“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."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Obama is Simply In Over His Head

Somewhere between Newt Gingrich at CPAC and Paul Krugman at the New York Times lies the truth about the economic meltdown and the way out. It would not surprise me that the audacity of Newt or the suggestions of Krugman could both work. What is obvious is that Obama is so blinded by ideology, so totally unqualified to lead and so clueless as to govern, that we have a better chance of him having a nervous breakdown than we do of him solving our economic problems. Why do I say that?

Obama is an excellent myth merchant. He came to town selling snake oil from the back of a wagon and the crowd swooned. Americans so badly needed to believe and they did. Americans believed Obama could do what he said because he said it like he believed.

I have an innate ability to sense fear in a man. Obama is a man consumed by fear. It is in his walk. It is in there hidden behind the cool. The razzle-dazzle of distraction, the prop affects of office are being used by a man trying to find his stride and get his breath. There is no focus, there is no follow-through. There is an eerie discontinuity to Obama.

His supporters are beginning to notice. There is an unease in the media and Wall Street. Soon more people will notice.

Obama is the Paris Hilton Man. He achieved the presidency of the USA because of chance and skill at seeking and seizing opportunity. That is where his success will end. The Russians already know as do the British and slowly and with increasing speed will the American public realize The One is not. He would not be the first messiah to come to Jerusalem walking on palm fronds and later loose the crowd.


March 9, 2009
Behind the Curve

By Paul Krugman NY Times
President Obama’s plan to stimulate the economy was “massive,” “giant,” “enormous.” So the American people were told, especially by TV news, during the run-up to the stimulus vote. Watching the news, you might have thought that the only question was whether the plan was too big, too ambitious.

Yet many economists, myself included, actually argued that the plan was too small and too cautious. The latest data confirm those worries — and suggest that the Obama administration’s economic policies are already falling behind the curve.

To see how bad the numbers are, consider this: The administration’s budget proposals, released less than two weeks ago, assumed an average unemployment rate of 8.1 percent for the whole of this year. In reality, unemployment hit that level in February — and it’s rising fast.

Employment has already fallen more in this recession than in the 1981-82 slump, considered the worst since the Great Depression. As a result, Mr. Obama’s promise that his plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010 looks underwhelming, to say the least. It’s a credible promise — his economists used solidly mainstream estimates of the impacts of tax and spending policies. But 3.5 million jobs almost two years from now isn’t enough in the face of an economy that has already lost 4.4 million jobs, and is losing 600,000 more each month.

There are now three big questions about economic policy. First, does the administration realize that it isn’t doing enough? Second, is it prepared to do more? Third, will Congress go along with stronger policies?

On the first two questions, I found Mr. Obama’s latest interview with The Times anything but reassuring.

“Our belief and expectation is that we will get all the pillars in place for recovery this year,” the president declared — a belief and expectation that isn’t backed by any data or model I’m aware of. To be sure, leaders are supposed to sound calm and in control. But in the face of the dismal data, this remark sounded out of touch.

And there was no hint in the interview of readiness to do more.

A real fix for the troubles of the banking system might help make up for the inadequate size of the stimulus plan, so it was good to hear that Mr. Obama spends at least an hour each day with his economic advisors, “talking through how we are approaching the financial markets.” But he went on to dismiss calls for decisive action as coming from “blogs” (actually, they’re coming from many other places, including at least one president of a Federal Reserve bank), and suggested that critics want to “nationalize all the banks” (something nobody is proposing).

As I read it, this dismissal — together with the continuing failure to announce any broad plans for bank restructuring — means that the White House has decided to muddle through on the financial front, relying on economic recovery to rescue the banks rather than the other way around. And with the stimulus plan too small to deliver an economic recovery ... well, you get the picture.

Sooner or later the administration will realize that more must be done. But when it comes back for more money, will Congress go along?

Republicans are now firmly committed to the view that we should do nothing to respond to the economic crisis, except cut taxes — which they always want to do regardless of circumstances. If Mr. Obama comes back for a second round of stimulus, they’ll respond not by being helpful, but by claiming that his policies have failed.

The broader public, by contrast, favors strong action. According to a recent Newsweek poll, a majority of voters supports the stimulus, and, more surprisingly, a plurality believes that additional spending will be necessary. But will that support still be there, say, six months from now?

Also, an overwhelming majority believes that the government is spending too much to help large financial institutions. This suggests that the administration’s money-for-nothing financial policy will eventually deplete its political capital.

So here’s the picture that scares me: It’s September 2009, the unemployment rate has passed 9 percent, and despite the early round of stimulus spending it’s still headed up. Mr. Obama finally concedes that a bigger stimulus is needed.

But he can’t get his new plan through Congress because approval for his economic policies has plummeted, partly because his policies are seen to have failed, partly because job-creation policies are conflated in the public mind with deeply unpopular bank bailouts. And as a result, the recession rages on, unchecked.

O.K., that’s a warning, not a prediction. But economic policy is falling behind the curve, and there’s a real, growing danger that it will never catch up.


  1. he's waiting for mid summer....

    the toxic assets should be understood by then and he will then repeal the anti-mark to market ruling

    this will shoot the dow up 3000 points in 4 weeks and make the ONE a hero

  2. Here is as good an explanation as to where we are as I have found FT

  3. Octomom Publicist Calls It Quits: "This Woman Is Nuts"
    The new PR rep is the second publicist in a month to bail on the mother of 14....

  4. U.S. Army Officer Calls Obama an Impostor

    A United States soldier on active duty in Iraq called President Barack Obama an "impostor" Monday, saying he would not comply with the president's military commands until he saw irrefutable evidence Obama was born on American soil.

    "As an active-duty Officer in the United States Army, I have grave concerns about the constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to hold the Office of President of the United States," Lt. Scott Easterling wrote in a letter to attorney Orly Taitz.

    Until the president - or "Mr." Obama, as Easterling writes - releases the original 'vault copy' to the public, Easterling said he would refuse to acknowledge Obama's military orders.

  5. The lieutenant is currently in the middle of a 15-month tour of duty in Balad, Iraq. He joined the Army at age 40 after working in Iraq as a contractor with firm KBR.


  6. I think the strategy behind that, and I think he's one of Orly Taits, a Russian immigrant, is that when he is court marshalled he has a right to a positive defense and they're going to try to force the usurper to answer.

  7. "a small contingent in northern Idaho living on a commune"....

    "and the Amish"


    The wave of the future!

    "match the Chinese and have a ZERO capital gains tax"

    good idea!

    "non-military but very sophisticated means of regime change" (with the Iranian, Norks)

    which isn't going to work

    That was a good speech, no teleprompter I could see. Got the right outlook, keep it positive, offer a better vision.

    I think though events are in the saddle. WiO may be right, Buddy Larsen has speculated along the same lines. But things going so deep worldwide it may be slipping out of anyones immediate control, and all this spending making it worse like Roosevelt. Then maybe something will happen in foreign affairs to make the one either an angel or devil.

