Notes March 13 2008
March 13, 2008 § Leave a comment
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:31 p.m. EDT March 10, 2008
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “Charlie and I believe Berkshire should be a fortress of financial strength” wrote Warren Buffett. That was five years before the subprime-credit meltdown.
“We try to be alert to any sort of mega-catastrophe risk, and that posture may make us unduly appreciative about the burgeoning quantities of long-term derivatives contracts and the massive amount of uncollateralized receivables that are growing alongside. In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.”
Stronger Rules for Mortgages Are Proposed
New York Times – 1 hour ago
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS WASHINGTON – The nation’s top economic policymakers, hoping to prevent a repeat of the excesses that led to the mortgage bubble and bust, on Thursday proposed a broad series of reforms aimed at tightening oversight of financial …
and re Spitzer
The report of the investigation shows that prosecutors and investigators had assembled their case against the prostitution ring by mid-January. But they held back. They were waiting for their true prey, which was not the prostitution ring. They were out for Eliot Spitzer. He apparently booked another transaction on the eve of Valentine’s Day. The allocation of resources for this operation again was massive, and included a stake-out of Spitzer’s hotel room and comprehensive surveillance. Again, the prosecution team was not out after a crime, it was out after a person.
and , Iran, Israel
Coinciding with the ominous news that US CENTCOM chief Admiral William Fallon has resigned – or been sacked – for his opposition to a war with Iran, Livni hopes to harvest a blowing wind of war against another Middle Eastern country that dares to challenge Israel’s regional hegemony. It is a familiar story with a recent precedent in Iraq and a script for action, requiring high-pitched public diplomacy with the help of a vast network of sympathetic media pundits, that Israel has fully mastered.
This is reflected in the Israeli government’s blunt announcement of a new settlement in the West Bank, timed with Rice’s visit, which must have surely sent a signal that no matter how it may be interpreted as a provocation that belies the peace process, Israel’s policy of annexation and confiscation of Palestinian lands will continue unabated.
the waning months of the George W Bush administration represent a golden opportunity for Israel to ignite another Middle East conflict that, in essence, is rooted in Israel’s structural inability to make peace with the Arab and Muslim world.
My view, Israel/(arab, Islamic (embedded in the Palestinian) problem is preventing the emergence of a focus on the real problems of food, climate, energy and poverty.
Bush, by inclination not to think, or know any history, art, literature, archeology, helps turn the world toward violence and security as central, rather than important but subordinate as they ought to be.