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Linkfest (January 5, 2010)

January 5, 2010 1 comment

In other news..

Obama Says U.S. Had ‘Sufficient’ Information to Stop Bomb Plot OK, now we are talking. Some honesty..

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said U.S. intelligence services had “sufficient information” to stop the Dec. 25 attempted bombing of an airliner and failed to properly analyze and distribute the data.

Letter from Chicago: F A good read.. with this gem

The math/science majors meant that I was obligated to take humanities and other (non-science) course work. So I signed up for (amongst other courses) Economics 101. It took all of ten minutes into the first class for me to recoil in horror. I asked the prof: “What do you meant that humans are rational? That is obviously not true. How important is this idea to economics?” The response was, in hindsight, not a surprise: “It is the fundamental building block for all of economics. If you fight that underlying concept, if you do not provisionally accept that premise, you will not be able to understand what comes later.”

Hoenig: Reinstate Glass-Steagall About time.. but with a modern version of that act.

“Beginning to break them, to dismember them, is a fair thing to consider.”
-Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig.

Manhattan Apartment Prices Fall as Finance Jobs Lost Not feeling so special? Aww..

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — Manhattan apartment prices fell for a third consecutive quarter as Wall Street job losses drained demand and the decline in co-op and condominium values reached 21 percent since the market peak.

Google Introduces Nexus One Handset to Take On IPhone Finally some real competition for the iPhone.

Iceland President Vetoes Icesave Compensation This what a head of state with balls looks like.

President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson Tuesday cited massive public opposition in his decision to reject the bill, which was approved in late December by the Icelandic parliament after months of wrangling.

Through the Eyes of the Ultra Rich Can one become super rich through honesty?

Jonathan Dee delves into a Manhattan family’s rise to the super rich via morally questionable means in his new novel, “The Privileges”

6 Ways to Cut Gym Membership Costs Why do people pay for services that you never use, but which make you feel for buying them?

Banks Roll Out New Check, Card Fees You bailed them out, NOW BEND OVER!

The nation’s banks will be bombarding customers with new fees and products in 2010 as they try to replace more than $50 billion in revenue wiped out by new rules that clamp down on certain business practices.

What’s Holding Back the Recovery? What about JOBS that are STABLE? and what recovery?

For More Workers, Home Is Where the Office Is Polishing a Turd?

As we continue to dig ourselves out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, many of us have lost corporate jobs. Others worry that layoffs are lurking. We’re taking on free-lance assignments, contract work and short-term projects — and getting them done in the extra bedroom, eat-in kitchen or spare corner in the utility room.

Personal Bankruptcy Filings Rising Fast The real economy is still in a tailspin.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 4, 2010)

January 5, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

CIA Blast Blamed On Double Agent Maybe we should screen those who we trust better?

The suicide bomber who killed seven Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors and a Jordanian intelligence officer was a double agent the CIA had recruited to provide intelligence on senior al Qaeda leadership, according to current and former U.S. officials and an Afghan security official.

The Best and Worst Jobs of 2009 What job?

Start-Ups Will Keep Struggling in 2010 So big companies are going to create jobs in the USA? -No, Outsourcing; Or maybe small companies can pick up the slack?- No credit.

IMF Worker Sought in Attack I did not know economists had balls..

How to Fix Your Finances in 2010 Not believing shysters would be a start.

Housing Animal Spirits to Be Banished by Prime Foreclosures But.. the rich are different.. not

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — Homeowners with the best credit are the next big risk for the U.S. housing market.

Stocks Jump on Faster Economic Growth; Asian Bond Risk Falls Have we not seen this movie before?

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — Stocks soared, led by shipping companies and commodity producers, oil rose near $82 a barrel and Asian bond risk declined to the lowest level since May 2008 on signs global economic growth will accelerate.

Silicon Valley ‘Bloodbath’ Leaves Entire Office Buildings Empty CRE is different.. haha

“There is a bubble bursting in much the same way as the residential market burst,” said Jon Haveman, principal at Beacon Economics, a consulting firm in San Rafael, California. “None of those towers will fill up anytime soon.”

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Probably Fell in November Tax Credits could only juice up home sales so much… People require good JOBS to keep on buying houses.

