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lunar 04.12.2008 15:37

ozymandius (1000+ posts) Thu Dec-04-08 06:19 AM
Response to Original message 21. Paulson Still Doesn’t Understand Housing’s Problems (wants to re-inflate the bubble) Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson once again reveals his appalling misunderstanding of the Housing market and its problems today when he floated his latest idea to “Stem Home-Price Declines.”

There are two problems with Housing:
1. Ultra low rates and an abdication of lending standards put 3 - 4 million people in homes they could not afford. The real costs of home ownership have been forcing many of these people to move back into more affordable quarters (i.e., rentals).

2. By just about every measure, home prices remain significantly elevated over historic metrics.And given the chain of sales that accompanies any existing home sale — the starter home/move up home/bigger house/even nice home/downsize retiree — anything that keeps home prices out of reach of the starter and move up buyers damages the entire chain fo purchasers.
“The Treasury Department is considering a plan to revitalize the U.S. housing market by reducing mortgage rates for new loans, according to people familiar with the matter.

The plan, which is in the development stages, would use mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to bring loan rates down as low as 4.5%, a full percentage point lower than the prevailing rates for 30-year fixed mortgages.

Government officials are under pressure to stem foreclosures, which underpin much of the current financial crisis. Treasury has struggled for months to come up with a plan that would ease the market without appearing to bail out homeowners and lenders.

Under the plan, Treasury would buy securities underpinning loans guaranteed by the two mortgage giants, which are temporarily under the control of the government, as well as those guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration. Fannie and Freddie guarantee a large proportion of all new home loans made in the U.S. /

Again I ask: How did this fool become the head of Goldman Sachs? (...bin nicht alleine mit meiner Abneigung zu diesem Paulson :o)

lunar 04.12.2008 16:36

4 Anhang/Anhänge
20. November: Arbeitswillige Chinesen – Diese Menschen suchen Arbeit an einer Stellenmesse in der chinesischen Stadt Nanjing.

28. November 2008: Schwere Überschwemmungen im südindischen Gliedstaat Tamil Nadu haben bereits 32 Menschenleben gefordert. Im Bild: Eine Strasse in der Stadt Chennai.

Angehörige einer Minenräumungs-Frauenorganisation im Einsatz in einem Landminen-Gebiet in Jordanien.

Drei Millionen Muslime werden zur am Samstag beginnenden fünftägigen «Hajj» in Mekka erwartet. Die ersten Pilger sind bereits da und umkreisen die Kaaba.

lunar 04.12.2008 18:10

04 December 2008

Breaking the ZIRP barrier

From Across the Curve:

T Bills
December 4th, 2008 11:42 am

I just spoke to a bill trader who noted that a large chunk of the bill list is trading at zero percent. He mentioned a point that I had forgotten but is worth noting. Bills always trade well in December because at year end there is demand for them as investors of every ilk dress up their balance sheets. He has seen that demand to a far greater extent than normal.

He says that given all that has transpired this year there will be enormous demand for bill through the entire month of December. He has seen demand from an eclectic group of investors from around the globe. He expects the treasury to announce shortly a series of cash management bills which would total about $100 billion.

In his opinion if they do not issue bills will scream through zero

So get used to these low rates they are here for a while.

Let's revisit the current situation.

The comparisons are not quite focused with today in terms of bills and bonds, since the funding preferences of Treasury are different now than they were back then, but you get the general idea of 'Treasuries' and their role in a flight to safety in a portfolio allocation.

Posted by Jesse at 10:58 AM :verbeug

lunar 04.12.2008 22:03

04 December 2008

A Fair and Reasonable Proposal for Federal Bailouts

Senator Chris Dodd made an interesting proposal this afternoon, and on thinking further it seems to be one of the most reasonable and practical suggestions that we've heard during this crisis.

The Senator proposed that whatever givebacks, restrictions, haircuts, penalties, oversight, pay cuts and equity arrangements that are written into the bridge loans and funds to the automakers be applied in principle to all recipients of Federal bailout money including the Wall Street banks, and financials institutions like AIG and GE. This would include requiring written proposals for the restructuring and the use of this money and the adoption of a set of business reforms of the financial industry without exception.

This should include any funds provided by the Federal Reserve and Treasury. The Fed does not have any independent funds, all of them being provided and sustained by the US taxpayers through their debt and tax obligations. Oversight for this program would be conducted by an independent board set up by the GAO, and not the Fed or Treasury to avoid a conflict of interest.

We think that is a superb idea, and would like to solicit the support of other senators and congressmen for it.

We suggest your write to your Senators about this today and express your support for a more even treatment of all businesses and people including the Wall Street banks.

Write to Your Senator

Posted by Jesse at 2:13 PM :verbeug

lunar 04.12.2008 22:07

Citigroup and Key Officers including Prince and Rubin Named in Suit Charging Fraud

NY Post
December 4, 2008

A new Citigroup scandal is engulfing Robert Rubin and his former disciple Chuck Prince for their roles in an alleged Ponzi-style scheme that's now choking world banking.

Director Rubin and ousted CEO Prince - and their lieutenants over the past five years - are named in a federal lawsuit for an alleged complex cover-up of toxic securities that spread across the globe, wiping out trillions of dollars in their destructive paths.

Investor-plaintiffs in the suit accuse Citi management of overseeing the repackaging of unmarketable collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that no one wanted - and then reselling them to Citi and hiding the poisonous exposure off the books in shell entities.

The lawsuit said that when the bottom fell out of the shaky assets in the past year, Citi's stock collapsed, wiping out more than $122 billion of shareholder value.

