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May 01, 2010

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Pofarmer

Off to see Sarah Palin in KC!!

Whoo, hooo.

Clarice

I'll take both conspiracies for $5, TM. It's a rather dull Saturday with little to do but watch the economies of the Western world implode due to preposterous politicians and the stupid voters who elected them.

Clarice

Obama's two finance directors

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/john-stephenson/2008/10/13/will-media-investigate-obama-affair-rumors> Two, count them, two

BB Key

Mark Levin had a caller last night who was on the rig when it blew.

Go to Mark's website and click on the the interview with "James" for the audio.

Porchlight

Happy Derby Day! Wish I had some mint for juleps.

Pofarmer,

Have a great show, as the Deadheads say, and report back!

anduril

No conspiracy here. Pam Geller did some good work: Free Speech 1, CAIR 0: RefugeFromIslam.com Ads Going Back Up in FL.

Clarice

My man Iowahawk chimes in with a howler on Gore.
http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2010/04/citizen-gore.html

Barry Dauphin

Vera Baker blew up the rig! 'Thar she blows.'

nathan hale

Heck of a job, there, Ken, in the LUN

rse

Is it true that the concrete curing process represents a particularly vulnerable time for these rigs?

nh-

Suspect that timing is one reason there's been so little coverage that it was a well coming on line. Not an operating well yet.

Clarice

FEMA still hasn't been enlisted to work on this.

Perhaps they are all doing campaign work for the O man.

Captain Hate

Go to Mark's website and click on the the interview with "James" for the audio.

Thanks for pointing that out; Mark is *the* man in talk radio imo and that provided a lot of useful info; ie the stupidity of shutting down all Gulf of Mexico rigs over this. Never let a crisis go to waste. Say hello to $4 gas and subsequent demonizing of oil companies.

nathan hale

Ptobably so, it isn't it curious that the first time this happens in quite some time, is under this crew, incompetence is always a better first guess, than deliberate malfeasance, but that wasn't and what the left is seizing upon now.

Captain Hate

incompetence is always a better first guess, than deliberate malfeasance, but that wasn't and what the left is seizing upon now.

As our trolls prove regularly, what passes for "the left" in this country are a bunch of illiterate lunatics who are immune to rational thought processes.

nathan hale

I expect that from them, Captain, frog and scorpion, and all that, and more and more
the folks putatitively on our side, 'the clean toga' crowd as Clarice puts it, that ball themselves up like an armadillo, is
the next crew. Bob McDonnell not wlling to
cower in the corner, is a good sign, the
rest not so much

Sue

OT, but Tom might want to check out Aaron Klein's book coming out next week. http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/01/on-my-desk-the-manchurian-president/>Ed has a teaser. When Obama really met Ayers for the first time.

In just one of the revelations in this politically radioactive release, the book uncovers for the first time where and how Obama first met Weatherman founder Bill Ayers – and it is much earlier than previously believed.
Captain Hate

Since it's May 1 we may be mercifully troll free as they cluster in bullshit study sessions with their co-apparatcheks to figure out how they're gonna make communism work this time around. God knows how many people will have to be liquidated re-educated this time around; an actual inconvenient truth.

Jack is Back!

Regarding the oil spill, us on the east coast of Florida are probably thinking how we have escaped beach damage from it and how badly it will affect the west coast of Florida. Not so. LUN

We are right on the beach, only steps away, over the dunes walk-over. Mostly a coquina beach but we have sea turtle nests, squadrons of pelicans fishing, osprey, dolphins and in the winter right whales. This could get real messy depending on wind direction, tides and currents.

peuner

Nick Clegg says 'the sky's the limit'

New Orleans, Nick. BP is now owned.

So, what do you think a bunch of retarded luciferians will be doing with BP? Cat 6 global warming super hurricane and it's all gone.

nathan hale

I'd hold off a little on predictions like that, until we actually see where the currents
go, I remember well, the apocalyptic predictions of a toxic stew of chemicals after
Katrina, that never really materialized, I live a little farther from the water, so I'm
hoping this prediction isn't true.

Simon

Who is there to hold them accountable for sabotage and murder? Eric Holder?

Jack is Back!

NH,

Its not a prediction so much as a scientific analysis and I have actually seen red and brown tides move from the gulf through the straits and up the gulf stream to contaminate our beaches and air. Talk about respiratory ailments - noting like having to breathe brown tide micro-particles all day long. This could happen for real and the Florida dept. of emergency management knows it can and are preparing for that eventuality. Waiting isn't a response.

