Watching the slow-motion train wreck of an economic system collapse unfold

Watching the slow-motion train wreck of an economic system collapse unfold
click pic to reminisce

some would call it spring fever  

Posted by howard in nyc

May Giants Tickets  

Posted by howard in nyc

Many of the dates will be available.  I'm holding off posting them for another few days, as I am trying to arrange a visit west, so I can use them myself.  Check back.

as usual, i will put the tickets up one month at a time, since my travel plans are usually last minute, and i like to use the seats when i am visiting cali.

tickets can be transferred electronically, instantly and securely, for $4, via the giants' web site. you can pay me with paypal, or if we have done business before, just send me a check.

the giants went to differential pricing this season, so i will list the literal face value for each date. face value varies between $42 and $69. price is always negotiable, up as well as down.

Yuri Gagarin; Maj. Robert Anderson  

Posted by howard in nyc

a couple of heroes did their thing on this date. 50 years ago gagarin was the first human being to travel to outer space.  150 years ago Anderson defended outgunned Fort Sumter against the CSA onslaught, as the war to preserve african american slavery began.

more evidence these guys are fucking clueless  

Posted by howard in nyc in ,

Gretchen Morgenson at the NY Times had an interesting column Saturday, based on the documents the Federal Reserve Bank was court-ordered to publicly release. here's a snip:

The Bank Run We Knew So Little About
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON
Published: April 2, 2011
IN August 2007, as world financial markets were seizing up, domestic and foreign banks began lining up for cash from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
That Aug. 20, Commerzbank of Germany borrowed $350 million at the Fed’s discount window. Two days later, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and the Wachovia Corporation each received $500 million. As collateral for all these loans, the banks put up a total of $213 billion in asset-backed securities, commercial loans and residential mortgages, including second liens.
Thus began the bank run that set off the financial crisis of 2008. But unlike other bank runs, this one was invisible to most Americans.
Until last week, that is, when the Fed pulled back the curtain. Responding to a court ruling, it made public thousands of pages of confidential lending documents from the crisis.
The data dump arose from a lawsuit initiated by Mark Pittman, a reporter at Bloomberg News, who died in November 2009. Upon receiving his request for details on the central bank’s lending, the Fed argued that the public had no right to know. The courts disagreed.
The Fed documents, like much of the information about the crisis that has been pried out of reluctant government agencies, reveal what was going on behind the scenes as the financial storm gathered. For instance, they show how dire the banking crisis was becoming during the summer of 2007.
Washington policy makers, meanwhile, were saying that the subprime crisis would subside with little impact on the broad economy and that world markets were highly liquid.
These details of this 2007 episode are telling.

The guys in charge, Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner (chief of the New York branch of the Fed at the time), experienced this hidden bank run. And they experienced the collapse of Bear Stearns in March 2008.

Yet, when the shit really hit the fan in September 2008, despite months of forewarning, they were caught completely unprepared.

Learning these details of the fragility of the international banking system due to overextended bad credit, as exposed by these events of 2007, two of my major conclusions are reinforced:

~These guys are truly incompetent. They do not know what they are doing, from one crisis to the next. They just make it up as they go along.

~These guys have exactly two tools for 'managing' the economic crises. Throw money at the problem, and talk a bunch of words to calm the public and markets. Print, lend or lower interest rates to zero. Their response over and over is throw money and bullshit. That's all they got.

People like me expected the adverse effect of all that easy money to be rising costs of borrowing for the US government. Hasn't happened; I was wrong on that one. But other adverse effects--rising cost of oil and food--are coming to bear.

The fed painted themselves into a corner. A different corner than I predicted, but just as bad a corner. Keep printing money, and the economy slows on the back of $100 a barrel oil, and recession returns. Stop printing money, and the economy slows on lower stock prices, lower system liquidity, and probable increased borrowing costs for the govt, and recession returns.

I'll guess they keep throwing money until they are force to stop. And lots of words.

April Jeopardy  

Posted by howard in nyc

Monday Apr 25--
Category: BRITISH LANDMARKS
Clue:  Completed in 1858, it was to be named St. Stephen, but was nicknamed this, honoring the chief commissioner of the works

Answer:  What is Big Ben?

