Monthly Archives: September 2008

Palin on Couric, Flop Suggests Campaign May Be Suspended Indefinitely

Part Deux of Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin. Either the governor is devoid of quick-thinking skills or she's playing some kind of long con that few of us mortals are clued into. And clearly she got nothing out of her discussion with Henry Kissinger the other day. She could have stolen some comment.


We’re Breaking Records Here

First Bear Stearns, fastest flameout of an investment bank in US history. Then Michael Phelps and his octet of gold. Then Usain Bolt and whatever you call what it was he did. Then we had the biggest bankruptcy of all-time with Lehman Brothers. Then the federal takeover of the world's biggest insurance company with AIG. Now this, Washington Mutual, biggest S&L in the U.S., gets the hook and hurl to JPMorgan. Nation's biggest bankruptcy, bailout, insurer, S&L. We're in superlative country. Terra maxima incognita.

from CNNMoney, Sept. 26 this morning:

To put the size of WaMu in context, its assets are equal to about
two-thirds of the combined book value assets of all 747 failed thrifts
that were sold off by the Resolution Trust Corp. – the former
government body that handled the S&L crisis from 1989 through 1995.
WaMu becomes the 13th bank to fail so far this year and earns the title
of the nation's biggest bank failure by assets on record, ahead of
Continental Illinois, which had about $40 billion in assets when it
failed in May of 1984.

Wonder how long it will take Jamie Dimon to switch all the signs and carpets in the WaMu branches? I'm buying stock in the sign companies, because they probably wont be done until around the time the economy recovers, which will be mid-2010 if we're lucky. And, and, another record: Britney has kept the weight off, god bless, for six weeks.

The Victorians Were Right About This Week’s Wall Street Collapse

The mortgage lenders and credit-derivatives concocters are to blame here. They let us all down by forgetting what it is they do, and from wishful thinking. I found these words from the underappreciated Victorian-era British statesman John Morley:

Where it is duty to worship the sun, it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.

Such A Deal

Gotta hand it to Ben and Hank. Nobody wanted them to bail out AIG, let alone buy it, but they did anyway. Now we taxpayers, we happy taxpayers, have our very own captive insurance colossus offering us great deals on car insurance. And for $85 billion we get 80% of a company that was worth north of $200 billion earlier in the decade, before it loaded up half its balance sheet with crap paper exposure. Plus we get a 2-year-note paying 11% at current Libor. Try getting terms like that Kravis. You can't because you can't cough up the kind of dough that we can.