank said a Democratic provision to let judges rewrite mortgage terms for homeowners in bankruptcy proceedings is the ``most controversial'' and remains an ``outstanding issue.''

``We pushed very strongly for it,'' Frank said. ``We haven't resolved it yet.''

``Bankruptcy is the one issue where our Republican colleagues told us they thought that would blow up the whole thing,'' Frank told reporters. ``So it hasn't been finally resolved, but that's on the table.''

That's still a rather major disagreement...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the AP article said "key Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle."  But they had fewer details as to differences.  The bankruptcy provision is a pretty important detail.  The other concern I have is the intended use of the money.  I doubt that recapitlizing MS and GS is the best and highest use.  More like flushing that money and having to raise more for what we should have used it for to begin with.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a game of chicken going on.  McCain desperately wants to vote against it and try to play the populist card.  (We all get a good laugh at that, but remember that people are stupid.)  And Boehner wants to help him.  But how does McCain do that after all his drama-queen antics about suspending the campaign to get a bill?

He's completely incoherent.  And the press is starting to pick up on it.  They're also picking up on the fact that his "suspension" was a lie.

Bush, again, seems genuinely scared out of his mind at the economy right now.  (No wonder.  Bush is cynical and corrupt, but he's not completely stupid.  He knows we're in deep shit.)  He seems to simply want a bill, even if it means conceding every key point to the Dems, and I'm guessing he's about ready to strangle McCain by now for all the dicking around.

The Dems, of course, want to pass something akin to Dodd's bill, and the only question now is on the bankruptcy rules that the progressives want reformed.  Obama sounds like he's going to move to support the bankruptcy provisions, thus allowing him to either get a better bill or vote Nay and cut off McCain.

That's where we're at.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:24:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the unpopular rescue plan.

Those words mean NOTHING to them, do they?!  I wonder if his god talked to 43 tonight, or if it had to go through chainy.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:12:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sunlight Foundation - Dodd's Legislative Proposal From Treasury Department for Authority to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets.

Miss Nancy sez, It's a go! Better memorize it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:16:45 PM EST
I can't improve upon Martin's comment on that blog:
Please everyone. Don't just whine and make sarcastic comments. Call your Senators and Congressmen and tell them to not spend the nation into debt to reward rich bankers with even more money.
posted by Martin Sarsfield, September 23, 2008
Ask them why our money should be used to improve the balance sheets of these institutions and how the taxpayers are supposed to get their money back if MS and GS go bust anyway.  The bailout should only go to purchase genuine securities, i.e. mortgages.  These mortgages and the properties by which they are secured may be well under water now but are not likely to go to zero.  Who knows what still can happen to MS and GS with credit default swaps, CDOs, etc.  These  could be massive liabilities as we speak instead of assets.  Put the money in the toilet, flush it, say "thank you" and ask for more!  How do they stop Paulson if that is his plan?  NO FUNDING WITHOUT DISCOVERY!  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but I actually had a teenager give me his seat in the subway this afternoon.  Another world is possible!

Even if I looked like caca warmed over, I had a smile on, so it was good manners.

Back to permadoom.  (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:27:12 PM EST
Is Michigan now out of play?  Ann Selzer, 538's top-rated pollster, has a new poll for the Detroit Free Press:

Obama 51
McCain 38

Selzer doesn't poll many races outside of Iowa, but when she polls, she's the only one who beats SurveyUSA, so this is very encouraging.

Research2000 has Obama moving back into the lead in St John's beloved New Hampshire:

Obama 48
McCain 44

Ras allegedly has some polling coming out later tonight.

Still waiting on bailout news.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 04:33:52 PM EST

`Race to Bottom' at Moody's, S&P Secured Subprime's Boom, Bust

Sept. 25 -- In August 2004, Moody's Corp. unveiled a new credit-rating model that Wall Street banks used to sow the seeds of their own demise. The formula allowed securities firms to sell more top-rated, subprime mortgage-backed bonds than ever before.

A week later, Standard & Poor's moved to revise its own methods. An S&P executive urged colleagues to adjust rating requirements for securities backed by commercial properties because of the ``threat of losing deals.''

The world's two largest bond-analysis providers repeatedly eased their standards as they pursued profits from structured investment pools sold by their clients, according to company documents, e-mails and interviews with more than 50 Wall Street professionals. It amounted to a ``market-share war where criteria were relaxed,'' says former S&P Managing Director Richard Gugliada.

``I knew it was wrong at the time,'' says Gugliada, 46, who retired from the McGraw-Hill Cos. subsidiary in 2006 and was interviewed in May near his home in Staten Island, New York. ``It was either that or skip the business. That wasn't my mandate. My mandate was to find a way. Find the way.''

(...)