  8. al-Doug is tired tonight, he has missed the pun on the octomom, which is of course, octopuss(y).

    Remember Pussy Galore?

  9. Barkley reports to Tent City
    One of 4 to score over 20,000 points.
    I did not know that.

  10. If Lt. Scott Easterling acts upon those words, he will not be Lt. Scott Easterling, for much longer.

    Which may be his intent.

    As is usually the case, with me, when in a bit over ny own head on matters economic, I turn to FORBES for clarification.

    ... we suppose after writing thousands of words, producing videos and giving speeches about the issue, some might be tempted to let it go. But we can't do that, especially when the government continues to spend trillions of dollars and is coming very close to bank nationalization.

    This is a real shame. Suspending mark-to-market accounting could fix major problems at no cost. Unfortunately, many people dismiss this issue without really understanding its impact on the economy.

    We are economists, not accountants or bank analysts. We really don't think a debate about how big the housing bubble was, or whether a certain bank is viable or not, is worthwhile when it comes to accounting rules. That misses the point. Mark-to-market accounting rules affect the economy and amplify financial market problems.

    The history seems clear. Mark-to-market accounting existed in the Great Depression, and according to Milton Friedman, who wrote about it just 30 years after the fact, it was responsible for the failure of many banks.

    Franklin Roosevelt suspended it in 1938, and between then and 2007 there were no panics or depressions. But when FASB 157, a statement from the Federal Accounting Standards Board, went into effect in 2007, reintroducing mark-to-market accounting, look what happened.

    Two things are absolutely essential when fixing financial market problems: time and growth. Time to work things out and growth to make working those things out easier. Mark-to-market accounting takes both of these away.

  11. The wheels are going to be coming off of this bus soon!


  12. -87.07 -(1.21%) Nikkei

    The Nikkei agreed with my darts.

  13. Anyone would be over his head in these uncharted waters. Also, it's still very early in his administration and he doesn't have the economic people on board yet. I heard that anyone trying to coordinate the upcoming G20 Summit with the Obama administration is likely to be very frustrated.

  14. But that was nothing — Obama has delegated the entire task of governing.

    Maybe that'll save us.

  15. doug, did you read this in the Michael J. Bernard link?

    And a good morning, to you, too, Michael.

    According to Allison Davis, a former partner in the law firm that Obama joined after law school, occupied an office next to Obama's. "He spent a lot of time working on his book [Dreams from My Father]," Davis recalls. "Some of my partners weren't happy with that, Barack sitting there with his keyboard on his lap and his feet up on the desk writing the book."

    When you and bob were telling US that Ayers wrote his book!
    What an amazing turn of events.

    Also there is this tidbit, in that story:
    He lets Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid do the legislating ...

    What another amazing turn of events. The writer, Michael J. Bernard complains that Mr Obama is not "doing it all" but letting others do the jobs they were elected to do.
    Quite an indictment, to be sure.

  16. Lloyds Banking Group having recently tried to rescue the failing Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) now finds itself pulled under and drowning. The Bank of England has been forced to inject more cash into Lloyds and now owns 65% of the bank.

    Another bank nationalized.

  17. Obama has no focus. He is more rigid than Bush. He does not know what he is doing.

  18. All seemingly true, duece, and ...

  19. Maybe he was editing Ayer's work. Maybe he was doing the Word Jumble. Anyway, the professors based their ideas on some linguistic similarities to Ayer's work. They said themselves they only had a good theory, not proof.

    Whoever wrote it it's a work of self aggrandizement.

  20. The razzle-dazzle of distraction, the prop affects of office are being used by a man trying to find his stride and get his breath. There is no focus, there is no follow-through. There is an eerie discontinuity to Obama.

    He has an idea a minute and does not have the glue to put them all together.

  21. He is cut and pasting from the leftist play book.

  22. It's all about punishment and redistribution, Deuce, simple as that.
    ...and loving our enemies.

  23. Yup, and being the hero of your own personal myth.

  24. "“Come on Helicopter Ben–we’ll just use a bunch of jargon and hopefully these idiots will fall asleep.”"

  25. ('Rat missed the point about BHO's work ethic, in his rush to smear al-Bob and al-Doug

  26. Caving in to Castro — Most Americans probably don’t realize it, but the United States sells $780 billion of agricultural and food items each year to Cuba to keep its citizens from starving. Because the Castro government was notorious for late payments, the United States required that Cuba pay in advance for its purchases.

    The stimulus bill includes language that would waive this requirement, granting Cuba more favorable trade terms. The bill would also ease travel restrictions, bringing a much-needed source of cash to Castro’s Cuba.

    As Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., commented on the Senate floor: “The last thing we need in this economic time is for us to be providing credit to a country that is uncreditworthy.”

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. ...his work ethic was overwhelmed in 6 weeks!
    Hard to believe after all those years of dedication to smoking crack, writing advertisements for himself, and organizing communities.

  29. Mark to Market is PART of the problem, 'Rat!

  30. If you can't be with the one you love, doug, love the one you're with.

    I wish that were the case, duece, but in my heart of hearts, I think Obama is moving in the direction he wants, at a pace that he finds pleasing.

    His policy agenda is moving forward, where he over reached, as in the census move, he's pulled back. But he is moving on Health Care, Energy and everything else.
    Using the Crisis to get his over all agenda approved and passed.

    The Banking Crisis is one of capitialization, that is a function of mark to market accounting. As wi"o" says, at some point in the next few months that reality will be acknowledged and the solvency crisis will be solved.

    As I saw a young female talking head, from CNBC say, 90% of the mortgages in the securities are paying on time, the market has valued those securities as if only 20% were timely payers.

    Markets are not always rational, why just look to housing and tech bubbles with 20/20 hindsight to see that.

  31. - A.I.G. for Dummies -

    Now, however, A.I.G. not only has to meet collateral calls as the value of the debt it insured withers, but also has to post collateral related to the interest rate swaps.

    Another troubling aspect of these deals is how long it takes to untangle them when they go awry. Back to Mr. Buffett’s recent shareholder letter: when Berkshire acquired the insurance company General Re in 1998, he wrote, General Re had 23,218 derivatives contracts that it had struck with 884 counterparties.

    Mr. Buffett wanted out from under the contracts and he began unwinding them. “Though we were under no pressure and were operating in benign markets as we exited,” he said, “it took us five years and more than $400 million in losses to largely complete the task.

    ...ya think there just might be a tad of fraud in some of that spaghetti?
    "The Bezzle"

  32. I answered you before you posted!
    FAST Mofo!

  33. Of course it is just "part" of the problem, doug, but it is a major piece to the puzzle.

    That it is not being addressed, just part of the Crisis Management.

    What is the Goal of Management?

