Links 12/8/08

Financial crisis hits horse breeders Financial Times

Gorilla states in poaching pledge BBC

The hottest recessionary activity in town Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times. Even though demand is up, I still suspect the number of trades is down, since money tends to lubricate this sort of activity.

Euro Dreams Fade for Zloty, Forint, Koruna as Currencies Tumble Bloomberg

Back at Junk Value, Recyclables Are Piling Up New York Times

Ben’s still dancing… Models and Agents. Ouch.

Krugman: US Auto Industry Will Probably Disappear Huffington Post

Holiday delivery: New credit-card rules from regulators MarketWatch

Commercial property values to halve, says RICS Guardian

Oil Bulls Won’t Like the Answer to Saudi Arabia’s Production Equation Wall Street Journal

Hedge Fund Withdrawals Accelerate Wall Street Journal. Hedge fund selling pressure will continue, but should be less disorderly than what we saw in October.

Anonymous Banker: Why Creditworthy Businesses Can’t Get Loans New York Times

Is Lehman CEO Dick Fuld the true villain in the Wall Street collapse? New York Magazine (hat tip reader Martin). Way too Fuld friendly, and contrast it with the Vanity Fair piece below, but fills in some gaps.

When Lower Mortgage Rates Don’t Boost House Prices Felix Salmon

Wall Street: Profiles in Panic Michael Shnayerson, Vanity Fair (hat tip reader Martin)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. tenletters

    I read up on bears before spending my early years traipsing around their territory. That green must be in Idaho or Montana or Canada, because that is a griz.

    That guy in the red/white is doing it all wrong. 1) Running away is likely to trigger the alpha predators instinct to pursue. 2) Bears interpret any direct eye contact as a challenge.

    When a bear is encountered one is advised to stand their ground and look towards the bear, but not directly at it. The bear will usually move along.

    In the rare instances in which the bear charges, one should continue to stand their ground. Most of the time the bear will peel off: a mock charge. Even if the bear strikes you and knocks you down (and you WILL go down, especially vs a griz)it is still best to remain prone. Usually even after charging and striking, a bear will leave without any further agression.

    If the bear begins to maul you and it is a black bear, you may have a chance to fight back enough to cause the bear pain, hopefully encouraging it to flee. Against a griz there is not much chance of a human causing enough pain for it to care, and even so it will just get madder.

    So the advise from the experts is to curl up and lie as still as possible while the bear mauls and/or (rarely) feeds. Most often a few swipes are enough for the bear and it moves on. Hopefully it will have missed any vital areas and the victim can be saved before they bleed out.

    That is what the experts say anyway. For the life of me I don’t know how it would be possible to lie still while being mauled. I guess the ingrained human need to act in traumatic situations can often lead to fatal mistakes.

    BTW: Grizzlies are not proficient at climbing trees like black bears, but their height and their ability to run up trees gives them the ability to reach points above 30ft high, so find the biggest tree you can and climb to the top. Or you could just try to outrun at least one of your fellow golfers.

  2. a

    “This past week I spoke with a business owner who had a $150,000 home equity line that he used for business purposes at the end of each year. He’d borrow for a couple months and then pay the line off. Right now, there’s nothing outstanding on the line. He has an extremely viable company, although sales have declined this year. But he manages his expenses wisely and continues to be profitable. He has a credit score over 750. He has no personal debt, other than his mortgage, and he earns in excess of $200,000 a year.

    He just received a letter from his bank telling him that his equity line was cut from $150,000 to $16,000. And now, when his company needs funding for the next two months, he is scrambling to find a way to pull it all together, absent selling his stocks at significant losses.”

    I’m a little tired of stories like this. What happened to businesses having cash on hand? Instead he’s borrowing for his business with his home as collateral? Isn’t that the kind of nonsense we want to end? Rather than whining about?