Clarice

Well, I believe Longboat Key is safe. Whew! Let's hope Narciso is right and the reports are as hyperbolic as they were with Katrina.

Janet

Well Sue, I guess Ed, and Aaron Klein are birthers. Even though the focus is on Obama's adult friendships and associations...if anyone questions Obama's past, according to the MSM, they are birthers. That is why I consider myself a birther...I wonder about the birth of Obama's political beliefs.

anduril

Henry Blodgett notes that Maybe Goldman Really Is Screwed: Criminal Probe Started Before SEC Case And Goes Far Beyond ABACUS, and links to this WaPo article: Justice probe of Goldman goes beyond deals cited by SEC.

Says Blodgett:

The Justice Department launched its probe of Goldman Sachs (GS) before the SEC filed its civil fraud charge, and the probe casts a far wider net than the SEC did...

If the Justice Department has cast a wider net than the SEC investigation, moreover, there's a chance that the Justice Department will uncover something that the SEC didn't. And that's where the real risk lies.

Also, Goldman can't make a criminal investigation go away by just settling and writing a massive check, the way it can with the SEC case.

That echoes the Post story:

The SEC filed a civil securities fraud case against the firm two weeks ago, and a source familiar with the matter said the SEC had referred that investigation to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.

But law enforcement sources said the probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office -- which is known for aggressively investigating financial fraud cases -- was not based on an SEC referral and was underway before the SEC announced the civil case April 16.

anduril

From Powerline:

Is It Obama's Fault?
from Power Line by John

Tonight I was listening to Hugh Hewitt as I drove to the grocery store, and got so engrossed that I missed my exit. What was so interesting? Hugh was arguing that the Obama administration failed to respond promptly to the oil spill in the Gulf, and that its belated response was inadequate.

Is that a fair charge? Normally, I would be slow to blame government at any level for a natural (or, as here, man-made) disaster. But the basic facts are curious: the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 21, nine days ago. This was no minor event; at least 11 workers were killed. The resulting oil slick has been evident, covering many miles, for some days now. Yet the federal response lagged.

...

UPDATE: Oddly, the New York Times is documenting the Obama administration's failures:

BP officials said they did everything possible, and a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP, which was leasing the drilling rig that exploded in flames on April 20 and sank two days later. ...

The Department of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that the incident was "a spill of national significance," and then set up a second command center in Mobile. The actions came only after the estimate of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.

The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Ms. Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful.

Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.

Coomanche Voter

Just as it was all Bush's fault for (you name it if it happened in his adminstration--or even after), well now, this must be all Obama's fault.

anduril

Inconveniently, history never seems to end. This article notes that Turkey is Stirring the Bosnian Pot. Closing paragraph:

So, with Ankara claiming credit for so many recent events in the Balkans, it would not be unreasonable to wonder to what extent is Turkey’s assertive "neo-Ottoman" policy responsible for stirring the volatile Bosnian pot.

Neo-Ottoman? Yes. The article documents Turkey's claims made by its FM and by Erdogan himself:

"From the 15th to the 20th century, the history of the Balkans was a history of success. We can have this success again."

"Turkey will never abandon Bosnia and Herzegovina and considers it a moral and historic responsibility to stand by this Balkan nation."

Janet

Here is the house the green extreme movement will expect us all to live in. LUN
From the Sunday supplement Parade.

No thank you.

Janet

Instead of The Little House on the Prairie it's The Really Little House that's a Dump.

David in Cal

Years ago, a safety engineer from the insurance company I worked for used a roll of film to take pictures of obvious safety infractions on an offshore drilling rig that we insured. These were mostly dangers to the workers, rather than dangers of the well blowing. Still the pictures were dramatic. They showed that management just didn't care about safety.

And, don't forget that nature doesn't always work the way we'd like it to.

My point is, one doesn't have to look for mysterious conspiracies to explain a rig disaster.

rse

jib-

Am in the panhandle much of the time and here's hoping it is being hyped to be the crisis that helps drive cap & trade.

My heart goes out to LA and Miss in the mean time.

Please link again as you see valid FL impact analysis.

You too narciso.

Howsmartwasthat

Thank God you got to say that. Enjoy the hurricanes.

rtwasthat

Hawking is denying himself too.

Thomas Collins

My prediction is that if Barack's dalliance is exposed (so to speak), both Vera and Barack will become fertilizer for Michelle's vegetable garden.

