BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Monday - January 19, 2009

Obama’s utter folly.  ( From the Sunday financial page of the Telegraph)

It’s all Obama all the time now.  There’s even a mens health thing in the paper and they captioned it the Obama Diet.

Man oh man do we have a hell of a lot to overcome before the next national election. 
Heard an edited version of a speech he gave this wkend on radio.  He comes over well even when he isn’t saying anything.

Obama’s utter folly

By Liam Halligan
Last Updated: 6:56PM GMT 17 Jan 2009

Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday is, of course, an event of huge political and cultural significance.

For the first time, a non-white man will control the White House, sitting at the apex of power.

But, for global financial markets, the dawn of a new US administration holds major economic significance too. Anyway, that’s the hope.

Across the world – not least in the City and on Wall Street – fingers are crossed that Obama’s new stimulus plan, worth a staggering $800bn over two years, will rescue the global economy.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that even without this package, the US budget deficit will hit $1,200bn this year – or 8.3pc of national income. Such a massive gap between spending and taxation already amounts to an unprecedented fiscal stimulus.

Cranking up spending even more is the last thing the US should do.

Excessive government largesse is never a good idea. The demand boost takes time, the inefficiencies are enormous and the scope for cronyism bigger still.

But turbo-charged state spending is especially bad in a country facing massive demographic pressures, with a fragile currency and already servicing debts equal to a mind-boggling 368pc of GDP.

I wish Obama well, but his plan is utter folly
.

FOLLY


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/19/2009 at 06:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Finance and InvestingObama, The One •  
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calendar   Monday - December 08, 2008

Christmas Bonus

You may have $500 in your pocket and not know it

The 2005 Minnesota State Quarter was poorly minted: at least 60 different errors have been found on various coins. These flawed coins are selling for up to $500 each on Ebay.

Coin collectors are in a frenzy as they search pocket change for 2005 Minnesota state quarters with an “extra tree” in the design! They are finding them in bank-wrapped rolls, widely available at coin shops, and in circulation. They are auctioning them off on eBay as fast as they can find them, garnering prices ranging from an average of $150 to $500 from eager collectors willing to pay the price. The coin that is the focus of their attention displays significant portions of an “extra tree” literally floating in the sky next to the fourth evergreen tree to the right of the state outline. Specialists suggest the error occurred during production of the coining die when the master tool used to impress the design into it slipped during the process.

The “Extra Tree” Doubled Die is Getting a Lot of Attention

These Minnesota “Extra Tree” quarters are what specialists refer to as a doubled die; a popular type with collectors, depending on how strong and unusual the doubling is. With the coins attracting front-page coverage spanning several weeks in the national hobby publication, Numismatic News, and a series of features in Coin World, along with Professional Coin Grading Service of Newport Beach, Calif., now certifying hundreds of them for marketing purposes, it appears they are catching on.

Additionally, whatever condition existed in the Mint to produce these coins didn’t get corrected immediately; several additional varieties of “extra tree” Minnesota quarters with slight differences in location and/or shape have also been found in recent weeks and are selling briskly on eBay as collectors try to obtain one of each type!



image



Full details of all the errors, with pictures, can be found here.

Ok, this article isn’t exactly new news. And I checked ebay, where most of these things are actually selling for $15 - $160. It looks like the coins with the more noticeable errors sell for more. Hey, it’s news to me. How many of these coins have gone through your hands? You might save one or two when they first come out, but after that you just spend them. And nobody buy coin collectors goes over them with a 20x loupe to make sure they don’t have errors. The “doubling” errors are naked eye visible, barely. They’re about 0.003” tall.




The Hawaii quarter, the final coin in the State Quarters series, was released today. Ok, that is actual numismatic news!

