“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Friday, March 27, 2009

Financial crisis 'caused by white men with blue eyes'-President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva of Brazil

Financial crisis 'caused by white men with blue eyes'
With Brown at his side, Brazilian leader apportions blame for global recession

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor Independent
Friday, 27 March 2009

A British minister warned leaders of the world's biggest economies yesterday that they must produce more than empty rhetoric at the crucial G20 summit in London next week.

Lord Malloch-Brown, the plain-speaking Foreign Office minister who is playing a key role in the negotiations ahead of the meeting, said: "We can't again engage in meaningless, empty commitments which don't survive the flight home." Leaders risked fuelling public dissent if they did not agree on action to tackle the recession, with dire consequences for the poorest nations.

But he said Thursday's summit may not have an immediate impact. "The global economy is going to go on descending on 3 April, the massive destruction of wealth that is going on is not going to be stopped by any leaders' communique. Stock markets may be arrested and turned around but we are in for a very tough 2009 under any circumstances – including a successful G20 summit."

In Brazil, Gordon Brown continued his pre-summit tour but there was embarrassment when his host, President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, said the financial crisis was caused by "white people with blue eyes". He told a joint press conference with Mr Brown that he had never met a black banker.

"This is a crisis that was caused by people, white with blue eyes. And before the crisis they looked as if they knew everything about economics," he said. "Once again the great part of the poor in the world that were still not yet [getting] their share of development that was caused by globalisation, they were the first ones to suffer.

President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, said the financial crisis was caused by "white people with blue eyes".

"Since I am not acquainted with any black bankers, I can only say that this part of humanity that is the major victim of the world crisis, these people should pay for the crisis? I cannot accept that. If the G20 becomes a meeting just to set another meeting, we'll be discredited and the crisis can deepen."

Downing Street sources suggested the controversial remarks were meant for "domestic consumption".


  1. Seems that some Americans are not effected by the PC regulators of DC. They can speak of their own perceptions of reality, without fear of the PC police.

    Didn't mat say most Jews have grey eyes? That would make this current economic crisis a Nordic one, in Mr Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva estimation. No anti-Jewbbaca he, he blames the Swedes.

    Betcha an amero to a real that he never has seen a black banker from the IMF

  2. If you look really close, it'll make his brown eyes blue.

    Just tell him where that should go.

  3. Obama went to the White House doctor and complained that his eyes were brown on the bottom and blue on the top. The doctor says, "Here, drink this," and the President does, but then he makes a grimace and says, "That tastes like shit!" The doctor says, "It is, you were a quart low."

  4. If we go down the list of perps, in this Global Economic Crisis, there are not many black men on it.

    No guns or violence was involved

    Whether or not the perps are blued eyed, that's the only possible point of contention regarding the truth of President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva of Brazil's statement.

  5. What color are Robert Rubin's eyes?

  6. I'm not sure if Barney qualifies, as a Banker but he is a perp.
    His eyes are not Paul Newman blue, that's fer sur.

  7. Wonder who President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, of Brazil, had in mind?

  8. Didn't mat say most Jews have grey eyes?

    No. I said dark grey eyes are common among Jews, and VERY uncommon among Swedes (referring to a newly discovered Shakespeare portrait that presented a stereotypical looking Jew).

  9. I thought the same thing when I saw the portrait.

  10. That would put "The Merchant of Venice" in a whole new light>

  11. Tes,

    Youz reading comprehension skills are top notch.

  12. I guess I just can't resist an opportunity to post a piccie of a blue-eyed brunette, Mat

  13. She's get albino eyes, Tes. I wouldn't call them blue. Plus as a female, she doesn't qualify to be anything but a female. A rib of Adam, nothing more.

  14. Here's a picture of North Korea celebrating Earth Hour all the time. Let's be like the Norks (not!)

  15. She's got eyes so icy blue she gets tapped to play blind women more often than not.

  16. I got his "Domestic Consumption" swingin, right here.

  17. I think this could be a a really, really bad idea:

    "The F.D.I.C. was created to do what its name implies: insure deposits. Deposits are loans of a kind: when you make a deposit at the bank, you’re lending the bank your money, normally at a very low rate of interest. The F.D.I.C. exists to make sure that whatever happens to the bank, you’ll always get your money back — up to a limit of $250,000.

    Now, however, instead of insuring garden-variety bank deposits, the F.D.I.C. is going to insure extremely risky loans to curious new entities called public-private investment funds. And while banks can always borrow money somewhere, these funds wouldn’t be able to borrow at all were it not for that F.D.I.C. guarantee. "


    The whole editorial is worth reading.

  18. "Kill the blue eyed white devil!"
    Right On Mat!
    We be the Rat Patrol!

  19. "Now, however, instead of insuring garden-variety bank deposits, the F.D.I.C. is going to insure extremely risky loans to curious new entities called public-private investment funds. And while banks can always borrow money somewhere, these funds wouldn’t be able to borrow at all were it not for that F.D.I.C. guarantee. ""
    Ain't that the truth.
    Dr. Housing Bubble has some great articles on the big Govt big Bank scams transfering wealth from the the taxpayers to Wall Street.

    Protector of the down and out.

  20. Poorly Planned Investment Program (PPIP). How does the new Treasury Plan Impact Housing and the Market

    Geithner is right that we are not going to have a Japanese experience.
    Japan zombified banks.
    With this plan we just zombified the taxpayer.
    Here is the breakdown of the program:

    Bottom line? This is one gigantic put option for private investors.
    If you lose, so what.
    You only lose the premium put in since the loan is non-recourse. If you hit the pot of gold, then you make out like a bandit gambling with the taxpayer money.
    That isn’t going to happen.

