January 31, 2009

Have at it.

Ready for the Big Bang?


I said that the thermonuclear option would be on the way - the government using trillions and trillions of your (and your kids') money in order to try to save the economy.

And now, alas, it's on the way.

Ready?

Think it will work?

US set for ‘big bang’ financial clean-up


The Obama administration is gearing up for a “big bang” announcement next week that will combine a bank clean-up with measures to reduce home foreclosures and probably steps to kick-start credit markets.

The plan will involve an overhaul of the troubled asset relief programme – the $700bn bail-out fund – including strict curbs on compensation at banks receiving public aid. The Tarp overhaul is intended to restore public confidence in what is a deeply unpopular programme and ensure that taxpayer money is not used to fund excessive pay, bonuses and dividends to shareholders.

“There will definitely be a cap of some sort on bonuses,” said a Wall Street executive who has taken part in talks with the authorities. “The political climate is such that there is a need to punish Wall Street.”

The announcement will follow Friday’s news that the US economy contracted at an annualised rate of 3.8 per cent in last year’s final quarter – less than analysts were expecting, but still the worst quarter since 1982. The fall was cushioned by ballooning inventories, which suggest the economy could shrink faster than expected in the first quarter.

The “big bang” approach reflects the belief of Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, and Lawrence Summers, National Economic Council director, that the Bush administration was wrong to dribble out policy initiatives. Mr Geithner intends to present a “comprehensive” plan that policymakers hope will command market confidence.

"So much for spreading fear and panic Sashers. Perhaps you folks live in another dimension?"


"I don't know about you guys. But I sure as hell don't feel like we are in a recession let alone a depression. The stores are full, restaurants have waiting lines, and as far as I can tell Keith there are no riots breaking out in my city. So much for spreading fear and panic Sashers. Perhaps you folks live in another dimension?"

- Anon homedebtor or realtor or crazy person, January 30

Is the NAR a cult?

People hear what they want to hear.

Smooth salesmen armed with lies can make people do irrational, stupid, hurtful things.

Shut down the NAR. Deprogram their followers. Cleanse the world of this force of evil.

Haven't they caused enough damage already?

A Cult always refers to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding population considers to be outside the mainstream. In common or popular usage, "cult" has a positive connotation for groups of art, music, writing, fiction, and fashion devotees (see Cult following), but a negative connotation for new religious, extreme political, questionable therapeutic, and pyramidal business groups. For this reason, most, if not all, non-fan groups that are called cults reject this label.








January 30, 2009

There should be no question now. Nancy Pelosi is likely even more incompetent than George Bush. She isn't just a fool. She's a DANGEROUS fool.


Nancy Pelosi must be stopped.

Her incompetence got us into this mess, and she sure as hell ain't gettin' us out of it.

It feels like America, and the world, is stuck with her. The Dems sure as heck aren't gonna throw her over the side. And the idiots in her district aren't gonna vote her out.

Unless the Senate radically alters Pelosi's mess, America will now fall into a Great Depression, if it's not there already. This 'stimulus' package is nothing of the sort. It's a joke. It's a Democrat-pork-fest. And it won't stimulate anything.

And Nancy Pelosi will go down in history as one of the most destructive people in the history of humanity. We elect stupid freaks to lead us, and we get what we get.

Analysis: Stimulus bill that's not all stimulating

WASHINGTON (AP) — They call it "stimulus" legislation, but the economic measures racing through Congress would devote tens of billions of dollars to causes that have little to do with jolting the country out of recession.

There's $345 million for Agriculture Department computers, $650 million for TV converter boxes, $15 billion for college scholarships — worthy, perhaps, but not likely to put many Americans back to work quickly.

Does today feel like September 12, 2001? Or is it even worse?

Lawrence Yun. I have no comment. You guys take it from here.

Davos delegate: "“We are on the road to serious social instability, which could be extremely dangerous in some countries to democracy itself”


“The certainties that have defined Davos for the past ten years have collapsed. We are witnessing the collapse of an entire system of ideas.”

- Guy Ryder, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, telling business leaders and politicians at Davos how it really is, January 29, 2009


And this scene from FrancePANIC last night:


Up next: ChinaPANIC

In a country of a billion, tens of millions will now go unemployed.

Two words

Powder. Keg.

And a corrupt and paranoid leadership that will get dangerous as it loses control.

Talk is cheap Obama. Clawback these bonuses and ill-gotten gains. And make mortgage fraud a crime again in America.

Nothing will change until the perp-walks start.

Nothing will change until the claw-backs start.

The law is on Obama's side on this one, as are 99% of Americans.

It's time to start righting the wrongs.

It's time to jail the guilty, and throw the book at these sons of bitches that destroyed the world.

This was all shameful, he is right. Now do something about it.

