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Surprise! Pervez Musharraf was playing 'double game' with US
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 5: Local News
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Page 6: Politix
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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Climate Funding is Entitlement, Not Aid, India Says
You just knew this was coming. I've got a rather colorful response, but since this is a family website .... (No time to do inline, darn it)
The West owes billions of dollars to developing nations in order compensate for climate change, India's government says.

In a submission to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Indian government warns rich countries against defining funding for adaptation or sustainable development in vulnerable nations as traditional development aid. Rather, it says, it is an "entitlement" for poor countries whose development will be further set back by global warming.

"There is a tendency to equate such resources to foreign 'aid' or Overseas Development Assistance," the government wrote, adding that financing should not be left up to the legislatures in wealthy nations, nor should it be in the form of loans. "The providers of finance cannot be discretionary 'donors,' but must be legally obligated 'assessees,'" the document says.

Financing efforts to fight climate change emerged as the single most contentious issue from the U.N. climate change convention in Poznan, Poland, last year, and the debate remains unresolved.

At issue is how to extort raise and spread the boodle distribute money to help poor countries and countries that are most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, 2 percent of all carbon offset projects in developing countries are slated for an adaptation fund. In the last round of negotiations, developing nations won a measure of control over how that money will be distributed, in a provision that allows them to directly access the funds rather than go through an institution like the World Bank.

But when they pushed to increase the levy to 3 percent and also apply it to offset projects in former Communist countries as well as to the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme, wealthy countries blocked the bid. The added percentages would have meant millions more to the approximately $37 million worth of carbon emission reduction credits waiting to be liquidated.

"The developed countries could have done this as a goodwill gesture. That didn't happen, and the conference did end on a very sour note," said Raman Mehta, who works on climate policy for ActionAid in New Delhi, India.

Mehta noted that India's argument that climate financing should be an obligation rather than aid reflects the position of the G-77 group of developing nations and China.

In a submission earlier this month, the Chinese government called on developed countries to provide "new, additional, adequate, predictable and sustainable" funding of at least 0.5 percent to 1 percent of a nation's gross domestic product -- over and above existing foreign aid.

"Nobody is saying the West knew what it was doing and that it [industrial emissions] would cause climate change," said Mehta. But, he said, the reality is that the most poorest countries are going to be hit hardest by climate impacts, endangering many of the development gains made in the 1990s.

"Because the costs of development are going to go up because of climate change, therefore the West, which has been a beneficiary of free atmosphere, should compensate," he said.
Report requires subscription, so is posted in its entirety. Link goes to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change website, where presumably the documente referred to is buried posted.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/17/2009 12:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As I understand it, they want to tax us for being a strong progressive nation?

That's fixable. Simply return all Gifts, donations, and other "Good works" we Americans have provided, and we'll call it even.


This doesn't scan correctly, anybody else want to clear my idea? (Kauphy, more Kauphy)
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/17/2009 13:40 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm wit'choo, Jim.

First give us back the billions (more likely trillions) we've given YOU over the years, and then we'll talk. Idiots.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/17/2009 16:26 Comments || Top||

#3  They just want a percentage of Al Gores profits.
Posted by: tipover || 02/17/2009 16:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Since the current sunspot cycle has more or less provided virtually unimpeachabl evidence that the SUN, not humans, controls climate, this piece of blackmail will get all the attention it deserves - none. Stick it, India.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/17/2009 16:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Financing efforts to fight climate change emerged as the single most contentious issue from the U.N. climate change convention in Poznan, Poland, last year, and the debate remains unresolved.

So come back and see it when the UN resolves it...in about 2250. Or when India melts. Whichever comes first...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2009 16:46 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Afghan TV set to unveil model contest
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 13:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Other then the fact that the model shows too much skin, this could be the prototype...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWAKtYGJZSM
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2009 13:56 Comments || Top||


Bangladesh
Gunbattle at JU again
Two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League locked in a fierce clash on Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus yesterday that left at least 50 people injured, five of them with bullets.

The sporadic clashes continued till filing this report at 2:00am today starting from around 2:00pm yesterday.

Witnesses said the clashes began between the two groups when cadres of Ayon group swooped on Jony group at Bottola, in front of Maulana Bhasani Hall, over establishing supremacy on campus.

A group of unidentified men at one stage also attacked the residents of acting Proctor Prof Md Nasiruddin and General Secretary of Jahangirnagar University Teachers Association Prof Shamsul Alam Selim.

Police raided Bangabandhu Hall and AFM Kamaluddin Hall late last night but failed to seize any arms except a few iron rods. Police, however, arrested 19 students of Ayon group, sources at the Savar Police Station said.

Chhatra League central committee suspended all activities of JU Chhatra League unit for a month more following the clashes. Last month, the two Chhatra League factions clashed with each other on campus that left 30 students injured. The central committee had then suspended activities of its JU unit for a month.

