“We’ll wait and see where the voters go,” Clinton says, when asked if she thinks the superdelegates should follow the lead of the popular vote. “I want to see what happens in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico, Michigan and Florida.”
“With all due respect, we have to look at who can anchor the states we need to win in running against John McCain,” she says. “He will be very competitive in states like Florida. We have to ask ourselves as Democrats, ‘Who is the person best able to defeat John McCain?’”
I think the polls have made that clear already, dear. You do read them, do you?
And you’re waiting to see what happens in Puerto Rico? Is that one of the “big, important states, states that matter” that you keep talking about, or do I hear some desperation?
Given that the company headquarters is said to be worth about $1.2 billion, that gives the BS banking business a value of negative $1 billion. And that’s only after the Fed agreed to take on $30 billion worth of toxic waste from the BS portfolio, politely described as “less-liquid assets.”
If anyone needs me I’ll be out back, gassing up my dune buggy and shaving my hair into a mohawk.
Asian, Mid East and European investors stood aside at last week’s auction of 10-year US Treasury notes. “It was a disaster,” said Ray Attrill from 4castweb. “We may be close to the point where the uglier consequences of benign neglect towards the currency are revealed.”
The share of foreign buyers (“indirect bidders”) plummeted to 5.8pc, from an average 25pc over the last eight weeks. On the Richter Scale of unfolding dramas, this matches the death of Bear Stearns.
Rightly or wrongly, a view has taken hold that Washington is cynically debasing the coinage, hoping to export its day of reckoning through beggar-thy-neighbour policies.
The Federal Reserve took dramatic action on multiple fronts last night to avert a crisis of the global financial system, backing the acquisition of wounded investment firm Bear Stearns and increasing the flow of money to other banks squeezed for credit.
As part of the deal, J.P. Morgan Chase, a major Wall Street bank, will buy Bear Stearns for a bargain-basement price, paying $2 a share for an institution that still plays a central role in executing financial transactions. Bear Stearns stock closed at $57 on Thursday and $30 on Friday. J.P. Morgan was unwilling to assume the risk of many of Bear Stearns’s mortgage and other complicated assets, so the Federal Reserve agreed to take on the risk of about $30 billion worth of those investments.
The extraordinary measures were made necessary, in the view of the policymakers, by the most dire threat facing world financial markets in years. Bear Stearns, in particular, was confronting a run on the bank as investors were too fearful of the future to make even overnight loans to the nation’s fifth-largest investment firm. If it had been allowed to fail, senior officials believed, it would have created a cascading crisis of confidence that could well have brought down several other leading firms and dragged world markets with them.
The central bank will now make it possible for investment banks to borrow money as long as they put up collateral. The Fed in effect is offering to be a lender of last resort for 20 major Wall Street firms, a role it has previously played only for commercial banks.
Since the central bank was created in 1913, it has served as a lender of last resort for ordinary banks, allowing them to post high-quality loans at a “discount window” in exchange for cash.
Last night, it announced a new provision that will in effect do the same for major investment firms. Starting today, and lasting for at least six months, this new operation will allow “primary dealers,” which are 20 major Wall Street firms, access to cash in exchange for assets in which the market is not currently functioning.
This is really, really bad news. If Bear Stearns is worth only $2, what are the other “20 major Wall Street firms” worth? It may be just a Bear raid, but signs are there that other firms are in trouble too.
Take a look at the six-month graph for Bear:
And how about this one:
And finally….. this story.
Once upon a time in a village a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers knew that there were many monkeys in their forest. They left their farms on the plains and went into the forest to catch them. The man bought thousands at $10.
As the supply of monkeys started to diminish the villagers stopped looking. Finding and catching monkeys was soon no longer worth the effort for $10. They started to return to their farms to plant the spring crop.
The man then announced that he would buy monkeys for $20 each. This new higher price renewed the effort of the villagers and they headed back into the forest to find and catch monkeys again to sell.
When the monkey supply diminished even further that summer and the people started to return to their farms, worried they had not made enough money selling monkeys to buy all the food they needed but had not planted any crops yet either, the man raised the price he’d pay for monkeys to $25 each. The hunt was on again.
Soon the supply of monkeys became so small that a villager didn’t see a monkey in a day of hunting let alone catch one. Even at $25 each the effort was not profitable so the villagers finally headed back to their farms that fall. After nine month’s absence from their farms they knew the time had passed to produce enough food for the coming winter, but at least now they had enough money from selling monkeys to buy food to eat.
But the man wasn’t finished. He announced that he would buy monkeys for $50 each! The villagers became very excited. He also explained that he had to go to the city on business and that his assistant was to stay behind to buy monkeys on his behalf.
As soon as the man left the assistant told the villagers, “So you think you have made a lot of money selling monkeys, don’t you? But do you want to really get rich?”
“Yes, yes!” said the villagers.
