Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Can they? They did in the former Soviet Union … and didn’t need given new roles to do it either.
  2. This piece is no longer “obscure” news.
  3. Network fail.
  4. Knifely advice. And yes, I know ‘knifely’ is not a word.
  5. G-S and the left.
  6. Sin has color
  7. I’m stuck on “less trendy more stylish,” doesn’t trendy=stylish (asks the very much not trendy nor stylish guy).
  8. A meta-comment on the new $100 bill.
  9. Two drunks in a warehouse of booze.
  10. Lies and the administration. One of the bigger ones.
  11. Real or fiction … a quiz.
  12. Defending the late Senator McCarthy.
  13. Freedom of association.

13 Responses to Monday Highlights

  1. Can they? They did in the former Soviet Union … and didn’t need given new roles to do it either.

    I think it’s clear that the men in charge care more about keeping women out of the hierarchy than they do about “saving” the church. As far as I can tell, the hierarchy’s priorities are:

    1) The hierarchy.
    2) Being traditionalist w/r/t abortion, gay marriage, etc.
    3) PR.
    .
    .
    .
    999) Keeping priests from raping children.

    I had a crazy thought this weekend — what if a priest had instead of raping children told people that abortion is okay? I bet he’d have been defrocked much, much faster than the rapists were. What do you think? What does that say about their priorities?

    This piece is no longer “obscure” news.

    LOL — it’s hilarious at how they finally found an angle that will make the GOP care about SEC not doing its job. Letting the financial world collapse in on itself? Eh, it’s the Latinos’ fault for taking out mortgages they couldn’t pay back. Look at porn??! ZOMG those people at SEC are evil!

    Network fail.

    Yep.

    Knifely advice. And yes, I know ‘knifely’ is not a word.

    I prefer a spyderco sharpmaker. Great edges, no water or oil needed. Don’t know if it takes off a lot more steel or not but it’s easy and gives a great edge.

    G-S and the left.

    That’s the problem with the two-party system. A majority of Dem voters oppose this sort of thing, but what are you going to do? Vote Nader? Kucinich?

    Defending the late Senator McCarthy.

    LOL, of course you are.

  2. JA

    This piece is no longer “obscure” news.

    Give credit where credit is due, the GOP has helped create jobs for hard working Americans by dropping thousands at strip clubs. In addition, by spending money at lesbian themed club to boot, they have shown a willingness to spur job creation among minority groups!

  3. Lies and the administration. One of the bigger ones.

    Actually the lie isn’t the admin. but GM’s and it isn’t even a lie. I would have thought that a Republican as well as ChicagoBoyz, a fan club of the Chicago School of Economics would know the difference between owning a debt instrument and an equity instrument. Sigh.

  4. Give credit where credit is due, the GOP has helped create jobs for hard working Americans by dropping thousands at strip clubs. In addition, by spending money at lesbian themed club to boot, they have shown a willingness to spur job creation among minority groups!

    I love those stories about how well prostitutes do during, e.g., the GOP convention… I read an article (maybe related to Freakonomics or the sequel) that talked about seasonal prostitution — women who aren’t prostitutes most of the year but are when there is an unusually high demand, and I think the GOP convention was the example.

  5. JA,
    Regarding the SEC, y’all on the left need to fix your message. Since when is probing ordinary practices and efficiencies of an organisation which the Democrats are urging to pass on more unchecked power a bad thing? Your note about the GOP and conventions or out of town gatherings is interesting. If we take that in conjunction with their stated goals and aims, when the Democrats gather they heap verbal abuse and are impolite to the police and leave heaps of trash everywhere. The GOP apparently solicits prostitutes. Given the Democrat/Progressive claims of environmentalism and “empathy” and the GOP claims of family values … we have a pattern. We can’t pick lawmakers that walk the walk they talk … on either side of the aisle.

    On the Roman priesthood, well, you’ve demonstrated pretty clearly the absence of the slightest clue about Catholic hierarchy. I’ll grant you that.

    Boonon,
    The GM board is controlled by the White House … so public announcements by their chair are likely either originated or are vetted by the same. Given that their is a claim that the debt was paid of by shuffling TARP funds … the “confusion” you point to between equity and debt is unclear to me.

  6. The announcement was made by GM’s Chief Executive.

    Lesson 1: Bonds v Equity. Bonds get repaid. Equity doesn’t get repaid by the company. Instead you get your money back by selling the equity when and if the market is willing to buy it. It is true that the taxpayers have a bit less than $50B in equity. That is what happens in a bankruptcy. The original equity holders are wiped out. Debt holders become the new equity holders. If the company gets better, hopefully the new equity holders recover too. If not it gets totally liquidated and debt holders get pennies on the dollar. The debt.v.equity issue was raised because that’s the first objection your Chicagoboyz site raises.

