Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update about Judge Patton lawsuit

A little bird told me Judge Houston Patton was not too happy when he found out the county insurance carrier wouldn't cover him in the lawsuit filed against him by James Jennings. Considering the lawsuit claims the learned and esteemed Judge committed an intentional tort against Mr. Jennings, it's not too surprising the carrier takes that position.

Earlier post and copy of suit

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Still want to buy an IBM computer?

"As IBM was firing thousands of American workers last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Big Blue's application to copyright a computerized system that calculates how to offshore jobs while maximizing government tax breaks..."
IBM story

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Recio's home is NOT in foreclosure.

Well, well, well. Recio is claiming another trial will ruin him financially:
"He has been suspended as a police officer and is on a leave of absence," Cynthia Stewart of Madison wrote in the letter. "He draws only the base pay which is barely above the poverty line, has a wife and three children and is three months behind on his house payments. Foreclosure is next."
Earlier this month, during a teleconference with U.S. District Court Judge Dan Jordan, Stewart said Recio's home already was in foreclosure.
Prosecutors have not responded to Stewart's letter
Clarion-Ledger Story

Just one problem with this article. According to Hinds County Chancery Court records, there are NO foreclosure proceedings pending against Mr. Recio's home. His mailbox might be stuffed with warnings of foreclosure, but as of now, no foreclosure actions have been filed on his home.

If Stewart made that claim to the judge, she is lying and should be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Mr. Joyner should be called on the carpet for engaging in sloppy reporting when a quick phone call to the courthouse would have verified Stewart's claim.

Recio's property: http://www.co.hinds.ms.us/pgs/apps/landroll_detail.asp?ID=4854-204-380

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No comment.

While I look for stuff for my open thread, here is something for your viewing pleasure:

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Palestinians punish little girls for playing for Holocaust survivors

You can't make this up:
"Palestinian authorities disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp after it played for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official said on Sunday. Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a political issue and accused conductor Wafa Younis of unknowingly dragging the children into a political dispute. He added that Younis has been barred from the camp and the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.
"She exploited the children," said Hindi, the head of the camp's popular committee, which takes on municipal duties. "She will be forbidden from doing any activities.... We have to protect our children and our community
." Its all Israel's fault

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Check out JJ's new database section.

Over on the right sidebar, I've added a new section containing a list of links for local and state government databases. Want to look for a judgement on someone, a campaign finance report, or some other document that IS available online, simply go to that part of JJ instead of fumbling around with a google search and digging through a website. I'm leaving it in its current spot for now and next week will move it down below Trollfest and current posts.

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Geithner and AIG rip us off yet again.

Zero Hedge shows how AIG, with Geithner's blessing, scammed us yet again:
"AIG, knowing it would need to ask for much more capital from the Treasury imminently, decided to throw in the towel, and gifted major bank counter-parties with trades which were egregiously profitable to the banks, and even more egregiously money losing to the U.S. taxpayers, who had to dump more and more cash into AIG, without having the U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner disclose the real extent of this, for lack of a better word, fraudulent scam.
In simple terms think of it as an auto dealer, which knows that U.S. taxpayers will provide for an infinite amount of money to fund its ongoing sales of horrendous vehicles (think Pontiac Azteks): the company decides to sell all the cars currently in contract, to lessors at far below the amortized market value, thereby generating huge profits for these lessors, as these turn around and sell the cars at a major profit, funded exclusively by U.S. taxpayers (readers should feel free to provide more gripping allegories). (Kingfish note: Even more plain English: I have car lot. My inventory of cars has worth 2 million dollars. I sell it all to you for 1 million dollars. You then sell them for 1.5 million dollars, making a huge profit. The taxpayers send me a check to cover my losses.)
What this all means is that the statements by major banks, i.e. JPM, Citi, and BofA, regarding abnormal profitability in January and February were true, however these profits were a) one-time in nature due to wholesale unwinds of AIG portfolios, b) entirely at the expense of AIG, and thus taxpayers, c) executed with Tim Geithner's (and thus the administration's) full knowledge and intent, d) were basically a transfer of money from taxpayers to banks (in yet another form) using AIG as an intermediary...."

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

General Electric presents.............Judy Garland

Judy Garland performance. You might recognize the host.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009


He wasn't just a cop-killer but also a child-molestor:
"Authorities say a day before the shooting the 26-year-old fugitive parolee was linked by DNA to the February rape of a 12-year-old girl who was dragged off the street at gunpoint." Animal POS

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Kim Wade will love this one.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Terrorist Cell?

Mortgage Implode-O-Meter, a mortgage industry website, scoops the media on a possible cell found in Illinois:

"2009-03-27 — ml-implode.com
A maintenance firm contracted to work on an abandoned and foreclosed home in Illinois owned by Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. made a startling discovery while draining the flooded basement: pipe bombs and tear gas grenades were uncovered when the water had been removed, leading the surprised workers to notify both Countrywide and local authorities. Police were reported to have responded to the scene at 3245 203rd St. in Lynwood (Chicago Heights), IL.
The Village of Lynwood Police Department would not acknowledge there had been a response to that address when we called. Apparently shrouded in secrecy, Police Report #1633 is not for release to any newspaper or online news agency. According to a Police spokesperson, "the release has to be approved by the Chief" and he is not around for a week.
Bob Cripe and Andy Steinbrecher were the two subcontractors who made the discovery. The pipe bombs "appeared to be hand-made" according to their observation. Other persons on the site were said to have determined the "handful" of grenades were likely tear gas based on the "blue sheen" of the containers. Contractor Paul Julian of Paul Julian Inc. told us authorities removed the ordnance by hand, and work on the house later resumed.
Neighbors told our sources that the prior owner, who was believed to have been employed at the National Guard facility in Lynwood, IL, was arrested and jailed some time ago for charges unknown. The owner's two sons had reportedly been using the residence before it was abandoned, and Countrywide later foreclosed on the property. With the electricity off, a sump pump in the basement was not functioning and water had filled the lower level. Countrywide had enlisted a field services company to remove the water in an effort to preserve the building
." Explosives and tear gas found

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frank be Pimpin'

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Mrs. Irby is home.

The following comment concerning Karen Irby was on the Clarion-Ledger's website:

msmomofboys wrote:
Replying to foresthillreb:
"Ticked off, when the suspect is in the hospital for a long time as she is, usually in other jurisdictions the police will have the doctors flag the file so they notify the police when she is close to being released. It makes no sense to keep police in their 24/7 for 3 months."

Karen is at home and has been for at least 4 days"

JJ has been able to independently confirm Ms. Irby has been released from the hospital and has been at home nearly a week.

Before some people start screaming for her arrest, I spoke to NMC and others about this issue. My understanding is if she is to be charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter, she has to be indicted by the grand jury. If she was over the legal BAC limit, an arrest for a DUI at this time would jeapordize a prosecution on the more serious charges, as double jeopardy would apply (I am told this is a favorite trick of D.A.'s who wish to get their good ole boys off when they commit similar acts).

So far, JPD has handled this matter properly. The crime scene van was out there for several hours the next day. Investigators knocked on doors looking for witnesses. JPD spent several days recontsructing the accident. The only thing JPD should have done by now is release the BAC test results, but if they are released in an indictment, no harm, no foul. However, JPD should change its policy (one of the many reasons people don't trust JPD) and release the BAC results so as to avoid any improper appearances, which fuel suspicions of favorable treatment.

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Soccer Scrum: The Finale

Mr. Jim Gulley, arrested last fall for assaulting some referees at a soccer game at Newell Field after a game in which his son played for Clinton High School, (Soccer Scrum), was so traumatized by the event he didn't even show up for court this week. His vacation was not unnoticed by the court as the judge fined him $1,000 and 30 days in jail with 24 of them suspended.

