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March 14, 2009

Comments

Jim Ryan

Wisdom comes to us all, even Obama.

It comes to a stopped clock twice a day.

narciso

No, he knew what he was doing exactly, he was undermining the faith in the markets; because that was the only way he could win, and pushed further, because that is the only way he could put parts of his program
in place, before people realized what he was doing (that extra 10% drop that secures
the extra term) I can't think he's really thought what to do next, to stabilize the economy, what he's offering won't, it only guarantees a deeper downturn later on. It's ironic that Rutherford B. Hayes, got the title of "His Fraudulency" because he had asceded to the office, by via of the commission only made possible by the violent
suppression of the franchise in key states, whereas the title is more apt here, in every
sense.

matt

WaPo headline: "Obama: Blame Bush" .....oh, the sweet irony.....

the wheels are coming off this assclown's tricycle at an accelerating rate every day. He is the ultimate hypocrite, a committed socialist, and incompetent to boot. Should we copyright "Impeach Obama" yet?

When so many of his own supporters are echoing our own thoughts, there only a bitter satisfaction in one's judgment. I fear for the country.

bgates

I think McCain was doomed when he claimed,
We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished.

MayBee

bad called this one.


I think he forgets when he talks to a group, he is not invisible to the rest of the world. Other people can actually hear him.

Bill in AZ

I read somewhere that the mark of the beast, 666, was miscalculated. It's 572, or something... so we're OK.

The media will paste over anything this Idiot President does. The 8:45 Townehouse call this morning must have been to paste over the crappy economy that President Zero created. ABC radio news, in their 5 minute slot, had no less than 3 separate pieces on how wunnerful the economy suddenly is.

During the last 8 years under Bush, it was always the opposite. With their sins of commission and omission every newscast, why, you would almost think they wanted President Bush to fail.

kim

Sorry, folks, I don't think the consumer is on board. His fortune has been halved, he's struggling, and ain't buying. And he's particularly not buying Obama bullshit. Blaming Bush is going to remind people of how great we had it under Bush, particularly as international events spiral down. G20 isn't going to be pretty.
================================================

Rick Ballard

If I understand this correctly, a dollar saved is a vote against the profligate policies promulgated by the commie bastard in the WH and the dirty socialist wing of the Dem party who are bankrupting the children of America.

OK, mark me down for 25,000 votes.

I've never maxed out 10% of my credit card limits in my life but just to be on the safe side I'll pay in greenbacks every chance I get. That will cheer up all the service people who I am rather dedicated to supporting.

The UAW Widowmakers can continue to rust on the lot for a few more years.

If President Mugabe Obama were serious about saying something positive regarding the economy, he could start by mentioning that housing hasn't been this affordable in twenty years. That might put a kink in his plans to hand out 40 acres and a 3BR 2BA to his most loyal and ardent supporters though so I really don't expect to hear it from the thieving scum any time soon.

Now - do your part - if it's within your power, fire an Obama supporter today.

kim

If they actually had a plan to move forward, the last thing to do is blame a predecessor. Without a plan, the default is to blame the predecessor.

They are tactically incapable, and strategically clueless. I'd trash Limbaugh and Bush too if I were where they are. It's better than nothing, and worse.
===============================

MayBee

His fortune has been halved, he's struggling, and ain't buying.

This is what I think Obama truly does not get, kim.
He sure hasn't mentioned it, either.

matt

I am now officially waiting for the race card to be played.

Bill, I agree that the media will do their best, but consider that Warren Buffect, Cramer, Santelli, Foreign Policy magazine, the WaPo, and others are basically calling him incompetent and misguided only 7 weeks into this train wreck, I think the worm is turning. Hillary's miscues, especially with China, and so many other poor/leftist policy decisions, along with the ethics scandal, for that is what it is now, are all out in the open with nothing to mitigate the circumstances. They have no one to blame except themselves.

