Monday, March 30, 2009

It seems Garth Turner is still in the hearts and minds of Halton area Conservatives

While perusing the blogosphere yesterday, I happened upon the site called Angry in the Great White North, which is run by a guy who has long had an, er...interest in Garth Turner. It seems his interest hasn't waned, and now he is concerned with the reputation and fortunes of the Liberal Party as well. Very kind of him.

It seems his latest focus, stems from Garth's soon to be released book entitled Sheeple, which if I understand correctly, is to be an account of an insiders view of political activity and Party goings on. Mr. Angry is apparently concerned about what might be revealed, how damaging these things might be and whether the book will actually be worth the coin that he or other members of his association will undoubtedly lay out for it within minutes of it becoming available.

After perusing some of the comments accompanying the blog, and noticing some familiar handles, I quickly tired of the usual bashing, much of it mindless drivel and chose to click a few of the links within the body of the post. Which led me to another entry about Mr. Turner, or Gart as I often refer to him as. That's just to remind him he's not thet high and mighty. Heh.. To continue; the second link delved into such things as how some people miss Garth Turner. This went on to examine in some depth the how's, why's etc. and was again followed up by the chorus of booing from the faithful.

After reading these pieces, I reflected momentarily, and thought what was the point of all of that? Slow day in the blogging world maybe? More shiny things to amuse the fishies?, I wasn't satisfied with that exactly, so what then? Certainly there was a sense of fascination, almost begrudging respect in some of the words, but that wasn't what seemed hidden in the depths of the thoughts overall. Was it merely 24/7 politicing? Perhaps. Was it fear? Ah Watson! You might be on to something there.

Have a look if you have some spare time. You will find Hairy and East of Eden there too, as well as a host of other colorful characters.

As an old Sun newspaper guy, I expect Garth will appreciate the publicity. Probably won't translate into very many book sales with Mr. Angry's readers though, as in the Conservative spirit, they will likely share a couple of copies until the covers fall off, and the binding separates.

How do you get taxpayers to sop up 93% of banks toxic assets?

Well, it appears Tim (The Rim) Geithner has a plan. When I read Geithner's plan to offer financing for investors and auctions designed to market bundled toxic assets, I could see some logic in it. At first glance it appeared that other than the heavy stake taxpayers would have in the financing of this project, the concept had some merit. That being, by encouraging investors to bid on these assets via providing extraordinary financing opportunities, the investors would be encouraged to pay higher amounts for the assets, and thus provide a leveraging of the money loaned to them and help recapitalize the banks at a lower immediate cost to taxpayers.

I guess I approached this trying to understand it with my gotcha meter on low, and was trying too hard to look for the good in the plan. Below is a link to a simplistic description of how this is designed to not only provide liquidity for the banks, but could well result in them having both the cash, and end up owning the assets in question as well.

Talk all they want to, but a proof is a proof...

Longevity of financial rally undermined by data

"Financial exchange-traded funds have seen outflows since March 6, when the current rally in the broader market got going. Short interest positions in financials are running high this month. And hedge funds tracked by one large investment bank are selling their financial stocks.

These signposts belie heady advances made by the largest banks after deep losses during the first two months of this year, though bank shares gave up some of those advances Monday."{B89863EC-C5DC-4224-BE11-D3C0F9DB3F03}

It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven . JC.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Future mortgaging woes and the Shadow Banking Industry

"Throughout 2007 and 2008, one hedge fund after another failed and investment banks like Bear Stearns Cos. followed, and the system began to shut down.

The plunge in credit was precipitous. Investors bought $900-billion (U.S.) of securities backed by car loans and other consumer and small-business loans in 2006. By 2008, that had plunged to $150-billion. And in the first three months of 2009, before TALF, investors were willing to buy a measly $2-billion.

In Canada, the disappearance of the market for riskier mortgage-backed bonds means that companies like Xceed Mortgage Corp. are unable to renew mortgages for many customers. That could leave as many as 25,000 borrowers unable to renew their home loans."

David Dodge and others as well, weigh in on the issue of regulating the Shadow Banking Industry. Many seem to be of the opinion that TALF may not achieve it's desired effect due to greatly reduced demand for credit.

"It's the wrong way to go if we think that encouraging people to borrow more and leverage up more and to spend more will get us out of this mess, because that's what got us into this mess in the first place," Ms. Tavakoli said.

It's far from clear that people who are struggling with the recession are even willing to step up to buy new cars and consumer goods, no matter what the governments in Canada and the U.S. do to try to get people borrowing and spending again.

"The demand for credit is way down," said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for the U.S. National Federation of Independent Business. Mr. Dunkelberg is also chairman of a small community bank in New Jersey, where he said he sees a big decline in loan applications. Because of that, he said, the Fed and the Treasury may be "pushing on a string" with TALF."

More from around the World. Japan on the brink of deflation.

"We calculate that the deflation risk is higher than ever," Macquarie Group economist Richard Jerram said in a report published today. "The Bank of Japan makes matters worse in its tolerance of deflation, both in comments from officials and in its policy framework, as this reinforces expectations that it will be allowed to persist."

I'm wondering if tolerance is the correct assessment, or if there is no more wiggle room?

Sire, the Peasants are grumbling again..

"About 35,000 demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday ahead of next week's summit for the Group of 20 nations in Britain's capital."

