Sunday, October 31, 2010

Michael Russnow: 2010 elections: Obama Marc Antoine needs to define this right

-Is this just me or does that Shakespeare was right when he rejected the masses so effectively in Julius Caesar? Are we rabble just, which twist and turn to the emotional rhetoric without the ability to think for ourselves?

Two years ago our country was in a crisis of so many ways, not the least was the economic turmoil that have caused the bankruptcy almost worldwide and the tragedy of so many lives lost in unnecessary wars persisted in the Middle East.


There are other problems of course, more important than others but all contributing factor to our misfortunes.If we changed of course with a landslide that elected our first bi-raciale President who won not only with a significant majority, but therefore unlikely supported Republican States such as Virginia and Indiana.

The majority of the Democratic Congress is almost irreversible, with 60 votes in the Senate and the voices of save in the House of représentants.Les people were eager to change, which was indeed a bit slow to be forthcoming.

Part of it is due to Barack Obama pledge and stubborn insistence that his presidency would be composed of things we do given avant.Son administration would not in politics and it could affect the Republicans, who had not had the the thanks to do the same for the Democrats in 2000, even though more than people voted for Al Gore than George W. Bush..

Obama attempts were arrested and he took a year or for him to go into account that the Republicans achieved right when they took her fonctions.Il had said, Hey, "we care not how we got here, but we're here and we will be running the show." So finally, after the Democrats have lost their majority as a result of the death of Senator Ted Kennedy and the election of Republican Scott Brown has been acting difficult when they pushed by landmark, health care package which had already passed the Senate and the House in persuading still formidable democratic majority in the House to accept the Bill in the Senate.

Republicans am, but they work, a feat that had escaped the nation since Harry Truman attempted to ball rolling sixty years ago. A fiscal stimulus package was also transmitted, as well as reforms in the credit card industry.Folks, much progress has been made, and the administration has been in Office less than two years.

However, because there is still much unemployment, even if job losses have declined and there is still much to solve, there is a roll the buttocks of fate fervor sweeping the nation.Most experts predict definitive loss of the Chamber - a huge turnaround - and a Senate even with Democrats in control, what will be the majority as the name.

Of course, this is because while the Republicans are primarily a stripe, except for the two women, who represent the State of Maine, there are so many different types of democracy across the nation, it's a miracle when Trues reforms are made of tissue which reminds us a party when the FDR, Truman f. John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson was in charge.

The reality is that we are on target to improve things, and things are better that they were two years if we are forced to paraphrase request Ronald Reagan for us in 1980, "are you better off that you were four years ago."We are in excellent shape, the finished work, the answer is of course, aucun.Mais should stop and hand the reins of power to the spokespersons of the large enterprises and the so-called moral, folks who proclaim themselves as the only true American conspiracy because they promote discrimination against immigrants and denounce gay patriotic who want to serve in the army? to me, this is a self.

But it seems we are on the verge of doing so, and if it happens then the country deserves what he fait.Il will be largely dependent on short-sighted and a high degree of racism by those who believe that a guy with a very dark Kenyan father has somewhat become our President self interest Act.

And media like controversy and promoting governmental disorders, undoubtedly increased ratings of Brian Williams at NBC, those of Katie Couric on CBS, Diane Sawyer on ABC and Anderson Cooper on CNN.

There is still time to stop the madness and give leaders that we elected the time to do what must be fait.Disons tweet on Twitter rant on Facebook or absurd position Tea Party candidate outlined on YouTube.Je must admit I'm not too optimiste.Comme I mentioned at the beginning, William Shakespeare included people and their weaknesses too much and he excelled in dramatic form which could well be enclosing our nation as transfigures in modern tragedy.

Site Web de Michael Russnow is


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Joe Costello: The Democrats are running on empty

By Joe Costello, Director of communication for Jerry Brown 1992 presidential campaign was Senior Advisor to Howard Dean's effort in 2004 who writes achein and the New Deal 2.0

Without significant reforms, our economy – and our policy – will continue to suffer.

City of New York, New York from dreams
While in New York and not always what it seems
You can be fooled if you are coming from out of town
But I am down by law, I know that my way around
Too many, too many people, too
Grand Master Flash and the Furious five

David Leonhardt has a piece in the New York Times about how the economy is hurting Obama and the démocrates.Il is one of those articles that demonstrates that when you're reading in the world, sometimes you must check if you accidentally clicked on the onion school.two punchlines:

On the evening of December 3, the Bureau of Labor Statistics sent a copy of advance report jobs tomorrow morning at the House…White it showed that job losses had ceased in November, after two years of large White House baisses.Aides Exult. Christina Romer, Senior Economist of the page, brought a copy of the numbers for the Oval Office and President Obama adopted her. A photograph of the moment, with a tree at the offshore side, was suspended in the Office of the Council of economic advisers.The good news - and optimism - continue for the next few months.


"The only health care bill is the most important piece and the deeper social policy internally in my life, said Neera thymine, head of operating age 40 years of the Liberal Center for American Progress, who has worked in the administrations of Clinton and Obama and was a senior official from Hillary Clinton campaign."In all, added Ms. Tanden, "it is difficult to see a more productive session of the Congress for the decades".

Democrats are discovering that "productive" is in the eye of the subjective.In the meantime, Ms Tanden do seem to get the memo that the Democrats are not running on their "internal the deepest and most important piece of social policy."

And surrender completely regarding any financial reform, where Democrats proved themselves for all those who honestly care to examine only loyal to Wall Street and the big banks, continues to be a drag on any kind of economic revival.The WSJ has an excellent piece on how profits of all banks mailed this quarter by their reserves of raids shored against claims douteuses.En because in the course of the housing market is better, right?States of the piece:

The largest banks nearly doubled their collective earnings in the third quarter just by injecting $ 8.1 billion in net income funds that they had set aside to cover loan losses.

There are 18 commercial banks in the United States at least 50 billion dollars in assets, and together they earned adjusted to $ 16.8 billion in the third quarter.These benefits, half, 48% were drawing on call bankers loan losses reserves, according to an analysis by Dow Jones Newswires.A year ago, 18 same banks earned 6.2 billion quarterly profit; at this time, they added more than 7.8 billion for the same reserves, a manoeuvre which reduces profits .the ' analysis omits a load of noncash 10.4 billion Bank of America Corp. income disclosed to the third quarter.

Finally, Chris Whalen has a compelling piece on how, until restructure us and reform of the financial sector, we have no economic vitality.Whalen wrote:

Because President Barack Obama and leaders of both political parties are not willing to solve the housing crisis and wasting impacts on the largest banks, it will be no growth and no net creation of jobs for the next White House Obama because années.Et United States simply ignore the crisis million owners Americans are deeply underwater and will eventually be default on their loans, the efforts of the Fed to the revival of the American economy and particularly consumer spending will be futiles.Comme Alan Meltzer found Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio earlier this year: "This is not a monetary problem."

Forget Secretary of the Treasury Board Tim Geithner lie about the relatively low at American International Group (AIG), loss fraud and now underway in Washington to protect banks TBTF and ESE obfuscation totals in the trillions of dollars and increase the level of trahison.Et the sad part is that all the tactics and the apology by the Federal Reserve us and the White House will be effacé.essayer zombie banks and the sea as is along until operational maintenance of bad debt costs affects the leur.puis they will be rescued or restructured - new-.

