Saturday, September 27, 2008

JAllen Radio - "Is this sucker going down?"

JAllen Radio: (light humor)

JAllen: Tonight we are discussing "Is this sucker going down, or not?" I'm back today with my usual distinguished guests, Mike Shedlock (Mish), Mr. Mortgage, Patrick of and Nouriel Roubini (hisssss!). Patrick, we start with you. Is the sucker going down, or not?

Patrick: Of course, anyone who buys now will suffer losses immediately, and for the next several years at least, as the sucker goes down to come into line with tighter lending and stagnant salaries.

Me thinks not. It's time to Take Back this Sucker from those who want this sucker to go down at taxpayer expense. Please keep phoning and faxing.

JAllen: Mr. Mortgage, what do you think?

Mr. Mortgage: Any sucker going down will add a large amount of inventory to an already pounded market in the West Coast. This will be caused by Meredith Whitney scaring the crap out of everyone.

Roubini: It is a disgrace that no professional economist was consulted by Congress. I have been predicting the downing of the socialist sucker since 2001. I predict this sucker could very well go down...especially if money isn't loosened up.

JAllen: We have a SURPRISE guest, former governor of NY, Eliot Spitzer. Governor, what's your take?

Spitzer: I've already paid too much for too many suckers going down.

JAllen: Well, there you have it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who to Fire?

Dukes of Moral Hazard

Bazooka Hank
Moral Hazard Hank
Squirt Gun Hank

Whirly Ben
Uncle Ben
Bailout Ben
Printing Press Ben

Monday, September 22, 2008

WRAPUP 3-US Treasury, Congress ramp up bank bailout talks

(from Reuters with my comments)

* Negotiations ramp up between Treasury, Congress

My comment: The spineless democrats prepare to agree to anything.

* Treasury chief: plan needed to shield economy, taxpayer

My comment: plan will screw economy, taxpayer

* Lawmakers say aim to pass plan by end of week

My comment: Lawmakers want to go on vacation

* Democrats want help for homeowners, taxpayer protections (Recasts; adds comments by Pelosi, Schumer, Dodd; background)

My comment: Homeowners want out of their overpriced homes and mortgages. 700 billion added to taxbill does not protect taxpayers

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The Bush administration and Congress on Sunday ramped up talks on an unprecedented $700 billion bank bailout as they battled the clock to prevent further financial market turmoil that risks hurtling the economy into a deep and damaging recession.

My comment: News flash, the economy is already in a deep and damaging recession.

The plan for the largest-ever bank rescue would give sweeping powers to the U.S. Treasury to buy up toxic mortgage-related debt from financial firms, including U.S. subsidiaries of foreign banks.

My comment: Paulson trades his bazooka for neutron bomb.

The plan for the largest-ever bank rescue would give sweeping powers to the U.S. Treasury to buy up toxic mortgage-related debt from financial firms, including U.S. subsidiaries of foreign banks.

My comment: " that no bank is left behind."

"This is a new phenomenon for every major player in this place and there are no dress rehearsals. That is why the market is so jittery. This has to work the first time," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.

My comment: The market is jittery because it needs another bailout fix.


No Bank Left Behind

...And not even foreign banks.

Nobody can fail! Well, isn't that special.

1. Who was supposed to be scanning the horizon, looking for problems in the financial industry?
2. If we knew there were problems, when did we know and what were we doing about them?
3. Who is being held accountable for this? Where does the buck (1.2 Trillion bucks) stop?

It seems the way we run our country is that we wait for a disaster to happen, and then run around trying to do something about it. No, it's even worse than that. Disasters have been happening that we knew were coming. We watched them arrive. Watched them hit. Then we run around with our hair on fire, giving obscene authority to the people who were supposed to be watching out for (and avoiding) the problems.

Serves us right.

Heckuva Job Paulie!
Heckuva Job Rummie!
Heckuva Job Brownie!
Heckuva Job Ricey! wait, she hasn't done anything.