    What is going to happen is short term gaming, Pollyanna thinking, and a stealth cleansing of the books which eventually will zombify the taxpayer.
    At a certain point these assets will hit the market. Who is going to buy these homes at inflated prices? The only reason home sales are bouncing up recently is because of nearly 50 percent of the homes being sold are foreclosure re-sales at rock bottom prices.

    This plan runs along the same vein of the initial Paulson TARP

  21. "It’s possible to step back and admire the statecraft in the present case — there’s a certain elegance with which Treasury managed to transform $100 billion in TARP funds into more than $500 billion in cash to inject into the banking system, all the while avoiding any fight on Capitol Hill. It makes the $20 billion found for Mexico all those years ago look like pocket change."
    Dr. Housing Bubble recounts how, on March 6, the headline was:

    Dodd asks for FDIC increase to 500 to cover us poor folks or some such.
    Actual use described by Ash's author and Dr. Housing Bubble, in more detail.

  22. "This could be the most far-reaching unintended consequence of Congress’s stubborn opposition to any bailout plan. Treasury ended up being forced to find its own way — and that meant a suboptimal bank bailout scheme, and a vast swath of new powers for the F.D.I.C."
    The right way would have been to temporarily nationalize losers like Citi and B of A, deal with the toxic assets (meaning losers lose, instead of the taxpayers) then return the cleansed skeletons back into the real world.

  23. Krugman is writing today about the same stuff only different:

    "Underlying the glamorous new world of finance was the process of securitization. Loans no longer stayed with the lender. Instead, they were sold on to others, who sliced, diced and puréed individual debts to synthesize new assets. Subprime mortgages, credit card debts, car loans — all went into the financial system’s juicer. Out the other end, supposedly, came sweet-tasting AAA investments. And financial wizards were lavishly rewarded for overseeing the process.

    But the wizards were frauds, whether they knew it or not, and their magic turned out to be no more than a collection of cheap stage tricks. Above all, the key promise of securitization — that it would make the financial system more robust by spreading risk more widely — turned out to be a lie. Banks used securitization to increase their risk, not reduce it, and in the process they made the economy more, not less, vulnerable to financial disruption.

    Sooner or later, things were bound to go wrong, and eventually they did. Bear Stearns failed; Lehman failed; but most of all, securitization failed.

    Which brings us back to the Obama administration’s approach to the financial crisis.

    Much discussion of the toxic-asset plan has focused on the details and the arithmetic, and rightly so. Beyond that, however, what’s striking is the vision expressed both in the content of the financial plan and in statements by administration officials. In essence, the administration seems to believe that once investors calm down, securitization — and the business of finance — can resume where it left off a year or two ago. "

    The whole op/ed piece well worth reading in my humble opinion!


  24. I agree with you Doug on that recommended approach. The downside to it though appears to be that not just a few entities would require nationalization but rather most all of them - the big ones at least. One of the characterizations/criticism folk I've read toss at Krugman, and they'd do it to you to, is they'd say 'Doug and Krugman favor Bank Nationalization'.

  25. Lettuce Serve You
    I was looking for something else, but this came up, and I thot you might like to see my cellulite before and after shots.

  26. If Doug and Krugman favor Bank Nationalization, how csn it possibly be feasible?

  27. Arnold not running for political office after his term expires. Good. He should go back to pretending he's a robot rather than a Republican.

  28. Seems everybody be blaming Whitey. Even Andrew Young. Remember this?


  29. Max Keiser:

    Whitey racked up 250 trillion dollars worth of debts and now is trying to run away

    JP Morgan
    Bank of America
    Credit Suisse First Boston
    Goldman Sachs

    There are 250 trillion dollars worth of derivative contracts. 250 trillion dollars worth of IOUs. Now, planet earth itself has a global GDP or output of just under 40 trillion. 40 trillion goes into 250 trillion how many times?

    This is a financial wave of bad IOU paper, suddenly getting ready to crash on to everyone's bank account.

    These banks are in the business of tearing down society by issuing these highly toxic derivative products. Because when it's revealed that the value is zero, and the markets seize up and are illiquid, you have to declare bankruptcy. And they're coming after you because they sold off your mortgage to some Chinese creditor who thinks nothing of stringing you up and beating you.

    You can't expect that piece of paper to have any collateral value. It's got to be marked down to zero.

    Whitey racked up 250 trillion dollars worth of debt and now is trying to run away.

    Kill Whitey!
    (Kill whitey is my embellishment :)

  30. But this way, Ash, BHO gets to pay off the big players -
    and knows it.

    Just like the clueless W did -
    on autopilot to Hell.

  31. Man,
    Something weird happened to my before and after Cellulite link.

    Sorry 'bout that.

  32. Scratch that:
    There I am over in the left Ad Column!

    I'm a Cellulite Celebrity!

  33. "You all know why Buck has one blue eye and one brown eye?"

    "No, why?"

    "He's a quart low on bullshit today."

    is the way I heard it T.

    Look at this!---

    MLD said...
    "Blogger: The Elephant Bar-Post a Comment"

    Touche! It's by far the best post ever and y'all still talk politics. Ugh...

    What am I going to do with you guys?

    Fri Mar 27, 09:32:00 AM EDT

    At least somebody recognizes talent when they meet it face to face!

  34. I don't think it is so much a case of trying to pay off big players but rather a case of appointing what they think are the 'best and the brightest' and then deferring to them. Unfortunately the 'best and the brightest' they've appointed come from the same pool - "Goldman Sachs" and they are like cats chasing their own tail. Their whole lives have revolved around this mess before it was a mess and now they are trying to get it back to where it was.

  35. ...I'm just one,
    in a series of rotating ads.
    Wo is me.
    Cellulite Subsidies become a top priority for BHO

  36. A good 50% of all these 'bankers' are bald! This must be an insight. Let that seep into your consciousness. Beware the bald bankers.