  3. Anonymous

    I like to think the photo is from Bitterroot Vally. One closed gate golfing community (small cabin/house 4-6M with mansions over 20M) destroyed the lives of many family’s, that for generations struggled to survive in its rugged beauty. Short growing season,low nutrient soil falling prices of their products and increasing energy costs were only a few of their challenges. Now compound this by the increase in property taxes this golf course brought about. With out said golfers contributing to the general cash flow of the area, schools, health or jobs. All so a few could fly their private jets from LA to get 18 holes of golf in the high snow capped landscape and fly back to LA in time for the dinner reservation.

    Next time they should forgo the fatty lunch Goose liver pate and rare steaks, which now permeates their body’s via sweat, which bears can smell miles away. High protein energy bars with bad fashion wrappers for Bears.


  4. Rod

    Re BBG link:
    I can’t speak for the Zloty or the Forint but the Czech National Bank has been deliberately weakening the Koruna since the summer (primarily because a strong CZK hurts exports) and it is by no means clear that CR wants to join the Euro at all. Growth is still forecast for next year – unlike in the Euro zone or the US.


    Stand your ground? You got to be kidding! You only have to run faster than one other guy. Check out

  6. Anonymous

    Ben Dancing

    I think the underlying fact that all keep missing is that every action the Fed/Treasury and Wall Street has taken is still completely influenced by the bubble. The thought is if they can just get things going again all those stupidly priced “assets” will once again not look stupid.

    It is the attitude of Marlon Brando in “The Freshman” where he’s spoofing his Godfather role and is on the phone with his stockbroker saying, “I dont like it when they go down.”

    This bubble attitude still infests the entire system and is one reason why there’s still a long way down.

  7. Anonymous

    The guy in the middle is the Dow, the guy on the left is the Naz, and the guy on the right is the S%P. Most ominously, the bear has just come out of the woods; it has not even come close to pouncing on its prey yet.

  8. Zeke

    Ed Bradley, who lived in Aspen Colorado, played golf with Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson kept a shotgun in his golf bag. He used it once too, to get the attention of a guy driving a combine that was throwing up a lot of chaff on the course. Bradley’s comment was “who in the hell keeps a shotgun in their golfbag” …

  9. Anonymous

    @tenletters: To escape the Bear just kick the other guy in the nuts and run. Pretty much the same principle applies in the market.

  10. Tortoise

    re: Krugman: US Auto Industry Will Probably Disappear

    Well, if Michigan had control of its monetary affairs, they would devalue the Michigan Lira and their cars, almost all exported from Michigan, would have a renewed chance to again compete in the world markets. But they do not have this option.

    One of the reasons I mention this (in case you are wondering) is because The Ambrose constantly brings up differences within the Euro Zone as an argument against the euro.

    Another reason is related to fairness. The dollar is strong because of events beyond Michigan’s control; in particular, fiscal and monetary policy that has nothing to do with Michigan’s interests as an “exporter” of industrial products. So, even though I do not like bailouts as a matter of principle, I accept the automakers’ bailout as realpolitik.

  11. Anonymous

    This is why I don’t play golf. (Tennis has gates and fences for protection). Also, out on that golf course just being a faster runner than one’s buddies may not work. Bears love a good chase, so it may go after the FASTEST runner not the slowpoke. LOL.

    The best advice, if confronted with a Grizzly, stated earlier is:
    STAND YOUR GROUND. DON’T RUN. If you run they’ll run you down and eat you for lunch. Seriously. They are absolutely vicious creatures and they go for the head first..just like they would with any other animal in the forest.

    If I were playing golf, camping or doing anything where there might be bears I would definitely carry a shotgun

  12. Anonymous

    It is clear: The bear wanted to join the game. Why should only the CEOs play? So who knows if they got bailed out?

  13. Anonymous

    A shotgun is just going to piss it off.

    In Northern NY, there was a guy who had the brilliant idea to use a shotgun to scare the black bear that was in his garage away. He shot it with the shot gun. I chased him back into his house, through the wall, and then back out the front of the house, again, through the wall. There was a news story on it, can’t find it at the moment.

    Black bears are not half the size of that thing.

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