For the record, we suppose Audi is this month’s Biggest Winner with a sales drop of just 5.4%, while HUMMER is again our Biggest Loser with a 54.8% fall in sales. You can peruse the rest of the carnage below for yourself.
If you think the celebrity sniping in Heat magazine is bitchy, it has nothing on a good old academic slanging match. The pages of New Humanist magazine this month are filled with one of the best intellectual cat-fights I’ve seen in ages.
It starts with the philosopher Prof AC Grayling’s less than congratulatory review of sociologist Prof Steve Fuller’s book Dissent over Descent or “nearly 300 pages of wasted forest” as Grayling puts it.
Look at nature – in all its beauty, ugliness, sweetness, brutality, charm, indifference and immense variety – and the idea that it manifests conscious design or purpose, still less intelligent design, is seen for what it is: a little driblet of childish ignorance; a mark of mankind’s infancy.
“If we don’t do this,” Mr. Bernanke said, according to several participants, “we may not have an economy on Monday.”
The Senate voted reluctantly but solidly in favor of a modified $700-billion Wall Street rescue plan Wednesday, but it remained uncertain whether the legislation — even with a carefully designed package of tax breaks — would withstand the fierce crosswinds of liberal and conservative resistance in the House later this week.
The measure passed the Senate 74 to 25, with a majority of Democrats and Republicans voting in favor — among them presidential nominees Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. The centerpiece of the legislation gives the government the authority to buy up billions of dollars of the “toxic” assets, primarily mortgage-backed securities, that have poisoned financial markets and threaten to contaminate the rest of the economy.
Some additions were meant to appeal to a broad range of Americans, such as a hike in the limit for federally insured bank deposits to $250,000 from the current $100,000 and the move to shield 24 million households from paying the alternative minimum tax.
Others were aimed at narrower interests to win the votes of specific lawmakers, such as a tax break to encourage Hollywood studios to do more filming in the United States.
The tax provisions added more than $100 billion to the cost of the plan. From the original three-page proposal by the Treasury Department, the bill has swelled to 451 pages.
Buying a few assets at inflated prices does not fix this. It inflates the price of assets on the books of everyone else. They can’t sell those, because the market won’t pay that. So, spend 700B, and it leaves banks unable to loan, but “solvent.” The USA ends up like Japan in the 1990s.
So, the USA tax payer just ends up giving 700B to Paulson’s friends and to Hollywood, and they’re still in a credit crunch. Why don’t they just give each US citizen $2000 and leave it at that?
And if you really want to know how ‘broken’ Washington is, read the bill itself. I point you to section 503:
Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for
use by children.
There! Can say they’re not thinking of the Children!