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — The number of contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes probably fell in November for the first time in 10 months as Americans waited for a tax credit to be extended, economists said before a report today.

Lawmakers See Quick Health-Care Agreement Without Public Option Let us screw the electorate..

Krugman Sees 30-40% Chance of U.S. Recession in 2010 I see a 30-40% chance of sunrise tomorrow.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished as Banks Seek Profits Who are the bagholders.. mirror please.

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — To understand the meaning of no good deed goes unpunished, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner can look no further than Wall Street where the banks that received the biggest taxpayer bailouts are seeking to reap trading profits from securities rescued by the government.

Erection Problems Linked to Restless-Leg Disorder, Study Shows Never Mind! It is Harvard, what were you expecting?

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 3, 2010)

January 4, 2010 2 comments

In other news..

Goldman Sachs To Launch New HQ! The ‘free’ market works.. suckers!

Mainstream Economists Unable to Discuss Economics I am shocked.. wait, are they not the “new priests”.

Blogging and the tyranny of government The government is keeping you safe.. from bloggers (never mind the real “evildoers”).

Last week two bloggers, Steven Frischling and Chris Elliot, were visited by TSA agents and threatened with jail time if they did not reveal their source of the TSA Travel Directive that they each published shortly after the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas day.

A Nation of Do-It-Yourself Lawyers Not a bad idea..

Tainted Burgers shows that Corporate Profits Trump Public Safety Any defenders of unregulated markets? Even Adam Smith never supported this type of behavior!

Ten Lessons (Not?) Learnt A good summary.

This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied Your elected officials are working in your best interests, trust them.

Yet new regulations proposed by the administration, and specifically by the ever-incompetent Securities and Exchange Commission, seek to pull one of these three core pillars from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal in the overhaul of money market regulation suggests that money market fund managers will have the option to “suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets.”

On Government DOL Misrepresentations Part 2: Following The Money, Or In This Case The Average Unemployment Paycheck You can always trust the government of western countries to not make up numbers… suckers!

Is The Government Misrepresenting Unemployment By 32%? Nah.. Why would they?

Origins of an American Kleptocracy Sometimes saying the truth is an act of bravery..

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

The Lost Decade (1999-2009)

January 2, 2010 Leave a comment

It has become fashionable for MSM to refer to the last ten years as a lost decade, a concept that they stole from the blogosphere where this term has been established since 2005-2006. In any case, here are a few MSM links..

Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers It is surprising that cheerleaders for the PTB are now acting skeptical.

For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different. The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation’s growth

Investors Hope the ’10s Beat the ’00s No kidding!

The U.S. stock market is wrapping up what is likely to be its worst decade ever. In nearly 200 years of recorded stock-market history, no calendar decade has seen such a dismal performance as the 2000s.

U.S. Stocks Drop as Crisis Causes S&P 500’s First Decade Loss Investment, retirements, pensions etc are DOA

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) – U.S. stocks fell this week, limiting an advance that sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its biggest annual increase in six years. The 2009 rally failed to rescue investors from the worst return for any decade.

The Decade With No Name Good article.

What the last decade should teach us is that our elites have not simply failed. They betrayed us. They aren’t just incompetent. They are out to get us. We are in a class war which they started and which they mean to win. To this end, they have locked us into a series of perpetual crises: the War on Terror and now permanent financial crisis. For them it means endless opportunities to loot and consolidate their power. For the rest of us, it means crash after crash, each more expensive and destructive than the last. Yeats described the situation we now are in.

Already lost Told ya..

By some measures, America already has a lost decade in its rearview mirror. A couple more would mean a lost generation. Worst of all, it would mean my generation. I thought I was unlucky graduating into the tech bust. I had no idea. Of course, the past ten years hasn’t been lost in the way that the next ten years might be. While much of the increase in wealth of the 2000s has proven to be illusory, the consumption the fake wealth purchased while the bubble lasted was not. While the good times rolled, many people did have good times. Even those not experiencing wage growth did all right, since as many have noted, consumption inequality over the past decade grew by much less than income inequality, thanks to growth in household debt. That’s obviously what helped get the country into this mess, and this mess could be quite serious indeed. It is striking to me how rapidly the gains of the past ten years, such as they were, have evaporated. The American economy is nothing like we thought it was, as it turns out.