January 29, 2009

Are we already in a Worldwide Great Depression?

Kucinich calls for the Federal Reserve to be brought under control. Yeah, good luck with that.



I like Kucinich - he's got that fire in the belly that Ron Paul is missing.

That said, just like Ron Paul, nobody is listening. Nobody cares. And he has no support in the corrupted halls of Congress.

So, what to do?

The only way change is going to come to our corrupt Congress is if Americans find a leader and take to the streets. Literally, take to the streets. Loudly, passionately, relentlessly take to the streets, demand blood, demand arrests and demand the destruction of the Fed.

But I don't see that happening, not unless or until it gets REAL bad. No, Americans, like they've been doing for decades now, are simply going to take this lying down. The Fed, Goldman Sachs, the bankers and the REIC are firmly in control.

What's on Idol?

Michael Perry and Angelo Mozilo, you may be free now, but not much longer. Jail awaits. I hope you like men.


"How are these ruthless, careless ghouls who murdered the economy still walking around, and not as perps?"

"Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin."

- NYT's Maureen Dowd, calling for blood, January 28, 2009


(Blog note: Michael Perry, Indymac mortgage fraud king pictured above assuming the position, you might want to be sneaking across the border right about now. You're f*cked dude. Tick, tick, tick)


January 28, 2009

Soot and Ashes Serious Question of the Day


Why is anyone in America paying their mortgage today?


Fed moves to help distressed homeowners

WASHINGTON (AP) — With foreclosures spiking, the Federal Reserve is taking steps to try to keep some distressed borrowers in their homes.

Under the program, the Fed has a number of options to provide relief, including lowering the amount the homeowner owes on the mortgage, reducing the interest rate or lengthening the term of the loan.

It's unclear how many homeowners would benefit. However, the relief plan would apply to the billions of dollars of mortgage assets the Fed is holding on its books because of last year's bailouts of Bear Stearns and insurer American International Group.

In general, a borrower must be at least 60 days delinquent to qualify for help, although the Fed has leeway to make some exceptions.

Soot and Ashes New Post-Crash Word of the Day



Nouveau Poor




Nouveau Poor

Fake, shallow, uneducated and immoral people who used to be employed in the business of selling what they knew were overpriced homes or dodgy mortgages to unsuspecting sheeple in order to earn commissions, who recently lost all of their ill-gotten gains.

Refers also to a person who has acquired and then lost considerable wealth within his or her generation.

This term is generally to emphasize that the individual was previously part of a lower socioeconomic rank, acquired wealth and/or access to debt, and then started acting like they came from a higher socioeconomic status through the acquisition of goods or luxuries that were previously unobtainable, and then lost everything once the Big Housing Ponzi Scheme ended.

And then, right on schedule, the US taxpayer to take on Angelo Mozilo's fraud loans - "Bad Bank" on the way


I said last week that the nuclear option was on the way.

Get ready.

Here it comes. Kaboom.

Dilute the dollar. Screw the taxpayers. Bail out Wall Street and the bankers, moral hazard be damned.

Angelo Mozilo must be laughing, and rubbing himself orange with all his money.

Plan for Banks' Toxic Debt May Be Unveiled Next Week

The Obama administration is close to deciding on a plan to purchase bad—or non-performing and illiquid—assets from banks, according to industy sources. The plan could be announced early next week.

The so-called "bad bank" plan, would address the key problem of how to price the assets by using a model-pricing mechanism.

The model would take account of the government's ability to hold onto assets, even to maturity, and pay for the them with cheap funding. Result: the government might end up paying more than current market prices for the securities.

On the other hand, if the government paid less than the value at which the asset is carried on the bank's books, the bank would issue common equity to the government.

Here's Ron Paul. Mr. Irrelevant.

Ron Paul could have made a difference, and he didn't.

He should have chained himself to the White House gates.

He should have called his army to an unending protest outside of Congress.

He should have mounted an Independent bid for the Presidency.

He should have led, and instead he stepped aside.

Too bad.

Talk is cheap.

His ideas are good.

But nobody is listening.



Isn't it interesting that Obama and the Dems are doing nothing (so far) when it comes to stopping the housing freefall?

I feared that on Day 1 they'd have something big.

Maybe a $20,000 tax credit to buy a new home.

Or a 180-day foreclosure freeze.

Or 3% 4o-year mortgages for everyone?

But no, so far, nada. Nothing. The current stimulus bill, as written, contains NOTHING for housing.

And that's a good thing.

Why?

Because the only way for the housing crash to end is that it ends. As in homes return to their fair value, based on rental income and local salaries.

The key is for government, and the Dems and Obama, to stay the f*ck out of the way. They caused this stupidity with their 1997 REIC-lobby-kiss tax change on gains, and they continue to distort the market with tax credits and deductions (i.e. REIC wet kisses).

