“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fed Opens the Flood Gates

The fed has liquified the economy by about $1.3 trillion. Without considering the multiplier affect, that is equal to the Gross State Production of the following states:

District of Columbia (not a state)
New Mexico
West Virginia
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
South Dakota
North Dakota

What do you think will be the effect?


  1. The District of Columbia is not a state yet, though the dems would like to make it so.

  2. I'd like to make Idaho north of the Salmon River a state, but it's not going to happen.

  3. Obama has compared the big banks and AIG to 'suicide bombers.'

    What's this make the Fed?

  4. Solar makes a Comeback

    You have to scroll down a bit to get to the video.

    The fossil fuel assholes hate it, but this stuff is for real.

  5. I don't know much about this company, or the product, but the Price is interesting.

    Mirah Wind

  6. A Pelton Wheel?
    Didn't know they still used those.
    I had a 6 incher.


    Obama's New Low: AIG Is Like a Suicide Bomber

  7. Researcher Cracks Mac in 10 Seconds - PC World

    Charlie Miller, the security researcher who hacked a Mac in two minutes last year at CanSecWest's PWN2OWN contest, improved his time Wednesday by breaking into another Mac in under 10 seconds.

    Miller, a principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators LLC, walked off with a $5,000 cash prize and the MacBook he hacked.


  8. Iranian Blogger Dies in Prison

    After Mr. Mirsayafi was convicted he told Reporters Without Borders: “I am a cultural and not a political blogger. Of all the articles I have posted online, only two or three were satirical. I did not mean to insult anyone.”
    Earlier this week, the father of the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, told Lindsey Hilsum of Britain’s Channel 4 News that he had spoken to his daughter, who is still being held in Evin Prison. He added that waiting for her release is “a nightmare.”

  9. CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The historic Greenbrier resort, which has gone from hosting presidents and royalty to posting losses, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday and unveiled a plan to sell itself to hotel giant Marriott International Inc. for up to $130 million.

  10. :( I didn't hear any Grace Slick...

  11. Greenbrier, another victim of Liberal Fascism.

    Marriot's gonna get lots of buy low opportunities out of this.

  12. Also arrested was Robert Pittell, 50, of Centerport, who pleaded not guilty to second-degree conspiracy for allegedly conspiring to sell more than one-half ounce of cocaine and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Detectives say they seized a sawed off shotgun and a .45 caliber pistol from his home.

    He is being held on $400,000 bail.

    House painter James Devito, 31, of Nesconset, pleaded not guilty to second-degree conspiracy and third-degree criminal possession of cocaine. Three ounces of cocaine were seized from a cabinet above his kitchen sink during the investigation, police say.

    3 Kilos of Heroin

  13. "There has been a step toward each other," said Salah al-Obeidi, another Sadr spokesman in Kufa, near the sacred city of Najaf. "But until now, Maliki's coalition refuses to give any kind of guarantees and any kind of details of the map they will follow in representing the provinces.

    This arouses many fears with out friends."

    Earlier in his tenure, when his position was far weaker, Maliki courted the Sadrists as a source of support. Last year, though, he turned on them, dispatching the military against their militiamen in Baghdad and Basra.

    Iraq Elections

  14. "What do you think will be the effect?"

    One would think that it would be terribly inflationary but so much money has disappeared of late that it may not be...

    ...I'm liquidating my last US asset. Put the sale order in today.

  15. "There are inflationary pressures -- maybe not in the coming months, but later on in the year and next year," added Krishen Rangasamy, senior economist at CIBC World Markets.

    One danger is central banks initiating so-called quantitative easing, or adding money to the overall financial system in order to expand credit is timing, experts say. Added too late, policymakers run the risk of fanning inflation just as the economy begins recovering.

    It’s a prospect fraught with heightened anxiety now because it’s never been done on this scale, said Mr. Rangasamy. "The Fed is experimenting with quantitative easing for the first time."

    North Americans

  16. What is going on now in Congress and under Obama is far worse than I ever imagined.

  17. Josef Fritzl used to boast that he was lord over life and death. Today an Austrian court jailed him for life, ensuring that he would almost certainly end his days behind the high walls of a psychiatric unit for the most dangerous of disturbed criminals.


    Austria, it seems, is rid of its monster. He was led away by a platoon of policemen to a cell that he shares with a violent suspect.

    Unlike the dungeon where he incarcerated his daughter, it has a window.

