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Links 10/5/08

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US: Democrats looking at a filibuster proof Senate majority Ed Harrison

Behind the Bluster, Russia Is Collapsing Murray Feshbach, Washington Post (hat tip reader Michael). A very interesting piece, but he misses two elements of the equation. First, Russia has a chokehold on key energy supplies to Europe. Second, an authoritarian state with nukes can last well beyond its sell-by date, even with a starving population, as North Korea attests.

End of an Era on Wall Street: Goodbye to All That New York Times

Lehman ‘may take 10 years to wind up’ Independent

Fannie’s Demise: It Was the Collapse of the Housing Bubble, It’s That Simple Dean Baker

The CRA: Its a Racial Thing . . . Barry Ritholtz

I Just Realized How Bad it Really is David Flam

Hedgiefest, thanks to reader Saboor:

Bonfire of the hedgies Times Online

Smaller Hedge Funds Struggle As Money Pipeline Dries Up Wall Street Journal

Down hedge fund alley The Guardian

Frank Words from a Battered Hedge Fund Manager Dealbook

My favorite Palin takedown so far, from Ron Liddle at the Times Online:

Sarah Palin, the Alaskan-separatist-pig-in-lipstick, had not the slightest intention of allowing her complete lack of knowledge about almost everything to spoil her debate with the Democrat vice-presidential candidate, Joe Biden. “I may not answer the questions in the way in which the moderators or you want to hear, but I am going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record,” she said, straight-faced, her make-up not cracking. And so, by employing the clever strategy of not answering anything properly, and then winking in the manner of a mid-market call girl, she emerged a sort of victor. Despite revealing the intellect and political experience of a whelk. A heartbeat away, remember.

Antidote du jour:

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40 comments

  1. Richmond Rambler

    re: If you can’t fall in love with an otter, you can’t fall in love at all.

    Cross-stitched on my heart, Richard!

  2. Anonymous

    “Mid-market call girl.”

    “Revealing the intellect and political experience of a whelk.”

    I would be curious to hear the author’s personal experiences with mid-market call girls to determine the soundness of his assertions.

    Leave it to the left to rely on reasoned discourse.

  3. Anonymous

    yves: “[Regarding Palin,] Mid-market call girl. … Revealing the intellect and political experience of a whelk.”

    anon 9:56am: “I would be curious to hear the author’s personal experiences with mid-market call girls to determine the soundness of his assertions.”

    Given that Yves is a woman, it is unlikely she has experience with call girls, mid-market or otherwise. Statistically few women (lesbian or otherwise) frequent female prostitutes.

  4. Richard Smith

    Anonymous of 9:56, to your ‘points’

    On mid market call girls see Naked Capitalism’s links 10/04/08 on the Palin phenomenon. Liddle is hardly unique in responding to Palin this way.

    On whelks, see any recent Palin interview.

    On Liddle’s experiences with mid-market call girls, I am sure he would be happy to oblige you with his reminiscences. He is very candid and a renowned philanderer. For instance in the article cited above he tells us how pleased he would be if Caroline Flint (UK’s Minister for Europe) were to remove her trousers during his next interview with her.

    On reasoned discourse: Liddle doesn’t really fit a left wing stereotype; he has been associate editor of the Spectator (a very definitely right wing UK periodical) for a number of years, and spoken up against immigration and for the British National Party (an extreme right wing organisation), and against both creationism and Darwinian evolution.

    Lastly, are you sure that “leave it to the left to rely on reasoned discourse” is a great example of reasoned discourse?

  5. donna

    anonymous wingers ALWAYS assume any opposition must be liberal. It’s part of their mindset.