    Is it further control and consolidation of the financal system or a free flowing vibrant economy, free of the fetters of regulation and control?

    That answer is obvious to anyone watching. The Goal is greater control, solving the Crisis quickly will not gain that result as effectively as dragging out the challenge for as long as possible.

  34. 63. buddy larsen:

    Blert/41; The DTCC must be audited and the offending parties prosecuted. This can not happen too soon. (scroll down 55% +/-)

    “…at the heart of our nation’s stock settlement system, and hence, at the heart of the issues of concern to DeepCapture, is a nearly unknown corporation called “The DTCC.” The company provides settlement for the nation’s capital market: $1.5 quadrillion in trades are settled there every year (that is, about 30X the economic output of the entire planet).

    For most of its history it has largely escaped regulation: state regulators are admonished that they cannot peer inside because the DTCC is federally regulated, and the DTCC has told federal regulators it escapes their regulation due to its strange ownership structure (one former federal regulator, and one former employee of the DTCC, have both told me the feds would not know where to begin if they tried to regulate it).

    In short, at the heart of the world’s economy is an enourmous black box that is regulated except on the days it’s not, and through which 30X the economic output of the world flows. It is my contention that much of Wall Street’s illegal activity is funneled through this strange entity.
    The huge, nondescript building in downtown Manhattan that houses the DTCC is something of a Fort Knox. Long-gun toting guards watch the entrances, and journalists who have been inside tell me that entering it is tougher than getting into the Federal Reserve or any comparable institution.

  35. Yeah, but when it comes time to fix it, nobody in that admin will know how, or if they do, they won't want to.
    (Geithner and his con-artists on Wall Street)

  36. 62. blert:

    Some other interesting blogs

    Automatic Earth

    Calculated Risk ( lefty commentariat, great charts )

    Mish ( Mike Shedlock ) ( libertarian, towards Ron Paul )

    Naked Capitalism ( nice cross links )

  37. - The Ploy of Inaction -

    Is President Obama Lazy or is Inaction a Calculated Political Move?

    - Michael's link

  38. we need 4 more months of pain so the great messiah can ram his agenda down our throats...

    then the switch will be pulled, mark to market will be turned off...

    3000 up in the dow in 4 weeks...

    90% of all home loans are current and then poof! they will be counted at full value, thus sending the balance sheets on USA banks (and those that own those derivatives overseas) zooming...

    this is a ploy to change the direction of the American policy...

    thanks Mr Obama!

    All hail the great father...

    i wonder if Castro's brother will get a State visit , along with Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria & Iran...

  39. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hedge Funds

    Meanwhile, the stock market continues to flounder as it becomes increasingly obvious that Obama intends to do just what he promised in redefining the way government works, including rapidly shrinking defense budgets, raising taxes, increasing entitlements and decreasing itemized tax deductions for charitable contributions. These moves of course ignore the likely impact on future economic growth. But the Dow Jones seems to realize something is amiss. It has dropped more than 20% since Inauguration Day, the biggest fall in at least 90 years according to Bloomberg.

    When it comes to finger pointing, the Essential Information and Consumer Education Foundation may have identified the true players. According to a 231-page report, the financial sector invested more than $5 billion to purchase political influence in Washington over the past decade with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and other policy decisions that led directly to the current situation.

  40. Newt is an impostor. I don't believe in anything he says anymore. He was silent during the Bush years, and now he's peddling this junk about an oil energy tax. 75% of the wealth in the country has captured by the top 5% thru sheer fraud. Newt doesn't speak of that, because they are the people that pays his salary. Fsck him and all the fraudster corruptokrats and kleptocrats they represent. Anyone buying into their partizan theater is absolute moron.

  41. ..75% of the wealth in the country has ^been captured by the top 5% thru sheer fraud..

  42. ..Anyone buying into their partizan theater is an absolute moron..

  43. "this junk about an oil energy tax"

    ...that's gonna be a good thing to get outta this mess and help the lower income folks who it hits hardest?

  44. the United States sells $780 billion of agricultural and food items each year to Cuba

    Wha? I don' thin so.

  45. Newt doesn't speak of that, because they are the people that pay his salary.

  46. Fer Krissakes boyz. I told you once, and ah tol you again.

    "Don't Believe Anything You Read, Right Now!"

    It is to ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY'S Advantage to Cry "Doom," Today. Republicans, Democrats, Media, Stock Traders, Bankerss, EVERYBODY!

    WIO just about has it figured out. This is a "Kabuki Dance" to beat all "Kabuki Dances."

  47. ...that's gonna be a good thing to get outta this mess and help the lower income folks who it hits hardest?

    Yes, it will be a good thing.

    Better that we tax oil revenue domestically and redirect that money towards alternatives, than the oil ticks raising the taxes on us for us. And as far as the lower income folks are concerned, if their net taxes are lower, then what's the complaint?

  48. MUCH of the wealth generated in the last 15 years across the globe was crap...

    fake money chasing stocks....

    chinese crap dollars buying up strip malls of cookie cutter garbage....

    insurance companies building and buying cookie cutter skyscrapers filled with cookie cutter starbucks...


    Be warned however it's being USED by Obama to redefine America & it's role in the world...

    Look at how Iran is getting the bomb...

    Syria is taking over Lebanon

    China still hold tibet

    Russia now is building 2 new ports...

    GE is losing value? ask anyone who KNOWS about GE, they have been making money on MONEY for a DECADE not making money on Turbines....

    Do you remember in the days BEFORE single issue trading, charles shawb, and day trading?

    the pyramid?

    the bottom?

    CD's Utility Stocks & T-bills....

    Then people got greedy...


    Madoff a crook, but his INVESTORS? Greedy sheep.

  49. Is Obama responsible for Wall Street's meltdown?

    When it turns out that people like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who took home $68 million in 1997, was the only Wall Streeter in a meeting last September at the New York Federal Reserve to discuss the initial AIG bailout with Tim Geithner, then New York Fed chair, among others, at the very time Goldman was AIG's largest trading partner, a distinct scent of self-dealing begins to emanate.

    When it turns out that Citigroup got a bailout deal last October far more generous than that given to any other distressed bank, when a top Citi executive was advising the Treasury and Fed, the scent increases. Goldman's past CEO was treasury secretary at that time, by the way, and another former Goldman CEO was a top Citi official and also a former treasury secretary.

    I am not suggesting anything so crude as corruption. But could it be, given these tangled webs, that -- innocently, unintentionally, perhaps even subconsciously -- the entire bailout effort was premised on saving these companies rather than protecting the public? Or that the distinction between the two was lost, and still is?

  50. WIO just about has it figured out. This is a "Kabuki Dance" to beat all "Kabuki Dances."

    With the money flowing to the richest of the rich, courtesy of your bipartisan curroptokrat mafia.

  51. I am not suggesting anything so crude as corruption.

    Then you'd be a fool.
    (Not you, Doug. But you know that).

