Tuesday, September 30, 2008
``The various sectors of the economy are so intricately linked, we need to recognize that the entire economy turns on what happens here,''
The liquidity crisis has spread beyond Wall Street, threatening earnings at businesses from retailers to technology companies. The Treasury's toolkit to protect the financial system is ``substantial but insufficient'' after the $700 billion bailout failed to pass, Paulson said yesterday.
``I absolutely cannot believe it,'' said David Cosper, chief financial officer of Sonic Automotive Inc., the third- largest U.S. publicly traded auto retailer. ``I don't think the House knows what they're doing. We need this, the markets are frozen, banks are being taken over -- it's a crisis. I think they're leaving it in the lurch and going on a break.''
``We are witnessing a most unfortunate and untimely collision of politics and economics,'' Miller said. ``This is not just about Wall Street. It is affecting Main Street. Bold action is required before there is further erosion of confidence.''
What a bunch of Whiny baby's right?.... They don't know anything about buisnsess..... It's all these Wall Street Fat cats...this is good for the economy..... Right?
Monday, September 29, 2008
"The credit crunch is sucking liquidity out of global trade and the shipping business, leaving cargoes stranded on docks"
"The demand for goods is there; there is just not enough liquidity to move those goods around."
"It has happened to us and it is happening everywhere to everyone," he said. "The whole system has come to a state of chaos."
I don't know about anyone else... but I think being unable to ship goods around the world is a problem for not only our, but for the global economy.
But I do hear It's all Ok I hear... this is good to clean out the system.... We don't need Imports or exports... We can survive without them....
No worries The House has adjourned till Thursday..... and you can count that they will be right on top of this... like they have for the 2 years "The market" has been flashing red at them, and they have been ignoring it.
I have faith that once unemployment hits 20% they will do something...
We will be fine, it's a good thing..... I hear.
I hope some of our banks can survive
After over the weekend the 2 largest banks in the country, have failed.... Jeez I sure hope that if that doesn't keep happen. the cascading effects aren't bad..... and don't spread to all the credit unions.
Lets all cross our fingers and Pray.....
Here is the Roll call vote
If things get bad in the next few years...... we can all do some very useful finger pointing at Matheson and Bishop.
No worries, hey apparently they are going to find some stop gap matter to unfreeze the largest credit markets in the world.
Cross your fingers and hope and dream kids....
Sunday, September 28, 2008
An old girlfriend, called me thursday or friday. I guess she wanted to talk about the market. Or not so much, she probably wants to get back together.
Funny I told her she needed to take her 401K defensive last year, and she was all "Oh I forgot, until like June."
What is funny is she was calling me, after she broke up with me.. Last june....
Why did we break up?
Well I'm just a hoot.... I go to bed at like 9pm if I'm staying up late, Get up at 3am. I like to sleep with cnbc on... or not so much like to, but end up doing it. And I take a lot of naps.
Oh... and when I'm not doing all that, I like to watch documentaries.
Beyond all that, I tend to be anti-social... and irritable with people.... Which reminds me. I was out having lunch at a bar yesterday... Well not so much a bar, but one of those stupid "fudrucker" like places, that make my skin crawl. But I'm at the bar, and people try and have conversations with me.
This is what I said in the course of lunch.
I told one person that "When he was in Kindergarten, he must not have learned that lesson 'keeps hands to self' "
Then the bartender, she was talking about how huge her daughter was, but in height and girth. I Told her it was all the steroids in the Meat, and how they grow the cows all big and fat, of course what you feed the cows to, become the same way. "Oh", She said. Then I commented, "you will think "Oh!" when she then develops massive emotions problems, as a side effect. But don't worry they will sell you even more drugs for that.
Yep.... I'm a hoot.
According to reports late tonight, negotiators have (re-)reached a tentative deal on the bailout of the financial system. Full story here, but the gist as follows:
- $700-billion in total
- $350-billion immediately, with some of that earmarked for the insurance initiative championed by House Republicans
- "Reasonable" limits on severance packages
- Warrant coverage
- Some sort of tithing of the financial sector in five years if the bailout isn't profitable
- Government must renegotiate bad mortgages it acquires to try to keep people in houses
- Full text Sunday, as is a House vote, and then a Senate vote Monday
This is the same plan as Thursday... After 3 days of negotiating....... It's the same fucking thing.....
Thank God McSame came in and Got McSame Program.... He Saved us from Himself... and his Tax cuts for the rich and deregulation....
What a Joke
I've been a fan, for most of my life. But it's become apparent to me...... that the point of creating the Thursday disaster by the house republicans, was to create a problem he could solve. And to try and look like saviors... Everything they seem to be working on... seem to be the same things already in the plan.
Even better, it's great that he is a "Hail Mary" player... that he is one of those guys who works himeslf into a corner.... that has to make a desperation move to get himself out of it.....
Charming way to run a country...
"we have moved ourselves onto the brink of WW3.... and now McCain came in... Like a maverick... And saved us from his own Inaction."
Talk about Co-Dependency.
One can hope that Obama is finally some form of reasonable Leader for our country.
I'd just like to see a few years of not being embarrassed by the lack of leadership by our representatives. .... I can Dream can't I?