As I'm sure there is a warrant for his arrest, if you see this guy, take him down and bring him in.

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JJ: No Twitter None of the Time

JJ is a twitter-free zone.

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This is an open thread so have at it while I review some lagniappe from the internet.

The Clarion-Ledger reported on the public financial records of the Jackson mayoral candidates. Seems most of them have had tax problems over the years. The favorite of local progressives seemed to have major problems paying his taxes (which may explain why he is liked by so many over at the Jackson Free Press):
"Documents show Horhn has been late in paying his taxes for years, resulting in the state placing liens on his north Jackson home at least 11 times since 1995.
Horhn's problems paying his property taxes on his home were equally common. Since 1996, he has been late at least 11 times, several times redeeming his property after it was sold at the courthouse.
"I'm late sometimes paying my bills. I'm sorry for that, but in the end I pay my taxes. I pay the interest, and I pay the penalties," he said."

Don't worry about any any problems now as when Horhn got caught with his hand in the cookie jar "Horhn paid his $1,185.02 property tax bill Wednesday after The Clarion-Ledger contacted him and produced documents showing he is up to date on his state income tax."

But don't worry, he says although he can't handle his money he can handle your money:
"I'm late sometimes paying my bills. I'm sorry for that, but in the end I pay my taxes. I pay the interest, and I pay the penalties," he said."

However, Mr. Horhn was not alone on the deadbeat bench as he was joined by Frankie, who has been the subject of numerous posts on this blog about his tax and mortgage problems although it was reported he was garnished for not paying a security detail for ihs protection in 2005. Alice Scott, David Archie, Jabari Toins, and Brenda Scott were on the list. Mr. Crisler was mentioned but his tax problem was a small one and happened once and was similar to what other veterans who deployed to Iraq experienced.

The Texting Ban bill made it to the Governor's desk although once must ask who do you trust more operating a computer while driving: someone who is 17 or 60?

Frankie and the Democrats carried on their food fight in court yesterday as Judge Billy Joe Landrum of Jones County fame came to town to referee the scrum and made it clear he would rather be somewhere else. After this stunt and Barbara Blackmon's Saturday night massacre, the Democrats are looking like a group who would rather shoot each other than Republicans. The Jackson Free Press published an account of the hearing yesterday while casting Hizzoner in a less than flattering light. Methinks Melton will win this one. I should probably also comment on his stupid attack on McMillin but I'm tired of writing about Melton today.

G. Gordon Liddy, move over, you now have competition for your Stacked and Packed Calendar. Barbie, Maggie, and Stephanie from WLBT decided to do some shooting.

Brent's Drugs was squeezed out by the drug goliaths. The Clarion-Ledger reports how pharmacies like Brent's was a victim of Medicare's drug plan favoring the chains. However, you will still be able to enjoy the shakes, burgers, and fries at Brents as the soda counter will be kept open. Now if I could just get my hands on the recipe for the shakes Parkins Pharmacy used to serve.

Obama should be worried right now as yesterday the bond markets gave him some heartburn. First the British had a bond market selloff and nobody came as the auction failed. The Fed began its first major buy of Treasuries (selling Treasuries is how deficits are financed.) only to see buyers turn away, pushing down the prices and forcing the yields to go higher (many consumer and mortgage interest rates follow the ten-year treasury bond). The AP reported:
"NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks lost ground after a weak auction of U.S. government debt stirred worries about how easily Washington will be able to raise money to fund its economic rescue program.
Investors gave an unexpectedly cool response to a $24 billion auction of 5-year Treasury notes Wednesday, which also sent prices for Treasurys lower."

Over at the Market Ticker, Denninger titles his post "Bond Market to Bernanke and Obama:**** You." an opines:
"Ben came into the market and bought Treasuries today, and in response yields moved.... up?
Oh, and the stock market sold off hard too, down some three hundred DOW points from where it was before these bond "operations."
A blunt, clear warning was issued by the market today Mr. President and Mr. Fed

Barry/Timmie/Bennie are NOT smarter than the markets. Unfortunately for us, no one has told them that as they come up with more schemes that don't seem to work. Meanwhile, Citi and others are aggressively buying up subprime, Option arm, and Alt A securities at thirty cents on the dollar as they anticipate being able to sell them to each other (they are marked at their original values on their books) at fifty cents on the dollar and stick us with the loss while Obama tells us how the plan worked. Read the rest of the story. Prepare to get sick.

See what over in England some women are doing to raise money to pay for a child's autism treatment. Not safe for work.

Fire away.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nothing like a good joust.

One of the best fight scenes ever. Sophia Loren is pretty hot too.

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Ayn Rand Radio Commentary

Ayn Rand on the Democratic Party

If embed doesn't work, here is the link:

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The W, Frankie, Moonshine, and other stuff

This is an open thread so fire away. Some news items of interest today:

Cookie Cutter News. Apparently the Solons in Mississippi have decreed the W should change its name to something else. There is nothing wrong with calling it MUW but such is not to be, as they try to run from its esteemed history. They now want to call the school Waverly as the Clarion-Ledger reports today.

WLBT reports Frankie is turning over the financial records to the city council of who is on the city payroll. While Frankie was crying about not wanting to reveal personal information, someone should've asked him how hard it could be to have some of his Wood Street Players get some markers and start blacking out SSN's. Surely after all of those years in Jackson Public Schools they did learn how to color, n'est pas?

Japanese teens are introduced to Southern culture. Wonder if they taught them about catfish grabblin' or making moonshine. Feel free to insert redneck jokes here.

Lest we go by without our daily AIG update, here ya go: Real Clear Politics reports Chris Dodd's wife served on their board of directors. Think there just might be a reason why he looked out for their bonuses and allowed them to funnel billions to other banks? Meanwhile, look at the cottage he claims is worth only $100,000.

Meanwhile, Mish takes Krugman to task for being clueless about the bond markets. Mish quotes Krugman:
"The big policy news [last] week has been the Fed’s decision to buy $1 trillion of long-term bonds, going beyond the normal policy of buying only short-term debt. Good move....
My back of the envelope calculation looks like this: if the Fed buys $1 trillion of 10-year bonds at 2.5%, and has to sell those bonds in an environment where the market demands a yield to maturity of more than 5%, it will take around a $200 billion loss.
I’m not complaining; I think quantitative easing (it’s really qualitative easing, but I give up on trying to fix the terminology) is the right way to go. But we should go into it with our eyes open

"Mish says jumpin' jimminycrickets and points out why Krugman is wrong:
For starters the Fed cannot force long term interest rates down without committing an unlimited amount of purchases, and perhaps not even then. Simply put, the Fed cannot change the primary trend. If long-term interest rates are headed higher there is little the Fed can do about it.
Japan proved that currency manipulation does not work, and I see little reason for open intervention in the treasury market to work either....
Moreover, as long as the Fed is willing to buy assets at inflated prices, there will be an endless supply of sellers. Given enough time and enough dollar commitment, eventually no one would own treasuries but the Fed. Imagine the complications unwinding that....."

Meanwhile, England tries some Obamanomics and finds no one wants to finance it. What happens if you throw a treasury bond giveaway party and nobody comes?

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Republicans: This is how you criticize Obama

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Geithner's plan is a scam.

Zero Hedge bursts Geithner's little bubble:
As a result of the TALF's non-recourse/non-margin nature, hedge fund X can buy Bank X's MBS Portfolio which is marked on the bank's books at 80 cents on the dollar (but has a market price of 20 cents) for the marked price with a 3% equity check and TALF filling the balance. A day later, Bank X can repurchase the portfolio from hedge fund X at the 20 cent market price, and pay hedge fund X a $5 million fee for the "trouble."......