Make no mistake people, there is a criminal element at the top of our financial sector, who work with the complicity and a large part of our class. policy guilt until we reform our policy and industry financial, did we not vitality économique.Et we not reform, until it is required and undertaken by the américain.voilà people where we are.

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Is Frank Kratovil Le Plus track of disappearance Democrat in Congress?

Representative of the first year of University Frank Kratovil is perhaps the Democratic incumbent more endangered and that says something in a year full of vulnerable Democrats. Kratovil won the 1st district of Maryland in 2008...

The first year of University representative Frank Kratovil is perhaps the Democratic incumbent more in endangered, and said something in a year full of Democrats vulnérables.Kratovil won the 1st district of Maryland in 2008...

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Jay Williams, Ph. d.: no step at the meeting? Try another approach

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By now you have heard that an inactive lifestyle contributes not only to weight gain, but also to elevated blood fats, cardiovascular disease, several kinds of cancer and reduced blood sugar regulation. Lack of physical activity/movement also increases depression, memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and a host of other emotional and physical problems.

The Surgeon General's report on Physical Activity and Health stated that physical inactivity and low levels of cardiovascular fitness are among the strongest risk factors for death, more so than cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and obesity. Go ahead and read that last sentence again. Research is making it clear that putting on our sneakers is not just about looking good or becoming buff. Sedentary lifestyles are responsible for coronary heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer and diabetes deaths each year, according to the President's Shape of the Nation report.

Having heard this bad news, imagine that today you hold the key to staying (or getting) well, feeling good and living joyfully, simply by starting a healthy lifestyle program that includes exercise.

Choose an Activity That Includes the Three F's: Fun, Feels Good, Fits Into Your Schedule

When exercise becomes a chore and you are counting the minutes until it is over, chances are you will be included in the 70 percent of people that quit. (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise). Pick a fun activity (you don't even have to call it exercise) that you look forward to. Research on laboratory animals has proven that when forced to exercise (rather than voluntary activity), stress hormones skyrocketed even higher than levels of non-exercising animals. I have observed this response in many of my clients over the years.

Exercise at an intensity that feels good. For decades a "no pain, no gain" philosophy has dominated the fitness industry and continues to hang around despite ongoing research that reveals a moderate approach to exercise strengthens our immune system, balances our hormones, reduces stress and its side effects, and can miraculously improve memory and mood. Dean Ornish, M.D., the authority on reversing disease with lifestyle modification, has scientifically proven that a program that includes low-to-moderate activity can not only prevent disease, but even reverse certain diseases. And it is a no-brainer that a moderate approach to exercise feels good. If it feels good chances are you will stick with it. Consistency is important.

More good news. You can break it up into manageable amounts of time so it fits into your schedule. Take a short walk before work and add another 15 minutes at lunch time. When you start to move at a moderate enjoyable pace, doing something you like to do, you will soon find that the days you move your body are the days that you feel better, have more energy and naturally make healthier food choices. The icing on the day is a better night's sleep!

Intensity and Duration Are Key

As in all lifestyle choices, one size does not fit all. To determine what your personal low-to-moderate intensity activity zone is you can simply use your age and resting heart rate in our Zone Calculator.

Exercising at the correct level of intensity is essential. Exercise too hard and you speed up the aging process, risk injury and exhaustion, increase inflammation, or you get tired and stop exercising altogether. On the other hand, if you don't move that body with a degree of effort, you may not get the results you want. A good tactic to measure intensity is to monitor your heart rate as you exercise.

Duration equals the number of minutes you accumulate in a day. Start out with 20 minutes and increase by five a week as your endurance becomes stronger. Our new mantra then becomes: low intensity + long duration = a lean and healthy body.

The 24-Hour Pay Back

  • Increased blood flow to the muscles, skin, brain and sex organs
  • A burst of energizing hormones
  • Increased stimulation to the nervous system to produce chemicals called endorphins that elevate mood and produce feelings of well-being and self confidence
  • Greater production of the enzymes that make you a better fat burner for the next 24 hours, and gives an immediate boost to your sluggish metabolism

Many people find that exercising with others keeps them motivated and excited about their workouts. Here are some fun tips for extending your exercise network:

  • Organize a get-together of a hike and healthy lunch rather than cocktails and a heavy dinner.
  • Exercise with your partner. Research shows that exercising with your partner increases your odds of sticking with it.
  • Walk with friends or colleagues at lunchtime, or invite them to workout to an exercise tape with you on the weekend.
  • Start an early morning power-walking club in your neighborhood or office complex. All it takes is getting up 30 to 40 minutes earlier.
  • Take your kids to the park and do a power walk around the perimeter while they play on the swings.
  • Invite your friends to go dancing instead of grabbing a pizza and beer. Everything from salsa classes to nightclubing burns tons of calories.

You hold that key to turning your life around in the next 24 hours. Get up. Get going. Be well.

For more information on simple changes that can impact your health in the next 24 hours, visit


President's 2010 Shape of the Nation report

Lehmann, R., et al. "Alterations of Lipolytic Enzymes and High-density Lipoprotein Subfractions Induced by Physical Activity in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus." European Journal of Clinical Investigation , 2001, 31, 37-44.

Bloomfield, Harold, and Cooper, Robert. "The Power Of 5: Hundreds of 5-Second to 5-Minute Scientific Shortcuts to Ignite Your Energy, Burn Fat, Stop Aging, and Revitalize Your Love Life:

McBride, J.M., et al. "Effect of resistance exercise on free radical production.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1998, 30(1), 67-72.

Leeuwenburgh, Jill, and Leichtweis, S., et al. "Oxidative Stress and Aging: Role of Exercise and its Influences on Antioxidant Systems." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1998, 854, 102-17.

Lee, I.M., et al. "Physical Activity and Coronary Heart Disease in Women: Is No Pain, No Gain Passe?" Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, 21, 285(11), 1447-54.

MacDonald, J.R., et al. "Bouts of Mild- to Moderate-intensity Exercise May be Beneficial in the Control of Hypertension. The Effects of Exercise Intensity on Post Exercise Hypotension." Journal of Human Hypertension, 1999, 13: 527- 31.


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Susan Smalley, Ph. d.: spirit body medicine: CAN you think and sites affect your physical health?

How you think and feel emotionally can contribute to your physical health and well-being - is simple. The list of scientific studies showing that point comes from various fields of study, including medicine, neuroscience, immunology, genetics, psychiatry and psychology.

Integrative medicine is becoming the examplar of approaches to health based on the importance of treating the whole person--mind, body and spirit, promoting health, prevention and treatment of disease .the ' spirit affects the body and the body affects the mind.

It is now well known that chronic stress is a significant contribution to the disease and the leading cause of death worldwide.Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression are rising in adults and children, and they are estimated to affect such two adult length of vie.Science shows that stress affects a wide range of physiological body, particularly the immune response States, but also important on Ageing (such as the Telomere shortening) factors. A recent study conducted at UCLA illustrates the powerful role social anxiety this anxiety can affect the inflammatory reaction of the organism, and other research shows how diseases of bodies such as irritable disease associated with brain States.

Thus the spirit is a powerful vector to reduce the health of the body.But on the other hand, it can be a powerful vector and to improve.

