WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

President Kumbaya calls in the military

I thought if we just negotiated without preconditions, everyone would be our friends?

Maybe not.

TARP Inspector General: Obama has nationalized the housing market and is re-inflating the housing bubble

He said it, not me:
To the extent that the crisis was fueled by a “bubble” in the housing market, the Federal Government’s concerted efforts to support home prices risk re-inflating that bubble in light of the Government’s effective takeover of the housing market through purchases and guarantees, either direct or implicit, of nearly all of the residential mortgage market.

HT: Calculated Risk

Volcker NYT Op-Ed on bank reform

I came across this:
The phrase “too big to fail” has entered into our everyday vocabulary. It carries the implication that really large, complex and highly interconnected financial institutions can count on public support at critical times. The sense of public outrage over seemingly unfair treatment is palpable. Beyond the emotion, the result is to provide those institutions with a competitive advantage in their financing, in their size and in their ability to take and absorb risks.

As things stand, the consequence will be to enhance incentives to risk-taking and leverage, with the implication of an even more fragile financial system. We need to find more effective fail-safe arrangements.
Read the whole thing. Volcker had better watch his back.

Some nerve

The man who killed capitalism now wants to sell you his story.

Totally not gay Afghan men keep getting anal gonorrhea

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

If he put that in a PowerPoint presentation, he could win a Nobel Prize

Osama bin Laden is a global warmist:
The talk about climate change is not an intellectual indulgence. Rather, it is a reality. All of the industrialized countries, and especially the large ones, bear the responsibility for the crisis of the greenhouse effect. Most of them, though, rallied around the Kyoto accords, and agreed to limits on emissions of harmful gases. However Bush Jr., and Congress before him, rejected this accord in order to please the large corporations, which are themselves the ones responsible for [market] speculation, monopolies, and the rise in the cost of living. And they are behind globalization and its tragic consequences. Then, when these criminals' own evil deeds did them in, the heads of state rush to rescue them with public funds.

Noam Chomsky was right when he pointed out that there is a similarity between the policies of America and those of mafia gangs. They are the true terrorists.

He digs Chomsky, too! Groovy, man!

Iceland Update

And some attempt to compare/contrast Iceland's financial problems with the US's.
"Iceland, Or Size Matters" from AutomaticEarth blog.

Movie remakes



Angry drunken dwarf Robert Reich blames Fox News for Clinton's 1994 midterm losses

... only problem is that Fox News didn't exist in 1994.

HT: Instapundit

Chrissy "Tingly Legs" Matthews is still obsessed with Obama's race

This is just embarrassing.

It's clear that he's a race-obsessed nutjob who projects his bizarre obsession onto the rest of the country. But even given that, most nutjobs are smart enough to keep their dark sides quiet in a public setting. The fact that he would spew this nonsense on national TV speaks as much about his total lack of self-awareness as about his issues with black people.

Why priests shouldn't have to be celibate

Because doing your own S&M just isn't the same:
Pope John Paul II regularly whipped himself with a special belt and signed a secret document saying he would resign if he became incurably ill, a book published today discloses.

It had long been rumoured the Polish-born pope, who died five years ago, engaged in acts of penance and self-flagellation.

Did anyone else get this really strange email?


that's THE printer finger
don't you forget it.




FROM THE DESK OF : DR BEN S BERNANKE,
MONETARY POLICY AND PRINTING DEPARTMENT,
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK BOARD OF GOVERNORS
WASHINGTON, DC UNITED STATES OF AMERICA .

DEAR FRIEND,

I am Mr. BEN BERNANKE, Manager Printing Department FEDERAL RESERVE BANK ( F.E.D.) Now i have the intent to contact you over this financial transaction worth the sum of Two Trillion Three Hundred Million United States Dollars ($2.3t)for our mutual benefit.


this is an abandoned fund that belonged to one of our foriegn customers who died along with his entire family through plane crash disaster since few years ago.


meanwhile i was very fortunate to come across the deceased file when i was arranging the old and abandoned customers file inoder to sign and submit to the entire bank management for an official re-documentation and audit of the year against 2010. be informed clearly that it was stated in our banking rules and regulations which was signed lawfully that if such fund remains unclaimed till the period of some yaers starting from the date of death of the customer,the money will be transfered into the bank treasury as an unclaimed fund.

As an honour and advantage bestowed to our foriegn customers base on the rules guiding our bank, it was stated obviously that if you are not a citizen of Carribean Banking Centers,you have the absolute authority to claim the fund hence you are a foriegner despite your differences from country oforigin of the deceased.



on the transfer of this fund into your account,(40%) will be your share in respect of the account provision and your assistance rendered during the transfer of the fund into your bank account,(50%)will be my share being the coorfdinator and pillar of the transaction while the rest (10%)will be shared to the respectable charity homes which has been my second dream to be of help to humanity.

Now,if you are really sure of your trustworthy,accountability and
confidentiality on this transaction without dissapointment, reply with the assurance, come up with the information showed below.

1)YOUR FULL NAME............................
2)YOUR AGE...........................
3)MARITAL STATUS............................
4)YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER.............................
5)YOUR FAX NUMBER............................
6)YOUR COUNTRY............................
7)YOUR OCCUPATION............................
8)SEX............................
9)YOUR RELIGION............................
10)YOUR PRIVATE E-MAIL ADDRESS............................
11) YOUR SENATORS PHONE NUMBERS.................

