Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Treasury to sell $22 billion in debt - Stocks & economy-

Treasury to sell $22 billion in debt - Stocks & economy- "WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department said Wednesday it will sell $22 billion in debt at its quarterly auction next week as officials study ways to finance the economic stimulus package, which is expected to boost this year’s deficit by more than $100 billion.

The department said it will auction $13 billion in 10-year notes on Feb. 6 and $9 billion in 30-year bonds on Feb. 7. The $22 billion being raised is slightly higher than the $18 billion raised three months ago."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Who are these people?

While I, mhyself am not a married person. I do in fact know many a married person, so when I see this crap I really want to know who the hell these morons are?

No one I know went into marriage thinking this shit:

Some guys might not realize this, but when most women get married they usually imagine cozy evenings by a fire, sharing their hopes and dreams with the men they love.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

They are just noticing this?

"That something is the immense shadow economy of novel and poorly understood financial instruments created by hedge funds and investment banks over the past decade - a web of extraordinarily complex securities and wagers that has made the world's financial system so opaque and entangled that even many experts confess that they no longer understand how it works.

Unlike the building blocks of the conventional economy - factories and firms, widgets and workers, stocks and bonds - these new financial arrangements are difficult to value, much less analyze. The money caught up in this web is now many times larger than the world's gross domestic product, and much of it exists outside the purview of regulators."


But today, increasingly, a new generation of derivatives doesn't trade on markets at all. These so-called over-the-counter derivatives are highly customized agreements struck in private between two parties. No one else necessarily knows about such investments because they exist off the books, and don't show up in the reports or balance sheets of the parties who signed them.

Who the fuck didn't think this would lead to corruption and eventual market collapse?

Friday, January 25, 2008


High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi - New York Times: "Recent laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ah, now the schaundenfraude begins

It was built to be opaque, which is in so many ways anathema to what a sophisticated and complex financial system needs. So now we have $7B Fraud in France

Cheney stumping for Immunity

and if you believe the pessimists, a bigger bubble popping to com.

Hang on to your hat folks. This is going to get messy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories - New York Times

A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories - New York Times: "The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, based on export prices for 60 internationally traded foodstuffs, climbed 37 percent last year. That was on top of a 14 percent increase in 2006, and the trend has accelerated this winter.

In some poor countries, desperation is taking hold. Just in the last week, protests have erupted in Pakistan over wheat shortages, and in Indonesia over soybean shortages. Egypt has banned rice exports to keep food at home, and China has put price controls on cooking oil, grain, meat, milk and eggs."

Pigeons are roosting

Everywhere you look there is a collective acknowledgment that our economy is in a tailspin and no one knows how bad the crash is going to be. For those of us who have been watching the progress of the bubble and feared the impact of the speculation, greed and outright corruption behind it, there is a certain amount of relief that the bubble has burst. There is also of course fear of how this unraveling will affect our everyday quality of life. You can bet Paris Hilton will not really feel the sting, it will be me and mine who see their quality of life take a hit. So we will batten down the hatches and make the necessary adjustments, because that is what the proletariat do when the robber barons fuck it up this badly. assholes.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Anam Cara

I moved this weekend. It should have been awful. My couch didn't fit through the door, so I am sitting on the cushions on the floor. The Boiler in the new place turns on so violently it shakes my whole apartment. The water temp in the shower goes from comfortably warm to scalding to freezing without notice. In general your basic moving nightmare. Instead of it being awful was awesome. My friend showed up out of the blue and went out with me in my new town and confirmed that my fear that it is yuppie hell might be justified. My across the hall neighbor is hysterical and a total player who is obviously confused by me. My co worker showed up with no notice and took my couch to his garage and then I got to talk to my college roommate for hours while I nested and festered on my neurosis. Another co worker showed up and helped me unpack.

I think I had an unidentified fear that the fact that I was moving again alone meant that this is the way it will be forever. Instead it turned into this amazing reminder of how incredibly not alone I am in the world. IT was as they say, beautiful.