    Social Service Failings

  18. Obama called the governor "one of the great innovators of state government" and "an outstanding partner with our administration."

    The president capped his day on comedian Jay Leno's late-night talk show, taping his appearance at NBC's Burbank, Calif., studios a few hours in advance of its airing.

    California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring was not amused. While the two "swap jokes," Nehring said in a statement, "hardworking California families continue to struggle to keep their homes and jobs."

    Economy Will Recover

  19. The exhibit includes photographs, lithographs and prints from 19th-century Egypt, as well as maps that date back to the 16th century. "They declined the invitation," said Amanda Weiss, managing director of the Bible Lands Museum.

    She could not say why.

    Danny Kyram, a retired Foreign Ministry official who collected some of the artwork for the exhibit, said he was not surprised that Egyptian officials were not planning to attend. "I don't see that the relationship as so warm that they want to share cultural activities," he said.

    30 Years of Peace

  20. Another AIG scandal brewing:

  21. JIM LEHRER: Congress made the first move today to get back the AIG bonus money. The House approved heavy taxes on those who received the $165 million last weekend, but the vote came amid an escalating war of words over who's to blame.


    KWAME HOLMAN: The bill was the work of House Democrats, and it took aim at bonuses paid at AIG and other firms getting government rescue funds.

    REP. EARL POMEROY, D-N.D.: We will not tolerate these actions. We're not going to wring our hands, shake our heads, look at our feet, and mumble, "Ain't it a shame?"


    KWAME HOLMAN: The plan is to levy a 90 percent tax on the bonuses. It's triggered if an employee has an income of more than $250,000 and if his or her company received at least $5 billion in government aid.


    HOUSE MEMBER: This will be a 15-minute vote.

    KWAME HOLMAN: The bill passed 328-93. Nearly all Democrats supported it, but Republicans were evenly divided: 85 voted yes, 87 voted no.

    Tax on Bonuses

  22. A Failure of "Imagination."


  23. "What is going on now in Congress and under Obama is far worse than I ever imagined."

    They're just getting started.

    The good news is it's going to fun watching this Administration swirl down the toilet bowl. The bad is experiencing the effects.

    Hard to beat providing DVDs to the British Prime Minister...that don't work. Plenty more where that came from.

  24. One of the most over-rated bunch of frauds in history.

  25. Personally I think the jury is still out on the effects of the current administration. The blundering and ever changing direction of TARP1 was really bad. The current lack of direction will also prove to be problematic I believe. Hopefully they'll get their act together and spell their position out clearly so that the rest of us can then make our respective plays. Not knowing what is coming next (i.e. will the gov. buy toxic mortgage backed securities? will they bail out the Auto Manufactures? will they?...) just causes folk to sit on their hands an postpone the painful decisions that must be made.

  26. Hmm,..
    $60/bbl oil, and still no go:

    Word comes today that the UK Offshore Oil and Exploration sector is at risk of collapse

  27. Got 'im! Foist kill of the year. Eight legger, coming down the curtain, 8 inch shot, dead on, fell on the computer monitor. The original fly gun, useful on spiders too.

  28. All this quiet, I knew youz was up to something nefarious.

  29. Wife says that Greenbrier Resort is in White Sulphur Springs in the middle of W. Virginia somewheres. Says they used to have some kind of a bomb shelter for the President there, back in the day.

  30. Had to go to Moosecow. I see Rufus has joined your team, Mat.

  31. "The international economic recession, changes in exchange rate, biofuel, animal diseases and the global power of distribution are only a few of the factors that have a major impact on the meat trade and they are hard to predict", RenĂ© Maillard, manager of the VLAM’s Belgian Meat Office, summarises the conclusions.

    Meat consumption worldwide is increasing

    A growing world population and the evolution to more urbanisation. These two factors are making meat consumption worldwide increase.


    2008 a year of two halves

    However well the meat trade was doing in the first half of 2008, that same meat trade had a very tough time of it at the end of 2008. Until August there was still clear economic growth; during the fourth quarter the economy plummeted in all areas.


    Meat consumption depends on standard of living

    The bigger the available income of a section of the population, the greater the amount of meat consumed. The United States are the absolute number one with their meat consumption of over 120 kg per person.

    Meat Trade in Focus

  32. I see Rufus has joined your team, Mat.

    Just don't tell him that, he might get over excited.