What a miserable failure of an administration.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

How did we get here? Glass-Steagall Act repealed by Republicans -- and you will know their names

The mess was largely caused by the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

Find the Vote here

I'll help you with this REPUBLICAN BUBBLE MAKER:

Vote StateRepresentative
AyeALSessions, Jefferson [R]
AyeALShelby, Richard [R]
AyeAKMurkowski, Frank [R]
AyeAKStevens, Ted [R]
AyeAZKyl, Jon [R]
AyeAZMcCain, John [R]
AyeARHutchinson, Tim [R]
NayARLincoln, Blanche [D]
NayCABoxer, Barbara [D]
NayCAFeinstein, Dianne [D]
AyeCOAllard, Wayne [R]
AyeCOCampbell, Ben [R]
NayCTDodd, Christopher [D]
NayCTLieberman, Joseph [I]
AyeDERoth, William [?]
NayDEBiden, Joseph [D]
AyeFLMack, Connie [?]
NayFLGraham, Bob [D]
AyeGACoverdell, Paul [?]
NayGACleland, J. [D]
NayHIAkaka, Daniel [D]
NayHIInouye, Daniel [D]
AyeIDCraig, Larry [R]
AyeIDCrapo, Michael [R]
NayILDurbin, Richard [D]
PresentILFitzgerald, Peter [R]
AyeINLugar, Richard [R]
NayINBayh, B. [D]
AyeIAGrassley, Charles [R]
NayIAHarkin, Thomas [D]
AyeKSBrownback, Samuel [R]
AyeKSRoberts, Pat [R]
AyeKYBunning, Jim [R]
AyeKYMcConnell, Mitch [R]
NayLABreaux, John [D]
NayLALandrieu, Mary [D]
AyeMECollins, Susan [R]
AyeMESnowe, Olympia [R]
NayMDMikulski, Barbara [D]
NayMDSarbanes, Paul [D]
NayMAKennedy, Edward [D]
NayMAKerry, John [D]
AyeMIAbraham, Spencer [?]
NayMILevin, Carl [D]
AyeMNGrams, Rod [?]
NayMNWellstone, Paul [D]
AyeMSCochran, Thad [R]
AyeMSLott, Trent [R]
AyeMOAshcroft, John [?]
AyeMOBond, Christopher [R]
AyeMTBurns, Conrad [R]
NayMTBaucus, Max [D]
AyeNEHagel, Charles [R]
NayNEKerrey, J. [?]
NayNVBryan, Richard [?]
NayNVReid, Harry [D]
New Hampshire
AyeNHGregg, Judd [R]
AyeNHSmith, Bob [R]
New Jersey
NayNJLautenberg, Frank [D]
NayNJTorricelli, Robert [D]
New Mexico
AyeNMDomenici, Pete [R]
NayNMBingaman, Jeff [D]
New York
NayNYMoynihan, Daniel [?]
NayNYSchumer, Charles [D]
North Carolina
AyeNCHelms, Jesse [R]
NayNCEdwards, John [D]
North Dakota
NayNDConrad, Kent [D]
NayNDDorgan, Byron [D]
AyeOHDeWine, Michael [R]
AyeOHVoinovich, George [R]
AyeOKNickles, Don [R]
No VoteOKInhofe, James [R]
AyeORSmith, Gordon [R]
NayORWyden, Ron [D]
AyePASantorum, Richard [R]
AyePASpecter, Arlen [R]
Rhode Island
AyeRIChafee, John [?]
NayRIReed, John [D]
South Carolina
AyeSCHollings, Ernest [D]
AyeSCThurmond, J. [R]
South Dakota
NaySDDaschle, Thomas [D]
NaySDJohnson, Tim [D]
AyeTNFrist, William [R]
AyeTNThompson, Fred [R]
AyeTXGramm, Phil [R]
AyeTXHutchison, Kay [R]
AyeUTBennett, Robert [R]
AyeUTHatch, Orrin [R]
AyeVTJeffords, James [I]
NayVTLeahy, Patrick [D]
AyeVAWarner, John [R]
NayVARobb, Charles [?]
AyeWAGorton, T. [?]
NayWAMurray, Patty [D]
West Virginia
NayWVByrd, Robert [D]
NayWVRockefeller, John [D]
NayWIFeingold, Russell [D]
NayWIKohl, Herbert [D]
AyeWYEnzi, Michael [R]
AyeWYThomas, Craig [R]