I was running this morning, and realizing ... that for the most Part... Y'All are used to it. I imagine its worse than usual since, I am so busy, I'm just trying to squeeze these posts in... I can't imagine that some of my Unedited thoughts. Don't involve some Awful sentences that fade into Blather.... Or entire posts..... But I kind of have a ton of affection for you all for Enduring it.
There are those who argue that "These are Free market Capitalists, Let those who live by the sword die by the sword."
but... again we are all in the same boat, and they take us down with them... Unfortunately.
It is Governments job to act as safety net, for all of us. Just as if an uninsured person gets in an accident, it's our societies job to make sure that they don't die.
The last time we had pure Free market capitalism was the dark ages.... "Well that is feudalism, not capitalism".... and yet my argument would be... In a pure free market capitalist system, we would all probably be JPMorgan's Handmaidens, and his spawn would just be spending their time convincing us that they were ruling by divine right.
This is a great video from this week... Just shows how crazy things are:... it starts slow.. then picks up
Don't doubt... there is no magic solution.... Things are ugly, and you can't wave a wand. Tightening belts is a good plan.
But this whole issue makes you realize... House republicans don't see government as safety net... Which makes you ask... "What do they think the purpose of government is?"
As they tried to use the collapse of the banking system to push through MORE DEREGULATION, AND MORE TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY..... it's like they wanted to double down on the same destruction....
And that after 7 days of negotiations.... Suddenly they have a new plan.... As opposed to the usual political sausage making. I also think its funny that the first thing they came out and said was "We Agree, there is a Crisis". It's like being on the short bus.
I also love that you can't get a list of those being obstructionists....
Funny... If we did collapse the entire spine of Free market Capitalism... the good thing would be that when we started again... We could just scrap it and start with socialism. Wouldn't that be throwing it in the face of the douchbag Republicans.... Shows what fools they are.... If you end the Shell game.... they Would end up without a chair....
Another interesting thing... I have a couple friends, who are somehow mad at me.... Because somehow I guess this is a bail out of "Me"... and yet... If you knew traders Like I know the good ones. They don't care. They are happy to make money on the upside or downside.
Most of you probably think less of me.... But I'm the same way. Upside downside... Unfortunately it's about me, I'm here to make money.
My purpose here on this blog the past few weeks, is to try and show a few people what the "correct choice is" Meaning, what I see is the choice that is has the least amount of pain for our society.
Again.... Let me tell you all, My highest probability... What I believe is the most likely thing ... Is that we have the 40 year flood. I "hope" that we, avoid it and that we as People are evolving, and can manage to avoid being what I see as being "Rats in a maze", or Like Kids who haven't been burned by the stove in So many years... We just have to touch what ever that weird Hot thing is. One can think that with the "information age" we can do better.
I "Hope" we can avoid it.... But hope is not an investment Strategy.
It's hard... Sometimes it's the road less traveled, and Making the hard choices.
(Shhhh, Let me let you in on something... It's all ways the road less traveled, and always about making the hard choices ;)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
2 years ago, I was doing my thing... Drinking in a bar. I'm there talking to this Young Lady, and in the middle of all this she receives a phone call. She is talking to someone and trying to get them a loan for a home. During the course of the phone call she keep prompting them. "We are really close, if only you could tell me about something else you have that could help us get across the line, Maybe you have another part time job you forgot to tell me about, or a 401 K." It was clear to me she was Prompting them to lie to her. so they could qualify for the loan. I have no doubt, she doest' have a job anymore qualifying people for Loans. She is one of the "salesmen who made money loaning money to people on homes they couldn't afford, to be packaged into these MBS.
I was working on a job, and we hired some temp workers, one of these guys was selling his home because he had qualified for a home that after the ARM reset, he couldn't afford it. ... Well He lost his house. He is one of the "speculators who caused this problem"
A friend of mine Purchased an investment property for 2 Million, When he was going through the process he was amazed because everyone in the process knew that he could qualify for any amount of money, all he had to do was Lie about it. Fortunately, though he has lost a tremendous amount of value in the property, he could still afford it. Because he didn't over extend himself. But the mortgage broker, the Realtors... Those guys are out of business now.
I just saw a Moveon.org advertisement, and I saw democracy now Last night. All of this plays out like we are going to Bail out Goldman Sachs, and that the guilty parties aren't being punished. It seems to me that the Thousands of mortgage lenders, The Brokers, the Salesmen, the Irresponsible Borrowers. Many of the bad banks, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers,.... Have imploded.
But there is a Domino affect, These aren't Fat cats being bailed out, It's our economy. It's trying to get the lifeblood of the economy going again, Lending. Sure there has been too much lending, and it's contracting. But who is going to get the Loans in this Contraction? Rich people. People with 680 Credit, BlueCollar people trying to buy a home, Small business' trying to buy some new equipment to expand, or even to stay current on bills.
Imagine what would happen if your car broke down, and you didn't have credit to pay the mechanic to have it fixed, and ended up losing your job because you kept being late because you couldn't pay for the repairs, until you saved some money.
There is so much blame to spread around... and it's valid... But so many of the bad actors have taken the pain, and will continue to lose homes, and lose jobs.
If history is any reflection, Banks can sit and not loan money for years, and it could cause a Serious contraction in the economy The likes of which we haven't seen in decades. Or we can help the banks Recapitalize. And get some reasonable credit going in the economy.