  33. Where’s the Fear?

    “But, as I did back in October, I looked once again this weekend at the now lowly Citigroup’s chart, and amazingly, noticed some eerie similarities to the Citigroup chart back in October. This is just a 10-day chart, but look at the spikes up on the openings even before Citigroup broke a buck , and more interestingly, note that it has gapped up 3 out of the past four days. Does that reflect fear or as we can see back in October, an impatience that rarely comes at a true bottom?

  34. Octoleg, he never had a chance.



    Published in the New York Post on March 19, 2009

    In an effort to promote liquidity and boost the economy, the Federal Reserve yesterday announced plans to grow the money supply by another 50 percent to 60 percent. This ignores the profound observation of Gen. George Patton: "You can't push a string."

    When the Fed expands the money supply, it doesn't pass out $100 bills on Broadway. It gives lines of credit to banks and other financial intermediaries to generate some money and also buys up Treasury bills in circulation to pump out more cash.

    But the money supply has already expanded by 271 percent in the past five months. Why does the Fed expect what hasn't worked to suddenly start working?

    Right now, there is about $800 billion plus currency in circulation sitting in wallets, purses and cash registers around the country. Another $800 billion is sitting in a vault at the Federal Reserve Board, for a total monetary supply of about $1.6 trillion.

    In a vault? Yes. When Congress voted the TARP program to bail out banks, the banks actually took only a small part of the money. The rest they used to offset losses on their balance sheets while letting the Fed hold onto the money.

    Why didn't the banks want the money? Because they're not about to make loans in this economy. They're more than happy to let the cash sit at the Fed earning them interest. (The Fed decided to start paying interest last November).

    So now the Fed will, in essence, be creating another trillion of money supply to sit in the vault alongside the $800 billion already there. The new money will remain idle for the same reason the old money has because banks won't make loans in this environment.

    And what of the money that is going out the door to buy Treasury bills? Those selling Treasuries won't run out and spend the money on flat-screen TVs. With higher taxes coming up next year and the economy in the tank, they won't spend it or lend it they'll probably just turn around and buy more T-bills.

    Think of a parking garage filled with cars. The cars' owners leave them in the garage, because it's a bad day with rain and snow and conditions aren't suitable for driving. Similarly, banks and consumers leave their money in the vault at the Fed or in their bank accounts or under the mattress.

    When conditions improve, though, all those metaphorical cars will suddenly be taken out for a drive. All at once. And a traffic jam of monumental proportion will ensue.

    When everybody starts spending the money they're now leaving in vaults and mattresses, way too much money will be chasing way too few goods and services. Double-digit inflation will return to America.

    Yesterday's Fed action won't help but it will put more money out there that the Fed will have to mop up once the economy, on its own, revives.

  36. Beer Tax

    Just recently, a bill (HB 140) came before the House Revenue and Taxation Committee that would have tripled the state tax on beer sales in Idaho. The bill would have raised the current per gallon tax on beer sales from fifteen (15)cents to fifty two cents (52). As one of the largest malt barley producing states in the nation, Idaho barley growers were immediately in the crosshairs of a blitz of activity surrounding this proposal.

    The IGPA (Idaho Grain Producers Association) made a major effort to gather vital information from growers, the Idaho Barley Commission and our industry partners to develope an informed policy position. The IGPA board voted to oppose the bill because the tax would have caused significant disruption throughout the production chain of the malt barley industry at a time when the market is extremely sensitive. I am happy to report that the House Committee voted to oppose HB 140 with a 13-5 margin.

    from IGPA Magazine

    Idaho Grain Producers Association lookin' out for you. Another service of your friendly neighboring farmer.

  37. It’s the writedowns, stupid

    Very informative read

  38. Rush Limbaugh has issued a challenge to debate Obama's teleprompter anytime, anywhere.

  39. TAXING BEER?!?

    Now the Motherfuckers have GONE TOO FAR!!

  40. We stopped 'em Ruf, 'fore they got to the cooler.

  41. Suspected robbers freed after German court admits it cannot tell twins apart

    Twin brothers arrested in January under suspicion of having stolen jewellery from a luxury department store in Berlin have been freed after confusion over which one of them was the culprit, a court said Wednesday.

    "From the evidence we have, we can deduce that at least one of the brothers took part in the crime," the court wrote in a statement, "but it has not been possible to determine which one."

    The 27-year-old brothers had been accused of staging a daring heist, in which jewellery and watches reportedly worth up to six million euros (£5.6 million) was stolen from Europe's largest department store - KaDeWe - in the heart of the German capital.

