Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My faves for the day

Oprah Winfrey's Mother Countersues Store Over $156,000 Bill

“Oprah Winfrey's mother says she shouldn't have to pay a nearly $156,000 debt to a high-end fashion store because store officials shouldn't have extended credit to her.”

RW: Forget singling out Wall Street, nobody is responsible for their actions anymore!

From Bloomberg via Stefan Karlsson

“The trouble is, the cure is almost as bad as the disease. The state-run banks will be just as risky as the private ones we have now. They will spend money on just as many stupid things. In a few years, we'll be thinking about taking them private again.”

Non-Residential Construction Spending Declines

“It now appears that private non-residential construction has peaked, and I expect non-residential investment will decline sharply over the next year.”

RW: This was to be expected, so why is it such a shock? Usually the residential and nonresidential real estate markets grow/deteriorate in tandem, with one lagged behind the other. So expect further drag to economic growth in Q3 and Q4 coming from gross fixed investment.

Save the banks? Yes -- and Oregon arrow makers too

“In the now 451-page financial-system bailout bill moving through the Senate, you know there had to be some ridiculous pork-barrel gifts to special interests.”
Just how ridiculous? From Bloomberg News:

Rose City Archery Inc., an Oregon company that makes arrows used by children, hit a bull's-eye with Senate legislation that would rescue Wall Street banks. Senators attached a provision repealing a 39-cent excise tax on wooden and fiberglass arrows designed for children to an historic $700-billion bank rescue that is likely to pass tonight.”

ADP Report: Fewer Private-Sector Job Losses Than Expected

“‘Note that this month, the ADP report does not reflect two special factors that might have further depressed employment in September,’ said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers. Those factors were the strike of 37,000 machinists at Boeing, and job losses related to hurricanes Gustav and Ike.”

RW: Sure, for this month. But how do you explain that the ADP report outpaced BLS private nonfarm payroll by an average of 130,000 jobs from January through August?

Takes on the New, Porked-Up Bailout Bill

“This comes from an e-mail titled, "It's worse than I though,t" from a reader with a good deal of inside-the-Beltway experience:

It's Christmas…This has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL CONCEPT. In fact very little has really been changed with respect to the original Paulson plan…The new PIG has everything to do with Senate Finance. There are 300 pages of tax breaks.”

RW: Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: The only bill with a mind of its own. The more often it gets revised, the fatter the bill gets, and the bigger the costs get to taxpayers. Go big government!

RW: And yes, a little humor

A cruel September for 5 bank CEOs

“A slew of corporate chiefs hung up their hats during the recent market turmoil - but most left Wall Street with their pockets full.”

RW: Click on the link to see their pictures, term as CEO (first one is 18 days), signing bonus, and severance packages.

Today's Humour: Investment Advice

“If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago, you would have $49 left.

With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left of the original $1,000.

With AIG, you would have less than $15 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drunk all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash.”

Rebecca Wilder


  1. I've stopped referencing the ADP's labor statistics for the very reason you mentioned -- the rarely correlate with the BLS.

    I'm lovin the funny posts...Another incentive (or excuse?) to drink beer.