Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

South Park Explains the Bailout.....

Deja Vu....all over again.....

From the NYTimes 1999 :


"The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation's financial system." ......uh-oh......

"The original idea behind Glass-Steagall was that separation between bankers and brokers would reduce the potential conflicts of interest that were thought to have contributed to the speculative stock frenzy before the Depression. "....ooops.....

And we can blame Senator (R, Texas) Phil Gramm
''The world changes, and we have to change with it,'' said Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, who wrote the law that will bear his name along with the two other main Republican sponsors, Representative Jim Leach of Iowa and Representative Thomas J. Bliley Jr. of Virginia. ''We have a new century coming, and we have an opportunity to dominate that century the same way we dominated this century. Glass-Steagall, in the midst of the Great Depression, came at a time when the thinking was that the government was the answer. In this era of economic prosperity, we have decided that freedom is the answer.''

IBM buys Sun links.......

Sun was shopped Around -says Intel exec:
"Sun was shopped around the valley and around the world in the last few months. A lot of companies got calls or visits on buying some or all the assets of the company. It looks like IBM is in the hunt now. And at a hundred and some odd percent premium, I suspect they'll get it."

What IBMSun could mean for you

"Whats Taking So Long"?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Big Takeover......

An excellent article by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone on how Wall Street he puts it "the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream"

The Big Takeover

Choice Quotes:

Bonuses: " The bonuses are a nice comic touch highlighting one of the more outrageous tangents of the bailout age, namely the fact that, even with the planet in flames, some members of the Wall Street class can't even get used to the tragedy of having to fly coach. "These people need their trips to Baja, their spa treatments, their hand jobs," says an official involved in the AIG bailout, a serious look on his face, apparently not even half-kidding. "They don't function well without them."

Anger: "People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'├ętat. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations."

"AIG is what happens when short, bald managers of otherwise boring financial bureaucracies start seeing Brad Pitt in the mirror. This is a company that built a giant fortune across more than a century by betting on safety-conscious policyholders — people who wear seat belts and build houses on high ground — and then blew it all in a year or two by turning their entire balance sheet over to a guy who acted like making huge bets with other people's money would make his dick bigger."

Congress: "Cassano's outrageous gamble wouldn't have been possible had he not had the good fortune to take over AIGFP just as Sen. Phil Gramm — a grinning, laissez-faire ideologue from Texas — had finished engineering the most dramatic deregulation of the financial industry since Emperor Hien Tsung invented paper money in 806 A.D."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IBM to Buy Sun.....

Heck, maybe the stock price will go up....

CNET:Why it Makes Sense

What the Register says about it: IBM in Talks to Buy Sun

CNET also asks: "Is it a Good Idea?"

Sun's future is offering an open-source stack of software led by MySQL at its core. IBM is all about open source. The two together make a lot of sense and IBM could pull MySQL, Lotus, OpenSolaris, and other parts together in a nice stack. In addition, Sun's open-source software needs distribution--it recently did a deal with HP. IBM has distribution galore.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sarah Palin 2012

Senator Suggests Sepuku for AIG Execs.....

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley suggested that AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.

Yeah baby! And sell the live feed on cable to raise the funds to pay off the losses people incurred in their 401 Ks

Damn right!

Rage at AIG......

Full disclosure here - a family member has an account with AIG - so we really do not want to lose that.... but ....the behaviour that put AIG into the current situation is truly infuriating.

WaPo reports "Rage at AIG"

"Hired guards stood watch outside the suburban Connecticut offices of AIG Financial Products, the division whose exotic derivatives brought the insurance giant to the brink of collapse last year. "

"Inside, death threats and angry letters flooded e-mail inboxes. Irate callers lit up the phone lines. Senior managers submitted their resignations. Some employees didn't show up at all. "

"New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo threatened to issue subpoenas if the company failed to provide details about recipients of the retention payments"

"But company officials contend that the uproar is scaring away the very employees who understand AIG Financial Products' complex trades and who are trying to dismantle the division before it further endangers the world's economy.

"It's going to blow up," said a senior Financial Products manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the company. "I have a horrible, horrible, horrible feeling that this is going to end badly."

"Fed officials also hope to keep current employees with the company. The senior executives whose decisions caused the company's collapse are long gone. Most of those left behind are trying to unwind complicated derivative contracts. Completing that process correctly is essential to preserving as much value as possible for taxpayers, officials at both the government and AIG have argued. If it is mishandled, it could expose taxpayers to billions of dollars in additional losses."

""What's good for AIG is definitely not good for the country," Macey said. "But now that the government is invested, it may have to do what's good for AIG.""

Tax the Bastards!......

Now HERE's a Congressional Bill I can get behind - "New bill would tax AIG bonuses at 100 percent".

Damn Right!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Republicans Really ARE Idiots......

Yeah, news to no one......

In the face of the collapsing economy - what kind of Legislative Bill does the GOP put forward to address our problems?

The "Presidential Birth Certificate Bill" - which requires presidential candidates to present proof of U.S. citizenship before running for office.

Read about it here: "Presdential Birth Certificate Bill" - because ...hey....that's the best the GOP can come up with other than saying "NO" and pushing Rush Limbaugh as their spokesmodel....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Great Disruption......

Friedman nails it.....its all been one Giant Ponzi scheme.

I agree - ever since I was a little kid, it seemed to me that our growth model was unsustainable in the long term....unless we expanded off-world.

The housing bubble was a Ponzi scheme, the Social Security and Medicare is a Ponzi scheme....the World Economy is a Ponzi scheme.

read it here:
Friedman's Great Disruption

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Jon Stewart Sticks it to CNBC.......

Jon Stewart is BRUTAL to CNBC and deservedly so.....
watch it all here.....very funny and very depressing.

SquawkBox and Jim Cramer are shown to be idiots......