But if they get involved in 'foreclosure prevention', mortgage workouts, or try to prop up fraud-fueled stupid prices, they'll just make a bad thing worse.

So every day that goes by with nothing being done is a good day. Let's see how much longer that can last. Hopefully by the time the monkeys act, home prices will have fallen to where they needed to be all along.


Executive Order 6102 - Requiring Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates to Be Delivered to the Government


Never say never...

No, I don't think the US government will demand all gold, since our money is just silly little pieces of paper these days. But I do think desperate times will call for desperate measures. Just what those will be, I'm not sure. But I'm sure we'll see.

And even if the government doesn't seize your wealth by taking your gold, they are going to seize your wealth (further) by taking your money. Or at least the value of it.

It's called monetary inflation. It's called printing money. And like a thief in the night, they'll have stolen your wealth before you even know what hit you.

Here's FDR in '33. Enjoy:

Executive Order 6102 - Requiring Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates to Be Delivered to the Government

By virtue Of the authority vested in me by Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled "An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes," in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of this order:

Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term "hoarding" means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term "person" means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933

January 27, 2009

Has the financial collapse changed your mind about what you'd like to do with your life?



Has it changed your view of work?

How you spend your time?

What you do for money?

Life in general?


Too bad (for the bank) that she didn't have the money, had to charge it, and is now tens of thousands in crushing debt



Too bad for the bank that she's treating her credit card debt like discretionary spending. As in, it's discretionary whether or not she's gonna pay her bill.

She ran it up, had a grand time, and the bank ain't gettin' paid back.


And no, she won't feel.... soooo bad.

Home prices have crashed ANOTHER 18% nationwide. But, but, but.. Lawrence Yun at the NAR said we hit bottom in December 2007! What gives?



The National Association of Lying Realtors on Commission should be shut down.

Anti-racketeering laws should be used to destroy this force of evil, for good. And there should be a criminal investigation of the NAR's lobbying arm, who paid your Congress to look the other way.

Finally, Lawrence Yun and David Lereah should be investigated for false statements and conflict of interest, as they put out misleading statements on the US real estate market in order to pump up the prices of their own real estate holdings.

Here's Lawrence Yun, in December 2007,
when it was a GREAT TIME TO BUY!!:

Housing market at the bottom, realtors say

The market for existing homes is "hitting the low right now" and heading for a "modest recovery" next year, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said at the group's annual convention here Tuesday.

NAR expects the national median price of existing homes to decline 1.7 percent to $218,200 for this year and hold steady in 2008.

Yun said housing will start to recover next year, if only because people will keep getting married, having babies, changing jobs and retiring, forcing them to buy or sell homes. "The pent-up demand is there," he said.

And now, again, let's flash-forward to today's cold, harsh reality:

Home values in 20 major U.S. cities fell a record 18.2% in the 12 months ending in November, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday.

The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index fell 2.2% in November, with home values in all 20 cities falling at least 1%. Prices in the original 10-city index fell a record 19.1% over the year.

Prices are down 25% from the peak in mid-2006, according to Case-Shiller.

In the past year, prices were down 33% in Phoenix, 32% in Las Vegas, and 31% in San Francisco. The best performance over the past year came in Dallas, where prices fell just 3.3%.

Soot and Ashes Quote of the Day



"Who needs the government to create a new “bad bank” when it has Bank of America?"



-New York Times Breaking Views column, mocking BofA's incompetent CEO Ken Lewis and calling for his ouster, January 2009

Well, there's something you don't see every day

Chart: Total Borrowings of Depository Institutions from the Federal Reserve
1920 - 2008



I see hockey sticks.

Are charts supposed to do that? No, they're not? Hmmm... OK, I guess.

What's on Idol?

January 26, 2009

Soot and Ashes Serious Question of the Day


Now that the world has crashed, are people thinking about 'stuff' (i.e. 'possessions') differently?

Are you?

Eleven years ago today, Bill Clinton lied to the American people.



And at that point, Americans and people all over the world lost trust in America's leaders.

Liars. Corrupt conmen. Incompetents.

And they were right.


Let's see if Obama can reverse this stain in history.

Or if it'll be more of the same.

Get your prediction in here for gold price on 12/31/2009




When the history book is written on this financial collapse, the chapter on gold will be one of the most interesting.

Gold generally confuses the hell out of me, I admit.

But so does printing trillions and trillions of dollars, while watching people around the world exchange out of their local currencies in order to acquire dollars.

So have at it.

An epic collapse in gold prices, as jewelry demand plummets?

Stays about the same price, as a calm safe haven from the storm?

Goes to $2000 and higher, as people give up on all paper currencies, including the US dollar?