To lose one decade may be misfortune… Demography is a bitch.

The most pernicious effects of the bust, economists say, have been transmitted via banks and businesses. Banks found themselves loaded down with non-performing loans. Belatedly they faced up to many of their losses, restructured and consolidated. But according to Takuji Aida, an economist at UBS in Japan, long-term yields remained very low because of deflationary expectations, thereby flattening the yield curve (the difference between short- and long-term interest rates). That prevented banks from earning their way out of crisis, so lending remains weak. A weak culture of consumer borrowing means that people have been forced to rely even more on their savings, or those of their parents. But as society ages, growth in the stock of savings has dwindled. Savings are bound to fall as more people retire. For the younger generation the next decade may be even tougher than the past two.

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Linkfest (December 29, 2009)

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

In other news..

Next Decade Will Be Good One for Stock Investors: Matthew Lynn Some connected guys (and gals like abby cohen- of GS)are paid big bucks to lie.

Thousands to be saved from losing homes by closure of legal loophole I thought you required a court order to foreclose and seize a home, on the other hand UK is a quaint country.

Housing Recovery Fails to Bolster Broker Commissions First of all, there is no sustained recovery in home prices.. never mind.

Calpers Restricts Contacts Between Board and Money Managers Calpers has demonstrated a level of incompetence that would shame a drunken chimp.

The decision follows disclosure by the pension fund that former board member Alfred Villalobos earned more than $50 million in a five-year period acting as a middleman between firms seeking stewardship of some of Calpers $200 billion in assets and the fund’s board and staff.


CalPERS expected to report losing nearly one-quarter of investment portfolio

The estimated $56.8-billion drop at the U.S.’ largest pension fund, the second annual loss in a row, would have a huge effect on what state and local governments must shell out to support retirees.

Goldman Sachs Takes Biggest Share of $923 Million U.S. IPO Fees GS can do what it wants, as it “owns” the Fed and your elected legislators. You have a problem with that?

Fannie, Freddie, Heading to Zero Guess who is paying for their unlimited creditline? You!

Fannie, Freddie exec pay suggests stock worth nothing

Fannie Chief Executive Michael Williams and Freddie CEO Charles Haldeman got $6 million annual compensation packages, according to regulatory filings last week.

Higher-End Homes Still Declining Turns out the ‘rich’ are not rich.. but don’t expect that to dampen their contempt of “poorer” people.

Despite Subsidy, Cobra’s Bite Still Stings for Many No socialism for you.

Categories: Economy, Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (December 28, 2009)

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

In other news..

President Obama, It’s Time To Fire the TSA A Must read!

Today, DHS’s Napolitano’s response to the crotchbomber: “We’re looking to make sure that this sort of incident cannot recur.” But the TSA’s response to Abdulmutalib’s attempt makes one thing clear: We must stop pretending the TSA is making us safer.

The TSA isn’t saving lives. We, the passengers, are saving our own.

Pomboy: A Looming New Credit-bust a commentary on A Jolly Good Year

Stephanie speculates that one reason for their reluctance could be that while stocks have rallied, thus enriching their portfolios, dividends have been relentlessly shrinking: the $775 billion-plus annual dividend windfall the affluent had grown accustomed to has been slashed by a third or so. Or, it just may be that “even for the high-end, housing deflation outweighs equity inflation.”

Tanker Glut Signals 25% Drop as 26-Mile Queue Overwhelms Demand and crude is still 70-80 $/ barrel.. Guess who (IBers, speculators) are busy screwing YOU

How not to solve a financial crisis Another good guest post by By Edward Harrison at nakedcapitalism.com

One can only assume that alternative policy solutions were rejected because the Bush and Obama Administrations preferred the solutions they crafted to these.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

But if Wall Street is back on top, the everyday lives of large numbers of Americans continue to be subject to overwhelming trauma, chaos and disruption.

Fannie, Freddie Backstop May Foreshadow Mortgage Forgiveness If it does not work, keep on trying harder.

Through November, servicers had permanently modified 31,382 mortgages under the Home Affordable program, which was announced in February as targeting 3 million to 4 million loans, the Treasury said Dec. 10. A total of 728,000 of the modifications were under way.

Berkshire Eliminates 21,000 Jobs as Manufacturing, Retail Slump But Buffett is still the seer… right?