    I get accused of it, and then they are shocked to find out I’m registered libertarian…

  6. Dave Raithel

    RE Russia collapsing: Population trends project Turkey eclipsing Russia around 2050…supposing that anybody at all is still around…

  7. mxq

    RE: “Frank Words from a Battered Hedge Fund Manager – Dealbook”

    My favorite quote is:

    “Too many investors believed in the global decoupling theory, he wrote, meaning that the rest of the world would not suffer even as the United States did. This belief drove many funds to pour money into commodities, he wrote. In July, those funds suffered when commodities prices began sinking and many of them were forced to start selling their positions in a variety of investments”

    Not sure why anyone would pay 2/20 for that when you could’ve just gotten that info here at NC!

  8. Anonymous

    “an authoritarian state with nukes can last well beyond its sell-by date, even with a starving population, as North Korea attests”

    Sorry madam,

    but your words fit perfectly to the present situation of US, MORE (FAR MORE) than to Russia

  9. Yves Smith

    Anon of 5:53 PM:

    I suggest you read the WaPo article before casting aspersions about the North Korea example. There is a lengthy discussion of Russia’s public health crisis. The US, even with its diabetes epidemic, is in nowhere near as bad shape. Life expectancy for Russian men is 59 years.

    And your logic is faulty. The comparison to North Korea does not rule out other comparisons…

  10. Anonymous

    As a fan of Palin please allow me to make brief explanation of why she is popular among conservatives.

    1) She had the guts to go after corrupt members of the GOP in Alaska. This gives me hope she will have the guts to go after corrupt democrats if she makes it to DC. George Bush lacks such guts.

    2) She was effective enough to get a deal done to build a pipeline to get natural gas delivered to the lower 48. This had eluded her predecessor. She also sued the federal government about the moronic decision to list the polar bear as endangered which was intended to give DC yet another means to strangle development.

    3) She was willing to actually criticize Obama in her convention speech- as opposed to the mealy-mouthed gutless furtive polite disagreements republicans can usually manage to force themselves to make. This is yet another flaw of the present dolt in the White House.

    4) She’s hot. Stupid, but I remember someone telling that they planned to vote for Jennifer Granholm for governor of Michigan because he thought she looked like Marilyn Monroe.

    By the way- she was not a seperatist nor is she a pig. Of course conservatives have long since giving up on any kind of fair treatment from the leftist media so I don’t care what that jackass thinks about Palin or anything else.

  11. Yves Smith

    Anon of 7:47, PM,

    To address your ponts:

    1, Since Palin herself is accused of corruption, and based on the reading of the charges and her actions, the allegations appear valid. This is the pot calling the kettle black.

    2, I am not able to comment on Alaska politics, but her stance on man’s role in global warming discredits her as able to draw sound boundaries between development and resource exploitation. I suggest you familiarize yourself with sub sea methane emissions due to polar warming of the oceans.. We are probably past a tipping point.

    3. She did not write that speech, and it shows considerable naivete to think she did. Ditto her debate performance. Those were talking points that she had practiced in mock debates.

    4. “Hot” is not a qualification for public office. That you put that on a list of why (implicitly) she should be Vice President says you have the wrong set of priorities.

    As noted earlier, the take-down I cited was not form a liberal, and there are plenty of conservatives who despair of the choice. I know of a McCain fundraiser (heavy hitter, was on the NYC committee) who abandoned McCain based on his choice of Palin.

  12. jest

    Yves-

    i found this missive pretty good:

    “And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she’s a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin’ Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else’s, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.

    Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. A new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she’s the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23318320/mad_dog_palin

  13. doc holiday

    Re: ” She’s hot”

    To be queen of the trailer park or to be tagged as hot by drunk J6Ps is not a reason to hand over a few nuke codes to an unqualified boob. Granted, they are all boobs in this race, and be that as it is, I agree with Yves about hot being a matter of non-relevancy!

  14. Anonymous

    I’m the anon of 7:47.

    1) The accusations of corruptions are spurious. E. g. “troopergate”. It is alleged that Palin attempted to fire an Alaska state trooper for no good reason. Left out is that said trooper was caught drinking on the job, tasered a young child, and threatened to kill Palin’s father. Why should this individual retain a job as a state police officer anyware? Because Palin is a Republican she should ignore this conduct?

