Weekend Link dump

Red Alert: Confidential witness ready to blow up Clinton and Holder confirmations with dirt on the Marc Rich pardon, Doug Ross

I can’t think of a better way for Obama to finally be rid of Her Thighness than to have her publicly humiliated with this garbage.

But then, Obama wouldn’t be behind this. No. Never. Henh.

A Libertarian Defense of Social Conservatism, By Randall Hoven

I’m still searching for the mythical creature that is the “financially conservative, socially liberal” politician. In virtually every case, the pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage politician is the first to vote against a tax cut, the first to vote for more spending and quick to compromise principles on any issue there is.

Using the National Journal’s ratings of Senators in 2007 , the correlation coefficient between “economic” scores and “social” scores is 90%. That means they almost always go together; financial conservatives are social conservatives and vice versa. Every Senator scoring above 60 in economic issues, scored above 50 in social ones. Every Senator scoring below 40 in economic issues, scored below 50 in social ones. If there is such an animal as a “financial conservative, social liberal”, it does not exist in the US Senate.

NBC News Obtains Videotape of 9/11 Hijacker Being Coached by al-Qaida Handlers, Breitbart

Who knew the evil Chimpy McHaliburton could be so devious? Chances are, the emergence of this tape will make little difference to the troofers and at least half the democrats in NY.

Muslim Fanatics ‘Hijack British Prison’, Daily (uk) Express

MUSLIM prisoners have launched a reign of terror inside a top security British jail.

The fanatics are forcing fellow inmates to convert to Islam or face punishment beatings.

One man who stood up to the thugs was branded with a lump of hot metal, according to a prison source.

The crisis at Whitemoor jail in Cambridgeshire has led to calls by staff for the 100 Muslim inmates there to be dispersed to other prisons round the country.

Some Al Qaeda supporters have set up a kangaroo court, sitting in judgment on prisoners and ordering punishments, the source said.

Hawaiian officials admit withholding Obama’s original BC, Israel Insider

Now it’s pretty apparent why Barack Obama made his sudden, last minute visit to Honolulu. It wasn’t Granny’s health problems that interested him but Hawaii’s Health Department.

The strategy may have backfired. A statement by Hawaiian officials Friday that they have seen but won’t release an “original” birth certificate that has never been released raises more questions than it answers.

Time for a Bank Holiday, The Nation

Here is the ugly, unofficial truth that neither Wall Street nor the government will acknowledge: the pinnacle of the US financial system is broke–with perhaps $2 trillion in rotten financial assets on the books. Nobody knows, exactly. The bankers won’t say, and regulators won’t ask, or at least don’t dare tell the public. Official silence naturally feeds the conviction that banking’s problems are far worse than we’ve been told. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College puts it plainly: “It is probable that many and perhaps most financial institutions are insolvent today–with a black hole of negative net worth that would swallow Paulson’s entire $700 billion in one gulp.”

The World is Coming to an End (And it might even have a happy ending), Financial Sense Univ

We are facing a depression that will rival that of the Great Depression of the 1920’s and may more closely resemble the Greater Depression of 1873.

There are going to be stock market rallies within this bear market, and that will be the time for those still holding and hoping to get out before the bear really begins to claw in 2009.

Before this secular Bear Market is over, we are going to new lows in all indices, more than 3500 banks will close, unemployment will surge, there will be violence in the streets and people will kill you to get what you have.


UBS may need extra bailout, swissinfo

Switzerland’s biggest bank, UBS, could receive another bailout if it faces more difficulties under the global financial crisis, the Federal Banking Commission says.

So, who’s next in the bailout parade?


Citi to get bailout,
WSJ

WASHINGTON – The federal government agreed Sunday to take unprecedented steps to stabilize Citigroup Inc. by moving to guarantee close to $300 billion in troubled assets weighing on the bank’s books, according to people familiar with details of the plan.

Treasury has agreed to inject an additional $20 billion in capital into Citigroup under terms of the deal hashed out between the bank, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Treasury officials will charge a higher interest rate for the capital injection — 8% for the first few years — than it has charged to dozens of other banks now borrowing money under the government’s the $700 billion rescue package approved by Congress last month.

451 Pages of Pork On The Wall

Take one down, pass it around ….

Well, you get the idea. It started as a three-page bill designed for the specific purpose of purchasing illiquid assets on the balance sheets of the nation’s financial institutions, and reselling them at a later date to provide liquidity. The plan was bold as well as controversial, and carried an estimated price tag of $700 billion.

The public hated it, and the House rejected it.

The Senate has embraced it, however. And, using keen Senatorial wisdom, the bill has grown. It is now a 451 page behemoth that may or may not accomplish the original purpose, but never fear America. They’re from the Gubbmint, and they only want to help you. No word yet on the final price tag.

Here is the pdf of the Senate Bill. (It may take a few moments to load)

FASB 157 gets a “clarification”

The much maligned accounting principle of “mark to market” accounting has received an important clarification today from regulators at the SEC.

“When an active market for a security does not exist, the use of management estimates that incorporate current market participant expectations of future cash flows, and include appropriate risk premiums, is acceptable.” source

FASB 157 came about as a result of the Enron scandal and subsequent regulations contained in the onerous Sarbanes Oxley Act.

Hopefully this is a first step toward its full repeal.

It is important to note that the SEC is NOT saying that cooking the books is now an acceptable accounting practice. That would be the last thing that corporate America needs in order to restore public confidence. Transparency is necessary, and the SEC’s clarification will help investors to see a much truer picture of the financial health of the corporate balance sheet. Perhaps, after the debacles of Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill, Wachovia, Wamu, and AIG, the SEC sees this as a way of acknowledging that many of the weaker players and their related toxic assets have been identified and dealt with, and it’s time to protect the healthier players that remain.

It becomes crucial as the Treasury anticipates buying some $700 billion in mortgage-backed securities, and in effect, establishing a market price for illiquid assets. A direct consequence would be that the remaining banks would have to take a write down on their assets to reflect the new market price.

This is an important clarification from the SEC. It will have an important and immediate impact.

more: At cnbc.com, Lee Brodie asks, “New rules, same game?”

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