Archive for September, 2009

This Week’s George T. Platter And Bait

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

The tidetime folklorist wonders when we might see another year in which bankers take in compensation 4 times the money they paid out to shareholders, all the while enjoying government guarantees of their bad loans and further dilution of their shareholders equity.

The Platter: Will It Go Round In Circles? by Billy Preston (Answer: Yes)

The Bait: The Countdown Minnow (only 92 days until next year!)


Disgrace Still Pays

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Disgraced former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane has picked up a $1.3 million contract from the genocidal government of Sudan.

What’s interesting here is that, short of prison or the death penalty, it’s nearly impossible for a lying, cheating, unethical former public official to remain ostracized and unemployed.

There are just too many governments here and abroad who want the benefit of such clowns and their DC connections.

Gorilla says: “Don’t let the lobby door hit your wallet on the way in or on the way out!”


Only Half Way There

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

The banks, that is, in coming clean about the losses on their balance sheets, according to the IMF.

And of course this is a Goingbackwardville problem that no one in Movingforwardville wants to acknowledge.

The banks at the moment are simply hoarding cash, in hopes that they can get through the coming tsunami of CRE defaults.

Kicking the can down the road remains the only financial services policy being pursued seriously by the Administration.

Increasing capital requirements is a good idea, but it should be remembered that Lehman Brothers was considered adequately capitalized by regulators.

The requirements themselves aren’t nearly high enough to prevent another credit-based disaster.

And the dollar carry trade looks like becoming the next bubble, once CRE has burst its banks.

Gorilla asks: “An agency to protect consumers is a fine idea, but which agency is going to protect the bankers from themselves?”


A View To A Spell

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

J.K. Rowling didn’t get the Medal of Freedom because Bush Administration ideologues thought she might be promoting witchcraft in her Harry Potter books!

George Tenet, the former CIA Director who missed both 9/11 and WMD in Iraq, got the Medal of Freedom, presumably because he killed thousands more people.

Gorilla says: “Better to be a total failure than a great success, keeps the evil spirits at bay!”


Don’t Go Fly A Kite

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

60 years of Communism is being celebrated in Beijing.

As usual, dissenting views will not be heard.

Threats as diverse as Uighurs and local pigeon fanciers will be addressed.

Kites may not be flown.

Gorilla says: “The confidence of cash doesn’t extend to letting go of the lash!”


As Dead As Dead Can Be

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Serious health care reform, that is.

Unserious reform will pass this year, some fruit loopy co-ops or some phony trigger, or nothing at all if the progressives decide to stand tall, but the bottom line, as has been clear since the spring, is that the Obama Administration and the Democratically controlled Congress could not deliver the votes for anything other than ineffectual, marginal bullshit.

Six months were wasted on trying to be bipartisan, when everyone with a brain knew that the Republicans would never, never, never go along.

Small state Senators, totally in the pocket of the insurance companies, decided they’d rather just continue with business as usual.

One hopes our President will learn from this experience, because he’s blown it big time.

Gorilla doesn’t like to crow on this one, because it’s the country who loses: “I told you so!”


FDIC Follies

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Once again, rather than making surviving banks and Wall Street pay for the disaster the country finds itself in, the FDIC, now rapidly running out of money as more banks fail, proposes its very own ponzi scheme.

The agency has asked banks to prepay deposit insurance fees now for the period 2010-2012. The banks get to list the fees as an asset, then charge it off as an expense once it’s paid.

The alternatives of course are not to the liking of politicians or bankers.

Politicians don’t want the FDIC to borrow from the US Treasury, even though it can by law, because this might be seen to be “bailing out the banks”, which as we know by now is only what happened in Goingbackwardville…

Bankers don’t want to pay extra insurance fees and say (apparently with a straight face!) they are worried that larger fees will limit their ability to borrow capital!!!

The FDIC solution assumes that there won’t be as many problem banks in 2012 as there are now. If it turns out they’re wrong, well, they can assess special fees on the banks or borrow from the Treasury!

Kicking the can down the road remains the only policy approach in Movingforwardville!

Gorilla thinks: “Irony is a wonderful thing. It too will be securitized faster than you can say Bernie Madoff!!!”


Insuring Women Remain Second Class Citizens

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Although they are in the majority, women remain second-class citizens when it comes to exercising their legal right to abortion.

The desire of men to control women and their bodies is as old as the hills, and it remains deeply stupid, deeply depraved, and deeply troubling.

The latest round of abortion absurdity comes over health care reform.

No public funds shall be used to subsidize insurance policies that might lead to policyholders getting an abortion!

Much better that women have no freedom of choice whenever they decide to die painfully!!!

Gorilla says: “Misogyny loves company!”


Jaw Jaw Encore

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

While many sabers have rattled this week, it appears that Iran and the US are finally getting down to business.

No one expects an easy negotiation, but there is little appetite in Russia and China for further sanctions and little evidence that Iran is bent on launching nuclear warheads in a defiant show of national suicide.

Obama has played his cards very well so far. Hopefully, he will exercise equally good judgment and move on from Afghanistan. The time for pointless wars of revenge is drawing to a close.

Gorilla says: “We may not move on from Polanski after 30 years, but Iran is a different story!”


Who’s Better Than The USA? Everyone!

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Every major developed country receives a higher grade than the United States when it comes to health care.

A Canadian report concluded that Japan has the best system, while the US is dead last in the field of 16.

The Canadian health system, so often the subject of ridicule by our Congressional know nothings, is number 10, and better than the US on everything other than cancer survival rates.

Gorilla thinks: “At last I get it! Pay more than everyone, get less than everyone, that’s what makes our country so exceptional!”