However, Rubin and other top insiders were able to keep Citi shares afloat until they could cash out more than $150 million for themselves in "suspicious" stock sales "calculated to maximize the personal benefits from undisclosed inside information," the lawsuit said.

The latest troubles for Rubin, Prince and others emerged in a 500-page investigation by Citigroup investors represented by law firm Kirby McInerney.

The probe was used to amend and add new details to a blanket investor lawsuit filed against Citigroup a year ago. The amended suit called the actions of Citi leaders "a quasi-Ponzi scheme" to hide troubles - and keep Citi stock afloat while insiders unloaded about 3 million shares between Jan. 1, 2004 and Feb. 22, 2008 for huge profits.

In addition to Citigroup, Rubin and Prince, the complaint names Vice Chairman Lewis Kaden, ex-CFO Sallie Krawcheck and her successor CFO Gary Crittenden.

Rubin cleared $30.6 million on his stock sales, while Prince got $26.5 million, former COO Robert Druskin got nearly $32 million and former Global Wealth Management unit chief Todd Thomson got $25.7 million, the suit said.

Citi denied the allegations and said it "will defend against it vigorously."

Posted by Jesse at 2:00 PM :verbeug

lunar 04.12.2008 22:17

Indian airports on high alert after new warning

By RAMOLA TALWAR BADAM, Associated Press Writer Ramola Talwar Badam, Associated Press Writer – 3 mins ago

Play Video ABC News – India on High Alert

AP – A Railway Special Forces personnel keeps guard at Mumbai's main train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, …

MUMBAI, India – Airports in India went on high alert Thursday following fresh attack warnings as officials said India suspects two senior leaders of a banned Pakistani militant group orchestrated the deadly Mumbai attacks.

The alert came as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari promised the U.S. secretary of state his country would take "strong action" against any elements in Pakistan involved in last week's siege.

The new alert that warned of possible airborne attacks focused on three major airports — New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai — but security was stepped up across India. No details about the threat were released.

"This is a warning which we have received. We are prepared as usual," India's air force chief, Fali Homi Major, told reporters.

The British Broadcasting Corp. cited unconfirmed reports from airport officials as saying late Thursday that up to six gunmen had been shot and killed at New Delhi's international airport. But Indian police told The Associated Press there was a minor incident and no deaths. "It was not a terrorist incident. No one was killed," said police spokesman Rajan Bhagat. He gave no further details.....

full story:

lunar 05.12.2008 08:52

Zitat von Hoka

Trader Dan Comments On The Dire Condition Of The International Monetary System

Posted: Dec 04 2008 By: Dan Norcini Post Edited: December 4, 2008 at 10:05 pm
Filed under: Trader Dan Norcini

Dear CIGAs,

Linked below are a few charts showing the custodial account treasury holdings and agency holdings. If there is any wonder why the bond market is experiencing a once-in-a-generation bubble, just look at the Treasury Holdings chart. It is going vertical. Meanwhile, the chart showing the Agency debt holdings such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continues its “fall off a cliff” imitation. Foreign Central Banks are dropping Fannie and Freddie debt like a bad habit and rushing into US Treasuries. I keep wondering just who it is that is supposed to provide the capital for Fannie and Freddie to function! The feds supposedly dumped $200 billion into them if I recall correctly but foreign Central Banks have already unloaded $120 billion. At the rate the FCB’s are ditching the debt, it looks like it is a wash and we are back to where Fannie and Freddie were in July.

I read these charts as an indicator as to just how dire is the condition of the world’s current monetary system. If any of these foreign Central Banks balks at buying US Treasuries or even whisper about selling them, Katie bar the door on the US Dollar. Still, I think it is just a matter of time before the US has to devalue the dollar if it ever hopes to make good on these ever-increasing obligations. It reminds me of one of those old biology films we used to watch back in school when the virus would divide and just keep on dividing and dividing and dividing. Maybe we could rename US Treasury bonds to US Treasury viruses - They just keep on multiplying until they suck the life out of their host.

Also, note the yield charts on the 3 month and the 10 year. The three month is effectively at zero. I have not shown them but the one month is at 0.01% and the one year is at 0.61%.

Talk about zero bound… Quantitative Easing, here we come with a vengeance. They have no other choice.

Trader Dan

Click here to view today’s Custodial Holdings, 3 Month Money and Ten Year Treasury charts with commentary from Trader Dan Norcini


lunar 05.12.2008 09:57

Die reichsten Schweizer (.....sind gar nicht immer Schweizer :rolleyes:o;)) haben 70 Mrd. Franken weniger

05.12.2008 06:27

Die Finanzkrise lässt die Vermögen der reichsten Schweizer schmelzen. Innert eines Jahres verdampften 70 Mrd. Franken. Es handelt sich aber praktisch nur um Buchverluste.

Die 300 Reichsten der Schweiz besitzen zusammen immer noch 459 Mrd. Franken. Ihre Vermögen gingen um 13,2 Prozent zurück, wie das Wirtschaftsmagazin "Bilanz" berechnet hat. Damit kamen sie vergleichweise gut weg. Zum Vergleich: Der SMI stürzte in der gleichen Zeit um 40 Prozent ab.

Angeführt wird die von der "Bilanz" seit nunmehr 20 Jahren erstellte Hitparade vom Gründer des Möbelkonzerns Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad. Der im Waadtland lebende Schwede kommt auf ein Vermögen von 35 bis 36 Mrd. Fr. und steht seit Jahren an der Spitze der Liste.

Auf dem zweiten Rang liegen die Familien Hoffmann und Oeri, die Besitzerinnen des Pharmakonzerns Roche. Sie kommen auf ein Vermögen von 16 bis 17 Mrd. Franken. Den dritten Rang belegt die Familie Brenninkmeijer, die Besitzerin von C&A, mit einem Vermögen von 12 bis 13 Mrd. Franken.

