A veritable Buffett buffet

October 31, 2007

Warren Buffett is testifying on his narrow escape from Freddie Mac:

The lesson: when the new regime takes over the corporation and makes outlandish promises that sound too good to be true, it’s time to bail!

And certain members of congress (fuck you Schumer!) have wanted Freddie Mac & Fanne Mae to lead the bailout of subprime fliptards. Both GSE’s are under scrutiny right now, and in NO position to take on such a burden. Fraud, mismanagement, and accounting investigations are now (finally!) underway.

Yet you would expect an elected legislator (fuck you Dodd!) would know better than that. Must be an election year.

Oh yeah, Ron Paul AND the Sex Pistols were together (again?) on Leno last night. Wished I knew. The Ron Paul interview is on the youtube.

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Ron Paul does Leno

October 31, 2007

Deathanol – facts and figures

October 30, 2007

Yes, It’s Deathanol(tm) the fuel of no future!

Bottom line: it takes the equivalent energy contained in a gallon of gasoline to produce 0.5 gallon of ethanol, which, as a fuel, has less caloric value, so it’s more like .33.

“That helps explain why fossil fuels-not ethanol-are used to produce ethanol. The growers and processors can’t afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S. drivers couldn’t afford it, either, if it weren’t for government subsidies to artificially lower the price”.
Hmmm, I guess we are paying for it anyway, just not at the pump.

The price of cattle feed, tortillas, and other corn based products are currently at all time highs.

Your government subsidies are hard at work. Good job there government!

(I won’t bring up the sheer lunacy/ outrage/ tragedy/ comedy of burning food stocks with net-negative value is primarily to fuel your typical American’s exurban commute to work).


Book learnin’ vs. street smarts

October 30, 2007

Verrrry interesting article about where the market is, as we stand here poised at the edge of a very tall cliff. Will we tumble over? Stay tuned…

WTF’s going on with Wall Street anyway?  Is doom and gloom on the horizon, or will there be sunny skies? The titans of finance have accumulated wealth, aggregately as well as individually, on a scale that few of us can imagine, and even fewer of us are even privy to.

Feel left out?

When reality disconnects from fundamentals, we see something like what we have witnessed recently: the pseudoscience of modern portfolio theory becoming accepted practice, taught in business schools, “theoriticians” of this practice awarded prizes, and it’s “successful” proponents patting each other on the back, lighting expensive cigars, secure in the fact that risking other people’s money is no longer risky.

The writer, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, was “a trader and risk manager for almost 20 years” who seems to have been in a position to witness the application of economic theory of portfolio management into the market.

If you thought the success of the academics has been a slam dunk, well, when promotion goes unchallenged, the public impression formed doesn’t adequately reflect reality.

Some interesting points:

  1. There is no Nobel Prize for economics.
  2. Winners of the “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” include Robert Merton and Myron Scholes, the founders of Long Term Capital Management, which famously imploded.
  3. “the consequence of shielding men from the results of their folly is to create a world full of fools.” -Herbert Spencer

Hat tip to patrick.


OPM to finance war? WTF?

October 25, 2007

What else would you expect from the land that brought you the infomercial, how to get rich without effort (because you friggin’ you deserve it!), wealth built on defrauding your fellow Americans, and sweet rides purchased using the 2/28 refi plan?

Hey people, your leaders have taken out jumbo non-conforming loans in your name, generously paid their friends (who toil selflessly at the various military industrial entities) with the proceeds, and left you (and me), the taxpayer-borrower, holding the bag.

Are we made of straw here or what?

Think we’ll ever be able to pay it off? When the bill comes due, China et al might just have to foreclose on our ass:

The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Prepare your children to say bye bye to U.S.A., and hello to slave labor camp! It not so bad!


Subprime Comedy Duo

October 24, 2007

Nice kitty

October 19, 2007

If you know Russian, do let us in on the story of what kind of “cat” this is.