Read the rest of it. It's a short read but will get your attention.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sun and Moon

Hard to believe this is a high school production.

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FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing like watching the Democrats having a food fight. Over at Y'all Politics they are enjoying the fray: http://yallpolitics.com/index.php/yp/post/15200/#43192.

Franks and Blackmon going at it? Is this a fair fight?

What is nuts on Blackmon's part is bringing back Ike Brown, the Black Grand Dragon. Long-time readers will remember this post from a loooooooooooong time ago where I quoted a letter her wrote to the Clarion-Ledger:
"As a result of Judge Pepper's ruling, progressive Democrats will control all statewide and local Democratic nominations; they constitute 85 percent of the party base. "Blue Dogs" like Eric Clark and Jim Hood, Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, Barbara Dunn, Jack Gordon, etc., have won their last Democratic nomination.
What is the basis for this claim is a surging black population, mainly on the eastern side of the state. In DeSoto County, minority population has increased 300 percent; south Madison has doubled; Rankin, Lee, Lowndes, Obtibbeha, Lauderdale, Harrison counties, etc., all have seen huge jumps in minority population.
What's needed is a voter registration, voter runout drive to bring 500,000 African Americans to the polls; there are more than 850,000 eligible African-American voters in Mississippi - roughly 41 percent of the eligible electorate.
As for voter ID, bring it on in the primary; we can handle it. Republicans may find it to be a double-edged sword.
Finally. in many rural counties like Noxubee, Kemper, Winston, Pike, etc., voters will have to start giving state and national Democrats some support or get out of local races entirely. Think about that.
Ike Brown
Democratic Executive Committee

This might be fun to watch for awhile.

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Results of Poll

JJ recently asked if JPD should release the Irby toxicology reports. The results were:

Yes, Public has a right to know 100 (46%)
No, it would fuel a lynch mob 7 (3%)
Don't know 8 (3%)
No, JPD is conducting the investigation/prosecution properly 51 (23%)
Yes, we don't trust JPD or the DA's office 50 (23%)

69% voted in for JPD releasing the reports, only 26% voted for keeping them private.

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Old Bear or New Bull?

Wow. The Dow was up nearly 500 points yesterday. We have reached bottom. The Bear Market is over!!! Let the good times roll.

Um, not so fast my friend. The Wall Street Journal points out a few facts yesterday:
"If the latest bear-market rally in stocks already is over, stick around: Another should be on the way soon......
Since this bear market began in October 2007, there have been several episodes of rip-roaring gains, including three S&P 500 revivals of more than 15%, including this latest bounce, according to data compiled by Morgan Stanley strategist Gerard Minack.
Such rallies are fairly typical of the worst markets. The 1929-32 bear market, with the S&P down 86%, featured nine rallies of 15% or more. The grim stretch between 1937 and 1942 was punctuated by nine 15% rallies, even as the S&P ultimately shed 60%.
What has been unusual about this bear market is the quickness of its dead-cat bounces: Rallies of 10% and 15% have lasted an average of just eight and five days, respectively, according to Mr. Minack's data. The bullish stretch from November 2008 to January 2009 was broken into two rallies, one that was short and sharp and another, longer one that wasn't quite 15%. Combining the two provides one relatively short 30-day bounce....."

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Catch Market Ticker's radio show

Karl Denninger discussed "quantitative easing" yesterday. For those of you over at the CL business section who don't know what that means, that is the term used to describe the Fed's plan to keep interest rates low by printing trillions of dollars so they can purchase Treasuries.

One treat of the Market Ticker is the Ticker Forum: http://www.tickerforum.org
Some of those boards are literally money. A friend of mine wrote about the forums (and I agree with him): "the real value is his message board. There are numerous professionals (who are all very good) posting on that board and they all provide good insight in any number of areas. If you're into TA, the "Trader's Club" board is extremely good, as is the "Technical Analysis" board. You'll occasionally get good stuff on the rumors board - someone posted about the unusual options activity and the fact that certain investment banks weren't accepting Bear Sterns collateral literally days before it blew up. The breaking news board also tends to be extremely up-to-date on anything important that happens."

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Monday, March 23, 2009

In honor of Lotus

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Attack of the crickets

One of the knuckleheads on Tigerdroppings decided to have some fun with his boss. Clue: Annoy-a-tron.



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Baby growing up

Mike the Tiger is getting big. When he was brought to LSU last year, he was only over 300 lbs. When fully grown, he will be approximately 700 lbs. Here are some recent photos of him:


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Sunday, March 22, 2009

The horror of it all.

Well, time to close shop. Over at Nmisscommentor.com, Lotus was mean to me and had this to say about JJ: "Kingfish (10:43PM), I do read and appreciate your digging on some local stories, but JJ is enough of a (1) libertarian (2) titty-bar that I don’t stick around to hang on your every word. Just not into that “Back to Eighth Grade” socio-political thing ya got going on over there, you know?" http://nmisscommentor.com/?p=306&cpage=1#comment-320

Oh well, at least JJ was never considered to be a Hamas or Hezbollah hangout as her site came to be.

By the way, NMC's site is a really good one.

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Repost: the Fed's Maginot Line

I posted this interview with Dr. Anna Schwartz last year. Its still as relevant today as it was six months ago. Who is Dr. Schwartz?

"Most people now living have never seen a credit crunch like the one we are currently enduring. Ms. Schwartz, 92 years old, is one of the exceptions. She's not only old enough to remember the period from 1929 to 1933, she may know more about monetary history and banking than anyone alive. She co-authored, with Milton Friedman, "A Monetary History of the United States" (1963). It's the definitive account of how misguided monetary policy turned the stock-market crash of 1929 into the Great Depression."

The interview offers some good insights and is somewhat at odds with the Fed pimps seen on CNBC and other networks.


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Friday, March 20, 2009

Inside info?

Watch 7:00 mark. Apparently Santelli is letting it out that someone had some inside scoop on the Fed's decision to buy treasuries and moved on it.

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The Levee this week

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Bernanke shoots at recession, hits us instead.

Bernanke finally did it and printed up $300 billion to buy up more treasuries. Such an action is important as the treasury yields could wreck the economy as they set interest rates for numerous industries as well as the rates the government must pay those who are financing our deficit. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
"The Federal Reserve ramped up its effort to revive the economy, declaring it would buy as much as $300 billion of long-term U.S. Treasury securities in the next few months and hundreds of billions of dollars more in mortgage-backed securities.
The Fed had already cut its benchmark interest-rate target to near zero. Unable to go lower, the central bank now is essentially printing money to raise the supply of credit and thus push down the longer-term rates paid by families and companies on mortgages and other key loans. The impact was immediately felt

Some such as the chief economist at New York Mellon Bank applauded the move:
"This is a very powerful and aggressive move,” Hoey, chief economist at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “One of the reasons I’ve been arguing we won’t have a depression is we’ve got a Fed chairman who understands the problem and is going to come with the right diagnosis and the right medicine.” Bloomberg: Rambo Fed buying treasuries

However, the Fed's decision to print money to purchase so many treasuries in an attempt to cap interest rates drew much criticism from financial bloggers. Here are some of the comments from around the web:

Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker penned the headline "Ben inserts gun in his mouth" as he wrote with acid in denouncing the Fed's action:
"We've got over a trillion in trash on our balance sheet now, which we promised would fix the problem but it didn't do jack. That's because nobody in their right mind will borrow money when the economy is in the tank and debt levels are above sustainable maximums. The only borrowers are people who are deadbeats, and that doesn't help. Instead of clearing this out by forcing the bankrupt to take their medicine our "solution" is to attempt to devalue the currency by explicit monetization. We have little choice in this matter because the most-recent TIC data that has been published, along with what hasn't been published (yet) but which we have, shows that foreigners have given us the finger in buying any more of our agency, corporate and sovereign debt. In short, we're screwed - within months - and we know it. .." Kevlar anyone?

and a little more soberly in this analysis:
"Ultimately The Fed winds up owning all of its own government's bonds, having destroyed the private capital market for sovereign debt (just as it has done for other securitized debt by threatening to overpay for those issues!)
The difference is that if this happens for sovereign debt then deficit spending becomes impossible on an instant basis; this would in turn force a nearly 75% contraction of government spending...." Quantitive Easing

Calculated Risk pointed out contrary to expectations, mortgage rates may not fall even though such is part of Bernanke's intent:
"Based on this historical data, the Fed would have to push the Ten Year yield down to around 2.3% for the 30 year conforming mortgage rate to fall to 4.5%.
Currently the Ten Year yield is 2.58%, suggesting a 30 year mortgage rate around 4.7%.
If the Fed buys Ten Year treasuries with the goal of 4.0% mortgage rates, they might have to push Ten Year yields down under 2.0%, maybe close to 1.5.." How far will mortgage rates fall?

Bernanke will have to buy many more treasuries to push the rates that low. Naked Capitalism stated pros and cons in a couple of succint paragraphs:
"it's a gamble. The Fed's purchasing power is not made in a tree by elves. It comes from, essentially, printing more money. If the world's biggest danger is deflation, as Bernanke and a number of economists believe, then this action is wise. The trick to price stability is "reflation" not tight-fisted central banks. If conditions are different, however, it bakes serious inflation in the cake. Thus today's market gyrations, which at the moment have the dollar down, gold and oil up and stocks falling. This is less a fear of raging inflation, than a fear of uncertainty itself, to paraphrase FDR.
But the Fed is out of the conventional tools it has used in post-World War II recessions. Interest rates are virtually zero. So now it's a step into a risky undiscovered country. Among the risks is how our overseas creditors react if they believe this will dilute the value of their dollar-based assets, including Treasuries. Then there's the danger that Bernanke is creating yet another Fed-made bubble, with an even worse crash to follow. If it works, however, it may finally get credit moving. Stay tuned..." Road to Reflation

Option Armageddon was rather curt in its opinion:
"The Fed will be creating money electronically out of thin air to finance these purchases. When you buy a bond, its price rises and its yield drops. Buying another $750 billion of MBS along with $300 billion worth of Treasurys with printed money is a simple trade-off, debasing the currency so we can put a lid on the public’s and home buyer’s cost of debt finance.
This is terrible monetary policy. Keeping interest rates artificially low will encourage credit expansion when what’s needed to actually heal the economy is credit contraction. This sounds counter-intuitive, isn’t more lending what’s needed to “get the economy going?” No, too much credit is what got us into this economic mess in the first place. Asset values of all kinds are still over-inflated relative to their intrinsic value, the value of their discounted cash flows.
Credit is a drug. And the Fed is America’s dealer. We know we need to quit the stuff, but we’ll worry about that tomorrow. What we need right now is another fix in order to get through today. Our dealer, of course, is happy to oblige
Fed crack anyone?

Finally, leading finance blogger Mish minced no words in calling this policy a failure:
Please note that Bernanke has already failed. "It" (deflation) has arrived. And deflation has arrived in spite of the fact that Bernanke has slashed rates to 0%, instituted numerous lending facilities that have all failed, squandered $trillions in taxpayer money, and has already implemented phase II (or do I mean phases 2 through 20) of his plan, that being the "offer fixed-term loans to banks at low or zero interest, with a wide range of private assets as collateral...
The Fed has become the lender of only resort as opposed to the lender of last resort. Bernanke cannot force banks to lend nor can he force companies to hire or if they do hire the wages that will be paid.Wage destruction continues unabated, and if Bernanke does succeed in driving prices higher, he just might ask himself, how anyone is going to pay the bills..."
Bernanke's Grand Experiment

Bernanke's "Grand Experiment" is going to cost us dearly as he tries to manipulate the bond markets. This will force potential buyers (including the Chinese who have already done so) to sit on the sidelines as they will no longer trust the market. As demand dries up, the governmnet will then print more money to keep the yields down, opening up the inflation can of worms. At some point, consumers will face interest rates that have gone up, a weakened dollar, and inflation that threatens our livelihood. Already, the dollar is falling as reflected in the Wall Street Journal about oil today: "Crude-oil prices surged above $50 a barrel Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve said it will inject billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
The surprise action sent the dollar plunging against the euro, reviving long-dormant investor interest in using crude-oil futures as a hedge against weakness in the U.S. currency..."

The Fed is playing with matches and unfortunately there are no adults around in case they catch the house on fire.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bancorpsouth extends Melton's note on his home.

Bancorpsouth granted Frank and Ellen Melton an extension on their mortgage which was due in full December 5, 2008 on December 17, 2008. The new deed of trust was filed this week in Hinds County.

The mortgage is the first lien on Melton's Jackson home (The more publicized one with Omnibank is a second mortgage in the form of a HELOC*). As reported in an earlier post, Melton's first mortgage was in the form of a five-year balloon note for $250,000. The new deed of trust states another five years was granted to Mr. Melton for $191,883.17 and is due in full on February 5, 2013.

Frankly, the board of directors and CEO of Bancorpsouth must be taken to task by their shareholders. Melton has had TWO foreclosure notices in the last two years. One was filed with Omnibank and redeemed by Melton. The second was a house in Smith County, Texas that WAS foreclosed on AND sold. There is no way in hell any other borrower with a mortgage due in full would get a complete rollover of his loan in today's climate. Can one picture a VP going to his board at a bank in today's environment asking to give in effect another $200,000 to someone who has been foreclosed upon several times? One should ask the CEO how his bank could give so much money to someone who is such a poor credit risk.

Keep in mind Omnibank has filed suit against Dr. Melton, claiming the Melton's did not carry flood insurance on the home. The Omnibank second mortgage is due in full in April, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit.

Copy of new Deed of Trust

Note: In my earlier post I estimated the principal owed at $189,397.13. The new deed of trust states it is $191,883.17. Without knowing the interest rate I estimated the principal within $2,400 of its actual amount. Is The Kingfish good or what?

Earlier Post

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Irby filed for divorce in September

Apparently Stuart M. Irby filed for divorce against Karen Irby September 16, 2008. A copy of the divorce was emailed to me and was subsequently verified. There is no answer in the file, no return of service of process; the complaint is the only document in the file. The petition is expired and no longer valid as Mrs. Irby was not served within 120 days after its filing.

Copy of divorce filing

This post was made for two reasons only and they both have to do with the Clarion-Ledger. On the newspaper's website, there have been many unsupported allegations made and I've made a serious attempt on my posts to knock some of them down and inject some sanity. The second reason (and main reason) is because reporter Gary Pettus penned a spin job to say the least. The story was very insulting to the families of the deceased and provided a narrative of a happy family that ignored basic facts such as this divorce filing and Mr. Irby's arrest for domestic violence in 2007 (It was a BS arrest from what I understand. The point is, the arrest was at odds with the reporter's spin.). If Pettus hadn't written his story the way he did, this post probably is not made.

Pray for the families of the deceased and for Stuart M. Irby as he is in a tough fight right now. Earlier Post

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Laddean Journalism 101: Never let reality get in the way of a good smear.