YOURS FAITHFULLY,

BEN S BERNANKE

Please your respond with your current address and telephone number to me again to
enable us move swiftly and use my private e-mail address thus: geithnersbitch2001@yahoo.co.jp

Rival Economics Theories Battle It Out In Rap Video

Keynes vs. Hayek.
This video's a good one! It's been making the rounds on the information superhighway.
HT: NL


Obama to forgive government workers' student debt; stick your children with the bill

This is insane:
He proposed instituting a cap on student loan payments for people carrying massive debt. Payments will be limited to 10 percent of income. Obama also said the program will forgive remaining debt after 10 years of payment for public-service workers and 20 years for everyone else.

Another huge giveaway to the fatcat public employee unions at the expense of future generations. So you take out a $70,000 loan for a four-year liberal arts degree, then get some government job paying $40,000 a year. You pay only $4,000 a year, which barely even covers the interest, and then after 10 years the debt is just piled onto the national debt with the other trillions.

Nice work if you can get it.

Zimbabwe on the road to repair?

Thanks to ending its central bank.

HT: Ex-SKF

Greenspan's Body Count: mortgage broker Neal Jacobson kills his family

As the Senate prepares to confirm Greenspan's unholy disciple to a second term as Fed chairman, the bodies keep piling up.

Today's episode of Greenspan's Body Count is the tragic story of the Jacobson family of Wellington, Florida:
Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies say that [Neal] Jacobson crashed his SUV near his home in the gated community of Isles in Southern Florida, and when paramedics responded they found him covered with blood, and ammunition in the car, according to CBS affiliate WPEC.

A sheriff's spokesman said that Jacobson then "told paramedics he had killed his family." Deputies raced to Jacobson's home and found his wife, Franki, 53, and 7-year-old twins, Eric and Joshua shot to death inside.

[...]

Jacobson, a former mortgage broker, was on the board of the local Jewish Community Center and from the outside his family was the picture of harmony and love, Katz told WPEC.

"Something snapped, maybe the pressures of the economy, something caused Neal to snap," Linda Katz, Dr. Katz' wife, told WPEC.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 122.


Neal Jacobson
Franki Jacobson
Eric Jacobson
Joshua Jacobson
Vincenza Garcia
Bill Sparkman
Debra K. Gibbs
Otis Beckford
Carol Kennedy
Diane Ward
Edith Moreno
Diana Moreno
Scott Peters
Tom Blackmore
Kevin Daniel O'Connell
Julie Fay
Wallis Fay
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Charlene Abendroth
J.D. Wood
Cynthia Wood
Aubrey Wood
Dillon Wood
Betty J. Lipply
Dwight Deely
Linda Patrick
David Kellerman
Christopher Wood
Francie Billotti-Wood
Chandler Wood
Gavin Wood
Fiona Wood
Gil Weber
Gregory Graham
Randolph Graham
David Kelley
Ramona woman
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Ana Lupoe
Brittney Lupoe
Jaszmin Lupoe
Jassely Lupoe
Benjamin Lupoe
Christian Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Adolf Merckle
Mike Upham
Randy Motts
Kristy Hunt
Joseph Nesheiwat
Tom Brisch
Alex Widmer
Brian Pugh
Marilyn Lewis
Sid Agrawal
Kirk Stephenson
Barry Fox
Dallas Dwayne Carter
David Hetzel
Sharron Hetzel
Cliff Kendall
Pamela Ross
Roland Gore
Mrs. Gore
Wanda Dunn
Karthik Rajaram
Subasri Rajaram
Krishna Rajaram
Ganesha Rajaram
Arjuna Rajaram
Indra Ramasesham
Joe X
Isabelle Jarka
Robert Wagner
Lt. Michael Howe
John Roberts
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Ed Boesen
Edwin F. Rachleff
Carlene Balderrama
Troy VanderStelt
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Thomas Lizotte
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Salvador X
Lupe X
Jade X
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Kashmir Billon
Bill McMurtry

Lisa McMurtry
James Hahn
Raymond Donaca
Deanna Donaca
[redacted]
[redacted]
Michel Veillette
Nadya Ferrari-Veillette
Marguerite Veillette
Vincent Veillette
Mia Veillette
Jacob Veillette
Maurice Pereira
Natasha Pereira
Mark Achilli
Raed Al-Farah
Andrew Kissel
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw
Mr. Pierce
Walter Buczynksi
Marci Buczynski
Jason Washington

Too Light Vs. Too Heavy. Which is Funnier?


Bush and his upside-down children's book?

...OR...

Obama bringing to a 6th Grade classroom his full-on, standard "Historic Speech" setup (sans Greek Columns), including two teleprompters, a Presidential podium with the actual Presidential Seal (not the fake seal Obama used during his campaign), and a special circular rug for Dear Leader. Can you blame him, though? His audience was 30 6th graders. If that tough crowd had heckled him like they did during his MA appearance/speech designed to boost Coakley's chances in MA, how else would he have gotten himself back on track? Any politician knows; teleprompters are key for talks with 6th Graders....



There's no defending either of these guys!

Jr. Deputy Accountant makes Time Magazine

Well done, JDA!

In an otherwise vapid and fawning Bernanke puff piece, Time Magazine twice links Jr. Deputy Accountant.
Now that Bernanke has gotten us past the crisis, inflation hawks and doves alike are trashing him for unbalancing the Fed's "dual mandate" to stabilize prices and maximize employment. The mostly right-leaning hawks rail about Helicopter Ben, Zimbabwe Ben and the Villain of the Year, whose cheap printed money is driving us to hyperinflation.

I do believe that's also the first time the name "Zimbabwe Ben" has been in the mainstream media (though it has been at the Fed's doorstep).

Wall Street Journal: Bernanke sucks!

Even the mainstream business media are seeing it:
The Fed chief promised, said Mr. Reid, that he would "redouble his efforts" to make credit available and that Mr. Bernanke "has assured me that he will soon outline plans for making that happen, and I eagerly await them."