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/08/2008 at 01:14 PM   
Filed Under: • Finance and Investing •  
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calendar   Monday - October 20, 2008

Obama very well funded

Obama Campaign Raises Over $604,000,000.00 So Far

Six Hundred and Four Million Dollars. Far more than half a billion. That’s a huge amount of cash. That’s more campaign money than ... anyone, ever? everyone, ever?

Barack Obama’s staggering fundraising prowess—the Democratic presidential candidate raked in a record-breaking $150 million in September and more than $604 million since the start of his campaign—has raised the game of political cash as well as questions over whether the public financing system is now obsolete.

Public financing, which restricts how much cash a candidate can raise, is meant to curb the influence of money in presidential campaigns. In an interview on “FOX News Sunday,” John McCain took issue with Obama’s war chest, saying the exorbitant amount of cash Obama has raised has created the potential for scandal and lays a “predicate for the future that can be very dangerous.”

“I’m saying that history shows us where unlimited amounts of money are in political campaigns, it leads to scandal ... this is the first since the Watergate scandal that any candidate for president of the United States, a major party candidate, has broken the pledge to take public financing. We enacted those reforms because of that scandal,” McCain said.

Indeed, contributions to Obama far outdistance those of McCain, who kept a pledge to use the public financing system employed by all previous presidential candidates since the Watergate-era reform was enacted.

Obama is the first major party candidate to opt out of public campaign financing in the general election since the law was enacted in 1971 and revised in 1974. George W. Bush dispensed with public financing during his 2000 Republican primary battle, in which he defeated McCain. By accepting public financing, McCain was given $84 million in funds to use between the Republican National Convention in early September and Election Day. His campaign spent $37 million in September and has had an additional $47 million available since Oct. 1. In comparison, even before September’s fundraising haul, Obama had $77 million on hand. When October fundraising is counted, Obama is expected to surpass the $695.7 million that John Kerry and President Bush—combined—raised in 2004.

Obama raised $454 million dollars during the primary campaign—covering the period from the start of his presidential bid to Aug. 31, 2008, days after he accepted the Democratic Party nomination. McCain raised $240 million during that same time.

Obama has bought a good deal of television ads, particularly in traditional swing states like Ohio and Florida, as well as some new battleground states like Colorado and North Carolina. And the campaign has said it intends to increase its ad spending in the final two weeks before Election Day, Nov. 4.  In an unusual move, the campaign has bought a half hour of political ad time to air concurrently on CBS, NBC, and FOX on Oct. 29. Obama’s campaign paid $3 million in total to air the 8 p.m. program on the three networks.

With $604 million, the campaign could buy about 201 prime-time, half-hour blocks to be run simultaneously on all three networks.
For $604 million, the Obama campaign could buy all the shares of La Salle Hotel (with $58 million left over) and almost all the shares of Papa John’s Pizza (with a market cap of $606 million).
The campaign could also buy almost all the shares of the Cheesecake Factory (market cap of $640 million) and more than 50 percent of Fannie Mae’s outstanding shares (market cap of $1.016 billion)

For the average American, the figure could buy 25,036 Ford Tauruses and more than 140 million gallons of milk.
An individual making $50,000 a year would have to work 12,080 years to earn $604 million.

I think there may be something fishy going on here. $604 million is more than 1500 times what the job pays. It’s an amount so large, from so many sources, that tracking down any illicit ones will be just about impossible.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/20/2008 at 03:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Finance and InvestingPolitics •  
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calendar   Tuesday - October 07, 2008

Apologies to Dr. Suess

Uncle Sam and Congress-man

That Uncle Sam!
That Congress-man!
We do not like your bailout plan!
We do not like your taxing plan!

Should we pay so stocks don’t tank?
Should we pay for Barney Frank?

We should not pay so stocks won’t tank.
We should not pay for greedy banks.
We do not like your bailout plan,
We should not pay it, Congress-man.

Mr. Paulson made a call
For a plan to soak us all.

Could you, would you Mr. Bush,
Could you, would you push, push, push?

We should not pay you, Mr. Bush,
So Mae won’t fall upon her tush.