Over at the Jackson Free Press, Ladd tries to smear the Clarion-Ledger on open records of all things, a subject on which she has always been rather quiet:

"Is The Clarion-Ledger Intentionally Misleading on Open-Records Law?
Or, is it woeful ignorance of the law? Either way, the corporate newspaper isn't making government transparency any better as Sunshine Week opens to publish articles such as this one today by Chris Joyner that misreads, intentionally or not, both the letter and intent of Freedom of Information laws.
Joyner states:Under state law, officials are allowed 14 working days to respond to a request to see government documents. Jackson officials routinely let all of that time expire before responding.Wrong.
Under state law, government employees are supposed to make government documents available *on request* and within 24 hours. As is the case in many states, the 14-day clause is there to use only when a government agency does not have immediate access to the documents—such as if if it old and is stored off site or such. THEN they have two weeks max to respond to the law..."

Ladd then publishes the section of the statute in question and then returns to her attempt to discuss public records statutes in an intelligent manner:
"Responsible government officials instruct employees to product information immediately (unless there is a damn good excuse), and real journalism outlets would never routinely state that the government officials "are allowed 14 days" when that is supposed to be the absolute maximum when retrieving the information is actually a hardship.
But The Clarion-Ledger has stated this for years now, and is making it worse for everyone by doing so, and allowing the governments here to be less transparent than they should be. I explained this to Chris Joyner in an interview (which he eventually quoted out of context in his paper; sigh) years back when The Ledger was fighting with the city over public records, and had their attorneys trying to make a deal that would essentially be binding on the rest of us. The deal was to allow the 14 days.
This is against the very spirit of open records and sunshine laws, and it is very disingenuous for the Ledger to act all high and mighty on the subject when they themselves are making it worse by not standing up and fighting for immediate access to information that we all own. It's wrong.
All that said, the law should be tweaked to make this as clear as possible, and not lead sneaky public officials or naive reporters to believe that "officials are allowed 14 working days," but the Ledger's work in this arena is going to make that harder to happen because government will point back to their reporting.
Once again, the Ledger shows that it has no idea how to serve the community that supports it financially. Very sad."

What is sad Ms. Ladd is you don't know what the hell you are talking about because you didn't bother to read the law. The law does state that an answer has to be provided within 24 hours. HOWEVER, there is ANOTHER section to the law, which you even included in your smear but clearly didn't bother to read. Here is the law itself (and I'm highlighting the important clauses):
"§ 25-61-5. Public access to records; denials
(1) Except as otherwise provided by sections 25-61-9 and 25-61-11, all public records are hereby declared to be public property, and any person shall have the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of any public record of a public body in accordance with reasonable written procedures adopted by the public body concerning the cost, time, place and method of access, and public notice of the procedures shall be given by the public body, or, in the event that a public body has not adopted such written procedures, the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of a public record of the public body shall be provided within one (1) working day after a written request for a public record is made. No public body shall adopt procedures which will authorize the public body to produce or deny production of a public record later than fourteen (14) working days from the date of request for the production of such record
." Ladd's poison pen at work

Since Ms. Ladd didn't finish law school and didn't learn how to read a statute, allow me to put this in plain English for you. If a government body in Mississippi does NOT adopt written procedures, then it has to respond to the request within one day. However, the law also says that the government can also adopt WRITTEN PROCEDURES stating a time period that can range up to 14 business days to respond to a public records request.

Ah, "written procedures". Before you started insulting Mr. Joyner, did you bother to actually read some written procedures, Ms. Ladd? If I was a cub reporter who didn't have a Masters of Journalism from Columbia as you do, I would have done so just to see exactly what they are. Since I'm a nice guy, however, and want to contribute to your education in a meaningful way, I'll help you out and post here some procedures from local governments:

"A response to your request will be provided within fourteen (14) working days of your written request."
Jackson Public Records Written Procedures

Sec. 2-1. Reproduction of public records.
(a) Upon receipt of written request to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain any public record which identifies with reasonable particularity the specific record sought, the recipient of such request shall provide such record to the party requesting same, if not exempt under the provisions of the "Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983" (MCA 1972, § 25-61-1 et seq.)....
(b) Upon receipt of a request as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the recipient shall promptly notify the person making the request of the actual cost of searching, reviewing, duplicating, and/or mailing copies of such record, as well as the time and place when such record shall be produced. The person requesting such record shall pay to the city such actual cost in cash or certified funds in advance. Upon timely receipt of payment, such records shall be produced within 14 working days from the date of the request for production of such record..."

Thus in accordance with the statute, several local governments have promulgated written procedures and stated they will take up to 14 working days to answer the written request. As I have personally dealt with several jurisdictions on public records requests, I can state most of them follow the 14 day rule, which is rather frustrating as there is truly no reason for such a delay other than to ignore the public. If Ms. Ladd had learned from experience as I and others have, she would know when such procedures state "within 14 days" they mean 14 days. If Ladd quit surfing google, Nexis, and the Clarion-Ledger so much, she might have learned what the law actually said and how it was applied in the real world.

What is funny is how quiet Ladd has been on opening public records over the years. The only time I can remember her making it a serious cause was when Melton refused to release crime statistics (funny how since Mac took over JPD the JFP became rather silent on crime figures). It's no secret she does not like the Mississippi Press Association as they have refused to allow her publication to join as a regular member. As the MPA has made easing public records laws a mission of sorts, Ladd has been very quiet on this subject as it's obvious she's in a snit because she can't play in their sandbox, even though such changes will benefit her. The Clarion-Ledger has made it a point to fight for changing Mississippi public records laws, which are among the weakest in the country and a complete disgrace.

It is sad seeing someone debase a highly-respected degree in such a manner by smearing another reporter (I must admit, Mr. Joyner is a sloppy reporter and makes more than his share of mistakes.) while making a fool of herself to anyone who is familiar with the law. If she wants to be treated as a real journalist, perhaps she should start acting like one instead of merely claiming to be one.

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AP: Dems protected AIG bonuses in stimulus bill

"While administration officials insisted Tuesday that neither Obama nor Geithner learned of the impending bonus payments until last week, the problem wasn't new. AIG's plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars were publicized last fall, when Congress started asking questions about expensive junkets the company had sponsored. A November SEC filing by the company details more than $469 million in "retention payments" to keep prized employees.....
Around the same time, outside lawyers hired by the Federal Reserve started reviewing the bonuses as part of a broader look at retention and compensation plans, according to government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The outside attorneys examined the possibility of making changes to the company plans - scaling them back, delaying them or rescinding them. They ultimately concluded that even if AIG's bonuses were withheld, the company would probably be sued successfully by its employees and be forced to pay them, the officials said.....
Around the same time, Congress and Obama's team were passing up an opportunity to put in place strict laws to revoke bonuses from recipients of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. In February, the Senate voted to add such a proposal to the economic recovery bill that cleared Congress, but in final closed-door talks on the measure, that provision was dropped in favor of limits that affect only future payments..."

Remember, the Republicans were not allowed in the conference committee and no one had a chance to read the bill before it was passed.

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Dr. Doom speaks: Much gloom in treasuries.

Once again The Kingfish was right. Dr. Doom now says the same thing about Treasury bonds The Kingfish said a few weeks ago.