It's not just the "goldmans Sachs" in this economy who are responsible for the problem, there are tons of people we all know and care about who were responsible, and who have and are paying for their mistakes.
It's obvious to me that we very much want to cut our noses off to spite our faces and it's the most Probably outcome, because we don't realize that this decision is whether or not we will Make this economic pull back even worse, that it needs to be.
We want to punish the guy with the Top hat in the Monopoly game, with the Cigar.... he is a Myth, and with contracting economics, and credit.... It is that kind of fat cat who will survive, and who will be first in line to get credit. It wont' be the average Joe..... Goldman Sachs happens to be a Bank, and we are going to try and recapitalize the banks.
I can argue the points of the Rescue plan till I'm blue in the face, As originally proposed, the goal was not just to buy MBS but to even buy loans from credit unions, thrifts, and regional banks. That is the goal. Who knows if in the Sausage making that is our legislative process, if suddenly we will only be buying loans from the bad actors.... But things aren't perfect... I'm a big kid, I can accept that things aren't perfect.... the important thing is that we get some credit flowing into this system. And help the banks Help us.... They do it to make money, and if the government doesn't help them, there is no chance they can help us, to rebuild the economy.
I'm sorry I keep going on about this, But this is the Classic Economic mistake. To make a foolish economic decision based on some Idealistic notion about punishing the guilty... We are all in this boat together, and there are enough bad actors that have been punished and will still be punished. The question is How many Innocent bystanders are going to lose jobs for these Idealistic notions. How many Automechanics, chicken pluckers, High school kids working at sonic, do we want to punnish. All the while trying to punnish "Goldman Sachs"... Who BTW will never pay.... They will fire some people as the industry contracts... But they will never pay... and neither will the "Huntsmans, the Levitts, and the Numerous 'Fat cats' "... those guys in the monopoly game.... are so far ahead of the game, they are untouchable.... But the Little guys trying to get home loans arn't, they are the Pawns in this game.
Friday, September 26, 2008
"We are still active in the restaurant industry and we continue to quote deals where it's competitive and appropriate," White said. "In this environment, we're taking a longer look and even a closer look than we have in different times and that just makes sense."
Certainly" don't cry for me" that there won't be more Sonic restaurants. My point is it's spreading beyond Lehman brothers and Goldman Sachs.
The act was pioneered by Senator Reed Smoot, a Republican from Utah, and Representative Willis C. Hawley
After the economic downturn and crash of 1929, Smoot Hawley was enacted and it was a Very Popular move, Enacted by our Legislative branches.
When running for president in 1928, one of Hoover's many campaign promises to help beleaguered farmers had been to raise tariff levels on agricultural products.
A petition was signed by 1028 economists in the United States asking President Hoover to veto the legislation, organized by Paul Douglas, Irving Fisher, James TFG Wood, Frank Graham, Ernest Patterson, Henry Seager, Frank Taussig, and Clair Wilcox. Automobile executive Henry Ford spent an evening at the White House trying to convince Hoover to veto the bill, calling it "an economic stupidity".J.P.Morgan's Thomas Lamont said he "almost went down on my knees to beg Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot tariff,
(Interesting parallel as every business leader in the country and economist of any repute is begging our government to do something to Re-liquify banks Right now. Volker, Greenspan, Pimco, Jack Welch, Clinton, and even Paulson fell onto one knee to beg for passage.)
In the opinion of most economists, the Smoot-Hawley act was partially responsible for the severity of the Great Depression.
Unemployment was at 7.8% in 1930 when the Smoot-Hawley tariff was passed, but it jumped to 16.3% in 1931, 24.9% in 1932, and 25.1% in 1933.
For those of you who don't understand, I'm drawing a parallel between PASSING Smoot-Hawley........ and NOT doing everything we can to help Re-Liquefy banks right now.
Sometimes we take action because something is very popular by the voters, or Don't take action because something is unpopular. To disastrous results, It is expected that sometimes for our legislative branch to Rise above politics and do what is best for the country, regardless of it's popularity. Sometimes the best decisions are not popular. As the minority opinions against the war in Iraq have shown, and we are lucky if our politicians can take the heat for the correct decision as opposed to the Popular one.
What is going on is this....
the stock market is the stock market, and well, it's just crazy, It tends to be the worlds largest gambling Parlor.
The Credit markets right now..... Well the only way a loan is being made, is that people are buying government bonds, then the Federal reserve is then Loaning that money back to the financial institutions... Which Make your Credit cards work, The ATM's, Umn..... Allow Money to flow from One bank to another.
But, the nasty thing that is going on is that, companies that need to borrow money short term are paying between 7-30% for it. You think your credit card rates are expensive, those are the rates Legitimate companies are getting, Like GE, John Deer.
Long term rates are 5-8%, Boeing is paying 6.25% for a 6 month bond.
Imagine the rate you would pay if you were a 15 person business in salt Lake, It would be such a high rate that if you just needed to borrow money for 30 days until you get some invoices payed, If you could get credit, you would pay big for it, and you arn't a "Wall Street" guy being bailed out.
Lehman brothers just failed, the guys who worked to build these nightmair MBS' Those guys have jobs, they always will. The traders got jobs from Barklayes, The people who suffer are the Tellers at Washington Mutual, who's branch just went under. Or the Small business' who can't get Credit.
