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Archive for March, 2009

Could This Be True

Apparently there might be real reason for optimism on the auto front.  Look at these “leaked” stories:

Fox News:

President Obama is convinced that a negotiated bankruptcy is the best way for General Motors to restructure and become a competitive automaker, members of Congress and unnamed sources told Bloomberg late Tuesday.

Reuters:

A possible bankruptcy plan being discussed for General Motors (GM.N) includes quickly forming a new company of the automaker’s most profitable parts, while a group of other units would remain under bankruptcy protection for a longer period, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters on Tuesday.

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More to Come

Case-Shiller reported January real estate today.  Here, via Calculated Risk, the SF price history:

[SanFranciscoTierPricing.jpg]

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Astonishing – seriously, astonishing – email from a guy at AIGFP to ZeroHedge claiming that a significant chunk of bank profitability in 1Q is simply AIG dumping money on its counterparties.  They have gone beyond holding themselves hostage; they are actively trying to rob their majority shareholder (also known as the taxpayer) for the benefit of their future employers at other banks:

During Jan/Feb AIG would call up and just ask for complete unwind prices from the credit desk in the relevant jurisdiction. These were not single deal unwinds as are typically more price transparent – these were whole portfolio unwinds. The size of these unwinds were enormous, the quotes I have heard were “we have never done as big or as profitable trades – ever.

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Rare Optimism

I guess the Administration just has a blind spot in the financial sector; elsewhere in the world they are able to recognize reality and make the best of a bad situation.  With the auto companies, for example, they are able to admit that the current business models and plans simply do not work, and they are even able to utter the word “bankruptcy” without stating categorical opposition.

To get a sense of how bad the situation needs to be to scare the administration into action, think of the challenges facing GM:

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So we’re getting down to the wire for the North Korean missile launch.  Sorry, satellite launch…as if North Korea has a serious need of a communications network.

North Korea has a few things to gain from this:

  • They enjoy tweaking the US, Japan, and South Korea about our impotence.  The Western nations jump up and down and threaten sanctions and resolutions, and North Korea has shown over decades that nothing the West can say is going to hurt it.  So long as China sticks with them, they are safe.
  • A military confrontation with the West puts China in a difficult bind.  North Korea remains useful to it, so in a bind China needs to give North Korea some support.
  • It’s a great way to test Obama when he clearly has other fish to fry.
  • It allows Kim Jong Il to show other members of the ruling clique that he is in control.

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Sham Wow

Seems the Sham Wow guy should have have just seen what was on the Setai’s TV at 4:00am.  Unfortunately – in keeping with Bill Cosby’s comment that nothing good has ever happened between midnight and dawn – Vince Shlomi decided to to get a hooker.  There are any number of reasons that could be a bad idea, but in this case, the hooker decided after kissing him that she would bite his tongue and not let go.  Which led to Shlomi punching her, which led him to this glamour shot from the Miami cops:

Here is a booking photo of Sasha Harris, the hooker in question.  Better than Divine Brown, I suppose, but still hardly worth rabies…

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Cool

Always liked ‘Bron:

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