March 16, 2008 archive

Market insanity continues. Bear Stearns to sell to JP Morgan. If they can.

This is so important for all of us to digest right now.

A major financial player in the United States, whom about one week ago trotted their CEO out to tell everyone that their business was solid, only to have the bottom drop out on their stock prices due to the reality of their financial problems coming to the forefront last Wednesday.

From the Wall Street Journal, today:

Bear Stearns Cos. was closing in on a deal Sunday afternoon to sell itself to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., as worries deepened that the financial crisis of confidence could spread if Bear failed to find a buyer by Monday morning.

People familiar with the discussions said all sides were pushing hard to complete an agreement before financial markets in Asia open for Monday trading. “None of these things is done until they’re done,” Treasury Department spokeswoman Michele Davis said Sunday afternoon. “But I think everyone’s expectation is sometime in the early evening hopefully” the deal will be done.

Terms of the deal were still being hammered out Sunday afternoon. Reflecting the dire situation at Bear, the company is likely to fetch considerably less on a per-share basis than its stock price of $30 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading Friday at 4 p.m. Last year, the shares hit $170.

One stumbling point appeared to be the amount of risk that J.P. Morgan would absorb in any type of transaction. While J.P. Morgan is eager to snap up some of Bear Stearns assets — such as its prime brokerage business that caters to hedge funds — Chief Executive Officer James Dimon was reluctant to pursue the deal without certain assurances that would protect his firm’s exposure, said people familiar with the matter.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Electric Mayhem

Can You Picture That?

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Tibet protests spread to other provinces

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

34 minutes ago

BEIJING – Violence in Tibet spilled over into neighboring provinces Sunday where Tibetan protesters defied a Chinese government crackdown. The Dalai Lama warned Tibet faced “cultural genocide” and appealed to the world for help.

Protests against Chinese rule of Tibet were reported in neighboring Sichuan and Qinghai provinces and also in western Gansu province. All are home to sizable Tibetan populations.

The demonstrations come after protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa escalated into violence Friday, with Buddhist monks and others torching police cars and shops in the fiercest challenge to Beijing’s rule over the region in nearly two decades.

Apocalyptic Horses Very Frisky

Lesson of the weekend.

Flank straps should not be secured to the cinch with bailing twine!

Fortunately nobody went to the hospital over the deal.

That being said I have this powerful psychic feeling of impending doom, the kind one can only appeal to a higher power.  

im typing this from inside my closet

first my apologies if things are spellled wrong or if there are tipos, but i’m on the floor in the hall closet, an umbrella handle digging into my back, a string of garlic around my neck, typing as faast as i can, because… i’ve discovered something tonight… something horrrible and unthinkable… and i’m afraid if i go public with it… they’ll hunt me down and kill me.

my friends… WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Pride and Prejudice

Although the right has constantly accused the mythical, unicorn, left and liberals of imposing a mantra of rejecting self reliance, accountability, in favor of weakness and sloth, it is as usual the right who has asked nothing of Americans except to be consumers. Americans look fondly upon Reagan because he made us “feel good” about ourselves. Today when social critics complain about how we raise children and praise them for everything, indulge their whims, and fail to teach them the harsh lesson that they won’t “win everything ” need to look at the right and how they rejected the idea planning for a future shock. Reagan encouraged the idea of expressing pride in ourselves just for the hell of it, the right has infantalized us, encouraged us to stay too long at a party we never should have attended in the first place.

Our own VP said Conservation may be a personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy many years ago. Prior to the so called Reagan revolution, old school conservatives used to believe that stuff ran out, that this guiding principle in essence surfaced in the market. There was not an endless supply of “stuff” and what drove some amount of competition and anxiety was negotiating for the stuff we could get.

I always saw the “market” as being a big fucking rigged casino and stock trading as horoscopes for the wealthy, but I am not an economist, and it is the rare economist who is willing to question the sanctity of market principles in North America. If they did, my guess is that they might have chosen other calling. Even mild critics basically believe it works well for a vast majority of citizens even when it doesn’t. They remind me of people who insist on praying for miracle cures while evidence piles up that none are forthcoming.

The cheapest laugh, the quickest way to chest puffery, for the right is to mock President Carter. I was born in 1964, so I recall, the economic turbulence in the 1970’s.

As the child of a single parent, I was very aware of when stuff “ran out”, Mom got paid monthly and toward then end of the month when money was scare we ate vegetarian. I had clothes she mostly sewed and my “cool stuff” I obtained as hand me downs from the children of a woman my mother knew who had married well. It wasn’t presented as hardship, or sacrifice. It was considered annoying. Prior to consumer gas shortages, Mom drove a Volkswagen Beetle, and then a Honda Civic that were both the size of a large dog.