I can buy into the Machiavellian arguments, I'm a huge fan of Darwin. but this is neither, We all pay in this downturn, and it's not those who Messed up, who pay.... it's the people who "the shit runs Downhill to". The people smart enough to create these problems, are smart enough to get out of the way.
But... We are all in this boat together... Never forget that...
Too many people think that somehow "Let Do" economics will pull it's way out of this. We may have to prove that it's a mistake. There is a reason that we don't live in a pure democracy, some issues are very complicated, and need study to understand the consequenses. Thats where those idiots we elect come in. And they are fools.
The republicans that are revolting are the young ones, the ideologues, the ones who don't believe in moderation.
I'm a realist..... we are extremely stupid, we want to see a protracted economic downturn.... It's been to long since we experienced one.
There are a million possible plans, but our legislative branch has sat on their hands as the fuse has been lit on this. They have done nothing for 2 years as this has unrolled, warned repeatedly as time ticked on.
Now like Little kids, when the chips are down, and when the "men" need to step up and make the hard choices. The little irresponsible republican babies, have run back to their mamam's to suck their thumbs, and wont' live up to the hard choices that need to be made.
INDECISION IS DECISION.
The people who are trying to pull back from this don't have a plan, don't want to negotiate... in fact they seem to think they can take their ball and go home. This is the most irresponsible thing possible.
Besides My bet that we are fools.... I'll also bet that this is a game to have "Superman McSame" to come in and rescue them.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
He said some very sobering things. In no way was he as measured, as the treasury secretary or our fed chairman.
Today, Though I hear this being quoted:
"Bailout could deepen crisis, cbo chief says"
I was stunned, I didn't remember this part of the testimony.... only I read it and realize there is a word there...COULD... "Could deepen"
Lets look at some of the other things he said: This is from His blog
Severe credit crunch could have devastating effects on Economies.
In sum, the problems occurring in financial markets raise the possibility of a severe credit crunch, which could have devastating effects on the U.S. and world economies.
There is that Could Word again..... What is the rest of that.... Devastate????.... My word... What could it Devastate... U.S. and World Economies.
In a WSJ story he is quoted.
Prices of some assets are below their fundamental value
In the current environment, though, with short-term financing difficult to obtain, the arbitragers have difficulty stepping into the market. “It is therefore at least possible that the prices of some assets are below their fundamental value,”
Orszag said.ok.... again... that word is "possible"
Now, here is another story :
A watchdog agency says Washington's plan to rescue Wall Street will eventually cost "substantially less" than the often-quoted amount of $700 billion US.
"The administration probably will spend that amount of money buying bad debt from ailing financial institutions," said Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, a federal agency that examines and criticizes various government proposals.
"[But] the government would sell the acquired assets and thus generate income that would offset at least much of the initial cost," he said in testimony Wednesday before the U.S. House of Representatives' budget committee.
So.... As the economic game of brinkmanship goes on, as Taxpayers revolt at the idea of providing liquidity to Banks. Don't doubt, this game is serious. The affects are serious... I don't know what plan is the right plan... but the banks need to be recapitalized before they can start lending.
and banks can wait for decades to do it on their own, as they have during every deep economic contraction.... they are not here to provide the economy with credit, they are here to make money.
If Government wants them to "help the economy", The government needs to help them.
But I'm sure the solution the Republicans just offered: "Tax cuts", you insure the MBS, More Deregulation.....
Don't worry, McCain will come to save the day.
Bill Heard Enterprises Inc., one of the nation's larger Chevrolet retailers, went out of business on Wednesday, the latest victim of turmoil roiling the domestic auto industry and its vast dealer network..
A slew of domestic-brand dealers have been forced to close by the combined impact of tanking truck sales, soaring fuel costs and the national credit crisis.
Domestic brand dealers across the U.S. are becoming increasingly strained as Detroit's auto makers and their once-profitable financing units move quickly to cut losses, making it tougher for customers to get financing and more expensive for dealerships to operate
Yep.... Sons of Bitch WALLSTREET FAT CATS.
There is a factor of car companies being stupid, I'll admit.... I keep trying to point out that wall street has taken a ton of lumps. This stuff Trickles down to main street. There are now a few thousand Auto mechanics, and salesmen without jobs.
But.... yep We will show these Wall street fat cats.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
In 1971, Vietnam and unpopular president.... We decided to punish the "fat cats" who ran the companies and were taking advantage of us. In reaction our legislative branches implemented "price controls" which Caused an economic death spiral of price/Wage spirals, in a feedback loop that pushed us through 10 years of what was an economic depression. from 1971-83
It is these Misguided, Populist reaction to a crisis.... is what causes the 40 year flood.
to not realize "The fat cats" and the economy and your job... are disconnected.
Credit markets aren't good today. it's all about what happens over the next 5-7 days.
President Hoover is going to address everyone..... That is super scary... I wish he would throw himself onto his sword.
So, this "rescue package" for our economy... is going to cost you $3000.
What are you going to get:
We are buying assets, and besides the assumption that we will buy a bag of empty rocks, we will be able to resell them possibly at a profit. Some suggest treasury borrows at 3% and some say the federal government could make 15%. Net profit 7%,
Well there are chances it won't cost you a dime For that $3000 you could end up making Money in the long term.... that is optimistic... we all know how government works.
there are people who say it's all a conspiracy to skrew you.