  37. "Their whole lives have revolved around this mess before it was a mess "
    They were the mess embryos,
    precursors to the Global Mess.

  38. Re: Krugman

    I watched him on YouTube/edu. It didn't take me more than a minute to detect he's a lying douche bag working on his poker face. The man is most likely a Goldman Sucks apparatchik.

  39. Why do people believe in a Roman Catholic paradise, but refuse to believe in Obama's Communist paradise? Because we don't show our paradise!

  40. Beware Blueeyed Bald Bankers--

    that gets it--


  41. Doug, maybe Rufus knows a way to convert cellulite to biodiesel. America is the Saudi Arabia of cellulite!

  42. What will be the ratio of the pound, the ruble, and the dollar by the end of Obama's presidential term? A pound of dollars for a ruble!

  43. I saw in an article yesterday that said the European Banks were leveraged 30-40 to 1, The US banks 20-30 - 1 and the Canadian banks were 10-15 -1. I'm guessing the Russians were leveraged to the hilt...

  44. My two predictions:

    1. The Obama Administration will wave the white flag and "give up" on the drug war.

    2. We will make a deal with the Taliban to provide security and control in Afghanistan.

    The drugs are killing us.

    - whit

    It occurs to me that you people ought to have a predictions-roll, like a blogroll, on the homepage. Then we can all keep track. More fun than betting on the Final Four.

    I can see individual states moving to ease drug laws. But I can't envision a serious move on the federal level to end prohibition. Who wants to take responsibility for that kind of extreme, high visibility action absent momentum? The pack of jackals in Congress?

    We are an evangelizing nation. The War on Drugs is a fixture and feature of that. That it has created the conditions it sought to preempt, well, this is quietly understood to be less important than, shall we say, the principle involved.

    In re Afghanistan: The drug lords are not, for the most part, the bad guys. This complicates matters greatly. It's always better when the drug lords are your political/ideological/military opponents. Simplifies and clarifies the public mind.

    That's not to say that it's hopeless. I already made my prediction on that front.

  45. I will make two simple observations:

    1. I have never met one person who's life has been enhanced by the perpetual use of drugs. Invariably the damage goes beyond them to every person in their circle of family and friends.

    2. Almost without exception, every perpetual drug user started out with using pot.

  46. I would suggest that every 'perpetual drug user' started out with alcohol. In my experience the only 'perpetual drug users' that remained functional were pot users. All others ended up dysfunctional. Now, I think, alcohol in moderation can be perpetually used but if consumed all day they become dysfunctional as well. I've known, and still know, regular (i.e. smoke all day) pot users who have remained functional.

  47. "Invariably the damage goes beyond them to every person in their circle of family and friends."

    Undoubtedly, this is the case. The question is whether, and how, to involve the USG in addressing such private miseries.

    Put on your small-government conservative hat (I'm assuming you've got one) and think about it.

  48. Deuce, if pot is a gateway drug, then any slum lord can attribute the failure of a furnace to the new residency of a gateway tenant.

  49. The prohibition of alcohol gave rise to organized crime on a scale previously unimagined in the US.

    The prohibition of marijuana has had the same effect, both in the US and in Mexico.

    Marijuana is truly not an issue of Interstate Commerce, the Federals have no real Constitutional authority to regulate its use in any of the various States of the Union.

    But it does try to.

  50. Drugs, gambling, and prostitution: Otherwise known as the "entertainment, and recreation" industry.

    We can't legalize drugs. Just think of all those American "entrepreneurs" that would be put out of business.

  51. We helped roll it back in Peru. It moved to Colombia. We helped roll it back in Colombia. It moved to Mexico. It's like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Same occurs in the States. You crack down in one area, it finds another. Discover one inroad, there are two more being cultivated. You focus on one drug, a new and improved one comes along. All the while, business booms. Demand flourishes. Drug traffic-related violence and possession-related incarceration soar in tandem.

    Even with the vast government apparatus that's been developed in response, it's Sysiphean.

  52. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has begun selling the iPhone 3G without the AT&T (NYSE:T) contract. AT&T has also been offering the deal, but only for those with an existing contract with the provider. The inventory clearance is more fuel to the rumor that the next generation of iPhones will be unveiled soon, most likely at the annual developers contract in June.



  53. 1. I have never met one person who's life has been enhanced by the perpetual use of drugs. Invariably the damage goes beyond them to every person in their circle of family and friends.

    My observation as well.

    We don't have a war on drugs.

    We've got a police action on drugs. Is it Singapore? they've got a war on drugs. And, not much drug use, either.

  54. William James--"The Varieties of Religious Experience"--thought most drug use and alcoholism stemmed from an effort toward transcendence. Which crashes and burns.

  55. If we had a predictions board, we'd come to realize how poor we are at making predictions, most of us. We'd learn a little humility, however.

  56. We don't have a war on drugs.

    We've got a police action on drugs.

    - bob

    What more would you like to see in the federal effort, bob, in the way of war against illegal but popular and profitable substances?

  57. (This is why I've stopped paying attention to conservatives for any purposes other than morbid fascination and comedy relief.)

  58. How about a mine field from the Gulf to the Pacific?

  59. Singapore also gets Old School on tagging. Heh.

  60. How about a federal law making it attempted murder to push hard drugs, cause that's what it often amounts to in the end, murder.

  61. Bobal: If we had a predictions board, we'd come to realize how poor we are at making predictions,

    I predict the apocalypse in 2012 (for liberals) when Sarah Palin takes it all.

  62. 'Tis a brave prediction Tes.

    It's possible, though. If the green revolution in energy fails, and it will, not much is going to change in four years, and gas is four and five bucks, Sarah is going to be looking pretty good to a lot of folks, whose taxes have gone up, value of money gone down, fuel prices skyrocket, with the bread lines lengthening.