Yesterday, I read a piece on demonstrations being planned for the upcoming G20 meeting in Great Britain. Organizers are predicting up to 100,000 protesters to show up. One of the main organizers, an ex British MP, is being quite provocative in his statements about this and warning authorities not to use rough up tactics etc.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I've spent some time this evening hobknobing with Liberals?

To be continued. Someone has to have the sense of purpose to help them understand, what that phrase means.

In the meantime, more Radio Okie for the troops;

George Strait-Amarillo by Morning

Faith Hill-There you'll be

Sometimes I think them sumbitches don't understand nothin' at all.

It's all about balance, and even the righties ain't wrong all the time. They have their story too.

And here I am, clowns to the left of me, jokers to right, stuck in the middle with you.

The Afghan National Army

Below is a link to a clip I found on the Guardian.UK site which discusses some realities of the readiness and worth of the ANA. How long have we been there now?

You might have to start the video, let it jerk along for a minute then pause it for a minute or so to let it buffer and feed. Depends on the speed of your computer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Poor Baby. Bring your hankies for this one..

I drifted over to the dead zone again, just to keep up on any new propaganda efforts and found them deeply involved in nothingness, as seems the norm lately, but there was one item of interest. They are still weeping for the poor at AIG.

"On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. "

How do you fix a busted Ponzi scheme? Why, create an even bigger one of course!

Remember what I said earlier about Mark to Market accounting changes? Well it appears the U.S. monkey brains are about to have a go at it. The basis of their thinking can be summarized by saying they are going to let the investment industry have it's way and just make shit up.

Although the financial and government gurus would have you believe this is complicated and love to use big words and ass backwards phrases to make it appear complicated, it isn't. They are just doing that to confuse you and make you fuck off. Remember Obama's great indignation about leveraging 30 times in one of his speeches? Heh...

Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. If no one wants to buy it, it's worth what they are willing to pay, right? That is nothing. So the essence of the changes the monkeys want to make will allow industries to set a value on these otherwise worthless assets and allow them to represent that value on their books, thus falsely representing the true overall value of the company. In a worst case scenario, a company could have many times more worthless assets on it's books than those with value making the company very risky if not insolvent in real terms, yet still able to represent itself as a viable entity to investors and stock market purchasers. Neat wot?

Reminds me of a line from an old song; Something for nothing and your chics for free...

Oh, and wasn't it just a week or so back that Bernanke said no to this? Next thing you know, he will be saying, "My friends, trust me"..

Thanks for the link Charles. Because of you, I'm having Pepto Bismal for breakfast this morning, instead of Crumpets and Spam.... lol

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

"Exempt books, children’s clothing and footwear, diapers, children’s car seats and car booster seats and feminine hygiene products from the eight per cent provincial portion of the tax."

The article above is about Ontario's budget and entry into the "Have not Province Club". It also introduces the phenomenal benefits to governments that are afforded by implementing the Harmonized Sales Tax. I outlined the exemption in order to point to the true benevolent nature of those who reveled in the benefits of Nafta, etc. The wise, the Honourable and the caring.

Sorry Ontario, I know your work ethic is very good. I also know many of you live, just to exist, and for many, the highlight of the day, is walking their best friend, and lovingly clasping the excrement they leave behind, grocery bag in hand. I know that Municipal Governments have come to realize the importance of this to you, the importance of your last, best friend, and have even provided special receptacles in the parks and municipal workers to pick up your best friends poop. I know you are subject to those whose fixation on exerting control over you would stymie the independent spirit of even those of stoutest of heart. But I can't offer you much help. Unless of course you would like to talk about my Quiet, Bloodless Political Revolution. During the course of which, we would take back the daylight, as well as the night.

Otherwise, just Ben Dover, again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From the Ministry of Good News

I would like to offer a pointer to a site and a blogger who I think is heads and shoulders above the crowd. Someone who speaks out on matters of importance based on logical assessments rather than Party line or self interest. I don't generally direct people to other sites, but I wanted to point out to our little group that I read this blog regularly. Below is a link to one of the best thought out and articulately expressed posts I have read. Perhaps the best of the best actually, and that has to be in the category of good news, wot?

Okieville presents the Disaffected Lib, aka Mound of Sound;

With 73 million Americans in prison, on parole or under probation,

states spent $47 billion in 2008, the study said. Yup, you read it right. I had to reread this 3 times before I could reconcile it somehow. You know there is a problem when......almost one in four of a countries population are undergoing some type of behavioral correction process that involves the criminal justice system. I have read such things as the number of persons incarcerated in the US has increased in the past 30 years by threefold. From one in 300 to one in one in 100, but that's not all of the story. Here is an excerpt and the link;

"When state budgets are flush," said Barry Krisberg, president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, "prisons are something that governors and legislators all support, and they don't want to touch sentencing reform. But when dollars are as tight as they are now, you have to make really tough choices. And so now things are in play."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When Oliver looked into his bowl this morning,

he said "not enough". Gee willikers, what does it take to keep Oliver's bowl topped up satisfactorily? Yesterday was of course a winner on the Stock Markets, in response to the announced $1.15 trillion in goodies money from the US Fed, but today it's back to more Grimm tales.