Here is what else you get:
Pilgrims pride, needs to raise some short term money right now. And can't do it. Today the shares were halted. without that short term borrowing, they will be unable to pay employees and could Collapse as a company in the next weeks.
Yep those Wall street fat cats, that put chicken in packages and sell it to you at the Grocery store...... Yep... Those "WALL STREET FATCATS" selling you chicken... need to be punnished right?.... Well there are a few thousand more people that won't be able to pay their bills.
Well we will show them.... Damn Fat cats working in a Chicken processing Factory Pulling feathers off of chicken...... YEP..... MAKE THEM PAY....
Just this week it announced it was cutting 100 jobs, in addition to 600 positions that have already been eliminated at its El Dorado, Ark., plant. The move, the company said, was to help shore up costs and return to profitability.If the creidt markets lock up this will only be one of the first, it will spread like a plague.
This stuff scares me..... I think we could honestly cut off or noses to spite our face. We could all do it just to screw President hoover..... All because he comes off like the little boy who cried wolf....
well the wolf is here, don't doubt it.
Warren Buffett said we were lucky to have Paulson as treasury secretary..... But what does Buffett know. "He is just one of those Wall street fat cats, trying to skrew us."...
There is so much populist sentiment. People need help.
People think about "The market" as stocks. This Crisis is not about stocks, Though if you help the problem. The result is to help the companies in this country that provide jobs. But this is not important. I don't care if Pepsi benefits.
There is an entire different part of the market called the credit market. Part of how it works is like this:
A company like, REI goes out to the credit market, and borrows 200 million for 2 years, to build a new store, that store provides jobs for people like you and I Gets us health care etc. After 2 years they may go out and borrow more money to start a new store, or they still need 100 million to keep business going.
What is going on, is that that credit market is trying to stop. There is no confidence in that system. So, what will happen is that When REI comes back to borrow money to stay in business. They can't do it. there is no money to borrow. So.... What do they do? Close stores.
That company closes stores, then it's employees can't pay their bills. This causes more pressure on the economy. More companies close, More pressure on the economy, More companies close.
The second important part of that market is that it's used to provide you with Credit. The loan on your home, was processed through that market, The credit card in you pocket is processed through that market. If that Market locks up, Nobody will be able to buy a home for a while. and worse you could get a call from the credit card company.. "Sir, we have closed your account. You will no longer be able to borrow any more.". You may not be able to borrow money to buy a car. Small business loans will be hard to get.
SO... as much in support of "POWER TO THE PEOPLE" and kill the Fat cats.... No Bailouts... to call it a "wallstreet" bail out, isn't quite fair.
Having a working credit market is good for everyone.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Before you say "Stick it to the bankers" Realize, it's the fact we have a liquid credit market... well That is the blood that keeps our economy moving.
They need to take pain, but you need to be isolated from that pain....
it's the fine line we are trying to walk.
Stick it to the bankers..... But we need to not cause 12% unemployment. cutting our nose off to spite our face.
Today one of the senators said the Paulson and Uncle Ben were like deer caught in the headlights.... I've followed this for quite a while... it's "us" who are the deer caught in the headlights..... For over a year, our legislative branch has been warned and warned about this, and they haven't done a thing, besides cut a check to every citizen in an election year
And the Uber Fat cats came in at the end and Cleaned up.
What it is to be a "Fat cat" is to always win.... And they will.
Monday, September 22, 2008
So, *drum roll*
"Starship Troopers 3:Marauder"........ AKA "Mechwarriors Meet Jesus"..... OR "Mechwarriors ARE JESUS!!!"
I'm not recommending this movie in any way, But if you are curious about how Mechwarriors can be Jesus.... YOUR FATE IS YOUR OWN.
I have said... This is a BAD movie, and don't think it will be anything but.
My HRM the battery died. It's a cheepo, and Polar wants me to send for it to be serviced.
I emailed them and asked what the battery was, and that I wasn't about to spend $40 servicing a $80 watch.
They sent me a form letter saying "send it to be serviced"
I Flamed back this Scathing Email, about how I asked about the battery, and said I refused to "have it serviced". How I was Insulted that they Ignored my specific request. And again said "I'm not servicing an $80 for 40."
I'd assume some of you have had them serviced. Many just use Generic HRM's.
So, they respond. "This is the battery" Don't do it. It has to be sealed(like i'm unfamiliar with silicone). It only costs 14.50, Pluss Shipping and handling.... which is.... About $20... Warranty Smorenty.
so.... I was off by $6.30
And worse, I'd have to run around find an envelope, and go through all that bullshit.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
“There are no atheists in foxholes and no ideologues in financial crises,” Mr. Bernanke told colleagues last week, according to one meeting participant.
Good old Art. Calls out Paulson as one of the "Robber Barons" on Wall street. There is a great Rumor going around, that paulson didn't care about the collapsing Wall street, until his former company... and I bet significant amounts of his holdings in Goldman Sacks went from $160-$70 Dollars per share. Like I've been saying, Wall street is going to contract, whether it wants to or not.
One of the interesting thing I have found, is that among the people who I believe are in a constant state of attempting to "Pick your Pocket" and constantly Nickle and dime you financially every day of your life. There are 2 Types of them.