Redouble? The Fed has already kept interest rates at near zero for more than a year, and it is buying $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities to refloat the housing bubble, among other interventions into fiscal policy and credit allocation. Is the Fed going to buy another $1.25 trillion, or promise to keep rates at zero for another 14 months?

Mr. Reid's declaration of a confirmation quid pro quo will not reassure global investors who already fear that the Fed lacks the political will to withdraw its historic post-crisis liquidity binge soon enough to avoid new asset bubbles.

Our own view is that Mr. Bernanke is already far too susceptible to political pressure. As a Fed governor, he was Alan Greenspan's intellectual co-pilot last decade when their easy money policies created the housing mania. When Congress later put political pressure on the Fed to direct credit toward housing, and even to student loans, Mr. Bernanke (who was then chairman) also quickly obliged.

More ominously for the next four years, Mr. Bernanke continues to deny any Fed monetary culpability for creating the mania. Shortly after the New Year, even with his nomination pending, Mr. Bernanke issued an apologia that was striking for its willingness to play to the Congressional theory of the meltdown by blaming bankers and lax regulators. We won't rehearse our decade-long monetary argument with Mr. Bernanke today—see "Bernanke at the Creation," June 23, 2009. But the chairman's refusal to acknowledge any mistakes is one reason the dollar is so weak in global capital markets. Investors are hedging their bets in commodities and nondollar assets.

Zimbabwe Ben will likely win confirmation because he is not an independent nor serious Fed chairman. He's sucking up to Congress, promising to print as much as they want.

Does anybody have Bernanke's email address?

There's someone I'd like him to meet on Craigslist (NSFW)...

Hussman on fire

We linked to John Hussman's market outlook over the weekend.

Now check out his plan for financial system reform:
1) Immediately vest the FDIC (or other regulator that has a strict consumer-protection mandate) with the authority to take receivership / conservatorship of distressed bank and non-bank financial institutions, including bank holding companies, in the event of insolvency.

2) Require a significant portion of the capital of bank and non-bank financial institutions to be in the form of convertible debt (contingent capital).

3) Abandon the misguided and dangerous notion of "too big to fail" by making regulatory receivership / conservatorship a credible threat, and encouraging insolvent financial institutions to exercise the option of voluntary debt-equity swaps as an alternative to regulatory intervention.

4) Approve the Volcker Rule.

5) Prohibit the use of credit default swaps except for bona-fide hedging purposes.

6) Require the originator or arranger of securitized mortgage loans to retain a substantial unhedged equity exposure to every securitization deal.

7) Recognize that "toxic assets" remain on bank balance sheets. They have merely (and most probably temporarily) been written up, in an environment where FASB rules provide "significant discretion" in the valuation of these assets, and where "off balance sheet" assets will not be required to be brought onto balance sheets until first quarter reports are released.

8) Discharge and replace Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner.

Anybody got a problem with any of that? Click on over and read the whole thing.

Arrogance is in Ascension

President Obama on why the political effort to nationalize health care this year is different, and more likely to succeed, than when the Democrats tried it n 1994:

This time, "You've got Me".

Lest we forget

Bernanke: There's No Housing Bubble to Go Bust
- headline, Washington Post, October 27, 2005

HT: Jeff, commenting at JDA

UPDATE: OMG, check out the video of the babbling idiot bubble denier.

It hath been prophecied

1/28/07: McCain-Feingold to face new and improved Supreme Court

I hope this loss is at least as hard on Old Man McCain as his landslide loss to a empty suit with no experience.

Emails Reveal Fed's Bailouts Are Treated as "National Security"

From Reuters via DrudgeReport:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.

[snip]

The new batch of emails, along with others that have become public in recent weeks, reveal that some at the New York Fed had gone to great lengths to keep the terms of the bailout private and the SEC may have played a role in contributing to some of the secrecy surrounding the AIG rescue package.

In another email, a New York Fed official said the SEC suggested in late December 2008, that AIG file the document under seal and then apply to the regulatory agency for so-called confidential treatment, if central bankers wanted to stop the information from becoming public.

The emails were included in the mountain of documents the New York Fed turned over last week to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which will hold a hearing Wednesday into the AIG bailout and the New York Fed's role in trying keep the specific terms of that Fed-engineered rescue in November 2008, from being made public.

"The New York Fed was orchestrating what can only be characterized as an extreme effort to ensure that details of the counterparty deal stayed secret," Rep. Darrell Issa from California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said through a spokesman. "More and more it looks as if they would've kept the details of the deal secret indefinitely, it they could have."

[snip]
But this latest round of emails reveals that it was an official with the SEC in December 2008 who recommended that AIG and the New York Fed could seek confidential treatment for the Schedule A document as an alternative to making the entire document public.

[snip]
The emails also discuss that BusinessWeek magazine had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the document and the confidential treatment request was a way of dealing with that and other possible requests by the media for the document.

More Evidence Stimulus $ Was Poorly Spent

Could the $787 Billion wasted on political patronage and projects of questionable merit have instead been enough to hypothetically buy 1 of these for each of the 128 million commuters in America (price point would have to be around $6,000 per)? If not, even I would go along with putting Unions at the front of the line for free Stimulus Bill "Puffins". Just get these things built, fast! Please! Somebody! Instead of useless make-work jobs, think of the increase in productivity that would result from masses of Puffin-Commuters bypassing traffic!
The "Puffin"! "A plane in every garage".

HT: Scientific American

Bet you wish you got returns like this! (+ Dirty Fed tactics)


Pic credit: WCV himself
who once sent this to me with the caveat:
"I was thinking of emphasizing her stature. See attached."

So much win.



The TARP banks got a 6% yearly dividend from Fed "profits" just months after TARP and again after the Fed declared an amazing $46.1 billion in "profits" less than 2 weeks ago. Not just the TARP banks, any Fed-supervised bank required by law to hold Fed stock got a piece. That means Citigroup, JP Morgan, Bank of America... shall I continue?

