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Thursday, December 01, 2011

As Predicted Here, The Fed Rescues the Europeans With Cheap US Dollars

Fed saves Europe's banks as ECB stands pat

Stripped to essentials, America is once again having to rescue Europe from itself.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard,
International business editor
9:01PM GMT 30 Nov 201


The interwoven banking and sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone has become so dangerous for the world that the US Federal Reserve has been forced to take emergency action, acting as global lender of last resort to shore up Europe's banking system.

That it should have to do so as Germany and the European Central Bank hold back for legal reasons and refuse to commit decisive power adds a strange diplomatic twist.

The move came once it was clear that Europe's prostrate banks would struggle to roll over $2 trillion (£1.3 trillion) of debts denominated in dollars. Data from ratings agency Fitch shows that US money markets have slashed funding for French banks by 69pc and German banks by 50pc.

Strains have been ratcheting up over the past two weeks. European banks are mostly shut out of the dollar market, or only able to raise money for a week at a time.

The so-called "stress alarm" – the euro/dollar three-month cross currency basis swap – spiralled down to minus 166 points early on Wednesday, uncannily like the last days before the Lehman crisis metastasized in October 2008.

The stress has been rising in lockstep with Italian, Spanish, Belgian and French bond yields for two weeks, but became violent after eurozone finance ministers admitted on Tuesday night that they were unable to leverage Europe's bail-out fund much beyond €600bn (£514bn). "Conditions have changed, so it is likely to be less than €1 trillion," said Eurogroup chair Jean-Claude Juncker.

The joint offer of currency swap lines by the central banks of the US, Britain, Japan, Canada, Switzerland and the ECB preserves the polite fiction that this was to "ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit", but this was a Fed action to provide cheap dollar funding and head off a lethal crunch in Europe.

China took its own precautions – perhaps in concert – cutting its reserve ratio for the first time in three years to boost liquidity.

"Concerns have been building that Europe's banking system could go into meltdown," said Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities. "But the central banks may also have been worried that eurozone politicians will fail to deliver much at their December summit, so they need a mechanism in place to cope with the fall-out.”

Andrew Roberts, rates chief at RBS, said European bank stress was reaching extreme levels. "They couldn't allow a sudden stop to the system. This at least takes away the precipice risk for now, but Europe is not going to able to tackle this crisis properly until Germany agrees to cross the Rubicon and accept massive bond buying by the ECB," he said.

There is little evidence yet that Berlin is willing to lift its veto on eurobonds or an ECB blitz. Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was "not appropriate" for to Germany drop its objections as a quid pro quo for backing from other EU states for treaty changes to police budgets. German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble said mass bond purchases and eurobonds are both illegal under EU treaties and remain "out of the question”.

However, Germany is increasingly isolated, both in EU capitals and on the ECB's governing council. Austrian, Dutch and Finnish ministers have all opened the door over recent days for a bigger role for the ECB.

The Bank of France's governor Christian Noyer appeared to break ranks on Wednesday with the German-led bloc of ECB hawks, reflecting the political rift between Paris and Berlin on crisis strategy.

"It is essential to stabilise European bond markets. We have to recognise that the necessary degree of fiscal adjustment is heavily dependent on the level of market confidence," he said.

Jacques Cailloux from RBS said the ECB will cut interest rates to 1pc – perhaps 0.75pc – next week. It will take action to back-stop the financial system but will not yet open the floodgates to bond purchases or resort to quantitative easing.

"While the ECB is not the lender of last resort for sovereigns, it is for banks," he said. The measures are likely to include extending unlimited credit to lenders under its Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) to two or three years, with a broader range of collateral accepted, such as certificates of deposit and even dollar assets.

Whether such steps can bring Euroland back from the brink is unclear. Eurozone ministers appear to have little up their sleeves, hoping that the International Monetary Fund can do part of the heavy lifting. "We envisage a greater role for the IMF: that will be sufficient together with the EFSF," said Jan Kees de Jager, Holland's finance minister.
Yet the IMF is short of money. A US Treasury official said Washington is not willing to pay more into the IMF at this point, while Jim Flaherty, Canada's finance minister, said the Fund should not be used to bail out rich countries.
The drama always comes back to the ECB. Will it blink?