    Lesson 2: Companies are owned by stock holders. Stock holders appoint the board of directors. The board of directors hires the Chief Executive Officer and other high level executives. The executives do the actual running of the company hiring everyone else, making day to day decisions etc.

    Press releases are rarely ‘cleared or vetted’ by the Board and never by the stock holders. This is basic corporate governance. I feel I have to review it with you because several times now you’ve posted things that seem to hint that you believe every time GM changes the position of its cup holders in new models its because Obama is sitting up late one night shooting off emails from his laptop.

    The TARP cry sounds fishy to me, esp. when following the link to Fox News:

    “I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn’t from earnings. … It’s actually from another pool of TARP money that they’ve already received,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of this money is just other TARP money.”

    Say your brother-in-law is down on his luck. Your wife loans him $500. You loan him $500. He pays you back $500. He can fairly say he paid you back. Say he used your wife’s loan to pay you back? So what? He still went from owing $1000 to owing $500. If nothing else, it would appear his cash situation became a bit less dire that he could part with $500.

    Now here’s lesson 3: You can’t keep track of money in a big corporation anymore than you can keep track of air molecules in a room.

    GM doesn’t have bank accounts with dollar bills labeled “TARP”, “Selling Cletius that 2009 Caddy”, “Refund on overpaid electric bill, Oct 2009″. GM has numerous dollars coming in the door and going out the door and its a stretch to say any one dollar came from TARP or anything else. What the objection seems to be is that GM hasn’t generated profits sufficient to pay off its debt and in the long run profits = cash flow for a corporation. In the short run, though, they don’t as expenses often include numerous things that the company doesn’t actually write a check to cover (depreciation, warranty liabilities, provision for bad debt, etc.)

    To return to your hypothetical brother-in-law, say he has a part time job that made him $510 a week but his expenses are $515. When he pays you back your $500 you know its not from pocketing $500 in savings from working his job but not spending his pay. Nonetheless, you are paid back which is your primary concern….unless you have an ownership stake in your brother-in-law’s well being….which is more akin to being an equity holder rather than a debt holder. Long story short, I don’t see a lie here. I also don’t see much of a story unless you want to assert GM is putting itself in a bad position by foolishly paying off debts it doesn’t have to pay yet just to score some minor publicity. That’s a valid concern since the taxpayers are equity holders in GM at the moment, but to make it you’ll need to communicate that you have some grasp for how corporations actually work.

  7. Boonton,
    Lesson 1 … I guess you’ve seen the estimates that the ‘taxpayers’ are going to take a 7-9 billion dollar loss on the IPO to buy back the equity. It’s hard to sell an equity when you buy high and sell low. But hey, you can pretend its not going to be a wash.

    Lesson 2 … your analogy is not complete … and perhaps in error. Your b/n/l borrows $500 from you. He can’t keep up on his mortgage so you buy his house from him. Then your buddy borrows $500 from you which he lends to your b/n/l, which your b/n/l uses to pay back his debt to you announcing loudly to the world that see, he’s paid off his debts and is now in the clear. Like hell!!

    Lesson 3 … is irrelevant. Add his $510 paycheck and you still have nothing to make a press release about.

    Finally,

    Press releases are rarely ‘cleared or vetted’ by the Board and never by the stock holders. This is basic corporate governance. I feel I have to review it with you because several times now you’ve posted things that seem to hint that you believe every time GM changes the position of its cup holders in new models its because Obama is sitting up late one night shooting off emails from his laptop.

    Uhm, if you don’t recall the Administration was a major player in the decision of relocating their headquarters and decisions about which dealerships needed to be shut down. But now … they are out of the loop. And here again, there is not poliitical timing involved at all with the release of this and the SEC legislation. No sirree nothing to see here. Move along.

  8. Lesson 1 … I guess you’ve seen the estimates that the ‘taxpayers’ are going to take a 7-9 billion dollar loss on the IPO to buy back the equity. It’s hard to sell an equity when you buy high and sell low. But hey, you can pretend its not going to be a wash.

    From what I understand the taxpayer loans were wiped out in the bankruptcy and converted into equity. So we technically never brought any stock. You only take a loss, though, when you sell your stake or if GM ends up getting wiped out again. So it’s quite possible the taxpayers may yet make out ok on GM. But in terms of the actual debt GM owes to the taxpayer, that is paid back. (technically the ‘old GM’ sits in bankruptcy holding the old debts while a ‘new GM’ now exists holding the assets of old GM…..debt holders in old GM now have shares of new GM).

    Lesson 2 … your analogy is not complete … and perhaps in error. Your b/n/l borrows $500 from you. He can’t keep up on his mortgage so you buy his house from him. Then your buddy borrows $500 from you which he lends to your b/n/l, which your b/n/l uses to pay back his debt to you announcing loudly to the world that see, he’s paid off his debts and is now in the clear. Like hell!!