"A few activists of Ayon group beat up Nayan, an activist of Jony group, in Bangabandhu Hall in the morning. Hearing the news, activists of Jony group launched a hectic search for the attackers on campus and finally they beat up some activists of Ayon group in Bangabandhu Hall around noon," a student said.

In the meantime, a few activists of Jony group took position in Bottola area and the activists of Ayon group attacked them with sharp weapons that left five injured.

Following the attack, over 200 activists of Jony group launched an attack on the activist of Ayon group with firearms at Battola.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:


Caribbean-Latin America
State Department Congratulates Chavez On De Facto Dictatorship
US urges respect for democracy in Venezuela

The United States Tuesday welcomed Venezuela's "civic" referendum lifting term limits for the president and all politicians, but urged support for democracy and tolerance in the country.
I guess the big 0 approves of the way Huge-0 consolidates power.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ...
"We congratulate the civic and participatory spirit of the millions of Venezuelans who exercized their democratic right to vote," State Department spokesman Noel Clay told AFP.
Why no mention of the vote-rigging and intimidation? Oh, right... I guess this is supposed to be the "change we can believe in."
Posted by: eltoroverde || 02/17/2009 13:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Forget it, Jake. It's the State Department...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2009 15:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Others undoubtedly issuing congrats.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2009 16:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Read down. It's crap. Panetta doesn't even have a daughter.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2009 16:06 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
'Drunk' Japan finance minister to quit
Herodotus recorded around 430 B.C. of the Persians: "If an important decision is to be made, they discuss the question when they are drunk. The following day, the master of the house submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober is reconsidered afterwards, when they are drunk."
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 09:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe after watching the US make the same mistakes Japan made, they decided to make a game out of it. For every $trillion take a shot.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/17/2009 17:09 Comments || Top||


Europe
Gold hits record against euro on fear of Zimbabwean-style response to bank crisis
"This gold rally is driven by safe-haven fears and has a very different feel from the bull market we've had for the last eight years," said John Reade, chief metals strategist at UBS. "Investors are seeing articles in the press saying governments should deliberately stoke inflation, and they are reacting to it."

Gold jumped to multiple records on Tuesday, triggered by fears that East Europe's banking crisis could set off debt defaults and lead to contagion within the eurozone. It touched €762 an ounce against the euro, £675 against sterling, and 47,783 against India's rupee.

Jewellery demand – usually the mainstay of the industry – has almost entirely dried up and the price is now being driven by investors. They range from the billionaires stashing boxes of krugerrands under the floors of their Swiss chalets (as an emergency fund for total disorder) to the small savers buying the exchange traded funds (ETFs). SPDR Gold Trust has added 200 metric tonnes in the last six weeks. ETF Securities added 62,000 ounces last week alone.

In dollar terms, gold is at a seven-month high of $964. This is below last spring's peak of $1,030 but the circumstances today are radically different. The dollar itself has become a safe haven as the crisis goes from bad to worse – if only because it is the currency of a unified and powerful nation with institutions that have been tested over time. It is not yet clear how well the eurozone's 16-strong bloc of disparate states will respond to extreme stress. The euro dived two cents to $1.26 against the dollar, threatening to break below a 24-year upward trend line.

Crucially, gold has decoupled from oil and base metals, finding once again its ancient role as a store of wealth in dangerous times.

"People can see that the only solution to the credit crisis is to devalue all fiat currencies," said Peter Hambro, chairman of the Anglo-Russian mining group Peter Hambro Gold. "The job of central bankers is to allow this to happen in an orderly fashion through inflation. I'm afraid it is the only way to avoid disaster, but naturally investors are turning to gold as a form of wealth insurance."

One analyst said the spectacle of central banks slashing rates to zero across the world and buying government debt as if there was no tomorrow feels like the "beginning of the 'Zimbabwe-isation' of the global economy".

Gold bugs have been emboldened by news that Russia has accumulated 90 tonnes over the last 15 months.

"We are buying gold," said Alexei Ulyukayev, deputy head of Russia's central bank. The bank is under orders from the Kremlin to raise the gold share of foreign reserves to 10pc.

The trend by central banks and global wealth funds to shift reserves into euro bonds may have peaked as it becomes clear that the European region is tipping into a slump that is as deep – if not deeper – than the US downturn. Germany contracted at an 8.4pc annual rate in the fourth quarter. The severity of the crash in Britain, Ireland, Spain, the Baltics, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia has shifted the epicentre of this crisis across the Atlantic. The latest shock news is the 20pc fall in Russia's industrial production in January. The country is losing half a million jobs a month.

Markets have been rattled this week by warnings from rating agency Moody's that Austrian, Swedish and Italian banks may face downgrades over their heavy exposure to the ex-Soviet bloc. The region has borrowed $1.7 trillion (£1.2 trillion) – mostly from European banks – and must roll over $400bn this year.

