In case I do not do an NFL section this weekend, I wanted to pass along the NFL pick of the year: Miami Dolphins beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. You read it here first!
Just What Kind of AAA Assets are on the FED Balance Sheet Anyway?
By now most are well aware of the games that allow various debt instruments to be rated AAA by the various agencies. The main part of the game is of course to just rate the stuff AAA and not worry too much about it.
The FED feels that in order to maintain it's Independence they must keep the bulk of their operations behind the curtain. Of course the FED is all about appearances anyway. Change one word in a statement and affect the entire bond market, say you are separate from the politicians will while you execute the very will of the politicians, round and round.
Sometimes a few details fall through the cracks and what has been seen so far has not been encouraging if you pay taxes.
It may interest the readers to know that the FED, and then by extension the taxpayers, now own a deserted shopping mall in Oklahoma City. This gift was packages into the Bear Stearns sale/bribe package. Mish has some details:
FED Owns Deserted Oklahoma City Mall
As the FED is now tapped out of their treasury purchase money, they will only have whats left of their MBS purchase power which was started at 1.5 trillion or so. What kinds of top rated paper that is just miss priced does the FED hold? Guest writer EB at Zero Hedge has the details:
Fed Splurges on Freddie Gold
The story has plenty of details, but an introduction:
If you would like to know just how many California newlywed first time homebuyers with no mortgage insurance, with no verifiable assets or income were originated loans by unknown parties throughout the boom years of 2007 and 2008, or just how many Malibu yuppies are extracting the last bit of cash from their home ATM on this brief respite from the mean reversion in home prices due to end in the early teens, read link.Hint: It is none too pretty!
The Audit the FED bill has not had much coverage here because there is NO WAY it will ever happen. Even if, huge if, the bill should pass, the FED will just decline to participate. Who is going to make them? If you answered anything other than nobody, are you sure? Final answer? Want to phone a friend?
Covered by a panic the FED (and every other branch of government) are operating well beyond the scope and charters that define them. What are rules anyway? This speaks to what I wrote about last night. If the voters voted out anyone that opposed the Audit the FED bill, the next set of elected officials would gladly endorse it. When the FED declines to play, more pressure could be applied by elected officials doing the will of the people, if not they are gonzo as well. Of course none of this will happen.
Credit Card Scorched Earth Policy
from Wikipedia, the greatest site the world has ever known:
A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area.
It did not take long for almost every major credit card issuer to replicate the Citi monster credit card rate rise. On the surface this seems like a sure losing tactic, as the huge interest rates will both increased defaults and decrease credit usage. Denninger of Market Ticker has some provocative (aren't they always?) on this dilemma. While on the surface it may seem the Banks are going all out to get as much as they can from anyone that will pay before they lose too much money, I think something more nefarious is at work.
Think about the clear effects of what this policy will do, as written above:
-decreased credit usage
Now which of the above two points is the FED/Treasury/FDIC really concerned about?
I see this as an act of financial terrorism by the banks, something I have written on before.
I think this could be a concerted effort by the banks to force some kind of "deal" with the FED/Treasury. In order to "restore the flow of credit" the the banks will accept a much publicized limit on credit card interest rates, say to a paltry 20% and in exchange, you guessed it, a backstop for escalating credit card losses! Both sides win. The banks pawn off another entire segment of loan losses on the taxpayer and our heroes in the government can say "Look what we did for the little guy! We lowered his CC rate!".
I sincerely hope I am wrong about his.
Friday Night Entertainment
It is now my fun time on Friday night. I hope you stick around to check it out.
Just for laughs.
One of these things is not like the other....
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
I am no archaeologist, but I am sure the fossil record rejects these items as occurring in the time of the Dinosaurs:
see more Epic Fails
This one is mean, but I could not help it:
see more Epic Fails
A film strangely nobody seems to have seen but me (uh oh!) is Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon. Besides having the actress Vanity in the film (which is good already) the flick sports great martial arts action and surreal comedy. Enjoy this scene which is indicative of the entire film:
Friday Night Rock Blogging
I had hoped to fill out maybe 16 songs, made up of pairs of two to go head to head in video fights with the winner decided by popular vote. Not many suggestions have come in, so what I thought would be 8 music genres going up against each other. Last week the winner of the Punk Rock contest was Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself". Tonight I will have a heavyweight battle up for vote. I still need nominees for music categories like 80's rock, Country, Folk, Metal and others at your input. Two nominees in the category will meet first, then all the categories will go head to head after that. Do not be shy, participate!
Some warm up songs before the main event.
I used to love the video for Huey Lewis and the News song "I Want a New Drug":
As is true for all the really great bands, picking one Scorpions song out can be tough. Pick up the pace with "Big City Nights":
If there is a bad song on the Kill Bill Vol I soundtrack, I have never fouind it! here is a song in a foreign language and it still rocks! Enjoy "Meiko Kaji - The Flower of Carnage":
The MAIN EVENT!
In the second installment of Friday Night Video Fights we have a real clash of titans.
In the Red Corner, the mega band Metallica with their hard metal anthem "Master of Puppets":
After an exhaustive search for a worthy opponent, here in the Blue corner is the speed metal classic legend Motorhead and their signature masterpiece "Ace of Spades":
Remember to vote on which song is the heads up winner. This will be a close one I think.
Have a good night.