Archive for ‘ECONOMY’

January 29, 2012

Scientists Discover New Species

Archeologists at the Sardo Institute have discovered a new species of dinosaur. Laboring under harsh winter conditions in London, Ontario, the scientists at the Institute excavated a huge site and found largely intact skeletal remains. The scientists described the beast they found at the dig as one of the most vicious ever to roam the earth. They named the newly discovered creature Tyrannosaurus Caterpillar after the CEOs of a nearby manufacturing plant who are demanding that workers accept large reductions in pay and a sharp decline in living standards so the executives can pad their own greedy pockets.

 

First restoration of a Tyrannosaurus skeleton ...

Image via Wikipedia

A vicious beast scientists believe was responsible for its own extinction. The discoverers of the species have named it the T-Cat.

According to skeletal evidence, the T-Cat was so voracious that it allowed its own young to starve while it consumed the local supply chain so quickly during an extended period internecine conflict that it eventually caused its own extinction. Only about one percent of the violent beasts survived for a short period after the inter-species rivalry caused its annihilation.

 

English: Intersection along the Veterans Memor...

Image via Wikipedia

A section of the Veterans’ Memorial Parkway in London, Ontario. It’s OK to name a road after the men and women who served their country but as far as giving them good paying jobs with good benefits, the message from greedy CEOs is pretty much “screw you.”

 

January 28, 2012

Former Fed Chair Missing

Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Gr...

Image via Wikipedia

All you really have to do to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom is be wrong about the housing bubble, deregulation and the “free market.”  Congratulations, Alan.  You hit the trifecta. 

UPW Senior Reporter Marcy Popindick is reporting that Alan Greenspan has disappeared after publishing an op-ed in the Financial Times.


 Attempts to reach Greenspan have been futile.

Hello, Alan. Alan, are you there? Come in Alan.”

Houston, we have a problem. Alan Greenspan is lost in space.

        Say “cheese” Alan.  Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Update. According to this developing story, Greenspan is not lost in space. He’s just lost it. The former Federal Reserve Chairman said capitalism is not responsible for income inequality.

A spokesman for the former Fed Chair, speaking under conditions of deep background, stated Greenspan believes that feudalism and the Knights of the Round Table had more to do with inequality, deregulation and the housing bubble than modern capitalism.

400-cheney-05

Image via Wikipedia

Alan Greenspan reading Ayn Rand comics to former Vice President Dick Cheney.  

Other news organizations are reporting that Greenspan has gone into hiding after making such inane comments in his Financial Times op-ed.

Anybody who still gives one shit about anything this man has to say please raise your hand. Nobody. That’s what I thought.

Related articles

January 21, 2012

The DC Folly Trolley

File:Baby.jpg

Is there anything more beautiful on God’s green Earth? The photo is by Carin Araujo, http://www.prtc.net/~carin who permits its use to the public, Mama and Papa have every right to be very proud. (2006).

When I was in high school, several young women got pregnant without benefit of marriage. Thankfully, all of the babies were healthy, happy, bouncing boys and girls.

From those happy events I concluded that the best place to conceive was in the back seat of a car.  Of course, I was much younger then.

Today, most people I know, even those who are married, conceive in more traditional locations.

Back in the day, however, we kids didn’t have access to methods of birth control. So the choices were abstention or risk it.

I recall a conversation with a young girl who was friends with one who risked it and came up short. The friendship of course was terminated. But she did say that her former friend prayed and prayed that she would not conceive.

I believe we all know by now that abstention really does work but only if you abstain. And as for prayer, well I’m sorry to disappoint any Christians who may believe otherwise, but Jesus doesn’t prevent pregnancy.  Just not in his job description.

Anyway, regardless of the circumstances, the outcome is beauty beyond compare.

***

Warning! The following paragraph contains adult material and a really nasty joke. So you won’t want to pass it up.

First marine: I gotta take a piss.

Second marine: Let’s go kill someone.

Oh my god! That really is nasty. My soul is destined for eternal damnation, I just know it.

So what the hell.

***

We hear constantly that the US owes trillions of dollars in debt to foreign nations. Did you know that the US owns debt from foreign nations equal to 89% of the debt it owes?