If I were Barack and I found a Michelle email to Elin Nordegren asking how much it would be to buy one of Elin's golf clubs, I'd be very worried.

nathan hale

That's an interesting definition, that Erdogan
is suggesting, that goes from the fall of Constantinople, the takeover of Greece, the Russian confrontations in the Balkans, up to the Itijihad, oh it's all good.

anduril

Mort Zuckerman offers what seems to me to be a very lucid explanation of derivatives trading for the financial layman--i.e., most of us--under the somewhat deceptive title: Mort Zuckerman: Congress Had a Role in the Financial Crisis.

Why deceptive? Because his coverage of Congress' undoubted responsibility only comes at the end. The explanatory part, the major part, is well worth the read for novices in this field who want to get a handle on the basic idea--or so it seems to me.

Two areas that he doesn't develop enough #1 or at all #2:

1. I think he could have developed the lack of transparency (as compared to futures trading) much more, since it's basic to his overall argument;

2. My impression is that part of what fueled the balloon in derivatives trading was the belief that there would always be a federal bailout in the offing for the biggest players. That was the bet that Goldman made, I suspect, and they won it big time--and not for the first time.

anduril

correct nate. of course, i hesitate to criticize turkey in any way, shape or form since they're the closest regional ally of our (the US's) own closest regional ally. then people would accuse me of all sorts of evil things, along with sibel edmond who warned of turkish shenanigans as a clearinghouse for nuclear proliferators.

anduril

The story I'm pasting in illustrates what has also become a big problem in European countries that have large Muslim populations--the trafficking in under age "brides." Immigrant populations bring their cultures with them. Muslim cultures include the desire to squelch all criticism (see my link to Pam Geller, above) and other unsavory practices:

Alleged child-bride marriage stuns Nigeria (Senator marries 13 year old)
Fox News ^ | 5/1/2010 | AP

From FR: Posted on Sat 01 May 2010 11:46:29 AM CST by AngieGal

The marriage took place at one of the Nigerian capital's most recognizable landmarks, under the golden dome of the National Mosque in front of an audience of the elite.

But the recent wedding of one of the Muslim leaders who brought Shariah law to Africa's most populous nation is under scrutiny as human rights groups say he married a 13-year-old Egyptian girl.

As authorities investigate Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, the marriage is drawing fresh questions about the role of religion in a country of 150 million people split between Christians and Muslims.

Yerima, 49, arranged the marriage with the girl after paying her family a $100,000 dowry, according to a complaint filed by the Nigerian Human Rights Commission in April. Initially, Yerima couldn't arrange a visa for the girl to travel from Egypt to Nigeria, so he instead brought the girl through neighboring Niger, said Chidi Odinkalu, a lawyer who works for the open Society Justice Initiative.

That leaves Yerima open to human trafficking charges, as well as possible child-sex and endangerment charges, the lawyer said.

Captain Hate

What are the Turks whining about? They didn't do dick to help the Bosnian muslims in the 90s other than NATO participation. As it was, I was pretty much opposed to Slick bombing the hell out of the Serbs from high altitudes (and conveniently blowing up the Chinese embassy in a wonderful display of the red-nose predator's "smart diplomacy") in a conflict that was primarily ginned up by the MSM lying out their asses on the extent of the casualties (somebody has to explain to me some day why the media hates the Serbs so fucking much). I guess it turned out ok in that Ledeen keeps reporting how much the Bosnians and Kosovars are pro-western (although I've also heard about a lot of Orthodox churches being completely trashed which the MSM would conveniently ignore as not fitting the narrative) but hearing the Turks making noise about this makes me want to reclaim Constantinople as a long-term goal.

anduril

Oh, bombing Serbia was part of the super smart Neocon strategy that would prove to Muslims that America was their friend and we'd all live together happily ever after, and Muslims would be happy allies of everything else we did.

nathan hale

That was one of the instances that I found the hypocrisy of even the so called liberal hawks, like Misha Glenny, who was arguing for exactly this sort of operation, all through
the 90s, in the Times, the Review of Books, et al. but when Kosovo came about, then it
was an aboutface. In retrospect we know now
the KLA had much more extremist ties, to
Iranian and Salafi elements, some of them
welcomed into Europe, by our 'good friend'
Peter Galbraith

Clarice

Doug Ross has a good timeline for the GUlf oil disaster:
http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/05/obamas-katrina-illustrated-timeline.html>Good job O man

Captain Hate

Well, despite my gut feeling of being against helping out rock worshippers, the Bosnians and Kosovars seem to be a significant cut above the Wahabbi nutjobs and their perv ilk. And I still can't understand why those congressional idiots decided to rub the Turk's noses in the Armenian genocide from out of nowhere (and yes, I realize the Turks have been real a-holes on not owning up to something that obviously happened; I just don't know where the idiots like Pelosi and Reid decide to make a big deal about a non-current event last year, although maybe I just answered my own question).

anduril

The idiots running our foreign policy also thought it would be a good idea to stiff the Russians, traditional allies of the Serbs. That was just the beginning of the decline in our relations with Russia which are now causing us so much discomfort. Far better to have let the Serbs and Croats do their partition.