    The robbers are thought to have abseiled into the shop through a skylight after scaling the side of the building.

    The brothers, from Lower Saxony, were arrested two weeks after the incident, but because their genetic information is so similar, traces of DNA found at the scene of the crime did not provide conclusive evidence for trial or conviction.

    Investigations are still under way, the court said.

    Last month, a pair of identical twins in Malaysia escaped being convicted and hanged on drugs charges, amid similar confusion.

    There's some kind of lesson lurking in this.

  42. Which Is Worse: Buying Solar Panels from Eurasia or Oil from OPEC?

    Solar Panel Production:

    US 14%
    Europe 26%
    Asia 60%

  43. Yeah, but you let'em get entirely too close Bob. I expected more from my Ideehoan Praetorian Guard.

  44. We can move the solar panel production over here if the Asians get out of line. You can't move an oil field.

  45. 'Sides, we got plenty of sand.

  46. With as much whining and crying from the global warming activists on achieving 100% renewable and clean energy, a new report has surfaced that changes everything. You know about those solar panels that will make us free from foreign oil dependency? The manufacturing process used to make them generates nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), which is 17,000 times more effective at increasing atmospheric temperature than carbon dioxide. Surprise, surprise. NF3 is also used in the production of flat-screen TVs and computer displays.


  47. Genersys uses aluminium for the panel trays and for the frames. The aluminium we use for each panel and frame costs 442.6 kWh of energy. The copper that comprises the meandering heat pipe and sensor pockets needs 108.4 kWh of energy to produce it. We use special glass and this makes up most of the weight of each panel. It uses around 100.9 kWh of energy. Insulation costs 19.4 kWh for each panel. Our own design of selective coating needs around 45kWh of energy to make it, and the additional materials uses 6.8KWh of energy. Therefore, the total energy needed per panel is 723.3 kWh.

    We keep the manufacturing process as efficient as possible. By using our folding technology and not welding we have managed to keep manufacturing energy costs to around 45 kWh per panel. We also use energy recovery devices in manufacturing and recycle all our scrap and broken material.

    Having established that energy needed per panel is 723.3 kWh we have to figure out what the carbon footprint is, using normal energy mix assumptions. 723.3 kWh translates into 137 kilograms of carbon dioxide per panel using a normal energy mix assumptions. In the UK most homes employ two panel systems which generally mean each system “costs” 374 kilograms of carbon dioxide for the panels and frames and for such things as transport, the peripherals (pumps station, controller pressure vessel and piping) probably add another 200 to 250 kilograms of carbon dioxide. This means that a UK default two panel system has left on average a carbon footprint of 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

  48. Interesting discussion in the comment section:

  49. You can't move an oil field.

    You can create virtual oil fields. They're called electric vehicles.

  50. Anonymous said...
    I wonder if there is something additional going on here:

    In questioning Liddy yesterday, Rep. Alan Grayson zeroed in on an item in AIG's 10K which said that if the yield curve expands by a mere 100 basis points, AIG would be on the hook for $500 Billion (that's not a typo) given their current derivatives portfolio.

    I wonder if the Fed is hell bent on preventing that, other consequences be damned.

  51. here's another:

    Dan Duncan said...
    Bernanke is like a poker gambler in an old western...only he has Acme Poker Chip Supplier at his disposal.

    And it goes like this:

    BB enters a game and the deck of cards is not kind to him.

    In order to stem the tide and assert control over the table, he makes a big bet.

    He is raised.

    BB, not one to be pushed around goes "all in".

    The opponent laughs, and raises him again even though BB is out of chips.

    BB, a resourceful student of gambling, recalls the Mavericks of the good ole' removes his gold Rolex and gets his car keys (to a fine European 800 Series) and throws them in the pot.

    He's raised again!

    But BB has a joker card: He calls the friendly folks at Acme Poker Chip Suppliers. On demand, they bring in a large chest of shiny new Acme Poker chips branded with an impressive looking eagle.

    With great ceremony and big smile, BB dumps them on the table with a triumphant, "I'm all in some more!"

    The opponent, with WTF incredulity, calls out to the casino boss/sheriff in protest.

    BB lifts the fold of his jacket to reveal a shiny sheriff star, and says, "That would be me."

    And the opponent realizes he must eventually fold...or pull a gun.

    Only I think the gun analogy is wrong. Someone's throat is going to get slashed. And it's the US vs the world. The US might have a bigger knife, but it has got a hundred knifes aimed at its throat. That's not a fight the US should take on.