  1. You totally underestimate the scale of the crisis. Nothing has been fixed. This is a game of "pass the bomb" before it finally goes off. The timer has been set and no attempt is being made to disarm it. This is about trying to stop the global financial economy from collapsing. That includes many US banks and ALL of the UK banks but WHO IS GOING TO BAIL US OUT?

    You should read the conspiracy on economic collapse, I read it 5 years ago and it has been spot on for the last 4 years. When it does finally explode in everyone's faces the banksters will offer us all a "cure" - the cure that they wanted all along - supranational government and the end of nation states. Well some of us have woken up and what we need is everyone else to do the same before these gangsters take over the planet.

  2. You totally underestimate the scale of the crisis.

    You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking... you talking to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to? Oh yeah? OK.

  3. Cheer up. The human race has always been ungovernable.

    Get a fly rod, get a good wife, get a life.


  4. Hardy Bamboo Rods

    One hell of a waste of money. $250 dollars will get you what you need. Bail out some small country with the rest.


  5. Yet we are told by people smarter than we that the US dollar is going to be replaced by the Euro as the world reserve currency.

  6. Isn’t a currency swap check kiting without the nuisance of account reconciliation and the worry of overdraft??


  7. ... an announcement from the Israeli leadership on Wednesday that it will release $200million (£127 million) in frozen Palestinian tax revenue.

  8. Mitt advocates the Federals be limited to 20% of GDP. Just saw him say it.

    Why such a historically high percentage?

    The historical norm is 18%, why boost and freeze the Federals share of GDP at 20%, not 18%?

    Well, because in his heart, Mitt is a:
    "Big Government, Big Spending Socialist"

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. No one that has EVER promoted an individual mandate, set into law by the Federals or a State, is a conservative, they never were.

    That embraces both Mitt and Newt.
    Two peas in the Republican pod.

    No one that voted for passage of Medicare Part D is a conservative.
    They be Federal Socialists.

  11. Israel's take on Arab Spring may undo peace with Egypt

    Why learn the new names among our rivals when it's more convenient, easier and mainly more threatening to talk about 'Islam.'

    By Zvi Bar'el

    Who's the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? What is the exact name of the head of Tunisia's Al-Nahda party? And who heads the Islamic Movement in Morocco? One could expect these names to be common knowledge in a country anxious about the "Islamist take-over" of the Middle East and concerned that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt will collapse.

    But why learn the new names among our rivals when it's more convenient, easier and mainly more threatening to talk about "Islam." When a threat has a collective name, it removes responsibility from Israel's shoulders for poor relations with Arab countries and their future regimes. A collective enemy puts Israel in a good position - in the same spot as "the West." Suddenly, Israel finds comfort because "the Moroccan Islam" victorious in the parliamentary elections is not like "the Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood" and is closer to "Turkish Islam," which has become "good Islam" after briefly being "the Islam of the radical [Turkish prime minister] Erdogan."


  12. ... it's only natural that part of the government will automatically fall into the pockets of the religious parties.
    Someone for whom this equation is not clear, can replace the words "the Arab countries" with the term "the state of Israel," where the religious parties not only dictate the way of life but also foreign policy.

  13. No one who defends a system that coerces value from the sweat of another man's brow (be it at the end of a overseer's bullwhip or through government subsidies of the Chevy Dolt) is a conservative.

  14. To save and conserve General Motors, well, that is conservation of our national heritage.

    Which, according to many, here at the EB, is not only conservative, but a social mandate which must be continued.

    Saving GM, that is definitely and definably "Conservative".

  15. One advocates eliminating Obamacare, the other promotes his namesake.

    The Choice is Clear, whether one determines them both to be Federal Socialists, or not.

    You don't reject the better alternative in pursuit of the alternative that is not available.

    Assuming you value RATIONALITY and COMMON SENSE.

  16. Not capitalistic, not creative destruction, but conservation of the status que.

    Which is what conservatives are all about.

    Conserving the status que.

    If "conservatives" are not about conserving the status que, than they are just spinning "change".

  17. WHO here, aside possibly our Socialist, Rufus, has favored the bailout of GM?

    Federal Socialist Romney believes bankruptcy would have been the correct course.
    As do I.

  18. Pure palaver, 'Rat:
    The alternatives are not equal.
    No matter how you spin it.

  19. I do accept reality, doug.

    I accept that neither the Republicans embrace conservation of the status que.

    Both embrace the ideology promoted by Mr Obama.

