Archive for March, 2008



Monday, March 31st, 2008

I know, I’m behind on blogging. Here are some links about banking for you to read in the meantime:

And whatever bastard sent me THIS after I successfully made sausage this weekend seriously deserves a kick in the you know what.



Hundred Year Lie

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Charles Krauthammer debunks the notion that McCain has called for a hundred years of war in Iraq. I’m no fan of McCain, but the lie being told about him is ridiculous.

Read the whole thing.


Ask Amber

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

The latest Ask Amber column is up.

Check it out.


More Hillary Lies

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Dick Morris provides the list.

I ask again, is she just fundamentally dishonest or cuckoo bananas? Or some combination of the two?



Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

I’m busy and thus haven’t been blogging as much, but this is just too much:

So what is Hillary’s explanation for this false statement? Did she allow her writers to embellish and maybe let her advisors convince her this was a good idea? No. Apparently, this was the result of a faulty memory:

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she made a mistake in claiming that she came under hostile fire when landing in Bosnia as first lady 12 years ago.

In several recent interviews, the New York senator had described a harrowing scene in Bosnia in which she and her daughter, Chelsea, had to run for cover as soon as they landed for a visit in 1996. But video footage of the day showed a peaceful reception in which Clinton greeted a young child on the tarmac.

Clinton told reporters in Pennsylvania on Tuesday: “So I made a mistake. That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation.”

It’s her indignant attitude at the end that gets me.

A faulty memory might be responsible for getting a time or date wrong, or perhaps for misremembering the order in which events took place. It may even be responsible for mistaking one event for another. But inventing scenarios out of whole cloth? That comes from either being patently dishonest (more likely) or being cuckoo bananas (less likely, though not out of the realm of possibility). Either way, it’s not a trait that would make her fit to be commander in chief, on day one or any other day.

UPDATE: actually, on second reading, she doesn’t detail what the “mistake” is, but it would seem as if she’s blaming a faulty memory. Maybe her mistake is something else though…


700 MHz Auction Results

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Looks like Verizon and AT&S walked away with the bulk of it. Google got nothing.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) Group, won the highly sought-after nationwide “C” block of licenses. AT&T won 227 licenses from among the B block of regional licenses. Frontier Wireless gained airwaves in the E block of the auction, covering almost all of the United States.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which had pushed for opening up at least some of the spectrum over the initial resistance of Verizon and AT&T, did not garner any licenses in the auction.

More here. More detailed analysis at Ars Technica.


Bear Stearns Moral Hazard Banking Roundup

Friday, March 21st, 2008

It is time to step back and recognize that the current situation isn’t a liquidity issue and hasn’t been for some time now. Rather there is uncertainty about the underlying quality of assets which is a solvency issue driven by a breakdown in highly leveraged positions. Many of the special purpose entities and vehicles are comprised of pyramids of paper assets supported by leverage whose values are now unknown. If it were a simple liquidity problem the actions that the Federal Reserve has taken would have dealt with the problems by now.

Bob Eisenbeis
Cumberland Advisors

I’ve been collecting a bunch of links in anticipation of a massive blog entry, but the reality is I’m under the weather, and it’s not gonna happen. So here some a bunch of links, shotgun style, with minimum commentary. Hope that works for you.

  • I think it’s worth reviewing the history of the Second Bank of the United States, and the battle between Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Biddle that ended with the Bank’s demise. It’s also worth reviewing the letter written by Jackson explaining his veto of the renewal of the bank’s charter:

    It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.

    Wow, that’s good stuff. Wish we had an Andrew Jackson today.

  • Great interview with Robert Feinberg, explaining exactly what’s wrong with this deal, and what’s gone wrong with the Federal government more generally. (thanks Jake)
  • When profits are private, but losses public, there is inherent moral hazard. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be allowed to fail.
  • And if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not going to be allowed to fail, then at a minimum the whole endeavor should be socialized, including the profits.
  • Bob Novak reports on the creepy backroom deals that made the Bear Stearns deal possible.
  • Kimberley Strassel fears the whole industry will wound up being bailed out. I think she’s right. It’s like the airlines. Once one seeks bankruptcy protection, they all have to to compete with the one who no longer has any debt. I think this is sure to cascade.
  • Steve Forbes has some ideas about how to get out of the current mess.
  • And finally, a perfect cartoon from Reason.


Friday, March 21st, 2008

How many cannibals could your body feed?
Created by OnePlusYou – Free Online Dating

(Via J-Walk)


Sore Losers

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I always felt that Democrats were sore losers, but this is ridiculous:

Among Obama supporters, 20 percent said they would vote for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, if Clinton beats their candidate for the nomination. Among Clinton supporters, 19 percent said they would support McCain in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee.

I guess I could kind of see that among some Obama supporters, because he has crossover appeal, which Clinton does not. But what’s up with the Clinton supporters?

More here.


Chantal Sebire

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

This woman is Chantal Sebire. She died today, after a battle with the French courts to let a doctor euthanize her. The government and French courts denied her request. The cause of her death was unknown, if natural it was presumably from the face cancer she was suffering from.

I noticed the story in the Metro in the T this morning, and then I noticed J-Walk has blogged it, so I thought it was worth a mention.

I’m surprised Kim Crawford hasn’t said anything about it, frankly.