Now let’s go right wing stupid for just a moment, use a comparison provided by right wing propaganda the intent of which is to frighten the wits out of Americans and compare the US government’s situation with household debt.

If your neighbor owned 100% of your house but you owned 89% of his, how bad off would you be? Let’s face it, that position is a standoff.

And so it is with US foreign debt and ownership. If the US debt is called in and the US retaliates by calling the foreign debt it owns, the economy of the entire planet goes kerwoosh. The only way that will ever happen is if Wall Street can profit from it. Trouble is the fat cats are no doubt trying to figure out a way to make it happen right now.

***

Did you know that the comparison right wing economists make between the US debt and household debt would be accurate with just one stipulation.

Let’s say your wife went shopping and just bought a million dollars worth of jewelry you couldn’t pay for. However, in your study you have a printing machine that could print perfectly legal tender. In addition, you could write letters to 2000 of your neighbors and inform them that they will now have to contribute $1000.00 more to your tax fund every year. Voila’ You now have a surplus and your wife can go shopping again.

The United States Mint Police

United States Mint Police

If you had one of these parked your garage, your wife could shop 24/7. Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

So this whole debt issue is bogus, a sham, perpetrated on an ill informed public the purpose of which is to bilk the many greenhorns among us who believe all the bullshit.

Yes the genetically defective Wall Street fat cats have engineered an all out attack on the people’s Social Security savings and are fighting a desperate battle to privatize Medicare and turn it into a profit making venture for rich investors.

Vouchers??? Oh yeah, vouchers. More Wall Street bullshit. Let’s say a voucher is worth $300.00 a month and a profit health insurance policy costs $1000.00. Guess who pays the difference? And if you can’t afford it, well, like the old Chinese laundry adage goes: “No tickey, no shirty.”

Oh, surely, you say those Wall Street mutations who resemble human beings wouldn’t let you die for lack of health insurance.

Surely it’s a different matter than letting coal miners die a mile below the surface of the earth by shortchanging safety regulations; or killing workers on oil rigs by taking the same shortcuts; or boosting nicotine levels in deadly cigarettes to ensure addiction; or polluting drinking water through the practice known as fracking.

Surely the fat cats will see to it that you get medical treatment even if you can’t afford expensive profit insurance.

OK.

***

Mitt Romney stated that if he is elected president he will stop the Chinese from stealing American intellectual property, patents and know-how. Apparently, he would prefer to have, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, etc, etc, etc., steal it.

***

According to the website Gizmodo, there are 5,000 janitors with Ph,Ds in the US. That statistic is truly surprising. I always found janitors to be a lot smarter than that.

The article continues and reveals that numerous holders of advanced degrees have been forced to work at menial jobs.

Perhaps the country should finally admit that its economic decline has been so precipitous and so profound that it no longer needs so many highly educated people and its now time to begin shuttering some colleges and universities. I’m certain right wing extremists would relish the closings. Think of all the professors we could fire and the tax cuts the rich would rake in. The very thought must be sending chills up and down their spines every moment of every day.

Read the entire article below:

http://gizmodo.com/5671062/there-are-5000-janitors-in-the-us-with-phds

See U.S. Department of Treasury report on U.S. holding of foreign debt.

http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/pages/tg1285.ASPX

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November 25, 2011

Poor Caused Meltdown???

Every flimflam needs a mark. For the subprime mortgage scam there were millions of suckers. You’ve heard of them, the ones that are born every minute.

You know the kind, the ill-informed poor people and the uninitiated who reside closer to the middle.

Right wing extremists – a term that now encompasses the vast majority of people who used to call themselves conservatives – blamed first Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the meltdown.

And why shouldn’t they blame Fannie and Freddie.. After all the government forced these institutions to back mortgages to poor people who they knew couldn’t repay them. Yes, the big money boys of Fannie and Freddie were threatened with torture if they didn’t obey. Some CEOs were even sent to Gitmo and waterboarded because they didn’t submit. And since nobody likes having toothpicks stuck under their fingernails, the CEOs finally surrendered and, even though they resisted furiously, they were compelled by government to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses.  Can you believe that!  