Austria's central bank governor, Ewald Nowotny, said the regional crisis had become "dangerous" and called for a pan-EU rescue strategy to prevent contagion.

Bartosz Pawlowski, from TD Securities, said the recent plunge in currencies across Eastern Europe had come as a brutal shock. "The rout could potentially lead to substantial problems, if not an outright collapse of the financial system," he said, citing the rising real burden of debt taken out in euros and Swiss francs.

Even Poland – a pillar of stability in the region – may ultimately need a bail-out by the International Monetary Fund. Latvia, Hungary, Ukraine and Belarus have already been rescued. Romania's premier, Emil Boc said his country would decide over the next two weeks whether to seek an IMF loan. Turkey is next.


Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 19:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:


'Jewish war victims have had enough compensation' French court says
The French State was responsible for deporting Jews during the Second World War, the top judicial authority ruled for the first time yesterday, but it dismayed families of victims by declaring that they had already been compensated.

The decision by the Council of State, the final arbiter on civil law matters, made formal a doctrine that has been accepted by successive governments since 1995. It was advising on a case brought by Madeleine Hoffman-Glemane, 75, one of hundreds of victims who have sued recently for damages over their arrests and deportation during the Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944.

The council called for a "solemn recognition of the responsibility of the State". France was "responsible for damages caused by actions which did not result from the occupiers' direct orders but facilitated deportation from France of people who were victims of anti-Semitic persecution", it said.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well come on, how much more do they fricking want? Reminds me of that quote from Booker T. Washington about professional grievance-mongers.
Posted by: gromky || 02/17/2009 1:35 Comments || Top||

#2  There comes a time when this has to stop, it was terrible what happened but what in another 100 years people are going to be still trying to claim something
Posted by: Alex || 02/17/2009 3:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, Alex that's why the special interest groups still throw out the words 'slavery' or 'segregation' to get resources and power over others several generations removed from those times and regardless of those who in the group targeted for emotional blackmail who's ancestors 'gave their last full measure of devotion' to end the practices.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2009 8:23 Comments || Top||

#4  well it's about time for african americans in the US yelling for reparations from slavery too but do you think it is going too and none of these ppl where ever slaves in the first place unlike the jews of europe who were
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 02/17/2009 10:55 Comments || Top||

#5  Keep in mind that not just Jews were slaves. I was in Norway 20 years ago for an Air National Guard deployment. The aircraft were deployed in a cavern complex cut into a solid rock mountain by Norwegian prisoners. Many died in that mountain and the locals still did not like Germans AT ALL. Their Fathers and Grandfathers died in there.

That being said, time to move on. This court case is just greed.
Posted by: tipover || 02/17/2009 12:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Same story here in Canada with the Natives and land claims and 'opression of culture'....

By the way, 'true' native culture from before the 'white man' came used to be that if didn't work you starved. There were no nanny-state programs back then. It was work your butt off to survive or you die.

Since I come from British/Spanish/French lines, how about I find a shopping mall in London, Paris or Madrid and claim it was built on my ancestral lands, without my consent, and demand compensation?
Posted by: Chemist || 02/17/2009 12:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Yes indeed, those greedy Jews want more. My mother and my grandmother got so much compensation from the German government that they could buy a cup of coffee and a sandwich once a month. My grandfather got nothing, because he died a few years after the war.

I rather imagine the French government, insisting as it always has that it held no responsibility for the actions of those Vichy swine during the war, was rather less generous to the Jewish citizens it shipped off to German concentration camps. But no matter, everyone will accept that it is only the greed of that small remnant still living that caused them to sue for compensation.

Agreed, the descendants of the victims should get nothing in the way of compensation from the various governments involved, nor am I aware of any movement to get us compensation. But the actual victims, especially those who have gotten nothing except further humiliation thus far...

All you clever people who posted in this thread, please tell me: how much compensation have Madame Madeleine Hoffman-Glemane, 75 and her hundreds of greedy Jewish fellows actually received from France since the end of the war, that you declare is quite, quite enough? I myself suspect if they got anything at all, it was rather less than the cost of a monthly sandwich and cup of coffee.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2009 17:30 Comments || Top||


Antisonar Technology Made Nuclear Subs Undetectable
Posted by: Grunter || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is even a bigger problem for US subs than others due to our superior silent running, materials and coatings technology. It is our silent service's biggest worry - running into each other. Of course, the lower the speed the more silent and then the least damage (fingers crossed).
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 02/17/2009 9:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Must have been really slow speeds for both submarines to not notice it until later. I'm just really glad no one was hurt.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/17/2009 14:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Darth, the French knew immediately that they had hit something. It wasn't until later that they realized they had hit another submarine.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/17/2009 19:42 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
With no budget, California to cut 20,000 state jobs
California, which is on the brink of running out of cash, will notify 20,000 state workers on Tuesday their jobs may be eliminated, a spokesman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Monday.