To put this into perspective, Microsoft declared a 13 cent quarterly dividend at the end of Q4.

To make it even juicier, nutjobs like SF Fed's Janet Yellen are saying the Fed should pay interest on bank reserves held at the Fed - you know, all the cheap easy money the Fed is sitting on for the banks, which the banks are subsequently stuffing into Treasurys. Aren't they already planning on doing that? $$$$$ = "come get some before it's gone" so hope you got some before it turned into $$$$$$$$$$$$$. If accounting has taught me anything, it's that you cannot net indefinitely.

Funny, I always thought Yellen was a psychotic money-printing asshat but now that I think about it, isn't she the one who was all for the Fed issuing its own debt and thereby bypassing the Treasury "middle man"? She might be onto something (seriously, she suggested it, not me). Pretty soon she'll be saying the Fed isn't returning a penny of "profit" to the Treasury. Oh who cares, they'd just buy T-bills with it anyway. Could Janet be some kind of Monetarist Savant with the secret weapon to cripple the Treasury? Don't run my hipster ass over if you see me trotting down Market St, Janet, let's talk about this F-bill idea of yours. We'll get matching L12 tattoos, I already have one.

Christ, I've turned. We really are doomed.

The banks probably consider this a "convenience fee" for doing the Fed's dirty Treasury-buying business on their behalf:

The Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 originally authorized the Federal Reserve to begin paying interest on balances held by or on behalf of depository institutions beginning October 1, 2011. The recently enacted Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 accelerated the effective date to October 1, 2008.

Employing the accelerated authority, the Board has approved a rule to amend its Regulation D (Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions) to direct the Federal Reserve Banks to pay interest on required reserve balances (that is, balances held to satisfy depository institutions' reserve requirements) and on excess balances (balances held in excess of required reserve balances and clearing balances).

The interest rate paid on required reserve balances will be the average targeted federal funds rate established by the Federal Open Market Committee over each reserve maintenance period less 10 basis points. Paying interest on required reserve balances should essentially eliminate the opportunity cost of holding required reserves, promoting efficiency in the banking sector.

Banking really is the greatest business. So, dear Obama, if you're ready to go after the banks, I think it is clear which Bank you really need to be going after. Ask your homie Paul Volcker and I'm sure he can at least give you a hint. If not, I just wrote it out for you.

You're welcome.

Lady GaGa Butterface

After seeing Lady GaGa's "LoveGame" music video / lesbian pr0n, I decided to write a song parody called "Butterface."

Too late. Somebody beat me to it.

Downfall



From TNOYF.

Debauchery of Currency via Unlimited Backstopping of Fannie & Freddie

Yes, Treasury gave Freddie and Fannie a 3 year long unlimited backstop just before Christmas. You all were paying attention at that time, right? Who doesn't love a good Christmas Eve Treasury Department Press Release hung by the chimney with care?

Some insight on the numbers involved, the very specific reasons why the author believes that action was unconstitutional, and a good deal of criticism of the Fed and Treasury, can be read at Hussman Funds. Here are 2 paragraphs from the article titled:

Timothy Geithner Meets Vladimir Lenin

This policy is likely to lead to far more delinquencies. Whether it will lead to far more foreclosures depends on the nations' capacity and willingness to shoulder multiple insolvencies in order to protect bondholders, mortgage our national wealth to China and other large purchasers of U.S. Treasuries, or alternatively, massively inflate away the dollar value of the underlying loans. The much-vaunted TARP money that has “profitably” come back to the Treasury is a tiny sliver of what has been committed to defend the private bondholders of financial institutions from losses. Either the debt we create to save these bondholders will stand as a claim on our future national production and a diversion of our ability to spend public resources for the benefit of the public, or we must inflate it away. There is no third option. This does not deserve legislative discussion?

What is likely, in my view, is that we will observe far greater issuance of government liabilities, which will predictably create a near doubling of the consumer price index in the coming decade (though probably not for a few years due to credit concerns, which dampen monetary velocity). It is notable that the massive expansion of government liabilities beginning in the late-1960's eventually exploded into uncontrollable inflation by the late 1970's. There are lags between the creation of government liabilities and their inflationary effects. But to expand these liabilities as recklessly as the Fed and Treasury are now doing is to undermine the long-term foundations of the economy.

HT: HussmanFunds.com via Catherin Austin Fitt's Solari.com

Addendum: W.C. here. I'd encourage everyone to read the full Hussman piece as it has important insights on the inflation/deflation debate that so fascinates me. Hussman reinforces my view, and the views of others like Michael Panzner, that we will have a dollar collapse a few years out:
What is likely, in my view, is that we will observe far greater issuance of government liabilities, which will predictably create a near doubling of the consumer price index in the coming decade (though probably not for a few years due to credit concerns, which dampen monetary velocity). It is notable that the massive expansion of government liabilities beginning in the late-1960's eventually exploded into uncontrollable inflation by the late 1970's. There are lags between the creation of government liabilities and their inflationary effects. But to expand these liabilities as recklessly as the Fed and Treasury are now doing is to undermine the long-term foundations of the economy.

It is commonly argued that we cannot observe inflation with unemployment so high. In my view, this is a misinterpretation of A.W. Phillips (1958) analysis. While the famed "Phillips Curve" was described as a relationship between (nominal) "money" wages and unemployment, the British data Phillips used was from a period when Britain was on the gold standard, and the general price level was extremely stable. Thus, any wage inflation observed by Phillips was actually real wage inflation. The Phillips Curve is simply a standard economic argument about relative scarcity. It says that when the labor markets are tight, nominal wages rise faster than the rate of general inflation (i.e. real wages rise), and when unemployment is high, nominal wages rise slower than the rate of general inflation (i.e. real wages fall). As we observed in the 1970's, high unemployment can exist in concert with high rates of inflation. All that happens, in that case, is that wages tend to rise slower than prices. Assuming labor productivity is growing as well, real wages don't keep pace with productivity growth. In any event, unemployment emphatically does not prevent the inflationary consequences of reckless creation of government liabilities.