  52. This whole talk of getting rid of "mark to market" strikes me as simply using an accounting gimmick to "fix" the problems. As those authors in Rat's Forbes article state "Time to work things out and growth to make working those things out easier." or, the more likely scenario is that it gives more time and makes it easier for the corruptakats to continue their ponzi scheme and run off with their fees. I'm astounded at all the old proponents of "free markets" wail and whine that free market evaluations are the problem.

  53. What Newt is offering is same old. Endless giveaways for the multinational corporate fraudsters, continued abuse of and theft from middle class thru NAFTA CAFTA etc, continued abuse of the environment and people's health, 80 hr work week, endless spending for the military mafia, debt servitude, debasement of currency, erasing of people's life savings, and corporate feudalism. I don't believe anything that comes out from their mouth. They are all scoundrels.

  54. Comrade Ash: I'm astounded at all the old proponents of "free markets" wail and whine that free market evaluations are the problem.

    There is nothing free market about what is happening now...

    90% of all mortgages are current but they are being valued at the lowest price based on a different property's sale...

    If the true value was allow to be stated (and it will when obama CHOOSES to) balance sheets will ballon...

    When you great father has inflicted enough pain to get his way he will then change the rule and cause the dow to soar 3000 points in 4 weeks...

    this is nothing but a crock of crap...

    from 14k >9k was greed and excess being driven out of the market...

    from 9k >6500?

    pure theater

  55. WiO,

    I think you are confusing what is involved with mark to market. To the best of my knowledge the debate does not have anything to do with individual mortgages rather it has to do with how corporations and institutions must value and report their assets.

  56. There are any number of ways to value an asset, ash.

    Mark to market values it by comparable sale, even if there never was intent to sell that asset.

    Whether real estate or a sercuritize mortgage.
    The cash flow value of an asset, a rented house or mortgage security, does not drop just because the "comp" has dropped in value.

    The lost of confidence in the market does not represent the true values of the assets.

    In real estate there is the cash flow value, the replacement value, the 'book' value (price minus depreciation), and comparable value. All have their place in the appraisal of value.

    Mark to market force a single type of appraisal upon the entire market, even where it is not applicable. It is an accounting rule, less than two years old, tha has caused the bank crisis to cascade, when there is no "real" reason for that cascade.

    Which is why Obama is calling the bottom, that and mat's chart of the historical mirror, both could indicate a 120 day turn-a-round is in the offing. Mark to market reforms of the reform, to deal with the unforeseen consequences of that previous reform, will recapitialize the banks, without another dime of rescue funds needed.

  57. First the accounting "Reform" of Mark to market, then a Federal Reserve caused lack of liquidity across the economy both tie together in expanding centralized control of the economy.

    Neither are "Acts of God"
    Both were instiqated by the current contollers of the currency.

    In tandem they have increased the power of the Federrral Reserve by untold multiples along with providing the O Team with the political crisis they needed to drive home their agenda.

  58. It is primarily an accounting trick and hence won't do much to recapitalize the banks. Sure, on paper you may get some marginal jump in the capital reported but it will nothing toward increasing the cash available to go about business.

    What do you suggest replace mark to market? How did the system function before the introduction of the stated law change?

    I am open to changes but I am skeptical that it will do much other than decrease the transparency of the what is reported. Take for example a mortgage security that is currently yielding 100k a year and it's term is 10 years. You are two years into holding it and it originally yielded 200k a year. How do you value such a security? There is a good chance that the yield could further decline. Do you set up Government panels to issue valuations? That seems like a too heavy government hand. Do you allow the corporation to state its value as what it paid for it and not force them to right it down until they sell the sucker? This latter notion, I believe, is what the old rules were and it proved to yield some ugly accounting 'revelations' when the bad assets were properly valued on the balance sheet.

  59. The retail market is discounting those mortgage securities well beyond what the cast of characters in charge think is "fair value".

    There is ample eviddence that the market often acts irrationally and that economic decisions are often made on an emotional level.
    The democracy of the market, leading to the "Rule of the Mob" that the Founders so feared.

    It is my understanding that Citigroup and the others are still producing gobs of cash, it is their capitialization, the value of the securities that are providing the cash flow, that is under extreme duress.

  60. The reason they are having cash shortages, ash, is the regulators are forcing the free cash flow into recapitalization, instead of loans.

    They also have tightened the credit worthiness standards. My banker tells me the Federal regulators have formed their own loan committee and approve or disapprove each deal. Deals that were profitable with long term customers of the bank, now are 'to risky', per the Federal deciders.

  61. so, ya, the market values the assets lower than what the owners want them valued at - why am I not surprised? There might be some profits to be made if one can exploit the imperfections.

    and, ya, the banks are under capitalized with the gov. shoving money at them, propping them up, and taking their pound of flesh by 'helping' them lend more responsibly. Don't like it? We'll tis a free Say, thanks, but no thanks to that truck load of cash the fed drove up with and chart your own course (provided you keep onside with your charter and applicable laws).

  62. I have more than enough to do, without having to worry about the financial system.”

    - President Barack Hussein Obama

  63. Too tired?
    Farewell to Britain

    The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

    The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying:
    "There's nothing special about Britain.
    You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world.

    You shouldn't expect special treatment."

    The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama's determination to do too much too quickly.

  64. You guys should sign up for Twitter and search for "tcot" (Top Conservatives on Twitter) in the built-in search engine, there's fifty Elephant-Bar-esque posts a minute there, day and night. Bliss for the wingtip set, lemme tell ya. I even got Michelle Malkin to smack me down personally!

  65. Tethered to twitter ...why would I want to do that? Why does anyone? I do not get that, but then I have never played a video game either. I still cannot get over someone wearing a baseball cap in a restaurant.

    Hugh Hewitt was all in a twist over twitter. Anyone interested in doing it, please be my guest.

  66. If and when this mark to market is suspended, we'll find out who's got that argument right.

    Bless me, I don't know what twitter it, and I'm not going to find out.

    So far the DJIA today is following Nikkei, which was following my darts.

    "I proclaim a condition of joy."

  67. Sen. Joe Lieberman now sings Obama's praises.

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Joe Lieberman has changed his tune on Barack Obama. After campaigning across the country for Republican John McCain in 2008 and attacking Obama as naive, untested and unwilling to take on powerful special interests, Lieberman now showers praise on the popular new Democratic president.

    "He's shown real leadership," Lieberman told The Associated Press in an interview. "Bottom line: I think Barack Obama, president of the United States, is off to a very good start."

    The Connecticut independent, who faces re-election in 2012 in a state where Obama is popular, is eager to mend fences with Democrats still fuming over his criticism of Obama during the general election campaign.

    They'll all a bunch of back alley garbage can sitting yowling tom catting shits.