- The Supply Side, Republican Corporate Welfare Types. Who Believe not only in Free Market Capitalism, But also that Government is put here to help Companies to make money. All with the Altruistic purpose of Giving you a Job. It's nice that they are so kind to Chain you to a Desk, and put you to work making them money..... All Hail to the Aristocracy!!!!!
- The Pure Market, Black Helicopter crowd/Gold bugs. These guys are Psyched to see the whole system Collapse, and Then Swoop in with the Gold they have stashed in the Fall out shelter, with all the guns. And buy up all the assets of the country with 4 ounces of gold. Of course our constant Socialism, and intervention in healthy Free markets, has collapsed the system.
I tend to fall more in the later camp, Companies need to fail, Stock markets need to go down, Our System needs to stop using Inflation, to Backstop Banks, and Backstop the stock Market. Corporate CEO's are lazy incompetent Imbeciles, who circle themselves with yes men. The only reason they make money is because we have no handle on inflation, and though the companies manage to make 5% per year, the 20% of Hidden inflation, actually means that most companies are contracting 15% per year.
And, here is the Problem with Laissez-Faire capitalism, at the end of the game of monopoly only one guy has the money. There are arguments that it's the earlier regulations that cause the problems. But, it's fairly agreed on, that it's the "Laissez-faire" deregulation, that has lead to this problem.
Here is the problem, This all can't collapse. If we allow this system to collapse, it will be a Replay of "the Great Depression" 30-40% unemployment, You lose your home, and spend your time roaming around the country trying to find enough work to keep your family fed.
the other choice is to set off 20%-30% inflation over the next 5 years, You keep your job, and your home, Gas doesn't get Much more expensive(maybe a bit), but it doesn't get cheaper. You get to buy less, We start to learn how to Conserve resources, We get to Eat less, cook in more, The new generations will probably dream of home ownership, for a few years.
Burning the whole system down and starting anew, is appealing... and coming out the other side, we would be much healthier. But my Easter Philosophy side though says.... We need some Yin With our Yang. Maybe a combination or some middle ground.
As Kurtz said in Apocalypse Now "I watched a Snail Crawl along the edge of a straight razor".
The Razor's Edge is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham written in 1944. Its epigraph reads, "The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard." —Katha-Upanishad.
We all Walk a fine line between Heaven and hell. I hope we all successfully navigate the grey waters of Life.
that is the other half glass....
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Let me say... financially these have been interesting times. I know most of you are busy "Mowing your lawns"... and God bless you, for keeping the Machine running.
I can't for the life of me, Go into what went on this week. I try and read the local paper, to figure out how things are playing to the local business audience.
Most of the Financial industry, have known for 2 years how messed up our financial system was. Everyone has done everything they can to get our politicians to "Get their Heads out".
It takes threats to the system, and for a politician to look at his/her 401K and watches them get sucked down to awful levels... It tends to sober them up. Stop them from acting like Children, and get to work..... Will the solutions be Crude... yes, Will it help.... We can hope.
To explain the complexity of the "problem" or "problem assets", is beyond about 90% of the financially educated. Many, like myself understand it only in rough brush strokes. I don't know if you remember a few years ago, when we all received credit card offers in the Tens and Twenties Every day. Or had some telemarketer, trying to get us to open a credit line, to the limits of our ability to pay..... Well Many of us Did Lie to the telemarketers. And many purchased homes, as "investments" that were much to expensive for them to be able to afford... This is the problem. Wall street was complicit in opening credit to people, who couldn't pay it back. And the problems are as large as the number of people who irresponsibly borrowed money for the past 5 years, and can't pay it back.
Finance and banks, are a confidence game. markets can adjust to many things, But sometimes. "Sudden shocks" Can completely upset the system.
I have no idea if anyone reades this stuff, and my ability at 4:20 am when I'm typing this up, to Explain it, or to try and calm people. Is limited.
This is what I think you all need to do:
- Make sure that if you have a bank account with more than $100K, Feel lucky, and make sure that you have it in an FDIC insured institution, and anything over 100K, you need to put in a separate FDIC insured institution.(NOT JUST ANOTHER ACCOUNT, in the same bank)
- If you are having financial trouble, you need to deal with it. If you can't make payments Call the bank and ask to "work it out". And don't open more credit to pay off old credit.
- Relax. Many people are worried about "Wall Street" Bail out. I like our treasury secretary. What I like is that in past times, we would have just Bailed out AIG, FANNY, FREDDY, LEHMAN BROTHERS, and soon GM, FORD. What is incredible, is that each time our government "Bails one of them out", Paulson pulls some nice thing out of his hat. On AIG, What he did was Loaned a 1 Trillion dollar company 100Billion dollars, AT 12%. Yes you heard that correct. WE MAKE 1 Billion dollars per Month, for that loan. On top of that Warrents on 80% of the company. He also allowed one of the largest wall street firms to Implode under the weight of it's own Hubris. These things are Amazing to see happen, usually the Tax Payer gets Screwed. We defiantly get our piece.