"The Federal Reserve has no option but to start buying Treasurys as the government's needs for financing are huge, but the government bond market is a disaster in the making, Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC....
The yield on the 30-year Treasurys touched a low of 2.51 percent last year in December but now it is back up at 3.77 percent, he said.
"Yields have already backed up pretty substantially and I tell you, I think the US government bond market is a disaster waiting to happen for the simple reason that the requirements of the government to cover its fiscal deficit will be very, very high," Faber said.
"The Federal Reserve will have to buy Treasurys, otherwise yields will go up substantially," he said, adding that as their reserves were dwindling, foreign investors were likely to scale down their purchases.
But there will be a time when the Federal Reserve will have to increase interest rates to fight inflation, and it will be reluctant to do so because the cost of servicing government debt will rise substantially.
"So we'll go into high inflation rates one day," Faber said.
The stock market is likely to continue its bounce at least for a while, but the outlook is bleak, he added.

"I think we may still have a rally (in the S&P) until about the end of April and probably then a total collapse in the second half of the year sometimes, when it becomes clear that the economy is a total disaster," Faber said." Dr. Doom's Gloom

Past quotes by me on this site:
"what will happen when trillions in Treasuries are dumped on the market while demand from China and Japan decrease as they deal with their own recessions? Supply and demand don't change in a recession and the price for treasuries will eventually drop, sending interest rates higher. What is Obama going to do when he gets his way and 18 months from now interest rates are at least ten percent? More deficit spending financed by treasuries becoming more worthless?"

"See the dilemma the Fed is in? One one side it is trying to keep interest rates low so as to stimulate private borrowing. On the other side it is printing more money because of poorly-thought out stimulus plans (keep in mind the Fed created over two TRILLION dollars in new money last year). It will be difficult if not almost impossible for the Fed to do both as investors will demand higher yields for Treasuries as they become worth less due to more spending (thank you Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, and Obama). If something doesn't change, a train wreck is coming"

"For those of you who didn't get that or happen to be journalists, here is the plain-English version: the only way Obama can finance his increased spending is to issue more treasuries. The problem is, as they become worth less money because there are many more of them, the markets are going to quit buying them unless their yields increase (The relationship of bonds to yields is as the price of the bond falls, the yield or interest rate on them increases.) This will in turn force mortgage rates to increase as the interest rate on a mortgage is dependent on the 10-year treasury bond. Credit cards and other forms of lending will see their corresponding interest rates increase as well, further contracting consumer demand and thus damaging the economy some more."

This has nothing to do with partisan politics or blaming Bush or Obama as yield curves don't belong to political parties. Think getting some extra money for Medicaid is worth it when you are paying 12% on a house note? What do you think it will do to the economy when interest rates have shot up and kill demand? Think there is a liquidity problem now? Just wait until they get to 10%. What are you going to do when the government needs to raise interest rates to fight inflation but can't because Obama financed these deficits with short-term treasury bonds that are much higher? Such a scenario will be very expensive if it occurs. Its the sort of disaster that bankrupts governments overnight.

Ponder this on the tree of woe.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nice. Dodd is the one who protected the AIG bonuses.

The same Chris Dodd who was on Angelo's payroll. The same Chris Dodd who today calls for taxing these bonuses. By the way, Kingfish is the one who read the original bailout back in September and warned you these comp plans were protected (the AIG bailout was not part of that legislation). Guess who were the top two recipients of AIG's campaign donations? Dodd and Obama. They both recieved over $100,000 each. Nice work if you can get it

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Monday, March 16, 2009

"I trusted these guys"

While markets collapse and 401k plans disappear, one must wonder why the financial press failed to warn us about Wall Street's house of cards. Commercials blared how well they understood the markets, how they looked out for your money, and gave you the information you needed to make the right decisions. As the markets and economy implode, they still merrily chirp away on tv as if nothing ever happened with no accountability for their sloppy reporting as the last few years.

The old video (Its a classic on Youtube) of Peter Schiff is Cassandra-like in nature as his predictions of doom and gloom for the markets are ridiculed by the gurus and stock babes who didn't want to hear anything that might upset the applecart. The same stock babes and gurus who forgot everything and learned nothing from the subprime mortgage implosion and the bursting of the tech bubble in the late 1990's. The business media missed it then as they acted as cheerleaders instead of journalists. Sound familiar? Who can forget Herera and Haines gushing over the "new economy" as tech stocks suddenly sold for hundreds of dollars every day on the Squawk Box? So busy were they marveling over this "new economy" they forgot to ask some old questions such as how these internet companies were going to turn a profit. Its sooooo much easier to cover a first downs and yards per rush, oops, I meant stock price, than it is to read a balance sheet or income statement that at times CNBC became ESPN. The Nasdaq crash, blindsided them as they never seemed to think that they might actually be witnesseing the creation of a bubble.

A network reporting financial news is one thing, a network advertising every hour "In Cramer We Trust" and "Fast Money" (Or is it Easy Money, Mo Money, or My Money, they all run together after awhile.) is something entirely different. If CNBC and others are going to go down that road, then they better not write checks their asses can't cash when the you-know-what hits the fan. Its rather insulting for a Cramer to claim as he did last week "No one could have seen this coming" or "This was a once in a lifetime event" when hard-nosed research would have provided them with the real story. Anyone who read the balance sheets, actually learned what was taking place on Wall Street, and just asked simple yet critical questions could have figured out something wasn't right.

A mere blogger like me warned nearly 18 months ago Fannie and Freddie had ticking time bombs on their balance sheets. Schiff warned on any show that would give him a microphone what was coming down the river. Karl Denninger, a trader, predicted with deadly accuracy in 2006 everything that has taken place in the economy for the last two years. When he dared to point out on Donnie Deutsch the emperor had no clothes, Cramer went ballistic and could not believe someone would dare challenge the CNBC media octapus as it was more important to CNBC and others to promote their insider-friendly agenda.
While they BS'ed on Power Lunch with a CEO, the Mish's and Schiff's were actually sitting down and reading balance sheets, studying charts, asking questions, and knocking on the wood panel on the wall, listening for the hollow sound (Sorry, I just read All the King's Men and have been looking for a chance to work that passage into a post.).

None of these reporters questioned the SEC's 2004 decision removing leverage limits on investment banks and other institutions in 2004. They just reported "The SEC voted today to remove leverage limits, a move supporters say will allow them to make more efficient use of capital." They never asked "Is this a good idea" or "won't this leave our financial system heavily exposed if the investment banks over-leverage themselves?" or "What will the effect be if they go under?" No one asked questions when Fannie Mae was busted for fraud. They didn't see anything wrong with investments leveraging themselves at 30:1 ratios. When OFHEO reported in 2006 Fannie was making too many risky loans, CNBC and Bloomberg yawned. However, Cramer and Kudlow had a good food fight that day that got high ratings.

Even today, despite the fact housing crisis is one of the biggest problems today, the business networks still do not have any reporters with mortgage or real estate experience. Staurt Varney wails how the the government has done everything it can and its not fair consumers aren't responding while I'm reading a post on Naked Capitalism reporting in detail why consumers are spooked and why the economy is contracting. The money honeys ask if every uptick in the Dow means we have reached the bottom when no one ever knows whether a bottom has been reached until several months after it has been reached. They also report that this bottom should behave like other market bottoms when the conditions that created this crisis are much different than past crashes. Few of them ask what effect Obama's deficit spending will have on the bond markets. The Money Honeys argue we need housing prices to stop falling while Glenn Beck accurately points out with his chart housing prices have a natural level, keeping them from reaching that price level will only mean more pain for the economy, and they still have to fall some more before they reach their natural levels. That would require actual research from the "experts" so naturally they don't discuss this little aspect of housing prices.

Perhaps its not the fault of the reporters for missing these stories as a qiuck review of their online profiles reveals something not really discussed in the media: most of the reporters on the business news channels are not really qualified to cover the markets and the economy. Most of the reporters are journalists. Many of them have won awards for their reporting and are considered by there peers in journalism to be top-notch reporters.