Quote of the Day

Go on, Congress, show us who really pulls your strings and confirm [Bernanke] already so we can sniff out the traitors.

- Jr. Deputy Accountant

Boxer Attempts to Change Tricks

Today Barbara Boxer decided it was time for a new trick. The SENATOR who regularly orally satisfies both Union and Wall Street Johns alike has decided to take up a new kneeling position in an attempt to maintain 6 more years of coosh income with perks. In an extreme about face that indicates her pimps are not treating her very well, she has stated this:
I have a lot of respect for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke," Boxer said in a statement. "When the financial crisis hit in late 2008, he took some important steps to prevent what many economists believe could have been an even greater economic catastrophe.

"However, it is time for a change -- it is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed. Dr. Bernanke played a lead role in crafting the Bush administration's economic policies, which led to the current economic crisis. Our next Federal Reserve Chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past."

See Babs, the thing is that the population voted in change over a year ago. What the Democrats did was not change but continue the policies of the previous administration times 3. In the process the economy has gotten worse, the middle class is still earning less, unemployment keeps rising and yet, yet the folks who cheated the worst on Wall Street also happen to be paying out massive bonuses financed by the taxpayer.

But the real point of contention I have with your statement is your suggestion that the Fed played a "lead role" in crafting the Bush administrations policies. See the Fed is supposed to be non-political. It is supposed to provide monetary policy outside the political machinary so that it is not influenced by the machinary. Or so goes the theory. To suggest the Fed and Bush were somehow working together on monetary policy means that the mandate of the Fed has been violated. If you believe Bush influenced the Fed then the Fed needs to be dissolved and the country's monetary policy needs to be returned to where the Constitution mandates it reside, with Congress. If Bush can influence a mafia syndicate of banks then so too can you.

The Fed is an illegal organization that's purpose is to control and steal wealth from the masses. I'm thrilled you are voting against Bernanke but horrified at your reasoning and lack of understanding.

I wish you swift and complete defeat in November.

Clever video of Babs and Jack.

What a romantic gentleman


Circulating through the poker world was a bill adorned thusly. I'm not suggesting you email this guy and make fun of him or pretend to be a stripper named Me-an, but I'm also not not suggesting that.

Prop 8 supporters get their panties in a bunch

... over a photoshop.

I ♥ Obama

... his bank reforms at least.

I was skeptical this morning, but the plan announced today is awesome.

It's called the Volcker plan, named after the one Obama economic adviser who's not in the pocket of Wall Street. It would require banks to split off their speculative trading divisions from their taxpayer-guaranteed, Fed-subsidized traditional banks. It would also finally limit leverage at the largest banks.

Finally, after a year of corruption and incompetence, Obama gets around to the obvious solution to "Too Big to Fail."

Denninger is also thrilled, and Mish supports the plan.

Who's against it other than the Wall Street crooks? The Wall Street crooks' Congressional and Treasury puppets, of course. Barney Frank and Timmy the Tax Cheat.

UPDATE: But if banks can't buy crap assets with cheap government funding, who will the FDIC (government) dump its crap assets on? Ever get the feeling you're watching the very last stage of a giant Ponzi scheme?

Is Something Wrong With Obama's Neck?

Say what you will about Obama. But I've been wondering about this since 2004 and I just need to finally pose the question:

Is there something wrong with Obama's neck?

Check him out. I think he's always striking this most seemingly contrived "profound leader" pose because of some unpublicized neck muscle problem that causes his head to tilt back, and face slightly (or even severely) skyward. No wonder he wants Health Care Reform so badly. He might need a doctor. Or maybe his olfactory nerves are overly sensitive, causing him to constantly be smelling something putrid. Is he perhaps trying to fit in with the snob crowd? Or is there an epidemic going around in the photographer community that causes photographers to shrink by about 3 feet?

After doing some CSI-style original forensic work, I can now submit this collage for your consideration on this important issue:

To honor his 1-year anniversary, Obama to make his first sensible policy proposal

Breaking up the Too Big To Fail banks.

OK, the details will probably be way less sensible than that, but we can dream, can't we?

UPDATE: Denninger's not buying it. As he points out, we've heard all this before.

A Coakley Joke?

We can make some kind of Coakley joke out of this video can't we? C'mon people..."split the vote"? Anyone?

The Big Oil Contango




(h/t Michael Panzner for mentioning this in a recent chat which I am doing on Going Concern this week and next. The dude rules and Financial Armageddon is still one of the greatest literary works of our time. *fapfapfap* right? I love it, so what)

Really? Can you believe ships are loaded up with oil and just sitting there at sea rocking back and forth?

Hell, I no longer know what I believe.

Contango trade is profitable if the spread is wide enough to cover the costs of holding crude stocks, namely storage and working capital. Such stocks are discretionary stocks built or drawn in response to prices, and particularly in response to the forward price curve.

Discretionary stock building occurs “disproportionately” in the US Northeast, particularly around New York, and in Northwest Europe, especially in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam (ARA) area where the world’s two active product futures exchanges, the NYMEX and the International Petroleum Exchange, are based.

I have no idea what that means.

Wait, got it.

With on-land tank farms getting full, the discretionary stocks turn to oil tankers for floating storage. According to research by Gibson Shipbrokers, one in twelve of the world’s largest crude oil tankers are being used to store oil rather than transport it.

