Total Global Meltdown

It’s a great time to be afraid

Worries in the oil patch

And finally, because he specializes in refined petroleum products and sees the sales figures daily, Emilio said he suspects the accelerating global slowdown will slash demand for gasoline and heating oil to the extent that major U.S. refiners like Tesoro (TSO) and Valero Energy (VLO) may face the greatest financial challenges of their lives, potentially to the extent that the government will be forced to nationalize them.

He points to the sharp drop in miles driven in the United States; the $25 billion federal loan to automakers to develop more-fuel-efficient cars; and the massive, sophisticated new refinery being built in India that’s expected to produce as much as 20% of world supply when it comes fully on line — dwarfing the increasingly old-fashioned U.S. refineries. “There’s just a lot more molecules coming into the gasoline pool from overseas,” he said, “and that has to put our refiners in a bind.”

Danger: The wipeout is still ahead

I think Harry Reid’s smile pretty much tells the whole story.

full story (in case they don’t have TV and newspapers where you live)

Yeah, it’s a breakthrough alright.

Fuck Dick Fuld – Let Him Burn

First, you crash your 158 year-old firm into an iceberg. Then the FBI shows up and wants to know whether you committed fraud while doing it.

We’ve felt bad for Dick Fuld ever since Lehman met its shocking end (Yes, it was his fault, and, yes, we feel worse for everyone else at the firm). And now we really feel bad for him.


Alternatives to administration’s approach
Leading economists argue that other solutions could address financial crisis

Buffett buys into Goldman Sachs

But the market got a big dose of good news after the close when Berkshire Hathaway, headed by legendary investor Warren Buffett, said it would invest $5 billion in preferred stock in Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs will also raise $2.5 billion in common stock.

Thanks to the Buffett news, Goldman Sachs shares were up 7.8% to $134.75 in after-hours trading after closing up 3.5% to $125.05 in regular trading. The Select Sector SPDR-Financial exchange-traded fund was up 3.4% to $21.19 after-hours; the ETF had closed at $20.49.

As important, the news sets the stock market up for a rally at the open. Futures prices in the S&P 500 and the Dow jumped on the news and suggested, as of 8 p.m. ET, that the Dow could open with a gain of roughly 120 points to around 10,970. The S&P 500 was looking at a 15-point gain at the open to 1,202.

Greenspan: Shortselling Ban Idiotic

44 Replies to “Total Global Meltdown”

  1. I wonder how long it will take for the stock market to realize this bailout plan is not working and tank? A week, maybe two?

    Reminds me of cocaine abuse (second-hand knowledge, of course, so my friends tell me, winkie winkie). First hit, fantastic, second hit, need a little moron to get back there. Third hit, much moron, and the thrill is waning. Forth hit, etc. and it’s getting to be a caffine-level buzz. Time to quit, or move on to harder stuff.

  2. As for me, I only look forward to the VP debate on Thursday. It promises to be high comedy, so get your DVD recorder warmed up and check your supply of blank DVDs.

    I hope the silly stock market doesn’t spoil it all by crashing or something. Next long emergency! NEXT!

  3. I read a little story when I was small about a man’s wife who always wore a ribbon around her neck. She would change the colour each day, but always wore one ribbon firmly around her neck.
    One day the husband became annoyed and told her to take the ribbon off. She said she couldn’t take it off.
    One night he crept in and cut the ribbon with a pair of scissors.
    Her head fell off mouthing the words “I told you so!”

    So, would Nancy Pelosi’s head fall off if the bitch ever stopped wearing pearls?

  4. We could have fun trying to find all the fake things in the picture. JR started it by noting Reid’s smile. Pelosi’s helmet hair would go on my list. Paulson looks kind of real though–real bad. I’ve pulled all nighters (three in a row no sleep, even) where I didn’t look too good, but that is special. Dude is either on drugs or needs em.

    Of course, the fakest thing about the picture is that anyone there believes the “Rescue Plan” is going to work.