- The same will be true for the bigger "Bail Out", paulson will be sure to make this work for us, for the tax payer. In fact I keep Joking that he could be the first Treasury secretary that will make the Federal government profitable. It's going to cost, But I continue to be Amazed how he keeps pulling Rabbits out of his hat. I'm a socialist, but paulson is so far, a fairly amazing Treasury secretary... One can say that he wasn't pro-active enough. But it's hard to do that without some legislative help. He and the fed chairman, warned us. I personally Warned every one of our Legislators... If you want to blame people..... Blame our legislators, and administration. But also realize that much of it has to be blamed on the legislators for the past 30 years.
- If it makes Y'all feel better to get some 10 gallon things of Wheat, and store some Water. 30 days of food or whatever. But ... Trust the survival instincts of all the capitalists, and of The system in general. Just like we all have survival instincts, so does our financial system.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
O Lord, kumbaya
"The government has decided that we actually do have jobs, and that we will start doing those jobs Immediately. This increased productivity, should result in a move from U.S. negative Productivity and GDP, to Positive. But nobody had a projection of an actual date"
I mean... How can you blame them... Their 401K's were going down by the day.
Then the childish behavior can begin anew....
The funniest thing today was the president came out and said "I'm going to be monitoring things in the financial markets this morning." Which I translated to "I'm going to spend the morning watching CNBC."
Hey... the internets were going down.
I saw the paper today, I always wonder how worried people are. The reason economists can't predict the economy. The problem is that people are dynamic, and markets are dynamic. They are like an ever evolving machine. If it didn't change, then it would be predictable.
What is predictable, is the human survival instinct. The epic part of this, is that It's wall street in a contraction cycle, over the past 2 weeks, they are starting to come to terms with it. They don't like it, don't want to deal with it, have been in denial of it. In the stages of grief they are somewhere between that and bargaining. Maybe starting depression.
Greenspan(that asshole btw, who is a significant reason we are in this.) Said this is a once in a 100 year cycle. I've suggested this is just a 30-40 year cycle. Problem is just like every recession is different, each 40 year cycle is different. So... They see it as different and extra scary.
but again, with the market under 11k when we recover, the money you put into the old 401k, is the best money you will ever put into the market. The returns on that new money will be the highest return on your money.
The impulse is to "Pull money". I'm not saying we couldn't go to 9k, but the other thing is that the market could suddenly bounce to 12K, you could put your money back to work, and we could then come back to 10K... Then you pull it... and all you are doing is losing money.
alright I've ranted enough......
I'm just saying "Don't be Scared".... Someone said "sometimes the market goes down, to try and get some people's attention"..... Mother market is trying to wake some people up.... Or trying to shake out Assholes who over value their company that is about to got bankrupt (LEHMAN). The market wants some other companies to get their heads out of their ass. As well as some other people who need to Intervene in the financial system..... These are good things.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Lehman Brothers, a primary dealer and investment bank..... Went boom this weekend.... Always good to know that it happens to the investment elite.
One of the big Famous Analysts Meridith Whitney, was taken aback by the implosion.
the first thing you should learn about is the business cycle, and that is that it's a series of "Boom Bust" cycles. There was a Tech boom, a Materials boom, a Finance boom, housing boom, Nanotech boom, solar boom..... and they each get a bust.
The housing boom was pushed by a finance boom. Our Beloved Mistress Julie was part of that boom, and realized she didn't want to be part of it, and is smart enough to realize that It's in contraction.
The economy is the same way, In general, it Expands and contracts..... as much as I want to blame "Bush" for the contraction... contractions are just the way of the game... Now I can talk about how he has made it worse, and how all our politicians have not and still arn't trying to solve the problem, and would rather finger point like 7 year olds.
The funny thing, is that when the "CONTRACTION" is in wallstreet, they think it's Armageddon. All politics are local. But as wall street analysts are freaked out because.... Well because, this time it's your head on the block, it gets a little extreme.
So, as they panic about this, put it in a bit of perspective. The finance industry was way too large, and is contracting..... it will contract to the point where it is Way too small. Then it will Rebuild. There were way too many people sitting around pushing people into "No Document" loans for homes they could never afford. Those people are gone. The people who Gave the Loans for the Homes, They are Gone..... Now it is time for those who Sold the Mortgages and loans to go gently into that good night..... or not so gently.
But It's all part of the game, in the 30's thousands of brokers went bust, in the 70's, and quite a few in the 90's. Nothing new here...
Once again, If you understand that there is that boom bust cycle, and you accept that the pendulum swings one way then to the other, You have to realize... You want to invest on the Waining side of "Fear".... This morning I figured we were hitting some Solid Fear in the market, but what I wanted to see, is that fear start to subside. That is a sign of the turning point in a market.... It didn't happen, and we kept selling all day. So... Maybe fear will be on the Wain tomorrow or the next day.
But if it were Armageddon, would you think that gold would be going Negative, selling off into the 750's.... That isn't fear... and the value of your dollars Vs. the other currencies.... Well It is at a still within a 52 week High value..... THAT IS A GREAT THING. Concerned..... always good to be concerned, but not like I was concerned when the dollar made new lows every day...
Lehman had a chance to sell numerous times.... they made a choice to go bankrupt. We still have about 50% too many investment bankers, Maybe some of them can live off the 'Tit' of some banks. But it probably still isn't over, But hopefully they smarten up and contract the business on their own.
