Friday, November 14, 2008


That’s when Eisman finally got it. Here he’d been making these side bets with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank on the fate of the BBB tranche without fully understanding why those firms were so eager to make the bets. Now he saw. There weren’t enough Americans with shitty credit taking out loans to satisfy investors’ appetite for the end product. The firms used Eisman’s bet to synthesize more of them. Here, then, was the difference between fantasy finance and fantasy football: When a fantasy player drafts Peyton Manning, he doesn’t create a second Peyton Manning to inflate the league’s stats. But when Eisman bought a credit-default swap, he enabled Deutsche Bank to create another bond identical in every respect but one to the original. The only difference was that there was no actual homebuyer or borrower. The only assets backing the bonds were the side bets Eisman and others made with firms like Goldman Sachs. Eisman, in effect, was paying to Goldman the interest on a subprime mortgage. In fact, there was no mortgage at all. “They weren’t satisfied getting lots of unqualified borrowers to borrow money to buy a house they couldn’t afford,” Eisman says. “They were creating them out of whole cloth. One hundred times over! That’s why the losses are so much greater than the loans. But that’s when I realized they needed us to keep the machine running. I was like, This is allowed?”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh yeah, this is really happening

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States, which prides itself on being the breadbasket of the world, will see its agricultural exports drop 10 percent next year and, for the first time since the late 1950s, will cease to be a net exporter of food, according to a government projection.

The forecast, released by the Department of Agriculture, said overseas sales of US agricultural products were expected to slide to 56 billion dollars in fiscal 2005, down from 62.3 billion the previous year, due to depressed world prices for grains, oilseeds and cotton, "and increased foreign competition."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Racism is breathtaking

Many people made it clear that they were deeply apprehensive about Mr. Obama, though some said they were hoping for the best.

“I think any time you have someone elected president of the United States with a Muslim name, whether they are white or black, there are some very unsettling things,” George W. Newman, a director at a local bank and the former owner of a trucking business, said over lunch at Yellow Creek Fish and Steak.

Don Dollar, the administrative assistant at City Hall, said bitterly that anyone not upset with Mr. Obama’s victory should seek religious forgiveness.

“This is a community that’s supposed to be filled with a bunch of Christian folks,” he said. “If they’re not disappointed, they need to be at the altar.”

Customers of Bill Pennington, a barber whose downtown shop is decorated with hunting and fishing trophies, were “scared because they heard he had a Muslim background,” Mr. Pennington said over the country music on the radio. “Over and over again I heard that.”

Mr. Obama remains an unknown quantity in this corner of the South, and there are deep worries about the changes he will bring.

“I am concerned,” Gail McDaniel, who owns a cosmetics business, said in the parking lot of the Shop and Save. “The abortion thing bothers me. Same-sex marriage.”

“I think there are going to be outbreaks from blacks,” she added. “From where I’m from, this is going to give them the right to be more aggressive.”

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sing Fat Lady, Sing loud!

Police continue search for missing pregnant girl - NC Wanted

Police continue search for missing pregnant girl - NC Wanted: "Durham, N.C. — Durham police continued this week to search for a missing 12-year-old girl who is pregnant.

Investigators believe that Tekenya Wooten ran away from her home at 3529 Manford Drive on Saturday, Oct. 18. Tekenya is eight months pregnant.

Police Chief Jose Lopez said that Tekenya's disapperance does not meet the requirements for an Amber Alert, but police are 'very concerned about her welfare, and we are actively looking for her.'"

Because those assholes are wealthy enough?

Editorial - So Little Time, So Much Damage -

"The administration has taken other disturbing steps in recent weeks. In late September, the I.R.S. restored tax breaks for banks that take big losses on bad loans inherited through acquisitions. Now we learn that JPMorgan Chase and others are planning to use their bailout funds for mergers and acquisitions, transactions that will be greatly enhanced by the new tax subsidy."

Monday, November 03, 2008


Mercenary Firm Offers to 'Detain Troublemakers' on Election Day (Updated) | Danger Room from "CIA-linked private military contractor Evergreen Defense & Security Services offered to post sentries at Oregon election offices on Tuesday, 'detaining troublemakers' and making sure voters 'do not get out of control.'"