    2)If you consider yourself unable to comment on Alaska politics then don’t. I dispute your assertions about global warming. Even if you are correct you should direct your complaints more to China and India than the US. Good luck with that since both have explicitly they will not limit in any way CO2 emissions.

    3) Palin had significant input into what was said. Do you think she never saw that speech before she gave it? The person moderating the debate was Gwen Ifill who has a partisan pro-Obama book coming out on inauguration day. She stands to make a lot of money if Obama wins. Your complaints about the debate are true of every politician these days.

    4) I completely agree about “hot” as any qualification for any office. Granholm is a democrat and the individual who expressed that sentiment was also a democrat. This is idiotic but this how democrats think- as well as some “independent” voters. If they vote in this idiotic manner they will help make McCain president.

    Lastly, I’ve seen stories about “heavy hitter” Clinton supporters who have decided to support McCain due to Palin. Whatever. We’ll know soon if this matters

  15. Anonymous

    doc holiday,

    Again, I completely agree that “hot” is utterly idiotic as a reason to elect someone to political office. I vividly recall when I heard that comment and not in a pleasant way. But that experience tells me that some will choose that a reason to vote for someone- unfortunately.

  16. Anonymous

    jest,

    So you get your political information from a magazine about music?

    Pathetic. Sad. Moronic.

    But completely typical.

    Helpful suggestion: If you have to get your political information from a magazine (bwahahaha!) try a political magazine. There are many out there.

    Your comment reminded me of something the that Granholm voter would have said.

    Have a nice night.

  17. Anonymous

    The democrats are hypocrites for complaining about Palin as a grasping airhead. Nancy Pelosi is just as stupid, just a bit better at hiding it because she has more experience. Both of them are crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

  18. Yves Smith

    Anon of 7:47,

    You like to make selective use of facts, You are either willfully ignorant, or choosing only to present the part of the trooper firing most favorable to Palin.

    First, the trooper in question was involved in a nasty divorce with her sister. A rather vital fact you choose to omit. She exerted inappropriate influence to get him fired. And the substance of the allegations you recite against him is in some dispute.

    Second, her office also leaked information about his finances, a clear violation of Federal law.

    These corruption charges are serious enough that the Alaska Senate approved the hiring of an independent investigator.

    A governor has no business meddling in the affairs of the state trooper’s office on a personal vendetta. But you think that sort of conduct is reasonable. There are procedures for investigating allegations of misconduct, but no, you applaud someone, who in her oath of office swore to uphold the law, but when it suits her personal ends, will sweep that aside.

    The US is still the biggest source of CO2 emissions China is forecast to surpass the US in 2009. India is well down the list and emits only 1/4 of the level of the US and China, so I see considerable prejudice on display here.

    The US, as a long standing leading industrial power, has done FAR more to create this problem than China.

    As for Ifill, the debate format allowed her no latitude to follow up, and the format was negotiated for short statement times, precisely because the Republicans did not believe Palin could talk intelligently for more than two minutes. All the commentary I have read said Ifill did a lousy job, her questions, which was the only thing she controlled, were softballs.

    As for Palin seeing the speech, of course she saw it, I have no doubt she rehearsed a good deal. But do you think a neophyte from Alaska is going to edit a script that was written by top political pros? Frankly, if she did, that would say she has terrible judgment and is unwilling to listen to experts. This is a woman who barely got through college.

  19. Anonymous

    Congress has a lot of airheads. So Pelosi is a female airhead. Big deal.

    No legislator has the power to declare war or launch a nuclear attack. Given McCain’s age, Palin would have real odds of becoming President if the ticket was elected.

    The fact that a particular Congresswoman isn’t an Einstein is no grounds for arguing that Palin would make a good, or even adequate, VP. Specious logic.

  20. Anonymous

    I bet if they fired every trooper in Alaska who ever drank on the job they’d have no troopers left!