Now what in the hell could anyone be storing oil for?

It's cool, all commodities are kind of whacked out right now because of government intervention and, subsequently, sovereign debt concerns. Duh. I could totally see why that might be relevant.

Half empty, half full

A realist would say, "We have so misjudged our mandate that we can't even come within 100,000 votes against an unknown candidate in the overwhelmingly Democratic state of Massachusetts."

An optimist would say, "We can't win them all."

A focus group on what went wrong:

IT'S OVER! BROWN WINS!

From the Coakley-endorsing Boston Globe:

Republican Scott Brown tonight pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Massachusetts political history, defeating Democrat Martha Coakley to become the state’s next United States senator and potentially derailing President Obama’s hopes for a health care overhaul.

The victory caps a dramatic surge in recent days as Brown, a state lawmaker from Wrentham once thought to have little chance of beating a popular attorney general, roared ahead of Coakley to become the first Republican senator elected from Massachusetts since 1972.

With 73 percent of precincts reporting, Brown had 53 percent and Coakley had 46 percent.


Miracle in Massachusetts!!!

Early returns have Brown +7. Drudge seems to have the most recent updates.

UPDATE: 2/3 of the votes in, and Brown is still up by 6 or 7 points. Put a fork in this turkey; she's done!

Revenge of the Fingerists!

A big Left Coast Thank You to the people of Massachusetts! You've honored your ancestors, Sam Adams and the OT's (Original Teabaggers).

Wear brown tomorrow to celebrate!

Can't Break a Filibuster? Oh, Poor Liberals: Always moving the goal posts in the middle of the game

Barney Frank wants to change the rules of the Senate. Why? Well 60 votes to break a filibuster is just too large a requirement for them to meet in order to ram their Nationalized Health Care bill through. Frank says, "God didn't create the filibuster". True, Barney. And God didn't create closed-door Senate negotiations and trillions of dollars of debt, either.

On a serious note, Frank decries the fact that the "Smaller states's" Senators are always ganging up into blocs and filibustering. Listening to his reasoning, and to that of the host of this show, he is suggesting that we re-visit the very Bicameral Legislature Compromise that settled a major disagreement during our Constitutional Convention, one that could have de-railed the entire process had it not been resolved. It's what paved the way for our Constitution to be ratified. The question of Small States' versus Big States' legislative representation was settled a long time ago, Barney.

Is it a coincidence that there is regular discussion going on nowadays (amongst politicians as well as amongst citizens) about some of the very foundational elements of our Constitution?

HT: Breitbart.tv

Obama's First Year, by the Numbers

This comes, shockingly, from the AP.

A by-the-numbers look at Obama's first year.

HT: Breitbart.com

Death is not an Option- revisited

Which would you rather choose as punishment for your misdeeds?

1) Being handcuffed to a chair at the Opening Night performance of 1 of the 3 (three!?) Musicals being staged about Obama (Frankfurt, Germany's "Yes We Can", London's "Obama On My Mind", and Nairobi's "Obama: The Musical")?

...OR...

2) Being strapped into a Clockwork Orange style chair, with your eyes forced to stay open, while you watch either (your choice) the Chris Matthews-hosted MSNBC special called "Embracing President Obama's Vision for Change" or the Chris Matthews-hosted MSNBC special called "Obama's America: 2010 and Beyond" which is billed as "an extended discussion surrounding race and post-racial identity."

While you're thinking it over, Let's all laugh a bit as we watch the drones laugh at us.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Not Big Enough to Fail


True, there were many ups and downs in his career, but all things considered, the phrase "Not Big Enough To Fail" certainly fits Doug Flutie, the diminutive former Boston College, USFL, NFL, CFL, and NFL (again) Quarterback. I noticed him in the background at a Scott Brown rally on the news. Sure enough, here he is endorsing Brown.


Après le deluge



An omen for a Massachusetts miracle tomorrow?

Cognitive dissonance


You don't trust the government but you support the man who is bringing about the biggest, fastest expansion of government power in history?

No really, is there anything else you want?




I was only half-joking when I asked the question on JDA tonight:

Anything else you care to put in for, America?

Here are some other really great moves we've made in the last, oh, two or so years:

You wanted new credit card rules? You got them and it puts the consumer in the yoke.

You wanted a Stimulus bill. You got it and it hasn't done shit for you.

You wanted hope and change. You got more billion dollar Wall Street bonuses and bullshit from Washington.

You wanted accounting reform. You got tricks around it.

I'm not angry or anything. I didn't bother looking for a different picture, the one I picked the first time was totally appropriate. Seriously, what else do you people want? Your track record kind of sucks.

(Sorry, WCV, I know you hate the swearing - pffft - but maybe I am angry. At least I refrained from F-bombs. It pisses me off)

Buchanan Ponders US Debt's End Game, As We All Should.

Pat Buchanan, the sometimes hard-to-figure Hamiltonian, lays out some straight-forward questions about America's budget decisions, debt, deficit, and the various political implications of certain decisions regarding each. He suggests Obama's caught between a rock and a hard place. I've been trying to imagine our debt's end game, myself. I don't think it'll be pretty.

At WorldNetDaily, Buchanan asks, "Is America's Financial Collapse Inevitable?"
[snip] With that share of the U.S. national debt held by individuals, corporations, pension funds and foreign governments having risen in 2009 from 41 percent to 53 percent of GDP, Penner and Walker believe it imperative to get the deficit under control. Unfortunately, it is not possible to see how, politically, this can be done.

Consider. The five largest elements in the budget are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense and interest on the debt.