(blog note - every time gold touches $900, and every time I post on it, it falls back. So let's see if it stays true to form... or if it finally breaks through)


"Gordon Brown is like an arsonist posing as a firefighter" - Lord Lamont of Lerwick, former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer


Man, if that doesn't just sum it up perfectly.

Now we'll start to hear the clamor for Gordon Brown's resignation. Perhaps even a no-confidence vote by his own party. Failing that, given the crashing pound and soaring unemployment, I think we're days away from Brits taking to the streets.

Bottom line? Gordon Brown was 100% responsible for getting Britain into this mess. And now he's pretending that he can get it out of it.

He lit the fire, it's burning out of control, and now he's grabbing a hose.


Arsonist. Firefighter.

And on his way out.





Happy Australia Day



220 years later, it may all come crumbling down.

But you blokes do know how to have a good time.

Enjoy. While you still can.

Bukko, hoist a few for us.

January 25, 2009

There is a chance you know that we may be totally and irreversibly f*cked.

What would happen if all the money and all the stocks in the world became essentially worthless?

Something to think about.

So what's on Idol tonight?



Latest video from IcelandPANIC and GreecePANIC

The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done.

This is what happens after bankers and realtors on commission get hold of an economy.

They destroy it.





Obama on the economic disaster he's inherited, and the $1 trillion money bomb on the way



Trillions lost.

Trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions.

Trillions more will be spent.

Millions will go unemployed.

And riots will come, all over the world, maybe even in the USA.

It didn't have to come to this.

But the Democrats and Republicans made sure it did.


So, how's that "property ladder" working out for ya?

I freaking hate that term.

"Property ladder"

"Get on the property ladder"

"I have to do anything I can to start climbing the property ladder"

"I made a killing on the property ladder"

Property ladder, property ladder, property ladder.......

It's all I heard here for years. There's even a show on TV all the time called "Property Ladder".

It made me sick.

Could it have been any more obvious?

It was a Ponzi Scheme. A pure and simple, perfectly executed Ponzi Scheme.

And then when it blew up, as Ponzi Schemes always do, people were surprised? Governments, who distorted the market with incentives to get people into the Ponzi Scheme, were surprised?

"Property ladder."

Oh, man, future generations will laugh at that one.

It should never be said again. Except as the butt of jokes.


Microsoft tanks, as Ballmer states "the economy is resetting to a lower level of business and consumer spending"


Reset.

Yup.

That about sums it up.

Remember, the world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done.

(And by the way, Vista and your new Excel, Word and PowerPoint programs all suck. REALLY, really suck)


"We are certainly in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime set of economic conditions. The economy is resetting to a lower level of business and consumer spending."


- Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, January 2009

January 24, 2009

Chrysler vice chairman expects automaker to be viable by spring" Ha. Ha ha ha.

Monkeys.

Monkeys I tell ya.


Chrysler vice chairman expects automaker to be viable by spring


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A top Chrysler LLC executive says the automaker should be viable by springtime because of its restructuring, introduction of new and improved vehicles, and higher sales due to loosened credit and sweetened incentives for buyers.


Let's be clear. The Democrats destroyed America. They allowed the debacle at Fannie and Freddie to go on and on, and they should be investigated

There should be investigations.

People should go to jail.


And Democrats especially should go to jail.

This economic crisis could have been avoided.

But no, the Democrats were on the take.

The Democratic Party failed America.

And as the months and years go on with no independent investigation, you'll gain in the certain knowledge that the REIC has bought and paid for your government. Especially the Democrats.




So what will it be Obama? More of the same from you and your corrupt party? Or will you demand an independent investigation and special prosecutor ASAP?


Soot & Ashes Quote of the Day



"I didn't like the line in the speech about 'we don't have to compromise our values to protect ourself.' I think sometimes we do."

- Bill O'Reilly, January 2009

This video is getting even better and better with age.



They should make a movie about this couple, and their wonderful realtor on commission Suzanne.

I'd pay five bucks to see it.

I just want to see what happened to fatty.

January 23, 2009

Obama stated "We will restore science to its rightful place". So here's a start.

Just look at that list above.

If you're an American, are you proud to see your country at the bottom of this list of shame?

Why are a significant number of Americans so dumb and anti-science?
Serious question.

The information is out there folks.

99%+ of biologists agree.

And evolution does not conflict in any way with a belief in god or with religion.

Yet nearly 50% of Americans are so dumb, I'm surprised they can function in their daily lives. These idiots are frankly making America one of the stupidest countries on earth.

It's embarrassing. And it must stop.

So, serious question, when it comes to science, why are Americans so dumb? And so unwilling to accept the truth?

Is it the Southern Baptist church?

Is it the media?

Is it Fox News?

Is it bad parenting?

