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post #101 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 01:15 PM
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Oil continues it's slide and closed at $126.00 barrel, yesterday. Dow closed at 11,602 and appears to be headed up again, today.
Oil is down because the US economy is going in the shitter. Only a Republican would see that as "good' news.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #102 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Oil is down because the US economy is going in the shitter. Only a Republican would see that as "good' news.
Yeah, yeah, whatever. You're just pissed because there's nothing negative to be said about the stock market going back up. A strengthened economy by November = bad shit luck for your messiah.

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post #103 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:25 PM
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Living wage is easy -- sustenance & shelter. I suspect your definition includes shiny objects. Am I wrong?

B
Yes

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post #104 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:27 PM
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Living wage is simply a Kookberger extension of the Golden Rule. A real stretch, if you ask me...
That Golden Rule thing has worked for me for over half a century. I can live that that "stretch".

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post #105 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Natural Gas Futures Decline as Crude Oil Falls and Dollar Rises

By Aaron Clark

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Natural gas in New York declined as crude oil fell after fuel inventories rose, and a stronger U.S. dollar reduced the appeal of commodities as a hedge against inflation.

Oil dropped for a second day, capping a 16 percent slide from a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11, as the dollar strengthened. The dollar rose to $1.569 per Euro at 4:07 p.m. in New York, from $1.5783 yesterday.

``The market had priced in some rather bullish scenarios and we're now seeing the mindset shift away toward a more neutral supply demand balance expectation,'' said Lisa Zembrodt, a commodity analyst at Summit Energy Services Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky.

Natural gas for August delivery fell 27.9 cents, or 2.8 percent, to settle at $9.788 per million British thermal units at 4:06 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest since gas closed at $9.697 on April 8. The contract earlier rose as high as $10.316. Futures have declined 27 percent this month.

``Gas is looking for direction,'' said Zembrodt. ``It may take some gas-specific news, or a much larger move in crude to get gas really moving in either direction.''

Oil for September delivery dropped $3.98, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $124.44 a barrel in New York, the lowest close since June 4. Futures are up 66 percent from a year ago.

The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index, which tracks 26 raw materials, gained 29 percent in the first half of the year as the U.S. currency retreated 7.4 percent. The index has fallen 7.1 percent this month as the dollar has stabilized.

Dolly Misses

Gas also fell as Dolly, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, will miss production platforms in the region. Dolly came ashore near South Padre Island in southern Texas at 1 p.m. today with winds of 100 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm earlier reached Category 2 status, meaning winds of 96 to 110 mph, the center said.

Dolly is the season's first hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, home to more than a quarter of U.S. oil production. The storm has steered south of most rigs, which are off the East Texas and Louisiana shores.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita curtailed Gulf gas production, helping drive prices to $15.78 per million British thermal units on Dec. 13, 2005, the highest since the fuel began trading on the Nymex.

The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season began June 1 and runs through November. September is historically the busiest month for storms and hurricanes.

Temperatures across the U.S. are below the average for the past 30 years, said Chris Jarvis, president of Caprock Risk Management LLC in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. ``The weather maps for demand from the utilities look more bearish than people had anticipated.''

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post #106 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:29 PM
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My stat's are spot-on! And your implodeometer is nothing more than just another needlessly scary bear-shit-ometer! You're stinkin' up the place today bear...
I know those needless facts clutter your rosy view. The stink is coming from the failures.

But then again I have been pointing these out for two years, and you have denied the existence of problems for that long.

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post #107 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:47 PM
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Okay, I need to give you a case in point. My General Manager and I went to a lunch with the mayor, an event that is sponsored by the area Chamber of Commerce. One gentleman, who owned a small tool and die firm, was complaining about the same thing. He offered $12.00 an hour to START. That is, the guy would come in with little knowledge (usually high school vocational candidates), and he would expend his company resources to train this man. He said it took at least 1 year to get the average hired in laborer to optimal performance. The guy would come in, draw his $12.00 hour long enough to qualify for unemployment benefits, goof off and get fired, then draw his check. He also pointed out he had to fire two previous employees for drug use.