    To vote for either endorses them and their programs and policies.

    Which is mainstream Republican.

    If you choose to be a RINO, and vote for Republicans with whom you do not agree ideologically, well, you cannot blame the Democrats when the Republicans broke the Federal budget, with Medicare Part D.

    Look in the mirror, doug, and see the real opposition to freedom and liberty, more importantly, smaller Federal government and balanced budgets.

  20. First, they came for our 100-watt bulbs...

    All this has been ably exposed as an act of crony capitalism, designed to enrich manufacturers who prefer to sell pricier light bulbs that a lot of Americans, if free to choose, prefer not to buy.

    The hysteria on the right about bulbs is just that.
    They can't just argue against Federal intrusion, they have to make false economic arguments to alleve their hysteria.
    We've already saved tens of thousands by using CFL's for the last 15 years.
    Didn't die from the 3 improperly handeled broken bulbs, either.

  21. The last Third Party candidate to win the White House saved the Nation, at the cost of 600,000 dead.

    A minority President, he won with less than 35% of the vote.

    The Presidential vote is not a binary choice, unless you make it so.

  22. Yeah, 'Rat, none of the above means accepting the bigger spender Obama over the lesser spending Republican, regardless of what you call him.

    You say spending more is no different than spending less.

    I say that's nonsense, no matter how you prattle on about it.

  23. I determine whether a third party alternative next year is viable or not.
    In your "mind."

  24. I vote for less spending.
    You claim you won't.

  25. The President, doug, does not set spending levels.

    Does not set tax policy nor rates.

    The President has neither the responsibility nor authority to do so.

    Your Congressperson does.

  26. You place responsibility for poor policies where it does not reside.

    Caught in the propaganda spin of the Socialists, believing that the President rules by edict and is responsible for the actions of the Congress.

    When he does not and is not, at all.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. The GOP race has come down to Mitt v Newt. So much "Old School" and "Big Government" that it is enough to make a "real" conservationist puke.

  29. Is it conservation, to be saving the Euro?

    Or is it reactionary, to watch it collapse?

  30. It is the Congress that abdicated its responsibilities to set the value of our scrip and delegated that authority to private enterprise.

    The primary cause of the devaluation of our Republic. The major loss to the forces fighting for the conservation of Constitutional principles, in the last century.

    Until that begins to be "rolled back", the rest is window dressing, not substance.

  31. The Euro isn't being saved.

    The can is being kicked down the road.

    ...as is the US Real Estate Market.

    The cost of ineffective government meddling raises the ultimate price to be paid day by day.

  32. I'll not vote for anyone that was pro expansion of Medicare, doug, exemplified by voting for passage of Medicare Part D.

    That, in and of itself, a disqualifies a candidate from further Federal office.

    Any candidate, from either Party.
    Medicare Part D, worse than ObamaCare, from any practical perspective.

  33. I'll take the less expensive window dressing whenever it's available.

    ...not caring to give more money to the Feds when I can vote to give less.

    ...even tho that is far too much.

  34. True enough, doug.

    There is no "End Game".

    We're still in the middle of it.
    Always will be.

  35. Part D plus Obamacare no different than part D w/o Obamacare.

    Once again, only in YOUR mind.

  36. Neither Mitt nor Newt are for "less", doug.

    They just want "different".

    Mitt's proposal for "limiting" Federal spending to 20% of GDP just another example of that.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. There is no ObamaCare, yet, doug.

    That game is still in play.

    Medicare Part D, bi-partisan.
    No one had the nerve to go to Court, to try to stop the train wreck. Which makes it far worse than ObamaCare.

    ObamaCare is still waiting for the "Last Word" on the subject from the Supremes, before its' viability as a further expansion of Federal Socialism is confirmed.

  39. for y'all interested in the Euro crisis I thought the following article pretty good. Here is the title, opening paragraph and concluding paragraph but the whole article is worth a read:

    "What the IMF should tell Europe
    Martin Wolf
    Financial Times

    "Can the International Monetary Fund save the eurozone? No. But it can help. The world, whose interests the Fund represents, has a stake in what happens. That gives the Fund the right to act. The question is how. "


    So how might the IMF help? Now is the time for what John Maynard Keynes called “ruthless truth-telling”. And what is the truth that it should tell? It is that the euro zone only has a choice between bad and calamitous alternatives. The bad alternative is radical policies to promote adjustment, while warding off a wave of sovereign debt restructurings, financial crises and a true depression. The calamitous alternative is that depression, along with a break-up of the project. The IMF should speak up for the world’s interest in the less bad outcome. The euro zone alone can make the choice."


