Frontier Former Editor

September 24, 2008

Wonder why Bush begged for public support on the bank bailout Wednesday night?

I knew there was something up when Bush’s deer-in-the-headlights look was more stunned than usual. Here’s a hint:

BEIJING, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Chinese regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

 

The Hong Kong newspaper cited unidentified industry sources as saying the instruction from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) applied to interbank lending of all currencies to U.S. banks but not to banks from other countries.

 

“The decree appears to be Beijing’s first attempt to erect defences against the deepening U.S. financial meltdown after the mainland’s major lenders reported billions of U.S. dollars in exposure to the credit crisis,” the SCMP said.

 

A spokesman for the CBRC had no immediate comment. (Reporting by Alan Wheatley and Langi Chiang; editing by Ken Wills)

They didn’t sell us the rope. They merely bought the paper funding the rope. And now, let’s hear Sarah Palin tell us this one is a task from God . . .

July 13, 2008

Translation: Things are pretty damned bad

There is a point, in financial markets, when things stop being psychological in origination and become real as hell. The housing market has been bad enough in recent months, but it’s a fairly good indicator that reality is in the parking lot when federal officials scramble to keep federally-backed paper from becoming just as worthless as the commercially-owned paper before it.

(from the Department of the Treasury website)

July 11, 2008
HP-1078

Statement by Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. made the following comment today on news stories about “contingency planning” at Treasury:

Washington, DC–

 

“Today our primary focus is supporting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their current form as they carry out their important mission.

“We appreciate Congress’ important efforts to complete legislation that will help promote confidence in these companies. We are maintaining a dialogue with regulators and with the companies. OFHEO will continue to work with the companies as they take the steps necessary to allow them to continue to perform their important public mission.”

 

and . . .

Paulson Statement on Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae: Full Text (from Bloomberg)

July 13 (Bloomberg) — Following is the text of a statement issued today by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a central role in our housing finance system and must continue to do so in their current form as shareholder-owned companies. Their support for the housing market is particularly important as we work through the current housing correction.

GSE (government sponsored entity – ed.) debt is held by financial institutions around the world. Its continued strength is important to maintaining confidence and stability in our financial system and our financial markets. Therefore we must take steps to address the current situation as we move to a stronger regulatory structure. In recent days, I have consulted with the Federal Reserve, OFHEO, the SEC, Congressional leaders of both parties and with the two companies to develop a three-part plan for immediate action. The President has asked me to work with Congress to act on this plan immediately.

First, as a liquidity backstop, the plan includes a temporary increase in the line of credit the GSEs have with Treasury. Treasury would determine the terms and conditions for accessing the line of credit and the amount to be drawn.

Second, to ensure the GSEs have access to sufficient capital to continue to serve their mission, the plan includes temporary authority for Treasury to purchase equity in either of the two GSEs if needed.

Use of either the line of credit or the equity investment would carry terms and conditions necessary to protect the taxpayer. Third, to protect the financial system from systemic risk going forward, the plan strengthens the GSE regulatory reform legislation currently moving through Congress by giving the Federal Reserve a consultative role in the new GSE regulator’s process for setting capital requirements and other prudential standards.

I look forward to working closely with the Congressional leaders to enact this legislation as soon as possible, as one complete package.

And add to that the run and panic on Indy Mac late last week:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — IndyMac Bank’s assets were seized by federal regulators on Friday after the mortgage lender succumbed to the pressures of tighter credit, tumbling home prices and rising foreclosures.

The bank is the largest regulated thrift to fail and the second largest financial institution to close in U.S. history, regulators said.

The Office of Thrift Supervision said it transferred IndyMac’s operations to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation because it did not think the lender could meet its depositors’ demands.

IndyMac customers with funds in the bank were limited to taking out money via automated teller machines over the weekend, debit card transactions or checks, regulators said.

Other bank services, such as online banking and phone banking were scheduled to be made available on Monday.

“This institution failed today due to a liquidity crisis,” OTS Director John Reich said.

While Shrub and his gang of idiots certainly have their share of the blame in this fiasco, they’re just part of a longer-term fiscal and financial idiocy amongst the government and citizenry of this fair land.

If anyone believes that the Democratic Party will be able to carry on with classic post-1960 American liberal policy and philosophy if Obama wins in November 2008, then you may want to go back and read some applied economics.