Viktor Vekselberg liegt mit einem Vermögen von 11 bis 12 Mrd. Fr. auf dem vierten Rang der Hitparade. Der russische Oligarch mit Schweizer Wohnsitz kontrolliert den Technologiekonzern OC Oerlikon.

Der ehemalige UBS-Präsident Marcel Ospel, der im Steuerparadies Wollerau SZ lebt, kommt auf ein Vermögen von 100 bis 200 Mio. Franken ( also - da könnte man ja noch einiges holen :rolleyes). Ende November hatte er der UBS rund 22 Mio. Fr. zurückbezahlt.

Dieses Jahr weist die "Bilanz"-Hitparade 16 Neuzugänge aus, die mindestens 100 Mio. Fr. besitzen. Darunter ist der Tennis-Star Roger Federer - nicht in erster Linie wegen seiner Preisgelder, sondern dank eines Werbevertrags mit Nike. Federers Vermögen beläuft sich auf 100 bis 200 Mio. Franken.

(Quelle: SDA)

lunar 05.12.2008 10:27

China lectures US on economy ;)

By Geoff Dyer in Beijing

Published: December 4 2008 04:32 | Last updated: December 4 2008 19:10

The US was lectured about its economic fragilities on Thursday as senior Chinese officials urged the administration to stabilise its economy, boost its savings rate and protect Chinese investments.

The message went to Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, in Beijing for the strategic economic dialogue he helped launch to discuss long-term issues between the two countries.

As expected, Mr Paulson urged Beijing not to abandon efforts to let the renminbi appreciate, said US officials, amid fears China might want to let its currency weaken to help local exporters weather the global slowdown.

But Mr Paulson also found himself facing calls for the US to address its own economic problems. Wang Qishan, a vice-premier and leader of the Chinese delegation at the two-day talks, called on the US to take swift action to address the crisis.

“We hope the US side will take the necessary measures to stabilise the economy and financial markets as well as guarantee the safety of China’s assets and investments in the US,” he said.....

......“Over-consumption and a high reliance on credit is the cause of the US financial crisis,”.......

full story:

Talks take on global dimension

Restoring global confidence and preventing the current financial crisis from spreading, especially to developing countries, are key tasks facing the world now, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan told top officials from China and US on Thursday.

"For the first time during an SED, the US and China will focus on how we can work together through international forums to strengthen the global economic system," said US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who leads the US delegation.

Wang said China has made important contributions to the global economy by keeping its economic growth steady, adopting pro-active fiscal and monetary policies, and raising domestic demand. [Full Text]

....bissle verkrampftes Grinsen des Herrn Paulson :o

lunar 05.12.2008 11:35

Harzius In der Krise googeln die Menschen mehr
Habe gerade was interessantes entdeckt,hoffe es passt hier rein....

Seit einigen Monaten lässt sich auf den Internetseiten der Suchmaschine Google ablesen, wonach in den verschiedenen Regionen der Welt gesucht wird. In Zeiten der Krise ist diese Statistik besonders interessant. Denn sie zeigt, wie die finanzielle Situation das Leben jedes einzelnen beeinflusst.
In Bayern und Baden-Württemberg suchen die Verbraucher in den Zeiten der Krise vor allem nach Bundesschatzbriefen oder erfragen den aktuellen Goldpreis.

Die Bayern habs mir ja schon fast gedacht das sich hier die meisten Goldbugs rumtummeln,sind ja hier im Forum auch stark vertreten,und was machen die gehirngewaschene Baden-Würtenberger Bundesschatzbriefe is ja auch so sicher..

MFG Harzius

Rheinland-Pfalz :supi;)

lunar 05.12.2008 12:05

Gedicht des Tages - aus Trader'sDaily

Im Nebel

Seltsam im Nebel zu wandern
einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein
Kein Baum sieht den andern
Jeder ist allein.
Voll von Freunden war mir die Welt
Als noch mein Leben licht war
Nun da der Nebel fällt
Ist keiner mehr sichtbar.
Wahrlich, keiner ist weise
Der nicht das Dunkel kennt
Das unentrinnbar und leise
Von allen ihn trennt.
Seltsam im Nebel zu wandern
einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein
Kein Mensch kennt den andern
Jeder ist allein.

- Hermann Hesse

lunar 05.12.2008 15:32

Employers in U.S. Cut 533,000 Jobs, Most in 34 Years, as Recession Deepens U.S. employers eliminated jobs in November at the fastest pace in 34 years and the unemployment rate jumped as the yearlong recession engulfing the world’s largest economy deepened.

U.S. Stock Futures Extend Losses as Plunge in Payrolls Exceeds Forecasts U.S. stock-index futures tumbled after employers cut more jobs than economists forecast in November, spurring concern that the recession is deepening.

lunar 05.12.2008 15:44

In his first interview since the world financial crisis, Gao Xiqing, the man who oversees $200 billion of China’s $2 trillion in dollar holdings, explains why he’s betting against the dollar, praises American pragmatism, and wonders about enormous Wall Street paychecks. And he has a friendly piece of advice:

“Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money”

by James Fallows

Image credit: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg News/Landov

Americans know that China has financed much of their nation’s public and private debt. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain generally agreed on the peril of borrowing so heavily from this one foreign source. For instance, in their final debate, McCain warned about the “$10 trillion debt we’re giving to our kids, a half a trillion dollars we owe China,” and Obama said, “Nothing is more important than us no longer borrowing $700billion or more from China and sending it to Saudi Arabia.” Their numbers on the debt differed, and both were way low. One year ago, when I wrote about China’s U.S. dollar holdings, the article was called “The $1.4 trillion Question.” When Barack Obama takes office, the figure will be well over $2 trillion........