Is it sugar cereals?

Is it a complete and total failing of an uncompetitive education system?

What is it that when it comes to settled science makes Americans, and a few of you, so completely and hilariously dumb?

Almost Half of Americans Believe Humans Did Not Evolve
Religion is major predictor of attitudes toward human origin

A recent Gallup Poll shows that almost half of Americans believe that human beings did not evolve, but were created by God in their present form within the last 10,000 years or so.

Get ready. The thermonuclear option is on the way. And it's gonna shock you.


We can keep doing the bank bailouts in dribs and drabs.

Or we can MOAB it.

I think we're getting closer to a big ka-boom.

The Tsar Bomba of Banking, if you will.

And the size of it will shock you. And the world.

Get ready.

David Cameron and Gordon Brown had quite the dust up yesterday at Prime Minister's Questions, as the UK goes broke and the Pound crashes

Monkeys.

Monkeys, I tell ya.

We'll have to go begging to the IMF, says Cameron

Britain risks bankruptcy and a humiliating bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because of Gordon Brown's borrowing, David Cameron said yesterday. With official confirmation that the economy has entered recession expected today, the Tory leader delivered his strongest warning yet: "If we continue on Labour's path of fiscal irresponsibility, at some point – and it could be very soon – the money will simply run out."

I wrote this post on the pending Great Oil Bubble implosion in June 2008. The speculative hedge-fund fueled bubble then imploded.


I'm a fool.

I should have shorted oil right then and there.

But bubbles are funny. They usually go on much longer than you think they ever could. The housing bubble lasted two years longer than most of us thought.

But that wasn't the case for oil. It imploded suddenly and fiercely, falling 80% in six months.

But hey, it hath been foretold. It's the timing that's always the trickiest.

_________

June 16, 2008

Are you ready for the Great Oil Bubble Implosion?


Bubbles are funny.

Until they aren't.

Let's look again at oil, where total world demand rose by... wait for it... a whopping
0.9% (YES, THAT'S ZERO POINT NINE PERCENT) over the past year, while world liquids and crude production increased slightly more than 1%. And yet prices per bbl. rose over 80% in the past year, and 697% since 2001. Pets.oil anyone?

So what's driving the current Great Oil Bubble (GOB) madness? Oh, maybe the $3.5 trillion in oil derivatives, or the $90 billion in speculative
hot money that's poured into the new commodity indexes.

There is no consumer-market-based justification for the rise in oil prices. The madness is purely and simply a speculative one, just like housing, just like dot-com stocks, just like tulip bulbs and tea.

Yes, the same hedge funds, pension funds, investment banks and hot-money investors who gave you the housing bubble and mortgage madness are now giving you the GOB.

Bubble after bubble after bubble... Just as we expected. But with housing it was "HEY, COOL, WE'RE ALL GETTIN' RICH RICH RICH!!!!", while with the Great Oil Bubble it's "HEY, CRAP, WE'RE ALL GETTIN' POOR, POOR, POOR!!!".

Keep in mind that bubbles last longer than you think they ever will. But in the end, they end. All of 'em. And this one will too. Where and when will it end? Who knows. But when it does, it will end spectacularly and gloriously. And when it does, there will be RAGE in the streets as gas prices don't come down along with the price of oil. But that's another story...

There is one nice lasting effect with this Great Oil Bubble though - it has changed the world's collective consciousness in regards to fossil fuels and consumption. The "GOB" will launch a clean energy revolution - wind, solar, biomass, nuclear and even some energies as-yet-undiscovered. And SUVs and trucks are the new mink coats - their owners are now social pariahs, scorned and mocked while they piss what's left of their money away at the pumps.


And a word for the Peak Oilers out there - yes, at current consumption and production rates, we've got a problem. But what you don't take into account is that the world (i.e. 'the market') because of prices, political instability, global warming and the dramatic change in collective consciousness, will now be making The Great Change, away from fossil fuels as fast as it can. Past demand does not equate to future demand as your projections dictate. And a Big Change is coming.

We told Ken Lewis and the Bank of America NOT to buy Countrywide Toxic Mortgage. We told him Angelo's fraudsters would end up blowing up his bank.



We told him.

And he did not listen.

He had dreams of big bonuses after all.


Well, Angelo's fraudsters ended up blowing up his bank.

Right on schedule.

Nice job Ken.

You went to bed with Angelo Mozilo, and you gave BofA shareholders, and US taxpayers, financial gonorrhea.


What the hell were you thinking?

They called them "Liar's Loans".

Could it have been any more obvious? And how the f*ck do you still have a job?

Lewis’s Merrill, Countrywide Buys May Hurt Him, Bank of America

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s Kenneth Lewis, who used acquisitions to build the lender and his reputation, may have damaged both by pursuing Merrill Lynch & Co. and Countrywide Financial Corp.