The man’s assistant went on. “I have a gigantic, enormous cage filled with monkeys. I will sell them to you for only $35 each and when the man returns from the city you can sell them to him for $50 each and make a fat profit. You don’t even have to work to find monkeys at all. Then you can not only buy all the food you need for this winter you call all buy flat panel TVs, too.”
The villagers were thrilled. They collected all of their savings together and bought all the monkeys in the assistant’s cage then awaited the man’s return.
They never saw the man nor his assistant again. All the monkeys that were once in the woods were now in the village. All of the villager’s savings were gone.
Moral: Substitute housing for monkeys. As the winter of the US economy arrives, you still have the house you had before the price was bid up. Now that prices are falling back down, who has your savings?
Now you know how Wall Street works an asset bubble racket.
“It’s as simple as, I don’t think McCain can beat Obama if Obama is the Democratic choice,” said Kyle Britt, 49, a Republican-leaning independent from Huntsville, Texas, who voted for Clinton in the March 4 primary. “I do believe Hillary can mobilize enough [anti-Clinton] people to keep her out of office.”
In 2000, Illinois resident Marvin Weatherspoon (right) got a Bank of America credit card that he used to consolidate $12,000 in home repair bills, thinking the 4.5 percent introductory interest rate would help him get out of debt faster. Instead, though, eight years later, he has paid the bank more than $15,000, yet has reduced his principal balance by only $800. The reason? Even though he’s paid his bills on time, Bank of America inexplicably raised his interest rate, first to 19.99 percent and then to 25 percent, where it is today.
Weatherspoon came to Washington yesterday to tell his story at a hearing on the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, a bill sponsored by New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) that would restrict the kind of arbitrary interest rate increases Weatherspoon got hit with, among other things. But as it turned out, Weatherspoon never got to testify. The ever-powerful credit-card companies successfully bounced all of the consumers off the panel, leaving only academics and credit card executives to speak publicly.
At the outset of the hearing before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, Maloney explained that “there have been fairness concerns raised about having consumers testify this morning without a waiver that allowed their credit-card issuers to respond publicly.” Translation: The credit card companies wanted the consumer witnesses to make their financial records public so the banks could “rebut” their complaints, i.e., trash them in the press.
In this image taken from Cable TV video via APTN, military police patrol a street in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region Sunday, March 16, 2008. Tibet’s exiled government said Sunday that 80 people had been killed during protests in Lhasa as armed police and soldiers patrolled the capital’s streets, enforcing a strict curfew in a security clampdown following violent demonstrations that drew negative publicity for China ahead of the Beijing Olympics. (AP Photo/Cable TV via APTN) ** TV OUT, HONG KONG OUT **
(more pictures at the link..)
When Los Angeles cops busted through Mae Phillips’ front door last month looking for her grandson, they blew out the door jamb, ripped out casing and drywall, and left the shattered remains hanging by the hinges.
But just as sometimes happens in the movies, the suspect wasn’t there – and Phillips became the unwitting victim in a real-life police raid seeking members and associates of a Venice street gang.
Enter LAPD’s little-known “Wrong Doors Unit” – also known as Mark Jenkins.
“Mistakes do happen now and then,” said Jenkins, a civilian carpenter with the Los Angeles Police Department.
“We’re just there to fix the door. For the most part, people are really happy we’re repairing these things. They’re real happy to see their needs are being met.”
So they screw up so often they have an entire team dedicated to fixing doors, and people are happy about that?
When I lived in China in the early 1990s, there were things that you could not discuss. One was Tibet. Another was Taiwan, “referred to in my daughter’s public elementary school in Shanghai as “China’s largest island.” Another was the 1989 massacre of students and workers in Beijing. I used to be grateful at the time that I was an American and that back home, we could talk about anything.
Except that in a way we can’t. Not in public discourse, anyhow.
Take the silly broughhaha on the Right, in the media, and in the Democratic primary campaign, over the statements of Obama’s “spiritual mentor” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Everyone is all worked up–and Obama has sacked Wright from his campaign’s religious advisory committee–because of some statements Wright has made that crossed an invisible line of permissible discourse.
Wright’s “crime”? He dared to point out that the US is a racist nation. He dared to suggest that the US is a terror state.
“It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we’re dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side.”
— Frank Zappa
Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to Britain’s most senior police forensics expert.
Gary Pugh, director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard and the new DNA spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said a debate was needed on how far Britain should go in identifying potential offenders, given that some experts believe it is possible to identify future offending traits in children as young as five.
The younger you tell kids they’re suspected criminals, the younger they’ll start acting like one. Tell people you don’t trust them in anything, and they’ll act like it. Break down basic trust at ages as young as five, and your society will go down the crapper.
The beta 2.0 firmware that comes with the iPhone SDK has been modified to unlock the iPhone and run any application. Part of the Pwnage Project, the hacked firmware will allow you to do anything you want, including the installation of both official and unofficial apps, and even patches.
The first person to get Windows Mobile to run on the iPhone will get a free copy of Vista.
the runner up will receive two copies