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January 12, 2009



Narciso, did you see the offer I posted above?


On the way to work and back home I have begun listening to a reading of Tacitus' Histories. He speaks of the time of Zero Nero. Here, from the first paragraph:

January - March, A.D. 69

I begin my work with the time when Servius Galba was consul for the second time. . .. After the conflict at Actium, and when it became essential to peace, that all power should be centered in one man, . . . the truthfulness of history was impaired in many ways; at first, through men's ignorance of public affairs, which were now wholly strange to them, then, through their passion for flattery, or, on the other hand, their hatred of their masters. And so between the enmity of the one and the servility of the other, neither had any regard for posterity. But while we instinctively shrink from a writer's adulation, we lend a ready ear to detraction and spite, because flattery involves the shameful imputation of servility, whereas malignity wears the false appearance of honesty.

What a testing time to be alive.


Wall Street has been a player in Democrat politics for some time.

I'm just trying to remember if they were part of Clinton's Economic Plan to take us out of the Bush recession.
Most of the things Obama is pushing to solve this unique crisis are bigger bolder versions of what Clinton said we needed for that terrible economy.

I missed green jobs in my first list ("Clinton is saying that there are lots of ways to spend Federal dollars that are environmentally smart and create jobs." )


OKay I have another "all about Jane" question:

My tech guy has been working to convert my recording to a podcast and the major problem is that it is in a "WMA" format not a WAV or MP3 format, which is apparently easier to edit. So does anyone have a recommendation for a recorder that is in a WAV and MP3 format?



...MBS covenants possible without triggering a credit event but the information necessary...

Isn't the credit event defined in the cds contract not in BK law and defined in such a way that capital impairment can be a partial trigger?

I don't know, maybe would get a list of questions about the structure of the Citi deal to a Rep congressman when Geithner goes through his confirmation hearing.

Rick Ballard

"Isn't the credit event defined in the cds contract not in BK law and defined in such a way that capital impairment can be a partial trigger?"

That's the crux of the cramdown aspect of the revisions to BK code. A mortgage is a contract, yet the BK code allows abrogation and changes in terms, with the parties bound to new terms upon the decision of the referee. If the BK code can change terms of a mortgage contract (among many other types of contracts), then why can't it modify a CDS contract?

IANAL and have probably misstated something re BK law but I believe that Citi is truly sunk unless Congress figures out how to kill CDS. I find it amazing that a product which has only been around for 20 years or so has turned out to be so lethal. It's like rat poison as a nutritional supplement to financial health.



Alternatively, you could just convert your WMA file into a WAV or MP3 file.

Could use something like AVS Audio Converter or things similar:



I just asked my tech guy about that. Thank you. he knows about it and thinks he may have a cure -

Depressed Atlas

RichUF: "when Obama's Plan Argentina budget is released"

Last Monday, per O: "$1T deficits far as the eye can see" or words close to that.

Last Tuesday, per O: "We are in a downward spiral from which we might not recover" or words close to that.

Least Wednesday, per Pelosi: "I'm for raising taxes on the rich and repealing Bush tax cuts on day 1." or words close to that.

Last weekend, opinion piece in WaPo: "reverse engineering in the CDS etc markets suggests global investors estimate probability of US not paying as promised on its debt increased from <1% to about 6%"

Argentina indeed. Cry when ready.



Didn't give your comment fuller consideration, my apologies. Also, I did a quick google and it appears that the IASD uses NY bankruptcy law as controlling, however, I'm curious even where the more complex species of products outside IASD protocal on Citi's (and AIG's) balance sheets would would be adjudicated. A SIV hq'ed in the Caymans with counterparty in London but using the reference firms NY balance sheet as collateral?



I've also found that Nero is a very good and cost effective product for a lot of video / audio / CD / DVD authoring and editing needs:

And no ... I'm not a paid spokesperson. LOL

Rick Ballard


Thanks for explicating what I was trying to say the other night. The guys making the "credit event" call are in London and are not bound (AFAIK) to apply ex post facto revisions of the BK code to contracts in hand. The killer aspect is the pension fund manager (or Swiss bank) holding a nice clutch of Citi/SIV MBS in their portfolio next to the CDS contracts which they purchased to hedge any risk involved. They're at the top of the MBS waterfall and have acted very prudently but some BK referee in NY could make them look like absolute fools.

I don't believe that anyone in the world knows what's "Behind Door #3" and Don Pardo never described any parting gifts which would make me willing to play this particular game.


Narciso--I am very happy to hear your Mom is improving. I hope it's all clear-skies from now on. And your posts today, well, they're unique, informative, and back to the Narciso we all love and respect. Each one is a history lesson we all need to help inform our future path.

Clarice--Green with envy, here! You were in the middle of history(like many times b4-I'm sure) but I would choose you as my proxy before a Brooks, Will and definitely Noonan!

Rick B.--the markets are showing their worry about Geithner--if he can't keep his own house in order, how can he be trusted to rebuild, not destroy mine? I'll be peaking at the accounts later to pay some taxes and I hope my enlarged heart can take it!

Bad--Daschle bonafides do not give him a hope of socialized, doled-out, let the sick die reforms a chance. EVeryone must fight this inclination ,for it is the "extreme", new ideas, trials the FDA slowpoke, where the new medications, cures, therapies will come from. Biologists, chemists, pathology,
cleaner non-invasive diagnostic venues must be funded instead of cosmetic fixes. He wants to exhaust the patient's privacy-which is the first step in socialized medicine.


Michelle's job has been eliminated... as if it was anything other than a QPQ anyway.

Are they always this obvious about it in Chicago? At least here, the position becomes a placeholder for future backscratching and the funds are siphoned off...