Moody's could produce a lower default rate by incorporating a decade of ratings stability for structured finance into its assumptions. The average five-year loss rate on U.S. structured finance products between 1993 and 2003 was 1.9 percent, compared with 6.3 percent for corporate bonds, the company had said in September 2004. A drawback was that raters didn't have data going back to the 1920s, as they did on corporate bonds.

In a press release on the report, Moody's said ``structured- finance ratings are broadly comparable in quality to the ratings of corporate bonds.''

`More Aaas'

Philippe Jorion, 53, a finance professor at the University of California, Irvine, criticizes the Moody's decision to factor ratings stability into its evaluations.

``This uses the output of their model as input into their models,'' Jorion says. ``This type of model is totally out of touch with the underlying economic reality.''

The way was found...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:02:58 PM EST
I would swear I mentioned somewhere here the strategic advantage of "conserving" AIG (big, FAT insurer) in Paulson's US TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION um "Blueprint" plan, but I can't locate the comment. I bet it was near the HBOS/Lloyd's M&A announcement. Oh well, I confess I haven't read AIG's AR. But here is an anecdotal report on Roubini's analysis of intangible AIG "assets" in the ONE WORLD SCHEME via CR commenter Kung Fu Panda.

AIG's last annual report reveals that it had written coverage for more than $300bn of credit insurance for European banks. The comment by AIG itself on these positions was that they were "for the purpose of providing them with regulatory capital relief rather than risk mitigation in exchange for a minimum guaranteed fee". Thus, a formal default by AIG would have exposed European banks to large increases in regulatory capital requirements, with possibly devastating effects on their ratings and market confidence. Thus, the US Treasury has saved, inter alia, the European banking system....The crucial problem on this side of the Atlantic is that the largest European banks have become not only too big to fail, but also too big to be saved.

For example, the total liabilities of Deutsche Bank (leverage ratio over 50!) amount to about €2,000bn (more than Fannie Mae) or more than 80 per cent of the gross domestic product of Germany. This is simply too much for the Bundesbank or even the German state, given that the German budget is bound by the rules of the European Union's stability pact and the German government cannot order (unlike the US Treasury) its central bank to issue more currency. Similarly, the total liabilities of Barclays of around £1,300bn (leverage ratio 60!) are roughly equivalent to the GDP of the UK. Fortis bank has a leverage ratio of "only" 33, but its liabilities are three times the GDP of its home country of Belgium.

http://www.rgemonitor.com/euro-monitor/253731/european_banking_on_borrowed_time

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:45:54 PM EST
That jibes with what Jim Cramer said about AIG and the European banks.  Could've been very bad.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 07:59:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The comment by AIG itself on these positions was that they were "for the purpose of providing them with regulatory capital relief rather than risk mitigation

Don't tell me you can have an insurance policy instead of hard assets and call that "regulatory capital".

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 Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:03:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CBS Nes/New York Times:

Obama 50
McCain 44

The more interesting finding: 50% of the public has no confidence in McCain on the economic crisis.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:09:24 PM EST
And those hacks at RealClearPolitics put it up as 47-42 -- the Registered Voter model -- even though their policy is supposed to be to put Likely Voter models up.

And they dissed the GOS/R2K poll, refusing to put it up by taking the line that they weren't going to add anymore polling outfits.  Yet they added one today.

I love it.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:24:29 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 Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:49:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The more interesting finding: 50% of the public has no confidence in McCain on the economic crisis.

I knew it.  I knew it.  I knew it.  I knew it.  I knew it.

Victory is mine!  Victory.  Is.  Mine.  Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land!  :-)

ka-POW ka-POW ka-POW

And McCain crashes again.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:56:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Giant Talking Penis walked into the Democratic caucus and begged the Dems to not blow up the bill.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one big huge reason I didn't want Hillary as the nominee: hubby.

The Democrats didn't blow up the bill.  The fucking Republicans did.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Link?

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 Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:09:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hat tip to marco.

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 Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:15:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land!

I don't know about muffins, but you're not in the right part of the country for good bagels.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, I have an automatic bagel maker that creates wonderful bagels.

Whenever I beg and plead enough, she makes some.  ;-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but do you have the famous New York water? More seriously - really? Making the things always seemed like a horrible pain to me.
by MarekNYC on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 01:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We don't have the water but we do what we can.

And, Yes - we really do make our own bagels.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 01:41:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as people in your part of the country refer to pizzas as "pies," like some damned furreners, you don't get to lecture us on food. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 10:28:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried a few of the pizza establishments in your neck of the woods. They made the crappiest warmed up slices in roach infested NYC joints seem wonderful. A hint to any pizza parlour owners out there - your dough should not remind one of toasted WonderBread.
by MarekNYC on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 01:18:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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