  63. If it were not illegal to grow a few plants of your own, demand for foreign product would be almost nil and the demand in Mexico for military hardware would shrink accordingly. This would allow them to concentrate on what they do best, hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    If President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva has never met a black banker, perhaps he should be grateful to the 'white people with blue eyes' for whatever wealth he's been able to accumulate.

  64. If President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva has never met a black banker, perhaps he should be grateful to the 'white people with blue eyes' for whatever wealth he's been able to accumulate.

    Robert Mugabe sure knew what side of the Wonder Bread his butter went on.

  65. Upcoming Intel Chip Launch Could Spark Massive Wave Of IT System Disruption

    By Tom Foremski - March 27, 2009

    Monday, Intel will officially launch it's most important chip in more than 15 years, a high performance Xeon server microprocessor code named Nehalem. It has the potential to shakeup not only the microprocessor market for IT systems but also trigger a tsunami of data center upgrades worldwide.

    The reason is its exceptional performance and a design that significantly reduces power consumption. On Monday, Intel and customers such as Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Dell, Cisco Systems, and others, will release benchmarks that are expected to show dramatic performance improvement across a broad range of business applications.

    "With one Nehalem server customers will be able to replace nine servers. And that's before using virtualization, with which you'll be able to replace as many as 18 servers, and reduce power consumption by abut 20 percent," said Kirk Skaugen, VP and General Manager of Intel's Server Platforms Group.

    Nehalem has been in development for four years and is manufactured on Intel's most advanced 45nm chip technology. This dramatically speeds up performance and reduces energy use because electrons have shorter distances to travel and there is less leakage of power.

    "When I joined Intel in 1992, the fastest supercomputer performed at 93 gigaflops and cost $130 million. One Nehalem server will give you the same performance," said Mr Skaugen.

    This combination of high performance and support for critical IT technologies such as virtualization, means data centers will be able to reap massive cost savings by consolidating the number of servers in their data centers. This means lower administration costs, and big savings on power consumption -- two of the largest issues facing data center managers.

    Mr Skaugen said that a Nehalem server will pay for itself within just eight months. "After 8 months they become cash machines," said Mr Skaugen.

    With these types of dramatic cost savings, and the extraordinary economic pressure on data centers to reduce operational costs because of the recession, Nehalem servers could trigger the largest upgrade cycle ever seen in IT systems worldwide.

    The exceptional performance of Nehalem systems could also trigger a consolidation of the microprocessor market for IT systems, which includes server chips from Sun Microsystems with its SPARC, and IBM's POWER microprocessors. This RISC market has been in Intel's cross-hairs for more than a decade but now it holds a strong hand of cards, including the availability of Sun's Solaris operating system on Xeon, which will make migration from RISC systems easier.

    The Itanium microprocessor, introduced with much fanfare in 2001, was Intel's first attempt to take on the lucrative RISC microprocessor market. Although Itanium failed to meet its high expectations, Intel's Xeon server chips based on the PC X86 architecture succeeded in dominating the low end of the IT systems market.

    However, nearly half of the installed server market is still RISC microprocessor based, valued at about $27 billion, said Mr Skaugen. For the first time, Intel's customers can build IT systems that are highly competitive with RISC based IT systems on performance and total cost of ownership.

    In addition, the quad-core design of Nehalem means that single core Xeon servers, which represent the vast majority of an installed base valued at about $28 billion, are ripe for replacement.

    That means there is more than $50 billion in business opportunities opened up by Nehalem based servers in replacing aging IT systems worldwide. This will essentially lead to the complete rebuilding of global IT resources and the Internet itself. And it will potentially spark a reordering of the IT vendors as new entrants into the server market such as Cisco Systems, and low cost computer makers such as Dell, move to establish significant market shares.

    Sun Microsystems is especially vulnerable. Its SPARC microprocessor has a good track record for performance and low power use but Sun must maintain large investments in keeping it competitive. That scale of investment is increasingly challenging for Sun especially with the competition from Nehalem. This is very likely the reason Sun has been seeking to be acquired.

    If IBM were to buy Sun the RISC microprocessor market could be consolidated into a single architecture and development could be concentrated into producing POWER based IT systems that could potentially maintain a performance and cost of ownership competitive with Intel's Xeon server microprocessors.



    Nehalem was designed in Haifa, Israel. The word is actually a play on words. In Hebrew, it means to make disappear, and many rivers. And it is also a name of a river in the US.

  66. And all accomplished without the hoopla of gangrene promos and subsidies to tax eaters and rent seekers.

  67. Watch the green banners come out when marketing begins.

  68. Wage Deflation Sets In



  69. Here you go, LT.
    Watch and learn.


  70. Our leadership, idiots. Their leadership, bigger ones.

  71. Condemned to Repeat



  72. Bad News: Scientists Make Cheap Gas From Coal

    "The bottom line is that there's one fatal flaw in their proposed process from a climate protection standpoint," Pushker Karecha of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies wrote in an e-mail to Wired.com. "It would allow liquid fuel CO2 emissions to continue increasing indefinitely."


  73. Murder, and its attempt, bob, is a State crime, not a Federal one.

    Why in heavens name would you want to expand the crimes that the Federals can investigate folks for.

    Was it not just yesterday you were up in arms that the Federals were investigating someone who believes President Obama holds the office illegitimately.

    Just how many marjuana plants are you cultivating in that empty rental apartment, or the old barn.

    None, you say, well, we'll just have to have Federal Marshalls, the Civilian Action Corps come and search 'em, to be sure.

    No problems with US coming and searching, right?
    We'll count your guns and bullets, too. Make sure you are not overloaded with unsafely stored ammo for that pistol of yours.

  74. Smuggling dope into the country, and across state lines, federal crime, Rat. Or should be, if it isn't.

    Is it part of the libertarian playbook that a man has a right to use cocaine and heroin? To sell poisons to others?

