Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
By Emily Kaiser - Analysis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The cost of restoring confidence in U.S. financial firms may reach $4 trillion if President Barack Obama moves ahead with a "bad bank" that buys up souring assets.
The figure far exceeds even the most pessimistic estimates of how great the loan losses might be because there is so much uncertainty about default rates, which means the government may need to take on a bigger chunk of bank debt to ease concerns.
Goldman Sachs economists said ideally the public sector would step in to remove the hardest-to-value assets, which would alleviate nagging worries about future losses and hopefully help get lending going again.
"Unfortunately, with an unprecedented meltdown in mortgage credit and a deep recession in the broader economy, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the value of almost every asset," they wrote in a note to clients.
Obama and his economic advisers are expected to lay out their policy plan as early as next week. One idea that seems to be gaining traction is setting up an entity to buy troubled assets and hold them until they mature or resell them.
The hope is that once banks get rid of those bad loans, they can attract private investors, get back to the business of lending, and help revive the economy.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Same Old Song
By BOB HERBERT
What’s up with the Republicans? Have they no sense that their policies have sent the country hurtling down the road to ruin? Are they so divorced from reality that in their delusionary state they honestly believe we need more of their tax cuts for the rich and their other forms of plutocratic irresponsibility, the very things that got us to this deplorable state?
The G.O.P.’s latest campaign is aimed at undermining President Obama’s effort to cope with the national economic emergency by attacking the spending in his stimulus package and repeating ad nauseam the Republican mantra for ever more tax cuts.
“Right now, given the concerns that we have over the size of this package and all the spending in this package, we don’t think it’s going to work,” said Representative John Boehner, an Ohio Republican who is House minority leader. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Boehner said of the plan: “Put me down in the ‘no’ column.”
If anything, the stimulus package is not large enough. Less than 24 hours after Mr. Boehner’s televised exercise in obstructionism, the heavy-equipment company Caterpillar announced that it was cutting 20,000 jobs, Sprint Nextel said it was eliminating 8,000, and Home Depot 7,000.
Maybe the Republicans don’t think there is an emergency. After all, it was Phil Gramm, John McCain’s economic guru, who told us last summer that the pain was all in our heads, that this was a “mental recession.”
The truth, of course, is that the country is hemorrhaging jobs and Americans are heading to the poorhouse by the millions. The stock markets and the value of the family home have collapsed, and there is virtual across-the-board agreement that the country is caught up in the worst economic disaster since at least World War II.
The Republican answer to this turmoil?
They need to go into rehab.
The question that I would like answered is why anyone listens to this crowd anymore. G.O.P. policies have been an absolute backbreaker for the middle class. (Forget the poor. Nobody talks about them anymore, not even the Democrats.) The G.O.P. has successfully engineered a wholesale redistribution of wealth to those already at the top of the income ladder and then, in a remarkable display of chutzpah, dared anyone to talk about class warfare.
A stark example of this unholy collaboration between the G.O.P. and the very wealthy was on display in the pages of this newspaper on Jan. 18. The Times’s Mike McIntire wrote an article about the first wave of federal bailout money for the financial industry, which was handed over by the Bush administration with hardly any strings attached. (Congress, under the control of the Democrats, should never have allowed this to happen, but the Democrats are as committed to fecklessness as the Republicans are to tax cuts.)
The public was told that the money would be used to loosen the frozen credit markets and thus help revive the economy. But as the article pointed out, there were bankers with other ideas. John C. Hope III, the chairman of the Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, in an address to Wall Street fat cats gathered at the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton, said:
“Make more loans? We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”
How’s that for arrogance and contempt for the public interest? Mr. Hope’s bank received $300 million in taxpayer bailout money.
The same article quoted Walter M. Pressey, president of Boston Private Wealth Management, which Mr. McIntire described as a healthy bank with a mostly affluent clientele. It received $154 million in taxpayer money.
“With that capital in hand,” said Mr. Pressey, “not only do we feel comfortable that we can ride out the recession, but we also feel that we’ll be in a position to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves once this recession is sorted out.”