The announcement came a day after California lawmakers narrowly failed to pass a $40 billion budget that would have plugged the state's deficit with a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts.

"In the absence of a budget, the governor has a responsibility to realize state savings any way he can," said Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the Republican governor. "This is unfortunately a necessary decision."

The layoff notices will affect about 20 percent of state workers, McLear said, adding the cuts would extend to every part of state government. The positions would be eliminated in June in preparation for California's next fiscal year, which starts in July.

California, America's most populous state and the world's eighth biggest economy, has experienced a dramatic fall in revenues because of the housing downturn, rising unemployment and a sharp pullback in consumer spending. To conserve cash, the state has stopped public works projects, furloughed state employees for two days a month and postponed sending out tax refunds.
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 14:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A good start. We can only hope they cut unnecessary departments rather than truly necessary ones.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2009 14:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Yo, Octuplet lady. You're on your own.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2009 14:57 Comments || Top||

#3  How many taxpaying people (i.e. real workers, not state leaches) will notice the difference?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/17/2009 15:48 Comments || Top||

#4  "California, America's most populous state and the world's eighth biggest economy, has experienced a dramatic fall in revenues because of the housing downturn, rising unemployment and a sharp pullback in consumer spending."

The writer misspelled "taxing and regulating businesses to death."
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/17/2009 16:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Employees aren't the problem, the programs are. Until they trim or eliminate the "unnecessary" programs and/or support for illegals this is all scare tactics.
Posted by: tipover || 02/17/2009 17:03 Comments || Top||

#6  They will cut rank and file police, fire and other public safety personnel first.

"We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph!"

If I ran my finances like the Democrat California legislature here's what would happen:

Year 1:

Things are OK and I get a $20,000 bonus on top of my $80,000 salary. I immediately buy a bigger house, new car and the RV I've always wanted.

Year 2:

There is no bonus this year. No problem, I borrow money from friends and relatives to make the payments.

Year 3:

My boss is cutting back and my salary is reduced to $60,000. I'm keeping the house, car and RV, but cutting back on food, clothing, health insurance, heating and maintenance on car and house.

I'm financially upside down. DOH!

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/17/2009 18:56 Comments || Top||

#7  From what I understand from my aunt and cousins living in the northern part of the state, 250,000 jobs could be cut before they'd be affected. The state has a bloated bureaucracy, like most states. There are too many people paid for work they never do, and many, many more that do such sloppy work it has to be done over again. It's not just in the transportation sector, either - the worst offenders are in the revenue department and in public health. My news is second-hand, so if there's a Californian out there with better data, please let me know. I'm not criticizing California - we have similar problems here in Colorado, where a tremendous number of former Californians have moved to in the last 20 years (think there's a correlation?).
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/17/2009 19:02 Comments || Top||

#8  ...the worst offenders are in the revenue department and in public health.

Dude, I could tell you some stories about the Mass. DOR that would make you blow gaskets.
Posted by: Raj || 02/17/2009 20:06 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
India raises defence budget outlay by 34%
NEW DELHI: India has increased defence budget by 34 % to Rs.1,41,703 crore.

The stand-in Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has presented the interim budget in the Lok Sabha for the next fiscal.

Mukherjee said the increased plan expenditure for defence this year would be Rs 86,879 crore. Last year's plan expenditure was only Rs 73,600 crore, thereby providing an increase of Rs 13,279 crore this year.

"Mumbai attacks have given a new dimension to cross-border terrorism. In this context, I propose to raise defence allocation to Rs.1,41,703 crore," said Mukherjee.
Posted by: john frum || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:


Science & Technology
Leukemia patients treated with arsenic, vitamin A
Doctors appear to have safely and successfully treated patients with cancer of the blood and bone marrow with a combination of arsenic and vitamin A, according to long-term study in China.

In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the doctors said they prescribed the regimen to 85 patients and monitored them for an average of 70 months. Of these, 80 patients went into complete remission and the researchers did not find any associated long-term problems in their heart or lungs and there was no development of secondary cancers.

"Two years after their treatment, the patients had arsenic blood and urine levels well below safety limits, and only slightly higher than controls," they wrote. "The treatment was effective ... and worked better than either drug given alone."

The authors recommended that the treatment be given to patients with blood and bone marrow cancer, or acute promyelocytic leukemia.

While vitamin A is regarded by some experts as a viable treatment, this is the first time that its use has been monitored for such an extended period of time.

Since the 18th century, arsenic compounds have been used as medicines to treat certain ailments. The US Food and Drug Administration approved it for the treatment of people with blood and bone marrow cancer in 2000.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/17/2009 12:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is not a new story. It's just confirmation of existing treatment, with a bit of optimization. All-trans-retinoic acid has been a mainstay of treatment for APML for a long time, and arsenic trioxide has been a second-line treatment for a while.