The bank, largest in the U.S. by assets, dropped 14 percent in New York trading after Lewis, the company’s chief executive officer for eight years, posted the first quarterly loss since 1991. A new package of support on Jan. 15 from the U.S. totaling $138 billion to help absorb Merrill’s losses didn’t stop the stock’s 16-month slide, raising questions among analysts and investors about the tenure of the 61-year-old Lewis.

“He’s made so many just grossly wrong projections or statements in the public press over the last 18 months,” said Jon Fisher, who manages a $1.5 billion portfolio at Fifth Third Asset Management in Minneapolis that doesn’t include the bank’s shares. “I’m sorry, I don’t think he should have a CEO title if he can’t forecast his own business or he can’t understand his own financials.”

January 22, 2009

IcelandPANIC: It's getting bad. Now they're throwing yogurt and eggs at their leaders. Oh, riots too.

Yogurt?

Eggs?

Oh, man, history needs to teach the people of Iceland how to get it on, if they really want change.

Sure, they've shut down their Parliament, but come on.

Yogurt?

More matches. Less yogurt.

Kick ass national anthem by the way.

I gotta get up there. I'll bring ice cream.


Envious of Obama, Icelanders hurl yogurt and stage riots for new leaders

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Protesters hurled dairy products and rage at their elected leaders here during increasingly violent demonstrations this week over the handling of the country’s collapsing economy.

Parliament was suspended Wednesday and the prime minister’s limousine was attacked with snowballs and eggs.

Demonstrators are calling for immediate elections, but the prime minister appeared on television Wednesday night, saying his government has no intention of stepping down.

Soot and Ashes Serious Question of the Day


Net-net, did the Baby Boomers have a negative or positive impact on the history of America and the world?



(and can you believe the altruistic peace-and-love, rage-against-the-man hippie generation became the greedy, selfish, pre-emptive war, pollute-the-world, bankrupt-the-children generation? How the f*ck did that happen?)





Now that the debt bubble and student loan ponzi scheme has imploded & the HELOC money is gone, will stupid debt-fueled college tuitions collapse too?


I'm not sure who's more evil - bankers or college administrators.

The bankers provided the ammunition, the college administrators provided the gun, and the students and parents pulled the trigger.

In real estate, it was the P/E stupid - the ratio of rent to ownership costs.

For universities, it's the P/E too - the ratio of costs to potential income. Spending $150,000 on a liberal arts degree to earn $25,000 is folly. And the collapse of the debt bubble will now wash away what common sense couldn't.

And that's a good thing.

I think MTV Cribs was the now-unwatchable show that brought down western civilization as we knew it

12 year old spoiled punk kid gets a Willie Wonka McMansion full of tasteless crap.

Then idiots all over the world go out to get themselves Willie Wonka McMansions full of tasteless crap.

Even though they couldn't afford them, committed rampant mortgage fraud to 'buy' them, and the banks had no business loaning to them.

I hope this REIC housing porn crap is off the air soon, if it's not already.


January 21, 2009

Jim Rogers on the British Pound


"More doomed (than the US dollar). It will disappear sooner.

"If it weren’t for the North Sea, the British Pound would have already disappeared. It’s more doomed. The UK has been exporting oil for 26 years; within the decade, the UK will be a net importer of oil again, and they have nothing else to sell to the world once the oil dries up."


- Jim Rogers, January 2009

Like riots? Then get your summer travel plans set now, as riots set to overthrow governments in Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland & more


Oh, what an interesting spring and summer it will be.

Once the snow clears, the true magnitude of the meltdown becomes clear, and the good rioting weather starts, watch out. Remember, "the world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what the have done."

Thank you bankers. Thank you realtors. You f*cked the world for a commission.

Here's the latest Soot & Ashes WorldPANIC Riot Heat Index (see sidebar) and update

- BulgariaPANIC - Riots underway: 4.0
- LithuaniaPANIC - Riots underway: 4.0
- LatviaPANIC - Riots underway: 4.0
- EstoniaPANIC - Days away: 3.0
- UkrainePANIC - Protests: 3.0
- IrelandPANIC - Protests: 2.0

- IcelandPANIC - Violent protests demanding government resign: 4.0
- RomaniaPANIC - Tension: 2.0
- SpainPANIC - Credit rating cut: 2.0
- FrancePANIC - Due for a riot 1.0
- GreecePANIC - Riots: 5.0
- HungaryPANIC - About to blow: 3.0
- BelarusPANIC - Tension: 2.0
- EnglandPANIC: Banks fail, currency collapses, on the verge of bankruptcy, yet people still clueless: 2.0
- SouthKoreaPANIC - Violent protests demanding government resign, killing protesters: 4.0
- DubaiPANIC - Unease: 2.0
- MexicoPANIC - Murders: 2.0
- PakistanPANIC - Calm before storm 1.0
- VenezuelaPANIC - Protests: 3.0
- RussiaPANIC - Disturbances: 2.0
- ChinaPANIC - Jobs protests: 2.0
- MiamiPANIC - Strangely quiet: 0.0
- CaliforniaPANIC - Oakland riot, out of $, welfare cuts: 3.0