......About the financial crisis of 2008, which eliminated hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of savings that the Chinese government had extracted from its people, through deliberately suppressed consumption levels:

We are not quite at the bottom yet. Because we don’t really know what’s going to happen next. Everyone is saying, “Oh, look, the dollar is getting stronger!” [As it was when we spoke.] I say, that’s really temporary. It’s simply because a lot of people need to cash in, they need U.S. dollars in order to pay back their creditors. But after a short while, the dollar may be going down again. I’d like to bet on that!

full story:

lunar 05.12.2008 16:02

Canadian Leader Shuts Parliament :kopf

Published: December 4, 2008
OTTAWA — Canada’s parliamentary opposition reacted with outrage on Thursday after Prime Minister Stephen Harper shut down the legislature until Jan. 26, seeking to forestall a no-confidence vote that he was sure to lose and, possibly, provoking a constitutional crisis....

full story:

...ja wo sind wir denn :mad dass das überhaupt möglich ist :rolleyes

lunar 05.12.2008 17:27

1 Anhang/Anhänge

lunar 05.12.2008 19:03

Fri 5 Dec 2008

Another Automaker In Trouble….Wait, Honda?!?

Posted by Jason under fail

Honda is bailing out of Formula One racing. Honda is supposed to be made from money and physically incapable of fail, but things must be looking bleaker if the manufacturer is pulling out of the world’s most popular autoracing league altogether, to focus more on its core business. Honda’s “core business” must also consist of being the sole engine supplier for IRL, as it extended its contract with that league through 2013 earlier this year.

In related racing fail news, Petty Enterprises - the company founded and (until recently) owned by the Petty family, who are kind of like the Mannings of NASCAR - is essentially no more, having merged with another racing team. For those of you who don’t follow NASCAR, this is something like the Windsors abandoning the British throne.

lunar 05.12.2008 19:07

05 December 2008

Euro/Yen and the US Equity Markets Bubble: A Monetary Phenomenon

Here is an interesting comparison which we believe has some validity in that the credit and asset bubble
was significantly a Yen and Dollar, and possibly a Renminbi, monetary phenomenon.

The broadly manipulated currency markets in a fiat regime are the tail wagging the dog of the world economy.

The ultimate question might be who, if anyone, is doing the wagging?

Just to keep it interesting, and to drive home the point that these relationships are rarely simple and straightforward,
this chart shows the sharp decline in the euro/dollar cross with the decline of US financial assets.
We think we have previously shown a tight correlation between US asset values held by European banks and the eurodollar.
There may also be some 'flight to home currency' phenomenon amongst US investors.

Posted by Jesse at 12:45 PM :verbeug :supi

syracus 05.12.2008 21:21

Former Treasury chief O'Neill issues warning of potential economic disaster

Thursday, December 04, 2008
By Bill Toland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If the United States doesn't get its finances in order, the coming years will make the current recession "look like a child's birthday party," said former Treasury secretary and Alcoa chairman Paul O'Neill.

"We're headed for the wall at lightning speed. And every day that we don't deal with that set of problems is another day closer to absolutely vaporizing our economy," he said.

"Not to overstate the problem."

Mr. O'Neill, in his typically pointed and outspoken manner, assessed the state of America's economy at length yesterday in an interview with the Post-Gazette. Regarding the "vaporizing" of our economy, he was referring to the country's estimated $53 trillion in unfunded liabilities, coming due over several decades. But he didn't paint a much rosier picture for the short term, outlining the series of mistakes that have left the American finance, auto and housing industries in shambles, and have poisoned the markets from Europe to Asia, from South America to Russia.

"We've been building the problem for a very long time," he said, and much of the problem can be traced to an overall loosening of American standards when it comes to debt. It used to be that home mortgages were limited to people who could afford a 20 percent down payment; it used to be that a company would as a matter of principle, not to mention financial health, minimize its debt.

Now, over-leveraging is the norm, from Wall Street companies to homeowners to Americans subsisting on credit spun out of their home equity or, worse, borrowed outright from the credit card companies.

It all happens to have come to a head in 2008, and the system-wide philosophy of favoring debt over savings is manifesting itself in many ways. "What was initially one kind of a problem has turned into 20 different types of problems," he said.

The financial industry turmoil has led to locked-up consumer credit, which has led to a sinking demand for automobiles.

Detroit's "troubled" Big Three automakers are no longer merely troubled; they are teetering on the edge of insolvency, and the falling demand has exacerbated labor-cost and legacy-cost issues that have been handicapping Ford, GM and Chrysler for decades against Toyota and Honda.

The Detroit automakers now say they need $34 billion in loans in order to survive.

Mr. O'Neill examined the problems, but offered no easy answers. Take General Motors' labor costs -- forcing GM to, say, reduce its pay scale to resemble Toyota's in order to qualify for the federal loans might seem to make sense on the first pass, until you consider how the pay cuts would ripple through the economy.

"That sounds pretty simple," said Mr. O'Neill, who sat on GM's board of directors for two years in the 1990s.

But "think about the implications for the people on the other end of that bargain. They have a lifestyle that's consistent with what they've been getting paid for a long time. They own a home that's more home than they could afford" after a big pay cut.

"Their kids go to schools that are more pricey than they could afford at $90,000. Their credit cards are supported by a much higher" level of income. Pay cuts for all of those workers would lead to credit card defaults for some, or mortgage defaults, or car payment defaults -- or all of the above.