One of my greatest concerns is that Obama has tightened the reins of power within the White House with his "advisers" and czars who do not bear scrutiny, and is avoiding Senate confirmation hearings and oversight by appointing special envoys and consultants. This is a greater perversion of the advise & consent clause than Bush was ever accused of. Someone needs to get on this fast, as this guy seems dead serious about taking this country down.

narciso

He doesn't understand his own M.O, and his impact on the consumer. People having been burned, and feeling justifiably betrayed, will not do large scale investment or purchases. He thinks huge government investment will do the trick, it didn't in the 70s much less the 30s. the Teens are going to be lousy decade, at least for the last first part, and probably later while we deal with the consequences of the last few months.

clarice

Maybe we ought to start a game--guess the 8:45 message. First one who gets it right each morning is the winner.

The WaPo article was interesting. Too bad the paper is shrinking down to almost nothing as the editors finally wise up.
The Post also has a front page article indicating the new refinancing deals thru Fannie now covers second(vacation)homes. I wonder what effect that will have in places esp hard hit like Fla, Cal and (Las Vegas) Nevada which are full of such housing.

MayBee

There is also an interesting OpEd about Charles Freeman today in the WaPo.

The author points out Freeman was sideswiping Obama himself in his departing note, and Obama has said precisely nothing about Freeman's accusations (or withdrawal). Helen Thomas asked Gibbs if Obama had a statement about Freeman yesterday, and Gibbs demurred. Chickens.

Rick Ballard

"guess the 8:45 message"

Clarice,

We need a less mundane appellation - something alliterative, with Fascist in it.

I would add Freddie Mac's announcement that they are dropping their target of 56% of their loan purchases going to the "lower and moderate income group" to the Fannie Mae announcement. I guess the cost of the CRA deadbeats has just gotten too high for them. FL and AZ are the best bets on that second home play. CA is way down the list for the Snow Geezers. The warm SoCal weather just isn't enough to overcome the high taxes combined with crappy services.

MayBee

It just occurred to me if Obama says he inherited this financial mess, that he didn't expect to take office with it, it can only mean he didn't realize it was happening either.

He either saw it coming and should have started putting a plan in place for it as he was running to take control of this country, or he was as ignorant as everyone he wants to blame.

kim

Rove speaks about the 8:45 call, and Barone weighs in on the misdirection of the Administration's policy efforts, especially about climate and energy. RCP's got it.
===================================

glasater

Speaking of Geithner--he is going to address the G-20 today at noon Eastern.

Fox News announced and will run the address live.

DebinNC

Speaker Pelosi: I am not partisan.

Rick Ballard

Glasater,

Any indication as to whether they found a big enough box for Squeaky to stand on when he talks to the big boys?

syn

The reason why the progressive Leftist world is in constant turmoil, conflict and misery is due to the fact that whenever a Leftist is caught in their tangled web of deceit they'll change the definition and the meaning of any issue brought before them; poor, rich, tax relief, fetus, marriage, enemy combatant, and so forth.

Redefine what you're talking about then demand everyone else accept and tolerate the insanity, if you don't comply you'll get beaten into submission through heart-wrenching emotional blackmail.

By definition, Leftist is vicious.

clarice

Coulter's right, we have a mentally retadrded woman as Speaker of the House.

narciso

Well the markets don't trade much on the weekends, possibly some futures, but can anybody in the rest of the First World take him seriously, No, and the people in the Third World, who have been subject to the IMF's austerity regime, they probably have deep seated contempt for him, seeing as he didn't pay his taxes while penalizing whole
countries for doing the same.

Rick Ballard

OL,

More 40 acres and 3BR 2BA cramdown news. Things look a little better for the moment. I wish the WSJ would put the bill number in the article. I'd like to find the language concerning this:

Separately, the American Bankers Association on Friday raised alarms about a little-noticed part of the bill, saying it would let a borrower end up owning a house for a fraction of the purchase price if the lender breaches certain federal disclosure rules.

The industry said the House version of the bill would force judges to invalidate a lender's claim in bankruptcy for committing minor and accidental errors, such as understating a finance charge by as little as $36.

That would tie in nicely with the NAACP Suits. I wonder if Obama speaks directly with Mugabe or whether he uses intermediaries?

glasater

Any indication as to whether they found a big enough box for Squeaky to stand on when he talks to the big boys?