Eastern Europe braced for a violent 'spring of discontent'

Riots and street battles are set to spread through Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states as inflation, unemployment and racism fuel tension

Eastern Europe is heading for a violent "spring of discontent", according to experts in the region who fear that the global economic downturn is generating a dangerous popular backlash on the streets.

Hit increasingly hard by the financial crisis, countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states face deep political destabilisation and social strife, as well as an increase in racial tension.

Last week protesters were tear-gassed as they threw rocks at police outside parliament in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, in a protest against an austerity package including tax rises and benefit cuts.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, 150 people were arrested and at least 30 injured in widespread violence. More than 100 were detained after street battles between security forces and demonstrators in the Latvian capital, Riga.

According to the most recent estimates, the economies of some eastern European countries, after posting double-digit growth for nearly a decade, will contract by up to 5% this year, with inflation peaking at more than 13%. Many fear Romania, which joined the EU with Bulgaria in 2007, may be the next to suffer major breakdowns in public order.

"In a few months there will be people in the streets, that much is certain," said Luca Niculescu, a media executive in Bucharest. "Every day we hear about another factory shutting or moving overseas. There is a new government that has not shown itself too effective. We have got used to very high growth rates. It's an explosive cocktail."

Hey Obama - want to restore confidence? ARREST ANGELO MOZILO. NOW. TODAY.


The market didn't recover after the dot-com crash until Bernie Ebbers, Ken Lay and Andy Fastow were in jail.

It's time to throw the mortgage fraudsters in the clink. And clawback their ill-gotten gains while we're at it.

Start with Mozilo. Today. Now. And then go from there.

Is there a new sheriff in town, President Obama?

Or will you be just more of the same?

The banks in the UK, Eurozone and America will be nationalized within days. You cool with that?


Royal Bank of Scotland... Owned by Scotland/UK

Bank of America... Owned by America

Anglo Irish Bank... Owned by the Irish

Banco Santander Central Hispano... Owned by Spain

F*ck the banks. F*ck the bankers. Take them over, fire their managers, take the writedowns, recapitalize them, merge them, regulate them, arrest the financial terrorists, clawback the executive bonuses, and move on.

It hath been foretold.

Fred Goodwin at the Royal Bank of Scotland went out and lost $41 billion last year as he enriched himself. Now the UK is on the brink of failure.


$41 billion.

In one year.

I put money on the Cubs once. It was a stupid, stupid bet. But I knew there was a chance it could go bad, and that I could lose it all.

Evidently, Fred Goodwin, RBS's failed CEO, either was too stupid to know he was gambling. Or he knew damn well he was gambling, but that it really didn't matter, since he'd still get paid his millions. And the taxpayers would be there to pay the debt when the bet went bad.

Arrest these thieves. All of 'em. Claw back their ill-gotten gains. Put them in the clink until they pay.

$41 billion.

Nice work Fred.

Bloody wanker.

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. No way out."




It hath been foretold.

But, oh, man, it's sure kinda spooky when it happens.

Eh?

Here's the Copland riff - Simple Gifts - from yesterday's performance

January 20, 2009

Soot and Ashes Quotes of the Day

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America."

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

"What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply."

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics"

"Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed"

"We will restore science to its rightful place"

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

"With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come."

- President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009


That's it. Checkmate. The game is over. It's time for the nations of the world to recognize that their banks are insolvent, and nationalize them.

All of them.

Yes, ALL of them.

All over the world.

They're completely and totally insolvent already, they know it, governments know it, and that's before the trillions and trillions more in debt are written off. Houses, cars, student loans, commercial real estate, all of it. It all needs to be written down and written off, and the losses will be in the trillions. Trillions and trillions and trillions.

So the taxpayers will own all the banks, and they'll take the losses.

And then, slowly, we'll start again.

It hath been foretold.

Jim Cramer calls for a one-time $25,000 tax credit to buy a house


I'm just surprised this hasn't already been done.

It will be.

Soon.

And when it is enacted, along with 4% 40 year loans for everyone, that will be it. That day.

The housing bottom will be in.