Friday, September 19, 2008

Then and Now

THEN: Mr. Mitchell was followed shortly by Albert H. Wiggin, head of the Chase National Bank, William Potter, head of the Guaranty Trust Company; and Seward Prosser, head of the Bankers Trust Company. They had come to confer with Thomas W. Lamont of the Morgan firm. In the space of a few minutes these five men, with George F. Baker, Jr., of the First National Bank, agreed in behalf of their respective institutions to put up forty millions apiece to shore up the stock market.

NOW: Today, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and the Swiss National Bank are announcing coordinated measures designed to address the continued elevated pressures in U.S. dollar short-term funding markets.

THEN:The gigantic edifice of prices was honeycombed with speculative credit and was now breaking under its own weight.
NOW: The gigantic edifice of prices is honeycombed with speculative credit and is now breaking under its own weight.

Then: Florida real estate boom and bust
Now: Florida real estate boom and bust

Then: Al Capone
Now: Al Qaida

??? And although the bankers' pool had prevented for the moment an utter collapse, there was no gain, saying the fact that the economic structure had cracked wide open.

Herbert Hoover (Bush) himself, in a White House statement, pointed out that "the fundamental business of the country, that is, production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis." But toward the close of Saturday's session prices began to slip again. And on Monday the rout was under way once more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Putin takes his ball and goes home.

Russia’s primary stock indexes, MICEX and RTS, plummeted, with banking stocks leading the way, prompting regulators to halt trading as of noon.

President, (oh, make that Prime Minister) Putin said, "Somebody was bound to get hurt, and then we would have had to remove corpses like the Americans...better to stop it before it gets that far.

And home he went, taking his ball with him, until the markets promise to always let everyone win.

Oh, this is a lot of fun.


If you have a bazooka...

Nationalization of AIG: Treasury to get 80% stake in return for $85 billion

Paulson: "If you have a bazooka in your pocket, and people know you have a bazooka, you may never have to take it out."

Wrong, Hank. Your bazooka shoots sunshine on troubled organizations.

Fannie 100bn
Freddie 100bn
AIG 87bn

How many bazooka shells ya got left, Hank?

So now do we need to insure against our insurance companies' going bankrupt?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bazooka Hank Shellshocked!

No link needed for this. For those of you who missed Bazooka Hank Paulson's press conference today, you missed a doozy. He looked like a rabbit who had undergone bazooka blast after bazooka blast just over his head. He was visibly shaking, twitching, stuttering trying to calm the world down.


As he was speaking the DOW tanked another forty points.

I understand that he didn't cause the mess, but he surely didn't help anything.

Hank, go polish your bazooka.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Give it a break Karl Denninger

Karl Denninger over at has just let out a tirade. He says that we've been basically screwed over by the fed, the government, Wall Street. (I'm paraphrasing, but that's the jist).

Karl, give it a break.

Nobody was force-fed any of these McMansions, Lexus, iPods, credit cards, HELOCs, exotic mortgages, or credit in general.

Americans did this to themselves. We asked for it. It's our material culture. And now it's our debtor culture. Good morning.

We (most of us) pay attention to the news, what, fifteen minutes a week? How many voting Americans do you think paid more than ten minutes a week attention during the last two presidential elections?

Very few.

We voted for "a religious man." And that's what we got. Someone who said he'd bring "honor" to Washington. We also got the worst president ever. A miserable failure and a miserable excuse for a president. We got what we deserved.

As for our declining standard of living, where have you been these past forty years? Our standard of living has BEEN declining! This is nothing new, or of the past 8 years even.