  75. Petraeus and Holbrooke are doing CNN on Sunday. Mullen was there today for at least a half hour.

    It's South Asia roll-out weekend. That'd be Manjamma and "Medicine" Sunday on the Mayan calendar of doom. Let the wailing and garment-rending begin.

    Meanwhile, Michael Totten (posted at Belmont) takes a little walk through my husband's zip code. Loosely speaking. It ain't pretty, but there's some nice, if understandably reticent, folks; some very, hmm, sleepy Iraqi Army units; and policemen that need killing or keeping an eye on. Oh, yes. No good place to take a date for dinner, unless she's some USAID-type, isn't-this-colorful?, chick with a minor in World Studies. IOW: Much of the third world usual.

    I'm actually jealous. I won't get to see it any time soon.

  76. Poor Treasury Auction Results Rattle Investors -- Seeking Alpha

    On the heels of Britain's failed debt auction yesterday, our Treasury had its own trouble selling bonds. WSJ:

    The indirect bid — demand from domestic and foreign institutions, including foreign central banks — for the $34 billion five-year Treasury note auction was 30%, compared to 48.9% from the previous auction in February and an average of 30.1% for the last 10 auctions.

    The 10-year note declined 18/32, pushing its yield back up to 2.77%. The yield had fallen to around 2.50% last week after the Federal Reserve unveiled its plan to buy longer-term government debt.

    Bloomberg noted the following:

    U.S. securities dropped even after the Federal Reserve today bought $7.5 billion of Treasury notes, its first targeted purchases of U.S. securities since the early 1960s. The five- year auction drew a yield of 1.849 percent.

    "This caught a lot of people unaware," said Bulent Baygun, head of interest-rate strategy in New York at BNP Paribas Securities Corp., one of the 16 primary dealers that are required to bid at Treasury auctions. "Prior to the auction the Fed conducted its purchases of Treasuries, which may have compressed interest rates below where they would have been otherwise."

    Reader Ted asked in the comments earlier yesterday why I have such a big problem with budget deficits and with debt. It's a good question, in light of all the posting I've done on the subject recently. Problem 1: it's a matter of national security. To the degree our government isn't able to fund itself, that may compromise our national interests. Problem 2: Crowding Out. The more debt Treasury dumps onto the market, the more upward pressure will be placed onto interest rates across the credit spectrum. As painful as it would be, letting the system de-leverage now would be preferable to racking up yet more debt to be worked off later.

    Will the market be able to absorb the $2.5 trillion worth of Treasurys that Goldman says we're on pace to sell in 2009?



    Whit and Deuce asked what would be the consequence when the Fed opens the flood gates. I said the bonds market will crash. Looks like I'm not the only one of that opinion.

  77. Bob's difficulty isn't with drugs per se, but with the successful foreign competition with a perfectly satisfactory domestic product.

    Buy American.

    Right, bob?

  78. First things first, bob.

    We were not discussing heroin, cocaine or the Limbaugh choice, Oxi-cotin.

    Death to the druggies, puts Limbausgh and Levi Johston's mother first in line. Would Sarah pardon her grandson Tripps' own grandma, or let her rot in jail for attempted murder?

    Interstate transportation of any product could be a Federal crime, but that is not the issue. In California the same Courts that will not hear a challenge to Obama's eligibility found that growing pot in your backyard and smoking it youself, with never a sale made, was subject to Federal Interstate Commerce regulation.

    Where there was neither commerce nor interstate activity.
    Riddle US that one, bob.
    It is a 10th Amendment issue, but we all know that the 10th is the unenforced Amendment.

  79. Now if Idaho wants to make pot possession a death penalty infraction, while California wants to make it a medical treatment for insomnia, well, I'd let both States legislate their will, what ever that turned out to be.

    But personal use of herbal remedies should not be regulated by the Federals, they have no Constitutional jurisdiction to do so.

  80. Nominating a sure to be out voted best of the day:

    "It would allow liquid fuel CO2 emissions to continue increasing indefinitely."


    T @ Fri Mar 27, 08:09:00 PM EDT

  81. I think a person should be allowed to ingest any poison that they wish into their body. The only role for the government is to clearly label such poisons as poisons, and educate the population of the consequences. The "war on drugs" is nothing but another welfare program for the government's uniformed gangs.

    But all this is academic nonsense.

    When the US bonds market collapses, the US economy will also collapse. And when the US economy collapses, so will law and order in the US. Bob, take the money and run.

  82. blah, blah, blah---heroin a personal herbal remedy


  83. How chock-full of fools does a government have to be to try to legislate against something as easy, and unobtrusive as putting a seed in the ground down by the ditchbank, and smoking the leaves of the weed when it matures a couple of months later.

    Whoever those fools were/are, they never spent any time hanging around with "Clan, Rufi."

  84. He he he...I just wanted to be the 100th commenter.

  85. "There is a lot of ruin in a nation."

    - Adam Smith

    And plenty of foolishness, to boot.

    We may be the exceptional nation, but we are not an exception to that.

  86. linearthinker said: Nominating a sure to be out voted best of the day

    The Elephant Bar is kind of cliquey, LT. The old-timers could post "Me too" and win Best Original Screenplay, an outsider could post a Manifesto for a New Conservative Century and get razzed.

  87. One of the problems with arguing about drugs is people inevitably compare drugs that aren't alike.

    You may lose your git up n go with maryjane, think you are oh so profound, when you're just the opposite, but you're not going to overdose, not going to get hooked and go into withdrawls for weeks, not gonna shiver if the dealer don't deliver, not going to have to try and substitute methadone, it ain't gonna kill ya outright.

    Rat, above, has about five different topics all stirred together, all in one untranslatable 'argument'.

    Blow your brains out if you want to, I don't care, just don't sell the shit to anyone else.