Yet modern medicine offers very little prescription of a physician to treat our spirit indicates when the issues dealing with the santé.Nous can be told to relax or less stressed, but very often there is no recourse to (apart from serious enough momentary prescription meds release) .c ' is where the role of the spirit and practical body such as meditation, tai chi, yoga or other forms of exercises adapted for mental health is needed.

Search, although still limited, indicating that mindfulness practices (exercises aimed at educating the present moment) are highly beneficial for the health and well-being, affecting a wide range of physiological and subjective, States including:

  • Stimulate the immune response in cancer and HIV patients.
  • Reduction of pain in patients with chronic pain, including those suffering from arthritis, back pain and headache, among others.
  • Improving the effectiveness of changing behaviour such as the reduction of smoking, weight loss programs and addiction.
  • Improving cardiovascular health coupled with an integrator of health care.
  • Reduce the risk of relapse into clinical depression in half compared to a standard treatment protocol.
  • Reduce anxiety and stress in a wide range of physical and mental health disorders.

The mechanisms of how mindfulness alters brain physiology and body is under investigation by the laboratories around the world, but preliminary results indicate changes in brain function and structure, immune cytokines, stress hormones and patterns of gene expression, to name a few.

The means by which mindfulness affects the health and well-being will be a matter of science for the coming decades, but what is already suggested is that it changes our relationship with the thoughts and emotions so that there is a level of "eccentricity" which arises where our experiences are considered less attached RTI ' a way, there is a greater sense of the awareness that these experiences are part of human and less personal or attached to oneself condition when practicing mindfulness exercises (a series of practices is available in books, courses and free downloads) on a regular basis, we can learn to relate to life experiences (if it is a disease, pain or negative mental thinking) with greater ease and serenity.

Scientific evidence suggests that it could and that it improves our health, regardless of the circumstances which may hinder.

For more information, see "fully present: science, art and practice of the Mindfulness" (Smalley and Winston, 2010) .for get free mindfulness practices go to and click on "Mindfulness meditations."


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Michelle Obama & Jill Biden Take The Stage In L.A. (PHOTOS)

It was ": Stop Next Los Angeles" Tuesday night as first lady Michelle Obama and second Lady Jill Biden continued their tour of the West Coast in a fundraising for Senator Barbara Boxer of California. And we...

It was ": Stop Next Los Angeles" Tuesday night as first lady Michelle Obama and second Lady Jill Biden continued their tour of the West Coast in a fundraising for Senator Barbara Boxer's Californie.Et we...

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Links 10/27/10

I am pleased to read that the NYT and its Burns of John Hachette-hack receive this smell in this regard. Burns appears to be angry.

I think that when he told him that he is "troubled" by the response. Often, a boot-licking intimidating thug is sincerely surprised when targets are angry and fight back.It think it is strange and hypocritical Greenwald accused of a "smear job" points clearly to the spirit of Burns call of the someone piece smear job is in itself a smear job.

I doubt that Burns think actually that bully than as a genuine because he really think power at bottom right, and nobody does below has the right to strike on the rise.

It also seeks to defend exhibit on the fond.Il is stupid enough to say "the NYT did engage in hagiography.On the contrary,

1. The NYT engages in hagiography all the time, especially on the page of the company.

To give a few examples particularly unworthy, the NYT have seen fit to give pieces down health "insurance" lobbyists and managers said supérieurs.Yves hard thought Ignagni coin has been lobbyists straight shorthand, a "PR factory".

This is the kind of mucus that the NYT deems worthy of hagiography.And of course Burns would be most familiar with the hagiography as quasi-Davidesque McChrystal magazine profile (he eats a meal a day and prosecution of large patios moccasins), and although I can't recall what parts have been written on Petraeus, I would be willing to bet on their tone.

2 Labour hit Burns Assange was obviously nothing other than negative hagiography.And he fraudulently poses as a "journalist".

However, I am clearly and openly advocate, however, in three parts that I wrote that discuss Assange, even though I am clearly in favour, I do not think that my positive tone is that pronounced or anywhere near as "hagiographical" as Burns hagiography négatif.Je go innuendo where positively the way in which the NYT goes in for negative innunendo.

The NYT is a shameful ramus of praise to the power of lies and hack gribouillage.Du Greenwald (or its firms) Assembly of new headlines from across worldwide, including "same politico" all mean the same thing: variations on "US encouraged torture by the Iraq forces", in contrast to "inmates fared worse in Iraq the NYT Hands", unique graphic perhaps the most devastating is that I fixed vus.Il to bare basic depravity of the "registration document" and by extension of the media all businesses.

People no longer has any use of this média.Il there's nothing but poison for nous.Nous should repudiate completely and certainly never refuse pay another cent for elle.Tel a boycott would destroy their once for all.

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These strategies concerns extend to commercial real estate

When we discussed ills which afflict residential mortgage securitizations, in particular, issues deep seated arising from the frequent if failure not widespread in the original parties to the agreement a trust measures stipulated in their own agreements necessary to transmit (ticket to the borrower) notes on securitization, legal vehicle. Although we mentioned the problems posed by these strategies, you screwed transmit the note in a RMBS, you are very wrong glued. These strategies related problems are rounded error. But this is not to minimize the problems that these strategies has created separately, inter alia with the integrity of the records in the and the manner in which these strategies has been abused in court proceedings. More precisely and oddly, seizures are often caught in these strategies. In 45 States, the note is the document review and the privilege, which is what is listed in these strategies, has no independent status. The noteholder which has the effect of lock, not a simple computer registry of the mortgage. Increasingly, State courts take a view very dim seizures of these strategies.

Housing Wire points out that these strategies was also a party excluding certain commercial real estate transactions once more likely to titrisées.Cependant transactions, HW assures readers that this is not a big problem, because commercial relatively little deals actually wind lock (I assumes that because most flows of cash and perhaps because of differences in the structures mechanic that most commercial loans sour RE missing are converted to cost).

Housing wire:

Possible locking with loans processed by mortgage electronic registration system, or these strategies can be widespread in commercial real estate, and securitizations impact may be minimal, according to Barclays Capital analysts…

BarCap, such prosecutions are spread outside of residential space, amphetamine seized on commercial support for mortgage loans.

But analysts believe there are of the legal remedies available to limit any adverse effects for investors.

"As such, it could be a scenario where these strategies from loans could see a possible extension in a calendar of winding-up of a few months, but this should not affect CMBS assessments at a fundamental level," according to BarCap.

Foreclosures are still low loans CMBS, standing at approximately 2.2% of the outstanding balance in September, according to analysts.

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Make the United States and China Kissed and above?

The recent game between the United States and China had the look of a full line. And last G20 weekend show seemed to offer more confirmation with Geithner proposes a cap on the current account surpluses aimed especially at China.

But now the Financial Times tells us that the relationships are already on the mend.

China and the United States were the basis of an agreement of the Summit of the Group of 20 leading nations month next on the definition of the objectives of reducing trade imbalances, according to the Chinese Central Bank Advisor.

Li Daokui, Member of the Committee of the Central Bank and Professor at Tsinghua University, monetary policy said Tuesday there were "progress" weekend Korea South, who had left debate "surface issue" G20 Finance Ministers meeting nominal "speaking from the bottom of global rebalancing trade foreign exchange rates.

"China shouldn't fear of numerical targets to reduce its trade surplus, Mr. Li has stated in an interview." China is well positioned politically and economically to this adaptation. ?