Actually I just made that stuff up.  But the rest is true.

So when that rubbish didn’t seem to stick, well, there was always the Community Reinvestment Act. Blaming the CRA was sheer balderdash, but hey, any port in a storm, right.

Unfortunately, that excuse didn’t gain traction either so let’s see, there’s gotta be something else we can dump this mess on, right, righties. Think hard now. Oh yeah, that’s right. Poor people. Let’s blame poor people.

So desperate were the righties to blame anyone or anything for the economic meltdown that they even blamed poor people. Anyone would do. Anything to avoid blaming their cocktail party buddies – those who are really at fault, the Wall Street jailbirds (also known as CEOs, bankers and mortgage originators).

So they blame Fannie and Freddie who never issued a mortgage, subprime or otherwise. Both of which, in case you didn’t know, were privately operated, profit making institutions whose CEOs scarfed up untold millions in salaries and bonuses.

Then there was the Community Reinvestment Act. Passed during the Carter administration, it sought to eliminate the racist bank practice of redlining. A common exercise, redlining drew boundaries around poorer neighborhoods, mostly populated by African Americans, and placed a lending stranglehold on there areas. It mattered little that someone who qualified for a loan was denied. They were routinely blackballed simply because they happened to live a a poor neighborhood.

Funny thing. Fannie, Freddie and the CMA worked beautifully for decades.

So the righties continues their search. They had to find some excuse to absolve their Wall Street buddies from committing the crime of the ages. (I refer to these Wall Street hoods who scammed the nation and most of the industrialized world as jailbirds not because they ever served even a nanosecond behind bars where they truly belong. But because they escaped jail time only due to the vast amounts of protection money they lavish upon Congress and the White House. And of course that scratch buys them legislation that not only keeps them out of jail. It gets them bailed out with taxpayer money. That “get out of jail card free” card serves both purposes and they carry it in their wallets for future use).

Here’s what really happened. Mortgage originators issued paper to anyone and everyone. Didn’t matter. All they wanted was to collect the fees and commissions. They then sold off the mortgages, which collectively, amounted to many millions of pieces of paper and trillions of dollars in borrowed money.

Now the mortgages that were sold were low interest, short term agreements known as Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Typically, rates and therefore payments balloon in a few years.

Not to worry though. And this is the beauty of the scam When the ARM matures, the mark returns to the issuer to refinance the mortgage. Same low ARM and payment. But this time the house has appreciated in value, as we know all property does, so the mark is now richer and the refi is a breeze. The issuer collects more fees and commissions and sells the junk once again to an investor.

The statement “here’s your check. Go pick out a house and call me in the morning” wasn’t too far from the reality.

The Wall Street jailbirds then packaged the mortgages into securitized bundles (secured by the houses the money bought), sold the bundles and called them Collateralized Debt Obligations.

American International Group

The huge insurance company must share the blame for the meltdown. Image via Wikipedia

However, the jailbirds, also known as investment bankers, went one step further. They insured all the junk mortgages they did not sell and called the insurance policies Credit Default Swaps. Goldman Sachs insured its CDOs with AIG, a huge CDS policy issuer.

AIG quickly went bankrupt when this bank created housing bubble burst and couldn’t payoff on the insurance policies it issued. Not to worry boys and girls. The government, courtesy of the taxpayer, shoveled some more cash, this time in AIG’s direction and soon the insurance company was able to make good on its debts and paid up what it owed Goldman Sachs (and many other companies). In effect the government rescued Goldman a second time from even greater losses.

The AIG default was partly due to inadequate reserves it was no longer required tokeep on hand because the deregulated market place allowed all rules to lapse.

Here’s some of the trash that the Wall Street jailbirds left behind for the taxpayer to clean up after. Gone are Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Sterns, Washington Mutual, Countrywide Financial and a whole host of other less notables. And let’s not forget the toxic assets gobbled up by the trillions by the Federal Reserve Bank, the layoffs, the destroyed pensions, the unemployment crisis and the entire world deficit problem.