Posted by: Eric Jablow || 02/17/2009 18:40 Comments || Top||


Home Front Economy
General Motors to cut 47,000 jobs and says needs $US30bn in loans
GENERAL Motors plans to cut 47,000 jobs worldwide, including 26,000 outside of the US, as part of a massive restructing plan, the company said today.

GM also said it could need up to $US30 billion ($47billion) in loans by 2011.

General Motor's Swedish unit Saab could file for bankruptcy protection "as early as this month'' if the US automaker does not obtain support from the Swedish government, GM said.

The announcement came as part of a massive restructuring plan GM submitted to the US Treasury as part of the terms of a $US13.4 billion loan.

With auto sales tanking, GM said it could need up to $US16.6 billion dollars more by 2011.

GM announced last year plans to try to find a buyer for the troubled Swedish brand.

"Given the urgency of stemming sizeable outflows associated with Saab operations, GM is requesting Swedish government support prior to any sale,'' GM said in the 117-page plan.

"The company has developed a specific proposal that would have the effect of capping GM's financial support, with Saab's operations effectively becoming an independent business entity effective January 1, 2010.
Meanwhile
Chrysler wants another $7 billion in US Government aid
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 20:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6514 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Throwing good money after bad is becoming a habit for you guys.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/17/2009 20:20 Comments || Top||

#2  No problem. 30 billion divided by 300 million people is only $100 each. That's $100 from me, another from my wife, another from each of three kids... We'll be happy to chip that in if they just CANCEL THE F'ING $800 BILLION STIMULUS PLAN!
Posted by: Darrell || 02/17/2009 21:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Why does GM need $30 billion if they are not selling cars and are laying off 47,000? Seems like throwing good money after bad money. What strings are attached to the money?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2009 21:44 Comments || Top||

#4  What strings are attached to the money?

More money into Donk reelection coffers. You don't expect such people to live on their public pay do you?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2009 21:59 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Convicted Ex-Border Agents Released From Prison Following Presidential Commutation
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 18:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front Economy
U.S. agents enter Stanford Financial - There goes another Golf Tournament sponsor.
Toger Woods may have nothing to come back to.
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Federal agents entered the Houston office of Stanford Financial Group on Tuesday, according to a Reuters eyewitness on the scene.

About 15 people, some wearing jackets identifying them as U.S. marshals, entered the lobby of Stanford's office in the Houston Galleria area, the eyewitness said.
Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, which says it oversees more than $50 billion of assets, is being investigated by U.S. regulators, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The New York Times reported that U.S. securities regulators had accused three top Stanford executives, including Robert Allen Stanford, of fraud. The Houston office of the U.S. Marshals Service had no immediate comment. A Stanford spokesman was not immediately available to comment.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/17/2009 13:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6502 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And cricket tournament sponsor. To great publicity in the cricket world Stanford sponsored a $20M tournament.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/17/2009 18:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Isn't it unusual that the U.S. Marshall's Service would be charged with this task?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2009 21:49 Comments || Top||

#3  and they are major contributors to the *deleted* political party



Guesses?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2009 22:47 Comments || Top||


RED ALERT: FX Dislocation In Process
I do not know what is going on here, and I don't think I want to.

Someone, apparently someone in Asia, wants dollars. A LOT of dollars. There is a forced-liquidation event underway that is massive, it is against all asset classes and it is spreading.

It originated at approximately 7:15 CT this evening and originated out of Asia somewhere. All of the primary currency crosses got hit at once - Euro, Pound, Yen - all weakened dramatically against the dollar and it is still going on. The Asian stock markets got walloped at the same time in coordinated waves of forced selling.

At the same time the US futures markets got nailed as well, down some six handles on the /ES in a near-vertical drop. While this sounds "not that big" to move these markets in a coordinated fashion like this is a trillion-dollar enterprise - this is not some small company that went bankrupt, or even a large company.

There is no news coverage at the present time identifying the source of this but it is not small and contrary to some reports it is not "automatic selling"; this is forced liquidation.

Folks, if this translates into Eastern Europe where there are severe instabilities already brewing literally everything in the financial world could come apart "all at once."

The worse news is that if this happens Bernanke will have killed us (in the US) by extending those swap lines all over the planet during the last six months. These will become utterly uncollectable and they are massive, in the many hundreds of billions of dollars.

To those who are reading this, I hope if you're in the markets you are prepared for extreme levels of violence. You must expect that the authorities will try to arrest the destruction if they are able, but you must also be prepared for the possibility that we have reached a "critical mass" point beyond which "duck and cover" is the only winning strategy.

Unfortunately.