The Financial Times noted that Li is not a government official, but article argue that his remarks pointing to a genuine movement.

Or they do?The United States would never push hard China. Not that he couldn't pas.divers analysts have suggested that the United States holds the best cards were things to get ugly. But it is well known team Obama flashes in any staredown. China was linked if she spoke quite difficult.And it is not clear that the Treasury had his heart in this struggle. Geithner has constantly increased its rhetoric in response to pressure from Congress and composed return soon possible.Il seems clear that he intended to push the schedule of the war of words with China passed the divide Congress, given that legislative saber-racket probably lessen.

However, in the last serious financial crises, it is creditor nations such as China facing a more difficult than the debtor countries as the United States adjustment.Debtors is sufficient to worse by default or restructure their debts or to amortize their currencies. However, the creditors, actually have to restructure their economies so importante.Les United States and China have delay times day accounts with injections of high liquidity and in the case of China, a fairly heavy deficit.But the growth of China becomes more difficult to argue with each $1 growth requiring $ 7 to $ 8 debt.

But if Li is right and the United States and China are about to see if they can agree on a timetable for China to reduce surplus, what does that really mean?It seems that China is a trade out of immediate pressure on her to leave the rise renminbi to commit future actions.Ah, but these commitments will be specific and, if so, will China live up to them?Examine how his announcement June widely popular, that its moved to a monetary policy oriented market, proved to be a PR ploy that licked press.C' is to be the same?

In fact, if China wants to amortize the renminbi.It has already increased rates of interest in an attempt to refresh its économie.Wen Jiabao emphasized that exporters may not take an increase in currency and as much as 5 %.beaucoup would are differential with the US inflation faillite.Un 5% say United States 1.5%, China 6.5%, reached the same result even with ankle fixe.Il is particularly difficult to find a good reading on inflation in China it is reason to believe that China has no intention of letting the yuan rise and it would reduce if could (offset, is that the dollar has fallen compared to the euro and other currencies, China has a little more space so when you look in all its trading partners).

Therefore, it should not be surprising that after the leave the renminbi increased 2% over the last month, probably to avoid being marked as a manipulator of currency, arrimée China it lower almost one percent at lendemain.De Clusterstock:

We do not know if it is a problem or a medius or quoi.Il is certainly curious.


Talks on the G20 were supposedly productive and everything about the end of the wars of the currency and China and then sets the yuan above 6.69 after closure yesterday just above 6.66.

Elsewhere on the front of the currency, the dollar continues to progress against the yen after record low blows Monday.

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Guest post: is there a bubble on the bond market?

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By John Y Campbell, Adi Sunderam, and Luis M Viceira, first posted at VoxEU

The historically low yields on Treasury bonds are the hallmark of a bubble, according to some commentators. This column analyses the relationship between bond yields, the stock market, and inflation over the past 50 years. It finds that the riskiness of nominal bonds changes over time and that investors and policymakers can use the changing stock-bond correlation as a real-time measure of inflation expectations.

The yields on government bonds are at their lowest levels since the depths of the financial crisis in late 2008. On Monday 18 October, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes hit 2.52%, down from 3.85% at the beginning of the year. This movement is huge by the standards of the Treasury market. An investment in 10-year Treasury notes has returned about 11.4% this year.

Moreover, nominal bonds are exposed to inflation risk. Given that the use of unconventional monetary policy has increased uncertainty about inflation (e.g. Taylor 2009), one might expect investors to regard bonds as particularly risky and demand high yields (low prices). The persistence of historically low yields in the face of such risks has led some commentators, notably Siegel and Schwarz (2010), to suggest there is a bubble in the government bond market.

Bond valuation and risk

What determines how much investors are willing to pay for nominal bonds? There are three critical factors:

* expected inflation,
* real interest rates, and
* risk premia.

Since inflation erodes the real value of the payments bond investors receive, they must adjust prices for expected inflation to earn their target real interest rate. In addition, bonds are risky because realised inflation and interest rates can turn out to be different than investors’ expectations. Risk premia are compensation for bearing this risk.

In recent work, we examine how the riskiness of bonds varies over time (Viceira 2010; Campbell et al. 2009). In particular, we argue that inflation makes bonds risky at certain times, while giving them insurance, or hedge, value at others. For instance, if inflation rises unexpectedly when economic conditions deteriorate, the real value of bond payments falls unexpectedly. In this case, bond investors sustain losses when they likely need funds, and bonds are risky assets that investors should charge a risk premium for holding.

In contrast, if inflation falls unexpectedly when economic conditions deteriorate, bonds are like insurance, providing a windfall at the time investors need it the most. Bond investors should be willing to pay for this insurance value, just as they are willing to pay for other types of insurance. In this case, the inflation risk premium should actually be negative.
Historical evidence

The idea that the riskiness of nominal bonds changes over time is consistent with the evolution of conventional wisdom among investors. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, investors regarded bonds as risky. The famous bear Henry Kaufman, also known as “Dr. Doom”, argued that investors should completely avoid bonds unless they offered high risk premia. In contrast, by the early 2000s investors had come to regard bonds as a safe haven against the risk of a Japan-style episode of deflation.

This conventional wisdom is broadly consistent with the lessons of financial economics. In particular, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) uses the stock market as a proxy for economic conditions. This suggests a simple metric for the riskiness of an asset: how its returns co-move with stock market returns. Risky assets do poorly at the same time the stock market does poorly, causing investors to sustain losses at the worst possible moment. Such assets should have large risk premia to compensate investors for this risk. In contrast, safe assets do well when the stock market does poorly, adding insurance or hedge value to investor portfolios. These assets require small or even negative risk premia.

Figure 1. Stock and bond returns over time


Figure 1 plots the co-movement of stock and bond returns over time. The intuitions of the CAPM are broadly consistent with the way investors have historically viewed bonds. In the late 1970s and 1980s, stock and bond returns co-moved positively. When stocks did poorly bonds also did poorly, consistent with the idea that they were risky. By the 2000s, stock and bond returns co-moved negatively, suggesting that bonds had become safe havens.

Figure 2. Bond returns and inflation over time


Figure 2 shows that the behaviour of bond returns is related to the behaviour of inflation by plotting the historical co-movement of stock returns and inflation. Since inflation is bad for bond returns we invert the graph. The pattern is very similar to the co-movement of bond returns and stock returns: positive in the 1970s and 1980s and negative in the 2000s.

Thus, it appears that the changing risks of nominal bonds are related to the changing relationship between inflation and economic growth. When inflation is procyclical, as it was in the 1960s and 2000s, inflation falls at the same time that unemployment is rising and growth is falling. During these periods, stocks and nominal bonds are negatively correlated and nominal bonds hedge deflation risk. In contrast, when inflation is countercyclical, as it was in the 1970s and 1980s, inflation rises as unemployment rises and growth falls. In an environment of stagflation, stocks and nominal bonds are positively correlated and nominal bonds are risky.

Implications for the current environment

What can this model for bond prices tell us about the world today? Figure 3 shows the co-movement of stock and bond returns, our measure of riskiness, over the last five years. The series turned sharply negative once the financial crisis began in mid-2007, briefly returned towards zero by mid-2009, and has again been quite negative over the past year.