Haven't you learned anything from Geithner? Taxes are for patsies and those about to go through confirmation hearings.



The CDS' on US Treasuries are priced, and "trade" in Euros. The run up, and subsequent drop, in the currency, would certainly be reflected in a pricing mechanism like that. I haven't looked at the most recent DTCC posting of that counter-party position. I will be tomorrow, though. Felix Salmon had a concise piece on this (LUN) but forgets the currency risk on the trade. There ARE two factors at play on those specific CDS', the WaPo's piece is a little scant in that respect.

I'll post more on this later. I think it's getting way too much air time, and I aim to explain why I think that way (not short).



What? Did something happen? Was someone hurt?


Back to what I was doing...

(Getting ready to freeze my *** off, is what I'm going back to doing, 10 degrees and dropping towards Daddy's beach weather(-12))


if you haven't noticed, there are some very interesting events taking (and supposedly not taking)place. Daschle seems to have been working assiduously on his health care plan, and I would not be surprised if some of the other major players have been doing the same.

At the same time, I think we're getting close to a general level of disgustedness be many on the Left and Right with many of Obama's picks, for different reasons of course.

The Left thinks Obama has sold out. The Middle/Right is getting to the point of burnout with the continuing scandals with some of the appointees.

The Congressional dem idiots want to try Bush & Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors, and the is no Republican leadership left. Obama has just attempted to coopt what was left of the conservative intelligentsia. We'll see how well that succeeds.

At the same time, the appearance of a "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" administration is weighing down large parts of the blogocracy.

There sure are a lot of weird trends out there right now.

We seem to be faced with basically a Russian/French/Argentine oligopoly who want to retain power at any cost at a time where real reform is needed.


Very interesting Stephanie. The vital work requiring a more than 100% raise was not needed after all. Color me shocked....


Sorry Stephanie, didn't mean to mock as much as I was trying to show the proper "Chicago" perspective.

Politician's wife getting paid to do nothing? Child's play.

The goal here is to keep your entire (voter eligible) family on the payroll, not just one. The trick is to spread 'em around the whole coumty infrastructure.

hit and run

I have surpassed the statistical probabilities significantly. And a previously unknown treatment for my situation is working well

You don't know how happy it makes me to hear that, Bad.

Go ahead and try and imagine how happy it makes me. Go ahead, but make it big.

Then whatever you imagine, double it.

42 times.

And you'll almost be halfway there.


Bad, you make me LOL so often and I appreciate you so much. "Working well" is very good news, indeed.


Mel- were you Porter? What did I miss?


How wonderful, bad. I've been afraid to ask myself.
And hit means it,too, you know. He has the most loving heart.


Thanks everyone. I hate to go morbid on a thread because we don't live that way but the discussion was a good place to point out that three of us are doing well on a chemo not approved for our cancer thanks to the courage of an oncologist who told the "experts" to go to hell. Others will benefit from the knowledge gained. This would be impossible in a managed care scenario.

I'll keep you all informed no matter what happens. Mr. bad knows what to do.

JOM is great for me. Thank you all for putting up with me when I pull a "bad." I swear I am never malicious or mean (except to Dems)but sometimes I type what I totally didn't mean to say; very Aspbergers like my nephew.


Hit can I imagine it times 43 'cause I really like that number?

hit and run

Definitely. 43 works for me. I like that number too.


JOM is great for me.

You are great for JOM. Gawd it's been fun to watch. I'm not religious, but every day I get to see you here feels like a blessing to me.



Thank you all for putting up with me...

Don't you ever say that again! Your strength, kindness, and incredible humor make all of us richer everyday.

I am so happy to hear your news. God Bless you, bad.


Thanks Jane, that is wonderful to hear. You don't need to be religious to feel the blessings and your life is sweeter for recognizing them.

My husband and children are amazing. They deal with everything with such courage and grace. Not many moms get to see the stuff their kids are made of at this young age (them, not me)but I've been blessed. I know -- not hope, not pray-- but really know my kids can handle what life has to offer.

But the biggest blessing is that it's me and not them. God is great!!


Thanks Ann!! It's so fun to know certain milestones are behind and everything ahead is a record.

It's a good thing I paid my taxes...I might have ended up as Secretary of the Treasury.


Jane's in my head again.........


You know this place - no, that should be "you people" can work up as much emotion in me as anyone on the planet. It's an odd but rewarding family.


Bad, I didn't know about the chemo, I feel a little sheepish bursting in with my mom's problems in comparison, hope everything goes well, I'll keep you in my thoughts as all of you did for my mother.


Your mom matters, narciso, regardless of what is happening elsewhere. She remains in my prayers until you let us know she is completely recovered.

JOM lets me be me (chemically altered somewhat, teehee.)


Of course, it does, but one seems more serious than the other.


Narciso, my family and I would be pretty unhappy campers if we looked at things that way. We choose to notice how many are in a worse situation than we are and count our blessings.

You would have no problem suffering the pain and discomfort in place of your mother. Your love and concern is admirable.


You're right, despite my sometimes cold analysis about things, I'm as sentimental
as they come these days.


bad lady-I love you and Pray your meds and trials are soon ancient history. Stories we'll tell by the moonlight on that cruise our cookbook's gonna pay for.
It is love, only love, we take with us when we leave and when that time comes for us, way down the road, well, our load will be heavy. We must remember blessings, reach out to others in need and have the courage to love each other, always.
When asked about my touch with angels the night I died, I always end my story with, dying is the easy part, it's waking up and getting back at life, being alive, in a world of untrust it's the hard part. And most days, I make it a good day, sometimes through clenched teeth, but always with love in my heart for family, friends, country and God, who gave me a second chance.

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