  68. Why isn't the FBI asking these questions of Charlie? That's the real funny.

  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. In a dramatic, surprising and rare breakthrough to the rational--


    Judge Says Federal Agency Doesn't Have To Consider Creature For Inclusion On List Of Endangered Species

    AP--A federal judge has ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn't have to study the Giant Palouse Earthworm as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

    In January of last year, a coalition of environmentalist groups and individuals sued the agency when it rejected a petition to consider listing the worm that can grow to 3 feet in length, spit at attackers and emit a lily-like odor. The worm was described as abundant around the turn of the 20th century but has been seen rarely since.

    On of the most recent sightings occured last March when a worm was found near Ellensburg, Wash. That finding became a key issue in the case.

    Last month Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled the Fish and Wildlife Service deserved deference when it decided the worm did not warrant a 90 day status review to determine if the worm qualified for ESA protections. He wrote that the plaintiff's claimed the worm was in peril because its habitat, the native Palouse prairie, has been almost totally converted to agricultural land.

    But the judge agreed with the Fish and Game Service, which noted the most recent discovery of the worm occured far from the Palouse. Because of that the agency said worm's historic range was unknown.

    "Given the sighting of the Giant Palouse Earthworm in the hills west of Ellensburg, the Fish and Wildlife Service did not act unreasonably in determining that the worms habitat is not limited to the Palouse prairie and that its range is unknown at this time," wrote Van Sickle.

    Steve Paulson, of Lenore and a member of the Moscow based Friends of the Clearwater, said the environmental groups would soon resubmit their petition to protect the worm over a much larger geographic area.

    "We will expand the habitat outside the scientific definition into the court's definition and include the Columbia Basis in the habitat." he said.

    So the worm will fight back.

    These people are nuts. It's no wonder our county is heading for the trash can of history.


    (by the way, "in the hills west of Ellensburg" is up there where the original Mel's Hole was/is located, around Manastash Ridge)

  71. Rock, Scissors, Paper: Recession vs. Collapse


    A very sobering analysis of where we're heading. Gregor has been very prescient in his views. My only thought is that if we manage to remove oil as currency, we might have a chance. Unfortunately, the oil fscks that captured the Bush administration have also captured the Obama admonistration. And although Obama's rhetoric might give cause for hope, his action when it comes to renewables can be summed up in one word - pathetic.

  72. his action when it comes to renewables can be summed up in one word - pathetic.


    No nukes

    No dilling

    No coal

    No nothin'

    Shun the friends, meet with the enemies.

    It's almost as if he's out to destroy the country.

  73. I have more than enough to do, without having to worry about the financial system.”

    Given that Infanticide is approved by The Messiah,
    Some Infants are indeed more equal than others.

  74. It's almost as if he's out to destroy the country.

    Or protect his sponsors. And who are his sponsors? The same that sponsored Bush. The car/military/oil/gs/media mafia. The kleptocrats guiding our future to a new global corporate feudalism.

  75. The Feuding EB'rs are Prepared!

  76. 112. fred:


    I should have been more specific about the use of the title “tribune.” There were two kinds: military tribunes and tribunes of the plebs. Very young men from patrician and sometimes equestrian families had their first military assignment as military tribunes, which were essentially staff officers and cadets. The had no real authority in the cohorts and legions. The men with the real power were the legates and then the centurians and cohort commanders (who were senior centurians). In the Roman legions a man could begin as a raw enlisted recruit and through merit and survival rise up the ranks and become a cohort commander. If he acquired some property he could apply to be put on the rolls of the ordo equester, and his sons could get an education. In the military a son of an equestrian could become an auxillary commander or the commander of cavalry alae. And it was not unheard of for someone in the equestrian class to jump into the patrician order and join the senate.

    While definitely not as fluid as our meritocracy is (or should be), in the Roman world there was more opportunity for free men to rise up in the ranks than in any other society before, during, and even after the fall of the Empire.

  77. Become the Ordo Equester you were meant to be!

    roidubouloi said:

    Noam, you should stop referring to these things as insurance. That adopts the rhetoric of the fraud and legitimizes it. These contracts have nothing whatsoever to do with insurance. They are simply guarantees. Hence, they amount to $440 billion of loans made by AIG, off balance sheet apparently. The very idea that merely because of this "insurance" the institutions holding the underlying bonds could legally keep them off their balance sheets, rather than post them as loans to AIG, is so preposterous that it makes clear that this whole colossal fraud and financial failure is the direct result of regulatory complicity. Alan Greenspan should go to prison. He is a criminal far, far worse than Bernie Madoff. Phil Gramm should be his cellmate.

    Now we read that the current crop of regulators (not really current as Geithner is complicit in all this too) approach the problem by trying to continue to perpetrate the fraud, slipping tens of billions under the table SO THAT THE ACCOUNTING SCAM CAN CONTINUE! with all of this crap still off-balance sheet. In their terror-induced delusions, they imagine that the markets can somehow be made to function by continuing the very accounting fraud that brought us to this point. But it is too late, because now everyone knows what is going on even if they don't know where the losses are lodged.

  79. They are all Federal Socialists, mat, both the Democrats, Republicans and the folk from Goldman Sachs.

    And no one, from Obama to McCain, Limbaugh to Moore wants to eliminate either of the Parties, they just want to control them.

    Any call for a new political party is met with the same disdain, from those 'in the know', that is usually reserved vigilantes along the border.

    The blogsphere will tell US there is only the binary choice, and so there is ... only a binary choice.

    And so it will go, the Military Industrial Complex, the one that Ike, who everyone liked, warned US about. He saw it, because he was amongst it, part of the vanguard of a movement he distrusted.

    Working in concert with the Federal Bankers, mostly against the interests of the average Joe, plumber or no.

  80. However that maybe Eggplant, there was precious little opportunity for the slaves.

    I'm off to the library for some heavy negotiatins with the librarian. I ain't giving that sweet $24.95 for the book I spilled some tea on without getting the book itself as mine.

    Was a good book, and I don't mind a little tea stain.

    Wish me luck, we'll be eye to eye!

  81. But, at the same time providing the highest standard of living, for the most people, anywhere in the world.

    So the Complex did have some redeeming features, truth be known. But the endless series of wars, first in Southeast Asia and now in Southwestern Asia. Wars that were never won, and now the commanders and Civil Leaders tell US they are wars that cannot be won, but still must be fought.

    They have, in the end, bankrupted the System that supported the Complex.

    Quite bizarre, really.

  82. They are all Federal Socialists, mat, both the Democrats, Republicans and the folk from Goldman Sachs.

    No. They are not Federal, and they are Socialist. They are nothing more than Imperialistic scum setting themselves as Feudal Lords, using the Corporate State as a platform for their kleptocratic megalomaniac global ambition.

  83. ..and they are not Socialist..