Not much to report so far today. Some talk about the $60 million our gov. is spending to stream line EI and extend benefits by 5 weeks, which is good given the bad. The blogging liberals were of little inspiration today as many are focused on their outrage over some dumb show on Fox network. Sheesh, no end to the shiny things. I did find what seemed like an interesting discussion on Red Tory's site about government programs and incentives to scrap older cars and buy new (ish), but that degraded into a scrap over building a realistic Canadian auto manufacturing reality. Another site got all uppity over some comedic treatment of a particular Religious group. Saints preserve me. There was one article based on an article Iggnatieff did for the New York Times recently. The only thing outstanding about that was how unremarkable it was and that it somehow got published in such a major newspaper.

That's zit for now. Later Gators.


Here's the link to the NYT article by Ignatieff.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just another John

Bet you thought I was going to write about pros-t-toots er sumthin'. Well I'm not. I'm just going to offer a quote for the day. Some guy named John wrote this over at yahoo, and I thought it worth repeating.

"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people "

Hallelujah Brother, and pass the pitch forks!

Don't worry, I didn't suddenly get 'ligion, but I did hang around the mother of all right tard sites for a bit last night just to see what propaganda they are spewing lately. Well surprise surprise! They were making a lame attempt at defending the AIG execs who live in a wealthy area of Conneticut. This segment of the downtrodden masses have been voicing their concerns for their personal safety lately, in the wake of claims of death threats etc. So says they. So in swoops the dead animal leader and throws a big shiny lure into the water and takes attention off the real issues and onto some great satan like entity called Acorn and of course Obama. It's all his fault you know.

Upon hearing the splash, and then seeing the shiny lure, the trout immediately assembled to give pursuit. Gawd have mercy.

I suppose it is more difficult to see properly when one is looking up through water as it would obscure things a bit, but I wish these fishies would come up for air more often and see the world as it really is. So jump little fishies. Jump for your life! While there still is clean air and sunshine to be had to help clear your little fish sized brains.

The full quote from which the excerpt above was taken, is below.

"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question it's methods or throw light upon it's crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed. Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In search of the Big Dog

Well, while I was busy trying to wet appetites enough to get folks to read all 8 pages of this "MOST" interesting article from Rolling Stone Magazine, some guy named Mike scooped me. Ah, well, no matter. What matters is reading this piece as it begins to address the depth and scope of what has happened and is still happening. Who is identifiable so far, and much more.

I titled it as I did, because if you remember I wrote earlier that those who masterminded this, have many buffers built in to protect themselves. In the quest to establish this, they have focused considerable effort on having laws changed so that their agents cannot be prosecuted. Then there is the really interesting part on bypassing the US Congress and funneling Trillions directly into the banking/investment hole. In addition to these whistle wetters, I'll post an excerpt that stirs the troops.

"The bonuses are a nice comic touch highlighting one of the more outrageous tangents of the bailout age, namely the fact that, even with the planet in flames, some members of the Wall Street class can't even get used to the tragedy of having to fly coach. "These people need their trips to Baja, their spa treatments, their hand jobs," says an official involved in the AIG bailout, a serious look on his face, apparently not even half-kidding. "They don't function well without them."

"The most galling thing about this financial crisis is that so many Wall Street types think they actually deserve not only their huge bonuses and lavish lifestyles but the awesome political power their own mistakes have left them in possession of. When challenged, they talk about how hard they work, the 90-hour weeks, the stress, the failed marriages, the hemorrhoids and gallstones they all get before they hit 40.

"But wait a minute," you say to them. "No one ever asked you to stay up all night eight days a week trying to get filthy rich shorting what's left of the American auto industry or selling $600 billion in toxic, irredeemable mortgages to ex-strippers on work release and Taco Bell clerks. Actually, come to think of it, why are we even giving taxpayer money to you people? Why are we not throwing your ass in jail instead?"

But before you even finish saying that, they're rolling their eyes, because You Don't Get It. These people were never about anything except turning money into money, in order to get more money; valueswise they're on par with crack addicts, or obsessive sexual deviants who burgle homes to steal panties. Yet these are the people in whose hands our entire political future now rests."

Please read carefully.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What's wrong in America? Here's a hint.

I picked up this article at a blog called Curiosity Cat, and as I read along I could understand the goals and methods involved in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan to ease the toxic debt situation that is supposedly holding up the flow of credit in the U.S., and was seeing some logic to it. Then I read a paragraph toward the end that I thought speaks volumes about what is really wrong in America. See if you can pick it out. I did give you a hint. Right?


Another story of how feeding the corporate dream destroys our way of life.

Also, how tinkering with the way things have been done for decades doesn't necessarily make it better.

I used to own a small herd of purebred Hereford cattle, and some Commercial Shorthorns as well. Easy keeps I used to call them, as they required little attention in comparison to many of the new more exotic breeds. Grass, hay a little feed, ample clean water and rough shelter for the bad winter months was about all they needed and the amount of finish (fat content) was variable, depending on how much feed you could afford, and the market you were serving.

Having spent a good part of my life standing in shit up to my ankles, one way or another, I have a deep attachment to the old ways of animal production, and I believe absolutely that we not only squander tremendous resources and employment opportunities with the Corporate Agricorp dream, but we also contribute greatly to the overall waste of fuel and to polluting our environment. The main problems as I see them are as listed below;

1. We have concentrated production in Western Canada and are reliant on huge production and processing facilities there, which on the production side, require few employees due to the size and mechanization techniques used. These also rely heavily on chemical, hormonal and pharmaceutical means in order to achieve their output levels. Everything from the range of chemical means to control crop issues to antibiotics administered either in the feed or direct injection and implants of all sorts of odd things. There are supposed to be controls over that, but if you think they are adhered to, well you know the story about waterfront property in Arizona.