  52. heheheheh--

    AIG Scandal Widens: Probe Launched Into Geithner's Role

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner now says his department asked Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd to insert language in the stimulus bill to protect $165 million in executive bonuses for bailed-out insurance giant AIG. The federal watchdog that oversees the bailouts has launched an investigation.

    Let's see, Zero is outraged, his guy Geithner says he done it, Dodd inserts the language, happily, and we are all well entertained.

    These guys are making Moe Curly and Larry look real competent.

  53. Confession Time

    I'm feeling kind of guilty about that last post. I think I was a bit harsh. And now I'm seeing headlines on Gibbsy's BlackBerry that are making me feel sick to my hard drive: My good friend Dick Holbrooke's past past is coming back to haunt him.

    Now I need to come clean. Those meetings back in 2002 where Holbrooke was speaking to his fellow AIG board members and telling them that it was a good idea to open that London office to handle mortgage swap derivatives? My dad was his Teleprompter.

    I feel so dirty. Where's the Windex?

    Posted by Tele Prompter at 8:34 PM

  54. Gotta get all of them to run against AMNESTY!
    Pray for some high profile border incident.
    If 15 Children were murdered all @ once instead of over a period of 30 days would anyone care?

    Certainly not Barry, Jesse, or Al, if they were poor Black kids.

    Hispanics did it?
    ...nothing to see here, move right along.

  55. Down with Facebook!
    Matt Labash

    "...Another longtime friend, the host of Fox's Red Eye, Greg Gutfeld, tells me he has 3,200 Facebook friends: "I know maybe 50 of them." To Gutfeld's credit, he is ashamed. He concedes that Facebook is a place that turns adults into teenage girls. "Instead of making things," he says, "We're telling people how great Gossip Girl is. Would your grandfather go on Facebook? Probably not. I think we've become a country thirsting for attention--Facebook is basically Googling yourself for people who don't have enough hits to warrant it." Being a television personality, Gutfeld will go on for the occasional ego-stroke, but admits, "It's all pointless. A Facebook friend won't shave your back."

    The hardest to watch fall, however, has been my wife. I'll call her "Alana," since that's her name (but note to Face-tards: Don't try to friend her to heckle me, she will not receive you). A few months back, she became a hardcore Facebook addict, as our late 30s age group has become the fastest-growing Facebook segment (35-54 year-olds have increased 276.4 percent to nearly 7 million users in just the last six months). There are worse things she could become, I suppose: a Meth dealer, a UPS delivery-man groupie, a Twitterer. Still, it's unsettling.

    In our house, there have always been clearly defined roles. I procrastinate, shirk responsibilities, and spend much time peppering a fairly wide circle of friends with an incessant barrage of individually tailored emails, many of them lengthy (as opposed to the abbreviated, promiscuously generic, group-blog like messages left on Facebook). I tell myself it keeps me in game-shape, writing-wise, like a baseball player taking cuts in the batting cage. Alana isn't an Internet dawdler by nature, but rather, a doer, a model of graceful efficiency. She is Felix to my Oscar.

    But slowly, I noticed things taking a turn. The cosmetic stuff, like her immaculate appearance and hygiene, stayed the same. Nor did I see her do anything too creepy or severe, such as sending pictures of her feet at the request of a new Facebook friend or running out to some hot-sheets motel to get worked like a farm implement by an old high-school flame who'd renewed contact (which happens with some frequency on Facebook). But I did notice a general distractedness, a vacantness, a thousand-yard-stare. She seemed to notice it too. In the old days, she'd check her email maybe once or twice a day. Now, she was hitting her laptop like a rat hits a lever for pellets in a Skinner box.

    "I hate myself," she'd say.

    "Why?" I'd ask.

    "Because I'm becoming you," she said.

    A regular complaint around here is that I ignore her when consumed in email correspondence. But now, as I tried to relate a story to her from my day, she'd humor me, dutifully nodding as I'd only see the top of her head, since her nose was buried in her computer. She pretended to listen, but was really just acquiring more Facebook friends or picking a piece of "flair" to put on her message board as if she were a waitress at TGIF's..."

  56. Phew, those headlines over at Drudge are horrible!

    World taxes on gasoline to fund green, panel recommends dropping the dollar, NASA's Climate hysteric calls for civil disobedience, students forced to cage fight, Obama, Dodd, Pelosi, etc, etc.

    It's a chamber of horrors. Who's got the razor blades?