  40. Should the Eurozone be saved?

    That is the first question, the answer to which sets the course of the debate.

    It seems that those "Large and In Charge" have already decided that question, in the affirmative.

    How that is "best" accomplished the next series of questions to be answered.

    Short and Long term.

    Until the US decides that it is not in her best interest, to save the Euro, or maintain armies there, we are deep in the mire.

    By choice, it seems.

    Perhaps all that can be done, is change the day of reckoning.
    Kick it on down the road.

    That'd be seen, as success.

    Even if the solution is only temporal.
    As are all things, in life.

  41. 20% of GDP no different than 25%.

    Newt's 4 years of balanced budgets no different than Obama's all time record deficits.

    I tire of reminding you that the equality exists only in your mind.

    ...but that's all it is.

  42. A 10% cap on Income taxes, not needed in the 16th Amendment, as the rates would never get that high.

    To standardize the rise in the Federal share, at 20% is "Progressive", doug.

    It would formalize the Federal share, at an increase from the historical norm.

    Conservative, not.

    Call your Congressperson, they have the power to change that number, the President does not.

  43. Newt/FOP inspired welfare reforms saved hundreds of billions and resulted in millions of people finding dignity in work.

    Obama and the Dems reversing many of those gains with predictable results.

    Samo samo, in your mind. ...sigh

  44. Newt's balanced budgets?

    You mean Mr Clinton's balanced budgets, do you not?

    You putting the power of budgeting in the Presidency, not the Congress, today.

    Why the revisionist history?

    The budget busting, of today then, is to be put on Mr Boehner's shoulders?

    Not Mr Obama's?

    Is that the current doug standard?

    Or were the surpluses of the 90's bi-partisan?
    The deficits of the 00's and 10's bi-partisan, too?

    Or Republican, as they controlled the House for most of the time and Mr Bush vetoed not a single spending bill, when they did.

  45. Obama and his cohort, just maintaining course and speed.

    As advocated for, by Mr Bush.

    Stay the Course!

    Mr Bush said it, more than once.
    Mr Obama, he certainly has.

  46. The surpluses of the 90's due to higher tax receipts, as a percentage of GDP, than is collected, today.

    The cutting of the tax rates in the 00's, a direct cause of the Federal short falls in tax receipts, today.

    In an attempt to replicate the economic success we had, in the 90's?

    Would you support returning to the Gingrich/Clinton tax rates?

  47. In the 1990's tax rates were higher, unemployment lower.

    Lowering the tax rates, well, there is a direct historical correlation to higher unemployment, decreased Federal revenues and ever greater Federal deficits in that Republican course.

    That is a historical fact.

    Not an economic theory or piece of political ideology.

    Gingrich/Clinton well exemplifies the disaster that the policies of Bush/Obama have wrought.

  48. Fielding armies in Afghanistan and Iraq, another in the series of the steps taken by Bush/Obama, that busted the Federal budget and helped to drive the economy into recession.

    And continues to.

    Staying the Course.

  49. Gingrich/Clinton, initiated military action in Europe, with no loss of US lives and low financial expense.

    Bush/Obama charted a new course in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Higher risk and higher cost.
    Occupations instead of raids.

    Greater use of US troops instead of indigenous forces. Directly engaged, militarily, for a decade, instead of months.

    Mr Obama, he ...

    Stayed the Course!

    Obama/Clinton charting the "better" course in Libya.

  50. Perhaps the "operative" word,
    in all this is ...


    Wouldn't that be a bitch?

  51. Crapper, don't worry it so.

    You are putting everyone to sleep.

    We've heard it all ten thousand times before, your point of view.

    Why not go bowling today?

    Give us as a break.


  52. Bowling is for the sheep, boobie.

    If it bores you, leave.

    As you have before.

    With profound announcements ...
    ... and great expectations.

    Your return, well ...

    ... just further display of your character flaws.

  53. The idea that either Newt or Mitt are conservatives, is laughable.

    That they are both true blue blooded Republicans, that is beyond dispute.

    And that, amigos, is the truth.

    That if either were to win the White House, they would be described as "conservatives" and their policies labeled as such, a fact of life.

