Monday, March 24, 2008

The Economics of Bush's Fear

This whole Bear Stearns JPMorgan Fed bailout/buyout has the smell of manipulation rising like the stink from the carcass of a dead whale washed up on the beach and left to rot in the summer sun for about 2 weeks. Or like driving behind a full Honey Truck, i.e. Environmental Services truck, at the end of its daily run on an August day.

“Also, under the new terms
, JPMorgan will bear the risk of the first $1 billion of losses if any of Bear Stearns' assets go bad. The Federal Reserve will run the risk for the remaining $29 billion, instead of being on the hook for all of the first $30 billion in losses, as was originally announced March 16.”

Well, that’s reassuring! And a classic in understated reassurance as well. Instead of being on the hook for 100 percent of the $30 billion, we only need to worry about 97% of it! Woo freakin’ hoo!!!

I should’ve known to buy some shares when it didn’t stay at $2 but was up around $4-5 last week. Now what we need to figure out is what this new deal means within the framework of the original deal. Was that original deal just a pure PR move to manipulate the markets as a calming gesture, was JPM greenmailing the taxpayers by demanding that absurd $2 share price, or was that a patriotic move by JPM to help ease the troubled financial markets, and just incidentally almost bagged a billion dollar savings on the deal?

Or was it as good a demonstration as you will ever see of why the almighty Free Market is not infallible, not free, not the answer to our financial woes. Because what I see in this debacle is fear, pure unadulterated fear, manifested as cowardice, a fear that drives a $22 billion market cap corporation a year ago to $237 million a week ago.

The fear that somebody is selling so I better sell too, until that panic selling drives a company over the brink on nothing but that oh so wonderful sense of the Market. The Fed stampeded Bear Stearns to accept JPMs offer because the Bushies are terrified of what will happen if the stock market collapses under the weight of their laisse faire regulation, the greed and corruption of their Wall Street cronies and supporters.

If the American People really take a hit because of the failure of the scams and schemes they have allowed and encouraged, BushCo can forget about privatizing Social Security, they can forget about hegemony in the Middle East, they can forget about a Presidential Library, because all of their deeds will become exposed in the unraveling of the American Economy.

Of course we'll be screwed and all that, we can forget about healthcare for all Americans, and retirement, and ponies, and stuff, but we will all know the truth about Bush's economic plan, and the value of a Harvard MBA.

Monday, March 17, 2008

FISA and You

Just a reminder for my faithful readers, that between the FBI's abusive NSL's, and BushCo's abuses of the FISA system, you might feel lost and powerless.

Well, the ACLU and the EFF think otherwise, and I suggest that you support both of these organizations if you want to reclaim our power, the power that people like John Adams fought for his whole life, the power of Liberty and Freedom, the power laid out in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in our Constitution.

Think about this charge from Barry Steinhardt then give and support these two groups who are leading the Fight against this gross violation of our rights, fighting directly against the Bush Administration and its Justice Department, every rotten stinking Republican in Congress, and the masses of ignorant and frightened Americans full of fear and anger and misguided loyalty to their "protectors" on the right.

"Year after year, we have warned that our great nation is turning into a surveillance society where our every move is tracked and monitored," said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project. "Now we have before us a program that appears to do that very thing. It brings together
numerous programs that we and many others have fought for years, and it confirms what the ACLU has been saying the NSA is up to: mass surveillance of Americans."

Monday, March 10, 2008

While I was Out

On Saturday, the news spread like wildfire, Blackwater was giving up on Blackwater West in San Diego's backcountry.

The people of Potrero, population 1047 or so, led by Jan Hedlum and Carl Meyer and many others, and supported by the East County Democratic Club, 77th Assembly Candidate Raymond Lutz, San Diego Democrats, Peace Activists, the Stop Blackwater group, people from Illinois and North Carolina, Jeremy Scahill, all united in stopping Blackwater from setting up their "law enforcement" training camp in San Diego's border wilderness.

First they recalled the Planning Board that had so blithely approved the initial proposal. Then they made a stink, raised public awareness, capitalized on Blackwaters bad deeds and attached publicity, held marches and protests and letter writing campaigns and contended any and every thing Blackwater said, and enlisted strong allies like Congressman Fightin Bob Filner to raise the bar for Blackwater to proceed.

And they just folded up their table as soon as they could wothout looking like they were forced out by Citizens standing up for their community and their Rights.

I was busy on Friday, and on Saturday I was out taking pictures of some local meadows, NTodd, not snow. And it wasn't until late Saturday that I heard the news. Blackwater turned tail before a bunch of angry citizens and Democrats.

Ha, losers! Run away, Illinois is next I think.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Election Insanity

Or is it hysteria?

Christ, if it weren't so complicating for the general election, the hate that the bloggers on the left spew against Hillary Clinton would be amusingly pathetic.

Well, it is pretty sorry, I have to say.

You would think that the presidency of Bill Clinton was the worst presidency ever until Bush came along, that nothing good was accomplished during the eight years of Bill Clinton's administration at all. That Haiti started moving towards some kind of normalcy until the GOP Congress screwed that all up, that never happened.

Something about budget surplusses, I guess that never happend, and taxing the rich, that never happened either.

That peace deal between Israel and Palestine, that never happened either, or that an Israeli NEO-CON lunatic idiot sabotaged that deal as well.

Never bailed out our southern neighbor and made a profit in the process, that didn't happen, nope.

Oh yes, there was NAFTA, but the Republican Congress keeping the critical side deals on labor and the environment from getting properly made, that never happened either.

Well, you get my drift.

Personally, I don't think he's suitable for the job because I don't think he's got the experience. Being President is as far as you can get from being a precinct organizer, and being an agent for some amorphus change isn't experience or reality. If he wins the nomination, well, he'll have proved he's got some chops, then it will be up to all Democrats to get him elected, up to all Democrats to put pressure on him to be the progressive agent of change you all think he is.

Frankly, all this talk about working with Republicans casts serious doubt on his chops as far as I'm concerned, but time will tell.