I hope I'm wrong; this is going to be a long night.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  From a technical standpoint, this was a long time coming. What's your methodology, 'moose?
Posted by: Omerenter Henbane5221 || 02/17/2009 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Some Euro banks and a number of countries moved significantly closer to bankruptcy today. Everyone is getting out of the Euro and I expect all the rest of the European currencies. Where else to go except the USD? (and gold of course)
Posted by: phil_b || 02/17/2009 6:02 Comments || Top||

#3  down some six handles on the /ES

swap lines


Translation, please.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2009 8:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Moody issued a warning that it might downgrade the debt status of banks with exposure to eastern European currencies and equities. This report
triggered a large dump of those currencies vs. the US dollar.


This sounds good - flight to safety, US as refuge etc. - except that late last Fall Bernanke extended currency swap capability to quite a few central banks in an attempt to keep liquidity in the market. As a result those countries can, and probably will, insist that we buy their currencies and give them dollars. Since their currencies are not backed by much in the way of economic soundness, it means we've weakened our own position.
Posted by: lotp || 02/17/2009 8:22 Comments || Top||

#5  (and gold of course)

There's not enough gold to run or sustain the world economy. Any other commodity [outside of a physical disaster area like Katrina] is presently subjected to downward pressures with raising unemployment and savings. So, were else is the a common unit of transaction that is identifiable across the globe from high end offices to the barter on the street other than the dollar? Remember, you don't have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than anyone else in the group.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2009 8:31 Comments || Top||

#6  Perhaps its time to make IP (patents etc) like gold..
Or do like the state of Franklin and make Whiskey currency backing.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/17/2009 9:17 Comments || Top||

#7  make Whiskey currency backing

Or at least make it backed by some kind of commodity with actual value. Like toilet paper.
Posted by: Eohippus Shaviper7110 || 02/17/2009 9:57 Comments || Top||

#8  But, ES7110, shouldn't you pick a commodity that has value to the oil ticks?
Posted by: AlanC || 02/17/2009 10:28 Comments || Top||

#9  i woyuld rather have the toilet paper than oil, you can always ride a bike
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 02/17/2009 10:46 Comments || Top||

#10  I understand your feeling rabid, but afterall, they don't want toilet paper.

Maybe we could trade them some female goats?
Posted by: AlanC || 02/17/2009 10:49 Comments || Top||

#11  Or sixth-graders across the the country can hold bake sales and send the proceeds to the US Treasury.
Posted by: mrp || 02/17/2009 11:00 Comments || Top||

#12  T-paper?

Here's a pic of a Roman latrine [minus the plaster and graffiti on the walls] with the lads using the standard butt wipe of the times - sponges. Clean and reuse, how green can you get? :)
Paging Mike Rowe - we may have a new "Dirty Jobs" episode.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2009 11:22 Comments || Top||

#13  The sponge is a lovely idea, Procopius2k, but what was the level of intestinal parasites and diseases as a result?

Short answer: ick! No way!!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2009 11:55 Comments || Top||

#14  Some excellent trade goods for barter are: cigarettes, TP, toothpaste, soap...etc. We don't think about these things, but in really hard times they are going to become scarce.
Posted by: Vortigern Churt3205 || 02/17/2009 13:42 Comments || Top||

#15  Peter Schiff Tells the Saudis How to Crash the US Dollar to LOUD APPLAUSE! WOW!
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2009 15:36 Comments || Top||

#16  Some excellent trade goods for barter are: cigarettes, TP, toothpaste, soap...etc. We don't think about these things, but in really hard times they are going to become scarce.

I had an aunt who passed away a few years back. She was 96 and had obviously lived through the degression. During her estate sale a total of nearly 200 roles of toilet paper were removed from her pantry. Some of the family thought it was hilarious. I did not, and I still don't.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2009 15:58 Comments || Top||

#17  Where's George Soros, and what has he been up to? Seems he tried this against the Pound not too long ago...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/17/2009 16:51 Comments || Top||

#18  Lest we fergit, TOPIX [old] > THE RISE OF THE REST [of the World], notsomuch a per se decline or rollback? is US geopol power-influence.

* MSM-NET > Many Netters + MilPol-Geopol Perts, etc. still believe that POTUS OBAMA + ADMIN will end up being a "JIMMY CARTER II", i.e. EXPANSION OF AMER'S ENEMIES EVERYWHERE AS COUPLED WID AMER INACTION = ROLLBACK???

WHAT IS THE ROLE, + ULTIMATE INTENTIONS, FOR THE USA I.E. IS THE USA INTENDED TO PROPAGATE ITS GEOPOL INFLUENCE VERSUS TO BE DESTABILIZED AND DESTROYED???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2009 20:06 Comments || Top||

#19  tw, regarding the "ick" factor....they never went away completely. There's still a few nutz here in the states who do the "reusable butt wipes" thing because they think it's "environmentally friendly". (I never let them anywhere near my washing machine, nor do I use theirs, for obvious reasons...)
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 02/17/2009 20:10 Comments || Top||

#20  Does this mean retailers won't take checks or plastic anymore?