[snip] The Party of Government is not going to cut health benefits for its most loyal supporters. Indeed, federal costs may rise as state governments, constitutionally required to balance their budgets, cut social benefits and beg the feds to pick up the slack.

[snip] Is this Democratic Congress, which increased the budgets of all the departments by an average of 10 percent, going to take a knife to federal agencies or federal salaries, when federal bureaucrats and beneficiaries of federal programs are the most reliable voting blocs in their coalition?

[snip] How does one stop the exploding national debt from surging above 100 percent of GDP?

America is the oldest and greatest constitutional republic, the model for all the others. But if our elected politicians are incapable of imposing the sacrifices needed to pull the nation back from the brink of a devaluation or default, is democratic capitalism truly, as Francis Fukuyama told us just two decades ago, the future of mankind?

What the looming fiscal crisis of this country portends is nothing less than a test of whether this democratic republic is sustainable.
I think Pat's forgetting something very simple: Radical Marxists don't care about budgets or political implications.

Zillow is retarded

Many homes in coastal north San Diego County show a crazy spike like this on Zillow:



Sure. It was worth $400,000 in June, but somebody would have paid over $500,000 for it in October. But now it's worth $400,000 again.

More evidence something's happening in Massachusetts?

First, someone actually had the guts to heckle Obama at his MA rally for fellow thief Coakley!

Other stories from DrudgeReport paint a picture of the Democrat party both realizing it might lose the Senate seat despite all its efforts to manipulate the State laws, at Ted Kennedy's personal request, to guarantee the seat to the Democrats in 2010, and looking forward to flexing their corruption machine's muscles if Brown wins.

Mass. vote could threaten health reform...

And how about this next one? No shame. No shame at all.
MSNBC Host: I'd Cheat To Keep Brown From Winning...

CNN: Obama advisers believe Martha Coakley will lose...

Dem Congressman predicts 'very slow count'...


'Race is in a spinout'...

Anyone interested in what "Mr. Reliable" has to say?
Jim Cramer: Brown Win Tuesday Causes Huge Stock Rally...

There's something happening here

Alfonzo Rachel reports from Massachusetts. Part 1 and part 2.

Flippers unclear on the concept: 2038 Cambridge

In Cardiff-by-the-Sea (Encinitas), CA.

Asking price for a 732 square foot shack on a tiny lot that some dumbass paid $1.05 million for at the peak of the bubble in 2006? $1.095 million.

Dude, you're embarrassing yourself. Just give it back to the bank.

Yay religion

AP: Haitians praise God after apocalyptic quake

Personally, I wouldn't want to encourage the guy.

America Rising



We warned you.

Gee, I wonder what the AP's position on ObamaCare is

From a news story on Obama campaigning for Coakley to save ObamaCare:
The United States is the only major developed nation that does not have a comprehensive national health care plan for its citizens. About 50 million Americans are without health insurance. With unemployment rising, many Americans are losing health insurance when they lose jobs because employers provide health care plans.

The United States is also the only major developed country where the President cut a backroom deal with Big Pharma to force Americans to pay higher drug prices than any other people in the world.

The United States is also the only major developed country where the President cut a backroom deal with trial lawyers to prevent any limitation of medical malpractice lawsuits.

The United States is also the only major developed country where non-union employees face a big new tax on their health care benefits, while union members would be exempt.

The United States is also the only major developed country where a one-party government is trying to ram through a massive nationalization of an entire sector of the economy over overwhelming public opposition.

Funny how the AP saw fit to include only one of these facts in its "news" story.

Late night linkies

I spoke with National Review columnist Kevin Williamson last year about how FHA is the new subprime, but just tonight saw the resulting post here.

And more on the Japan/US/inflation/deflation theme here from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

Sharks with laser beams



What a country!

Creepy IMF Googlers: Part 2 - GSE Injections



That sounds filthy, first of all, and you should see the kind of crap I get in the middle of the night from all over the world. "GSE Injections" Come 'ere and let me show you my off-balance sheet items...

Nevermind.

So we caught them once before checking out "accountant counts bodies" (ewww you make my skin crawl, now you see why Tim Geithner still sits on their Board) and they're at it again, this time coming to JDA looking for these "GSE Injections" that sound so unintentionally dirty.

They end up reading some Richmond Fed economists' take on GSEs promoting default. I'm not sure if you heard but the Treasury can essentially do whatever it wants with TARP at least until October of this year. Imagine what that encourages if a bunch of economists are right.

And also, IMF, it is not spelled "govnerment"

Even "Smart People on the News Stations" don't know who the Founders were

MSNBC's morning show had a good old elitist laugh at Glenn Beck's interview with Palin. The question was, "Who's your favorite founding father?". Palin says she likes all of them, but settles on Washington as her answer eventually.

MSNBC's brilliant (sarcasm) elitist Mika Brzezinski, daughter of Carter Administration National Security Adviser and anti-Isreal guy Zbigniew Brzezinski, is so stunned by Palin's attempt to answer the question, that she had no words once the video clip was over. Then as the rest of her MSNBC crew starts to answer the question for themselves, Mika chimes in with her favorite Founding Father. Who does she choose as her favorite (just before the 1:00 mark)?

"Me? Lincoln, but ok."

Lincoln? Since when is he a Founding Father? Is there some unknown "other" Lincoln from the Revolutionary War period that I don't know about? Is it too elitist of me if I laugh loudly at miss Mika now?

Mercer Condos - Rent Them Cheap

One of our favorite wiping posts is the fabulous Mercer Luxury Apartments. This is the housing development in downtown Walnut Creek that gives you the San Francisco experience, well really just the cost, 30 miles from San Francisco.

We've written numerous posts on the absurdity of paying say 1 million dollars for a 3 bedroom condo that also comes with a $500 HOA fee.