    Just as Mr Bush's expansion of Federal Socialism into private charities and churches, through his "Thousand Points of Light" programs, was marketed as being compassionately "conservative" when it was anything but.

    There is no truth in labeling, in status que politics.

    Republican cannot honestly be conflated with conservatives.
    There is no record of it, in modern history. Not beyond the rhetoric of their losing candidates.

    Mr Reagan, the icon of the Republican Party, a self-described "New Deal Democrat"

    Reagan identified himself as an FDR Democrat when he was a young man.
    Of the Democratic Party Reagan once noted:
    "I did not leave the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party left me."

    Mr Reagan, the Union President and New Deal Democrat. Ideologies he did not leave behind, but carried forward his entire life.

    Exemplifying the ideological proximity of the Republican Party to "New Deal" principles.

    If a "New Deal Democrat" is positioned as the ideological icon of today's Republican "conservatives", well, Mr Orwell was correct, wasn't he?

  54. You are acting as if there were some well agreed upon codified definition of "conservative" rat. I've found two notions of "conservative" to be pertinent with respect to US politics: fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. Most Republicans seem to be social conservatives as opposed to fiscal conservatives.

    I'd class you as a social conservative rat and a libertarian.

  55. A Librarian, sure enough.

    There are aspects of society that are worthy of conserving, no doubt. There are some aspects of it that are in need of change.

    The idea that the Federal government should be the agent of that change, cause of the ideological divide.

    A divide that both the Democrats and Republicans are on the same side of.

    With the major media supporting that the monopoly of power that resides in DC.

    With Mr Gingrich well representing the "permanent" government, there.

    His $1.8 million in fees received from Fraudie Mac, they paying for his historical perspective, well exemplifying his "Insider" status.

    No signs of the Tea Party power, with either Newt or Mitt.
    Both "Old School" GOP.

    Mitt, second generation GOP politician.

  56. That there is no definition of "Conservative", ash, is what makes it so Orwellian.

    Sweetly so.

    The two sides of the same coin, marketed as different tender, entirely.

    That the market buys into it ...

    Just one of the reasons why 1% of the people can control the wealth of the whirled.

  57. rat wrote:

    "The idea that the Federal government should be the agent of that change, cause of the ideological divide."

    So the Federal government should let individuals decide to terminate pregnancies?

  58. The States, ash, should set policy on abortion.

    As they did prior to Roe v Wade.

    An issue to be settled locally, by legislatures.

    Not by Federal Judicial fiat.

  59. It is an issue that could even be settled, legislatively by Congress.

    I suppose.

    But I have read the Constitution and assorted Amendments. No where can I find a Constitutional rationale for Roe v Wade.

    Some Justices agree, with me.
    Some do not.

    It is a matter best left to Legislatures, rather than to Courts.

  60. As often as I have read the Constitution, no where is Health Care mentioned.

    Not as a "Right" to be guaranteed by government to residents or citizens, nor even as a responsibility of any branch of the Federal government to manage.

    Health Care, certainly covered by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, but those are ignored by the Courts and Legislatures, in their continued grasp for ever more Federal authority.

  61. This should apply to Health Care, Abortion and a slew of other issues, tambien.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  62. Why give State legislatures authority to rule when an individual should? You are just kicking the can down the road with a "States rights" argument.

  63. If the State legislatures decided not to legislate on that subject, ash, be fine by me.

    If some States thought abortion was not worthy of legislation, a medical matter, entirely, good with me.

    If some States made abortion illegal, that'd be alright.

    If some States wanted to subsidize abortions, that'd be their decision to legislate.

    Legislation, the expressed will of the people, through their representatives, is the key to most all of societies ills.

    As for the Federals, the Tenth
    Amendment should be implemented, but it has been relegated to the ash heap of history.

    As long as it remains there, the Federal Socialists will continue to expand their reach.

  64. Candidates that mention shutting some Federal agency or another down, is met with incredulous riducule, by the "professionals".

    To advocate implementation of the Constitution, well, that's way beyond the pale of debate.

    For candidates for the Presidency to even discuss the results of the last wave of Progressive Amendments to the Constitution, pushed by Roosevelt Republicans, seen as being symptomatic of radical reactionary ranting.

  65. The Roosevelts exemplifying the monolithic nature of the two party system.

    U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1897–1898, during the William McKinley administration.