  21. doc holiday

    Does anyone remember the good old days when I was the only one that posted here (in this forsaken virtual space) before Yves went to Alaska to party and howl it up like a crazy timber wolf, and send back picturs…. huh, do you punks?

    In Other News: Man with a Hoe
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,834693,00.html

    In appearance and manner, Wallace was the prototypical Midwesterner. From the rebellious shock of hair to the scuffed shoes, he looked like the perennial farm boy. Yet behind the craggy, Scotch-Irish face and diffident blue eyes lurked a bewildering blend of intellectual acumen and messianic wrongheadedness.

    He was a brilliant plant geneticist whose hybridizations left his fellow Americans with infinitely improved strains of corn, juicier, hardier strawberries, and hens that would lay more eggs on less feed. Only last March he was in the Dominican Republic trying to introduce strawberries as a badly needed cash crop.

    From God to Government. Midwestern farmers still shake their heads over his program to raise hog prices by killing off millions of piglets. His later proposal to export farm surpluses to needy countries earned the derisive label of “milk for Hottentots.” Nonetheless, Wallace had a profound understanding of farm economics at a time when U.S. agriculture was widely regarded as God’s concern, not the Government’s…..

  22. Edward Harrison

    To the anon of 7:47.

    1) The accusations of Palin’s alleged corruptions are not spurious. A statement by a judge in this regard will be released in days. Let’s wait to see what he has to say. Whether Palin is a Republican or Democrat is irrelevant.

    2)As to global warming, China and India are red herrings. Irrespective of whether they are bigger polluters than the US, it shouldn’t make one iota of difference on the US response on global warming. The US response must be based on what the US needs to do first. Your statement is akin to saying the US can beat criminal suspects into confessions because China and India do.

    3) Palin may have had significant input into what was said as you assert. However, the speech was still crafted by others and McCain’s team has said as much. So what? The Gwen Ifill storyline is a naked attempt to change the subject and goad the Obama campaign into a defensive response. It is not substantive and is irrelevant unless she demonstrates obvious bias, which she did not.

    4) If “hot” were a qualification for any office, we would elect Pamela Anderson to congress? This is idiotic and thus irrelevant. Don’t you have anything substantive to say?

    And you say — Lastly, I’ve seen stories about “heavy hitter” Clinton supporters who have decided to support McCain due to Palin. Whatever. We’ll know soon if this matters. — fair enough. Only time will tell.

  23. Anonymous

    Anon of 7:47 again.

    This trooper was caught drinking on the job and threatened to kill his wife’s father- also Palin’s father.

    There are no circumstances- NONE- in which I believe this guy should keep his job as a state police officer.

    I type amazed. You think a guy who THREATENED TO KILL his wife’s father should keep his job a state trooper? Really? And he was caught DRINKING ON THE JOB? When a primary function of that job is to write expensive tickets to drivers for DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING?

    I’ll say explicitly- this guy should be fired IMMEDIATELY- and I applaud- enthusiastically- a governor who tried to get him fired. Not only that- he should have been prosecuted. I’ve heard that he had a two inch thick file of complaints. But as a member of a union he could not be fired like he should be. Too bad- and of course I note that damn near all the main stream media coverage of this leaves out every about relevant about all this- and just says Palin tried to get this poor guy fired just because he was divorcing her sister. Bullshit. I expect more from you – but I suspect you haven’t heard anything more than the mainstream media wants you to here.

    Next- I’m an Amereican and I admit prejudice towards the interests of the United States. If CO2 emissions are an issue than ALL nations should cut back not just the US- and I note the has reduced CO2 emissions in the last few years while Europe has not and obviously China and India have not. But I doubt global warming is occuring at all (lately I see it described in the US as “climate change” to cover up the recent DROP in global temps) so I’m not worried.

    How do you know what Republicans believed about Palin? Seriously- how do you know what they thought? Did they tell you- or did you just swallow what some leftist told you? I repeat- Ifill has a book about Obama coming out inauguration day. Again- it comes out INAUGURATION DAY. How many books do you think it will sell if Obama is not president- keep in m,ind it is about the coming Obama “era” which won’t happen if he loses.