2. The processing facilities that are concentrated in Western Canada have big problems finding workers so they rely heavily on low paid immigrants. Many of whom are temporary of sorts. These immigrants require housing and services and companies such as Cargill have gone to great lengths to provide company facilities to satisfy this. Sound familiar? Think back to the Company towns of yesteryear.

3. I see more and more U.S. beef and pork products appearing which are usually packaged in bulk, and I expect a type of dumping. Regardless, they add nothing to the local production and employment scenario and are subject to USDA standards, not Canadian.

4. The Western and U.S. meat products are shipped thousands of kilometers in freezer/refrigeration units either on trucks or rail cars, thus adding to the strain on infrastructure and diesel fuel supplies which supposedly justifies the high retail pricing of diesel these days. Plus this contributes greatly to emissions concerns and carbon production. Even the refer units run on diesel or propane generally, so it's not just the trucks and locomotives.

5. Bypassing local production has caused great expanses of once productive farm land to lay dormant and become grown over with bush, alders and misc. varieties of evergreens etc. When I go back to the area where my old farm is, I see approx 1,500 acres of what used to be actively used as farm land, now dormant. There is perhaps 150 acres total being used in the general area. This doesn't include the other side of our river, where I grew up and the story is pretty much the same over there as well. The rest of the local area is similar, as small farms have all but died out, as indicated in the article above.

6. Searching for employment figures this a.m., I find info such as the southwest shore of N.S., a typically rural based area for the most part, and see unemployment having raised in the 3% range. I know other areas have suffered similarly, and I can't help but think about the rising costs of groceries and the wasted employment and Ag production opportunities. Then there's all that wasted fuel and what comes with that.

So back to the type of animals used in the region for a moment. The new exotics finish much bigger than our old standard breeds, therefore in order to get them to market in the same time frame they need a great amount of feed. Their carcass weight is much higher, but they cost too much to finish given the availability of local grains. Grain used to be available in high quantities in this area, largely because potato farmers in PEI used a three crop rotation. One yr. potatoes, one grain and one grass. In recent decades, due to the influences of the McCain and Irving Empires in the potato business, many growers cut corners and cycled only two crops, thus reducing availability of grain. So, now we need to look at market trends. The market wants leaner meat, not fatter, so this plays well for the standard breeds. The easy keeps as I called them. As the article points out, relying more on the natural offerings of wild grasses and cultivated hay crops can make these breeds viable again. Should have been all along, but the pressures from agricorp, the processing and retail giants and the meddling influences of government agencies who were hell bent on pushing the small farmers out of the picture, have succeeded.

I remember when, with a heavy heart, I threw in the towel as I realized I couldn't be any more efficient than I already was, and I couldn't justify the investment of time and money only to make $100 per calf per year. That was for the live ones. There are some losses that can't be avoided.

When I read things such as Herb's comment on T Bone steak being $28 a kilo in Ottawa, it reminds me of just how badly the forces of the above named co-conspirators are in fact fleecing the general public, and harming our natural ability to create local employment and work toward more self sufficiency.

I did notice that our gubbermint has budgeted an amount to encourage such things as local farmers markets, and I commend them somewhat for the thought, albeit it's a token amount. It is by supporting alternative market outlets, that governments can aid in returning some of the power of the individual back where it belongs. The power that they have worked diligently over many decades to take away from us. This Great Country was built on the strength of this, not corporate gouging control freaks.

So smarten up eh?

CUPE and insulating the Civil Service

I have picked up a few figures recently that are relative to considering who has the proper view on this matter, and I think it is significant given the times. This is just a mini snapshot perhaps of a much greater picture, but I am curious how people see this overall.

Firstly, N.B. has a population of approx. 729,000. Secondly, they have 47,000 Provincial civil servants including nurses and teachers. Wages alone for the civil service consume 40% of New Brunswick budget. The best estimate I can find at the moment indicates there are roughly 350,000 people with jobs in N.B. Those figures include a youngster working 5 hours a week for a burger joint and a paper boy who receives a cheque for his services. Even short term work, that only lasts days or weeks gets counted, so the real figure of substantial jobs is difficult to nail down. I went searching this a.m. and employment statistics from Gov. of Canada websites are not currently available. Down for maintanence apparently. Ooops!

The next consideration would be the amount of Federal and Municipal Civil Servants in this area. We are quite heavily slanted with the Federal variety as the God's in Ottawa have been kind to us in that regard. I don't know the numbers, but I know they are significant. I think it wouldn't be too far off the mark to assume Fed and Municipal would equal the Provincial numbers, and that would bring the total to somewhere around 100,000. Real full time jobs are probably somewhere in the 200 to 250,000 range. That is just an estimate, but you see where I'm going with this?

If you can dig up hard figures anywhere, please post them as I'm trying to get a reasonably accurate view of this.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Now this is how to Rant! Corporate Pirates.

Over at Ledaro blog, there is a video of Keith Olbermann ripping the great corporate ones a "hole" new orifice.

I loved every second of it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lobster, the new bologna

I guess they must be talking about grocery chains in my area. I have never seen such high prices for bologna anywhere else.