Think he's going to be a little shorter after the Germans get done with him.

clarice

Boy, Rick, I hope the Senate ends that provision. (It probably will unless the Hamsher muzzle works well enough to keep financial institution's lobbyists off the Hill).

Rick Ballard

The EU is already hocked to the eyeballs against a falling demographic. They bought a bunch of MBS paper on the basis of the US being able to sustain a level of growth which they know they cannot. China has salted away 25% of their foreign reserves in Treasury paper which they absolutely know will be clobbered when the inflation driven by the dirty socialist spending hits.

Why shouldn't they slap Tiny Turbo around? They also know that he had oversight (in some respects) of Citi as it squandered its way to Zombie status. Obama's selection of the tax cheating fraud tells them as much as they need to know about dealing with either of the bumbling fools.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

I said it yesterday and I'll say it again. This nutter has a psychopath's ability to say one thing and within a matter of months, hours or even the same sentence say something diametrically opposite.
And he has the same arrogance of a psychopath to stare down anyone who dares to think he contradicted himself.
This asshat apprently has the audacity to think he can gaslight the entire planet.

Working title for his next autobiography "The Audacity of Serge Bauer"

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Did you catch this:

In a bid to seal a cramdown deal, Senate staffers have been talking with large banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. Weeks ago, Senate Democrats forged a deal to win Citigroup Inc.'s support, hoping other big lenders would follow suit. But they haven't.

You have to read Hamsher's Fascists' attack upon the Citi analyst in light of the dirty Dem socialists subornation of Citi in support of this thievery. They are saying that the dirty socialist Dems own Citi - it barks, claps and balances a ball on its nose at the direction of the Zero Administration.

That's what "public/private partnership" means - to a fascist.

kim

This liar weaves tangled webs, and the body of work is getting large enough for the journalists, and others, to see it.
=======================================

Rick Ballard

Uh oh.

Ranger

What Obama fails to realize is that peoples' spending behaviors have changed dramaticly. It started last fall, helped along by his railing about the crisis, but it was a response more to the uncertanty. Obama's fear mongering to get his Porkulus passed simply re-enforced what people were already doing. The problem for Obama is that people spent on credit because they felt rich. They felt rich because their 401Ks were growing and the value of their houses were growing. Now their 401Ks are worth half of what they were a year ago and they owe more on their house then they could sell it for. So, people are cutting back drasticly. Just saying "everythings really ok" will have no impact on peoples' spending patterns. There is no way you are going to replace the psycological damage done by $11 trillion being destoryed.

As a good Marxist, Obama thought that the amount of wealth in American society was static, and he could shift it without any real loss in the net total. In fact, the amount of wealth in a society is dynamic. The financial crisis is actually destorying wealth, and just threatening to take it and give it away causes it to shrink even more dramaticly.

narciso

Is it really surprising about CitiGroup though, with Rubin, running it, after peddling subprime junk in their European Division, with Deutch and Slatkin, who have no financial or any other experience, on the board. It's long become a 'zysgy' not government, not business, but some fusion of samem which predictably works like neither entity.

kim

Yup, Ranger. There are forces beyond their control, especially since all they can do is manipulate public opinion and lie.

It would be hard enough to deal with this mess if they were honest; lacking that, we are all in a mess.

Show me the certificate. This is an easy way out and will occur to more and more as things get worse. It won't exactly restore confidence but it might stop the destruction of it.
=============

clarice

I missed that Rick--I don't expect everyone in the mortgage business is as stupid as Citi. I hope not.

Ranger--that's a good point, too. I go back to what barone mentioned two weeks ago--the Alinskyites and Chi pols never had to work in a situation when the host they were parasiting off of was in decline--they could grab their take and the host nevertheless stayed healthy. Now, not so much.

glasater

Warren Buffett supports Ranger's above comment--if you want to listen to about sixteen minutes of talk.
It really is pretty interesting if a person can hold on.

matt

Now The Hill" is questioning whether there is something wrong about the vetting process.

These people could be in a house filled with smoke and flames and still be asking themselves whether there's a fire. The willful negligence is amazing.

