Daily Archives: March 4, 2012

International finance (or finance of any kind) is over my head,but this sure sounds like funny money

Subsidies of the big European banks are borrowing billions @1% from the ECB. The idea, so far as I can understand it, is to prop up these subsidiaries in countries about to fail, just long enough for the parent companies to disengage and get rid of them. Then when the Euro collapses the big guys can walk away free, so long as the ECB doesn’t come after them for the loan. Which it sounds like it won’t because then Britain, France and Germany would follow Spain, Italy and Greece into the toilet and who wants that?

So what happens to the uncollectable debt? Beats me, but it doesn’t sound like a great long-term plan.

Bank officials and outside experts say the strategy is an effort to limit the parent companies’ exposure to their far-flung subsidiaries in case the local economies deteriorate further. It also would make it easier to sever ties with the subsidiaries if, in an extreme case, one of the countries were to leave the euro zone, they say.

“It doesn’t signal confidence,” said Philippe Bodereau, a managing director with bond-fund manager Pimco. “


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I don’t own any but maybe I should

Interesting chart here. Warren Buffet dismisses gold as a place to stash money, but as Zerohedge points out,

Trouble is, stocks (and all paper assets) are subject to counter-party risk, whereas physical gold isn’t. Gold doesn’t overcompensate its CEOs, it doesn’t leverage its productive capital in toxic derivatives, it doesn’t cause industrial disasters like Deepwater Horizon, its value isn’t dependent on central banking, or securitisation, or American imperialism, or the machinations of the military-industrial complex. It just sits, retaining its purchasing power.


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With help from Chicago’s election experts, Putin’s a shoo-in

The Chicago delegation arrives in Moscow

Wins big, despite “carousel voting”, intimidation and beatings. How’d that happen? Eric Holder, the Blue State’s representative to the office of the U.S. Attorney General, denied that he’d sent members of the Black Panthers over to assist: “Yeah, I let ’em off on bringing rifles to Philadelphia’s polling places, but that doesn’t mean I’d lend them to Vladimir – these are my home boys – I don’t just let anyone use them.”

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Blacks barred from “whites only” NYFD exam prep course

Democrat hero

So unfair. I expect we’ll hear the howls of outrage from the NAACP all the way up here in Greenwich, friggin’ cry babies. Block your ears.

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Bottom story of the day


Connecticut’s Democrat Congressional delegation 4th most liberal in the nation. I suppose we should be grateful that three other states are worse. Can you say, “kakistocracy”? I thought you could!




Cute, but stupid

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World-wide housing crash coming in February 2013


Time to ready that survival kit, an asteroid’s coming! AJ, stop up on fluoride toothpaste. Here’s Dollar Bill’s kit. $6,495.00 ($150 off sale) but what good’s your money going to do you when the big one hits?

I figure that when a bullet’s got your name on it, ducking won’t help, but in view of our power outages here, a bunch of these Mountain House 72-hour meal packs might be useful to keep in the house. $41 per, shelf life 7 years. I’ve used Mountain House products on various back packy trips and found them quite good.

Fun read on this topic: Lucifer’s Hammer. Still in print and even available on Kindle but of course, once the power goes, you’ll be better off with your favorite books committed to memory, like they do in  Farenheit 451.

Here’s what $6,500 of food looks like, by the way:

Batteries and ammunition not included


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No wonder that Irishman Sean Dunne fled to Greenwich. Alas, the same fate he suffered in Eire may await him and us here.

Castles for a song on the Emerald Isle. So sing for your supper. Fifty-five room hotel asked $6,000,000 in 2009, sold for $860,000. Prices in that benighted land have fallen 60% from their peak. Can’t happen here though, right?


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New word for Walt (and for me)


Just saying …

From Instapundit this morning, a word I just had to look up:

Kakistocracy: “A government under the control of a nation’s worst or least-qualified citizens”



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