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Just Like Katrina

On MSNBC an AP report: Environmental damage widespread after Ike

WASHINGTON – Hurricane Ike’s winds and massive waves destroyed oil platforms, tossed storage tanks and punctured pipelines. The environmental damage only now is becoming apparent: At least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas, according to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

The AP’s analysis found that, by far, the most common contaminant left in Ike’s wake was crude oil — the lifeblood and main industry of both Texas and Louisiana. In the week of reports analyzed, enough crude oil was spilled nearly to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and more could be released, officials said, as platforms and pipelines were turned back on.

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October 5, 2008   2 Comments

An Interesting Proposal

Robert Peston, BBC business editor, weighs in on How to solve the crisis.

I like the way he thinks, probably because we think a lot alike. For example, he wrote:

Probably only governments, through the deployment of taxpayers’ money, can solve a financial crisis that was created in large part by the foolish financial risks taken by bankers and financiers whose common sense was wiped out by greed.

And I wrote: “Greed subordinates common sense, and consequences are for “little people”.”

The short version of his main proposal is to do what Warren Buffett did and exchange public funds for preferred stock, the same thing I’ve been saying for a week, but he has a very interesting secondary proposal on retirement funds.

While most people in the UK have pension coverage through their jobs, many lower paid workers don’t, and don’t have the resources to do much for themselves. Peston wants to create a retirement system for those workers and use a government loan to get in on the investment opportunities that are currently available. It is an interesting proposal.

October 5, 2008   2 Comments

Happy Birthday

October 5, 2008   Comments Off on Happy Birthday

What People Are Writing

The Pensacola Beach Blogger covers Warren Buffett’s views of the situation.

Jim DeRosa looks at FDR’s solutions to the Great Depression.

DCap looks at the central issue to a lot of the turmoil, marked to market pricing. The WSJ had a primer on Federal Accounting Standard [FAS] 157 when it came out.

Anglachel highlights three articles in a New York Times series showing how we got here.

The bottom line is that when FAS 157 was enacted people had to start displaying some truth about their assets, and investors quickly realized that “things had been embellished”. They were embellished because no one was enforcing the rules that were in place, and others were attempting to eliminate all of the rules that were left.

Wall Street was put under rules as a result of the Great Depression because left on their own they were crooks. They are still crooks and should never be trusted. Greed subordinates common sense, and consequences are for “little people”.

October 5, 2008   2 Comments