Fresh Air

Clarice--

The local hosts are in decline now, too. This is probably an even bigger story taxwise. They've already pushed through massive property tax increases at the country level, higher sales taxes in the city and for their next trick the Mediacrats are going to raise Illinois income taxes by 50! percent. They are killing all their parasites. Just like long-line fishermen, they wonder why, after 10 years of massive harvests there are no more tuna in the sea.

Rather than the birth of socialism, the whole rotten enterprise may be stillborn. We can only hope.

bad

The Post also has a front page article indicating the new refinancing deals thru Fannie now covers second(vacation)homes.

That's guarenteed to piss off a segment of my Obama voter contacts. They don't want anybody getting anything they don't qualify for.

bad

It just occurred to me if Obama says he inherited this financial mess, that he didn't expect to take office with it, it can only mean he didn't realize it was happening either.

Ranger and I were talking the other day about how he had to know by Sept. 18 at the latest.

(As a sitting senator and the banking committee being his and all, you'd think he would have known sooner.)

Scott

Rick

I believe it is HR 1106

kim

To restore confidence you have to have a straight shooter. Obama, being constitutionally incapable of honest rhetoric, can't help but fail. His Achilles Heel is that he sounds convincing; that golden tongue and his talented speechwriters are persuasive, but ultimately just wrong. The awakening of the polity is going to be painful. And then they are going to want to know why and how they got fooled by this flim flam man.

And it will occur to someone important in the media to ask about his birth certificate. At that point, continued stonewalling will sink him. And revelation of a valid Hawaiian birth isn't going to help him, then, not by much. This calculus is fatal, and inevitable.
===========================================

kim

I have an idea which will not involve much risk for the participants. What would happen if all the conservatives started prominently displaying their birth certificates? A quiet little tea party of eligibility. Subtle. No one has to come out and accuse him of anything.
===============================================

bad

Ranger, I see people all around me who have been very prudent financially and have cash to spend on big ticket items but are choosing not to. It's probably happening everywhere. Tends to add up.

Ranger

The Post also has a front page article indicating the new refinancing deals thru Fannie now covers second(vacation)homes.

That's guarenteed to piss off a segment of my Obama voter contacts. They don't want anybody getting anything they don't qualify for.

Posted by: bad | March 14, 2009 at 12:56 PM

That's not a bug of the plan, that is a feature. One of the hidden truths of the housing meltdown is that a huge chunk of it is concentrated in Southern Arizona and Florida. A big chunk of those are "second homes" that people can no longer afford. It is a fallout of the fact that a lot of people getting close to retirement buy a "second home" where they plan to eventually relocate. The plan was, that when they do re-locate, they would simply sell of the first home and then pay off the second home with the proceeds from the first home. Now people are stuck in their first home (because they no longer have the money to retire and they couldn't sell the first home and have enough money to pay off the second home even if they did) and are seriously thinking about just walking away from the mortgate on the second home.


Old Dad

So why did the Messiah take the political risk of sticking with Geithner? For the dough. He needed a compliant dope to support his spending con. He and his pals will steal enough from the trillion dollar graft package to live like commie princes. So what if he turns America into Mexico?

Go to any border town--no wait--bad idea. Take it from someone who knows. With enough dough, you buy off the police, bribe the drug lords, and live like a king.

All hail King Barry.

kim

I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours. How fair, how American. I just don't understand why he has been allowed to so blatantly stonewall something so fundamental.

Well, actually I do understand how it happened. The Alinskyites marginalized anyone asking the perfectly reasonable question from the gitgo as crazy, and it worked because it seems crazy to think that anyone would have the chutzpah to run for President though ineligible. Well, we know he's has outrageous chutzpah, we know he is a liar, we know criminal money backed him, and we know Alinsky style tactics were used.

I think it is crazy not to question his eligibility.
==================================

Jim Ryan

If I may be so bold.

Ranger

Ranger, I see people all around me who have been very prudent financially and have cash to spend on big ticket items but are choosing not to. It's probably happening everywhere. Tends to add up.