    Lastly- she barely got through college? Funny- a criticism I heard today was that her family had a net worth of around a million dollars- so she could not be any thing like middle class. But in this context it’s amazing some BIMBO who could barely get through college managed to amass a million dollar fortune.

    Terrible judgement? Are you kidding? The speech was an enormous success. She was not a neophyte- she was and is a woman politician who has defeated a both a former and a sitting governor of her state- starting from nothing but obscurity and after numerous debates with said governors. I’m sure Dan Quayle had scripts written by top political pros- the best the GOP could produce- but it did not save him from ending up a laughing stock right quick.

    Palin is no no laughing stock. Sorry!

  24. Yves Smith

    Anon of 7:47 PM,

    She is a laughing stock. I refer you to last week’s and the week prior’s Saturday Night Live.

    You choose to ignore the argument, and show woeful ignorance of and disregard for the law. Palin took interest in this case SOLELY because her sister was involved. This was a CLEAR vendetta. There Is NO proof that Palin took interest in any other state trooper accused of misconduct.

    Wooten, the trooper, also cliams his misconduct was exaggerated. He admits to the Tasering, but says the boy, his stepson, asked for it to be done, and he did it with a much lower than normal charge (that was still colossally stupid, but the boy was claimed not to have been hurt) and he denies the drinking charge. He appears to have been well on his way to being fired, regardless, but there are procedures with well established standards within police forces for handling employees whose conduct is not up to par. There was no evidence Wooten was getting a soft-glove treatment and thus NO reason to intervene.

    And as for the claim that he threatened Palin’s father, that has NEVER been substantiated, it is a charge launched by the Palin family with no supporting evidence.

    You also failed to acknowledge the fact that her office is charged with a Federal violation, of disclosing financial information about him. That is pure and clear harassment, and does nothing to help the people of Alaska.

    You also brush off the fact that this was deemed serious enough to merit the appointment of a independent investigator.

    You also switched gears considerably in the thrust of the discussion on CO2. I first said that Palin’s minimizing the role of human activity made her judgment on where to draw the line between development and environmental protection questionable, You never responded, which I take to be an agreement.

    You continue to display considerable ignorance about the US record. The US, along with Australia, is one of the few non-participants, Even China and India, along with 135 other developing countries, signed. It admittedly was a weak agreement, committing countries to goals without monitoring or enforcement, but the US refused even to commit to an INTENT to reduce greenhouse gases. And you argue otherwise?

    I see you refused to look at the link I provided earlier on methane. You are also clearly willfully ignorant of the fact that climate models PREDICTED a slight fall in global temperatures over the next decade, and they would rise quickly after that. So I can only assume you do not care what kind of planet we leave for your children.

    As for Ifill, you have provided no evidence that her conduct during the debate was biased, nor has ANY commentator pointed to any failing in her conduct, save she was way way too weak. All you can do is fulminate about a book she has coming out, but that is irrelevant. What matters is how she conducted herself in the debates, and you offer no shred of evidence that she did anything wrong.

  25. Anonymous

    Edward Harrison,

    I can form my own opinion about the validity of a charge of corruption made about a politician whether or not a judge expresses an opinion or not. I’ve heard numerous- nay, endless examples of corruption by democrats that judges never bothered to notice. Whether or the guilty is a Republican or Democrat may be irrelevant in principle but in practice Democrats get away with amazing corruption that most US citizens never hear about.

    Proposed policy responses to “global warming” would do enormous damage to the US economy- millions of jobs lost- with no effective reduction in CO2 emissions. Pardon me for thinking the end goal of these policy changes is the damage to the US economy, not the insignificant reduction in CO2 emitted to the atmosphere.

    Funny that you should say that my statement is akin to saying the US can beat criminal suspects into confessions because China and India do- because the left often says what foreign lands do the US should do also. I reject that assertion completely. The US should do what is in the US national interest- which is that we should not disembowel the US economy due to false assertions about global warming no matter much foreigners want us to.