Oh, just one more thing, the huge executive bonuses the Wall Street jailbirds continue to pay themselves are nicely kept in tact.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the righties still blame the victim for the crime.

http://goanimate.com/player/embed/03IWj3SNhdtg

November 6, 2011

Ex-Pres. Pens New Tome

I voted for Bill Clinton twice, the second time somewhat reluctantly because of his support for NAFTA. And while he may be a likeable fellow, his actions as president did great harm to the country.

Official White House photo of President Bill C...

Always liked the guy. And no one can say he wasn't faithful to his wife and many mistresses. Image via Wikipedia

He’s published another book, his third. I haven’t read it yet but reviews indicate that his latest effort focuses on the country’s economic problems.

Whatever his solutions may be, Bill Clinton can’t ignore his own contributions to the mess the economy is in today.

He appointed two of the worst secretaries of the Treasury in the country’s history – Robert Rubin and Larry Summers – both of whom were compulsive deregulationists.

He signed off on two of the worst pieces of legislation ever to befall the country: The Financial Services Modernization Act (also known by the names of its Republican sponsors, the notorious Phil Gramm and fellow Republican extremists in the House Jim Leach and Tom Bliley). And he signed into law the now infamous Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Taken together, these two laws led directly to the massive abuses by the financial industry and were a leading cause of the meltdown.

In addition, he foolishly reappointed Alan Greenspan, a Republican, to the Fed Chair at a time when a Democrat might have brought a more disciplined approach to Fed policy.

He, and his DLC companions, convulsed the Democratic party, turning it away from the common men and women who have supported it for decades and transforming into the corporate toady that it is today.

And last but not least there is the NAFTA disaster, a pact which he should have vetoed. Barring that action, he could have insisted on revisions to make the agreement more favorably disposed to the needs of working people.

For these blunders, Clinton must answer to history.

***

The Nobella Prize Committee has just announced the nominees for its newest award: The Shit Eatingest Grin of the Decade.

And the nominees are 1) Phil Gramm; 2) Alan Greenspan; 3) Robert Rubin; 4) Lawrence Summers; 5) And some Chinese guy.

For the first time in its history the Nobella Committee is permitting public voting. You can cast your vote below.

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Rubin-greenspan-rongji

Image via Wikipedia

White House portrait of Lawrence Summers.

Image via Wikipedia

http://bioguide.congress.gov/bioguide/photo/G/...

Image via Wikipedia

October 15, 2011

Protection Money Pays Off

Protection money traveling through the pipeline from Wall Street to Follyland DC keeps execs from jailbird rank.

So you still think you’re not being jerked around by the banks and their government in Follyland, DC. If so, here’s something to chew on.

The Federales, i.e. the United States Government, gifted Wall Street jailbirds with $14.7 trillion in welfare payments. As the Reuters chart shows that charity to the big shots on the Street nearly equals the entire Federal debt and the entire output for the economy in 2010. Check out the comparison of money spent on the general welfare to the trillions in welfare frittered away on the banks.

The protection money the Street gives to its compares in Congress and the White House pays dividends in trillions:  They not only get to stay out of jail; they write their own laws!!!.  And these sums of payoff money that pay off Congress critters pale next to the pittance the mob gave to bad cops and dirty judges.

http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2011/10/07/occupy-wall-street/.

September 24, 2011

Big Republican Lies

As always Robert Reich, a former Social Security trustee, Secretary of Labor and currently professor at UC Berkeley, exposes the empty headedness of Republican economy ideas, which reveal themselves over and over again to be nothing but balderdash.

Reich in this five minute segment strips away the right wing subterfuge and exposes it for what it truly is: Propaganda whose sole purpose is to further enrich the rich.  

You might also be interested in the graph that highlights the deficit accumulation by the last five presidents. If the GOP is out in front on anything its deficit creation.  Recall the Mr. Hyde vice president Dick Cheney who famously said:  Ronald Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”.  Apparently they only matter when Democrats are in the Oval Office and working to improve the economy.

September 11, 2011

Are We Ready To Say Wall Street Crooks?