Take advantage, indeed. That, in a nutshell, is what the plutocracy is all about: taking unfair advantage.
When the G.O.P. talks, nobody should listen. Republicans have argued, with the collaboration of much of the media, that they could radically cut taxes while simultaneously balancing the federal budget, when, in fact, big income-tax cuts inevitably lead to big budget deficits. We listened to the G.O.P. and what do we have now? A trillion-dollar-plus deficit and an economy in shambles.
This is the party that preached fiscal discipline and then cut taxes in time of war. This is the party that still wants to put the torch to Social Security and Medicare. This is a party that, given a choice between Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, would choose Ronald Reagan in a heartbeat.
Why is anyone still listening?
The Republican party has become a bunch a mentally deranged lunatics bent on destroying America. It's time to say F*ck'em and get on with restoring America for the rest of us.
I did see Frost/ Nixon the other night. Very good movie. I remember watching the interviews as a kid. Man, while watching the movie, I was thinking that Bush should have been impeached. I really want Obama to investigate the entire Bush administration and prosecute for crimes against the USA and war crimes.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Starbucks to Stop Brewing Decaf Coffee After Noon (Update1)
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
There is a R rated trailer as well floating around on You Tube. The movie's website is linked to the title of the post, so check it out. Sony bought it at Sundance, hopefully it will be released soon.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Oh, I did get the extended battery for my netbook and I do love it. I get about 4 1/2 hours of battery life out of it when I fully charge it. Truely, I am digging my netbook!
Friday, January 23, 2009
The Trojan, which Intego has classified as a "serious" risk and named OSX.Trojan.iServices.A, allows a malicious user to connect to an infected machine and perform various functions, as well as download additional software to the machine.
This software is installed as a startup item (in /System/Library/StartupItems/iWorkServices, a location reserved normally for Apple startup items), where it has read-write-execute permissions for root. The malicious software connects to a remote server over the Internet; this means that a malicious user will be alerted that this Trojan horse is installed on different Macs, and will have the ability to connect to them and perform various actions remotely. The Trojan horse may also download additional components to an infected Mac.
Intego reports that over 20,000 users had downloaded the package as of 6:00 AM Eastern time this morning, and an update to an entry posted on Intego's Mac Security Blog notes that the Trojan now appears to be actively downloading new code to infected machines and using them to carry out denial-of-service attacks on certain websites.
Update: Despite significant publicity surrounding this incident today, the infected iWork package remains active in the torrent community. In light of this continued activity, we have moved this report from Page 2 to our front page and are providing instructions for deactivating and removing the Trojan from infected systems.
1) (open Terminal.app)
2) sudo su (enter password)
3) rm -r /System/Library/StartupItems/iWorkServices
4) rm /private/tmp/.iWorkServices
5) rm /usr/bin/iWorkServices
6) rm -r /Library/Receipts/iWorkServices.pkg
7) killall -9 iWorkServices
OSX.Trojan.iServices.A appears to be the first significant OS X Trojan to advance beyond the proof-of-concept or pranking stage to engage in truly malicious behavior.
So much for MACs not getting viruses and so forth...
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Also,I was surprised to read in today's Winston Salem Journal that there have been some businesses broken into in the downtown area. I hate that as we need for businesses to succeed there. It was a like a ghost town in downtown a decade ago and it could happen again.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Anyway, Ms. Durrett was in good form tonight and the show was good. She started a bit later than was advertised, but that's about par for the course. Her music is mostly slow and a bit moody. I was glad I attended the show.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
January 7, 2009, 12:18 pm
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Anyway, looks like I may be staying home tonight. We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Well, the eye is a bit better this evening. I'm going to post this then lay back and do a little old fashioned reading before going to sleep. I'm reading A People's History of the United States and so far, it's been very good. You know what, it was a nice quiet first day of the New Year.
Went to bed early last night. I've had an eye infection that was really bad last night. I figured that resting it and using the meds the doctor gave me would help and it has. I woke up about 12:30, wished myself a Happy New Year and went back to sleep. I've got alot of plans for the New Year, we'll see how many I get to.