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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/14/2008 - 09/21/2008
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What just happened in Islamabad does not bode well

with george already having signed a secret order allowing u.s. forces in afghanistan to conduct operations inside pakistan, the last thing we need is something like this to provide a reason to escalate...

A view of destruction caused by a bomb explosion at the Marriott
Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan on Saturday, Sept 20, 2008.

Police say at least 40 people have died in a massive explosion that destroyed the luxury Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital.

Senior police official Asghar Raza Gardaizi said he fears there are dozens more dead inside.

He said that the Saturday blast, which reverberated throughout Islamabad, was caused by more than a ton of explosives.

The blast left a crater some 30 feet deep in front of the main building.

this will be the major story of the weekend...

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Remember the ozone hole...?

well, it hasn't gone away...

This year's ozone hole surrounding the Southern Hemisphere's pole is shaping up to be one of the largest ever, having already surpassed the size of last year's, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

WMO says that despite a relatively late start, the ozone hole has grown rapidly during the past couple of weeks and has now passed the maximum size attained in 2007.

According to WMO the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica currently covers an area of 27 million square kilometers, compared to a maximum of 25 million square kilometers last year. It says that while the hole continues to grow, it is still too early to determine how large it will be, before it breaks apart in mid-December.

27 million square kilometers and growing... wow...!

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The view of the U.S./first world financial crisis from Latin America

i think one word captures it nicely - schadenfreude...

from mercopress...

brazil's lula da silva...

Brazilian President Lula da Silva said on Thursday he has watched with “sadness” the collapse of Wall Street firms that made economic policy recommendations in emerging markets “as if they were the super intelligent and we were the poor souls”, according to Spanish news agency EFE.
“Important banks, very important banks, that spent their lives giving advice about Brazil and what we should or shouldn't do are now broke”, EFE quoted Lula da Silva as saying in a speech in southern Brazil.

Lula criticized Wall Street firms for treating financial markets like a “casino” and for relying on “speculation” to make money. He said the Brazilian economy is well-equipped to weather the global crisis and would suffer “very little” even if the US sinks into a deep recession, according to EFE.

argentina's cristina fernandez de kirchner...
Earlier in the week Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner adopted a similar stance during a political rally: “while the First World collapses” because of the international crisis, Argentina remains “firm”.

“The First World, to which we had been repeatedly told we must reach, is crumbling like a bubble”, she underlined. “In the midst of the swelling sea” Argentina remains strong. “It’s time many of those institutions instead of telling us what to do, should look around and do something for themselves”.

after years and years and years of having their noses rubbed in it by the u.s., the imf and the world bank, it has to be at least a little bit gratifying to watch the greedy bastards who kept telling you if you would only do things THEIR way all would be just fine, having to lie in the bed they themselves made...

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The continuing stages of financial collapse and the denial that goes along with it

they're trying desperately to make it look like things are under control but they sure as hell aren't... even the stock market rally looks to me like grasping at straws...

a few of the latest stories, all of them no less than stunning, none of them comforting...

first this...

S.E.C. Temporarily Blocks Short Sales of Financial Stocks

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday issued a temporary ban on short sales of 799 financial stocks, a move against traders who have sought to profit from the financial crisis by betting against bank shares.

The temporary ban, intended to bring calm to the markets, follows similar action by Britain on Thursday.

The S.E.C. said the “temporary emergency action” would “protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence.”

The commission said it was also considering measures to address short selling in other publicly traded companies.

then this...
Treasury to Guarantee Money Market Funds

The federal government took two actions on Friday to shore up money market funds, which have long been considered as safe and risk-free as a bank savings account, but which have come under stress in the current market turmoil.

The Federal Reserve said that it would expand its emergency lending program to help support the $2 trillion in assets of the funds.

And the Treasury Department said that it would guarantee, at least temporarily, money market funds up to an amount of $50 billion in order to ensure their solvency.

“For the next year, the U.S. Treasury will insure the holdings of any publicly offered eligible money market mutual fund — both retail and institutional — that pays a fee to participate in the program,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The department said concerns about the value of money market funds falling below the standard net asset value of $1 — or “breaking the buck” — had heightened the financial turmoil and caused severe liquidity strains in world markets.

followed in short order by this...
Stocks Surge as U.S. Acts to Shore Up Money Funds and Limits Short Selling

Stocks shot wildly upward Friday morning after the federal government moved to try and restore confidence in the financial markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 400 points only moments after the opening. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 4 percent. Markets in Europe and Asia also traded higher.

our fearless leaders know that there are gazillions of people out there who simply MUST, for their own sanity, find a way to continue to believe in our utterly failed financial system and will hang on to their denial until the last thread is ripped away by the sheer force of reality... i can't say as i blame them... when your entire worldview and belief system is based on power, money and the power of money, letting go of those beliefs is going to be at least as hard as kicking a long-standing drug addiction and, in fact, probably considerably harder...

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Lending locks up"

here's a quote to catch your eye...

buyers were at one point willing to accept interest rates for Treasury bills of only 0.2 percent, the lowest since World War II..."

front page of the wapo...