Posted by: bad | March 14, 2009 at 01:13 PM

I would argue that the people who were very prudent financially, and have lots of cash on hand right now were not the people supporting the vast majority of big ticket consumption or excessive home buying over the last 20 years. But I do take your point that even the prudent people with cash are being even more prudent now (or just waiting for deflation to really hit so they can pick up stuff even cheaper before the inflation kicks in and makes all that money worthless anyways).

Of course, in the end those who were very prudent financially are going to be exspected to pay for the excesses of the irresponsible, as having any money in the bank is clear evidence of being a greedy capitalist these days (and they are the only people with any real money left that can be squeezed for cash right now).

Rick Ballard

Scott,

Thanks. I'll delve for a bit. I'm still thinking about how to get Dodd out. I have always been under the impression that the insurance biz carries CT. Given the parlous state of insurance reserves due to Dodd et al dabbling in MBS fraud it might be worthwhile for potential opponents to make the link on a regular basis.

Do you think that would ring any bells?

bad

I continue to wonder just how many at risk mortgages can be saved. Can enough people benefit, even under the more inclusive rules, to turn the mortgage "crisis" around? Or will the bailout just piss off a larger group who didn't get a piece of the pie.

It's obvious the "righeous" rule is long gone.

Political risk for O.

DebinNC

The awakening of the polity is going to be painful. And then they are going to want to know why and how they got fooled by this flim flam man.

That would only happen if blame is truthfully assigned, which it won't be in a way that fatally damages BO imo. Scattered hits via scattered outlets do not a meme make. And the willingly blind, a near majority, will continue to refuse to see.

DebinNC

BO Friday to Business Roundtable:

The days of overheated housing markets and "people maxing out on their credit cards" are over, Obama said Friday in describing that "post-bubble" model.

How is the world could he/they stop that? Set limits based on income?

Ranger

Ok, here is a question for the economic sages here. I have a theory about what has been going on and want to bounce it off you guys.

When the housing bubble started to burst and the economy started to contract the powers that be seemed very concerned about deflation. Yet we haven't seen a big deflationary cycle, even after Oil fell back to earth and gas prices dropped.

We also have the report from the St. Louis Fed that pointed out we basically double the voluem of dollars in the last quarter of 08. Yet, that hasn't produced a massive inflationary cycle like you would think should happen when you double the supply of money practically over night.

So, my theory is that the Fed decided to fight deflation with inflation, hoping to keep the value of the dollar up. There is a short term logic to this. Deflation would crush the capital markets and the same time it caused a massive spike in unemployment. Preventing that would theoretically shorten and downturn.

But, what happens when things turn back up? How do you counter the inflation you've created when the deflationary presures subside?

Are they banking on the amount of wealth destoryed to "suck up" the excess dollars they have pumped into the system or are we just sitting on a massive inflation time bomb that will require massive interest hikes to defuse in the future?

Scott

Rick

Yea I think so but more fun would be a commercial of Irish property, CT Property, DC Property and pictures of crooks associated superimposed (heck through in Iowa Property for fun too) Simple and even ~30% of dems get it

Ranger

How is the world could he/they stop that? Set limits based on income?

Posted by: DebinNC | March 14, 2009 at 01:53 PM

The same way he plans on abolishing the economic cycle of "boom and bust." Magic.

Fresh Air

Ranger--

I think the problem is the dollars are sitting in bank vaults. Borrowing is way down, so the expected inflation is not materializing. On top of that, you have oil running at much lower rates than most of last year combined with lower consumption and massive supplies in consumer countries. There will be inflation to be sure. It might take six months or a year, but it will be, IMHO, very bad once all the Porkulus crap, cap & trade, etc. works its way into the system. Raising taxes ultimately just means more inflation for everyone as producers raise prices to offset lower profits, employees demand more wages to offset higher prices and so on.

PD

When I went to the coffee shop this morning, there was a gentleman at the counter talking to the employees about Bernie Madoff's depredations. Remembering a thought I read here on JOM a day or two ago, I asked, "How is what Bernie Madoff did to his clients any different from what Congress is doing to us?"

That was enough to set him off on a "they're all crooks in Congress" theme.

I took my coffee to my table with a smile.