  84. Wish me luck, we'll be eye to eye!

    If she's cute, don't forget to wink. :)

  85. But, at the same time providing the highest standard of living, for the most people, anywhere in the world.

    I've seen how many Americans live. And it's nothing to brag about, dRat. There's more to standard of living than having to own a GM shitbox for every member of the house. There's more to standard of living than eating McDonald's shitburgers. There's more to standard of living than 500 channels of shit on the TV and radio. There's more to standard of living than seeing the same urban blight almost everywhere you go.

  86. Catholics across the State of Connecticut mobilize to fight the irrational, unlawful, and bigoted Proposed Bill #1098/2009

    The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly is considering outrageous legislation designed specifically to target Catholic parishes with the bogus aim of "restructuring" them for the public good.
    Senate Bill 1098 is a frontal assault on the autonomy of the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut.

  87. Oh, they are socialists, they exist for the sake of the State, in the name of the "people".

  88. Benedict, a conservative sometimes criticized for turning back the reforms of Vatican II, has issued indulgences on several occasions -- most recently to mark the 2000th anniversary of the birth of the apostle Paul. The original decree was for pilgrims traveling to St. Paul's Basilica in Rome but later expanded to include other specified pilgrimage sites for Catholics who cannot afford to travel abroad.

    The Lariat editorial opined that because of their negative connotation, indulgences will hurt Catholicism instead of help it.

    "Catholics should on their own choose to go to confession because they recognize their sins and desire to truly atone," the newspaper said. "They shouldn't be motivated simply because the award of an indulgence makes it more appealing."

    Indulgences Revival

  89. Oh, they are socialists, they exist for the sake of the State, in the name of the "people".

    LOL. Good one! :)

  90. Forget About "Recovery"

    At the risk of confirming my critics' dumbest charge -- that I am a "doomer" -- the mandate of clarity requires me to ask: to what state of affairs do we expect to recover? If the answer is a return to an economy based on building ever more suburban sprawl, on credit card over-spending, on routine securitized debt shenanigans in banking, and on consistently lying to ourselves about what reality demands of us, then we are a mortally deluded nation. We're done with that, we're beyond that now, we've crossed the frontier and left that all behind, and we'd better get our heads straight about it.

    I maintain that there are countless constructive tasks waiting to occupy us on a long national "to do" list for rebuilding a national economy, but they are way different than the ones currently preoccupying government and the mainstream media. The Obama White House, Congress, and The New York Times are hung up on exercises in futility -- "rescuing" banks and insurance companies that cannot be rescued (because they are hopelessly trapped in "black hole" credit default swaps contracts), and re-starting a "consumer" binge that was completely crazy in the first place, based, as it was, on a something-for-nothing standard-of-living.
    Meanwhile, if the buzz on the blogosphere is a measure of anything -- and I think it is -- then a new consensus is forming out there about where to start doing things differently. Unfortunately after less than two months in office, President Obama finds himself awkwardly behind-the-curve on this. It begins with the understanding that a general bank rescue is hopeless and, going a step further, that the people who caused the train wreck of "innovative" securities have to be prosecuted. The public's collective voice on this is muted but growing. It has been muted by the general air of blackmail that the banks have used to enthrall policy and opinion -- the "too big to fail" idea -- in effect holding the nation's future for ransom.
    Last week, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo hauled Bank of America chief Ken Lewis into his office to explain who, exactly, received an aggregate several billion dollars in bonuses late in 2008 after the US Treasury forked over billions of dollars in TARP money to his bank. That was a good start. Mr. Lewis, being lawyered-up to the max, had the temerity to reply that answering the question would compromise his ability to keep talented people in his employ. For that impertinence alone, Mr. Lewis ought to be dragged over fifteen miles of broken chardonnay bottles behind a GMC Yukon -- but that is not how we do things in American jurisprudence. To be more realistic, a simple indictment would be in order, and then Mr. Lewis can answer this question, and a few others, in the comfort of an air-conditioned courtroom. Ultimately, that might lead to Mr. Lewis becoming the wife of a bodybuilder in one of New York State's houses of correction -- a just outcome that would go far in rejiggering the nation's expectations about how people in authority ought to behave. And such an outcome might lead to the conviction of many other brides-to-be from the Wall Street debutante pool.
    Now it has come to light, just last week in the wake of AIG's latest bail-out, that previous AIG bail-out money to the tune of $50 billion was distributed to a set of banks including Goldman Sachs (former employer of then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and then New York Federal Reserve Governor Tim Geithner), plus Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Mr. Lewis's Bank of America, and a long list of European banks with operations in the USA. Since the transactions took place in New York State, the investigation of these irregularities alone could solve the unemployment problem here if NY Attorney General Cuomo were given a free hand in hiring staff to depose everyone involved -- including the hiring of caterers to bring in coffee and meals for round-the-clock proceedings.
    All of this raises another awkward question: where is United States Attorney General Eric Holder in this situation? Surely the federal statutes offer some grounds for inquiring about the misuse of Treasury funds -- and many other issues arising from Wall Street's stupendous orgy of misbehavior. What I'm hearing out in the blogosphere is a growing clamor to call people to account before we are really able to move on to the massive task-list that awaits us in rebuilding our economy.
    The bigger question for now is whether any of these authorities will act effectively before the public simply goes apeshit and starts burning down Greenwich, Connecticut. The dangerous shift in public mood is liable to occur with shocking swiftness, in the manner of "phase change," where one moment you see a bewildered bunch of flabby clown-citizens vacuously enraptured by "American Idol," and the next moment they are transformed into a vicious mob hoisting flaming brands to the window treatments of a hedge funder's McMansion. The moment of opportunity for avoiding that outcome is looking sickeningly slim right now.
    Another thing that President Obama can set into motion anytime -- and pull himself back to the head of the curve of leadership -- is to either by executive order or by proposal to congress, shut down the credit default swap system for a period of time while procedures are drawn up to place all these dubious contracts in a "clearing" market, where the holders of them will have to come clean about what they're sitting on. The lack of this procedure is allowing zombie banks to hold the United States hostage for never-ending bail-out ransoms. None of these banks are going to survive another six months anyway, so the basic blackmail motif that the whole money system will collapse if ransoms are not paid is a bluff that has to be called sooner or later in any case. So Mr. Obama might as well get on with it.
    Once these two matters are dealt with -- an earnest start-up of prosecutions and disabling the credit default swap blackmail racket -- then perhaps a stressed-out and impoverished public might be induced to not go apeshit and instead get on with the mighty task of rebuilding our nation along lines that have a plausible future.

    Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler

    Because it's Monday!

  91. The main conclusion is that the yield curve is a reliable predictor of turning points of a business cycle. Among the two spreads discussed here, it is a close tie for the number one spot.

    The interest rate spread between the 3-month Treasury bill rate and 10-year Treasury note yield is better in terms of the lead time. However, there is no precise pattern that can be discerned from this analysis.

    Historically data for recessions prior to the post-war period would be more useful because the current crisis stems from a severe credit crunch unlike prior recessions of the post-war period which occurred because the Fed tightened monetary policy to slow the pace of economic activity.