    Ifill stands to make vastly more money from her book if Obama wins- which is what she plainly and obviously desires to happen- than if McCain wins. This alone makes me want someone else moderate the debate- at least until Hugh Hewitt and Britt Hume also get to be moderators as well. This won’t happen but it should.

    Finally, I agree that “hotness” does not matter. I was thinking of a Democrat who made a statement about the current governor of Michigan prior to her re-election. It is an idiotic reason to vote for someone but obviously I heard about it first hand and I expect it may well influence some people to vote for Palin absent any other reason.

  26. Yves Smith

    You also failed to include the biggest element of misconduct, namely, that Palin fired a state employee, the State Public Safety Commissioner, allegedly for refusing to fire the trooper, Mike Wooten.

    AP is now reporting it now appears that Palin and her husband will not testify in the ethics investigation. If her conduct is blameless, she should be eager to participate.

  27. Anonymous

    Palin lovers, if I promise to pay you what they republicans do, will you go away?

    This was a “slam”, it was not meant to have any basis in fact, it was a take down.

    I realize that all of you who love this woman were told to do so by fox news, but therein lies your problem. They are constantly getting facts and opinion mixed up. Most people qualify opinions as such, they do not yell them at people and demand that they respond to them.

    And here I am responding to them…

  28. Yves Smith

    Your ignorance is simply breathtaking. British Petroleum set as a target that it would reduce its CO2 emissions to 1990 levels in ten years. It did it in three, by spending $30 million, and saved $650 million. They came out way ahead in cutting their carbon footprint, and there is no reason not to believe that many companies would come out net ahead too.

    But no, you’d rather wave the Big Lie that millions of jobs would be lost. No economic analyst has ever come up with such a figure.

    And after Wall Street getting free passes from the Bush Administration (in particular, the SEC let the 5 biggest brokerage firm get a waiver from capital requirements, which played a significant role in our financial mess), you make unproven charges about judges favoring Democrats. The Federal bench has FAR more Republican judges than Democrats, so again your statement files in the face of facts.

    But you’ll just come here and make stuff to prove your point. Unless you start providing links for your factoids, your comments will be deleted. I am tired of wasting my time with someone who cannot be bothered with facts.

  29. Douglas

    Not intending to change the subject from Palin and this Trooper, but anyone have an opinion LONG the 30-Year T BOND? It would seem that long rates are likely to fall going forward, yes?

    Thx.

  30. doc holiday

    My opinion is that rates will fall, and I also think there will be some new inventory added in the form of discounted Treasuries (zero-coupon bonds) which will add more pressure to the tsunami of cash headed to the short term. The big question is how the floating dollar will impact falling bond yields; it may provide a cushion, but I think that cash pipeline may end up being diverted to The Yen. All boats will fall on this tide, so it will be a liquidity trap that make any movements risky.

    FYI: An alternative to alternatives, zero coupon bonds offer best returns
    http://www.bfinance.de/content/v…ent/view/14626/

    A clear advantage of the zero coupon bond is that pension administrators are able to precisely match their actuarial liabilities without risk. If a pension fund CIO allocating for maximum risk-adjusted performance had invested in a 30-year Treasury bond yielding 4.8% a year ago, the total return on his investment would be 16% compared to a loss of about 20% for the S&P 500.

    It’s all relative
    Zero coupon bonds have generated a return of 24% in the past year. “There is no security that we can think of that has come remotely close to matching that, risk-adjusted or not,” notes a Merrill Lynch report.

