woensdag, maart 11, 2009

It would be nice to have a few more details as to the restrictions and dictats that are alleged causing banks in America to return their bailout money handouts.

It would appear that other than unfounded allegations of "social engineering" the cuts in executive pay packages and other potential government "demands" don't sit well with bankers who are accustomed to being the ones ramming it to people rather than the other way around.

One of the biggest concerns of the banks is that the program lets Congress and the administration pile on new conditions at any time.

The demands to modify mortgages or forestall evictions are especially onerous, some bank executives and experts say, because they could prompt some institutions to take steps that could lead to greater losses.

Hmmm, piling on new conditions at any time? Putting those receiving funds to take steps that could lead to greater losses? Sounds a little like the way banks treated customers for years and years and years.

Well and truly one must be comforted by the mantra that if bankers don't like it or are against it, it must be good.

Since when are they to be believed and further, given they've already ground the economy into dust with their insatiable greed, what credibility to bankers really have anyway? They're going to lose money? Well, they did a brilliant job of that on their own so the claim rings a little hollow at this point.

Of course, if you're interested in detailed analysis of what the IMF believes is the appropriate fiscal policy for the financial crisis, and you have time to sift through 38 pages of bureaucratic economo-speak, it's there for the reading.

On the other hand, to the delight of reductionists everywhere, the policies and ideas are neatly summarised by the FT as:

temporary spending and tax cuts aimed at high-spending groups will be more effective and less risky than broad tax cuts.

In other words, "sustaining demand", the ironic way that this all works is give MORE money to those who already HAVE more. Think we've heard that one before, haven't we?


Come to think of it, no point in worrying about economies collapsing or not having any money. We should be saving up for scuba equipment because we're all going to be underwater in a matter of months anyway

Sounds like a good reductionist terror lead for GMTV or BBC Breakfast, both of whom are desperate (perhaps GMTV moreso because their funding isn't predicated on the extortion of UK tax payers).

Sea levels are predicted to rise twice as fast as was forecast by the United Nations only two years ago, threatening hundreds of millions of people with catastrophe, scientists said yesterday in a dramatic new warning about climate change. Rapidly melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are likely to push up sea levels by a metre or more by 2100, swamping coastal cities and obliterating the living space of 600 million people who live in deltas, low-lying areas and small island states.

Low-lying countries with increasing populations, such as Bangladesh, Burma and Egypt, could see large parts of their surface areas vanish. Experts in Bangladesh estimate that a one-metre rise in sea levels would swamp 17 per cent of the country's land mass. Pacific islands such as Tuvalu, where 12,000 people live just a few feet above sea level, and the Maldives, would face complete obliteration.

Oh, I dunno. The hysteria just doesn't seem "real" enough unless it's got a failed and gutless American politician making a film about it.

If you're feeling hopeless, you could always watch Sizzle, a mocumentary about global warming.


PSST, have I got a conspiracy for YOU!

What if it were the same gunman (or gunmen) here and here?

Samson contractor Greg McCullough said he was pumping petrol at the station when the gunman opened fire, killing a woman coming out of the service station and wounding McCullough in the shoulder and arm with bullet fragments that struck his truck and the pump.

``I first thought it was somebody playing,'' he said

Somebody playing? They sure play hard in Alabama.

And maybe even in Northern Ireland

Northern Irish politics is, as a rule, boring. Think about the material you have to work with. Between Martin McGuinness’ lachrymose banalities and Peter Robinson’s rigid bigotry (there is a great deal of both in Stormont), there is little room to be inspiring. The only occasional frisson is when one of the demented crackpots of the hard right says something unspeakably ignorant and stupid. Sammy Wilson, the environment minister, denies that there is such a thing as man-made global warming, and that ensures that his smug, dopy-eyed, reddened face gets on the news for a week. (Sammy is also, you may care to know, an Ulster Jobs for Ulster Workers guy). Likewise, when Iris Robinson MP, spouse to First Minister Peter, describes homosexuality as being “viler” than child abuse, there follows a brief uproar before the the usual run of anti-gay violence is resumed with vengeance. (Not that Nothern Ireland has a problem with exaggerated machismo - anyone who says it does will receive a boot in the ballicks.) Though I have not visited NI for years, and don’t feel much connection to it, it is hard not to be embarrassed by the kinds of people who get elected in that neck of the woods. They are so obviously unfit for the job. They should be spreading mulch and spouting misanthropy out in the suburbs and farming communities.

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