Still, Mr. O'Neill said he'd want some assurances that the Big Three were serious about fixing problems that "have been building for 40 years" before extending billions in loans.

On the subject of President-elect Obama's plan to create or preserve 2.5 million new American jobs by January 2011, Mr. O'Neill, a Republican, said those new jobs won't even be enough to employ the estimated 3.2 million new people who will enter the U.S. work force in 2009 and 2010.

The mechanism by which Mr. Obama hopes to create those jobs, a $500 billion infrastructure stimulus package, is folly as well, Mr. O'Neill said, when you consider that the math works out to $200,000 spent per each job created.

The money could be better spent, he said, by sending part of it to places like Pittsburgh to create labor-intensive, low-overhead, public works programs -- tearing down derelict buildings, for example, helping cities clean up neighborhoods and return properties to the tax rolls.

"I don't think it would cost very much money to facilitate a major community improvement project," he said.

Mr. O'Neill was the secretary of the Treasury from 2001 to 2002, when he resigned following public and private disagreements with the Bush administration. He was Alcoa's chairman from 1987 to 1999.

lunar 06.12.2008 13:09
December 5, 2008 Commentary with John Grant & Tony Cherniawski

sehr interessant - Vix, interest rates, oil, CRB, stock market..... - aber sehr anstrengend zu hören (Tonqualität und in englisch) lohnt sich aber wirklich :supi

hier die Quelle:

...people feel better being wrong in a crowd than being right alone....:rolleyes:eek

lunar 06.12.2008 19:11

Breaking: Obama unveils 21st Century New Deal


On Saturday, Barack Obama pledged the largest new investment in roads and bridges since President Dwight D. Eisenhower built the Interstate system in the 1950's.
President-elect Barack Obama added sweep and meat to his economic agenda on Saturday, pledging the largest new investment in roads and bridges since President Dwight D. Eisenhower built the Interstate system in the late 1950s, and tying his key initiatives – education, energy, health care –back to jobs in a package that has the makings of a smaller and modern version of FDR's New Deal marriage of job creation with infrastructure upgrades.

The president-elect also said for the first time that he will “launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen.”

“We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms,” he said in the address.

The president-elect is bringing new elements of his domestic agenda into his economic recovery plan, committing to a path toward giving every American access to an electronic medical record as part of an “economic recovery plan ... that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives.”

Obama had talked in the campaign about lowering health care costs by investing in electronic information technology systems, but not in the context of the economy.

Now, his key initiatives – education, energy, health care – are all being tied back to jobs.

“When Congress reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a plan immediately,” Obama says in the address. “We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least two and a half million jobs so that the nearly two million Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future. And that’s exactly what I intend to do as president of the United States.”

Obama had committed just before Thanksgiving to saving or creating 2.5 million jobs in the next two years, more than twice his campaign promise of 1 million new jobs over an unspecified period. But he didn’t say how he would do it. On Saturday, he began to spell it out, offering "five key parts" of his economic plan:

—ENERGY: “[W]e will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.”

—ROADS AND BRIDGES: “[W]e will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.”

—SCHOOLS: “[M]y economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.”

—BROADBAND: “As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m president – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.”

(Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had talked about expanding broadband access, but this is the first time the transition has formally proposed it.)

—ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS: “In addition to connecting our libraries and schools to the Internet, we must also ensure that our hospitals are connected to each other through the Internet. That is why the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system – and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.”

lunar 06.12.2008 19:13


lunar 08.12.2008 09:27

....also etwas muss man den Amis lassen - aus jeder Situation machen einige Kreative was :supi

'Project Runway' winner Christian Siriano inks deal with Payless ShoeSource


Wednesday, December 3rd 2008, 2:35 PM

Harrison/Getty "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano is going low-budget with a new line of shoes and bags for Payless ShoeSource.

Living on the cheap just got a little more luxe.

"Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano has inked a deal with Payless ShoeSource to design a line of inexpensive handbags and footwear – his first ever.

The collection will debut during New York's fashion week in February at Siriano's runway show and will be available for Payless shoppers by fall 2009.....

.....This new line – which ranges in price from $25-$45 – will enable regular gals to look a little more glamorous......

full story:


At SoHo store, they're gonna retail like it's 1929


Saturday, December 6th 2008, 5:34 AM

Braganti for News Check out the apparel and the grub "The 1929," at 174 Mott Street, in Manhattan.

What do you get when you mix racks of designer clothing with hot vegetable soup?

A new SoHo boutique named The 1929 - after the Depression - and a place where fashionistas and the down-and-out soon could be rubbing shoulders.

The street level store on MottSt. is decked out with racks of snazzy dresses, pants and tops by independent designers....

......"There's a feeling that people getting together can make things better on a local level, like we are doing here, and in a greater sense for the whole country," Genuth said.

The store is one of a growing number of "popup retailers" moving into vacant storage spaces around the city on short-term leases......

full story:

lunar 08.12.2008 09:31

Sun 7 Dec 2008

American (ex-)Worker Win

Posted by Jason under Uncategorized

Laid-off employees of a recently-closed vinyl window assembly plant in Chicago are an occupying force in the plant until they get their severance and vacation pay, and are just in general all grouchy because the company did not give them the required 60-day notice before shutting the place.

The company, Republic Windows and Doors, says it can’t pay the employees because its creditor, Bank of America, won’t let them. Somehow, this is Angelo Mozilo’s fault.