    China was brought to its knees for awhile, by opium.

    But, it's not worth arguing about. Everyone is going to vote the way they want anyhow.

  88. "Bob, tell me what, I've won."

    "Well, MLD, you've won an all expense paid trip to Costa Rica, for two. This includes two weeks in a romantic all-inclusive resort, equipped with you very own private beach, crystal blue water and sunrises to die for."

  89. Rat, above, has about five different topics all stirred together, all in one untranslatable 'argument'.

    - bob

    Pot can destroy lives, bob. Jonah Goldberg wrote an up close and personal piece on this years ago. Do you want your federal government to be in the business of punitive salvation? He said yes. I say there's gotta be a better way to skin that cat.

    (Conservatism is like pornography: You'll know it when you see it. Right?)

  90. The Elephant Bar is kind of cliquey, LT. The old-timers could post "Me too" and win Best Original Screenplay, an outsider could post a Manifesto for a New Conservative Century and get razzed.

    Fuck you, T.

    That's not right, and you know it.

  91. Drinking Bud Light, and chasing pussy can destroy lives, too; but you're not going to stop THAT, either.

  92. Well, as I said, we are an evangelizing nation. As the old joke goes, Puritans outlawed bear-baiting not because it was cruel to the bear, but because it was fun for the spectators.

    Freedom, whiskey, sexy.

    We are deeply ambivalent.

  93. First of all, if you're drinking bud light, you're probably chasing your own pussy.

    Second, drugs are drugs whether they're illegal or you buy them over the counter. Yeah, the odds of overdosing on marijuana are slim and withdrawal isn't like that of other drugs but there still is withdrawal and there are consequences.

  94. not as destructive nor addictive as tobacco

  95. Drinking Bud Light, and chasing pussy can destroy lives, too; but you're not going to stop THAT, either.

    Heh, might as well try to stop the moon from waxing and waning.

    As the old joke goes, Puritans outlawed bear-baiting not because it was cruel to the bear, but because it was fun for the spectators.

    heh, I've read that too.

    The Puritan Hated Bear Baiting Not Because It Gave Pain To The Bear But Because It Gave Pleasure To The Spectators

    Bear Baiting

    The poor bear didn't have much of a chance, teethered as he was, unlike the more sportsman like Spanish, where the bull sometimes takes the matador with him.

  96. Don't give that bullshit.

    You must smoke, then.

  97. How is marijuana not as destructive as tobacco?

  98. The best part of my one trip to Europe was the bullfights. Kind of enjoyed those, a real pageant, seemed to me.

    All the other stuff, the crowded cities, the statues, the cobblestone roads, they can have 'em. Though I did like looking at some of the art, too.

  99. I read marijuana has more carcinogens than tobacco, but don't know if that is true.

  100. Well, it depends on how you want to measure the destruction. Let's leave it at equal if you like. Tobacco, though, is much more addictive than cannabis. One of the hardest things I ever did was quit smoking cigarettes. I know, I know, Bobal will chime in and say 'it's easy, I've done it a hundred times'. Unfortunately he still smokes. Hey, Bobal, is it you right to smoke tobacco? Should we prosecute those who sell it to you?

  101. I've read that too Bobal but a Marijuana smoker doesn't smoke as many as a tobacco smoker does in a day. Pot's bad for the lungs no matter how you phrase it though.

  102. Googling the topic, I find opinions on both sides of the argument, the dopeheads seemingly as one in arguing maryjane is much less harmful than tobacco.

    It's the old argument---"My drug is better than yours!"

  103. How is marijuana not as destructive as tobacco?

    You don't chain-smoke fatties. A few puffs and you're good to go for hours.

  104. On the other hand, Ash, to be fair about it :), one must consider the maryjane smoker sucks it up, and holds it, while a tobacco user puffs and blows.

    Have you considered this aspect of the problem in your analysis?


  105. Dammit, speak English.


    I know what a joint is.

  106. Rufus: Fuck you, T.

    That's not right, and you know it.

    It's right on the mark, R00f, do you have any idea how many times I've been in or out of the board of directors, proprietorship, oak leaf clusters, this and that Old Boy Network on the EB the last 2 1/2 years?

  107. Yeah, actually I have. I don't wish to argue that smoking pot is not harmful to the lungs, not by any means. If you want to get pedantic about one could argue you could just eat the stuff but that just isn't quite as much fun.

  108. I agree, by far, quitting smoking probably has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. It's been five years and I still battle the craving once in a while.

    I've also read that one joint is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes so if you smoke a couple of joints a day, I would say, it's putting the same impact on your lungs as say...cigarettes.

  109. Do you remember how many hiffy/huffy fits you threw and demanded to be pulled off the board?

  110. I'd be surprised if the impact were that bad on your lungs MLD. Mind you much of it would revolve around what and how you take your pot. Modern pot is damn potent and a couple of tokes is usually enough to do you quite fine for awhile. Gone are the days of huffin' on fattie after fattie ;)

  111. My cousin is a world class, and I mean World Class, marijuana smoker. Thing about him is, and I think with some others too, he smokes Camels right along with joints.

  112. heck, the local head shops sell vaporizers now, and grinders and...

    ...seems to be quite a popular pastime with youth these days.

  113. Nicotine, like good Italian tuna and that first The Thin Man movie, are gifts of the gods.

  114. bobal said: Do you remember how many hiffy/huffy fits you threw and demanded to be pulled off the board?

    This time around it will be simple, bobal. I won't ask for anything from Deuce or Whit or you, and that way I'll have nothing to give back.

  115. toss in the regular beer and shot Bobal and life is swwweeeettttt


    for awhile.

  116. They're HEEEEEERE!

    "Washington Times - EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah uses Mexican drug routes into U.S."

