Nothing really catches my attention today. This Abu Dhabi/Citigroup transaction is interesting, especially when considering the reaction to the Dubai Port Deal.
At any rate, I couldn’t fall asleep after that exciting game last night, so I am a bit sluggish today. Have at it in the comments.
What is going on with Time magazine and Joe Klein? Mr Greenwald has the story:
Here’s one to totally mess with your mind.
Ah-ha! WingThink is finally explained.
Citi is fucked. I just got this tidbit from Bloomberg:
I think that the Greenwald story about Time allowing Klein to openly lie about FISA, and what it says about the state of journalism today is quite instructive. It does an excellent job illustrating why again and again mainstream media outlets support flawed and often obviously false narratives while portraying people calling BS as loony leftists, or as John puts it: Smelly Dirty Hippies. Again and again the mainstream media listens to the operatives whispering falsehoods into their ears instead of investigating the story and reporting the truth. Later, when their false and faulty reporting is exposed, they simply shrug and ignore the criticisms while going on to the next story which supports their flawed narrative.
What the hell is going on in France again?
You mean Mitt Romney saying,
didn’t catch your attention?
Imagine if he said, “I cannot see that drinking out of the same fountain as a black person would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Negroes could drink out of adjacent fountains”.
By his logic, I guess a Mitt Romney cabinet would have zero millionaires, be half female and at least a few black/hispanic members. More than his campaign team has, as far as I can judge.
I guess Mitt hasn’t read that part of the Constitution that bars a religious test for election to office or appointment to a position of public trust.
But, being an out and out religious bigot/asshole is A-Okay – he is a Republican after all.
I dunno about that, I actually hope the reality is it explains us and maybe we can get away from teh stupid before it’s too late.
Seriously though….that’s one big fucking hole in the universe.
The Other Steve
Only one more year til our long national nightmare is over.
[obdisc — shameless self-promotion. It *is* an open thread, after all]
I’ve been thinking about H1B visas.
The Other Steve
In France, you are either French, or not-French. You cannot move to France and become French, your family must have lived there since Charlemagne. It is the way of things.
However, they don’t want to turn away the not-French, because they need them to perform all the crappy jobs the French don’t want to do for low wages.
It’s the same throughout Europe and Asia.
This is what is so wrong in America about illegal immigrants, and President Bush’s idea of work visas. People need to feel like they are a part of something. When you ostracize them, especially if they feel like they cannot get ahead, they eventually rebel.
Um…there’s a problem with your analysis, TOS.
The people rioting in the banlieux are French citizens, unlike the descendents of the Gastarbeiters in Germany. The problem in France is that the country’s economy is so ossified that there’s no way to attempt to integrate them fully with the resources the government can bring to bear, and so there’s no future for them economically.
Wha? The Wire was cancelled?
Since this is an open thread…
How to properly deal with terrorists.
The Other Steve
Our IT market is fucked.
It’s not just H1B. It’s management, it’s everything.
The Other Steve
Ok. I admit to not reading the article closely.
Isn’t this about the two Algerian teens who were killed in the accident with the police car?
It’s about them in the sense that the LA Riots were about the Rodney King verdict — their deaths were the trigger for an explosion within a community already primed to explode.
France has a “race problem” which isn’t too different from our own. (Including forced labor and rape — the folks in the banlieux are the children and the grandchildren of the Algerian French…the ones whose skins and/or names didn’t mark them as “really French”.) Given how *fabulously* we’ve done with our own legacy of slavery, I’m not feeling terribly willing to condemn the French for discovering that it’s a harder problem to deal with than they though.
The Other Steve
Christ, looked at that website a bit.
Those kids are gonna end up needing knee and hip replacement by age 30.
Exceptions made for other white Europeans, though.
Or get the stupid away from us. Load them up in a few space shuttles made from military vehicles trashed during the war in Iraq (you go to space with the shuttle you have…), stock it full of Cheetos. Launch USS WingNut in the general direction of the hole and wish them well.
Of course, critters living on the other side might be a bit pissed…
Not only might they be a little pissed but is that what we want to send as representative of life in this universe/dimension?
The Democrats are worse!
We’ll fight them in their dimension so we don’t have to fight them in ours…
Imagine if he said, “I cannot see that drinking out of the same fountain as a black person would be justified.”
The town I grew up in had a much lower percentage of black residents than America has of muslims. So, by Romney’s logic, there is absolutely nothing wrong with installing white-only facilities there. I think I’ll mention it at the next city council meeting.
The sad thing is, stuff like this will help Romney in the GOP primaries, not hurt him.
Yeah, but after they consume their gift of Cheeto-stuffed Wingies, they’ll forgive us.
Or nuke us out of orbit when the Cheeto-stuffed wingy gas kicks in.
Hard to tell with critters from an alternate dimension. Perhaps we should consult Dick Cheney.
Considering that alternate dimensions and parallel universe’s are thought to contain the same things, that is be mirrors of each other (in some ways), imagine there is more than one Dick Cheney *shudders*.
Uh, yeah. I have often regretted getting into this field 15 years ago. Sure, I’ve done better than if I kept working at the music store, but not by much considering the boom and bust cycles, and the possibility of being unemployable in my 40s (I predict pretty big contraction in IT employment with the next bust cycle).