Berkshire and its subsidiaries have about 225,000 workers, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said this week in regulatory filings. That’s 8.6 percent lower than the 246,083 disclosed in the 2008 annual report.

War on Wall Street as Congress Sees Returning to Glass-Steagall Who has hurt us more, swarthy “evildoers” or immaculately suited sociopaths?

The Recession Begins Flooding Into the Courts It is too bad that average people have not got the memo about our “great recession” ending.

Oh wait..

Krugman: ‘Reasonably High Chance’ the Economy Will Contract The “great recession” does not want to end..

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (December 27, 2009)

December 27, 2009 Leave a comment

In other news..

What Iceberg? Just Glide to the Next Boardroom A virus infects a healthy cell, hijacks it, makes copies of itself, kills host cell and moves on to other healthy cells.

You might think that board members overseeing businesses that cratered in the credit crisis would be disqualified from serving as directors at other public companies. You would, however, be wrong. Directors who were supposedly minding the store as disaster struck at companies like Countrywide Financial, Washington Mutual or Fannie Mae have not all been banished from other boardrooms. In many cases, directors just seem to skate away from company woes that occurred on their watch.

In Search of Work, but at What Cost? An article that talks about the perils and scams awaiting those who try operating their own business.

How Overhauling Derivatives Died But we have the best system money can buy.. Seriously, were you thinking that IBers would let rationality and causality derail their money-making scams?

Lobbying by Wall Street has blunted efforts to step up regulation on derivatives trading by carving out exceptions or leaving the status quo in place. Derivatives took blame for some of the worst debacles of the financial crisis. But a year after regulators and critics began calling for an overhaul in the way they are traded, some efforts have been shelved and others have been watered down.

How the status quo can kill: the example of free trade

I see more of a class divide than does Greenwald and others. Seems to me that people who have secured comfortable positions in “managerial class” and “creative class” occupations tend to support the President and an incrementalist approach to addressing the nation’s problems. They tend to be reflexively hostile to any sweeping changes, such as actually annihilating the health insurance companies, or actually doing away with the big financial houses like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Chase. They seem to insist on solutions that rely as much as possible on market mechanisms, such as cap and trade to deal with climate change. They recoil in horror at the suggestion that “the system” itself is the problem. Generally, they appear to be economic neo-liberals, who have actually become acclimated to the results of the Reagan Revolution.

Another Team Obama Present to Corporate America: Health “Reform” Bill Favors Big Pharma Over Generics More change you can believe in!

Does Golden Pay for the CEOs Sink Stocks? If you reward people for playing zero sum games, they play them with more enthusiasm. The new priests (ivy leaguers) are piling in on their old benefactors. If you require a degree to say what is common sense, we are fucked!

The first study, led by corporate-governance expert Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard Law School, looked at more than 2,000 companies to see what share of the total compensation earned by the top five executives went to the CEO. The researchers call this number—which averages about 35%—the “CEO pay slice.” It turns out that the bigger the CEO’s slice of the pie, the lower the company’s future profitability and market valuation. “These CEOs,” says Prof. Bebchuk, “seem to be trying to grab more than they should.”

Put Down That Shovel! Andy Kessler cannot do math or understand the need for both “old” and “new” infrastructures. I have no hope that our corrupt system can build anything on time, on budget or withou legal wrangling due to special interest groups.

Socialized Risk, with Still Highly Leveraged Survivors Too Big To Fail! Many free market supporters still believe that CEOs, board members and other assorted MBA scum deserve their compensation.

Zack Carter on OCC Chief John Dugan in The Nation: “A Master of Disaster “

Writing in The Nation, the banking reporter for SNL Financial News describes the wreckage left behind by John Dugan, the Comptroller of the Currency and the primary regulator for most of the US banking industry. To say that Dugan is the lackey of the largest banks is really an understatement. The former lobbyist and Treasury official has been the defacto advocate for the largest dealer banks through the crisis, opposing regulatory reform initiatives on Capitol Hill and even from the FDIC, every step of the way.

“Top Ten Reasons to Kill the Senate Health Care Bill” More evidence that the PTB are still conducting business as usual, Must read!

Categories: Economy, Linkfest, MSM Idiocy