We should not pay you, AIG,
Though you ask on bended knee.
We should not pay you, Freddie Mac,
Just to lighten up your pack.
We should not pay for any bank,
Even one that’s in the tank.

We should not pay for umpteen years
Just because the market fears.
We do not like your bailout plan.
We do not like it, Uncle Sam.

We should not pay you, Mr. Raines,
You, the source of all our pains.
Franklin Raines don’t give a hoot,
He got a golden parachute.

This bailout plan sure is working well. The Dow closed under 10,000 yesterday. Thanks Congress.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 10/07/2008 at 07:24 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsFinance and InvestingSatireTaxes •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 01, 2008

Wake me up I must be dreaming

Should Congress Be ‘Perp-Walked’?

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Justice: A federal grand jury in New York is probing the accounting shenanigans at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s about time, and we hope it doesn’t end there.

Remember the early 2000s, when companies such as WorldCom, Enron, Tyco and Xerox suddenly and spectacularly were revealed to have been cooking their books?

Remember the glee expressed by Washington politicians, especially Democrats, as they watched CEOs and their underlings get perp-walked out of their buildings and into federal custody?

Enron became the poster child for corporate misdeeds. In the accounting crisis of 2002, CEO Ken Lay was one of the most loathed human beings on Earth. And no, that’s not an exaggeration.

we now have an opportunity, thanks to the New York grand jury, to probe perhaps the greatest financial crime ever — one that dwarfs Enron in size and scope.

Fannie’s and Freddie’s top executives, almost all with deep ties to the Democratic Party? Did they get perp-walked to prison like WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers, Tyco’s Dennis Koslowski, Adelphia’s John Rigas, ImClone’s Sam Waksal, or any of the others who did time for corporate misdeeds in the early 2000s?

No. Jim Johnson, former Walter Mondale aide, became head of Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee. Franklin Raines, who headed Fannie from 1998 to 2004, the years of its worst excesses, pocketed nearly $100 million in pay and bonuses from Fannie. He, too, became an adviser to Obama.

Other Fannie-Freddie alumni did equally well. Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been front and center in crafting a new rescue bill. Ex-Clinton Justice official Jamie Gorelick careens from career catastrophe to catastrophe, and still gets top jobs. It pays to have ties.

Meanwhile, as previously documented, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd repeatedly thwarted reforms. Yet today they stand front-and-center as Democrats try to “fix” a problem they created.

As such, any investigation into Fannie and Freddie must include Congress, both current and past.

There’s lots of evidence that the two mortgage giants had become little more than taxpayer-guaranteed front companies for Democrats, who used them to reward supporters with cheap loans and to provide jobs for out-of-work politicians.

(hornswaggled from Rodger, The Real King of France)

Also at IBD today:

image

I think Mischa’s gonna need a bigger tree!

And on that note, I’m taking my poor tired feets to bed.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/01/2008 at 09:06 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsFinance and InvestingGovernment •  
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calendar   Tuesday - September 30, 2008

It all started with Jimmah Cartah

And it was a decent, compassionate idea. Because it was small. But then PC took over. And so did Slick Willy.

And under Clinton it went straight into hell. And today brokerages and banks are dropping like flies. Which is why it HAS to be Bush’s fault.

Here is a 12 minute video that explains the roots of this financial mess. And puts the blame squarely where it belongs. Watch it, link it, get it out there everywhere.


Replay video | Share video | Watch more videos

I found it over at C&S, but I hope it’s viral everywhere by now.

Since I’m really got my cheese in the grater over this ENTIRE mess, I’ll throw in a couple bits that lean the other way:

Bush has been president for the last 8 years. He had a Republican congress for 6 of those years. Bush and McCain both tried to get some regulation going on. Nothing happened. WTF? It could not have been stopped. The Republicans wimped out. Perhaps because they feared being called racists. For the 7 trillionth time. But there it is. They had the power, some of their people saw the problem coming, and they did not push a fix through when they could not have been stopped.