TCO

You bailout mother fuckers. You Bush big government types stabbed the Republican free market ideology in the back. Now we reap the results. Fuck you assholes. Why don't you go have gay sex with some K street paid for Republican congressmen. Hope you jerks die.

PD

Did I hear something?

bad

Take your meds TCO.

MaryD

You've got me smiling too, PD. Nice work.

narciso

See, that's the proper response,PD, buzzing gnats don't deserve one. No where our actual problem lies is a good question, Weimar Germany was forced into reparations, which set the printing presses on full, Argentina seems to have succumbed to the
Peronist paradox, which caused the backlash
we sincerely don't want. Russia and Bolivia I forget exactly what was the driver of their disparate situation; which Jeffrey Sachs killed the patient and now pleads on the mercy of the cover, apologizing with our money.

Ranger

I think the problem is the dollars are sitting in bank vaults.

Posted by: Fresh Air | March 14, 2009 at 02:15 PM

Yes, but isn't that what causes deflation, money sitting on the sidelines forcing people to cut prices to move product?

Cecil Turner

Heh. All froth for the initial bailout bill, but nary a peep about the author . . . or the vastly larger follow-on. And do I espy a triple gash on the starboard fluke?

It does provide an amusing primer on the tactics of trollery, if one is into that sort of thing.

R. Richard Schweitzer

Why can't people see the pattern:

We are off on the road-

not to socialism, but to

The NEW TOTALITARIANISM:

whereby a Federal Government (National) increasingly centralizes all powers over all effective choices.

glasater

Inflation is a tax.

TCO

I told you maggots that there would be follow ons and that the initial bailout would not corect the basic problems...and that the market should be allowed to valeu things and correct itself. The anger about the initial bailout is because that is when RINO pussies conceded the basic principle in debate.

This should be fucking obvious.

Bill in AZ

tco: errr... yawn

thelonereader

Ahhhh....Yawn.....

boris

His blow up doll cut him off.

narciso

Since we didn't want to risk a Mellon style liquidation, one didn't see a solution to the problem, I still don't see analternative. one could argue there was still a window open for McCain to have sealed the deal, but that went away on October 14th, when his answer basically dismissed the real concerns we had about him; after that all the Joe the Plumber
appearances and Sarah rallies were a moot point. We would still have faced the problem whose solution would have prevailed;
Doug Eakin & co. would probably have pressed for more regulation and taxes, the other side, would have pressed for more free market measures,cutting back the TARP
to a more measurable level. McCain was ultimately a poor fit for the party, he is too skeptical of the party's tools to really operate as its head.

thelonereader

Bill,
you got there before me

bad

Camile Paglia in denial acccording to Riley Hunter: LUN

Should it surprise anyone that the same guy who cultivated the affections of crooks, terrorists and racists while building his Chicago power base didn’t change when he moved to the White House? You can take the community organizer out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the community organizer (a statement that applies equally to the current Chief of Staff). Perhaps it’s time we add competent executive leadership to the ever-expanding laundry list of items above Barry’s pay grade.

Check it out...

Old Lurker

Hi everybody. Chores are done and I've enjoyed catching up.

Rick, the cramdown just gets silly. I think it's part of what Turbo meant when he said the financial markets will never be the same. He's got that right, if nothing else. Their plans won't work if they give the banks back...

It also fits nicely into Ranger's observation of Obama's core belief that the pie is static. He also thinks anyone with a bigger slice got it wrongly at the expense of others and it is just for him to redistribute the slices. Since the pie is static, nothing he does will hurt it...

Ranger, you ask good questions about inflation/deflation and the Fed. You might enjoy reading Wiki, searching on "Liquidity Trap". The cash is under mattresses and in vaults, but I remain a broken record believing most will stay hidden until the new rules are known. That feeds the Trap.

Old Lurker

LUN is the link to Liquidity Trap. Where is Milton Friedman when we need him...

bad

WSJ: LUN

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is in discussions with Rep. Barney Frank and other lawmakers on a plan to tie Wall Street pay to the long-term performance of the firms.