A peaceful sit-in is all well and good, but it’s no riot, as Chinese workers did last month. But what do you expect, we Americans are too fat and lazy to do anything but sit.

lunar 08.12.2008 09:33

Congress, White House Work to Forge Aid Package for U.S. Automakers Today U.S. lawmakers are working to reach an agreement today on automaker aid, as they decide conditions such as when to name a so-called “car czar” and whether to replace executives.

lunar 08.12.2008 09:39

The Last Laugh - George Parr - Subprime - subtitulos

lunar 08.12.2008 10:02

In The News Today

Posted: Dec 08 2008 By: Jim Sinclair Post Edited: December 8, 2008 at 1:33 am
Filed under: In The News

Dear CIGAs,

Check out the following video of Fred Thompson commenting on the economy.


lunar 08.12.2008 10:04

International: 8. Dezember 2008, 09:24
Lage in Griechenland beruhigt sich wieder

Protestwelle nach Tod eines Jugendlichen durch Schüsse aus einer Polizeipistole

Die Lage in Griechenland hat sich am frühen Morgen beruhigt. Wie das griechische Fernsehen berichtete, hätten fast alle Autonome das Universitätsgebäude in Athen verlassen, in dem sie sich verbarrikadiert hatten. Bei den Strassenkämpfen waren seit Samstagabend 40 Menschen verletzt worden. ...
Griechenland: Krawalle und Ausschreitungen

lunar 08.12.2008 10:08

Irland ruft verseuchtes Schweinefleisch zurück

Fleischprodukte offenbar in 25 Länder exportiert – Die Schweiz nicht betroffen

Der irische Fleischskandal weitet sich aus. Mit krebserregendem Dioxin verseuchtes Schweinefleisch ist nach jüngsten Angaben der irischen Veterinärbehörde in bis zu 25 Länder geliefert worden. Die Schweiz ist offenbar nicht betroffen.

(sda) Irland hat alle Schweinefleischprodukte wegen einer möglichen Verseuchung mit krebserregenden Stoffen zurückgerufen. In mehreren Ländern sollte Fleisch vom Markt genommen werden; EU-Experten gaben auch die Schweiz als Importland von irischem Schweinefleisch an....

......Im Fleisch einiger irischer Farmen sei eine Konzentration chemischer Substanzen gefunden worden, die bis zu 200 Mal höher war als erlaubt, teilte die Lebensmittelschutzbehörde FSAI in Dublin mit. In Tierfutter war PCB (Polychlorierte Biphenyle) entdeckt worden, das an irische Bauernhöfe geliefert worden war.....

Seit langem verboten :rolleyes:gomad

lunar 08.12.2008 10:13

6. Dezember 2008

Die wahren Totengräber der Austrian Airlines sitzen in der Politik

M. K. (Wien) Die rot-weiss-rote Heckflosse war ein österreichisches Identitätsmerkmal. Sie musste immer dann herhalten, wenn Politiker und Sozialpartner die betriebswirtschaftliche Logik in Sachen Austrian Airlines (AUA) ausser Kraft setzten. Noch im August hatte SPÖ-Chef Faymann die Suche nach einem strategischen Partner an eine österreichische Sperrminorität gebunden. Jetzt dämmert es wohl auch Neokanzler Faymann, dass der lange politische Widerstand nicht nur viel Geld gekostet, sondern auch die Chance genommen hat, aus einer besseren Position heraus einen Partner zu suchen. Nicht, dass die AUA nicht selbst Fehler um Fehler gemacht hätte. Sie hat, nicht nur, weil sie klein ist, viel zu teuer produziert. Das Streckennetz war zu dicht, der Maschinenpark ein Sammelsurium. Dazu kamen die Nachteile der Kleinheit beim Einkauf von Benzin und Fliegern. Viel schlimmer aber waren Kuckuckseier wie die politisch erzwungene Übernahme der bankrotten Lauda Air oder die schamlose Ausbeutung in Form viel zu hoher Gebühren durch den von den Ländern Wien und Niederösterreich beherrschten Flughafen Wien. Die AUA hätte an sich selbst nicht scheitern müssen, sie ist vor allem ein Opfer schlampiger Verhältnisse (Rahmenbedingungen) und politischer Instrumentalisierung. Hoffnungen, dass mit staatsnahen Pleiten wie von ORF und AUA die ordnungspolitische Einsicht in Rot-Weiss-Rot steigen wird, sind wenig realistisch. Da arrangiert man sich zur Not mit schwarz-rot-goldenen Heckflossen, als am Glauben an die Unfehlbarkeit des Staates rütteln zu lassen. wohl exemplarisch :rolleyes für die Politik :mad nicht nur in Österreich :o

lunar 08.12.2008 10:19

UPDATE: Bush's New Neighborhood Barred Non-Whites Until 2000


.....Until 2000, the neighborhood association's covenant said only white people were allowed to live there, though an exception was made for servants. The document, enacted in 1956, reads:

"Said property shall be used and occupied by white persons only except these covenants shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of different race or nationality in the employ of a tenant."

lunar 08.12.2008 10:36

In lean times, SoCal residents trade guns for food

By THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer Thomas Watkins, Associated Press Writer – Mon Dec 8, 1:28 am ET

AP – Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Gordon, right, and colleagues examine and process weapons Sunday, …

LOS ANGELES – A program to exchange guns for gifts brought in a record number of weapons this year as residents hit hard by the economy look under the bed and in closets to find items to trade for groceries.

The annual Gifts for Guns program ended Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralphs supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores.

Turning in assault rifles yields double that amount.

In years past, Target and Best Buy were the cards of choice, with residents wanting presents for the holidays.

This year, most asked for the supermarket cards, said sheriff's Sgt. Byron Woods.