    I wonder how many RINOs will go along with making 100 million new Democrats through amnesty. Last time it was the MCCAIN-Kennedy bill

  117. He's not at all like Ash, who holds irrational political opinions. In his case, he holds no political opinions at all, has never voted, and thinks it's all a distraction from the meaningful things in life, which amounts to--the next joint, er, fattie.

  118. The Parisian breakfast (with variations the world over): croissant, coffee, and smoke.

    The newspaper is almost an afterthought.

  119. ahhhh, the first smoke of the day - priceless!

  120. It's been a long time since I've seen anyone use a cigarette holder.

    Gone the way of the suicide door.

  121. It is redundant to say "Washington State" and "socialist". It is oxymoronic to say "Socialist" and "Commerce". Gary Locke, the Socialist former Governor of Washington State is Barack's Commerce Secretary.

  122. I just don't agree. I guess that's my opinion and I'll argue with you until I'm blue in the face. I've been around it too long and usually the ones that argue with me are the ones that smoke it. I'm not saying it's any worse than alcohol or tobacco, I'm saying it's the same. Shit, you can open your spice cabinet and overdose on nutmeg if you ingest enough of it.

  123. Proof that BHO isn't the Messiah after all: He doesn't walk on water.

  124. I was given one as a gift before moving here. By a lovely woman who saw the world while her father was the leader of the US Army band. It had belonged to her mother.

  125. Not at the Motel 6's I been at recently. You get the Continental Breakfast and NO SMOKING.

    Got to go out in the parking lot, like a juvenile delinquent.

  126. What's it made out of, Trish?

  127. I never asked and wouldn't know.

  128. MLD: I just don't agree. I guess that's my opinion and I'll argue with you until I'm blue in the face.

    I would need to get high to have the patience to argue this.

  129. I wouldn't want to argue the health effects are less for pot than tobacco but I would argue that the addiction is much different and much easier to kick than alcohol or tobacco. Alcoholism is terribly destructive, much more destructive in the bad cases than I've ever seen in hard core pot smokers. Tobacco doesn't have near the psychological effects of alcohol or pot. And I'd also argue the psychological effects of pot aren't all that bad in comparison to most other recreational drugs.

  130. A lively thread...sad to see so many friends with nothing better to do on a Friday night.

    Weighing in on the drug debate, it's frightening to see I agree with mat, for the most part.

    I've no solutions. It would seem practical to decriminalize pot, and separate the harder stuff. I think the case has been made that tobacco is more dangerous than cannabis, but everything's relative. Remove the money spent fighting a losing battle with Mexican importers, tax the hell out of domestic retailing, put strict age regulation into who can legally buy and use. We see it every day with respect to alcohol and tobacco. Not totally effective there, but better than nothing. And nothing seems to be the best that can be said for what the "WOD" is accomplishing.

  131. Ash: And I'd also argue the psychological effects of pot aren't all that bad in comparison to most other recreational drugs.

    The long-term effects of pot is that it destroys ambition and makes you just plain lazy. Most of my family smokes it, so I know. I can't do it because I'm a GS-11 with access to thingies marked this and that, and they do random golden flow tests.

  132. LT: A lively thread...sad to see so many friends with nothing better to do on a Friday night.

    Sheez at the Casino, I'm designated driver, so I get to post to EB waiting for the call to pick her up.

  133. "Weighing in on the drug debate, it's frightening to see I agree with mat, for the most part."

    No. Mat's frightening. You are right.

  134. Let's keep those two things appropriately separated, shall we?

  135. Thanks, Trish.

    Come around more often, MLD. Hope your foot healed up okay.

    The conversation reminds me of a chat with dad a long time ago. He asked if we had any trouble with that mariwanna out in Oregon. I said yeah. Supply. Kind of regret that answer, now, but there you are.

    Like the space race, the WOD produced at least one positive spinoff, the CAMP Carbine. Deveoped by Oregon State Police in the early days of the eradication effort. A wonderful addition to any personal defense armory. Google it. Buy one if you can find one. Shoots standard 45 ACP rounds using various high capacity magazines. Out of production now.

  136. I agree with Ash, except for the kicking of the habit part. It really depends on how much you smoke, too. Alcohol, is a physical addiction, you can't compare it.

    And my plans tonight were canceled. So...here I am, reeking havoc.

  137. This comment has been removed by the author.

  138. Michael Lewis
    - The End of Wall Street's Boom -

    The era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over. Michael Lewis, who chronicled its excess in Liar’s Poker, returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong.

    To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispense investment advice to grownups remains a mystery to me. I was 24 years old, with no experience of, or particular interest in, guessing which stocks and bonds would rise and which would fall. The essential function of Wall Street is to allocate capital—to decide who should get it and who should not. Believe me when I tell you that I hadn’t the first clue.

    Most economists predict a recovery late next year. Don’t bet on it.I’d never taken an accounting course, never run a business, never even had savings of my own to manage. I stumbled into a job at Salomon Brothers in 1985 and stumbled out much richer three years later, and even though I wrote a book about the experience, the whole thing still strikes me as preposterous—which is one of the reasons the money was so easy to walk away from. I figured the situation was unsustainable. Sooner rather than later, someone was going to identify me, along with a lot of people more or less like me, as a fraud. Sooner rather than later, there would come a Great Reckoning when Wall Street would wake up and hundreds if not thousands of young people like me, who had no business making huge bets with other people’s money, would be expelled from finance.

    When I sat down to write my account of the experience in 1989—Liar’s Poker, it was called—it was in the spirit of a young man who thought he was getting out while the getting was good. I was merely scribbling down a message on my way out and stuffing it into a bottle for those who would pass through these parts in the far distant future.

    Deconstructing the American Dream. The Shifting Financial and Societal Goals of a Country Mired in Debt.