Tuesday Apr 26--
Category:  PLAYWRIGHTS
Clue:  This Brit won Tonys for best play in 1968, 1976, 1984 and & 2007; in the 90s he settled for the 1998 best screenplay Oscar

Answer:  Who is Tom Stoppard? 
i didn't even know he was a brit


Wednesday Apr 27--
Category:  TV THEME SONGS
Clue: A 1984 country hit, "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight" is the basis for its theme song

Answer:  What is "Monday Night Football"?


Thursday Apr 28--
Category:U.S. PRESIDENTS
Clue: This president was the first to put solar panels on the White House

Answer:  Who was James Earl Carter?


Friday Apr 29--
Category:  AMERICAN ARTISTS
Clue: In 1909 he completed his last painting, a canvas called "Driftwood"

Answer:  Who was Winslow Homer?




Monday Apr 18--
Category:  BASEBALL GEOGRAPHY
Clue:  After Alaska, it's the largest state in area without a major league baseball team 

Answer:  Where is Montana?

Tuesday Apr 19--
Category:  AUTHORS
Clue: He died in 1995, the day before a Glasgow veterinary library named for him

Answer:  Who was James Herriott?

Wednesday Apr 20--
Category: HISTORIC AMERICANS
Clue: Sharing his first name with the man who took this 1850s photo, he's the diplomat & officer seen here


Answer:  Who is Commodore Matthew Perry?  


Thursday Apr 21--
Category:  SCIENTISTS
Clue:  At the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, his widow said, "that was his dream, sending a rocket to the moon"
 
Answer:  Who is Robert Goddard?

Friday Apr 22--
Category:  BIOGRAPHERS
Clue: As many mourned, this minister wrote in a letter, "Washington is gone!  Millions are gasping to read…about him"

Answer:  Who was Parson Weems?



Monday Apr 11--
Category:  GEOGRAPHIC ADJECTIVES
Clue:  Of the nations with adjectives in their common names, only this Western Hemisphere one bears the name of a religious order

Answer:  Where is the Dominican Republic?

Tuesday Apr 12--
Category:  BASEBALL & THE PRESIDENCY
Clue:  As both VP & Pres., he threw out a season's 1st pitch, each time for a different Senators franchise

Answer:  Who is RM Nixon?

Wednesday Apr 13--
Category:  NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS
Clue:  The 2 Middle East prime ministers of the same ocuntry who shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with another leader


Answer:  Who was Yitzhak Rabin and is Shimon Peres?


Thursday Apr 14--
Category: AUTHORS ON AUTHORS
Clue:  Faulkner said this writer "has no courage" & "has never used a word where the reader (may need) a dictionary" 
Answer:  Who was Ernest Hemmingway?

Friday Apr 15--
Category: ANCIENT ARTIFACTS
Clue:  Some of its text says, "the decree should be written on a stela of hard stone, in sacred writing, document writing & Greek writing"

Answer:  What is the Rosetta Stone










Monday Apr 4--
Category:  WORLD GEOGRAPHY
Clue:  These 3 nations each border the world's largest and smallest oceans
Answer:  Where are the USA, Canada and Russia?  Arctic and Pacific.

Tuesday Apr 5--
Category:  BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS
Clue: The latest "Bartlett's" lists quotes chronologically; the first quotes come from this country
Answer:  Where is Egypt?

Wednesday Apr 6--
Category:  COMPOSERS
Clue:  His first name means "happy", but three of his five symphonies are in gloomy minor keys. 
Answer:  Who is Felix Mendelssohn?

Thursday Apr 7--
Category:  LITERARY QUOTATIONS
Clue:  Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Frost remarked that this is what gets "lost in translation"
Answer:  What is poetry?

Friday Apr 8--
Category:  THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART 
Clue:  64 paintings from The Met's foundng purchase are still in its collection; over 1/3 of them are from this current European nation 
Answer:  Where are The Netherlands?


Friday Apr 1--
Category:  BILLBOARD'S HOT 100
Clue:  In 2010 they broke The Beatles' record for having had the most songs on the Hot 100 chart by a non-solo act
Answer:  Who is the cast of Glee?