Something I hate about this society...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I hate how it's taboo in this society to pay for something with small change and lots of coins, when 50 years ago most transactions were done -with- coins. I've even had a cashier tell me, 'Next time, don't pay with coins. We don't like that." This woman was a worker at Subway. No, not a worker - a Sandwich Artist, as they're called on their aprons.

I was half tempted to say, "It's legal tender, isn't it?" and kick her in the face, shins and hips. But that would mean jumping behind the counter, where customers are -never- allowed. That's a taboo I agree with: no customers behind the counter. There was a really cute boy in Abercrombie and Fitch whom I was eying for a while. All of a sudden, he walks behind the cashier's counter to get from one side of the room to the other. I flinched in anger and immediately found him ugly.

Uninformed Economics Commentary

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up almost 200 points. The official reason for this rally is that oil prices have dropped almost 3 dollars today. With oil now only at 120 dollars (!), the economy is in better shape. Buy Stock!

But if oil hadn't stolen the news, the headline would be this housing report.

Bad news

An index of major cities has found that American house values fell off 16 percent - in May! That's the worst decline in the history of recording house values.

This rally on the stock market is superficial, then.

Novak, You Lived So Long and Hatefully

Monday, July 28, 2008
Bob Novak announced he has brain cancer, of course. Tomorrow's he's scheduled for a biopsy. But it's gonna be impossible to distinguish between tumors. Novak is himself an enormous tumor. This isn't even a metaphor.

I'm So Happy

I'm so glad that Bob Novak has brain cancer. He deserves it, truly.

Did you hear about what he did last week? He ran over a pedestrian on a street and kept driving. He claimed after his "citation" (no jailtime for Bob Novak) that he didn't see the guy. But the witness who phoned in the licence plate number recalls seeing the pedestrian fly up the hood and roll off.

Baudrillard Quote of the Day

Friday, July 25, 2008
"The effects produced by the finite nature of the earth, for the first time contrasting violently with the infinity of our development, are such that our species is automatically switching over to collective suicide."

The More You Know

Here's a bit news on a Friday night: two more banks have failed, one in Nevada and another in California. Look for the story on television and news websites. You probably won't find it.

When IndyMac failed last week, it was two or three days before any of the major new outlets mentioned it.

"Don't panic the people, don't panic the people" is the establishment's mantra.

The Failures.

UPDATE: I gave the media too little credit. This morning, MSNBC has the failures on its frontpage and Drudgereport has the article prominently featured. Nothing on CNN, though.

CNBC World

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm on a month-long financial news binge. Right now I'm watching CNBC Asia via satellite. A reporter in Singapore said that a Chinese bank and construction company are trading lower today on rumors that they own bonds in Fannie and Freddie. The Chinese companies deny that they have any such bonds.


A Picture of My Blog

FDIC, Up to a Point

Walk into any bank and you'll notice the posters boasting that all the deposits are FDIC-insured up to $100,000. Meaning: if the bank fails, the government will recoup the money in your account. This system was established during the Great Depression, and it gives the public confidence in the banks, even though at any given time the banks keep only a fraction of the deposits in the vaults.

The FDIC was tested last week when IndyMac, the California bank, dried up and failed. Government insurance took effect and customers with deposits under $100,000 got reimbursement. In total, IndyMac cost the FDIC $8 billion.

Here's the kicker: There are $6.84 trillion dollars deposited in American banks, and there are only $53 billion dollars in the FDIC fund. Make that $45 billion, now that Indymac is gone.

The FDIC is useful for saving a small bank or two per year; but if a series of banks fail, as is possible in the present turmoil, the FDIC will find itself bankrupt. And so will millions of people.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Some blowhard politician of one sort or another in Kentucky is railing against the Feds' plan to save Freddie and Fannie.

He talks like he's at a barbeque:

"To me, that smacks of socialism, and I don't want my free markets to be socialized," Bunning said.

"I don't want no ketchup on my burger, y'hear? I prefer it without." he added.

"... I don't think it works real well, and I don't think the American people want that at all."

His comments are stupid and not particularly worth commenting on. Still, they're a symptom of something very strange in Congress, which is a total lack of reality. This Kentucky senator obviously doesn't understand what would happen if Fannie and Freddie failed, just fell flat on their faces after 70 and 30 years of operations, respectively, and five trillion of assets between them. That would be the end of America. Here we are at the brink, and some southern idiot who thinks we're at a barbeque is yelling about socialism.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE. The government has to intervene. If it doesn't, and the market panics and the companies fall into the abyss, there will be barely any free market left to talk about. America will look like a plane crashing, with oxygen masks jiggling from the ceiling, people screaming, luggage and chairs getting ripped onto the horizon...

"I don't want my free markets to be socialized."

Barely Informed Stock Market Prediction of the Day

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It's 2:03 pm and the stock market is up 162 points. Yahoo Finance is reporting that the jump in stock prices is because of the dropping price of oil and good earnings report from Wells Fargo. The oil price is definitely a factor in this rally. Another factor might be the shortsellers buying out of stocks. This would be especially pronounced today, the day after Bernanke banned a certain type of short-selling (the most highly speculative kind) on Fannie and Freddie and other major stocks.

My prediction: the stock market's gonna end up today (80 points), but tomorrow there's going to be a commensurate sell-off, as the fundamental problems reassert themselves. One of the problems is: are America's two largest mortgage institutions about to fail? Do they have enough money to run themselves? Government bailout talk aside, can we expect them to get better or worse?

I'm Back.

Sunday, July 13, 2008
It's been God only knows how many years (about three, maybe four) since I last posted on this blog of mine.

Nowadays, I still get a steady stream of traffic (about 30 per day). Most visitors arrive here via Google image searches. For example, a recent visitor clicked on me while looking for a picture of Serena William's nipple.

Dick Cheney's penis still pays a hefty dividend. Several years ago I found a picture of his big wang. Andrew Sullivan linked to me, and suddenly I had a visitor count in the six digits. Thanks, Dick!

I'll be posting here regularly again. Not because of a revived passion for blogging, but because I have too many thoughts on my brain during the day. I'll spontaneously combust if they're not written down and gotten rid of.

I haven't done this in a while, so I'm gonna be rusty. I also have to disown all of the conservative paraphanelia that's strewn across the archives. I'm not a conservative anymore. I'm not much of anything anymore. If you want to know the gist of my political views, read a few books by Jean Baudrillard.