The problem is they are reporters and few have any background in finance or economics. At CNBC, 13 of the 23 anchors and reporters have NO business or finance experience. Two more have very light backgrounds in such fields: the Money Honey has a minor in economics and another one spent one year fresh out of college at Goldman Sachs (glorified gopher.). While several have very respectable journalism resumes, only 8 of the 23 have any finance or economic backgrounds of any substance (See below for names and histories). At Fox Business News where 11 of 24 had any business backgrounds of substance. There is nothing wrong with hiring reporters with no finance experience to work at CNBC, Bloomberg, or FBN. However, there is something wrong with a network touting itself as the expert on the markets and investing when a large portion of its anchors and reporters don't have any expertise in these fields.

The business networks need to decide what they want to be: true business news channels reporting on what makes the markets tick or an insider's club occasionally giving us a glimpse into their world. They have had it both ways for years and still seem surprised we would expect them to behave any differently. Was anyone nauseated as I was while listening to Cramer as he was gutted by Stewart on The Daily Show: "I trusted these guys." "He hired me. I trusted him." "I've known him for twenty years." "Our real sin was to believe it (the market) would keep going up."

Does anyone think Cramer is this naive or that he really thought the market would always go up? Cramer is no dummy and didn't make millions managing hedge funds by just believing what CEO's told him. Cramer probably saw CNBC as a way to make money and a name for himself so he decided to play the game while touting himself as a financial John the Baptist shouting the truth from Wall Street wilderness. Instead, Cramer treated as us fools for years then claimed he "trusted" these guys when he got caught by Stewart. Yet we should put our trust in Cramer.

Unfortunately we now live in a society that rewards failure and ignores accountability. The financial news networks play their games: abdicating their roles as our watchdogs of the business community while schmoozing with the people who caused our economy to melt down. There is still no investigative reporting, no calls for indictments or prosecutions, no serious analysis, just a gee whiz, its a shame we got here, how do we get out of this mess. The financial press is a complete disgrace but then again, so are many other things these days.


Reporters with journalism-only backgrounds:
Sue Herera, Julia Boorstin, Mark Haines, Scott Cohn, Margaret Brennan, David Faber, Charles Gasparino, Bill Griffeth, Mike Hegedus, Mike Huckman, Dennis Kneale, Steve Liesman, Tyler Mathison, Christine Tan, Hampton Pearson, Becky Quick, Scott Wapner, Dianna Olick, Jane Wells, Brian Schactman,

Reporters with finance, business, or economics backgrounds:
Philipi Lebeau: Van Kampen, LeBeau held a Series 6 license.
Melissa Lee: consultant at Mercer Management Consulting. Her cases focused on the banking and credit card sectors
Joe Kernan: Ten year career as a stockbroker. Merrill Lynch, Vice-President at both EF Hutton and Smith Barney. Focusing on small-to-medium-sized corporations, Kernan managed corporate cash accounts and qualified retirement plans in addition to key employees’ personal assets
Rebecca Jarvis: an investment banker with Banc of America Securities. Analyzed and advised $6 billion in mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt transactions. Prior to that, she executed interest rate trades on Citigroup's foreign exchange desk in London.
Melissa Francis: B.A. in Eonomics from Harvard University. Executive editor of the Harvard College Economist Magazine
Erin Burnett: Began her career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an investment banking analyst- focused on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. (Gopher)
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: bachelor's degree in economics from Wellesley College.
Ross Westgate: 6 years in London, trained as a stockbroker, working with private clients
Trish Regan: began her career working for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and D.E. Shaw & Co.
Bob Pisani: taught real estate at Wharton
Mary Thompson: worked at Fidelity Investments in Boston for four years where she held a variety of sales positions
Santelli: A veteran trader and financial executive, Santelli has provided live reports on the markets in print and on local and national radio and television. He joined CNBC from the Institutional Financial Futures and Options at Sanwa Futures, L.L.C. There, he was a vice president handling institutional trading and hedge accounts for a variety of futures related products.
Prior to that, Santelli worked as vice president of Institutional Futures and Options at Rand Financial Services, Inc., served as managing director at the Derivative Products Group of Geldermann, Inc., and was Vice President in charge of Interest Rate Futures and Options at the Chicago Board of Trade for Drexel, Burnham, Lambert. Santelli began his career in 1979 as a trader and order filler at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in a variety of markets including gold, lumber, CD's, T-bills, foreign currencies and livestock. Santelli has been a member of both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Fox Business News Channel:
Reporters with journalism-only backgrounds:
David Asman, Cheryl Casone, Adam Shapiro, Dagen McDowell, Jenna Lee, Nicole Petallides, Rebecca Diamond, Rich Edsen, Liz Clayman, Neal Cavuto, Connell McShane, Jeff Flock, Robert Gray, Elizabeth McDonald

Reporters with finance, business, or economics backgrounds:
Ashley Webster: Six years in London, banking sector for Bank of Montreal and Lloyds Bank
Eric Bolling: independent trader based out of the New York Mercantile Exchange. He specialized in trading a variety of commodities such as crude oil, gold and agricultural commodities. He served on the NYMEX’s Board of Directors for five years, and subsequently acted as a strategic advisor there.
Louise Pennell: Bachelor of Business degree
Peter Barnes: Wharton MBA
Shibani Joshi : MBA from Harvard Business School, completed the investment banking analyst program at Morgan Stanley, bachelor's degree in finance & accounting at the University of Oklahoma.
Tom Sullivan: He also has more than a decade of experience in financial services, serving as a founding partner of The Sullivan Group, an investment management firm that is now part of the Premier Client Group of Wachovia Securities. Sullivan holds degrees in business and accounting. He attended Seattle University, the University of Washington, and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program
Stuart Varney: Graduated from London School of Economics.
Alexis Glick: Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, headed the New York Stock Exchange Floor Operations. A member of the New York Stock Exchange since 2002, she was the first and youngest woman to manage such an operation for a bulge bracket firm, and served as one of its top producers on the Listed Equity Trading Desk. She began her career as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in the equities division.
Brian Sullivan: Sullivan traded chemical commodities for Mitsubishi International
Cody Willard: Principal of an investment management company. Regular featured economist and stock picker on CNBC's ''Kudlow & Company." Willard earned a bachelor's degree in economics at the University of New Mexico.
Sandra Smith: Director of Institutional Sales and Trading at Terra Nova Institutional, handled investment management and hedge fund accounts. trader at Hermitage Capital.
Tracy Byrnes (Fox): Byrnes began her career at Ernst & Young LLP as a senior accountant. A graduate of Lehigh University with a B.A. in Economics and English She received her Master of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from Rutgers University Graduate School of Management.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Told you

My prediction when the bailout passed:

"Kingfish said...
Actually stocks dropped 200 points or so from the pre-voting price for the day, where it was the highest. When they started voting, it dropped like a rock.

My prediction? In 6 months we are back here again.
October 3, 2008 4:43 PM "

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New Study: stimulus plan will stimulate a contraction in economy.

Found a little study that will cause the Krugonauts to gnash their teeth as it takes issue with the assertion by Krugman, the Obama administration, and Keynesians that more government spending will stimulate the economy. Such advocates argue that for every dollar spent by government, GDP increases 1.5 times. A new study, New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers by Drs. Cogan, Cwik, Taylor, and Wieland*, concludes the opposite is true and that such spending puts a drag on the economy.

From the abstract:
"Renewed interest in fiscal policy has increased the use of quantitative models to evaluate policy. ..... Government spending multipliers in an alternative empirically-estimated and widely-cited new Keynesian model are much smaller than in these old Keynesian models; the estimated stimulus is extremely small with GDP and employment effects only one-sixth as large and with private sector employment impacts likely to be even smaller."