    U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913 until 1920.

    According to author Edward J. Renehan, Jr.,
    no less than five members of the extended Roosevelt clan served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy:

    Theodore Roosevelt,

    Franklin Roosevelt,

    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. who served from 1921 through 1924 under Harding and Coolidge,

    Theodore Douglas Robinson (the son of Corinne Roosevelt) who served from 1924 through 1929 under Coolidge, and finally

    Henry Latrobe Roosevelt, a descendant of Robert Fulton's old friend "Steamboat Nicholas" Roosevelt, who served from 1933 through 1936 under FDR.

  66. desert rat said...

    Some Justices agree, with me.
    Some do not.

    lol talk about a narcissistic personality disorder —

    Like the Justices KNOW our resident Cliff Claven..

    Ever notice how Cliff (DR) Claven is an expert on everything?

    Nothing escapes the steel trap of his mind...


  67. Good to see you, amazed, PR man.

  68. Curiosity and the Inet, PR man, is all it takes to confirm what is already known.


  69. Alito said that he was ...

    "particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court … that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

  70. Our fiends at NewsMax report:

    when Roberts mentions a need to “curtail the precedent’s disruptive effects” and imagines instances in which a “precedent’s validity is so hotly contested that it cannot reliably function as a basis for decision in future cases,” the “hotly contested” Roe decision,
    which 37 years ago disrupted the abortion laws of all 50 states,
    cannot help but come to mind.

    He also said a precedent could be targeted for destruction if its “rationale threatens to upend our settled jurisprudence in related areas of law, and when the precedent’s underlying reasoning has become so discredited that the Court cannot keep the precedent alive without jury-rigging new and different justifications to shore up the original mistake.” That uncannily describes Justice Antonin Scalia’s long-held objections to Roe v. Wade, and the unusual joint opinion that shored it up in 1992 in the Casey decision.

    Read more on Newsmax.com: Justice Roberts Hints He Could Overturn Roe
    Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

  71. Then we fast forward to Planned Parenthood v Casey, 1992 where four of the Justices basically agree with my position that Roe v Wade was a poor, ill argued decision.

    Rehnquist and Scalia each joined the plurality in upholding the parental consent, informed consent, and waiting period laws.
    However, they dissented from the plurality's decision to uphold Roe v. Wade and strike down the spousal notification law, contending that Roe was incorrectly decided.

    Rehnquist and Scalia joined each other's concurrence/dissents, and White and Thomas, who did not write their own opinions, joined in both.

    Four out of nine, in 1992, agreed with me.
    For different reasons, perhaps.

  72. All that guarantees a "Right" to an abortion, one vote in a field of nine.

    Today, as then, that's Mr Kennedy.

    It is not much of a "Right" when it is held by such a "thin" margin.

    The vote of a single Judge.

  73. Former President George H.W. Bush and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met in Houston Thursday but a source said no endorsement was involved, FOX News Channel confirmed.


    Barbara Bush agreed, saying, "I'll go with George -- Mitt Romney. I like a lot of them, but I like people who feel you can respect other people's ideas," she said.


  74. Citing extensive abuses of troubled borrowers across Massachusetts, the state’s attorney general sued the nation’s five largest mortgage lenders on Thursday, seeking relief for consumers hurt by what she called unfair and deceptive business practices.

    In addition to creating a new and significant legal headache for the banks named in the suit — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and GMAC Mortgage — the Massachusetts action diminishes the likelihood of a comprehensive settlement between the banks and federal and state officials to resolve foreclosure improprieties.

    Also named as a defendant in the Massachusetts suit was the electronic mortgage registry known as MERS, an entity set up by lenders to speed property transfers by circumventing local land recording officials.

    The attorney general, Martha Coakley, and her investigators contend that the banks improperly foreclosed on troubled borrowers by relying on fraudulent legal documentation or by failing to provide homeowners with loan modifications after promising to do so. The suit also contends that the banks’ use of MERS “corrupted” the state’s public land recording system by not registering legal transfers properly.

    “There is no question that the deceptive and unlawful conduct by Wall Street and the large banks played a central role in this crisis through predatory lending and securitization of those loans,” Ms. Coakley said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit.
    “The banks may think they are too big to fail or too big to care about the impact of their actions, but we believe they are not too big to have to obey the law.