"People just don't have the money to buy the food these days," he said.....

full story:


lunar 08.12.2008 11:07

1 Anhang/Anhänge
....aus dem TagesAnzeiger von heute

lunar 08.12.2008 16:08

1 Anhang/Anhänge

Registered User

this is funny as hell

can happen ONLY in the USSA

lunar 08.12.2008 16:26

Central America and Dominican Republic agree to create single currency

Submitted by Ileana on Sat, 12/06/2008 - 20:02

See the latest developments as they occur at our Costa Rica discussion forum

(AFP). The presidents of the Central American countries and the Dominican Republic agreed on Friday to create a single currency and agreed a "plan of urgent measures" to tackle the financial crisis, which is contemplating to create a credit pool and stimulate intra-regional trade.

The leaders, who commissioned the preparation of the single currency project to their ministers of finance, signed the statement at the end of their summit in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. There were no details given about the name or when do they plan to adopt the new currency.....

.....Attending the summit, in addition to the Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, the presidents Alvaro Colom (Guatemala), Elias Antonio Saca (El Salvador) and Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua); also, Marco Vinicio Ruiz (Minister for Foreign Trade of Costa Rica), Gaspar Vega (vice minister of Belize), Samuel Lewis Navarro (vice president and foreign minister of Panama) and Rafael Albuquerque (vice president of the Dominican Republic).......
full story:

See full article in Spanish at La Nacion
See full article in Spanish at La Prensa Libre

lunar 08.12.2008 18:44

Mon 8 Dec 2008

John Thain Wants His Bonus

Posted by alyx under all ur bankz
[3] Comments

FTAlphaville reports this morning that Merrill Lynch is meeting to decide on bonuses, and John Thain would like to emphasize he is worth a cool ten mil:
Merrill Lynch chief John Thain has suggested to directors that he get a 2008 bonus of as much as $10m but the battered securities firm’s compensation committee is resisting his request, reports the WSJ. The committee and full board are scheduled to meet Monday to hear Thain’s formal bonus recommendations for himself and other senior executives of the New York company. No decision has been reached, and it isn’t known what Thain will recommend, but the compensation committee is leaning toward denying the executives bonuses for this year, said people familiar with the situation.

In a sense, it reminds me of my favorite scene in Goodfellas. Thain: “You got a liquidity problem? F*** you, pay me. Books crammed with underperforming assets? F*** you, pay me.”

Then I remember that he was on the job less than a year (and thus inherited a decent amount of Merrill’s problems), and was smart enough to do the deal where BAC paid a ton of money for Merrill instead of Merrill going the way of the dodo, and I think that Thain may be one guy who actually earned something other than coal in his stocking this year.


Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2008
By Erik Van Datiken


UPDATE: John Thain’s push for $10 million bonus is possibly orchestrated by aliens!

As previously reported by Weekly World News, John Thain is widely believed to be an alien at the center of an intergalactic conspiracy to bleed Earth’s financial institutions dry. This accusation has only been further substantiated after Thain’s demands for a $10 million bonus for 2008......

...gieriger Heini :bad

lunar 08.12.2008 18:51


Profiles in Panic

With Wall Street hemorrhaging jobs and assets, even many of the wealthiest players are retrenching. Others, like the Lehman Brothers bankers who borrowed against their millions in stock, have lost everything. Hedge-fund managers try to sell their luxury homes, while trophy wives are hocking their jewelry. The pain is being felt on St. Barth’s and at Sotheby’s, on benefit-gala committees and at the East Hampton Airport, as the world of the Big Rich collapses, its culture in shock and its values in question.

by Michael Shnayerson January 2009

Illustrations by Barry Blitt.

A snapshot: East Hampton, late summer, a lawn party at a house on the ocean overlooking the dunes. The host is a prince of private equity known for dressing well. One of his guests is Steven Cohen, the publicity-shy billionaire whose SAC Capital, with $16 billion under management, is perhaps the most revered of the 10,000 or so hedge funds spawned by this giddily rich time. Nearby is Daniel Loeb, of Third Point, one of the better-known “activist” hedge funds, who hopes to move soon into a 10,700-square-foot, $45 million penthouse at l5 Central Park West, a Manhattan monument to the new gilded age. Gliding easily between them is art dealer Larry Gagosian, so successful at selling Bacons and Serras to Wall Street’s new titans—including to Cohen—that he now travels in his own private jet and has his own helicopter to take him to it.

How did we land in a recession? Visit our archive, “Charting the Road to Ruin.” Illustration by Edward Sorel.

But here’s the odd thing: despite the beauty of the ocean view, nearly all the guests have their backs to it. Cohen is deep in conversation with a colleague who seems to be pitching him a deal. Loeb hovers close to his wife, a former yoga teacher. Gagosian is near his stunning young girlfriend. No one notices the clouds that are, quite literally, on the horizon. Snap.

Six weeks later, the photograph is cracked and sepia-toned, curling at the edges, a historic print. In just that short time, the storm has hit and nothing looks the same.

It may be premature to say our gilded age has ended. Third Point dropped 10 percent in October, bringing it down 27 percent for the year, but Daniel Loeb is still moving into his extravagant new apartment. Steven Cohen’s SAC was down 11 percent in October and 18 percent for the year to date, but that still leaves him plenty of money to add a second ice-skating rink to his Greenwich, Connecticut, estate. And Larry Gagosian is still selling plenty of art.

What’s definitely gone—along with Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns—is leverage, at least to the dizzying degree it was recently used by Wall Street’s investment banks, hedge funds, and private-equity firms to parlay each dollar of their assets into $10, $20, even $30 or more of credit to make gargantuan deals and profits. The credit crunch has made such leverage as quaint as the market in Dutch tulips. Without it, Wall Street salaries have already started drifting gently back to earth like so many limp balloons.....

full story:

lunar 08.12.2008 19:07

08 December 2008

SP 500 Weekly Chart

There has been some interest expressed in seeing this chart in 'the Babson style'

A top in US Treasuries will mark and confirm a bottom in equities.