What is Anam Cara: "According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud. When you are very open ~ appreciative and trusting ~ with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found your anam cara, or 'Soul Friend.' Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are. In Celtic spirituality, the anam cara friendship awakens the fullness and mystery of your life. You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy, and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: ~HOME~"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yup, you are reading that correctly.

McKinsey warns of threats to US financial leadership - Yahoo! News: "The US looks poised to lose its mantle as the world's dominant financial market because of a rapid rise in the depth and maturity of markets in Europe, a study suggests.

The change may have occurred already, not least because US markets are beset by credit woes, according to research by McKinsey Global Institute, a think-tank affiliated to the consultancy.

'We think the differential growth rates are so significant that it is quite likely Europe has overtaken the US,' said Diana Farrell, author of the report.

'They are now neck and neck, which means exchange rates are very important. It is a real change.'"


Plague a growing but overlooked threat: study - Yahoo! News: "LONDON (Reuters) - Plague, the disease that devastated medieval Europe, is re-emerging worldwide and poses a growing but overlooked threat, researchers warned on Tuesday.

While it has only killed some 100 to 200 people annually over the past 20 years, plague has appeared in new countries in recent decades and is now shifting into Africa, Michael Begon, an ecologist at the University of Liverpool and colleagues said."

Monday, January 14, 2008

How the World Works: Globalization, Globalization Blogs -

How the World Works: Globalization, Globalization Blogs - "Moody's lament: Our job is too hard

More than a whiff of poststructuralist angst emanates from 'Archaeology of the Crisis,' a report released this week by Moody's, the credit rating agency. The gist of the six-page report is that our current financial system has become so complex we no longer have any hope of truly understanding, or pricing, the real risk embodied in the complex financial instruments that tie the world's financial market participants together."

Risk traceability has declined, probably forever. It is extremely unlikely that in today's markets we will ever know on a timely basis where every risk lies.

This is a favorite theme of How the World Works, but we were still a trifle shocked to see such a message from Moody's. We've sure come a long way from the days when any critique of the "system" was met with a lecture on how innovation and risk dispersion had made global financial markets more stable. What a difference a meltdown makes! Remember, this downbeat assessment comes from an agency whose explicit market role is to evaluate risk -- a job that most observers now think Moody's and its brethren completely muffed. But instead of apologizing and promising to do better, Moody's is throwing up its hands in existential despair and declaring that, dangit, it's just too darn hard. Maybe even impossible!

Moving again

So I spent the weekend packing for the most part. Also went to Quaker service and watched Stardust and some fabulously bad TV. But the moving thing.

I have, I think always, one of the most persistent cases of wanderlust I've known. To me, life has always felt ephemeral and so somehow moving around actually seemed to give me more grounding. More sense of being aligned with the essential nature of things. But this weekend, as I took stock and tried to organize my relatively meager possessions I was gripped by fear and anxiety of being in limbo again. Apparently, I have no issue with non-stop travel, but I fear not having a place with my stuff. I literally feared that while my "stuff" was nowhere or somewhere in between, the link between me and the real world could be much more easily severed and thus I could be evaporated somehow. It has been a while since I have had such a visceral reaction to life that is so clearly "irrational".

So I wrote the landlord and asked if I could get the keys a couple of days early. That way I cna bring car loads of certain stuff over before the move which will give me stuff in both places while my "stuff" is in limbo. This I am convinced will be enough to maintain the link between me and the real world. I might be a little bit crazy.

Citigroup could write down up to $24 billion: report - Yahoo! News

Citigroup could write down up to $24 billion: report - Yahoo! News: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc. (C.N) could make as much as $24 billion in writedowns and lay off 20,000 workers as part of a plan to cut costs and boost capital, CNBC said on its Website in a report dated Sunday.

The report said the plans will be unveiled on Tuesday, when it reports its fourth-quarter results.

Citigroup is widely expected to report a quarterly loss and announce big lay-offs as it looks to cut costs in a tough business environment."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mysterious crowd suddenly stopped Bhutto's car, officer says - Yahoo! News

Mysterious crowd suddenly stopped Bhutto's car, officer says - Yahoo! News: "The witness was Ishtiaq Hussain Shah of the Rawalpindi police. As Bhutto's car headed onto Rawalpindi's Liaquat Road after an election rally Dec. 27 , a crowd appeared from nowhere and stopped the motorcade, shouting slogans of her Pakistan Peoples Party and waving party banners, according to his account.