Markets in Disarray as Lending Locks Up
Federal Intervention Fails to Stem Crisis of Confidence on Wall St.

The flow of money through critical parts of the financial system all but stopped yesterday, prompting the stock market to plunge again as banks lost faith in one another and investors rushed to U.S. government securities to protect their savings.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the only major investment banks still standing amid the wreckage of Wall Street's old order, tottered.

In one of the most tumultuous days ever for financial markets, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 449 points, or 4 percent, and so much money fled into safe U.S. debt that buyers were at one point willing to accept interest rates for Treasury bills of only 0.2 percent, the lowest since World War II.

we b goin' DOWN...!

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Oh, lovely...! Hard on the heels of $85B for A.I.G., let's throw in $55 BILLION more...!

holy shit...!
Scrambling to break the grip of a worsening global credit crisis, the Federal Reserve stepped up action Thursday pumping billions into financial markets here and abroad.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in two operations, injected $55 billion into temporary reserves in the United States, a move aimed to help ease a strained financial system in danger of freezing up.

the printing presses at the mint must be seriously overheating...

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"Negates its fundamental principles in its behavior" - HAHAHAHAHA...! < cough, snort > HAHAHAHA...!

< wipes tears from eyes >
Is the United States no longer the global beacon of unfettered, free-market capitalism?

In extending a last-minute $85 billion lifeline to American International Group, the troubled insurer, Washington has not only turned away from decades of rhetoric about the virtues of the free market and the dangers of government intervention, but it has also probably undercut future American efforts to promote such policies abroad.

“I fear the government has passed the point of no return,” said Ron Chernow, a leading American financial historian. “We have the irony of a free-market administration doing things that the most liberal Democratic administration would never have been doing in its wildest dreams.”

The bailout package for A.I.G., on top of earlier government support for Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has stunned even European policy makers accustomed to government intervention — even as they acknowledge the shock of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“For opponents of free markets in Europe and elsewhere, this is a wonderful opportunity to invoke the American example,” said Mario Monti, the former antitrust chief at the European Commission. “They will say that even the standard-bearer of the market economy, the United States, negates its fundamental principles in its behavior.”

not that the u.s. hasn't been the master of hypocrisy right along, but these last few weeks have put it right up there in neon lights for all to see...

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This Is Important

John McCain's health records must be released

Watch this short video, think of the startling implications, and then sign the petition. It has been signed by over 47,000 laypeople and over 2,200 doctors.

McCain doesn't have to die for Sarah Palin to take over the reigns of the Presidency.

Think about it.

Cross-posted at the Blog of Revelation.

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Press Or Say.............

Fair use be damned........this is too good not too share in it's entirety.

From today's WaPo.

For a Bailout, Press 'One' . . .

By Alan Neff
Thursday, September 18, 2008; Page A21

"Hello! You've reached the
United States Treasury's automated bailout hotline. Please listen carefully, because our options have recently changed. If you're too big to fail, press or say 'one.' If not, hang up and dial 1-800-FOR-FEMA.' "


"Great! You've selected Option One. If you're a bank, press or say 'one.' If you're a brokerage firm, press or say 'two.' If you're an insurance company, press or say 'three.' "


"You've selected Option Three, which means you're an insurance firm. Did I get that right?"


"Okay, let's drill down a little further. If you're calling because you're besieged by class-action lawsuits brought by take-no-prisoners plaintiffs' attorneys because your large corporate policyholders committed innumerable mass toxic torts, press or say 'one.' If you're calling because you insured billions of dollars' worth of undocumented, nonperforming mortgages, press or say 'two.' "

"Two. No, wait, one. I mean, uh, both."

"I'm sorry. I didn't understand. Let's try something else. If you're the CEO of an insurance company with a servile compensation committee that gave you an irrevocable golden parachute, press or say 'one.' If you've served on corporate boards with
Henry Paulson, press or say 'two.' If you believe in strict market Darwinism for every company but yours, press or say 'three.' "


"If you want your check automatically deposited into your company's bank account, press or say 'one.' If you want cash in small, unmarked, used, nonsequential bills delivered to a branch office in Zurich or the Cayman Islands, press or say 'two.' "

[Silence. Thinking. Surge of fiduciary energy.]


"Okay. Please enter the amount you want using the number keys. Use the star sign for a decimal point and press pound when you've finished."

[Lengthy series of numbers entered, followed by the pound sign.]

"Wow! You are in trouble! Your funds should clear in three business days. When you have another claim, call back. Thank you for calling, and have a great day!"

Alan Neff is a lawyer and novelist. He lives in Chicago.

The convergence of fact and fiction.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The house of cards is falling faster and faster

we're in free fall now...


check the quote, "no end in sight..."

A.I.G. Bailout Fails to Stem Global Stocks Slump

One of the most stunning government bailouts in American history failed on Wednesday to stem the runaway fears engulfing the global financial system.

Investors embarked on a frenzied flight to safety on Wednesday, just hours after the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department propped up American International Group, the ailing insurance giant, with an $85 billion loan. And many wondered which once-proud institution would be the next to fail.