This ongoing series of crises will be done when bonds and stocks crash together and the dollar is out of favor. Then the rebuilding will begin.

Posted by Jesse at 11:05 AM :verbeug

lunar 08.12.2008 21:52

Mon 8 Dec 2008

Print Is Dead, Beginning To Smell Bad

Posted by Jason under fail
1 Comment

Tribune Company, owner of such properties as Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Cubs, filed for Chapter 11 today, despite being a mere $12b in the hole. Whiners.

Tribune Co. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Email Picture
NAM Y. HUH / Associated Press
The Tribune Tower, left, home of the Chicago Tribune newspaper and Tribune corporate offices, is reflected in a sheet of glass in Chicago, IL.

Rainey and Michael A. Hiltzik
December 9, 2008
The company that owns the Los Angeles Times, KTLA Channel 5 and the Chicago Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection today, seeking relief from $12 billion in debt that largely stems from last year's leveraged buyout of the media firm.....,5273854.story

:schwitz ...ob es wohl die richtigen trifft :rolleyes

lunar 09.12.2008 08:46


Wieso die griechische Jugend randaliert

Der Athener Schriftsteller Petros Markaris ist vor allem wegen seiner bei Diogenes erschienenen Krimis bekannt geworden. Als genauer Beobachter der Gesellschaft kann er den Unmut der griechischen Jugend erklären. Mehr...
......Wieso ist die griechische Jugend so zornig?
Die Wut hat sich lange angestaut. Was wir sehen, ist nur die Spitze eines Berges. Der Anlass jetzt war der Mord an dem 15-Jährigen, aber die Wut baut sich seit Jahren auf, und die Zerstörung, die nun angerichtet wurde, ist unglaublich. Aber man sieht diese Wut auch sonst bei Besetzungen von Universitäten oder in den Fussballarenen.

Was ist die Ursache dafür?
Es gibt eine kleine, sehr aktive und aggressive autonome Szene in Griechenland. Das ist das eine. Das andere ist die Frustration vieler junger Leute über das Bildungssystem beispielsweise. Keiner ist damit zufrieden. Viele Absolventen mit Universitätsdiplom finden keinen Job. Und dann sehen sie, wie viel Korruption es in diesem Land gibt, und das seit Jahren. Das war unter der linken Pasok-Regierung so, und es ist so bei der konservativen Regierung von Kostas Karamanlis. Korruption und Kuhhandel, vom Kloster Vatopedi auf dem Athos bis zu Siemens in Griechenland. Die jungen Leute sehen, dass eine ganze Schicht von Politikern und Beamten sich bereichert.

Heisst das, die jungen Leute wollen, dass die Korruption aufhört, oder fürchten sie, selbst zu kurz zu kommen?
Die Wut richtet sich gegen die, die immer mehr Geld anhäufen. Man hat den Eindruck, das ist eine Clique, die alles für sich behält. Die Wut richtet sich auch dagegen, dass diese Leute ungeschoren davonkommen. Dann gibt es noch die Frustration, die entsteht, weil man sich selbst ausserhalb dieses Systems fühlt, das Gefühl, selbst nicht zu profitieren.........

Von Christiane Schlötzer. Aktualisiert um 07:02 Uhr

Griechische Demonstranten verschanzen sich in Universität

In der Nacht auf heute nahm die Polizei mehr als 50 Demonstranten fest. Die Lage in Athens Innenstadt hat sich beruhigt, die Randalierer haben sich in der Universität verschanzt. Mehr...

Aktualisiert um 06:17 Uhr 19 Kommentare trifft wohl leider wie immer meistens die falschen Geschäfte/Häuser usw. aber irgendwie muss der Zorn und die Ohnmacht über diese vielen Ungerechtigkeiten raus :schwitz:rolleyes

lunar 09.12.2008 09:03


Capitalist Fools
Behind the debate over remaking U.S. financial policy will be a debate over who’s to blame. It’s crucial to get the history right, writes Nobel-laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, identifying five key mistakes—under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II—and one national delusion......

No. 1: Firing the Chairman
In 1987 the Reagan administration decided to remove Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and appoint Alan Greenspan in his place. Volcker had done what central bankers are supposed to do......

No. 2: Tearing Down the Walls
The deregulation philosophy would pay unwelcome dividends for years to come. In November 1999, Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act—the culmination of a $300 million lobbying effort by the banking and financial-services industries, and spearheaded in Congress by Senator Phil Gramm....

No. 3: Applying the Leeches
Then along came the Bush tax cuts, enacted first on June 7, 2001, with a follow-on installment two years later. The president and his advisers seemed to believe that tax cuts, especially for upper-income Americans and corporations, were a cure-all for any economic disease—the modern-day equivalent of leeches......

No. 4: Faking the Numbers
Meanwhile, on July 30, 2002, in the wake of a series of major scandals—notably the collapse of WorldCom and Enron—Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The scandals had involved every major American accounting firm, most of our banks, and some of our premier companies, and made it clear that we had serious problems with our accounting system......

No. 5: Letting It Bleed
The final turning point came with the passage of a bailout package on October 3, 2008—that is, with the administration’s response to the crisis itself. We will be feeling the consequences for years to come. Both the administration and the Fed had long been driven by wishful thinking......

.........The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today. Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize–winning economist, is a professor at Columbia University.

....thanks Mr. Greenspan :gomad

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