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2008 September 25 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Drive-by Economy Blogging

Update: From Jack the Grumpy Forester in comments – WaMu bites the dust. You may as well have a laugh.

Actual CNN headline: “Glenn Beck: Crisis an absolute disaster”.

Do you think he came up with that on his own, or did Roget help? Is this guy someone’s brother-in-law?

From MSNBC: U.S. gets a triple dose of bad economic news

WASHINGTON – Weekly jobless claims surged to the highest level in seven years, durable goods orders took a bigger-than-expected tumble and new home sales plunged to the slowest pace in 17 years, according to government data released Thursday.

And they still refuse to say we’re in a recession.

Apparently part of “price discovery” is to determine the “hold-to-maturity” value of the toxic paper the Septic Bank is supposed to buy. Given that no one wants to buy it, much less hold it to maturity, isn’t that impossible?

September 25, 2008   10 Comments

What To Call It?

Robert Peston is the BBC Business editor, and he has a blog. While he normally covers the British economy with posts like Interbank hysteria, which discusses the current behavior of British banks, he also comments on the US.

He has the winning entry for what to call the entity being created in the bailout bill: A stinking Septic Bank

So it looks as though the Whitehouse will have its wish: Congress will probably allow it to create its Septic Bank, into which $700bn of poisonous excrement will be sucked out of Wall Street.

So one unanswerable question is whether poisoned banks will refuse to detox because the price of doing so – in respect of pay cuts and wealth reduction for their shareholders – would be too great?

Such behaviour on their part may be mad and irrational. But it’s now clear that bankers haven’t distinguished themselves by their rationality over recent years.

He says that he got “Septic Bank” from a British banker, but this is the sort of industrial strength snark our financial writers need.

September 25, 2008   4 Comments

Nor’easter On The Carolina Coast

From CNN: Storm causes power outages, coastal flooding

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, North Carolina (AP) — Strong winds kicked up rough surf Thursday as an intense low-pressure system chugged toward the Southeast coast with wind gusts of up to 40 mph, knocking out power to thousands of homes in Virginia.

The storm was about 100 miles southeast of Wilmington at about 4 p.m. ET. National Weather Service forecaster Steve Pfaff said the storm should make landfall late Thursday night near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Winds should diminish after raking the eastern and central parts of North Carolina later Thursday. He said the center of the storm should be in central North Carolina by Friday morning.

“It does not have any tropical characteristics, but it is still an intense nor’easter,” Pfaff said.

It doesn’t have to be a tropical storm to cause tropical storm damages.  This is about as intense as Hanna without a name.

September 25, 2008   Comments Off on Nor’easter On The Carolina Coast

Tropical Storm Kyle

Tropical Storm KylePosition: 24.8 N 68.0 W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North [010°] near 13 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 50 mph [85 kph].
Wind Gusts: 60 mph.
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 105 miles [165 km].
Minimum central pressure: 994 mb ↓.

It is 555 miles [890 km] South-Southwest of Bermuda.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 25, 2008   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Kyle

Éireann go Brách ‽

Oh, I’m sorry, that should read “Ireland going broke?”… well actually the BBC reports Irish economy goes into recession

The Irish Republic’s economy has fallen into recession after shrinking for a second quarter in succession.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 0.5% in the three months to the end of June.

The economy had shrunk by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year. Technically, a recession is defined as two or more successive quarters of negative growth.

It is the first time Ireland has experienced a recession since 1983.

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September 25, 2008   2 Comments

Chill Out!

Update: Like I thought: Bailout talks in disarray. House Republicans don’t agree with the plan.

The media is nuts. They are flashing the “news” that Congress has a plan [CNN-Money version]. No, Congress has a proposal to submit to Paulson, there is no “plan” yet.

The Dow leaps up on nothing, which shows that they are gambling, not investing which part of the overall problem, i.e. there has been too much gambling and almost no investing.

September 25, 2008   2 Comments