  5. MOU,
    What about the guy turning his nose up behind Paulson?
    Maybe he’s a bit woofy after an all-nighter pimping for Wall st.

  6. I’m careful calling women bitches, but damn, with her hands like that, and the collar, er, sorry Yarra, I mean pearls, don’t she look like a lap dog, sitting up and begging? Her little paws posed in front of her, with her dog groomed hair do– ain’t she cute? If you are a MOTU that is.

    Sit Nancy, sit.


    Don’t get me started with the phallic microphones going after her mouth. Once we have established you are a whore, it is just a matter of determining the price AND if you give head, do anal, pull trains, etc.

    Nancy does Wallstreet, her next porn feature film. She put the LOW in Pelosi.

    When Paulson was on his knees, she should have…

    I best stop.


  7. MOU,
    DVDA is the only way to rescue CDS’, CDOs’ & MBS’ ?
    Can anyone find out her porn name?
    (I think it’s the name of your first pet and the porn surname is the name of the street you grew up on).

    Glad my first pet wasn’t Puddles the cat of Higginbottom st….

  8. Never really thought of it before, but interesting speakers go to Portland, Oregon. The only thing I’ve seen come through Cincinnati are people that can equip Procter & Gamble to strategically reformulate
    soap to foreign markets. The Swifter is pretty cool though – Jiffy up yer kitchen quick!

  9. “Now let me tell you what worries me. Imagine that the Turkey can be the most powerful man in world economics, managing our economic fates. How? A then-Princeton economist called Ben Bernanke made a pronouncement in late 2004 about the “new moderation” in economic life: the world getting more and more stable—before becoming the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Yet the system was getting riskier and riskier as we were turkey-style sitting on more and more barrels of dynamite—and Prof. Bernanke’s predecessor the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was systematically increasing the hidden risks in the system, making us all more vulnerable to blowups.” –NN Taleb

  10. Always my pleasure, Thal.

    “I start with my old crusade against “quants” (people like me who do mathematical work in finance), economists, and bank risk managers, my prime perpetrators of iatrogenic risks (the healer killing the patient). Why iatrogenic risks? Because, not only have economists been unable to prove that their models work, but no one managed to prove that the use of a model that does not work is neutral, that it does not increase blind risk taking, hence the accumulation of hidden risks.”

    (You’ll have to vist the above link to view the chart…)

    Figure 1 My classical metaphor: A Turkey is fed for a 1000 days—every days confirms to its statistical department that the human race cares about its welfare ‘with increased statistical significance.’ On the 1001st day, the turkey has a surprise.” –NN Taleb

  11. In a myriad of photos, I’ve been drawing little horns on Henry Paulson’s semi-bald pate. It really completes his look. The Devil Wears Prada, indeed!

  12. thal, I just finished watching that video. Staggering. The speaker does not sound too hopeful. Thanks for posting the link.

  13. Oooh, EE, that reminds me of a true story about turkeys.

    I used to commute to college in S. California along I-60 (Ontario to Riverside). Every school day in the fall, I would pass this turkey farm. I would watch them grow from small birds into large ones, so the yards would slowly turn from dirt brown to almost pure white feathers, fence-to-fence turkeys.

    Then one day in early November, I would pass by and the yards would be almost back to pure brown dirt, except for a few white feathers blowing around.

  14. “What comes across best is that she looks hot, fills a stage, seems a fast study, and speaks in complete sentences. Nobody’s listening closely to anything anyway, so she could pull it off, even going toe to toe on the stage with Biden. In 2008, it’s all about form over content.”

    Let’s take another crack at it:

    What comes across worst is that while she’s looking hot, shrivels in an interview, can stay up late for the test, but misplaces the answers to the questions, and flunks. Nobody’s listening closely to anything anyway, so she could do me a big favor pulling her blouse off when going toe to toe on stage with Biden. In 2008, it’s all about form over content.
    – thal

  15. thal, talk to me. you know jr isn’t big on second takes. part of his genius. i fastidiously avoid the shift key for now…

    even if they wanted the avalanche of treasuries, how the hell do those chinese and middle easterners come up with the cash? maybe i’m missing something. i did lie though about not using the shift key.