Mr. Frank (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and other prominent Democrats appear to back such a plan, though no legislation has been introduced.
"We plan to put laws into effect, no question," said Mr. Frank..

The demonization of Wall Street continues. How many votes is this pursuit worth?

kim

You know, TCO, it's really just nat as simple as you perceive it to be. Please, don't be simple. Anything but that.
===================================

matt

you know, a lot of the discussion by these guys about limiting pay, etc is probably going to be challenged in court. There are fundamental Constitutional issues with some of the government policies they are proposing.

It would behoove both these businesses and conservatives in general to use the same legal tactics of opposition, obstruction, and litigation against their inventors.

Old Lurker

Forbes had a good piece on the meltdown of the Harvard endowment. LUN. Seeds were sown under Summers, but the real lesson is, once again, that the smartest folks in the the room...well...aren't. Teaser: they had $37B in assets but ran out of cash, having to panic sell at the bottom and borrow to cover. ooops. Now THAT will ruin your day.

DebinNC

BO getting snippy with press about "phony stories".

bad

Kudlow on mark to market and why we may not need another TARP infusion.

LUN

It makes sense to me but what do I know.....

kim

Ah hah! Florida Congressman Bill Posey introduced a bill requiring future Presidential candidates to show a birth certificate to prove eligibility. I told you this issue is going to heat up. Obama can't gain much now by showing a birth certificate, but he can lose a lot by continued stonewalling. The calculus is deadly.
======================================

Old Lurker

Finally, completing my book report on Forbes, for those of us who think this finance stuff just got way to complicated by half, Paul Johnson agrees. Wisdom here. Harvard could have used some of it.

LUN

kim

It would be different if Obama were gaining in popularity, but he's not. Show me. Show me. I'm saying please, for now.
====================================

kim

Here's another force that Axelrod and Obama are going to fail to control; the foreign press. I'm waiting for one wishing for the Cowboy rather than the Dude.
========================================

kim

From Pretender to Imposter is a short step, and a lot of people have read Samuelson calling him a Great Pretender.

It would also allow a great deal of the polity to excuse their own foolishness in falling for the guy.

I do not understand why hardly anyone else here thinks this is an issue. Huh?
====================================

Gmax

The plummeting in the polls continues for Obama. He is going to emerge from the first 100 day traditional "honeymoon" sleeping on the couch. He is well on his way to having lost all Republican support and most of the independents as well. As those wacky Democrats will not be satified until he steers ever farther left.

What and see what the 2010 Congressional elections bring. I bet its a powerful reaction to too much damn spending everywhere you look.

TCO

kim: I was just re-reading the comments on the Watts Up post on the solar cell cycle matching stuff (the one where he and Basil made a fundamental error a year ago...and still haven't fessed up...are still "looking into it"). You were there giving them accolades, not noticing the basic logic error in their Figure 5.

kim

You were all afraid it would backfire when he proved Hawaiian birth. As such, it was possible that he had a killer candidate issue. But what is the value to him now of concealing it? It's not going to be useful anymore to make fools of his critics. The calculus has changed; someone else is going to see this point, and it looks like maybe Posey is on to it.
=====================================

kim

Hmmm, this solar stuff isn't simple, is it? What do you think of Livingston's measurements calculating that sunspots will disappear in six more years?
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Gmax

BTW for anyone who is interested, I am working for a subsidiary of a Bank and out on the hunt to purchase notes with comml. real estate as collateral. Seems to be a pretty fair supply of product, damn near everywhere you look. Lots and lots of comml. r/e loans are going to wash up on the beach this year and next. Lots of them are underwater, and many are current only because of floating interest rates tied to Libor, and with Libor being around 1.3%, its hard not to be able to cover a less than 3% coupon.

Look for a very very large REIT backruptcy soon. It will not rival Lehman, but it will have a huge amount of real estate under BK court protection.

We have got to learn as a society and as a government to reduce leverage dramatically. Its too painful in downturns to be so highly leveraged.