The packaging of these securities was done deliberately to hide the risk. The manipulation of ratings of mortgage-backed securities could not have been accidental. The failure of the rating houses like S&P and Moody’s to demand risk level transparency for each mortgage backed security before rating them is what truly resulted in the crash. Nope. They just helped pad them up and pass them on. Hey, they’re government backed mortgages, so they must be just dandy.  (not totally sure this point is really all that good. But they went along with the scam when they could have dropped the dime)

Also lost in the background noise: the whole speculation market. If it wasn’t running utterly rampant, do you think there would be several popular television shows running on various channels, all telling you how to “Flip That House”? Anybody who could scrap toghether $50 was buying a dump house for a song, slapping on a coat of paint and a new kitchen counter, and trying to sell it for a huge profit. And for several years they were making money. Is this a factor, or just a symptom?  Just how big a slice of the pie was this? When the meltdown first hit, they were the first to foreclose, thus the foreclosure rates in some rather trendy areas went through the roof, before it blew up in the poorer areas. Enough to get the ball rolling, or perhaps rolling a bit faster?

In the same way, the home builders haven’t made a normal house in ages. Every new dwelling built over the last decade was a “McMansion”. Another symptom, or another bit of inertia keeping the old ball rolling?

Personally, I think there is plenty of blame to go around. And now I’m beginning to think that the failure of the bailout bill may not be such a bad thing. I’m really not sure that it’s a good idea.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/30/2008 at 03:48 PM   
Filed Under: • Finance and InvestingInsanity •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  

WTF?

House fails to pass $700 Billion rescue package. McCain’s campaign takes a hit - he’s to blame

What kind of happy horseshit is this? McCain did the honorable and proper thing, taking some time off his campaign to actually try and do his day job for a change. The bill didn’t pass. So now it’s his fault? Fuck you CNN. He didn’t write the thing. He isn’t even a Congressman. He’s a Senator. The bill failed in CONGRESS you morons.

WASHINGTON (CNN) —The House’s failure to pass a $700 billion bailout package Monday not only held back billions for Wall Street, but also was a major blow to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.

The Republican presidential nominee raised the stakes for himself last week when he suspended his campaign and returned to Washington for negotiations over a solution to the financial crisis.

Really? Why? Because he was trying to help solve the crisis? What was he supposed to do, make serious faces at the camera and point fingers of blame, like Oworthless is doing? You leftwing lying scumbags. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, and the Oasshole skates. Always.

“Even before the House vote, voters blamed Republicans more than Democrats for the crisis. Then McCain suspended his campaign to come back to Washington to rally support for a rescue plan,” said Bill Schneider, a CNN political analyst. “He failed, so he gets blamed by both supporters and opponents of the rescue plan.”

Great. Let’s hide the root causes in the Clinton Closet some more. This is just another kind of Bimbo Eruption, so don’t you dare point a finger at the democrats. Even though they helped cause it, and their prime operators were in charge of Fannie and Freddie and doing their best to drive them straight into the ground. Nope, that gets ignored.

The press makes me want to puke. Americans make me want to puke. Can’t you assholes think for yourselves for one goddam minute? Can’t you remember ANYTHING for more than a couple weeks? Are you that FUCKING STUPID you can’t put 1 and 1 together and come up with 2? The first person I see today who echoes this BS meme. “McCain is to blame for the financial crisis” is going to get a seasoned 2x4 right in the teeth. People that stupid don’t deserve to breathe.

During a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, McCain appeared to distance himself from Monday’s House vote, saying the congressional inaction had “every American and the entire economy at the gravest risk.”

“Yesterday, the country and the world looked to Washington for leadership, and Congress once again came up empty-handed,” he said.

But over the weekend, McCain had involved himself in the efforts to get the bailout package to the president’s desk.