Let me start my little rant on this by saying I agree with little that is in the above article. Having lived a good part of my life in the Maritime provinces, I know something about lobster, lobster fishers and the lobster industry.

First rule of thumb when a lobster fisher complains about prices. Smile a wry smile and walk away. Most of these folk, only fish lobster these days because they do well enough with just that. Some fish crab if they are in the right areas and some will fish their own bait, but not many bother with ground fish anymore.

Back in the nineties, the average income from lobster fishing was $100,000.00 Not to shabby really, especially when you consider they can only fish one season, and that is about 6 weeks long. Add time for preparing and repairing traps and gear and maybe a weeks fishing for bait and the time investment is about 2 1/2 months to 3 months. Plus boat maintenance. Now it doesn't stop there, as these fishers are about the only Canadian's I know of who can be self employed and still draw EI. Not only that, for many many years they would employ son's or daughters and the wife, on paper usually, so they could draw EI as well. Now that's no shabby EI I'm talking about here. It's the maximum allowed. It didn't end there either for many, as what they did with themselves the rest of the year was up to them. Many worked under the table as they say, so their yearly incomes were really ok. They weren't hurting.

To be fair, I will say those getting into the industry in recent years did have to pay a hefty amount for a fishing license, something in the area of $100 grand. Those who have been at it for a long time didn't have to pay that. Plus they had to pay for the boat and expenses. And it's not everyone who wants to be on the water at day break ready to fish regardless of whether it's cold, rainy or whatever.

Still, add it all up and they do ok, in fact much better than most. Excluding civil servants of course. Remember, the Maritimes is not Calgary or TO and certainly not Vancouver. Houses and land are reasonable here, and it doesn't take $75 G's annual income just to have the norm.

The last thing I will say about the fishers, is that many of them are their own worst enemy. By that I mean they take too much catch, and are notorious for sneaking under sized lobster into the cook pot onboard or stashing it in feed bags tied to booeys to be retrieved after dark. They are also supposed to throw back females with visible eggs, but many don't. They just knock off what can be seen and keep them anyway. All of this contributes to reduced stocks and damages the long term health of their industry.

Enough of the lash for the fishers, now I'll turn my attention to the corporate marketeers and the governments.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, large amounts of lobster and other seafoods were sold directly from the processing plants to small entrepeneurs who busied themselves going into all the nooks and crannies of the region selling these goods to operators of all sizes. Everything from Joe's Fish and Chip stand and Mary's Corner Store to upscale Restaurant establishments. This provided not only exposure that products such as frozen tinned lobster, aka Cold pack, wouldn't have had otherwise, it also gave incentive for retailers to run specials using these products and taking advantage of the price reductions that came from dealing directly with sellers whose overhead costs were small. Now enter the Corporate Giants. They didn't like this as it cut into their markets so they used their considerable influence to disuade processors from selling to these small entities. It worked of course, and the little guys selling a truck load of seafood every few days went the way of the Dinosaurs. As did the extra market capacity they encouraged.

So, now they have a major problem with excess inventory due to the recession and the answer to that is ?????? Bring in the government tardmuffins of course. Do I hear bailout??? Another $500,000.00 pissed down that gigantic hole we like to call assisting private enterprise. Yah right. Assisting the politically faithful is more like it.

Am I ranting yet? I hope so.

Here's the way it should work, the way it used to work. This isn't our first recession and the phrase "hard times in the Maritimes" was coined for this reason. Tell the processors to discount this inventory. Call for private tenders on large lots and set a floor price based on volume for cash and carry type purchases. Let the little guys and gals take this stuff and run with it at discount prices and I guarantee they will leave no stone unturned in finding and promoting market.

Besides that, go on a drive with the Giant retailers and their Commercial food service supply arms. Get some deals and some private advertising bucks to work and see how fast this inventory cleans itself up. It's not like there isn't market for it at the right price.

Oh yes, almost forgot. That comparison between lobster prices and bologna was irresponsible anyway. Bologna may well be $3.50 per pound but that is the price at the wharf. Few people can buy from the wharf.

Rant over.

How to cut complaints about the RCMP

Just cut the budget for the Commission for Public Complaints by about half. That was easy.

And the Prestidigitizer goes hummmm.....

WOW! U.S. $1.15 Trillion in "quantitative easing". Neat term that.

Can you hear yourself think over the roaring of the printing presses? First came the U.K., now the U.S. Next up? If you guessed Canada, you would be correct.

Can mark to market changes be far behind?

Oh yes, and Gold spiked $60 an ounce since yesterday. Somebody a little nervous?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who knew???

I didn't know nuffin about it! Honest Ma!

"All the factors that created the market's collapse were hiding in plain sight in brokerage firm 10-K filings and news reports about the housing and mortgage markets. Hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals knew the risks in the collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps marketplaces. Many of them even work in one place -- New York City," said Colas."{D20C36CA-47D0-48DC-A2E8-1A4D6CA9924A}

I see nothiiinnng!


In keeping with what I wrote yesterday, here are some videos of interviews and statements made by a seasoned economist named Micheal Hudson. This guy pulls no punches, and doesn't seem to target a particular political entity, so I'm thinking partisanship isn't his thing. It appears his main interests are to explain what is going on, how it happened, why and what to do to fix it. Plus gain a little profile, in all likelihood. Hey, somebodies got to do it..


$450 Trillion in derivatives? Did I hear that right?

