Sunday, September 14, 2008

Water, water everywhere but not a decent watering hole in sight

Chicago declares state of emergency.

No, not because the White Sox are on the verge of their Tigers series getting reshuffled to the end of the season. Although THAT is highly traumatic to us Sox fans. With a neck-and-neck race with the damn Twins, those games could mean something.

No, Chicago has been living a scene out of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "One Hundred Years of Solitude." It's been raining nonstop since Thursday (September 11). Today is Sunday (September 14). Friday's game was called. Saturday's doubleheader was called (the afternoon game was a nationally televised game on FOX - they were not happy). Sunday became a doubleheader. The second game is nationally televised (ESPN). The first game was supposed to be 1:05p, but pushed back to 4:15pm. The rain has paused, but now we have gale-force wind warnings. Have fun in the outfield!

Chicago has several neighborhoods under water. Damn you, Hurricane Ike.

WSJ and Financial Times headlines today are screaming that Barclays walked away from a Lehman (LEH) bailout. The Treasury is standing firm on refusing to buy any of the toxic Lehman paper. Instead, they are telling Wall Street to pony up, a la LTCM in 1998. Regrettably, they appear to have forgotten that not one financial institution in the United States is solvent so we're unclear on where they are supposed to get the CAPITAL to take on LEHMAN'S paper.

FT: Barlcays Pulls Out From Lehman Talks

WSJ: Screaming group of headlines about the Lehman catastrophe. Wall Street Firms Scramble To Avert Crisis

Now the scary part is that most people have a disconnect from Wall Street - and failure to see how Main Street intersects with Wall Street is going to ruin everyone.

Add to the fact that oil refineries shut down for Hurricane Ike, and will take minimum 10 days for production to ramp back up means gas prices - wait for it - are going north again. The Oil Drum does a nice job explaining how much pain to expect at the gas pumps.

And while my neighborhood, South Shore, is handling the massive amounts of rainfall fairly well, egress is impaired. Which means I can't get to any of my favorite watering holes to drink away my worries, baseball and financial.

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