  16. Holmes,

    Another crack at it does not equate to a second take. Both are contemporaneous. I can float down the same Moon River and not recognize Mancini.

    I doubt that the Chinese have 12,000,000,000 $100 bills in a vault somewhere. It’s probably nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet (no doubt a bootleg copy) backed up redundantly.

  17. I agree. I got lucky on my initial firing-from-the-hip assessment of Palin’s likely effect, probably long forgotten by all. Averaged over time, all wrong answers will be forgotten if not forgiven and asymptotically converge upon a clear image of breasts sprung loose to bring a shriveled Foghorn Leghorn knock-off whimpering to his knees.

  18. So now — finally — LH has discovered the Hank the Hammer/Col Klink separated at birth link. Classic propagation delay humor.

  19. So I guess it’s true that hill folk really think we’re over thar fighting the a-rabs. Sometimes a language barrier is very positive thing. In Jim’s WMBH, dentists will be the new circuit riders and lawyers the new camp followers doing the transactional mop up work at any given recent, present, or future situs of action. Don’t know if I believe any of it.

  20. Holmes, those Romans borrowed heavily from the Greeks, whom they simultaneously despised as a bunch of show-off homos past their prime. The Greeks in turn borrowed from the hated Persians, who borrowed from the Sumarians who borrowed from the Egyptians who borrowed much of their material from Henne Youngman, a close friend and confidant of JR and Moses.

  21. “Nobody’s listening closely to anything anyway, so she could do me a big favor pulling her blouse off when going toe to toe on stage with Biden. In 2008, it’s all about form over content.”

    Reminds me to make back-up copies of those debate DVDs. They could be worth a mint one day.

  22. Doom,
    Didn’t the Sumarians have a sliding scale of penalties vs. class?
    i.e. stealing a loaf of bread for a slave – coupla lashes, a land owner, lose a hand, a statesman, death?

  23. Gee, the Dow’s still down 250 points this morning. What’s the D? Wasn’t this legislation supposed to sprinkle magic ponies all over Wall Street?

    Cue mental image of Slim Pickens riding the Bomb, waving his hat and screeching “Yeeee-haw! Yeeee-haw!”

  24. Uncle Yarra, yes, that’s correct, but over the centuries since, that sliding penalty scale has been reversed. That’s cuz it’s damn hard to translate Sumarian.

  25. DOW down almost 600 points. See? We don’t need no stinking bail-out.

    Seems like Mark Twain had it right: “I’ve known many troubles, but fortunately most of them didn’t come to past.”

    “Take my wife, please”–H. Youngman

  26. DOW down over 700 points. Seems to be trend today, wonder why?

    Crude’s down to $96/barrel, gold’s over $900/oz. Somebody’s dumping their oil futures, and buying gold.

    Hey, it’s good news for the airlines, and coin shops!

  27. Good one Far. The Doomsday Machine triggered. We’re taking everyone down with us. Do we know the name of the “1”?

  28. Thal, the abstainer was Jerry Weller (R-IL). I think he (and one Dem voting yes) switched to “no” at the last minute, making the final tally 206-238. There’s a full tally at

    As I said on CFN, my reprehensible gave me a rare my-way vote (no) today. I need to suck it up & send him an attaboy.

    Dow ended up -777 today. Ouch CIty. Well, we knew that would happen if we got the miracle we did. Now that there’s been a great big nationwide middle finger flipped in BenPaul’s direction, I suppose we need to start telling our reps what we’ll support.

  29. “… I suppose we need to start telling our reps what we’ll support.”

    Givng Elliot Spitzer all the hookers he wants and needs and free reign as a special prosecutor over financial criminals–including that sleazeball Andrew Cuomo who is in this shit up to his chin.

    He had AIG on the run when the Feds screwed him.

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