Figure 3. Stock and bond returns and riskiness over time


The stock-bond correlation implies that investors currently view government bonds as a hedge against the possibility of deflation and low growth. Though they may be uncertain about the direction of inflation over the next five years, investors appear to believe that any increase in inflation will likely be accompanied by growth, making it less painful for their portfolios.

In evaluating the current level of bond prices, the critical question is whether investors are correct. If inflation will indeed be accompanied by growth, then nominal bonds should carry a negative inflation risk premium and correspondingly high prices. However, it is also possible that the economy could enter a period of stagflation with high inflation and low growth. In this case, investors should be charging a higher inflation risk premium, and bond prices should be lower today.

Our work also has important implications for policymakers trying to use financial data to understand inflation expectations. First, policymakers can use the stock-bond correlation as a “canary in the coalmine.” If the correlation starts to turn positive, policymakers will know that investor anxiety about stagflation is rising. They can then take steps to keep inflation expectations well-anchored.

Second, policymakers often use break-even inflation, the difference between the yields on nominal and inflation-indexed bonds (TIPS), as a proxy for market inflation expectations. However, this quantity is actually the sum of expected inflation and the inflation risk premium. Thus, if the inflation risk premium is negative, breakeven inflation understates market inflation expectations. The negative correlation between stocks and bonds today suggests that the inflation risk premium on Treasuries is negative, and it could be as low as -75 or -85 basis points. This implies that investor expectations of 10-year inflation reflected in the bond market are around 2.7%, in line with the view of professional forecasters and the inflation swap market.


Financial market data suggest that investors expect inflation to be moderate and procyclical going forward. However, the behaviour of inflation has changed in the past and may do so again. Investors and policymakers alike can use the stock-bond correlation as a real-time measure of inflation expectations.

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Raymond j. Learsy: at Paris fair of art called "FIAC" stamps "Return" to the perception of contemporary art as "elitist".

For those who have taken an interest in the world of contemporary art and its processes, it means the graphic art of painting, drawing, on sculpture, photography, multimedia, etc. inevitably "elitism" nickname is raised to resentment apparent darkness of a large part of its production and waste time, effort and the process. That art contemporain is the province of the elite and has little or nothing to do with the lives of the majority.

Tickling perceived labour at the end of the 1980s and its sensitivities offence by and artists such as Serrano and Mapplethorpe to a large extent, introduces our Government culture wars. Tensions that led to the castrating symbolic of our institution of Government support of the process of creating artists of America, the National Endowment for the arts (NEA). This unfortunately is the result of Congress mandated the dismantling of PBN grants subsidies and its brilliant panel peer review program, fearing that left to their own devices artists create work that could be interpreted to some offensive. Disassembly is independently that the success of the program has been brilliant, helping to launch hundreds of careers and become the cornerstone of the artistic community.One of the greatest artists of America, a national treasure, Chuck Close, had to say, "of all the awards I received from my life, no never meant more me than my scholarship PBN.".And with hundreds of others.

At the time of the disappearance of politicization of Arts Fellowship program of the NEA nary a voice was raised in our political class to protect this if essential sense of the nation identity program. Instead of this there were many piles, pimping for political reasons.After all, the art world has little political weight and "elitist label" could easily be evoked without fear of reprimand or accountability .c ' is the attitude of the Government which continues to this day, (please see "a nation of shame;") On Wall Street bailout by the full support of our art traditions with a pipette "(04.14.09)"

Maybe, just maybe all that is changing.I come back just of France where strikes and general disorganization called F.I.A.C. art fair took lieu.Galeries around the world exposed and works of art have been beautifully displayed in dedicated magnificent glass belle epoque "Grand Palais" as well as a court adjacent tents at the Museum of the Louvre.Art on display by hundreds of galleries from around the world was not only challenging but exciting.And visitors come from all of Europe and much of the Americas, but most of the strikes far braving and general chaos, Paris and its surroundings.

Yes, art was for the sale and a large part indeed sell, but it was not the draw for the tens of thousands of visitors standing in long lines to gain admission b.c block ' was a less in this notice of viewers, something much more basic, see much more viscérale.Vous, contemporary art has become much and particularly young people, a mirror of our lives, that we are, how us communicate, how it is always possible to coexist and more fundamentally what similarities we share.

Contemporary art has long left the aerated élitiste.Dans fashion my travel may have been best explained by Octavie Modert, cultural Minister Luxembourg, whose Ministry is responsible for the supervision of the brilliant I.M. Pei, housing construction the "Museum art Grand-Duc Jean' more commonly known as the" Mudam'. """Yes", it will recognize, "there was a strong public resistance to a Museum of contemporary art at Luxembourg, but we just all recognize a role important contemporary in the lives of our young people and, now, for most of our citizens."

This is a lesson we all want good account.


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Friday, October 29, 2010

Wool Ewen: Bucs vs. Rams: Best team winner of NFC

According to the head of the BUCs coach Raheem Morris, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the best team in the NFC.

Quote: "we are the best team in the NFC."Yeah, I said il.Nous're excited.

In addition, ok then, Raheem. Back in advance and ignore the first three quarters of weekend game against the Rams.Three quarters of the game sloppy, inefficient, filled with peine.Disons calls that gloss over the fact that the loss of two BUCs season - the games two play against teams that hold a winning record - team lost by a combined score of 69-19. And never remember that the BUCs 4-2 are in fact a game behind the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South.

The BUCs are the best in the NFC! Woo!

Hey, I like nature as delusional as coach Raheem. So, say distribute more Eor-style honors best NFC (Woo!) BUCs:

Josh Freeman is the best QB ever return: Sunday, Josh Freeman has led to his return from third quarter this year alone. In fact, 15 career starts, Freeman has led the BUCs a victory for return of 5 times.It takes a little further, 7 short career victories Freeman, 71% were come - variety-behind .but statistics only tell the story. The guy is calm, cool, collected and confident well beyond his years. Look at him in the margin or on the ground in the most tense situations. As he plays catch with his brother kid - smiling, conversation, as he knew that he had obtained under control.It's wonderful.

Connor Barth literally has one foot gold: Kicker Barth is 4 field goals with a long shot of 53 yards, this week to keep team in the game long enough to let the Freeman to do its thing. Season last Barth is one of the three kickers of departure, but this year, it seems that the team has just need one.(Again, I can't help but think that burgers Barth whenever I hear the guys name.)Someone else? anyone?)

The BUCs of D Cares About future unlike any other team in the NFL players: it is another old Roger Goodell has taken steps recently to protect players from concussions and unnecessarily violent hits.In addition, the BUCs D took these regulations very in the sérieux.Par not rushing pass, the BUCs have avoided undue harm their QB brothers.In fact, the BUCs are classified 32nd in the League in bags.Stylez G has a large bag in the first quarter, this week, which caused the Rams QB Sam Bradford to fumble the ball, but Oklahoma Bradford teammate and third overall draft pick Gerald McCoy has yet to win a single bag.

LeGarrette Blount is Mike Alstott
: (OK, so Raheem really made this comparison.)Blount, somebody who is claimed off waivers from Tennessee, was run 72 yards on 11 door against the Rams, find tracks running in the second half of the game fan-favorite Cadillac Williams struggled to find throughout the year.(Even though it was Williams, who took the winning landing with 10 seconds left in the game.)The BUCs are currently ranked 22nd in rush and Blount looks like a guy who can help the BUCs improve.