Last year he said this;

Once in a lifetime rip off;

I picked up the first video from a blog post Red Tory has up. Red comes up with some very interesting stuff at times. Isn't the internet wonderful??

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Buffet does CNBC, then Bernanke does 60 minutes. Thursday, Obama does Leno.

What's next, holographic images of JFK?

I realize all of this is intended to create some confidence and aid in big money's quest to re-inflate the stock market, and in their wisdom, the world's economies. But here's the problem as I see it. They are asking people to gamble their money with the very same bunch of people who sat at the controls while these grandest of all ponzi like schemes were being perpetrated. It's all about saving banks and big institutions, while at the same time these same people display time after time that they are unrepentant. i.e. bonuses and blackmail. Pay to re-inflate my bubble, or I'll burn your house down.

I don't see where the "fundamentals" have changed significantly. I see that the sources of cash that funded much of the irresponsibility have thrown the brakes on and are cautious and looking inward more than they were. But I don't see the wonderful, splendorous circumstances evolving that would encourage me to think that there is a basis for an imminent revival. Just an attempt to re inflate the confidence bubble using as much private money as they can lure out of hiding.

One thing I find really curious is how gainers have substantially outpaced losers on the US markets the past few days, yet the overall average is stalled or losing slightly. This indicates money shifting within the exchanges perhaps, but not new money coming in. I'm not sure, but I suspect large institutional investing agents are moving money about to create the aura of an up market. This might also be partly due to big investment moving around to better position itself.

But there are other factors as well, like GE being down graded by the debt rating agencies, and their stock going up just about every day since. Go figure. Too much going on that defies logic to make me believe this is anything more than another manipulation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'll get by with a little help from my friends,

I'll get high with a little help from my friends..

Millions in AIG bonuses fuel political storm.

Woodstock 1969, Joe Cocker

Some headlines of the day

U.S. trade deficit lowest in 6 years.

Canadian trade deficit approaches $1 Billion.

G20 officials say one thing;

The first two articles are fairly straight forward, not good news but easy to correlate. The last article on the other hand, leaves me with the distinct impression that there are very differing mindsets on fixing the world's economies. That makes the statement "whatever action necessary" a little dubious.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Last letter

Part one.

Part two.

Vic Toews waves his hand and alludes to that which never was.

"Conservative MP and president of Treasury Board Vic Toews said the government sympathizes with Canadians who have lost their jobs but suggested the situation would be much worse had Canadians voted for the carbon tax plan the Liberals championed during the last federal election."

Yeah, that's helpful Vic, and it addresses so many relevant issues doesn't it? Bay Street liked the plan Vic. Remember? Forget about the shiny thing Vic, we have. Now what about those 83,000 jobs lost in February?

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Starship "Enterprise"

Re: the Markets;



This one for those newly besieged with guilt;

Radio Okie, over and out.

Repent! Jon Stewart takes on CNBC

"Average people trusted financial advisors who told them to pour money into market-oriented accounts for the long term, Stewart said, and those people lost their money when Wall Street used those savings to generate short-term profits.

Stewart said financial reporters like Cramer and others on CNBC should have taken the time to uncover financial shenanigans and not have been so quick to trust business executives and government officials."

Cramer says....."He lies to me, lies to me, lies to me".

I really liked the part where Stewart points out the essence of the game. Creating the aura that investing in the Stock market et al, is expecting your money to grow by unreasonable percentages while at the same time, you do nothing tangible for it. The basis of every good con game is offering pie in the sky. It's what Carpet baggers do.

So now it's time to Repent. Repent all you sinners! All of you who made off with everyone else's cash, life savings and dreams of a pension and peaceful retirement. Heh..

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The next Ponzi scheme McFly wants to make fly...

" I think importantly, improving balance sheets and income statements through changes to accounting treatments would result in many less sophisticated investors assuming a business that does not mark its assets to market is in better financial shape than it is; "


" the Blackstone Group LP Chairman, the American Bankers Association, and 65 lawmakers in the House of Representatives urged that mark-to-market rule be suspended last September"

Some reflection and some unbiased analysis

I liked the approach in this article, so I thought I would post it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


"U.S. Secretary of State of State Hillary Clinton criticised the home demolitions and settlement expansion plans as "unhelpful" during her recent visit to Israel. "

Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for Israel Lobby

"His withdrawal is likely to be viewed as a significant victory for hardliners within the so-called Israel lobby," who led the movement to scuttle his appointment, and a blow to hopes for a new approach to Israel-Palestine issues under the Obama administration."

How does one go about making the less than likable Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appear to be the reasonable one?

Mr.Harper says.........much gobble de goop.

As if it weren't bad enough listening to little Jim's hypocritical yipping about time being of the essence yesterday, we also had to listen to Harper's revisionist historical accounts a little later in the day.

I hope it didn't cost taxpayers a bundle of money to hear from the Prime Revisionist yesterday, because what he did was embarrassing grand standing and it was void of class. In the midst of crises, we do not need to hear a load of half truths, convenient selection of portions of facts and a generalized political whining session. Oh Oh Canada, my home and native land, what has become of you?

Idiots to the right of me, idiots to the left. What's left but to charge the Cannon?

Jim, you guys called an unnecessary illegal election, then presented a poison filled budget, then went whining to that Ms. Jean lady and left the country hanging in the midst of crises for better part of 6 months. The Country wanted action and you took a holiday. Have you forgotten?