Men on the block claimed that, “Japanese cars could not withstand the harsh Canadian winters.” She drove that civic for ten years and sold it to a college student as part of a garage sale.

I thought I would have a second look at Carter’s famous speech in which he said:

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

Those who want to digest the entire speech can do so here.

Was Spitzer Like Siegelman The Target Of A Political Prosecution?

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Don Siegelman, a former, Democratic governor of Alabama and a good guy, was railroaded to a federal prison where he’s now serving a 7-year sentence, in a case that has Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over it.  The case is a travesty and proof positive not only that there are political prisoners in the US but that Siegelman is one of them.

Yesterday, I wrote a diary about this disgraceful travesty because I wanted to keep the story alive.  I don’t want us to forget that this conviction is an example of why there was a US Attorney scandal and why investigation of that scandal must continue.

The best sources of information on Siegelman, if you’re not yet familiar with this mockery of justice, is OPOL’s Friday diary on the case, a diary with lots of video and background, and Siegelman’s web site.

What’s any of this got to do with Eliot Spitzer, who has been forced to resign as Governor of New York because of his hiring prostitutes?  Plenty.

Join me across the jump.

gone to lunch


Public funds for private bailouts but not healthcare

If I have to have my taxpayer dollars go to no bid deals for Halliburton, that is bad enough.  But if I have to have my taxpayer dollars go to bailing out a private company like Bear Stearns (and there will be others who are in major imminent trouble), then that shows a stunning display of absolute contempt by this current government towards the needs of We the People.

Many remember that, back in the 1980’s, Drexel Burnham Lambert was allowed to fold into bankruptcy because of illegal actions.  And even the S&L bailout in the 1980’s (that John W. McCain helped his buddy Charles Keating with) was not a private investment bank that has private profit sharing for its owners, employees and investors but not the public, who is now being forced to use public funding to prop up a private company, whose profits were most certainly not being shared with the American taxpayers.

Karl Rove is driving the Obama – Clinton wars

He certainly had the examples of what to do by the Nixon administration he adored from puberty.

History is being repeated with almost identical methods, and unfortunately so are falling for them that if we don’t expose them it may cost us the General election!

In a 1996 The Washington Post article By George Lardner

Buchanan Outlined Plan to Harass Democrats in ’72, Memo Shows

Rove stated that he IS an adviser to the McCain campaign, he also works for FOX news.

Republican presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan strongly favored a plan of “covert operations” to harass and embarrass Democratic contenders in the heady days at the Nixon White House before the Watergate scandal.

Buchanan laid out his ideas in an April 10, 1972, memo looking ahead to that summer’s Democratic National Convention

On the memo’s last page — one never turned over to Watergate congressional investigators — Buchanan and his top aide recommended staging counterfeit attacks by one Democrat on another, fouling up scheduled events, arranging demonstrations and spreading rumors to plague the rival party, all the while being careful not to run afoul of the Secret Service.

Questions on good and evil

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

Sometimes I wonder if four people who have so little in common in how they have lived their lives can all be said to be of the same species. And yet, that is what we have here. Four examples of human beings. My question is this…how does that happen? Perhaps for some of you, this is not an important question. But to me, it might be the biggest of them all. I obviously want to understand how someone becomes like Archbishop Tutu as opposed to Dick Cheney because I want more Tutus and less Cheneys. If we can begin to understand how that happens, maybe we can start to fix things, at least for the future.

Of course, some would call it fate or the will of God. I don’t buy that. The other way of looking at it involves the nature vs nurture debate. As is our normal habit, we tend to see these things as polarities, ie, its either genetics or environment. If it’s all genetics, we’re back to fate and the whole question is a moot point. But if environment plays a role, then we have something to work with.

Hey! The MSM just figured out what you and I have known for A Long Time.

Guess what?  The media has caught on!  Sure, a couple of years after those of us that have been paying attention already knew the answer, but HEY! at least they decided to report on it.  Only because it helps corporate interests, but they did finally report on it.  

Go figure.

What, you ask, did they finally uncover?  The reason your food is costing more money!  WHOA!  Be still, my bank account.

From a story, issued from MSNBC late Friday afternoon.

If you’re fuming about how high gasoline prices have gotten, why not relax with a nice meal?

Perhaps a few beers and a turkey sandwich? Maybe a chicken Caesar salad?

Well, it’s not just the price of gasoline that’s going up. That beer, turkey and chicken are also costing more too.

Let me see.  What do beer, turkey and chicken have in common?  

Hmmmmmm.  Nope, I can’t figure it out for myself. It must be too obvious or something…

As President Bush noted in his comments on the economy Friday, “Prices are up at the gas pump and in the supermarket.”

Welp, I wonder how that happened on Your Watch, oh enlightened Presnit?  

Lets see, shall we?

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