Mark Dominik is football Simon Cowell
: by all accounts, Blount is a humble teammate and laborieux.Quatrième tour wreckage J Mike Williams was an ace on the ground (including them pick up a 1st crucial bottom player reach fourth quarter) and corresponds to Freeman in an ethical work similar supérieure.Histoires learned Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Cody Grimm and Sammie Stroughter.Dominik is find humble, talented, industrious children autour.Ici team is hoping that the BUCs manage to become a little more Kelly Clarkson/Carrie Underwood and a little less Lee DeWyze That Guy with Gray Hair.

The BUCs will win the Super Bowl: but you know, maybe not this année.Désolé, Raheem.Un chicken can be so illusion... er, optimistic.


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Paul DEAD Octopus: World Cup prediction icon died in Germany

BERLIN - Sea Life Aquarium says Paul Octopus who gained fame in the world with his predictions of cutting world perfect died. It was 2 1/2.

Ariane Vieregge in Oberhausen aquarium spokesperson said on Tuesday that Paul seemed to end when checked on the late Monday night, but was found dead in his tank Tuesday morning.

It said that it was normal for an Octopus type died at the age and that he had died of natural causes.

Paul has correctly predicted the outcome of all seven of the Germany games and the Spain victory against the Netherlands in the final.

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Study ECONNED rave

Study ECONNED rave

The question of choice, October it's most important publication library market:

Smith, Yves.ECONned: traces self interest undermined democracy and capitalism corrupt.Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 362 p bibl index afp ISBN 9780230620513, $30.00

ECONned is a remarkable book. The first part is a devastating critique of the simplistic to finance the standard economy approach takes. Many books offer similar assessments, but it integrates a deep knowledge of the intricacies of modern finance with a good understanding of economic theory.Smith (author of the Naked capitalism blog) and then shows how the defective economic theory was sold to an audience without méfiance.Le heart of the book is a detailed dissection of the functioning of modern finance in the period that preceded the collapse of 2007-2008. The author concludes with an excellent overview of the failure of political systems to create workable monitoring structures. The book is well written and frequent references to topics such as the structure of the German military command or the collapse of the financial system in 1700 BCE improves readability.

All libraries must own this book.Although some details will be difficult for advanced students, writing enables readers to analyze difficult without losing their train of pensée.Spécialistes segments will benefit from better understand the functioning of the financial system of Smith.Adding: essentielles.Cycle upper division through collections of research - M. Perelman, California State University, Chico

I also learned that ECONNED is mentioned in a trial of Credit Agricole newly filed on a CDO sponsored by Magnetar (ECONNED broke Magnetar history, including an analysis in-depth how trade worked and its impact a systemic) if the book is also have an effect even if real-world in a small way.

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SIGTARP: Abuse of service of hemp under the direction of unjustified Foreclosures

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The latest SIGTARP (Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program) report is, if such a thing is possible, even more damning than its previous quarterly reports. It slams the Treasury for abject failure to meet the program’s own objectives, its lack of proper control and metrics, its “Mission Accomplished” declarations, its phony accounting, particularly with regard to AIG, and its abject failure on loan modifications (note one of TARP goals was to preserve homeownership. The Economic Populist has a good summary of the report.

It’s distressing to see that this account, which is unusually forthright in its criticism because the performance of the TARP is so terrible, get short shrift in the MSM and even in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, this suggests that Team Obama is proving Jospeh Goebbels to have been correct: tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, and the public will eventually come to believe it. And the lie is the one the Administration has been hawking for some time, that TARP was a success. The big reason is that they’ve sold the canard that the TARP was profitable. First, that is counting chickens long before they are hatched; in particular, as SIGTARP points out, the Treasury claims on AIG are a whooper, and there is also $80 billion in funds committed that might still be deployed. And the Treasury has included a $2 billion credit line as part of its proposed AIG resturcturing, which seems a bizarrely small amount. One time insurance analyst (and successful AIG short) John Hempton says the $2 billion really is a statement that AIG is being supported. [Update: Hempton was short, but in comments says he made "next to no money" but friends of his did better].

But the biggest reason to be skeptical of TARP touting is that it is utterly meaningless to look at TARP in isolation. It was merely one of a long list of “rescue the banks” initiatives, including the ongoing program of super low interest rates from the Treasury, which imposes costs on all savers (via negative real interest rates) to the benefit of financiers.

While the foregoing is only a partial list of why one should view the TARP with considerable skepticism, let’s focus on one aspect, the HAMP modification program, that is even more of a disaster than is widely acknowledged (and it wasn’t all that well regarded to begin with).

When the Treasury had a small meeting with bloggers last August, even then it could not pretend that HAMP was anything other than a failure. Huffington Post had done a series detailing how few borrowers were getting permanent mods (and even they were misnamed, those mods were five year payment reduction plans). The stories also described how servicers were keeping borrowers far longer in the so-called trial mods, which looked like a cynical effort to milk them. Why? Because when they were not approved for a permanent mod, as happened in a considerable majority of cases (and remember, borrowers were often given false hope by the servicer), they were hit not only for the difference between the trial mod payment and their normal amount due, but also, I kid you not, penalties and late fees! Even if a borrower had been conservative and banked the payment reduction, consider the impact of, say, seven months of late fees. That’s enough to put stressed borrowers over the edge (particularly since the late fees continue to compound until the account is brought current).

From Steve Waldman’s write-up of the Treasury meeting:

On HAMP, officials were surprisingly candid. The program has gotten a lot of bad press in terms of its Kafka-esque qualification process and its limited success in generating mortgage modifications under which families become able and willing to pay their debt. Officials pointed out that what may have been an agonizing process for individuals was a useful palliative for the system as a whole. Even if most HAMP applicants ultimately default, the program prevented an outbreak of foreclosures exactly when the system could have handled it least. There were murmurs among the bloggers of “extend and pretend”, but I don’t think that’s quite right. This was extend-and-don’t-even-bother-to-pretend. The program was successful in the sense that it kept the patient alive until it had begun to heal. And the patient of this metaphor was not a struggling homeowner, but the financial system, a.k.a. the banks. Policymakers openly judged HAMP to be a qualified success because it helped banks muddle through what might have been a fatal shock. I believe these policymakers conflate, in full sincerity, incumbent financial institutions with “the system”, “the economy”, and “ordinary Americans”. Treasury officials are not cruel people. I’m sure they would have preferred if the program had worked out better for homeowners as well. But they have larger concerns, and from their perspective, HAMP has helped to address those.

I disagree with the “not cruel people” assessment. Ignoring the plight of someone who is being harmed, particularly when you are playing an active part in the process, is a form of cruelty. The senior staff at Treasury project the impression of having arranged their lives so as to convince themselves that they are powerless, that they have no influence over the systems of which they are a critical part. It’s no doubt the same logic process used by the conductors of trains that took Jews to concentration camps. They must have noticed that they shuttled passengers only one way, and that the number they were bringing in over time was disproportionate to the size of the camps, but they weren’t about to think about that too hard.

For instance, Geithner more or less said that the servicer gaming of HAMP was disturbing, and he said Treasury needed to get to the bottom of it. But he immediately tried to shed responsibility by saying Treasury didn’t have much power over servicers. I said that Treasury had quite a few ways to make life uncomfortable for the banks in which the servicers lived, Treasury was not lacking in influence. Geithner pointedly avoided acknowledging the particular devices I mentioned.