As i see it, it is a good thing that there are a few thousand less people trying to pick my pocket.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
At one point I stopped. I umn.. I decided it was time to start insisting on the things I needed. No more punching bag, no more being a person stepped over/on. Well, It was quite a shock to many people and still is. I had a call to go work for and old boss of mine, Numerous times I've said.
"Listen, I have to make good money when I work for you. I can't work for 2 days, then 4 days off, Then back on for 5 days. That is having an employee at will, and you have to pay me more for that, Two to three times more. But if you are willing to commit to 2 weeks or 3 weeks of full time work, that is fine, we can use the usual rate, but i can't make a living wage working 2 days for 4 hours."
This happened 8 months ago, after they had said they understood, and I told them I wouldn't work for them anymore.
a month ago, I worked for them again, With the express promise, that there wasn't going to be "At will" again. A week into it, they pulled us off for a day, I said "You told me this wasn't going to happen, This is bullshit, and I can't make money this way, I clear my schedual and now there isn't any work, and I can't pay bills."
"oh, it won't happen again. we are sorry."
5 days later
"Sorry guys, we are going to have to call you off for a while"
so, I walked away, and when they called me to work again... I didn't return the call. I get a hateful call a while later about what an asshole I am. And I went off.... "listen, how in the hell can I make a living that way, I clear my schedule and suddenly, I'm working part time. In two weeks I clear $700. I can make that kind of money at Mcdonalds or Seven Eleven. I don't have to work outside, I don't have to do any labor, I don't have to have any tools, I don't have to have any skills or equipment. How in the hell can anyone be expected to make a living on that money. I can't afford insurance, or car payments, or house payments, and worse is that I could have been making real money. and you waisted my time.
To which they got all nasty and personal, and literally said that I didn't deserve to make a living... At that point I told them to fuck off, and hung up.
Now 2 months later I have a letter from them.....
As I typed this up, the question was what I should do with it....
I think it gets the Black marker with the word "Return" on it.
the interesting thing... the "about me" thing, is that I've done this a few times in the past 5 years, not literally, but roughly. I've done this in numerous relationships. After saying to people "this has to change." and they just keep it up.. because with out "The stick" people don't respond... but honesty, even with the stick, they just do what they have always done.
Why bother, they will just keep doing it. and plenty of people we allow to be in our lives, aren't actually worth keeping in it..
I guess It's how I see corry Feldman should feel about Haim. (all comes back to the two corrys LOL) But there is no reason for feldman to put up with haim... Haim has to earn it.... You have to earn friendships, Not just take advantage of them. Feldman cared about haim, and was trying to help. Feldman was earning Haims friendship by looking out for his friend.....
but Haim didn't appreciate the work...
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Almost as funny as those who think the Bail out of fanny and freddy is the end of the world..... You know, housing Crisis aren't new(we had one in the 30's, the 40's, the 70's, the 90's... and surprise! one in 2006-2009.) . Nor is a Bail out of the Financial system.... And yes "Moral Hazard".
If you want the Cliff's notes version of all of this, The reason a Candy bar is Twice as expensive every decade, is because we Bail out the financial system every 10 years. It's also why, if anyone can ever "Retire" again, You best keep that in mind. If you have a million to retire on and your old bones last 30 years, it will end up having 1/3 it's value.
but it's either this or suffer a 1930's style Depression...
It's always tough to provide decent financial advice. There is a whole financial system out there that assures that you will eternally be broke, Defending your assets, and accumulating Real Wealth, is just about a full time job. And there are Millions of Marginal Dickheads out there, doing everything they can to nickle and dime you to death.
One of my favorite stories are the some of the financial institutions, and hedge funds,(Lehman brothers(who it's rumored will implode in the next 5 days)). What they do, is get a loan from a bank at say 5%, then they buy bonds at 6%, this pluss their investment Capital, The company makes 1%, the investors make 5%... and they Fuck off to the golf course for a decade, and smoke Weed. Good work if you can get it.
If it's the Government giving out some of the most "rose colored Glasses" Version of economic statistics, from payroll numbers to inflation. It's absolute Asshatery.
or the Fed and Treasury, trying to Bail out every half assed CEO, who happens to have driven a company so far into the ground that it Explodes... But because of "systemic Risk"... we have no choice but to Bail them out.... because... Well they didn't understand that there is a business cycle.... But what CEO does...
Umn.... It's all unfair, unreasonable, unmanagable..... Etc.
But how productive is it to shake my fist in the air.
Monday, September 01, 2008
But I digress.
In an amusing twist of irony, It didn't rain on Obama during his speech where he wanted to kill all the babies........
But I will have everyone notice, that as The Republicans Meet. 2 hurricanes Pummel the south, and remind every person in this country, that Our administration. Sat on their fat asses, and let one of America's cities Drown.
We can argue nuances of Morality and Judgement. and whatever. And point fingers, at everyone and their dog. But the lack of response by the federal government.....
If there is a God, Dubja is going to rot in the lowest ring of hell.
What is the saying? "To those that Much is given, Much is expected." Nobody, in history has Floated to power on a Platform of Elitest entitlement, like G.W. Bush..... And when we placed the mantle, and responsibility of our safety, in his hands.....
He was asleep at the switch.... Like the Piece of shit, Objectivist, Selfish, narcissist, Ego maniacal FRAT BOY! he is.