Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Flotsam and Jetsam for the week of Dec. 8 2008

Chinese Exports Fall Further Than Expected. Financial Times reports Chinese exports declined 2.2% from a year earlier. Imports fell 17.9% from a year earlier. The slump in exports increased fears that China will implement measures to boost exports. This, naturally, would heighten trade tensions.
Ed. note: So much for decoupling. And will Smoot-Hawley make a triumphant return?

Busy week for the FBI. Tuesday, Dec. 9, they nab Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Thursday they grab Bernard Madoff* for securities fraud. (Former Nasdaq chairman)
Ed. note: We're going to need scapegoats for this colossal f***-up of an economy. And it's not going to be Paulson or Bernanke. Or Greenspan.

Blagojevich had a nice intersect with the Chicago Tribune, who filed for bankruptcy (Chapter 11 reorganization) on Sunday, Dec. 7. Among Blagojevich's many charges is that he tried to shake down the Chicago Tribune. If they fired certain editorial writers who were critical of him, he (as the State of Illinois) would provide assistance in certain tax mitigation schemes regarding the sale of Wrigley Field.
Ed. note: Is it too much to ask that the people of the State of Illinois have crooks running the state show a little panache? Or at least not be such out-and-out thugs? Or not be sociopaths?

Detroit in Distress. At the time of this writing news outlets are reporting that the Big Three Bailout is mortally wounded. The Financial Times reports that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejected the bill and backed other Republican Senators in imposing more conditions. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) reported that the House version (which passed 237-170) is dead in the Senate. Any deal worked out in the Senate would have to go back to the House for a vote. The $14 billion package is for GM and Chrysler.
Ed. note: Where was this outrage for the never-ending parade of bailout packages extended to Wall Street? Lousy f*cking Congress.

Bank of America announces 35,000 job cuts. [FT]
Ed. note: Really? Like we didn't see this one coming.

So let's tie that in with this headline: US Jobless Claims Surge to 26-Year High.
Ed. note: Ho, ho, ho.

Illinois delays bond issue in wake of Governor Blagojevich's arrest. And is California leading the nation in stupidity? Once again, from the Financial Times: "State legislators thought they had solved California’s financial problems in the summer when, three months late, they agreed a budget. But it recently emerged that the budget was based on growth assumptions that have proved incorrect as the economy has deteriorated."
Ed. note: Just this past summer they were still projecting GROWTH! In the name of all that is holy, what kind of crackmethamphetamineheroinesctasyjaegerbomb were they hitting up?

And just to wrap up today's news: Greek Violence Flares for Sixth Day. If this happened as reported, it will confirm my suspicion that you just never know what the tipping point is, but once it's breached all hell breaks loose. Last weekend Greek police officers killed a fifteen year old, claiming shots richoted which struck the youth. The lack of immediate action by Greek authorities inflamed the populace but the strikes and protests have not abated even though the officer has been charged along with his partner. Greeks in Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, The Hague, Moscow, New York, Italy and Cyprus also protested. Attacks on a police station and bank by Spanish youths in Madrid and Barcelona are causing concerns that the disturbances will spread beyond the Greeks.
Ed. note: Wait a minute - Greeks? They're not black. The press has always made it seem that only black people go crazy and mob the streets. Maybe that's only American blacks.

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