“There’s a growing sense that there’s no end to this in sight,” Edward Yardeni, the investment strategist, said.

Investors, seeking security in a market that has so far refused to stabilize, poured money on Wednesday into ultra-safe government notes, driving the yield on short-term Treasury bills to the lowest levels in 50 years.

Stocks around the world plummeted. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 200 points, despite the federal government’s efforts to prop up A.I.G. The move avoided a potentially devastating collapse of the company, but investors appeared already to have shifted their attention elsewhere.

pretty stunning, eh...?

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I have a stupid question

and not by a long shot is this the first time i've asked it...

why, pray tell, when our united states constitution is in tatters, the national - as well as the global - financial system is collapsing before our eyes, and the occupants of the white house, the senior officers of the big banks and investment houses, and the heads of most major transnational corporations have boldly revealed themselves to be criminals, is the news media and, even worse, the liberal, progressive blogosphere, continuing to obsess over john mccain's every senile stumble and the mindless, talking-point, rote recitals of that piece of trailer trash we are being asked to accept as a viable vice-presidential candidate...?

just askin'...

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No two ways about it, this is just plain wrong

i thought the fed had said no... obviously, the fed isn't yet through screwing the american people... we must still have a drop of blood left in our veins...
Fed Close to Deal to Give A.I.G. $85 Billion Loan

In an extraordinary turn, the Federal Reserve was close to a deal Tuesday night to take a nearly 80 percent stake in the troubled giant insurance company, the American International Group, in exchange for an $85 billion loan, according to people briefed on the negotiations.

In return, the Fed will receive warrants, which give it an ownership stake. All of A.I.G.’s assets will be pledged to secure the loan, these people said.

yeah, well the bank consortium loan fell through, so, instead of letting yet another gaggle of greedy sons-of-bitches go down the toilet like they should, you and i are going to be providing the bailout...
The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase had been trying to arrange a $75 billion loan for A.I.G. to stave off the financial crisis caused by complex debt securities and credit default swaps. The Federal Reserve stepped in after it became clear Tuesday afternoon that the banking consortium would not be able to complete the deal.

Without the help, A.I.G. was expected to be forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

The need for the loans became necessary after the major credit ratings agencies downgraded A.I.G. late Monday, a move that likely to have forced the company to turn over billions of dollars in collateral to its derivatives trading partners worsening its financial health.

Until this week, it would have been unthinkable for the Federal Reserve to bail out an insurance company, and A.I.G.’s request for help from the Fed of just a few days ago was rebuffed.

did i mention that this really sucks big-time...?

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Simply too good not to steal

thanks to daily kos...


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C'mon, dammit, let's let the friggin' house of cards FALL already...!

geeeez, louise...! get 'er done, will ya...?


The churn of a rapidly changing financial landscape left Wall Street cold on Monday, as a late afternoon sell-off sent the stock market to its worst daily loss in seven years.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 500 points
— its worst session since the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The blue-chip index spent the entire day in negative territory, but the losses did not begin approaching dramatic levels until late in the afternoon. In the last 30 minutes of trading, investors seemed to give in to their fears about the health of the financial system, sparking a wave of selling that sent the Dow, already about 300 points lower, to a 504.48 point decline for the day.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fared even worse, losing 4.7 percent, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 3.2 percent. In Europe, benchmark stock indexes were off nearly 4 percent in London and Paris and almost 3 percent in Frankfurt.

meanwhile, hank paulson, the flaming bush mouthpiece that he is, tries to pour oil on the troubled waters...
In a briefing in Washington, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said the financial markets were going through a tough time “as we work off some of the past excesses,” but that Americans could “remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system.”

“Let me step back a bit and provide a little perspective,” Mr. Paulson said. “As I’ve long said, the housing correction is at the root of the challenges facing our markets and our financial institutions. I believe that we’ve taken very important steps with respect to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they’re amongst the most important actions we can take to work through this turmoil.”

if hankie-poo is expecting us to swallow that enormous load of fresh, steaming shit, when every time we've watched yet another financial bridge burn in the past nine months, he's said the very same goddam thing, and, each time, the next bridge that catches fire is a bigger bridge and the span of water that it crosses is increadingly unnavigable, i ain't buyin' a single goddam syllable that passes his lying lips...

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fuck no, AIG... Go screw yourself... B of A can kiss my ass and Lehman can put it where the sun don't shine...

i'm on vacation visiting my son and his wife in montana and taking a well-deserved break from the non-stop ugliness of national and world events, but i simply can't let these pass without comment...

first of all, not only no to aig, but FUCK, NO...!

A.I.G. Seeks $40 Billion in Fed Aid to Survive

The American International Group is seeking a bridge loan from the Federal Reserve as it faces a potential downgrade from credit ratings agencies.

and, as far as these three criminal enterprises, i hope b of a chokes on merrill and lehman deserves to die...
Offer for Merrill Accepted; Lehman Nears Liquidation

In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America for about $50 billion, while Lehman Brothers headed toward bankruptcy.

p.s. for aig, lehman and merrill: boo-fucking-hoo..

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