Boatbuilder

Clarice--while you were posting the Doug Ross piece--which is excellent--I was posting an equally brilliant but considerably less supported piece arguing the same thing. (Which of course disappeared somewhere).

Where the hell were the Feds? Shouldn't Napolitano or Salazar have been coordinating with the other federal agencies, the military, and major oil companies to get damage control underway--and as rapidly as possible?

"With a quick solution to shut off the spill looking out of reach Friday, the governement and the oil industry struggled to contain the resulting slick and keep it from shore. The American Petroleum Institute alerted members that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wanted advice from the industry on how to manage the spill by the end of Friday....On Friday evening the National Guard was mobilized to assist in the cleanup..." Thats from TODAY'S WSJ--well over a week after the thing blew.

No leadership--just blame everybody else. Unbelievable.

Frau Einundachtzig

"God knows how many people will have to be liquidated -re-educated this time around; an actual inconvenient truth.
Captain, Billy the Bomber Ayers has been waiting for this day since he first dreamed of the liquidation, er, re-education camps. Social Justice --a long time coming, man.

Frau Einundachtzig

Not to worry. Pres.Ray di Tutto has ordered the wisest of his wise advisers to report to him in four weeks with a report on how to prevent this type of disaster from happening again, evah.

Janet

I think Billy the Bomber Ayers has made enough money. Nice house, wealthy neighborhood, speaking fees, book royalties, wealthy parents...yep, he's made enough.

Frau Einundachtzig

Yippee! I just participated in the latest Rasmussen poll by telephone. Too bad the same questions will not be on the ballot.

Janet, you are so correct about Billy the Bomber, saved by his rich father from paying his debts to society.

Janet hasn't made enough money

Frau, that is my new mantra for everyone..."I think you've made enough money."

Captain Hate

Social Justice --a long time coming, man.

Bingo, Frau; plus I think little Billy still gets flushed and agitated by the prospect of a racial civil war. A deep thinker he ain't.

Ignatz

--A deep thinker he ain't.--

No but he writes a corker of an autobiography.
Sometimes he even writes his own.

Clarice

In other immigration news, hordes of litigation lawyers are descending on the Gulf Coast.

rse

LUN are some pictures from today in Greece.

The protesters are throwing molotov cocktails at the police.

Not enough money in the world to bail out this mindset of entitlement.

Frau Einundachtzig

Our local McClatchey newslette quoted a Greek as saying that the Greeks had a rather negative view of the Germans because they work too hard. (lol The joke is that today's Germans are resting on earlier generations' laurels.)

Frau Einundachtzig

Clarice, those immigrating lawyers may cause the edge of the Gulf to capsize.

JM Hanes

anduril:

"The explanatory part...is well worth the read for novices in this field who want to get a handle on the basic idea--or so it seems to me."

Thanks for the Zuckerman article which was, indeed, very helpful. I'm such a novice that I didn't actually realize that derivatives = futures. Good thing I stick to commenting on self-evident economics in these threads! JOMFolk are great about taking the time to answer a lot of pretty basic questions.

Clarice

Frau, OMG! And I think when that happens New Orleans will be in China.

Melinda Romanoff

JMH-

Technically, a share of stock is a derivative of proprietorship.

The explosion in OTC derivatives arose due to two primary factors, both based on driving quarterly earnings (P&L sheets of each "desk" in the big box banks).

The first being the nature of OTC (over-the-counter) trades, they are private, unregulated transactions and, therefore, carry no legal restrictions on fees (generally 8.5% is the legal cap).

The second derives from the first, the privacy of the transaction and its unregulated nature means the standards for marginability, usually governed by the Federal Reserve under Reg T:

"T 12 CFR 220
Credit by Brokers and Dealers
Governs extension of credit by securities brokers and dealers, including all members of national securities exchanges (See also Regulations U and X.)" More on FRB regs here, if curious.

In this scenario, due to the OTC ebvironment, the margin required for each transaction met no standards nor minimums and frequently, due to a firm "netting out" the cost versus other similar transactions already on the books, used no cash at all.

A HUGE house of cards.

And now here we sit, not addressing the problem, because Congress is too dependent upon the cash flow from this type of trade.