The problem is, because our unemployment here was 3.9% at the time (it's about 4.5%, now), the hiring pool was poor. You had those drawing unemployment who do not want to work until their benefits expired, those who got fired for drug use or never hit a lick at anything, anyway and those who genuinely need a job. The desirable workers are already working somewhere else, making $16 to $20 per hour. He has two choices, hire out of the labor pool containing few quality workers or try to 'coax' one of the experienced to come over for a couple more $ per hour. Even if he manages to budget out for one of the experienced guys, there's still a learning curve to get the guy to do the work like he wants it done, not like it was done at his former workplace. So, either way, the worker expends company resources being trained.

So, most businesses choose to hire inexperienced workers because they get to train them to do what they want. But, the problem of finding a good candidate has to be overcome. Someone who will show up, show up on time and do a good job when they are there. I, speaking from a management point of view, want someone to prove themselves to me. I'm not going to advocate paying 'living' wages to someone whom I know nothing about, whether they can do the job or not. We've been through 3 folder operators in the last year because the first was incapable of delivering satisfactory work, the second was too busy being a damned grown up teenager to show up (did good work -when he was there) and the third that we have now is a work release that was hired as a 'favor' to another guy (not my idea).

So, one could ask 'What wages are fair?' to hire these kinds of goobobs. The job is a general labor job with opportunity for advancement. It doesn't take a great deal of skill to run the folder, but you need skill to troubleshoot. It starts off $1.50 to $2.00 hour more than minimum wage, with a raise in 90 days, depending on job performance. That's where our senior pressman came from and he's knocking down some good money. But, most want it NOW. They don't want to earn their way to the top. They don't want to put in their dues.

While 'Business Ethics/Philosophy' may dictate that you pay a 'living wage', you must also understand that paying a living wage to an unknown quantity is not good sense. So, employees should prove themselves first, then their pay checks will reflect that, not the other way around.
Virtually every issue you raised is usually addressed by the normal probationary period I would think you put an employee through. I have, in the past addressed that period with a "bonus pay" at the end of the probationary period to bring a starting pay up to an acceptable standard. That incents everyone.

Also, for general labor like folders for your printing company, don't you have temp agencies to prescreen your genlab folks? That would eliminate drug use, criminal backgrounds and provide you only with folks who were educable for driving equipment in your shop.

I helped a friend set up a sixty station CNC wheel making facility for subbing out to Toyota, Nissan and Ford a couple of years ago. We simply pulled all the general labor force off of Manpower, Precision and CDI. I have never heard him bitch about employee retention and he is a firm believer in paying fair living wages.

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post #108 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 03:36 PM
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That Golden Rule thing has worked for me for over half a century. I can live that that "stretch".
Do unto others as they have done unto you.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
He who has the gold, rules.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #109 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 09:44 AM
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Well no can say it is biased since it comes from FOX...........

Why You Should be Worried About the Rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem… It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.” – Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981

The moves by the government to calm the waters over the perilous health of Fannie Mae (FNM: 13.78, -1.22, -8.13%) and Freddie Mac (FRE: 10.12, -0.68, -6.29%), the mortgage finance giants, have had a temporary Xanax effect on the markets, similar to the Federal Reserve’s shotgun marriage between JPMorgan Chase and Bear Stearns. This, despite the fact that the moves have kicked into high gear the haymaker of inflation now coming a cropper through family budgets.

What puts me near to having a stroke is when Congress thinks it can whip a fast ball by Americans by saying the moves to bolster Fannie and Freddie will cost $25 bn, in order to sell the $300 bn housing bailout bill.

The $25 bn number is a fake number, the cost will be dramatically higher. Read to the bottom to find out why.

The Congressional Budget Office spitballed this one and came up with a best guesstimate based on its averaging out of what it thought the losses might be. The $25 bn tossup represents an average of the odds of no government money spent whatsoever (weighted at better than 50-50 odds, who is the fantabulist who cooked those odds up?), what the CBO believes is the smaller odds of spending in excess of $25 bn and then in excess of $100 bn (pegged at a rosy 5% probability).

Don’t believe for a second that you can make money following these pie-eyed Grandma bureaucrats at the slot machines in Las Vegas. More importantly, the $25 bn arises despite the fact that the Congress just this week sent in the Eliot Nesses from the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to go find out what the heck is really sitting on Fannie and Freddie’s books, as it clearly doesn’t believe the management at these two levered up examples of crony capitalism.

