29 September, 2008

Want to borrow some money?

You may not have to look far:

"Banks throughout the United States carried on with the business of making loans yesterday even as federal officials warned again that their industry is on the verge of collapse, suggesting that the overheated language on Capitol Hill may not reflect the reality on many Main Streets."


28 September, 2008

btw, herez sum $ 4 ford, etc.

Oh, and, fyi, we're also bailing out some people who make cars. Don't worry, it's just $25 billion.


The vocabulary of the bailout is interesting and sad. I'd like to have a list of the words used to describe the supposed consequences of "doing nothing" (for only government action counts). Just tonight on ABC News I heard "abyss," "collapse," "catastrophe," and "we don't even want to think about it." (There's an intellectual approach.) Their reporters go on to say that a) we don't know whether the bailout will work and, strangely, b) there is a consensus that not passing a plan would be "far worse." Than what? Burning $700,000,000,000 in future taxes for nothing? I'm also curious to know how a consensus can exist when 160 or so economists, including three nobel-prize-winning ones signed a letter urging caution--at least with regard to Paulson's original proposal. Excerpt:
If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.
Some even question whether it's true that credit is frozen. (Listen to the news and you'll hear that claim repeated unquestioningly and frequently.)

VOCABULARY UPDATE: "...we do not want to live in a world that will exist without this rescue plan." -Art Hogan , Chief Investment Officer, Jefferies & Co., interviewed on ABC World News With Charles Gibson, 9/29/08

24 September, 2008

The McSky is Falling!

I thought I smelled something Filet-O-Fishy when I heard about this story on ABC News last night...
McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, told some U.S. franchisees to seek other ways to finance store improvements after Bank of America Corp. declined to increase lending.

Store owners have exhausted financing used to pay for upgrades and equipment to make lattes and espressos, and Bank of America won't provide more money as it works on the planned purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co., McDonald's said in a memo that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

The boys on MSNBC/CNBC are using it as I type to impress upon the naughty populous that it had better get in line behind the Big Bailout or else!

Now the clarifications appear to be flying:
McDonald's said franchisees still have access to more than 50 national, regional and local lenders to provide financing.
"There are no credit issues at McDonald's," spokesman Walt Riker said in an email. "There continues to be more than sufficient liquidity available to our franchisees to fund capital improvements in their restaurants."
And, of course, since you need a new car to drive through the drive-thru, the same ABC News segment threw in a mention of the apparently increasing difficulty of borrowing (as opposed to saving up) money to buy a new car every couple of years.

But the biggest financing problem financing dealers face right now is one brought on by auto dealers and auto financing companies themselves, said Tawny Arnaud, vice president of sales for Galpin Motors, a chain of nine dealerships in the Los Angeles area.

Many customers who want to trade in vehicles today are still paying off extra-long loans they arranged on their last car purchase, he said. Loans of long as or six years have become commonplace in the industry.

Well, mercy!

23 September, 2008

Revolution Devolution

Ron Paul endorses Baldwin.

This seems odd as Baldwin seems to endorse allowing terrorist bombings of abortion clinics, prohibition of drugs (abortion pills), using police powers of the state to violently force rape victims to bear rapists' children, etc.:

"I affirm the God-given legal person hood of all unborn human beings, without exception...Under my administration, we could end legal abortion in a matter of days, not decades. And if Congress refuses to pass Dr. Paul's bill, I will use the constitutional power of the Presidency to deny funds to protect abortion clinics. Either way, legalized abortion ends when I take office." (emphasis added)

18 September, 2008

Solution: another government agency?

And free money for some, it seems. Must be nice...

"Wachovia Corp. soared 59 percent, Citigroup Inc. added 19 percent and Bank of America Corp. jumped 12 percent, sending the KBW Bank Index to its biggest gain since July. Morgan Stanley erased a 46 percent tumble and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recovered most of a 25 percent slide as Senator Charles Schumer proposed a new agency to pump capital into financial companies..."

16 September, 2008

Federal Government Taking Control of Apple, Inc.

Next iPhone to include Homeland Security chip

Think I'm kidding? Okay, I am, but don't be a jerk and claim this is as outlandish as it was, oh, two weeks ago. Maybe it would be good if the Feds did nationalize Apple. Maybe more people would pay attention to the consequences of real concentrations of real power (as opposed to the highly contingent power of, say, a Merrill Lynch). And, hey, we'd have a Secretary of Mac. I nominate this guy.