Rick Ballard

"Not enough money in the world to bail out this mindset of entitlement."

Nope. The Greeks just hired Lazard rather than Credit Suisse to handle the "reorganization". I tally that as a win for SocGen and a loss for DeutscheBank. It's also another bullet in the chamber of the gun held to Merkel's head.

It's rather interesting that the Greek demos doesn't want a bailout almost as badly as the German people don't want to give them one. Thank goodness the EU and IMF are available to throw $159 billion (from where?) into the Greek money pit in order to...

Prolong the agony?

Melinda Romanoff

rick-

geriatric kick-the-can.

It only goes inches down the road.

Spain is going to contribute 4B euros? From where? Portugal 800M? who are they kidding?

This is going to be a huge disaster.

Thomas Collins

Rick, I have been tardy in responding to your questioning my exclusive focus on GSE reform in a prior financial thread. I acknowlege that I could be accused of "nothing but-ism." However, I think Congress has to start somewhere, and that the type of discipline that would be needed to be shown by lawmakers in focusing on the GSEs might spill over into other areas. In other words, start with GSE legislation and move on from there. One step at a time, and legislation that focuses on a specific issue (I know, I sound naive, but at some point it is going to become clear to Congress that it must become serious).

I realize that there is no hope of taking a serious look at financial reform until the GOPers regains control in Congress, and that many GOPers are as prone to listen to credentialled morons as Dems.

Clarice

I think it is preposterous to think Greece will change with the infusion of new money--or Portugal or Spain or Italy or California.

Thomas Collins

Clarice, with the sovereigns, the governing phrase is not "too big to fail," it's "too profligate to succeed."

Pagar

New money may not change the UK, but a Eureferendum post shows voter Fraud could.

" The officer at the council showed me his computer screen to validate my details, what was then immediately noticeable that some moderate sized houses on my road had 40-50 registered voters registered to them which were at most able to accommodate 8 people."

Elections there are only a few days away.

Rick Ballard

TC,

Perhaps we disagree only upon the starting point. Mel's post above highlights the area where I would hope to see a beginning. When the Wall Street sporting house and casino operators received an exemption from regulation in '98 for CDS and other derivatives due to the fact that "only a very limited number of highly sophisticated players" would be involved it created an opportunity that was exploited straight through to failure and bankruptcy by many very "sophisticated" collection of highly credentialed morons making huge bets with other peoples money.

That would have been a very instructive outcome had not the Wall Street bookies laid off their bets with insurance bookies who did not possess the resources to pay off without turning to the public fisc. The actual argument might be that starting with the GSEs is more appropriate due to their attachment to the public teat from inception but I would have to think about that a bit more as we watch the EU sprint off a financial cliff without any help whatsoever from a GSE.

Derivatives and complex structured finance deals designed to obscure rather than reveal are common to both the US and EU as aspects of the crisis (as is evasion and avoidance of compliance with the Basel II accords). That's my main argument with beginning with them rather than with the GSEs.

Thomas Collins

Rick, I would be fine with reform starting with derivatives and structured finance deals, especially if folks like you and Mel were driving the bus. Perhaps I'm cynical, but I fear that the last thing the folks who are actually driving the bus will consider is the best framework (a la Hayek) for folks to pursue their moneymaking activities.

bunkerbuster

Katrina marked the beginning of Bush's political demise. This oil spill will probably mark the beginning of Obama's rebirth...
Much in the same way that Katrina came just as other key points:Iraq and the economy, were turning south for Bush, this oil spill comes just as the economy is righting itself and the war in Afghanistan is stabilizing...Wagers, anyone?

Ignatz

--Much in the same way that Katrina came just as other key points:Iraq and the economy, were turning south for Bush--

Huh? GDP growth continued for over three more years after Katrina and 2005 was shortly before the Iraq war was turned around via the surge.
But I am curious as to why you think Barry needs a rebirth, especially after his signal triumph of Obamacare.

BTW bb, despite your amazing ability to form an erroneous opinion on nearly every issue I'd like to recognize and compliment your relative equanimity and lack of vituperation.

Rick Ballard

TC,

I'd pass in a heartbeat. I have no interest whatsoever in promulgating regulations to attempt to control thieves seeking access to the Treasury, whether via FASB, Basel II? or SEC. I note another "peace in our time" announcement re Greece. It appears that the EU does not have sufficient means or structure to bail out a very small and economically insignificant member. Thank goodness the IMF (with the US Treasury providing 17% of funds) is available in order to maintain the Greeks in the style of profligacy to which they have become accustomed.

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