The SIGTARP report takes the criticism of the Treasury’s performance on HAMP up a notch or two:

Treasury’s decision to declare such uniform success for so many failures disregards the harm and suffering that often accompany failed trial modifications…..SIGTARP has provided examples of the harms these failed trail modifications have inflicted…They all paint a similar picture of many HAMP borrowers, already contending with other hardships, who end of often unnecessarily depleting their dwindling savings in an ultimately futile effort to obtain the sustainable relief promised…..Others, who may have somehow found ways to continue to make their mortgage payments, have been drawn into failed trial modifications that have left them with more principal outstanding on their loans, less home equity (or a position further “underwater”) and worse credit scores. Perhaps worse of all, even in circumstances where they never missed a payment, they may face back payments, penalties, and even late fees that suddenly become due on their “modified” mortgages and that they are unable to pay, thus resulting in the loss of their homes that HAMP is meant to prevent.

In its section on Servicing (starting on p. 163), SIGTARP describes the economics of servicing and the possible outcomes of a HAMP program from both the borrower and the servicer persepctive (ie, the type of fees they would earn).

SIGTARP set up a Hotline to take borrower complaints about HAMP, and many reported violations of HAMP rules and guidelines. For instance (from p. 172):

“I entered into an agreement with [my servicer] through the Making Home Affordable program in April 2009. I have made every payment on time; that, they said, would result in the modification becoming permanent after six months. They have had us…submit the same paperwork seven times in the last two year. Now they have, in their words, ‘decided not to go forward’ and put a notice on the house of a sheriff’s sale….a negotiator (who has never contacted me) made the decision to stop the modification with no reason as to why. I have not been late or missed a payment in 13 months.”

From page 174:

“I called to try to get an update and to try to get a payment processed by phone. I gave [the servicer employee] my bank information for payment and then asked if there was any update she could give me. She responded by telling me that [the servicer] had sent me to the attorney for foreclosure! How do you tell me not to pay, tell me for months I am not allowed to send in payments, tell me to pay down other bills with the money, and then two weeks later try and foreclose on my home Your moratorium is why I stopped sending in the money.”

There are quite a few more examples, some of which appear to have been provided by attorneys.

There are two points to recognize here. One is that the servicers clearly gamed HAMP. Treasury said as much in the blogger meeting; the servicers took advantage of the HAMP fees ($1000 at the outset of the mod program plus and extra $500 in the case of borrowers who are current) and delivered very little in the way of “permanent” mods. But the hotline examples also make it clear that the banks took advantage of the borrowers by keeping them in the trial mods longer, presumably so they could charge larger penalties when they kicked them out and to extract more cash from borrowers who were terminal.

Now consider: if servicers abused a program when Treasury, and now SIGTARP, is in a position to look at their handiwork, why would you assume they behave any better on an ongoing basis with homeowners when there is no oversight? Mike Konczal, in a recent post, pointed to a widespread pattern of servicer abuses:

Let’s get some quotes from bankruptcy judges in here:

“Fairbanks, in a shocking display of corporate irresponsibility, repeatedly fabricated the amount of the Debtor’s obligation to it out of thin air.” 53 Maxwell v. Fairbanks Capital Corp. (In re Maxwell), 281 B.R. 101, 114 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2002).

“[t]he poor quality of papers filed by Fleet to support its claim is a sad commentary on the record keeping of a large financial institution. Unfortunately, it is typical of record-keeping products generated by lenders and loan servicers in court proceedings.” In re Wines, 239 B.R. 703, 709 (Bankr. D.N.J. 1999).

“Is it too much to ask a consumer mortgage lender to provide the debtor with a clear and unambiguous statement of the debtor’s default prior to foreclosing on the debtor’s house?” In re Thompson, 350 B.R. 842, 844–45 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2006).

(Source.) Notice that consumer rights groups were flagging this as a major problem back in 1999 and 2002 because judges were noticing it was a major problem in their bankruptcy courts. If the late 1990s to 2006 period is a Renaissance period of servicer fraud then we can contrast it with the period we live in now, the Baroque period of servicer fraud. Whatever unity there used to be between the forms and functions of the sloppy documentation and outright fraud in the art of servicing have become detached.

Yves here. While the media has suddenly started to recognize servicer abuses in the foreclosure process, the examples above, both from SIGTARP and indirectly from Konczal (the inability or refusal of the servicer to provide the correct principal balance is a stunner), point to a pattern and practice of extractive practices as a part of ongoing servicing. I’ve heard quite a few accounts of predatory servicing from attorneys, including one where a single, disputed $75 late fee compounded into a foreclosure action that was halted only by an 11th hour bankruptcy filing (and yes, Virginia. the borrower could prove he had made every single monthly payment from the beginning of his mortgage).

So if you assume that every person facing foreclosure is a deadbeat, you need to think twice. Many people who fight foreclosures think they are victims of servicing errors and abuses. And the evidence on the ground suggests that some, perhaps most, are correct in their beliefs.

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The Treasury Board to Bloomberg FOIA boost nose asks Citi guarantees

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In Rudy Giuliani’s second term as mayor, the famed backer of law n’ order had a great fondness for taking it into his own hands. Groups that wanted to assemble on the steps of City Hall were required to file a notice or petition of some sort. A peculiar ritual would then ensue. The mayor’s office would deny the request, the group in question would seek a court order to allow their little protest to go ahead, and without fail, permission would be granted.

It was a form of petty harassment, an abuse of official power and a waste of everyone’s, particularly the court’s, time.

The Obama Administration and the Fed are engaging in precisely the same tactics to deny access to what ought to be public property, in this case, information about how taxpayer funds were utilized during the crisis. And that means not just the TARP, but the many other handouts to banks, including guarantees, regulatory forbearance, the operation of various rescue facilities and programs (arguably, the slightly over $1 trillion in MBS purchases was aimed at banks, not borrowers), and other hidden subsidies.

Predictably, the Obama administration promised transparency and instead delivered foot dragging and obfuscation. Bloomberg provides an unpleasant but nevertheless illuminating account of how a request by its reporter Mark PIttman for information regarding the November 2009 bailout of Citigroup was treated with what amounts to contempt. I say “what amounts to” because the Treasury did bother complying with the form of the FOIA inquiry.

Note that past efforts by the officialdom to withhold information on actions during the financial crisis haven’t fared too well. Pittman also submitted a FOIA asking the Fed to divulge the names of banks that took emergency loans. The Fed refused, and Bloomberg won in district court and on appeal. The Fed has until October 26 to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court. Similarly, the Fed refused to disclose the holdings of Maiden Lane III, one of its two AIG rescue vehicles, arguing disclosure of the information would impair its ability to realize maximum value for the public (the argument was that by divulging its transactions, it would give traders and advantage). Tom Adams prepared an analysis that we published on Naked Capitalism that showed that over 80% of the Maiden Lane III transactions were already public, and one could put together considerable detail about each deal, again strictly from public sources (see here, here and here). Representative Darrel Issa later released all the transaction level detail .

There is simply no excuse for withholding the information at issue. These are matters that happened two years ago; they can have no commercial impact upon Citigroup. It’s clear who this secrecy is designed to protect, and that’s them officialdom.