So, Karl, get off it. You, and all those like you, tire me.


He Took IT out!

He took it out?







Hank "Bazooka" Paulson took out his Bazooka. The Bazooka that was supposed to stay in his pants.

Change? Makin' Stuff Up. Rove.

I remember thinking in 2004 as the presidential election was boiling that Bush could not touch Kerry's service record. Especially since Bush had not served in combat and there was evidence that he himself had sought an easy path during the Vietnam war.

I was shocked to see the Republicans' arrogance when they attacked just that -- Kerry's service record. He was "swiftboated."

Now we see it again. Just as the Republicans seemed out and Obama was championing the 'change' message, John McCain argues that he is the "change." And Obama is having a hard time smacking it down. His best answer has been, "You can't just make stuff up."

You know what Barack? They can. They did. They are just makin' stuff up.

They are attacking the unattackable.

That is brave. For good or bad, that is Rove

Saturday, September 13, 2008

JAllen Radio

(this is a rush transcript)

JAllen: I am here today to discuss Hurricane Ike with four renowned bloggers, Mike Shedlock (Mish), Mr. Mortgage, Nouriel Roubini (hisssssssss!) and Patrick of Thank you all for being here.

bloggers: (inaudible hrmrmennnfhr.)

JAllen: Let's begin with Mr. Mortgage. What do you think about this Ike?

Mr. Mortgage: This entire Ike deal is still bugging at me. So much, yet so little has happened in the past week my head is still spinning. Its like ‘whoa, did we just experience two of the largest hurricanes in the world (Ike and Gustav) amidst a web of potential fraud this week? Whoa, Whoa!’

Mike Shedlock (Mish) : A massive unwinding of Gustav is now fueling the Ike rally. This Ike is really deflationary. I mean there was massive speculation by Galvestonions shorting Gustav and going long Ike. That too is being unwound.

Those sorry bets were made on the misguided belief that Ike would decouple from the US.

Mr. Morgage: Mr. Mortgage here. Today I'm talking about the housing problem in Texas. There are literally thousands of people just walking away from their homes. They're underwater. I mean literally under water.

Nouriel Roubini : This is the biggest and most socialist hurricane since the formation of the Soviet Union and Communist China. Just as I predicted in 2006. This "Ike" would come.

Patrick : Now is still a terrible time to buy a house...especially in Galveston. It's still much cheaper to rent than to own the same thing.

JAllen: Well, thank you bloggers for being here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dear Barack Obama Part II

Dear Barack,

Well, the GOP has come out swingin' and I bet you didn't think you'd be down this far in the polls. That Alaska lady looks good and her voice is honey to the Republican base. At this point, I could almost vote for her without even thinking about John McCain. She has star appeal.

But so did you not so long ago. You packed tens of thousands into a rally in Oregon, I remember. It reminded me of Woodstock. And your acceptance speech in front of some 85,000 people. That was pretty amazing.

Unfortunately it's gonna take more than 85,000 votes to get you elected.

You picked as your running mate Joe Biden, who got a tiny number of votes in the primaries before dropping out. Hillary Clinton, in the primaries got (I think) more actual votes than you did-- including the 18 million cracks. You won caucus states.

Your current weaknesses are:

1. You are black and many voting democrats (unfortunately) will either not vote or vote against you because you are black.

2. You did not pick Hillary as your running mate and many democrats who want to vote for a woman (they exist in large numbers, by the way) will not vote for you.

3. You are inexperienced.

You are right when you say that this election is not about you, it's about us the electorate. Can we vote for someone who is black and inexperienced?

I think the deck is now stacked against you. I think you would have been better off picking Hillary. You left the door wide open. Wide open.

And now we have to hope that nice, religious lady from Alaska screws up.

So what advice do I have for you? I'll answer that tomorrow.


Pathetic Palin - "Doe in the Headlights"

Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo., Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, "The fact is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers. The McCain-Palin administration will make them smaller and smarter and more effective for homeowners who need help."