If you are feeling bad about your 401K, you can take some comfort from this. David Bonderman, the guy behind TPG, invested almost a BILLION into Aleris Corp, about two years ago. Right now its in BK, and I would say that that Billion will see zero recovery upon exit from Chap 11. OUCH.

kim

You really want some entertainment, TCO, go read Andy Revkin's DotEarth for last year, starting with the epic 1200 comment AGU thread of January, '08. I hope you notice where some of the true believers bitched about DotKim.
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Rick Ballard

"I'm waiting for one wishing for the Cowboy rather than the Dude."

I think that's spelled "Dud", Kim.

I wonder how the Wall Street folks are going to enjoy licking Barney's Gucci's for a raise? They need to refresh their memory concerning 1921-1926 Italy and how "public/private partnership" actually works.

Ranger,

I believe that we've already had a fairly healthy does of value deflation. Now we have some extraordinarily unhealthy money pumping by Treasury so we get to skip price deflation and move directly to price inflation - without any value inflation.

The mattress stuffing effect is very real. Both BEA and Fed numbers support the contention that the productive ants have socked away around $350 billion in the past 12 months while the grasshoppers are having their credit limits reduced by credit issuers at a rather brisk pace. Obama bums are already squealing a little bit - expect the squeals to rise to the shriek level by summer as credit issuers shorten the debt serf's choke chain.

The other "quiet" issue is the death of the ABS market and subsequent brake on velocity. That goes to the leverage/liquidity issue and that one is not going to be solved any time soon. Passage of the 'Cramdown Asset Theft Act' will slow things down even more.

kim

It's not just going to be commercial real estate going belly-up, Gmax, it's going to be lots of small businesses, too. Many of them struggle even in good times with the owners putting in 80 or more hours per week. It's just not going to go on.

Not when they can blame Obama for going under.
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TCO

Kim:

1. I'm unfamiliar with the solar issue, you mentioned.

2. The issue with Figure 5 in the Basil-Watts work was simple. I am just a basic smart guy with no expertise and noticed the flaw. Watts had supposedly had this post extensively peer reviewed and was using a statistician he trusted. But still the amateurish fundamental flaw. And then...still the failure to correct. A year later. This type of behavior is evasive. At least WM Briggs mans up when he fucks up...and admits it, full bore. When you see this sort of tendancy of Watts types (simple failures and reluctance to admit), you realize you are in discussion with an ideologue and not a thinker.

kim

I saw a big fat NOBAMA bumpersticker today. A first for me.

Rick, a dud he is, but it ruins the real cowboy/poseur dude symmetry.
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Jim Glass

"It's baffling."

It's not baffling at all.

To "not waste a crisis" and get all those spending programs that the Democratic committee leaders have been waiting to enact since 1994 past the voters -- such as to create a trillion dollar deficit in 2010, after Obama's people project the recession will be over -- Obama had to spin the "it's the worst economy since the Depression" idea and Pelosi had to repeatedly(!) say "we'll keep losing 500 million jobs per month until this stimulas is passed".

Now that the "stimulus" has been passed, they have to say, "Hey, the economy is going to be fine, soon!" to be able to pretend we can afford it.

It's just good old fashioned Lyin' Politics 101.


Gmax

Cramdown will have the following very predictable effect:

To wit, if a mortgage can not be assured of being sacrosact then fewer questionable borrowers will get mortgages and those that do will be a risk premium for the cost to the lenders of the cramdowns to come. It aint rocket science. How this helps a moribund housing market is truly beyond me.

kim

Bill Livingston is measuring the internal magnetism in the sunspots and finds it to be on a decline curve to 2015 when the spots will be too cool to be visible. This is not to say that the internal dynamo that produces spots is failing only that the spots will not be visible. This may give us a big chance to see whether or not climate follows. As you probably know, there was a dearth of spots during the Maunder and Dalton minimums. Leif Svalgaard still doesn't think that produced the cold, preferring to blame it on a series of volcanic eruptions, but I'm sure he's looking forward as much as anyone to having his theses tested.

Sure, Anthony isn't perfect. Even as an idealogue, he puts out a fascinating blog, and commonly generates a truly useful and scientific discussion.

It is overly simple to focus on one mistake a year ago. You generalize too easily from the specific. Tighten up.
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Wilson/Plame