    So keep track of this:

    Step 1:

    b/n/l owes you $500

    step 2:
    b/n/l owes you $500 buddy owes you $500……people owe you $1000

    step 3:
    b/n/l pays you $500, buddy still owes you $500

    I’m not sure what the issue is with bnl saying he paid his debt to you? He is free and clear as far as you are concerned. His debts to your buddy aren’t your problem.

    Uhm, if you don’t recall the Administration was a major player in the decision of relocating their headquarters and decisions about which dealerships needed to be shut down.

    Actually I don’t. The decision about which dealerships to shut down was pretty much debunked as it relied on ancedotes of some dealers who were GOP donars getting shut down while Dem donars weren’t. Not only has zero evidence supporting this accusation been produced, the statistical analysis simply indicated no such relationship….as I recall you ended up agreeing with that assessment.

    Now if you own shares of a company you can force a shareholder’s resolution on something and order the board to do something (like move or don’t move the headquarters). From googling this claim a bit, I see a few articles like this:

    http://rumors.automobilemag.com/6541448/news/general-motors-may-consider-moving-from-renaissance-center/index.html

    Basically the CEO (note not Board) of GM made some noises ’bout ‘considering’ moving out of Detroit. The mayor of Detroit and Congressmen say don’t move. This type of thing happens quite often. Considering how much choas GM was in in 2009 I don’t think they were seriously considering leaving their Detroit headquarters and whenever a major company decides to do something big with their headquarters politicians on both sides line up. You’re not giving me any evidence that stock ownership was in play here, leading me to suspect you are going to interpret any story about politicians saying anything about GM as a shareholder demand.

    But now … they are out of the loop. And here again, there is not poliitical timing involved at all with the release of this and the SEC legislation. No sirree nothing to see here. Move along.

    Not sure what GM would have to do with SEC legislation since GM isn’t a financial firm. But more importantly spinning possible motives is cheap and easy but its offers no redemption to lack of evidence or understanding.

  9. If we take that in conjunction with their stated goals and aims, when the Democrats gather they heap verbal abuse and are impolite to the police and leave heaps of trash everywhere.

    Ahhh yes, that’s what you think you ‘heard’ at some vague point during the election. Only problem, we have a confirmed pattern with the GOP and prostitution including direct payment to pseudoprostitution and the regular use of prostitutes by sitting, high ranking GOP elected officials.

  10. Boonton,
    And environmentalists in high Democratic elected positions drive large SUVs, Limos, and travel on chartered jets. There’s the current President, a Democrat I believe, who showed little respect for a police office early in his tenure. Are you trying to drive the point home that you and I both pay less attention to the warts in our party? Or if not that, then what’s your point?

  11. Boonton,
    Wag the dog dude. Look the Democrats throughout the last President’s tenure kept harping on problematic appearances of conflict of interest between various past business connections in the administration and their actions. Having a 60% equity stake in GM makes the Administration suspect whenever GM farts and its politically at all convenient for the Administration. It’s the price of making a stupid move like buying GM.

    Now you can believe there is no collusion or any problems and everybody in the Administration is squeaky clean and completely on the up and honest. I happen to not. There’s nothing all to see in the Government’s movements regarding G&S and derivatives. One wonders if the connection between Mr Obama’s Treasure Sec. and the profits made in that regard will get front and center treatment in discussions.

  12. And environmentalists in high Democratic elected positions drive large SUVs, Limos, and travel on chartered jets

    Actually whether your into cap-n-trade or a simple carbon tax all of these things are quite compatitable with an environmentalist outlook. Is the use of strippers and prostitutes sometimes compatitable with a ‘family values’ outlook? If so please delineate the circumstances.

    There’s the current President, a Democrat I believe, who showed little respect for a police office early in his tenure

    You mean by criticizing an arrest?

    Are you trying to drive the point home that you and I both pay less attention to the warts in our party?

    Nope, I’m not trying to drive home the point that you and I pay less attention to the warts of our party, I’m driving home the point that you pay less attention to the warts of your own party. One of the tricks you use to do it is the ‘bipartisan fallacy’ which lets you excuse, say, Vitter’s frequent bedder card as long as Al Gore is ever seen on a chartered plane.

    Look the Democrats throughout the last President’s tenure kept harping on problematic appearances of conflict of interest between various past business connections in the administration and their actions.

    Somehow I suspect you understand COI’s about as well as you understand corporate governance.

  13. Back to “G-S and the left”

    A Wall Street Journal analysis of 12 large financial services companies, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shows that they have collectively made $1.4 million in political donations, with 52% going to Republicans so far this year.

    It’s even from your favorite news source!

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