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Have You Seen This?

Have You Seen This?

  • The Room – 03/16/2009

    This week I tripped over an old musical favorite, I'm Your Captain, by Grand Funk Railroad, which is what I'm listening to as I begin this weekly missive. While the song has a little rust on it, for those of you who haven't taken a ride on Grand Funk Railroad of late, it's a nice enough trip. Now, on to what seems important this week. This week Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup, a bank that has managed to lose $38 billion over the last five quarters, sent around an internal memorandum in which he said he was "encouraged" by the company's performance so far in 2009....
  • The Room - 10/24/2008

    I have woken in the pre-dawn to find our direst predictions coming true, with global stock markets taking yet another pounding and U.S. stock futures limit down. Serving as a proxy for the mindset now gripping governments around the world, French President Sarkozy has announced that the French government will, henceforth, buy shares in important French companies in an attempt to prop them up. 'We will intervene massively whenever a strategic enterprise needs our money,' said Sarkozy, a supposed economic conservative, as he pounded the table on behalf of nationalizing industry. The New Age of big government is upon us. Armed with Harry Potter-like magical monetary wands, they are wildly conjuring a deluge of money from thin air to bind the free market and keep it from facilitating the resolution of economic and investment dislocations created over decades. Bud Conrad tells me he is having a hard time adding up all the fiat money that has been committed to the battle for economic - and, by extension, political - survival over the past couple of months. The numbers rolling off the lips of officialdumb have progressed well past the hundreds of millions, or even hundreds of billions, and have now reached the trillions. In that theme, the Fed announced this week that it would drop over half a trillion - $540 billion, to be exact - on the purchase of suspect commercial paper now clogging the portfolios of 'safe harbor' money market funds. Given that there is a total of $3.4 trillion of your money resting in those very same funds, the commitment of $540 billion - about 16% of the total - should be taken as an indicator of just how bad the problem really is....
  • The Room 4/14/08

    Written: April 11, 2008 Dear Readers, No question about it, we humans like to keep things simple. And no wonder; if the world is anything, it is chaotic. And so we look for our philosophy in un-taxing nuggets, the sort, perhaps, that might grace the back...
  • The Room 3/10/08

    Dear Fellow Global Adventurers , This past week I came across worthy comments from Dr. Marc Faber of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report in which he comments that, by continuing to cut interest rates, Bernanke will eventually "destroy the U.S. dollar...