Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bush Caught Telling Truth!!!!!

By now you are probably aware of the video of w at a fundraiser, speaking off-the-cuff, saying Wall Street got drunk. For some reason, this has caused an uproar. If you haven't seen the video, you can find it here.

I guess when you spend 7 years lying about everything, when you are finally caught being honest it becomes news. If you watch the video, all you'll see is w giving a brief honest description of what caused the housing crisis, then he becomes funny and self-deprecating. Where has this guy been for 7 years. I actually like the guy in this video.

I think we all need to just chill-out and get back our sense of humor! With all the things w as screwed up in 7 years, all the lies, all the obfuscation......this is NEWS?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Lucky Accident

I was talking with my friend Wade the other night, and he told me about a most fortunate accident. His 6 year old Ford Excursion was totaled in an accident where no one was injured. He had been thinking about trying to sell it, now that gas is $4, and thought he could get $3500 to $4500 for it.....assuming he could find a buyer at any price. Instead, he expects to get book value for it from the insurance company, around $7500. Maybe there is a market for people who know how to wreck cars without injury, because I'm sure there are a lot of SUV owners who would happily pay to get in Wade's shoes.

This brings up another ticking bomb for the finance industry. Today's WSJ had an article about how Chrysler's finance unit, which finances loans and leases for Chrysler buyers, and inventory for Chrysler dealers, will have to pay more for it's next round of financing. My guess is there are a lot of SUV owners who will be walking away from their loans rather than suffer the cost of driving their stupid gas guzzler. That means finance companies stuck with cars worth far less than their loans. Sound familiar?

And let's look beyond the consumer. The other day I drove past Boulder Toyota and marveled at the sea of SUV's in their parking lot. I can't imagine there are buyers for those things at any price. And that inventory is likely financed by someone. AND, the end of he model year is only about a month off.

And getting back to the Chrysler's finance unit.....hell, they have likely financed acres of Chryslers! Not too many saleable cars there!

I think there is a lot more feces headed for the financial industry's air conditioning. What is going to happen to whoever financed all the big cars on dealer's lots that can't be sold? Will the dealers go under, or the finance companies, or both? Not to mention consumers just pushing their SUV's off a cliff. I doubt this problem is the size of the mortgage mess, but on top of that mess, this is really going to hurt. I wouldn't be buying those financial stocks just yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Politicians v Economists....only one will tell you the truth

This is a great clip from last night's Daily Show contrasting Bush's press conference about the state of the Economy versus Ben Bernanke's testimony in Congress. I don't mean to be Bush-bashing here (like I usually do, and he SOOO deserves) so much as demonstrating the difference between politicians in general and Economists. Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

If I were a conspiracy theorist.....

Let me start by saying I have absolutely no proof that any of what I am about to write about is factual. That said, here a couple of conspiracies I cooked up on a 66KM bike ride this morning:

Iran produces 4.1 million barrels of oil per day, which constitutes most of it's goverment's revenue. So, if you want to fill up the coffers, what better way than making it look like you are starting a war. Fire a few missiles into the Persian Gulf,and the price of oil jumps $5....that's $20 million extra a day, far less than the cost of a missile. Based on who is running Iran, I don't consider this to be such a far-fetched idea. I know what I would do with the power to move a market like that!

Say you are a hedge fund manager with a couple hundred billion dollars to look after. What would it cost to finance a raid on an oil facility in a place like Nigeria? $100K? How much could you make by going long a crapload of oil before the raid that you know will happen because you financed it? There is a movie screenplay in this idea, which I will probably never write, so feel free to steal this idea, write the screenplay, and get the movie made. Just get me a small part in the film.

Remember in 92 when Bill Clinton made some comment to distance himself from Jesse Jackson? I don't remember exactly what he did, and I'm too lazy to look it up, but I remember Clinton making some comment of that nature, which I was sure at the time was a shrewd political play (what are black people going to Republican?). Well, Obama has got to be worried that he scares some white people, particularly after all he crap with his preacher. So, why not get yourself offended by Jesse Jackson, a man who is about as popular with white people as George Bush is with Boulderites? Seems like a pretty good strategy to me, although if this was really the strategy, they would probably have also paid Al Sharpton to agree with Jesse, not defend Obama.

Hey, it was 90 degrees out there today. I gotta have something to do to take my mind off the pain!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

$4 gas, $2 lettuce and bad public policy

The NY Times had an interesting article today about how everyone in the US had their heads up the asses regarding energy policy for the past 20 years. The one group it leaves out is Mr. and Mrs. Average American, who voted for the idiots who did nothing, and adopted an unsustainable lifestyle in which you are a loser with a small penis if you don't commute a long distance in a huge SUV.

One group of villains in the Times story is, no surprise, the US auto industry. No one should shed a tear for this group of short-sighted morons when they start declaring bankruptcy this fall. I am guessing that the former "Big 3" will all be in Chapter 11 within 12 months. They will blame high oil prices, just like they blamed foreign competition in the 80's for their problems. Here is the real problem: Detroit had been run by a bunch of myopic, in-bred morons for years! They try to use political influence to keep them afloat and cover up for the fact that US automakers are the least visionary, least technologically advanced, least innovative auto companies in the world. While the Europeans and Japanese were developing new automotive technologies, Detroit was giving us more cupholders. They have always preferred to sell big cars, because the margins are better, so their small cars are crap. And they have fought increases in fuel standards that, had they been instituted, might now be keeping them out of trouble. If any politician dares suggest spending your tax dollars to bail out these idiots, kick him or her in the crotch!!! Really hard!

Meanwhile, another story in the Times had me thinking about the cost of lettuce. The Feds and states have been cracking down on illegal aliens. Meanwhile the price of a head of romaine is up to $2 in my local King Soopers. Is there a connection? I am guessing yes, but I am going to spend some time seeing if there is any actual Economic research on the subject. If anyone sees anything, please pass it along.

All told, it seems to me we are responsible for causing a lot of our own pain!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

How Small Must It Be?

This afternoon, and I am not making this up, I saw a giant, tour bus sized RV in my neighborhood, TOWING A HUMMER!!!! That's gotta cost about $1 a mile to move! And how small must the owner's penis be to need two huge vehicles like that as compensation?

Happy Fourth of July to all. And remember 3 things:
1) This country was started by bold, brilliant revolutionaries who refused to accept the status quo and believed people had rights.
2) Despite the worst efforts of George W Bush and his band of morons and thieves, this is still a pretty damn good place to live.
3) Ben Franklin once said "those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither"! (of course, it is also likely that he was not wearing pants when he said this!)