1. They didn't cost taxpayers anything until they were socialized this past weekend.

That's all I'm gonna say 'bout that.


Shop 'til you drop?

If "spending" is good for the economy, then the underlying assumption is that "saving" is bad -- or at least not good as it is the opposite of "spending."

This is what is upsetting because we all know the opposite to actually be true. If we save, we have something for a rainy day. When things are tough, like after 911, sacrifice is in order, not a shopping binge.

When Bush, after 911 told Americans to "Go Shopping," I worried. When, upon giving the first stimulus checks, he asked that people "go out and spend it," I was shocked. How can the problems caused by too much shopping and spending be remedied by shopping and spending?

And now Barack Obama is suggesting another round of stimulus checks.

With debt at enormously high levels, and the economy floundering it is time for frugality.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I've fallen and I can't get up continued...

So biting the dust are Fannie and Freddie to the tune of hundreds of billions or trillions. - (I've never written that word before.)

We also have GM, Ford and Chrysler, looking for a mere 50 billion handout.

And just to not be forgotten, we have Boeing getting a kick in the balls by its union workers, expecting it to cost them $100 million per day.

The irresponsibility is mind-boggling.

I think we're just getting warmed up.


The Economy: "I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Comment from some SDSU professor in 1990:

"Stock market crashes, and financial turmoil such as we saw in the 1930s likely won't happen again. Today, we have 'financial safety nets' and markets are so interwoven that they support each other."

It went something like that as I remember.

Unfortunately, it seems the problem with large, strong 'financial safety nets' is that they are able to support an enormous amount of garbage.

So, now the US government backstops the garbage, which means us taxpayers. Who backstops us when we finally breakdown?


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bobby & Baby Buyin' a Home in '05


BOBBY: “Baby, I just got back from the mortgage broker…and…and get this...

baby…we buyin’ a home!”

BABY: “What?”

BOBBY: “That’s right baby we gonna be homeowners!

BABY: “How’s that, baby?’

BOBBY: “Well, LeRoy the mortgage man told me that he got this loan program called the ARM.”

BABY: “The arm?”

BOBBY: “That’s right baby and da ARM is gonna give us a helpin’ hand.”

BABY: “How’s that?”

BOBBY: “Well, you know how home prices been goin’ up and up and we just been

missin’da boat?”

BABY: “Uh huh.”

BOBBY: “Well now, with this ARM, we gonna buy us a big ol’ house and it’s gonna cost us…get this baby…$1500 a month! Now, with me bringin’ in two and you brining in another one, we got that covered.”

BABY: “Yeah, I guess so.”

BOBBY: “Now, Leroy said that in a year or two, the payment might go up, but by then we’ll have over forty grand of “e-cutie.”

BABY: “E-cue what?”

BOBBY: “E-cutie”, baby. That means our money. ‘Cause prices got nowhere to go but up! And they taken us wit ‘em baby! Takin’ us wit ‘em! And you know the best part?”

BABY: “What?”

BOBBY: “We gonna take that forty grand out with a Hee-lock and refi into a con, go to Bahamas and buy us a new Caddy, Baby. What you think about that?”

BABY: “Refi? What’s refi?”

BOBBY: “I don’t know baby, but LeRoy gonna help us into our new home! And the Bahamas.” be continued.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Palin's daughter's baby's father looks like...

Palin's daughter's baby's father Levi Johnston...

Looks suspiciously like...

Joran Van der Sloot!



Palin's Pains, McCain's


So, in order to quash the rumor that your son is your own, and not your daughter's, you inform the bublic, (yes, bublic) that it can't be your underage daughter's baby because she's pregnant!

Holy moly, Gustav!

It seems the hurricane missed New Orleans and ripped right through the McCain campaign.

There are still questions as to why the baby's birth is not registered at the hospital he was reportedly born and why Bristol suddenly changed schools last year right about the time she would be "showing," and then dropped out due to "mono."

(I am writing this stuff with the meagerest of facts, by the way.)