On the other hand, if anyone believes that a Republican-controlled 1600 Pennsylvania Ave can carry on with classic post-1979 American conservative thought and philosophy, then you might want to read up on the French Revolution, the Weimar Republic and 1929-1933 in the U.S. and Germany.

Brother can you spare a million Deutschmarks and a wheelbarrow?

December 27, 2007

Amateur night at the White House and the State Department

You’ve probably heard the latest from Pakistan by now, so I won’t bore you with the details of that particular bloodbath.

But if anything will finally illustrate to the most know-nothing Bush and GOP supporters that we’ve had bipolar kindergarteners running this country’s foreign policy since January 2001, the fallout from Bhutto’s murder should suffice.

In a peanutshell (quite adequate to contain the substance of 21st century American foreign policy):

  • The spawn of Reagan-era U.S. policy toward Afghanistan blows up the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
  • Bush (heavily under Cheney’s influence) declares global war on terror and extorts the cooperation of an already-unstable, nuclear-armed Muslim country (Pakistan, in case you haven’t read the news for the past 2.5 decades) in said GWAT.
  • Bush (or Cheney) orders the invasion of Afghanistan – probably a reasonable rat hunt since we helped spawn the rise of the Taliban as well as the other warlords  in that perverse Flanders Field of a rock farm.
  • Bush – channeling Cheney and a whole bunch of Nixon-Reagan era manifest destiny disciples – decides to bring democracy to the Middle East and to defeat terror by invading Iraq, thus distracting us from the Afghanistan rat-catching expedition.
  • While contributing to a rising Islamic radicalism and militancy by invading Iraq, the Bush administration is distracted (or bored?) from the Afghanistan expedition.
  • U.S. adventurism in Iraq and support of our man in Pakistan also help fuel a rising militancy in Pakistan while we engage in the schizophrenia of supporting Musharraf for his ostensible anti- al Qaida stance and criticizing him for his anti-democracy stance.
  • And after finally going through the motions of being a democratic society, Pakistan  one of its prime candidates shot and shredded.
  • And our fearless leader/decider’s response? He asks Musharraf to go ahead with elections.

Some may say that we have a bunch of psychotics running our foreign policy. I still subscribe to the theory that we have stupid amateurs who couldn’t figure out a Fisher Price shape and color box for ages 2 and under.

August 27, 2007

What’s one attorney general forced from office in disgrace?

Too goddamned late and not enough.

But, hey, you take what you can get.

So, without further ado,  the annotated news guide to Alberto “Heirich Himmler” Gonzales (and a not-very-smart Himmler wannabe at that) . . . .

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer 7 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Alberto Gonzales, the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general (and a much bigger-haired version of Heinrich Himmler, Harry Daugherty and John Mitchell), announced his resignation Monday, driven from office after a wrenching standoff with congressional critics over his honesty and competence (there was no standoff over his honesty and competence – everyone knew that he was a dissembling, unethical, gutless mouthpiece with an anus big enough to have Karl Rove’s and Dick Cheney’s hands inserted to operate his eyes, head and mouth).

Republicans and Democrats alike had demanded his departure over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, but President Bush had defiantly stood by his Texas friend (and clinically-defined toady) for months until accepting his resignation last Friday.

(more…)

August 19, 2007

Turk 182

Filed under: blogging, Come again?, free speech, Gallipoli anyone?, Only the beginning — Frontier Former Editor @ 8:09 pm

See here

In keeping with my duty to defend free speech . . .

 Adnan Oktar was walking down the street in Istanbul. As he walked by two secularists, one said to the other, “What is Adnan Oktar doing out of jail?”

The other secularist said, “I don’t know, but he must be Harun Yahya!”

March 15, 2006

Kicking and screaming into the 21st century

Filed under: blogging, journalism, Only the beginning — Frontier Former Editor @ 6:16 pm

After watching several of my contemporaries jump on the blog bandwagon, I figured what the hey.

So here I am.

I’m the editor of a chain, small weekly newspaper in the western end of a mid-Atlantic state. For now, that’s about all I’ll reveal about my identity. We’ll see how the blogging goes from there.

Now let’s figure out how to set up this blog page and then I’ll be a regular Samuel Pepys. Just what I always wanted to be – a wigged, port-swilling English diarist!

Blog at WordPress.com.