Posted by: Mike N. || 02/17/2009 20:40 Comments || Top||

#21  Also, do blog entries go in Opinion?
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/17/2009 20:46 Comments || Top||

#22  yes
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2009 21:00 Comments || Top||


Kan. suspends income tax refunds, may miss payroll
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  California's doing the same thing; expect this 'innovation' to spread...
Posted by: Raj || 02/17/2009 8:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Kathleen you ignorant slut! By her own hand she allowed $20 BILLION in new business to be postponed or walk away to other states.

In order to make herself more marketable to the Messiah she personally hosed a $3+ BILLION coal fired plant project in western Kansas. That in turn caused a $16 BILLION refinery project to walk away because this administration has it's head firmly planted up it's collective a$$.
Posted by: Everyday a Wildcat(KSU) || 02/17/2009 8:18 Comments || Top||

#3  This is embarrasing for us conservative Kansans.
Fox news had it right this morning in their interview with Dennis McKinny.
Following article sums up the situation very well. It is from National Review Online one of the best sources of information in the blogosphere.



That Kansas Comedy [Denis Boyles]


The Drudge-driven story in Kansas, that state tax returns are on hold, is, of course, not what it seems. The state is not really going to stop funding schools, close the hospitals, and start starving old folks, as local news reports have suggested.

Instead, the story is an example of Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's skill at playing the Kansas media the way Joshua Bell saws a fiddle — while the state GOP plays it like Cap'n Hook.



The state's broke and, like many of us, has been living on credit. It's against the law in Kansas to run up a deficit — and Sebelius has pushed that deficit to record levels — but when things get tight, there's a legal way to gain a little change to get by.

Sebelius knew about this coming shortfall because the state legislature has been telling her about it for months. Instead of following the rules, she let the clock run out, cancelled a meeting to discuss the problem with legislative leaders, and then sent out a press release claiming the poor would soon die because Republicans had made her stop sending people their tax refunds. The press did the rest.

But as Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal, an expert in state constitutional law, told Kansas Liberty, a statewide news site, "Kansas for years has had on the books procedures a governor can follow in times like these, but she's refused to exercise those options, to the detriment of the state. She's better than that." What Sebelius wanted the lawmakers to do, he said, was against the law.


Her motive? A budget bill has to be signed, and it contains cuts in programs Sebelius likes. Critics say she's trying to buy time and will sit on the budget for as long as possible once it crosses her desk, something she herself has promised to do, saying she's worried about "errors" in the budget. The budget she proposed, meanwhile, would have resulted in an illegal deficit of many millions of dollars.


Meanwhile, O'Neal's encouraging state employees who are worried about getting their paychecks to call the governor.

"They’re capable of making payroll if they choose to do it," O’Neal said.

— Denis Boyles is the author, most recently, of Superior, Nebraska. He directs the Brouzils Seminars and is completing a book on early twentieth-century publishing for Knopf.



02/17 08:49 AM

Posted by: bman || 02/17/2009 10:49 Comments || Top||

#4  KSU Wildcat is absolutely right, in addition the gov wants to raise revenue with an increased tax on tobacco - which would work yet they are trying to statewide ban smoking at the very place people smoke the most; bars (see also additional revenue from beverage purchase). Then you have KU rennovate its sports facilities for tens of millions and then state gave them money to rennovate student bathrooms etc. its just bad financial management at the governor's position.

This is not news; it has been flagged for about 6 months now - but sebelius dropped the soap and campaigned for obama. She is nothing more than a career politician who sees her tenure in this state as just one more hoop to jump through before national politics. Her original idea was to run for Brownback's senate seat but found she would get hammered at the polls her only out is to be named into a federal position. This is a political move pure and simple.

Also in the works is county redrawing. (posted last Friday, no mo uro asked why 140 years, well it sounds cool). During sebelius' tenure (we all know) the money flows east to the constituants. Democrat politics pure and simple (conservative independant here, out here we have fine representatives from both parties and don't want to get mucked into the poor spending and social policies of Wichita and to the east; Wichita which raises money for schools then spends millions on a park for example).

Sebelius is a poor leader, Greensburg tornado she consulting with the democrat leadership before making any decisions about what to do, our federal level public service members were visiting a 24 hours before the gov even mentioned anything on TV. All she has to do is follow legal procedure but she is trying the same tactic we are seeing on the federal level of scare and spend outside of proper budget procedure; Kansas Law.

This is not, repeat not, Republicans holding payroll hostage.

IMHO, the deal about the coal plant - it was slated to pass but then suddenly there was an environment issue, sierra club and everything. Read like a shakedown for under table games which the company got too expensive/got tired of playing.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/17/2009 12:54 Comments || Top||


California Legislators Reconsider Plan to Close $42 Billion Budget Gap
California legislators met Monday to reconsider a proposal to close the state's $42 billion deficit after aborting a vote late Sunday night because they failed to find one last Republican vote needed during a marathon weekend session.