Bhutto, apparently thinking she was greeting her supporters, emerged through the sunroof of the bulletproof car to wave.

It was Shah's job to clear the way for the motorcade. But 10 feet from where he was standing, a man in the crowd wearing a jacket and sunglasses raised his arm and shot at the former prime minister. 'I jumped to overpower him,' the deputy police superintendent said later. 'A mighty explosion took place soon afterwards.'"

Daily Kos: Hospital execs slam UnitedHealth: "sociopathic willingness to ignore laws"

Daily Kos: Hospital execs slam UnitedHealth: "sociopathic willingness to ignore laws":

First, we must recognize some facts: HMOs defraud their individual members out of $1,000 here, $2,000 there in specific instances. No single member is likely to sue over such small amounts, as aggravated as they may be. But the total value to the HMO forthese 'little' frauds is MILLIONS of dollars. Hospitals, particularly those like the ones I represent, can little afford to sue individually. Litigationis expensive -- not just in legal fees, but in the diversion of hospital administrative resources. On top of this, our state regulators are 'paper tigers,' or understaffed, or simply lack enforcement tools and a proper legislative framework."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Women Are Never Front-Runners - New York Times

Women Are Never Front-Runners - New York Times: "So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what."

Monday, January 07, 2008

SpaceCollective: recent activity

I love Stumble and the stuff I find as a result. So my new year's resolution is to actively reduce my imprint on the earth. Especially since I fly so often so have a relatively large footprint. But flying all the time also gives you a front seat to the impact of growth on the landscape. So while I have always tried to recycle etc, I am committing this year to a much more active change in lifestyle. I am moving to where I can walk to town and to a train to go into the city. I am aiming to not use my car except where absolutely necessary, buy more locally grown food (Which yes, means learning to cook outside a microwave) and if schedule permits, to get involved in my new community on an environmental level.

SpaceCollective: recent activity:
"Civilization is an experiment, a very recent way of life in the human career, and it has a habit of walking into what I am calling progress traps. A small village on good land beside a river is a good idea; but when the village grows into a city and paves over the good land, it becomes a bad idea. While prevention might have been easy, a cure may be impossible: a city isn't easily moved. This human inability to foresee—or watch out for—long-range consequences may be inherent to our kind, shaped by millions of years when we lived from hand to mouth by hunting and gathering. It may also be little more than a mix of inertia, greed, and foolishness encouraged by the shape of the social pyramid. The concentration of power at the top of large-scale societies gives the elite a vested interest in the status quo; they continue to prosper in darkening times long after the environment and general populace begins to suffer.

- Ronald Wright, A Short History Of Progress, pages 108-109"

Friday, January 04, 2008

Crisis may make 1929 look a 'walk in the park' - Telegraph

Crisis may make 1929 look a 'walk in the park' - Telegraph:
"'The kind of upheaval observed in the international money markets over the past few months has never been witnessed in history,' says Thomas Jordan, a Swiss central bank governor.

'The sub-prime mortgage crisis hit a vital nerve of the international financial system,' he says."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

FDA to clear cloned livestock for consumers: report - Yahoo! News

FDA to clear cloned livestock for consumers: report - Yahoo! News: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is expected to declare as early as next week that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring is safe to eat, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The FDA had previously asked producers of cloned livestock not to sell food products from such animals pending its ruling on their safety, the Journal said on its Web site.

The decision would come after more than six years of wrestling with the question and would be a milestone for a small cadre of biotech companies that want to make a business out of producing cloned farm animals.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)"

Older women 'becoming breadwinners'

Older women 'becoming breadwinners': "Two-thirds of women over the age of 40 are the primary providers for their families, new research indicates.

Commissioned by Nivea, the study found that not only did 68 per cent of females within this age group provide most of their household's income, but 29 per cent provided all of it.

Many of the women surveyed expressed a desire to have more support at work to help them perform their roles, with 27 per cent wanting the option of working from home and 26 per cent wishing to see better support from their employer generally."