And don’t forget the history here, CBO’s estimates on the annual cost of tax code legislative changes (federal tax revenues gained or lost) are often way off by $150 bn or more.

But here’s what should concern you.

The legislation would increase the statutory limit on the national debt by $800 bn, to $10.6 tn, as the two would now get to buy and back jumbo loans worth $625,000 each.

However, the House bill doesn’t force Fannie and Freddie to wipe out, or even cut, their dividends to investors in the event they draw down on the government’s line of credit, a pipeline into the Treasury worth $2.25 bn each, now expanded and open for the next year and a half. Treasury gets to make that call.

I don’t know where to begin with the stink bombs, potholes and steam pipes bursting in these two reckless publicly traded companies, which have a total $5.3 tn book of business and another $3.3 tn off balance sheet. Why taxpayers now must now be forced to own a piece of these publicly traded disasters, who exhibit zero fiduciary responsibility, is beyond me.

The two have much higher leverage ratios than banks or hedge funds, but lower borrowing costs due to their implicit government backing, capital cushions they whittled down after they gunned their lobbying engines on Capitol Hill, showering elected officials with money.

Here’s a list–notice none of these issues are addressed in the housing bailout bill:

*Both have a total of a microscopic–did you see it, did you catch it?–$54bn in net worth, generally assets minus liabilities (don’t listen to the $81 bn figure tossed around for their total capital, that’s a pro forma fake number that doesn’t include certain losses).

*Teetering atop that razor thin wedge is a pyramid of debt.

*One stink bomb is the total of $260 bn in securitized assets backed by subprime and Alt-A loans, loans which sit in between subprime and prime. Those sums dwarf their capital positions.

*Freddie has $156.8 bn in level three assets, those illiquid securities it can’t get a pricetag on because no one wants them now.

*Fannie has $56.1 bn in level three assets, or about a seventh of its fair valued assets.

*Fannie and Freddie have combined debts of $1.59 tn, borrowings they made merely to operate their businesses. Again, that’s against just $54 bn in total net worth. Their guaranteed liabilities were 29 times their net worth at the end of the first quarter.

*They each have $2.25 bn pipelines into the Treasury, which the government now wants to expand. Forty years ago, when they went public, Fannie had debt of about $15 bn. Do the math against Fannie’s $804 bn in liabilities today, and the pipelines should be about $120 bn each.

Still believe that $25 bn figure Congress is selling you?

So essentially expect the Congress to give Fannie and Freddie a Ninja (no income, no equity) home equity style line of credit, which should make taxpayers realize that Congress itself is now a predatory lender, backed by the ATM machine known as the US taxpayer.

The right thing and pull the sheet over the two, put them in receivership and restructure their businesses. Restrain their portfolios, the two need statutory limits on their portfolios, put the guardrails up and do it now.

We’re not talking bankruptcy here, calm down banks and central bankers who hold Fannie and Freddie debt overseas, we’re talking about a restructuring that protects everyone, let the portfolios run off, or else you, foreigners, will be importing our inflation.

Congress must insist on showing a “profit” from this misadventure, beyond the equity you and I will now hold in these two via the government’s moves (taxpayer-owned stakes which are subordinated to other investors, but that’s for another day).

End note: Isn’t it interesting that Fannie and Freddie went public after former US president Lyndon Johnson, worried about the effect of the Vietnam War on the federal budget, moved both off of the government’s books, in an off-balance sheet, adumbrated move presaging Enron?

Remember for the first time in the late ‘60s, Congress changed the rules to let it get its mitts on taxpayer’s our Social Security funds, which it since spent on pork to buy votes.

The ‘60s were when all fiscal and monetary responsibility started to fly into a ditch, and when taxpayers were loaded into the backseat of Congress’s spaceship pointed directly at the center of the sun.

Read Reagan’s quote again at the beginning of this blog–it’s back to the future time.

Why You Should be Worried About the Rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at Emac’s Stock Watch | Fox Business
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post #110 of 118 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like the potential rescue of Fannie and Freddie hasn't impressed the stock market, today. Do you think it could be that the average investor knows that any rescue action simply means printing more money?

2005 S430 4Matic 'Morton' W220.183 722.671 Rest in Peace

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