  75. ... Mr. Eggert said that the banks were likely to argue that a state like Massachusetts had no right to bring such a case against federally regulated institutions, he said that the Dodd-Frank legislation restricted the ability of federal authorities to bar states from acting in such cases.

    “If the state can go forward and do real discovery, it will be the first time that anyone has really dug into the servicers’ files to see what they have done,” he added. “The feds conducted an investigation where they looked at very few files, and here the state could demand to see a lot.”

  76. 34 out of 78 by my count, so far.

    Another crapper day at the bar.

    It's more interesting at Wal-Mart.


  77. Detroit turns to city lottery to try to pay debt.

    Islamoids win big in Egypt.

    Cain demands accuser's phone records.

    Life goes on.


  78. Who lost Egypt?


    The kill all the Jews folk are in charge now.

    McCrazy had told us if you recall that the fundies were no threat in Egypt.


  79. Good to see you can still count, boobie.

  80. Dave Dhreier, CA Congressperson forever, is there, reporting how great Democracy is, and is confident that jobs will be their focus.

    But as you mentioned, the 95 k Christians that have already left won't be getting hired anytime soon.

  81. Egypt is not the US.

    Never was, never will be.
    The Islamoids are not unbiased.
    They are not nice to "outsiders".


    Good reason I do not live in Egypt, nor do I plan to visit there.

    Is it a sad thing, that the Copts are getting a raw deal?
    You bet it is.

    The US can continue to fund the Egyptian security forces, or not. That is about the extent of US influence, there in Egypt.

    That is about all the influence we ever did wield, in Egypt.
    Since Nassar, anyway.

    We could always offer those Coptic folk a new colony, somewhere on boobie's National Heritage lands, up there in Idaho, or maybe as a border buffer, along the Mexican frontier.

    Maybe we could move 'em to Cyprus?

  82. Gingrich told ABC he was not worried about upcoming attack ads from the Romney campaign and would continue to focus on a common foe -- President Barack Obama.

    "It's not going to be very effective and people are going to get sick of it very fast," he said. "The guys who attacked each other in the debates up to now, every single one of them have lost ground by attacking.

    So they should do what they and their consultants want to do. I will focus on being substantive and I will focus on Barack Obama."

  83. What's the alternative policy that you think the US should pursue, with regards those Coptic Christians?

    Armed intervention for their protection?
    Subsidized exodus?
    If so, to where?

    Just asking.

  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

  85. Should the US cut the military aid we supply to the Egyptians?

    Or send more, as the military represents the moderate, secular political forces, there in Egypt.

  86. I did not know this...

    When you drink vodka over ice, it can give you kidney failure.
    When you drink rum over ice, it can give you liver failure.

    When you drink whiskey over ice, it can give you heart
    When you drink gin over ice, it can give you brain problems.

    Apparently, ice is really bad for you.

    Warn all your friends.

  87. In the early hours of Nov. 26 on the Afghan-Pakistani border, what was almost certainly a flight of U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and an AC-130 gunship killed some two dozen Pakistani servicemen at two border outposts inside Pakistan. Details remain scarce, conflicting and disputed, but the incident was known to have taken place near the border of the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar and the Mohmand agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).


    The initial Pakistani narrative of the incident describes an unprovoked and aggressive attack on well-established outposts more than a mile inside Pakistani territory — outposts known to the Americans and ones that representatives of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had visited in the past. The attack supposedly lasted for some two hours despite distressed communications from the outpost to the Pakistani military’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi.


    While statements and accusations have often referenced NATO and the ISAF, it is U.S. forces that operate in this part of the country, and this close to the border the unit involved was likely operating under the aegis of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (the U.S. command in Afghanistan) rather than under the multinational ISAF. Indeed, many American allies have also expressed frustration over the incident, convinced that it undermines ISAF operations in Afghanistan.

    Pakistani Soil

  88. “Clearly there is a very strong, clear view that it’s a real contest,” the adviser said. “But Romney is doing the right things to win it.

    It’s not slipping away. Romney’s got to fight for it.

    He always was going to have to fight for it. It’s just now clear who the fight is with.”

  89. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

  90. That kid was one well spoken kid, no matter he came of a turkey baster.


  91. In a fundraising e-mail to supporters on Wednesday, Gingrich wrote that he was running “a different kind of campaign.”