    Recovery Checklist

  92. Since the markets are too risky, and interest rates are low, invest in a plenary indulgence now.

    Nice librarian, Mat, got my book.

  93. Obama's Double Talk
    - Robert J. Samuelson The Washington Post

    To those who believe that Barack Obama is a different kind of politician -- more honest, more courageous -- please don't examine his administration's budget.

    Obama is a great pretender.
    He repeatedly says he is doing things that he isn't, trusting his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference.

    He has made "responsibility" a personal theme;
    the budget's cover line is

    "A New Era of Responsibility."
    He says the budget begins
    "making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline."

    It doesn't.

  94. invest in a plenary indulgence now

    I have my parents. And while they're alive, I want to be with them.

  95. Withered Old Back of 75 Year Old Saudi Woman To Get 40 Lashes

    Poor old gal accepted some loaves of bread from some males neighbors, or nephews, or some shit like that.

  96. Absolutely. Don't put off duty to your folks to invest in nonsense, ever.

  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

  98. "What boat is that?' asked one of the men in the fighting chairs.
    "That boat?"
    "Yes, that boat."
    "Oh, that's a Key West boat."
    "What I said was, whose boat is it?"
    "I wouldn't know that, Cap."
    "Is the owner a fisherman?"
    "Well, some say he is."
    "What do you mean?"
    "He does a little of everything."
    "You don't know his name?"
    "No, sir."
    "You called him Harry."
    "Not me."
    "I heard you call him Harry."

    Captain Willie Adams took a good look at the man who was speaking to him. He saw a high-cheeked, thin-lipped, very ruddy face with deep set gray eyes and a contemptuous mouth looking at him from under a white canvas hat.

    "I must have called him that by mistake." Captain Willie said.
    "You can see that the man is wounded, Doctor." the other man said, handing the glasses to his companion.
    "I can see that without glasses." the man addressed as Doctor said. "Who is that man?"
    "I wouldn't know," said Captain Willie.
    "Well, you will know," the man with the contemptuous mouth said. "Write down the numbers on the bow."
    "I have them, Doctor."
    "We'll go over and have a look," the Doctor said.
    "Are you a doctor?" Captain Willie asked.
    "Not of medicine," the gray eyed man told him.
    "If you're not a medical doctor I wouldn't go over there."
    "Why not?"
    "If he wanted us he would have signalled us. If he don't want us it's none of our business. Down here everbody aims to mind their own business."
    "All right. Suppose you mind yours then. Take us over to that boat."

    Captain Willie continued on his way up the channel, the two-cylinder Palmer coughing steadily.

    "Didn't you hear me?"
    "Yes, sir,"
    "Why don't you obey my order?"
    "Who the hell you think you are?" asked Captain Willie.
    "That's not the question. Do as I tell you."
    "Who do you think you are?"
    "All right, for your information, I'm one of the three most important men in the United States today."
    "What the hell you doing in Key West then?"
    The other man leaned forward. "He's Frederick Harrison," he said impressively.
    "I never heard of him," said Captain Willie.
    "Well, you will," said Frederick Harrison. "And so will everyone in this stinking jerkwater little town if I have to grub it out by the roots."
    "You're a nice fellow," said Captain Willie. "How did you get so important?"
    "He's one of the biggest men in the Administration," said the other man.
    "Nuts," said Captain Willie. "If he's all that what's he doing in Key West?"
    "He's just here for a rest," the secretary explained. "He's going to be governor-general of----"
    "That's enough, Willis," Frederick Harrison said. "Now will you take us over to that boat?," he said smiling. He had a smile which was reserved for such occasions.
    "No, sir."
    "Listen, you half-witted fisherman. I'll make life so miserable for you----"
    "Yes," said Captain Willie.
    "You don't know who I am."
    "None of it don't mean anything to me," said Captain Willie.
    "That man is a bootlegger, isn't he?"
    "What do you think?"
    "There's probably a reward for him."
    "I doubt it."
    "He's a lawbreaker."
    "He's got a family and he's got to eat and feed them. Who the hell do you eat off of with people working here in Key West for the government for six dollars and a half a week?"
    "He's wounded. That means he's been in trouble."
    "Unless he shot himself for fun."
    "You can save that sarcasm. You're going over to that boat and we're going to take that man and that boat into custody."
    "Into where?"
    "Into Key West."
    "Are you an officer?"
    "I've told you who he is," the secretary said.
    "All right," said Captain Willie.

    He pushed the tiller hard over and turned the boat, coming so close to the edge of the channel that the propeller threw up a circling cloud of marl. He chugged down the channel toward where the other boat lay against the mangroves.

    "Have you a gun aboard," Frederick Harrison asked Captain Willie.
    "No, sir."

    The two men in flannels were standing up now watching the boat.

    "This is better than fishing, eh, Doctor?" the secretary said.
    "Fishing is nonsense," said Frederick Harrison, "If you catch a sailfish what do you do with it? You can't eat it. This is really interesting. I'm glad to see this at first hand. Wounded as he is that man cannot escape. It's too rough at sea. We know his boat."
    "You're capturing him single-handed," said the secretary admiringly.
    "And unarmed, too," said Frederick Harrison.
    "With no G-men nonsense," said the secretary.
    "Edgar Hoover exaggerates his publicity," said Frederick Harrison. "I feel we've given him about enough rope. Pull alongside," he said to Captain Willie.

    Captain Willie threw out his clutch and the boat drifted.

    "Hey," Captain Willie called to the other boat. "Keep your heads down."
    "What's that?" Harrison said angrily.
    "Shut up," said Captain Willie. "Hey, he called over to the other boat. "Listen. Get into town and take it easy. Never mind the boat. They'll take the boat. Dump your load and get into town. I got a guy here on board some kind of a stool from Washington. More important than the President, he says. He wants to pinch you. He think's you're a bootlegger. He's got the numbers of the boat. I ain't never seen you so I don't know who you are. I couldn't identify you---"

    The boats drifted apart.

    Captain Willie went on shouting, "I don't know where this place is I seen you. I wouldn't know how to get back here."
    "O.K.," came a shout from the booze boat.
    "I'm taking this big alphabet man fishing until dark," Captain Willie shouted.
    "He loves to fish," Captain Willie yelled, his voice almost breaking. "But the son of a bitch claims you can't eat 'em."
    "Thanks, brother," came the voice of Harry.
    "That chap your brother?" asked Frederick Harrison, his face very red but his love of information sill unappeased.
    "No, sir," said Captain Willie. "Most everybody goes in boats calls each other brother."
    "We'll go into Key West," Frederick Harrison said; but he said it without great conviction.
    "No, sir," said Captain Willie. "You gentlemen chartered me for a day. I'm going to see you get your money's worth. You called me a half-wit but I'll see you get a full day's charter."
    "Take us to Key West," Harrison said.
    "Yes, sir," said Captain Willie. "Later on. But listen, sailfish is just as good eating as kingfish. When we used to sell them to Rios for the Havana market we got ten cents a pound as kings.
    "Oh, shut up," said Frederick Harrison.
    "I thought you'd be interested in these things as a government man. Ain't you mixed up in the prices of things that we eat or something? Ain't that it? Making them more costly or something? Making the grits cost more and the grunts less?"
    "Oh, shut up," said Harrison.

    from To Have and Have Not 1937
    Ernest Hemingway

  99. Tibetan exiles and their supporters are planning to hold protests across North America, Europe and Asia on Tuesday to mark the anniversary.

    Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, will address a gathering in Dharamsala, the north Indian town that has been his home since he fled Tibet in 1959.

    China's central government contends the Buddhist leader has incited activists to campaign for Tibet's independence. The Dalai Lama says his only goal is to achieve genuine autonomy for Tibetans within China.

    50th Anniversary

  100. To Have and Have Not

    Read it as required reading in High School.

  101. Okay Deuce, Bobal, I'll just repost EB stuff on Twitter and maybe you'll get a hunnert new barflies.

  102. we don't want a hunnert new barflies, one or two would be ok

  103. we'd have barflies everwhere purty soon we'd need the swatter

  104. Okay Deuce, Bobal, I'll just repost EB stuff on Twitter and maybe you'll get a hunnert new barflies.

    Why do you want to do that?

  105. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose Tuesday morning on selling for quick gains ahead of the March-end book-closing of the current fiscal year.

    In interdealer trading, the yield on the No. 299, 1.3 percent issue gained 0.005 percentage point from Monday's close to 1.300 percent.

    The price of the key March futures contract for 10-year bonds lost 0.14 point to 138.60 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    Quick Gains

  106. Because right now Metuselah it looks like "Deuling Ailments" night afterhours in the VFW Hall with five or six of the same old men bitching about whatever. You need some new blood.

  107. I'll start to publish your stuff on Twatter.

  108. We like it that way. Keep your homo friends out of here.

  109. Radio Ecoshock

    Alex Smith, in this program explores the big black hole where your dreams of prosperity used to be:

  110. Recalling an exchange between Ash and Linearthinker--

    I can speak from experience that the most ridiculous and useless degree in undergrad and graduate work is ED. The courses are lofty in theory and subterranean in application. During my twenty years teaching secondary English, I, we, had to take in-services every year, and a 501-502 course in education. I'll sum up the graduate courses with this: Most of us in the trenches walked out after a few meetings. When we didn't walk out, we complained bitterly that the professors were utter fools with no clue of the real world, and then we sought out an alternative course on our own.

    As for the curriculum for a Masters in education, it is a fixed, non-choice syllabus - at least in Virginia. Which is not to say it isn't alien to the needs of real-world teachers.

    Our best teachers turned out to be retired military - once they got over the shock of the lack of discipline in the schools. Most quickly fixed that in their own classrooms, however, and ended up some of the most popular teachers. Like them, I took no ED courses in college, never intending to teach, and had to take a set of ED courses in order to become certified. I don't think I could begin to come up with a single positive expression about any of those courses.

    from Meta at Maggie's Farm, who evidently taught for years

  111. Speaking Monday in Beijing on the sidelines of the National People's Congress, the annual legislative gathering, Fu Hongyu, a top official of the Ministry of Public Security, acknowledged the heightened security.

    "We have made due deployment and tightened controls at border ports and key areas and passages along the border in Tibet," said Fu.

    Champa Phuntsok, the Chinese-installed chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, appears confident that this year, Tibetans will behave. "Riots like those last March won't happen again," he predicted at the People's Congress.

    May by Foiled by Fear

  112. Chart says we might be out of this by April/May:

  113. This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. The painting now believed to be of William Shakespeare has hung on the walls of the Cobbe family for about 300 years:

  115. I've been listening to some radio talk about this cap and trade legislation. We're never going to get out of this hole we're digging for ourselves with that nonsense.

  116. I can see some real financial incentive to claim you have an original portrait of the bard.

    I have a portrait of Erik the Red.

  117. Swedes don't have dark grey eyes. But this is common to Jews, like my dad for example. Plus in that portrait looks like that of my Rabbi. :)

  118. One of my ancestors, Erik the Red

    Buddy Larsen says there's going to be a meeting, hearing something in D.C. on the mark to market come Thursday, if they suspend it we'll see if all the predicts of a rapid rise come true.

    Not all Swedes are blue or green eyed by the way.

  119. Not all Swedes are blue or green eyed by the way.

    But dark gray is very uncommon to that region.

    “Hath not a Jew eyes?” Shylock famously asks his Christian tormentors in The Merchant Of Venice. I think Shakespeare might have dropped us a hint.

  120. Them are Jewish eyes on a Jewish face, Bob. I know a Jewish face when I see one.

  121. Bob, Mark to Market is tied to off the books leverage. The real issue is the leverage that will be allowed.

  122. I'm out of my depth trying to follow some of the discussions over there, but I strive mightily.

  123. The banks purposely placed their assets as a Mark to Market because that allowed them to increase leverage. To fix the problem, one must go to the root cause. That root cause is fractional reserve lending that allowed banks, brokerages, and insurance companies to lever up to insane levels.

  124. I do recall over the years thinking to myself it's seems a kind of running miracle that the modern economy functions at all, and that it might all come a crashing down. So much technology, so much trading, so many contracts, so many regulations, so much law...

  125. Probably $100 trillion dollars plus, in damages from this fraud, and still not a single prosecution. This would have made Shakespeare blush.

  126. Shakespeare was not only Jewish, but Female

  127. That portrait also shows Shakespeare has a Jewish nose. Unfortunately, Bob, you don't. :)

  128. A Jewish nose would ask: Who is the Jew that Shakespeare knew?

  129. Hath
    not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
    dimensions, senses, affections, passions?

    Hath not a Jew a nose?:)

    This disproves your thesis, Mat!

    I had a friend in high school, more Swedish than I, whose nose outdid that of the bard.

    The Bard

    John Donne Was Jewish Too

  130. Hmm,..

    Turns out this "pound of flesh" meat trade, is Roman Law. Swedish Roman Law! Instituted by no other than "Erik the Red" during his stay in Iceland.

  131. John Donne Was Jewish Too

    Sorry, Bob, but he looks french to me.

  132. Hath not a Jew a nose?:)

    No, Bob. That should be:
    Hath not a Jew THE nose?

  133. Shakespeare you are not, Bob.
    But keep working on that nose.

  134. :) heheh

    I got to get some sleep Mat. Nite.

  135. G'nite, my dear Sir.

    May Erik Red ride merrily as thy slumbers.
    And may Erik Red slumber as thee rides Mary Lee.