Stylish Steve, when the Country is in trouble, a Prime Minister is supposed to act like a Prime Minister, not someone with a bad memory. Nor someone who plays loose with facts, history and the truth. Additionally, your sense of urgency rang hollow as well.Then there was your untimely and unnecessary political whining. You said the opposition wouldn't let you pass your budget. Gee, I wonder why? I see you still take no responsibility for having delayed action on the economy and are trying to blame everyone but yourself. You said the opposition wouldn't present options for the budget. That's not what I read, but hey let's not be confused by facts. Regardless, in the end it is the governments job to present the budget.

Lastly, for now, enough of the political side show. You come across as a whiner when you address the people on National TV and focus so much time sniveling about the big bad opposition and trying to lay blame for delays especially given your parties recent record on that.

Quit it with the Ren and Stumpy show already will ya? If I want to watch cartoons, I have Teletoon.


"Marcus Aurelius: There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."

Gracchus: But the Senate IS the people, sire. Chosen from AMONG the people. To speak FOR the people.
Commodus: I doubt if any of the people eat so well as you, Gracchus. Or have such splendid mistresses, Gaius."

Proximo: So Spaniard, we shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures. And the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more. And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom."

"Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?
Maximus: For the glory of the empire, Sire.
Marcus Aurelius: Ah yes. Ah yes. I remember now

"Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: Would you, Quintus? Would I?"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Their back!!! Have you ever been abducted by Aliens:??

No? Well now's your chance.

In case you haven't noticed, there is a big push on. The Oracle spoke for 3 hours on CNBC yesterday and said his Banks are ok. Bernanke garbled on for an hour this morning and actually only said 2 things that matter. The Chief of Citibank sent a letter to everyone he could think of to say they made money during the last 2 months, notwithstanding certain toxic assets. Little Jim donned his platform loafers, mustered up his game face and went to the Senate Committee this morning and Stylish Steve is to make an appearance later today in support of calming the twitching, grumbling, sweating masses of calamity sticken citizens. Yesterday, he told us how much better off we are than other peons. Plus a number of other players are working their way through into the limelight with various schemes and dreams seemingly intent on parting people with what money they have left, or in the abscence of that, reaching further into the big government pocket in order to use your money for their gain.

So, are you ready for your Excellent Adventure? Your first ride on a Starship?


So, like I said recently, they are coming to get what you got left. The above is all in an effort to prise loose private money and get it back into the market and to justify the bailouts both past and future. In case you missed Bernanke, basically he said we need to make changes. Changes we should have made 3 yrs ago. Blah Blah. Then he said we must save the banks. 19 times over, because there are 19 of them that are on his list. Plus he turned down the mark to market changes that the schiesters were looking for. Well, for now anyway. Maybe he thought that was a bit to much to sell all at once. People are still smarting from the other ponzi schemes.

Well there you have it folks. That's what the great minds have been up to. I'm not sure if it's the arrogance or if it's the blackmail that's bothering me most. Regardless, the stock markets are jumping to life today, just like a hungry trout after a shad worm on a nice spring day. Gold dropped under $900, and Oil is herky jerking around trying to find another crises to attach itself to.

The King is dead, long live the King!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Does anyone remember this? E.F. Hutton says....

Time for a trip down memory lane. Seems that greatest economic machine that's ever been created, which Warren Buffet referred to, has some dark moments in it's past as well as it's present.

Perhaps it's time to take a hard look at the past workings of Corporate America, the Banking Industry and Government involvement without the blinders on. Time to consider whether the History is one of a glorious rise of Free Marketeers or a litany of deceit.

Here is an overview from Wiki;

One of the books written on this subject is entitled, "Burning Down the House: How Greed, Deceit, and Bitter Revenge Destroyed E.F. Hutton.

Warren Buffet says....

Quite a bit these days. Among other things he said this;

"What is required is a commander in chief that's looked at like a commander in chief in a time of war,"

He also said; ""Everything will be all right. We do have the greatest economic machine that's ever been created." That will be the basis for my next post.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Further to my earlier comment today, I found this;

Printing money is the right way to get us out of this mess.

Along with discussion on the wonders of printing money, this article also suggests the following;

"In the budget, the chancellor should announce two measures to encourage borrowing and spending. There should be income contingent mortgages, so that repayments automatically adjust to borrowers' fluctuating incomes and home equity can be insured. And he should also announce a job guarantee for every unemployed individual out of work for more than a year.

In other words, come what may, there will be work and you will be able to service your mortgage. Do all this and the economy will stabilise next year. But what a price we have all paid for bankers' freedoms."

Friday, March 6, 2009

To bitch or not to bitch, that is the question.

Travelling around the world of Liberal blogging pundits recently has been less than gratifying as most seem intent on garbling on about one bit of nonsense or another, except for the Mound of Sound guy who has done some earnest pieces on Afghan.

As many of the rest avoid anything that could be seen as even remotely relevant, to anything at all, some have chosen to have a yak about Stylish Steve's latest comments on the Afghani situation. Well, it seems ole Stevie buddy said we ain't a gonna win that there war by military means alone. Ya ok Stevie, anybody who knows his ass from a hole in the ground, knew that you don't win no war like that. The West only intended to fight another limited engagement action from the bastions, supplemented by occassional forays.