Cramer: Obama Must Address Housing Problem

If Obama does not attack this issue square on with twin initiatives to sop up inventory with a one-time tax credit of $25,000, enough basically to get a new homeowner off the sidelines to buy a $200,000 house (where the average price is headed), then the banks will continue to default, and the problem will never end. Plus, the wealth effect will continue to diminish because the stock side and job side of the ledger are so bad

01.20.09


Live feed on MSNBC


"It's been about a year since people thought they had a president"




"It's been about a year since people thought they had a president, if you will. ... It's been some time since the American people heard, 'We've got an economic problem, but, baby, we are getting through it. We are going to get past this thing. We are going to rise again'"


- Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, January 19, 2009

Around the world with the global housing ponzi scheme financial crash. Thank you realtors.

America. F*ck yeah.


Yes, we dug ourselves one hell of a hole, that make take generations to get out of.

Yes, the banks must fail.

Yes, the criminals still run free.

Yes, home prices must revert to the mean.

Yes, millions will go unemployed.

Yes, trillions and trillions were lost, and trillions and trillions will be spent.

And yes, it's gonna get really, really bad before it gets any better.

But the incompetent scoundrel, and his evil henchmen, are now gone. Ding dong, the witch is dead.

Americans rose up, and just enough of them pulled their heads out of their asses for just long enough to demand change.

We'll know soon if we're truly going to fix this mess, or if it's to be more of the same from our corrupted two-party system.

Obama, you've got 100 days. F*ck the Democrats. F*ck the Republicans. Now that you're in office, show us what you've got. Change everything.

(and for the love of god, arrest Angelo Mozilo already)

America. F*ck yeah.


Buffett

January 19, 2009

And may your dreams... Be realized.



Sleep
Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thunder cloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Rain down on me
Mmm...mmm...mmm...
So let it be
Mmm...mmm...mmm...
So let it be
Sleep
Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thundercloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Let it rain
Rain on meAnd m

It's January 19, 2017. Barack Obama is about to give his farewell address. What does America and the world look like?


We're about to go on a historic ride.

I get the sense nobody knows where this thing is going to go next.

But they feel something is coming.

Something big.

2008 was a once-in-a-lifetime jolt. The tremors will be felt for years, if not for the rest of time.

The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done.

And perhaps that is a good thing.

Get your predictions in now. And then remember to pull this thread up eight years from now.

You might be surprised.


Things to think about

* Who'll be president-elect?
* What cool things will have been invented?
* US deficit and debt?
* Dow?
* Gold price?
* Fate of the banks?
* Amero?
* Wars?
* What's on the Internet tonight?
* Entitlements rationalized?
* Will Obama be there?
* Terrorist strikes?
* Price of oil?
* Scientific discoveries?
* Gay marriage?
* Will there be newspapers?
* What will you be doing?

Will the United States investigate and prosecute George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and gang? Should we?



George W. Bush brought shame to America, and to all Americans. He eliminated habeas corpus. He destroyed the rule of law. He tortured in our name. He let the criminals run free. And we let him.

So far.

This is a pivotal moral test for America.

Will we be a bankrupt nation that is also bankrupt morally?

Or will we be a bankrupt nation that at least kept its morals?

(note - Bush is hours away from issuing blanket pardons for Cheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld and others. That should not matter. Investigations should be launched. Prosecutions should be conducted. Justice should be served)

Stephen Leeb vs. Peter Schiff



Wow. Looks like Stephen Leeb has his application in for Dick of the Century.

Mike Norman, Tom Adkins and Connie DeGroot didn't have the benefit of reality - they went against Schiff when it was just theory. But now what's come has come, idiots like Leeb should just shut their yap.

Man, who lets guys like Leeb out of their cubes?


Special open thread to talk about the Obama inauguration and George W. Bush's final hours

We are one.



A worldwide crash shows that we're in it together. Like it or not.

We interrrupt this blog for an important message. The Arizona Cardinals have won the NFC. And America has elected a black president.



Prepare for Armageddon.

We now return you to your regular programming.


January 18, 2009

January 17, 2009

Goodbye, Incompetent Scoundrel


The Worst President Ever. Put into office by idiots at the ballot box, and a corrupted Supreme Court.

Goodbye, scoundrel.

May you be haunted, investigated and scorned until your dying days.

Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent

CBS News/N.Y. Times Poll Finds President Will Leave Office With Lowest Final Approval Rating Ever

President Bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll showing Mr. Bush's final approval rating at 22 percent.

Seventy-three percent say they disapprove of the way Mr. Bush has handled his job as president over the last eight years.

Mr. Bush's final approval rating is the lowest final rating for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago.

The rating is far below the final ratings of recent two-term presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who both ended their terms with a 68 percent approval rating, according to CBS News polling.

Recent one term presidents also had higher ratings than Mr. Bush. His father George H.W. Bush had an end-of-term rating of 54 percent, while Jimmy Carter's rating was 44 percent.