  139. Thanks, LT, you know it took almost six weeks to heal and then I fell down the stairs and slammed my finger back into my hand. Never had it checked out but the damn thing still hurts at the knuckle. I can't seem to straighten it completely.

  140. California may ban black cars.

    And if they don't ban them, they might just go with separate gasoline fountains.

  141. MLD said: Never had it checked out but the damn thing still hurts at the knuckle. I can't seem to straighten it completely.

    The wonderful thing about pain is its function as a prioritizer. If there's a a real problem, eventually the pain will re-prioritize things for you and you'll go get it checked out.

  142. No. Mat's frightening. You are right.


  143. Metuselah, "Darth My Ride", I wanna scary black car to frighten the greenie weenies.

  144. Do you think if I smoke marijuana it will ease the pain?

  145. Al Gore's mansion to observe lights out for Earth Hour to send a message that it's time we started conserving energy.

  146. Actually, it's not that painful. Like I said, only when I try to completely straighten it, and that's usually, when I'm picking something up. But I know what you mean.

  147. MLD said: Do you think if I smoke marijuana it will ease the pain?

    It will still hurt like hell, but it will be funny.

  148. Pathfinder:


  149. Mat you gotta make your links clicky.

    And that movie looks more gay than "300"

  150. Chairman Kim Jong Il please contact Foreign Minister Clin Ton Hil at your earliest convenience, Uncle Bho wants to talk Taepodong-2

  151. MLD, just don't try to completely straighten it, and don't try to pick nothin' up, you'll be fine.

    As a second option try Naproxen Sodium and a little Black Cherry juice, which works for gout, as T. taught, might work for that too. Maybe you have some inflamation there.

  152. Nobody takes Uncle Bho seriously, except himself. The Japanese are going ahead with a missile defense, I read, can't count on us.

  153. The movie got very poor reviews, though the imagery and cinematography is stunning. The reviewers complained that the movie was confusing and the performances wooden. But I think that perfectly describes that culture.

  154. As a second option try Naproxen Sodium and a little Black Cherry juice, which works for gout, as T. taught, might work for that too. Maybe you have some inflamation there.

    Nope, Cherry Juice is an anti-oxidant which works against sublimated crystals in joints, doesn't do squat against tendonitis which is what he's got with his jammed finger.

  155. T's right, come to think of it.

  156. It's always best to think first, then give advice.

  157. Barry had a speech to give to fleece the humble proles

    Everywhere that Barry went, his Portaprompter was sure to go

  158. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  159. DOW was down 148 today. That 8,000 level a bridge too far.

  160. Up for the week, up from the March 9 bottom. I've set my 401-k-esque plan to buy securities again. The rest of 2009 we'll climb back out of this and we'll just write off the whole decade as a dark one.

  161. Another grim milestone. :)
    But I have a feeling that we'll make another run before we head down.

  162. k. going back to sleep.
    will dream of fried tuna. meow.

  163. or is it canned tuna?
    ya, canned tuna she is.

  164. I'll get my darts out on Sunday, then we'll know for sure.

    We'll know for sure what the darts say.

  165. Or maybe you want to spend your $600—assuming no one bids over the low estimate—on a carved rocking horse inscribed TO MJ. LOVE ET. That would be Elizabeth Taylor. ( View a slideshow featuring some of Jackson's auctioned items.)

    Another fan of Jackson’s was apparently President Reagan, who sent him a letter on White House stationery in 1984 that begins, “Dear Michael, I was pleased to learn that you were not seriously hurt in your recent accident.” It’s dated five days after Jackson’s hair caught fire while he was filming a Pepsi ad. Low estimate: $400. (Cheaper than tube socks!)

  166. Take a little catnip before you sleep, Mat. It's good for the constitution, and gives pleasant dreams. You'll dream you're the lion of the alley, all the ladycats follow you about, the trash cans are all without lids, and filled with great leftovers, the other Toms flee from you, and the moon continually rises.


  167. doesn't do squat against tendonitis which is what he's got with his jammed finger.

    He's a she, T.

  168. C'mon, people. Don't crap out on me. I forfeited a night of bunco for this.

  169. I'm here. Had to run--er, drive--downtown for a pack of smokes, that's the truth:)

    I noticed Ts reference to he also. Then I thought, maybe I was wrong.

    MLD, you are a she, right?

    When did joints first start to be called fatties?

    A fattie is a joint, is it not?

  170. The Genetics Of Alcohol Metabolism

    I have a pet theory, which is probably wrong, that, since alcoholism is associated mostly with northern folk, it was during those long ago forever years in the snowy north that a type of metabolism was encoded that helped then, but leads to alcoholism now. I saw a metabolism chart one time, showing differences in metabolism between alcoholics and others, and the alcoholics charts were quite different than the others. This difference in metabolism may have had a survival benefit in certain climes earlier on, not such a good thing now. That's my theory, which probably has lots of holes in it.

  171. It's not like this shit is really News, but ...

    US warns Pakistan on Taleban link

    The US military says it has evidence elements within Pakistan's military intelligence, the ISI, continue to provide support for the Taleban.

    Officials said that this support for militants had to end.

    The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said the ISI had links with militants on both Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan and India.

  172. LT: He's a she, T.

    How the heck would I know? I've been gone for munts and there's only ever been two gals on the EB, unless you count the multi-named bitch from hell circa 2007.

  173. MR, I wish you'd just go back to being Teresita, cause the way it is now, I don't who the hell you are. You seem to have gotten younger, moved to Portland, and changed some other stuff, but you still sounds like you.

  174. How the heck would I know? I've been gone for munts...

    How the heck would you know if a caring friend didn't tell you?

    Welcome back.

  175. Canada Gears Up For War With Russia Over The Arctic

    heh, those new icebreaks will keep the Roosians away. The Canadian Navy can also use Ash's sailboat.