So what's the big surprise and why the whoopla? Every real Liberal has criticized Canadian involvement in Afghan, so why make a fuss when the Stylish One sends a signal that they are somewhat ready to stop lying to Canadians on this issue?

Don't criticize him, commend him here. Tell him, yes Denny, youse been a good boy. Your nose won't grow today.

Looking down the road, it appears that the Afghan pipeline scenario isn't such a high priority any longer. Neither are all those other lofty aspirations that were held out as justification. Well they never were actually, so let's just dispense with the bullshit once and for all.

Now, it's time to posture appropriately. Let Stevie posture us out of Afghan. Someone has or will load appropriate data before loosing him on the minds of mush.

Iggy will need his wife to orchestrate the vagueness of something of a position, and market her Stately commodity. She's got him this far. Sure as hell ain't his accumen, accuracy and astute powers of observation and analysis.

The Wheel World

Sheesh, it's getting hard to find things to blog about that actually present a worth while view point. Ya, we know about GM and John Tory, both leaky ships in the bay baye. We now know about the latest job losses in the US and how they compare to "1983". And we know that the Stock markets are as nervous as a lone mouse invited to a convention of Cats. What we aren't hearing a lot of is what comes after the nuclear winter? You know, once the Squirrel is all gone.. after the kids have licked even the smell of the Oppossum stew from their bowls. What then?

Well fellow scavengers and rodent hunters, then comes the inevitable; restructuring.

Prophet of Doom at the Motor Show

Having absorbed that bit of shoulda woulda maybe coulda, I have something a little different to add. Instead of all these car companies dreaming about being the ever larger wheel, maybe it's time for them to rethink their objectives. What I mean is, do they consider that they have become too big? Isn't that the basis of their problems? Without ever increasing sales volumes these companies become financially unmanageable and begin to self destruct at some point.

If car manufacturers were more focused on domestic markets, and those pulling the strings of globalization had real foresight, these companies and the products they sell might well be better for it. Better to be smaller and more resilient than the wounded behemoths that many are now.

Even built in obselence couldn't achieve the goal of ever growing markets. Only a rethinking of the nature of these companies diluting each others base markets will eventually bring continuity and stability.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who do the Voodoo?

When are assets worth more than current market price? When Charlie Brown says so of course. Good Grief Charlie Brown!

Investors look for lift of mark-to-market accounting.{21E57831-FECE-449B-823F-7BA81DDD9B0A}

Sorry Jack, no plum in your Chinese pie today

"Wen told the National People's Congress that government spending would increase by a quarter to hit the target of 8% growth. However he stopped short of a pledge to boost the country's 4tn yuan (£4bn) stimulus package.

Stockmarkets rose yesterday amid speculation that such an announcement would be made, and many fell back today after it became clear that no new package was forthcoming. The FTSE 100 dropped 63 points, or 1.75%, this morning.

The boost in expenditure will see the Chinese deficit balloon to its highest level in 60 years, from 0.4% of national income last year to 3% this year. But the 950bn yuan deficit is still small in comparison to other countries, such as the US, where the deficit is more than 12% of income."

Note Chinese governments intention to increase spending by 24% in order to meet it's growth projections.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

There comes a point when;

The bad news seems overpowering. When the words of pessimism ring everywhere and permeate the soul. When all seems lost to so many. In times such as these, positive indicators are often lost on the masses or at least drowned out in the din of the howlings from the salivating horsemen.

For your enjoyment;

So when does Captain Kangaroo get the message?

When do those responsible for the RCMP come to realize the damage they are doing to it's reputation?

The CBC have been running daily articles on the Braidwood public inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski, and for anyone following along, the extent of this travesty is evident.

The RCMP made claims that the video evidence didn't reveal all the facts of the case and they were right. It's worse than what the video could show. Below is a link to the latest article.

Just what the Doctor ordered

"A prominent Canadian doctor has begun to recycle unused prescription drugs to homeless people in Ottawa because he says they could not afford them otherwise, CBC News has learned."

Memo to Otterwa; try some common sense. Every little bit helps.

Monday, March 2, 2009

While Peter McKay and Harpie fuss over IFB's, Identifiable Flying Bears,

Other folks are thinking about what's wrong, how it came to be and what should be done. Below are some interesting thoughts from a former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. His name is Paul Roberts and according to Wiki, was instrumental in the creation of Reaganomics. Known for criticizing both Dem's and Repugs, I thought it worth a read.

The next step is for holders of the swaps to short the asset in order to drive down its value and collect the guarantee. As the issuers of swaps were not required to reserve against them, and as there is no limit to the number of swaps, the payouts can easily exceed the net worth of the issuer.

This was the most shameful and most mindless form of speculation. Gamblers were betting hands that they could not cover. The US regulators had abandoned their posts. The American financial institutions abandoned all integrity. As a consequence, American financial institutions and rating agencies are trusted nowhere on earth.”


As a former Treasury official, I am amazed that the US government, in the midst of the worst financial crises ever, is content for short-selling to drive down the asset prices that the government is trying to support. No bailout or stimulus plan has any hope until the uptick rule is reinstated.

The bald fact is that the combination of ignorance, negligence, and ideology that permitted the crisis to happen is still present and is blocking any remedy. Either the people in power in Washington and the financial community are total dimwits or they are manipulating an opportunity to redistribute wealth from taxpayers, equity owners and pension funds to the financial sector.”