The whole giant pile of crap that is the housing market and associated financial instruments is really freaking me out right now . The fact that these firms are racing for liquidity, about to lay off mass numbers of people, and you know we haven’t seen the worst of it (despite premature claims otherwise). I’m not in any direct danger (fixed rate mortgage, well below our debt ceiling, we both have jobs), but if the whole economy goes into the crapper, I’m not sure there’s any rescue in sight.
Speaking of parkour, anyone see this? Was good.
This article about Phil Kline (anti-choice wingnut ex-AG from Kansas) being busted for being a crooked DA now makes me at least a little happy.
Schadenfreude VI: Schadenfreude strikes back
Me too. I’ve pretty much done all I can to protect my 401K (i.e. stick it in money market), but I honestly expect to blasted when Reset 2: Electric Bugaloo happens in Jan and Feb. Worse yet, my wife’s in retail, and everything she’s told me, well, I wouldn’t be surprised if she loses her job in the next couple of months. Combined with high fuel and food prices, I am very, very worried.
Citi apparently announced that it “will not be bringing its SIV assets onto their balance sheet.” Holy shit, first selling junk bonds to Abu Dhabi and now trying to take big shitpile off its books, Citigroup is not long for this world. Even Enron had limits….
Retail sales? What’s going on?
I don’t think anyone will care much about them buying a chunk of city. It’s just paper assets.
The ports thing was different because that would have involved physical control of our already-unsecure ports.
Barnes and Noble did not sound like a particularly rockin’ place on Back Friday….or Saturday. Not to say it was dead, but there wasn’t exactly a noticeable spike above what you would expect for the average Friday/Saturday.
Also, corporate is pushing selling member cards very very hard to the managers. There just seems to be a smell of fear.
*of a really shitty Holiday season there.
Financial instruments on paper assets, which when totalled together, pretty much control the value of everything in our society.
Yeah, it’s not as direct of an issue (and I personally am not worried about the foreign investment per se), but those that freak out about foreign control of something with visible oversight possibilities should be in serious freak-out mode regarding a financial takeover of our economy from abroad (again, I’m not freaking out over either).
I haven’t changed my 401k or IRA allocations (variety of EFT/index funds). I’m young enough that hopefully this will be a blip and if I keep buying in the whole “dollar cost averaging” will work in my favor long-term. But yeah, glad I’m not planning to retire in the next 5-10 years. And glad my parents are so close to retirement that they’ve moved nearly everything into conservative assets.
Time to start sucking up to my parents to see if I can move back in the basement. Wonder if there’s enough room for all my mortgage backed securities collectables :-)
Citi is Toast, this is only lunch money not nearly enough to cover loses in coming year.
“Financial instruments on paper assets, which when totalled together, pretty much control the value of everything in our society.”
Yeah, but it’s still fairly nebulous. It’s like they’re buying a big building. And for people who think more deeply about it, they’d probably figure that financial transfer laws are regulated and that it’s automated to some degree.
I think China buying us up is more of a concern.
With the Dubai ports thing, I doubt anyone had much concern about the management – the real worry was that some underling with terrorist sympathies would use their position to facilitate an attack. I have little concern of that sort about the management, I just doubt they could adequately control such
With the Chinese ‘sovereign investment funds’ you’re basically handing ownership of American companies to the Chinese government, which is not necessarily focused primarily on making a profit. Or, rather, they might be pursuing a strategic profit rather than a financial one. And they aren’t a particularly nice government to be handing power to.
“I’ve pretty much done all I can to protect my 401K (i.e. stick it in money market),”
Um, I’m not sure the money market is going to be all that safe. At least not the US money market.
Well, yeah, but I have no other option….
You know, its a real testament to our country’s (and media’s) ability to take the longer view, as opposed to lurching from knee-jerk to knee-jerk (insert sarcastic laugh), that as i read every account of this shockingly unheard-of influx of petrocash to save a US bank I knew that I would not hear a word about the fact this happened already in 1990, with the same friggin bank!
And in all the news reports, even the financial press, not a word.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed rescued Citi in 1990, just before I took a money and central banking course, and my professor let slip that he was cleaning up by following the Saudi prince’s lead.
“By 1989, Alwaleed was snapping up shares of Citicorp, Chase Manhattan, Manufacturers Hanover, and Chemical, sometimes calling in buy orders from a cellular phone while horseback riding in the desert. Within months, he had spent close to $250 million–at one point holding a 2.3% stake in Chase. “But then, I sold everything and concentrated on Citibank,” remembers Alwaleed.
.. On the surface, it was a strange choice: Among the four banks, it was clearly the worst performer, because of a combination of New York real estate loans and exposure to Third World debt. In fact, by late 1990 it was widely feared that the bank might fail.
The crucial moment came in 1991, as the U.S. and its allies were on the verge of ousting the Iraqis from Kuwait. … Having already bought 4.9% of Citi’s common stock at an average price of around $12, Alwaleed and Citi worked out a special convertible preferred issue in return for a capital injection of $590 million.
“I was the only one in the world willing to talk to Citi,” Alwaleed claims today. Was he contacted by the Federal Reserve as part of a Citi bailout, as some have suggested? The prince says that’s nonsense. “The only time we had contact with the Fed was when we were going over 9% and needed their approval.”
The deal put a floor under Citi, and it has also turned out very well for Alwaleed: His 9.9% stake is convertible at just under $16 a share. With the bank in better shape and Citi common stock selling in mid-September at a 15-year high of $67, Alwaleed’s stake has more than quadrupled in value, to $2.8 billion.”
Plus la change.