March 15, 2010 archive

Coroner’s report on Lehman: Terrifying fraud.

Dylan Ratigan & Eliot Spitzer plainly explain the fraud that occurred at Lehman.  Ratigan hands Spitzer collateral (a trash can), and Spitzer hands Ratigan cash.  Lehman “pawned” its garbage in exchange for short-term loans to spruce up the quarterly books with “more cash, less trash.”  This is the “repo 105” fraud everyone is talking about since the release of the bankruptcy examiner’s report.  Please watch:

CEO Dick Fuld alone made half a billion bucks off this fraud.  He remains a free man today.  As Spitzer said, the accounting firm Ernst & Young, the Fed, and the Treasury were also involved in this fraud.

Ratigan: “This report comes just short of suggesting this is by no means an accident but instead one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated by a group of people, and enabled by the US government.”

And Spitzer concludes: “there is no doubt civil cases will be brought. We had a failure of CEO, the CFO, the accountants, and indeed the regulators, the Fed and the Treasury, that were inside these banks, and the question has to be asked: where were they?”

Social Insecurity Starts

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

It’s time to start cashing them in.

For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.

Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices.

 -The Associate Press.…

Now where did this money go?  Well, we here all know that don’t we?

The national debt — the amount of money the government owes its creditors — is about $12.5 trillion, or nearly $42,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. About $8 trillion has been borrowed in public debt markets, much of it from foreign creditors. The rest came from various government trust funds, including retirement funds for civil servants and the military. About $2.5 trillion is owed to Social Security.

”Those bonds are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” Kennelly said. ”They’re as solid as what we owe China and Japan.’

But, see they’re not.  The political plan is to keep on saying “Social Security is running out of money” — and to keep funneling that money into the hands of various corporate and military interests.  It has been a treasure trove to finance all these stupid wars and stuff.

So, sorry. You’re 62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70…..

You’ll always be one year late.

Even though YOU payed for it.


Sunday Train: Economic Independence will Help Pay For Itself

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

Last week I presented a draft of a national Steel Interstate plan. The focus was on the Institutional Framework required to be able to build it, including the source for the interest subsidy to finance its up front capital cost.

Possibly lost in the wall of words was an important point, which was focused on by some commentary: the users are paying the capital construction cost. As a country, we need it, so as a country, it makes sense to find a way to jumpstart it and have it available for the oil prices shocks that are coming in this next two decades.

but once it starts getting used, that’s what will cover the original construction cost. One way we can tell we are heading toward Economic Freedom is that it helps pay for itself.

Why everyone here should support a Republican for Congress in MD-8

After the mess of the Bush years and the Republican idiocy in Congress, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which a progressive would really, strongly support a Republican.  But today is the day for me.

Murray Hill is just more than the typical candidate.  Murray Hill represents something more than anyone could hope to represent.  Young, an interesting background, and new to politics – these days, who wants to reelect an incumbent?

If you’re not convinced, join me below the fold.  I think even the most partisan Democrats out there will be convinced that Murray Hill is a great candidate.

Pique the Geek 20100314: Nuclear Fusion, Star Power

The first installment of this series may be found here, and it gives the basics as to how nuclear energy works.  The way that the stars generate their energy is interesting, and we shall consider it in greater detail this time.

Young stars almost always fuse hydrogen into helium.  There are several reasons for this, amongst them 1) hydrogen (protium, see the previous installment) is the most common nucleide in the cosmos, 2) more energy is released by fusing protium into helium nuclei than any other known process, and 3) there are multiple processes to accomplish it.

Utopia 19: A Long Way Home

Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don’t  stand in the doorway

Don’t block up the hall

For he that gets  hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There’s a battle outside

And it  is ragin’

It’ll soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For  the times they are a-changin’.

Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”

Overnight Caption Contest (Dub il Feature)



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