Apparently the home-buying population agreed with us as the condos were turned into rental units except for the unlucky few that actually purchased. We call them suckers.

Today's update is about an ad posted on Craigslist for one of the rental units. Love the pukey ad title.


$600 deposit?? These developers are getting a little desperate don't you think? By the way, I'm pretty sure that picture isn't Walnut Creek.

UPDATE: just got back from a lovely dinner in the urban suburban setting of Walnut Creek and confirmed that the picture above is NOT Walnut Creek. The lamp posts that Walnut Creek has are different. How lame is that ? Come rent with us because we pay marketing firms for really "cool" pictures to advertise with.

Natives getting restless now

Ben Nelson heckled in restaurant over ObamaCare support.

The Dirty Fed told FASB and SEC not to crack down on banks' Enron-style accounting

... in 2004, when the bubble could have been stopped before it got so out of hand.

Read it over at JDA.

Jobs "Saved or Created" to be renamed "Created or Saved"


Well, not really. But Obama is finally getting rid of the idiotic phrase/category of jobs "Saved or Created" by porkulus/stimulus money. [Say, how are we liking the other new phrases he's given us, like "man-caused disaster" and "overseas contingency operation" so far, anyway?]

Just how fraudulent is Obama's method of counting jobs as "saved or created", you ask? Well, you see, he likes to count jobs that already exist as jobs that he personally "Saved or Created".
In other words, if the project is being funded with stimulus dollars – even if the person worked at that company or organization before and will work the same place afterwards – that’s a stimulus job…
I, like the rest of us, learned from the mainstream media that Obama Created the Earth and the United States, and Golf Carts, but I'm now even more impressed by his powers. This power to create something that already exists is, frankly, a phenomenon I hope the scientists at the CERN particle accelerator will test soon, as soon as they're done locating the imaginary and non-existent Congressional Districts into which millions of dollars in real Stimulus Money actually went. (Word is they hope to create the first man-made black holes there, but no one has the heart to tell them that our Congress beat them to it almost 100 years ago when it passed the Federal Reserve Act).

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is saying the Stimulus Money had a "truly stunning effect" and created 2 million jobs, and it has "done exactly what we anticipated it would do".

So, you anticipated 10% unemployment, while at the same time promising that the Stimulus Bill would prevent unemployment from going over 8%? At this point, the notion that the destruction caused by Obama's economic policies is not intentional is looking more ridiculous every day. If our citizens do exactly what I anticipate they will do, it'll be fun to re-calibrate the Democrats' sense of what is "truly stunning" this November, won't it?

Why the U.S. is not Japan

Japan has seemed to me for some time to be a pretty good model of where the U.S. might be heading. 20 years after the peak, Japan's stock market is still down 70% and property values are down by similarly horrifying amounts.

Given this Japanese roadmap, who on earth would buy overpriced California real estate just a few years into the U.S. bust?

Prompted by an e-mail exchange with the always wise and friendly Patrick of Patrick.net, I found this:

Japan deficit may expand to 2% of GDP by 2012

Two percent??? Is that a typo? We are running deficits around 10% of GDP (thank you Obama $787 billion porkulus that created or saved approximately zero jobs), with not even a pipe dream of ever getting the deficit below high single digits even 10 or more years out! Granted, the Japan article is talking about primary deficits (meaning excluding interest costs), but in the U.S. interest makes up only a couple hundred billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit.

Japan isn't the roadmap. Zimbabwe is.

No thanks; I think he's getting the hang of it

How I learned to stop worrying and love the bubble

I did it. I went out and took out a huge honkin' mortgage to buy an overpriced house.

Yep, me. W.C. Varones. Lifelong renter, perpetual doomsayer.

Why? Because there is no exit strategy. Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have sworn to destroy the dollar in order to reinflate the housing bubble.

They will stop at nothing. They will bulldoze vacant houses to shrink the inventory. They will offer free citizenship to foreign buyers to stimulate demand. They will take more and more bad bank debt onto the Treasury's books. They will print infinite amounts of money to buy mortgages, Treasuries, Goldman Sachs CDOs, whatever it takes.

You can get a government cheese 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5%. Five percent!!! Have you seen the deficits Obama is running? Running deficits at 13% of GDP is not consistent with low long-term interest rates. Taking out a 30-year-fixed is the best way for individuals to short the Treasury. By the back half of your mortgage, you'll be paying it off with Monopoly money. Or Zimbabwe dollars. And if that's not enough, you get an $8000 tax credit just for taking the free money.

If Obama and Bernanke are going to destroy my country and my dollar, I'm at least going to get a free house out of it.

Oh, and I've changed teams.



Go Zimbabwe Ben!!!

Obama front group wants to steal your 401(k) and force you to buy Treasuries: Retirement-USA.org

Meet "Retirement-USA.org." It's a front group made up of unions and leftist advocacy groups:
...the AFL-CIO, the Economic Policy Institute, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the Pension Rights Center, and the Service Employees International Union.

Stroll around the web site and you'll see that the premise is that Americans don't save enough for retirement and some 401(k) providers are bad. As with health care, any flaw in the system is an excuse for a complete government takeover. So their solutions generally revolve around scrappng 401(k)s and forcibly taking money from your paycheck to put into Treasuries.

What to do when China doesn't want buy Treasuries to fund Obama's massive deficits any more? I know! Let's force working suckers to buy Treasuries!

Some of the more aggressive proposals would not only end 401(k)s going forward, but forceably convert existing 401(k) balances to government "annuities" (i.e. Treasuries).

BusinessWeek reports that the Treasury and Labor Departments are already working on this:
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.



JDA and Denninger are on this too, and Skeptical CPA has been all over this for some time.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Contact Us

e-mail: wcvarones *at* yahoo *dot* com

Blog Archive