    Many U.S. institutions were the creditors of the Latin American countries, so in 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady devised a plan to convert the Latin American bank debt into a new structure called a "Brady Bond." Brady Bonds were U.S. Dollar denominated bonds which were collateralized by zero coupon U.S .Treasury bonds. The debtor nations would exchange their defaulted bank debt for Brady Bonds and then purchase the zero coupon bonds. The zero coupons were held in escrow by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

    Also See: Level, Slope, Curvature: Characterising the Yield Curve in a Cointegrated VAR Model
    http://www.economics-ejournal.or…version_1/ count

    See: Nelson and Siegel (1987) introduce a latent factor model where the factors are unobserved but the loadings represent level slope and curvature. The latter uses an affine latent factormodel, imposing a no arbitrage condition.

    >> In conclusion, our model not only shows that the yield curve is explained by a level and slope factor but gives meaning to them by identifying the cumulated residuals that drive them: the long end of the curve determines the level and the medium sector the slope. The short end does not contain information on yields of other maturities

  31. David Habakkuk

    Rod Little is certainly not a left-winger — he is a maverick, not a party-liner.

    On Sarah Palin, he is simply expressing what very many people in Britain feel — particularly, I might say, older and rather conservative people who still expect candidates for high public office to behave with at least a shred of dignity.

    As I get my news from the net, and don’t watch television, I first heard about the famous wink from my wife, who told me, with utter incredulity: ‘But David, she winked.’

    If Americans want to see a ‘soccer mom’ a ‘heartbeat away’ from the Presidency, let them vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. But they should be aware of the likely implications of so doing. A very possible one is that the collapse in respect for American capacities for global leadership, which has been in progress since 2003, may run right out of control — rather like one of those financial stocks, whose value heads steadily but hardly irreversibly downwards for a time, but then goes into free fall.

  32. Anonymous

    What’s this? Are you too ignorant and stupid to block my IP address?

    Do I need to tell what posts I made so you can delete them and make you think you won an argument?

    Pathetic, and all too typical of the left. Losers all.

  33. Douglas

    One big cause of global warming is deforestation – the loss of permanent Co2 sinks.

    forests are “The lungs of the earth”.

    Just google “Deforestation Brazil” for instance.

    “In the last five months of 2007, 3,235 sq km (1,250 sq miles) were lost.”

    Are there efforts to try and monetize forests, in the amazon for example, to disincentive those doing the clearing (for cattle grazing mostly).

    “Deforestation”. It just never comes up.

    It seems the global warming crowd focuses exclusively on flagellating the United States consumption.

    That solution seems to be “wind, solar”.

    Any plan that includes deforestation, I will eagerly and excitedly read. I just haven’t seen one.

    How about giving credits that can be monetized to “owners of forests”? Create incentives for people to plant forests. Create Incentives for owners of forests to keep them.

    As President, that’s what I would do.

    Thx.

  34. Richard Smith

    I remember, Doc. Habitat loss: the downside of boom times. Still, at least there will be a new one tomorrow.

  35. Douglas

    Thanks doc for 2:10AM comment response to bonds.

    Unfortunately, some of the links you provided have …… in the middle of them for some reason.

    One question, Is the risk US govt bond issuance gets shunned (for the obvious reasons) real, imagined, or “not there yet”?

    Thx.

  36. Yves Smith

    7:47, I don’t block IP addresses because that means I could block an entire company, which might have some legitimate readers.

    And that very remark proves you have been barred from blog before so this is not the first time you have been excluded due to unacceptable behavior.

    I very clearly told you the ground rules. You needed to provide links for your assertions. You provided a rant with no links, Any post like that gets deleted.

    As for some of my earlier claims, unlike you, I can substantiate them.

    On companies making a very handsome return on investing in energy savings, from McKinsey, which makes its bread and butter from big companies, so is the antithesis of a greenie shill:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/04/why-companies-arent-fighting-climate.html

    And it turns out my memory was wrong, BP spent only $20 million, not $30 million as I said above. to save $650 million by reducing its greenhouse gas output to 1990 levels. This post has a link to a Guardian story:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2007/02/politics-of-global-warming.html

  37. Anonymous

    I am sure that if you made a machine that made gasoline out of children some of the most rabid anti-environmentalists would buy it.

    I would have to see how much it cost.

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