Darrell Steinberg, the Democrat state senate leader, expressed confidence that another Republican senator would join two Republicans who have committed to vote with the Democratic majority in approving a budget that would raise taxes and cut spending. The three Republican votes were needed to reach the two-thirds majority that California requires from both houses of its legislature to approve budgets and tax increases.

Voting was scheduled to begin Monday mid-afternoon and go on for hours --possibly into the night. The state assembly was expected to pass the budget with at least three GOP assembly members voting with the Democratic majority. Senate leaders, along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, met individually with Republican senators over the weekend in hopes of persuading one to be the final vote.

The budget put up to vote during the long-weekend session outlined spending for the next 17 months. In addition to the revenue increases, it proposed cutting $15 billion in spending, including $8.6 billion from education and $1.4 billion from payroll costs, to be achieved in part by furloughing 200,000 state workers at least one day a month. The plan also called for $11 billion in borrowing and $700 million in tax breaks for large corporations.

Much is riding on Monday's vote for Gov. Schwarzenegger, who hammered out the budget in closed-door negotiations with Democratic and Republican leaders of both houses. Gov. Schwarzenegger "understands this is going to be a very difficult vote that's going to require real courage and leadership from our state legislators," said Aaron McLear, the governor's spokesman.

Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Somebody should start a California state ballot proposition to the effect that: Whenever the legislature fails to enact a balanced the budget before the start of the fiscal year the legislature shall be dissolved and new elections held. All legislators who held office at the time of the failure would be banned from running in the new election. But, since we need a budget before any new legislature could get around to it, it would be up to the governor to propose a balanced budget to be approved by the voters in a timely manner. If he failed he would then lose his job as well and it would be up to the lieutenant governor to take a crack at it. If he failed the Secretary of State would be next...and so on down the line.

The only way we ever get decent laws in this state is by ballot propositions where the people get to vote. Unfortunately, these propositions are often taken to the state supreme court where the judges arbitrarily declare them unconstitutional. We should be able to recall the judges when that happens. After all, we are the people, we are sovereign and they are a bunch of nincompoops. What? You really think they know any better than we do? I don't. And it's better if we do it this way than having to march on the capitol with machetes and pitchforks.

Being as how I am nothing but a poor, dumb computer programmer and not a lawyer I don't have the first clue how to start a ballot proposition. I don't have any time or money for such an endeavor either. Wish I did. But I'd be willing to stand in the shopping malls on Saturdays to collect signatures for the petition.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/17/2009 12:17 Comments || Top||

#2  FOX NEWS AM > KANSAS, CALIFORNIA TO SEND "IOU's" TO STATE TAXPAYERS [those owed Refunds, etc].; + 34 US STATES WILL DECLARE NEGATIVE BUDGET SPENDING GAPS/DEFICITS THRU YEAR 2010.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2009 17:28 Comments || Top||


NY governor wants to tax internet pörn
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Great. Gotta pay a tax to visit the GTA money dispersement web site.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/17/2009 15:06 Comments || Top||

#2  That is either Ron Jeremy or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the telly. If pr0stitution were redefined as p0rn, they could tax the former governor Eliot Spitzer and a lot of other big enchilados for p0rn. Anyway, what is the difference between pr0stitution and p0rn--both involve $ex between consenting adults for money?

I saw where a female p0rn star was considering running for the Senate. She said it couldn't be any dirtier than what she had been doing...and I thought what a naive babe.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2009 22:03 Comments || Top||


Irish government faces growing fears of debt default
Fears are growing that Ireland could default on its national debt after the cost to insure against possible losses on loans to the country rose to record highs at the end of last week.

Credit ratings agency Moody's recently followed rival Standard & Poor's in warning it might downgrade Irish debt, amid fears that one of Europe's former success stories is falling into a deepening recession. The cost to hedge against losses on Irish debt tripled last week to a record 355 basis points - meaning that for every £100 of debt, investors have to pay £3.55 to insure against default, according to data firm CMA Datavision. It was about 262 basis points at the end of January.

Moody's has warned there is a more than 50% chance Ireland will lose its triple A rating within 12 to 18 months.

The spread between Irish and German debt rose last week to 203 points, meaning Ireland has to pay 2% more interest than Germany to borrow in the financial markets because of its perceived higher risk.

Ireland last week announced an additional €7bn (£6.3bn) injection into its top banks, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks, which are suffering from an increase in bad loans. Thousands of Irish citizens are struggling to pay their mortgages which they arranged at the peak of the country's real estate bubble. Unemployment is at a 15-year high.

The IMF tried to calm investors by saying the country, once known as the Celtic Tiger because of its economic growth, did not need any financing from it.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Even if they did, the IMF has run out of money.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/17/2009 6:07 Comments || Top||

#2  The race is on between Ireland and Italy.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/17/2009 20:34 Comments || Top||



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