Are we ready to say Wall Street crooks? How about the Welfare Queens of Wall Street? We know that the crooks cashed in on taxpayer funds. Now this shocking news!

Money

You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.  It’s the American way.

And a truly astonishing revelation it is.

Well not really. Actually just another day of normal flimflaming on the Street.

Now don’t faint from shock now when I tell you this. Bankers took kickbacks from insurance companies that wrote policies for subprime mortgages.

Oh my word. Whatever is this world coming to?

And believe it or not that practice is still illegal. Somebody ought to go to jail that. Not because it’s illegal of course. But because somebody, somewhere forgot to cajole Congress into making the crime legal.

If the Welfare Queens of Wall Street ever discover who that inept lobbyist is, his ass is grass. 

September 10, 2011

Fossilized Thinking

Economy Fails to Self-Correct.  Obama Now Desperate.

Obama brought on advisers whose fossilized thinking was responsibl­e for forecastin­g a typical two year turnaround for the economy and for a lackadaisi­cal approach to a stimulus plan.

File:Obama thinking.jpg

Bad days ahead for the White House.

In the past economic recovery has occurred about two years after a downturn. So they chose to sit tight and wait for the good times to roll in believing – wrongly as it turned out – that they were perfectly positioned to enter the 2012 election with an economy in full recovery mode. They refused to confront Republican­s with a realistic stimulus plan and instead accepted a half baked inadequate measure that has indeed failed. Unfortunat­ely the failure sticks to Obama and not the GOP.

The president and his coterie cajoled Republican­s, making only a halfheart­ed attempt to win a trillion dollar jobs program. A down and dirty fight to the finish might have gained more than the paltry legislatio­n that eventually passed the Congress. If nothing else, the fight even if lost would have saddled the Republican­s with much of the blame for the failure of the stimulus.

Now the advisers, aware that they have failed the president, have fled the ship, except for the addled Geithner who remains behind to issue dire warnings. And the president is left holding a bag filled with campaign cash but little else.

It’s still not too late to fight. But you don’t do that on a golf course.

August 6, 2011

WHAT’S GOING ON???

The IMF puts Greece’s debt/GDP ratio at 130/100, approaching the red zone, yes, but a country should not be on life support with this kind of ratio.  In the past, ratios of 120/100 were considered a mere warning and not a serious threat to default. Nevertheless, Greece is being squeezed, interest rates on its bonds are soaring and the country is on the verge of bankruptcy.  (All figures are for 2010).

File:Fronton-zeus2.jpg

Sculptures from the Temple of Zeus. Priceless. Would really look great in a billionaire’s collection.


Italy’s debt to GDP is 118/100 – definitely not in the red zone of default by past yardsticks.

Spain, Portugal and the United States have debt ratios below 100%. Yet the economies of these countries are considered to be on the verge of crisis.

Japan’s ratio is 226/100 – currently the highest in the world. While Japan’s economy is stagnant like all others, investors consider the yen a safe investment and are still buying. And Japan’s bonds are selling at record low interest rates.

So what’s going on?

File:ColosseumAtEvening.jpg

Who will own the Colosseum in the future? (Courtesy of Andreas Tille. Click photo for link).

July 5, 2011

WHAT WILL HE EVER DO?

Oh Barack, poor Barack

What will he ever do?

He lost his cool

What a fool.

And called the Repubs poo.

File:Barack Obama with Superman.jpg

We asked for Superman and got Soupy Sales instead.


“Oh, poopy,” said our hero. “Nobody likes me anymore. I want my mommy.”


Deficits, deficits, deficits

What am I to do?

Start a big, big war somewhere

And chug another brew.

That’ll get their attention.


Now here’s a plan. How about declaring a national emergency. That sounds like a lot of fun. Think of all the headlines you’ll get. Lotsa TV too.

But seriously, folks.


Obama can declare a national emergency; or let the elderly go hungry.

He can declare a national emergency; or abandon his troops on the battlefield.

He can declare a national emergency; or let the sick go without care.

He can declare a national emergency; or let the poor go without shelter.

He can declare a national emergency; and end the hostage situation forever.

Or he can just wuss out like he intended to do in the first place.