    “As always, I pledge that every penny contributed to this campaign will be used to advance an honest campaign that the American people can be proud of,” Gingrich wrote. “There will be no :30 attack ads against my friends who are also seeking the Republican nomination; I will focus my criticism on President Obama.”

    It’s an ironic strategy for a politician who succeeded in Washington by going after other people’s jugulars. The enduring impression many Americans have of Gingrich is of somebody who’s constantly on the attack against his foes and, indeed, official Washington.

  92. PETA came out against killing horses for food. (Or any other reason, save mercy)

    So do I.

    They've helped us enough.

    We'd still be digging camus roots with stick without 'em, around here.

    I told this to my wife, she says, cynical like, "Well, they might as well give their all."


  93. Risky has rejected his 'winter coat'. Didn't fit quite right, and he's particular.


  94. Ok, just watched it. That was good.

  95. Re: Two lesbians raised a baby and this is what they got

    Someone grab that kid before he does something human and becomes, thereby, unelectable.

    This is the sort of rhetoric that made America, "America". Compare this youngman's few moments of fame with the sterile vanity of the favorites of either party.

    May G-d guide and protect him in preparation for that day when he and, one prays, millions like him take the helm of the battered barge we leave them.

  96. Saddest places to live in USA -


    1. St. Petersburg, Florida

    2. Detroit, Michigan

    3. Memphis, Tennessee

    4. Tampa, Florida

    5. Louisville, Kentucky

    6. St. Louis, Missouri

    7. Birmingham, Alabama

    8. Miami, Florida

    9. Reno, Nevada

    10. Las Vegas, Nevada

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068500/Americas-saddest-cities-revealed--3-Sunshine-State.html#ixzz1fKv3znO2


  97. Yes, he is an impressive young man. I hope they listen to him.

  98. Millions like him would be fine, as long as it's not millions just like him.

    I think cloning is spooky.


  99. I can understand St. Petersburg but I wondered about Miami, too.

    Happiest place was Honolulu.


  100. I love Christmas Lights,

    they remind me of politicians!

    They all hang together,

    half the suckers don't work,

    and the ones that do aren't that bright!

  101. I'd agree with Honolulu. For some reason as soon as you step off the plane there a smile is glued to your face until you leave. Happens every time.

  102. MANCHESTER - Herman Cain acknowledged Thursday that he repeatedly gave Ginger White money to help her with "month-to-month bills and expenses" without telling his wife of more than 40 years.


  103. The noble horses by the way were the most often, by far, depicted large animals on those cave walls back in Europe in the Pleistocene.

    We've always had a special relationship with the noble horses, wise, and unarmed, cept for their swift hooves.

    Don't eat them.


  104. sam said... I'd agree with Honolulu. For some reason as soon as you step off the plane there a smile is glued to your face until you leave. Happens every time.

    Well, there's a smile on your face til the girl tells you how much your little umbrella drink will run ya.

  105. When I met my wife, we stayed at the Reef Hotel, in Honolulu, which the girl who turned out to be godmomma Linda renamed the Reefer Hotel.



  106. The US military has their own hotel right on Waikiki beach.

  107. And, starting with their Emmetsburg, Ia plant, they will utilize the cobs, and a percentage of the stover to produce More Ethanol, plus enough energy from the leftover lignin to power the whole process.

  108. .

    Should the US cut the military aid we supply to the Egyptians?

    Or send more, as the military represents the moderate, secular political forces, there in Egypt.

    Jeez rat.

    The military respresents the military in Egypt.


  109. I was wondering how your mood is today, Quirk. Are you kinda down, feeling a little sad?

    Just askin'.

    Keep your head up, there's glory after death.


  110. This

    puts it in perspective. Government spending since 1954....out of control.


  111. Well, Q, the military in Egypt represent the secular forces in Egypt.

    They are the secular political force, there, too.

    Those things CAN be conflated.

    They are still running Egypt.

    We can support them, or not.
    Because of, or regardless of, the Copts.

    Which shall it be?

  112. That you ignore the crux of the question, just boring.

  113. boobie advocating for a policy that turns horses loose to starve, on range that will not support them, because the Federals have destroyed the market for them.

    Because of their nobility, boobie would leave them to their own devices, so they can starve and die.


  114. The Federals destroying property values, without compensating the owners of the livestock.

    boobie has feelings, he is driven by them.
    His cognizant skills have certainly become diminished.