Nevertheless, the Treasury cites an incredibly litany of “trade secrets, personnel rules and practices, memos subject to attorney-client privilege and violations of personal privacy.” This list was used to justify gutting 560 pages of e-mails between the Treasury and the Fed, redacting to uselessness another 104 pages of schedules, and withholding another 886 pages of documents. I’ve had financial firm clients who’ve won cases based on violation of trade secrets. It’s an incredibly tough standard to meet. I guarantee in general that Citi does not take the steps necessary for mere securities ownership to qualify as a trade secret, nor does positions held into nearly two years ago qualify on a practical basis.

Here are some more examples of the contempt with which the Administration treats the public. From Bloomberg:

The late Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman asked the U.S. Treasury in January 2009 to identify $301 billion of securities owned by Citigroup Inc. that the government had agreed to guarantee. He made the request on the grounds that taxpayers ought to know how their money was being used.

More than 20 months later, after saying at least five times that a response was imminent, Treasury officials responded with 560 pages of printed-out e-mails — none of which Pittman requested. They were so heavily redacted that most of what’s left are everyday messages such as “Did you just try to call me?” and “Monday will be a busy day!”

None of the documents answers Pittman’s request for “records sufficient to show the names of the relevant securities” or the dates and terms of the guarantees. Even so, the U.S. government considers the collection of e-mails a partial response to an official request under the federal Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. The Justice Department in July cited an increase in such responses as evidence that “more information is being released” under the law….

And get a load of the runaround:

Pittman’s request for the Treasury Department records spent months in limbo, according to discussions with the agency’s employees. He had waited about 10 months for a response when he died on Nov. 25, 2009. Shortly afterward, Michael Galleher, an attorney working on contract for the Treasury Department, called Bloomberg News, asking where he could send the responsive documents. Attempts to return Galleher’s call failed; he couldn’t be found at the agency.

A December call to Gilmore, the FOIA liaison, was returned by Daneisha White, a FOIA officer, who suggested calling Michael C. Bell, the FOIA manager in the Office of Financial Stability. Bell referred questions back to Gilmore.

Meanwhile, that month, Citigroup repaid $20 billion of its bailout money and terminated the asset guarantees.

Gilmore called back in January, saying Galleher had left the agency at the end of 2009. He and his colleagues would search for Pittman’s FOIA documents, he said, because they weren’t sure where they were.

In April came a call from Galleher. He said that he had returned to work at Treasury’s FOIA office, that he had the relevant documents for Pittman’s request and that he would send them that week…

In May, Galleher reported that he would have something to send soon. He said the same thing in June, and then in July. Part of the holdup was caused by the governmentwide practice of giving private companies a chance to object to the disclosure of requested documents, he said. Doing so ensures that companies continue to cooperate with the executive branch by providing records without fear they’ll be made public without review, said Pustay of the Justice Department.

And notice we have no explanation of the delay from July to the end of October, an additional three months.

The Obama Administration is clearly taking its playbook straight from the Ministry of Truth.

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Thaddeus Russell: 7 tracks the mafia is the United States A Better Place: "Renegade History" (PHOTOS)

Imagine an American free jazz. Imagine an America that alcohol is illegal. Imagine an American without Broadway, Hollywood and Las Vegas. Imagine an American without racial integration or freedom to be gay in public. In my new book, "A Renegade the United States history", I show that you have to do is to imagine the American history without organized crime... Here are 7 ways gangsters made America a better place:

At the end of the 19th century some Sicilian mafiosi 300 controlled significant portions of the economy of New Orleans, most significantly many homes closed, saloons and nightclubs that defines New Orleans as the capital of southern pleasure. When avoided respectable American new music called 'jass' as black and criminal jungle music, but many others have shown a willingness to pay to hear and dance, he New Orleans gangsters him happily rendered their business. The first buildings in which eventually renamed "jazz" music played professionally - brothels in Storyville district near French Quarter - belonged to the Sicilian Mafia.In 1917, a teenager Louis Armstrong received his first salary to play the trumpet in a tavern belonged to Henry Matranga, head of the family of Matranga and probably the most powerful criminal United States at the beginning of the 20th siècle.Armstrong and other black jazz as Buddy Bolden, Freddie Keppard, inventors and Joe Oliver received their first pay George Delsa, Manager of Anderson Rampart street café, a first feature jazz clubs, which used to protect the club and prostitutes who worked mafia connections to police.

In Chicago and New York, Italian gangsters and operated many Jews number initially most important jazz clubs.Al Capone, who controlled several clubs of Chicago who introduced jazz to mainstream audiences, had a passion for music and was the first to pay the performers better pay subsistence.Clubs belonging to the crowd on State Street in Chicago employee that jazz musicians sing a national phenomenon, including bands by Armstrong, King Oliver, Fletcher Henderson and Benny Goodman.Selon one interpreter, "the worst places on State Street always had the best music."But it was true in New York, where, according to a jazz musician, where music was invented rather than simply made to the general public is "managed by large do wonderful not tramps...." clubs that had a way to run them better than anyone else

According to the scholar Jerome Charyn, "it would have no age of jazz and very few Jazz without white gangsters who have taken under their wing black and white jazz musicians."

Gangsters have that!

Way to go, gangsters!




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Links 10/26/10

Amazon new species Telegraph

Row over veterans facing expulsion from the country that they risked their lives to defendDaily Mail (hat tip drive can S)

Agony of the monolineFT Alphaville.Cite casualty putbacks vs GSE, but I think it is and oranges, because sea probably put back on line and sub-prime pools, while the monoline would be putbacks only on "private label" meaning non-conforming pools. Tom Adams also had problems with the last paragraph:

Bond insurers are not really asking - they are. Ask us to see.
If the numbers are only for the BofA, they are updated as of June 30 - this leaves of recent Ambac $ 6 billion or so against Countrywide.
The rate of "success" - I do not know where it came from, or having success they mean - monoline, see BofA. I am quite sure that they are buying back much, much less than 17% of requests bond insurer. (more like. 05%).

Report of Europol: the terrorists are Muslims…Except 99.6% who aren't can't Loonwatch (hat tip drive can S)

Blue dogs Face Sharp losses in dividing Wall Street Journal. It is fun to see the log feign confusion:

The result is the ironic, politics of the year: a national conservative wave is hardest step more liberal Democrats, but the more conservative Democrats.Caucus democratic left behind is, overall, more liberal was before the election.

It is not on a "national conservative wave", is the capitulation of Obama "change."Blue dogs are more closely aligned with its populist brand false.

So what is Insider Trading? Andrew Ross Sorkin.Cette history bothers me, this.Why is the SEC cracking down on this pair and not on Gerson Lerman, who pays for low and mid managers sell information on the activity of the company generally shipping and inventory levels? Gerson Lerman has institutionalized the use and reprocessing of privileged information.But it would take time and effort to develop a procedure against Gerson and its competitors.

Econ bloggers: worst perspectives, once againFT Alphaville.Normally participate in this survey, but I was too overwhelmed this time.

Banks should be broken, Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King warnsTelegraph.Read his speech here complete.

Financial popping disaster againMichael Panzner

EschatologyRdan angry bear

The cost of the TARP: furtherDean Baker

Defective ForeclosuresAdam Levitin, credit vouchers

Greek questions continue to ChurnWSJ MarketBeat

Mortgage modifications slow in SeptemberNew York Times

Overdrive: who really saved General Motors?Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker (hat tip drive Scott) it is a large room.

Antidote of the day:

Picture 40

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