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the top Republican in the House, said that McCain was actively involved in lobbying Republican House members Sunday to line up behind the bailout.

“He has been making calls to members in support of this bill ... and I’m grateful for his support,” Boehner said.

So? He felt this was the right thing to do, and he worked for it.  That’s making and effort. So this measure failed. So what? Find out what the sticking points are and go write another one. Are the Republicans suddenly against a bailout? Or did they just vote against it because it was Democrat sponsored? Or did the Dems lay in a boatload full of pork at the last minute?

Where’s the story, CNN? Where’s the actual investigative reporting????  Don’t tell us that it didn’t pass and who you want to get blamed. Tell us WHY it didn’t pass. Tell us what the sticking points were. DO SOME REAL REPORTING FOR ONCE you lazy bottom feeders.

And Oworthless?

While Obama and McCain have mostly agreed on the principles of the bailout, Obama has mostly stayed out of negotiations and has used the financial crisis to attack the economic policies of the Bush administration and tie McCain to the unpopular President Bush.

He didn’t put himself in that process. He was smart enough to realize he couldn’t control the House Republicans or Democrats,” said Ed Rollins, another Republican strategist and CNN contributor.

Exactly. He stood by on the sidelines crying like a little girl and laying out blame. He took advantage of one of the most perilous moments in recent history to play politics. He didn’t rush in to help. He didn’t lead any efforts at all. He didn’t even do his job, which is to show up and vote “present”. This is leadership? No, this is bullshit. Total. But being a lazy worthless jerkwad is now being “too smart” to get involved. Really? I’d call it clear and unquestionable proof that this turd is unfit to lead. Hell, he’s unfit to even follow!

PS - Ed Rollins? Huckabee’s Ed Rollins? Ross Perot’s Ed Rollins? The mouthpiece for CBS? Oh, whoopdedoo. He’s just as big a microphone whore and just as worthless as Dick Morris.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/30/2008 at 12:22 PM   
Filed Under: • Finance and InvestingGovernment •  
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calendar   Friday - September 26, 2008

I don’t want to agree with Nancy ever, but …

Bank CEO takes $20 Million Golden Parachute as bank fails.
He had the job less than 3 weeks.




And another bank down, another house gone, another one bites the dust.


Yeah right, and WaMu didn’t know this was coming? They didn’t know they had already jumped off the cliff before they hired him? Oh, he was Magic Jeezus sent down from Heaven to save them at the last second with a box full of miracles? My ass. I’m beginning to think that creative accounting should be a double capital offense. The .45 caliber kind, as well as the fiscal kind.

Fishman was the new chief executive officer for Washingon Mutual — WaMu — the nation’s largest savings and loan, which was taken over Thursday night by federal bank regulators and quickly dumped in a fire sale to JPMorgan Chase for the Wal-Mart-like price of $1.9 billion.

But don’t cry for Fishman, who reportedly was sky-high — literally — last night, on a flight from New York to Seattle, when WaMu collapsed. Even though he’s only been on the job for less than three weeks, he’s bailing out with parachute worth close to $20 million, according to an executive compensation analysis conducted for the New York Times by James F. Reda Associates.

That’s right, $20 million for 17 days on the job ... and his company failed.

Fishman, who formerly was chairman of Meridian Capital Group, apparently was much coveted by WaMu, which was counting on him to lead the failing thrift out of mortgage troubles that pushed the bank to a $3.3 billion second-quarter loss.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, WaMu threw a $7.5 million bonus at Fishman when it hired him on Sept. 8, and guaranteed him an immediate cash severence of $11.6 million — both of which he gets to keep.

Documents show WaMu was going to pay their new boss $8 million to simply not screw up and get fired — all negotiated as the Seattle-based banking giant’s loses climbed to an estimated $20 billion.

The rich get richer and the rest of us get fucked over. Nothing ever changes.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/26/2008 at 12:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Finance and Investing •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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