The remaining quotes are from the study itself. The study cites on flaw in the models that posit a multiplier of 1.5:
"(Such models) assume that the Federal Reserve pegs the interest rate—the
federal funds rate—at the current level of zero for as long as their simulations run. Given their assumption that the spending increase is permanent, this means forever
..." (Does anyone think interest levels will stay at zero?)

However, the study then states such a model will cause.........hyperinflation:
"With the Fed holding the nominal interest rate constant at the current value near zero, and thus below inflation, the lower real rate would cause inflation to rise and accelerate without limit. Thus the combination of a permanent increase in government spending and the Fed setting the interest rate at zero would lead to hyperinflation..."

The study also argues that in addition to hyperinflation, the economy will contract more and more as so-called stimulus spending increases:
"The Smets-Wouters model predicts that the increase in GDP by the end of 2009 is
smaller than the increase in government expenditures itself; that is, the multiplier is less than one. Thus, the model predicts that government “stimulus” quickly produces a permanent contraction in private sector investment and/or consumption. Note that the magnitude of the contraction grows over time. By the end of 2012, for each dollar of “stimulus”, the flow of goods and services produced by the private sector falls by sixty cents

Read the rest of the study (its only 21 pages, double-spaced): http://www.volkerwieland.com/docs/CCTW%20Mar%202.pdf

*"John F. Cogan is the Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University. John B. Taylor is the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. Tobias Cwik is a doctoral candidate in economics at Goethe University Frankfurt. Volker Wieland is Professor for Monetary Theory and Policy at Goethe University of Frankfurt and Willem Duisenberg Research Fellow at the European Central Bank."

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CNBC, Clarion-Ledger, what's the difference?

Uh-oh, Jeff Ayres at the Clarion-Ledger is trying to write about the housing market again. If you want to see a really poorly-written article, read his story. Shouldn't come as a surprise as he recently wrote a story about the so-called decline in local housing values while admitting he actually did not use any sales data.

Mr. Ayres also fails to ask one basic question in his story: how much sense can it make for the government to fund all of these housing initiatives when the foreclosure rate for FHA no-money down programs is TRIPLE the rate for FHA mortgages where the borrower is required to make a down payment?

These programs are not a good idea as what caused this entire housing crisis was giving loans to people who had no business getting a mortgage. The numbers don't lie: a down payment, decent credit, stable job with decent income, and the judgement to not bite off more than one can chew in terms of a housing payment mean a much lower default rate. Unfortunately for the readers, Mr. Ayres did not ask if throwing more money at riskier borrowers would only make the problem worse.

I'm starting to think this guy is qualified for CNBC.

Earlier Post on Ayres' sloppy reporting

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Saturday, March 14, 2009


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New conservative media leader?

From Marketwatch:
"The hard work is paying off. As Forbes.com recently noted, "It has taken a decade but Newsmax is now a news powerhouse and a must-read on the conservative media circuit."
Last year, Newsmax racked up total revenue of $24 million, up from 2007's $19 million -- an impressive outcome during an industry-wide recession.
Based in West Palm Beach, Fla., Newsmax shrewdly targets its news to a broad base of Republicans. Ruddy, 44, is a devout Republican, yet he excoriated George W. Bush's failures and the spend-happy Republican Congress. His Newsmax holdings, which include a magazine and newsletters, have strived to stay true to the ideals of Ronald Reagan, the most beloved Republican of his time. But he doesn't mind praising the Democrats, either......"
Marketwatch Story

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Little treat of sorts for you today

Here are some rare color photos of the Great Depression:
http://www.pdnphotooftheday.com/2009/03/628 Quality is really good.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

NMC has a new gig.

A grave disturbance in the force felt I for the last few days and now made clear things are. NMC has left FOLO and opened up a new blog: Nmisscommentor.com. His new blog can be found at http://www.nmisscommentor.com where he will pen his legal commentary, culinary thoughts, and musings about the blues. Enjoy.

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"Blind with rage"

Came across this while reading the Faye Peterson quotes at the JFP:

"And back on Wal-Mart, if I may. It makes me simply blind with rage — OK, breathe, Donna — to hear that progressive advocates, such as an organization locally I'm involved with, buys food and supplies at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club. Is there such a connect that people have to go somewhere to get something a few cents cheaper when they know that a corporation is so bad for the very people they purport to serve?
I'm sorry, it's wrong.
In our company, it is against the rules to buy anything for us at Wal-Mart or Sam's. You've got to walk your own talk.
I will go to a Target or Kroger sometimes -- but only after I get what I can at McDade's, Rainbow, etc., or even Walgreen's because, by damn, they have long maintained drugstores in urban areas and downtowns. And that deserves our business as a result.
But I go to local drugstores like Brent's and the one Josh Hailey's daddy runs in Maywood (forget the name at the moment) for actual prescriptions!
In other words, we don't have to be hardcore purists to prioritize trading firt with businesses that support our community. Start with McDade's—they easily fill office needs!posted by ladd on 03/11/09 at 04:35 PM"

I'm sure it does anger you so. Have no doubt about that whatsoever.

By the way, nice to see she doesn't support her union buddies at Kroger. You'd think a "progressive" would support a union store and I'm saying that as a proud former member of the UFCW.

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OK, Ladd, I will take up your challenge

Former Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson announced a week ago she is running for Mayor of Jackson. Madame DeLadd had the following to say about Ms. Peterson:

"Well, you have to say one thing for Peterson: She is one tough woman. I've never quite seen the level of venom hoisted on anyone as she has gotten from political opponents (and sexist pigs) and she simply lets it roll off and keeps going.
One thing I dread, though: The bare mention of her name brings out some of the most base, abhorrent sexism from some people in this town, and at least one of them is a woman. Fortunately, we now have a "moderation" system in place for when those types show up.
Sadly, for years, Melton has pushed these kinds of memes about her, and many people parrot them without even knowing where they came from. posted by ladd on 03/07/09 at 08:41 AM"

Well, Ladd, I'll take up your challenge. Some of us don't like Ms. Peterson not because she is a woman or black but because we don't like specific actions she took while District Attorney. You want us to name a specific case and not just repeat so-called myths or generalizations? You got it. Faye Peterson intentionally tanked a case involving a gunman on a school campus. The son (and convicted drug felon) of a JSU Department head took a gun to the University and shot another student by the bookstore. The shooter just happened to be the nephew of Credell Calhoun and enjoyed the open support of many local black politicians. How did Faye throw the case you ask? Simple:
1. Did not call the victim before the grand jury.
2. Did not call the arresting officer and main witness before the grand jury.
3. Did not charge Mack with possession of a gun on a school campus. There is no self-defense defense for this claim.

When lightly questioned about it by Ladd on her radio show, Ms. Peterson said she didn't call these witnesses because she thought it was a good case of self-defense. Doesn't matter as the law on such gun possession is pretty clear. Then there is the case of the Heather Spencer case where the family was not notified of Robbie Bell's indictment for three weeks and learned about it by reading the newspaper. I've been told by them how little contact they had from Faye Peterson's office and how badly they were treated by them.

So the next time Ladd brazenly dares anyone to show specific cases where Ms. Peterson did a bad job, throw these at her. Just remember when it comes to a case like Melton/Mac are facing with the Irby case right now, Ms. Peterson has already shown her true colors and they are yellow. Its not about her sex or race but what her character was when it counted.

Note: Just found another case. There was a serial rapist sentenced to 15 years in jail this week. The victim first went to Faye Peterson's office four years ago. Nothing happened until Smith assumed office.

Earlier posts:

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Cramer/Stewart: Round IV

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS