Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dr. Obama's Miracle Green Job Elixir Gives $737 Million To Solar Firm Linked To Pelosi's Brother-In-Law

With Solyndra in the news again, these stories are worth another look.

New CNN Poll Shows Obama Tied With Romney And Ron Paul In November Showdowns, Gingrich & Santorum Trail Behind

Despite the headline, this is not a surprise to anyone but establishment GOP insiders.  This is the third poll in recent months showing Ron Paul competing favorably against Obama in a general election.  Dr. Paul might not be able to win the Republican nomination, but he and Romney are the only 2 candidates with any chance against Obama.  Moreover, when you consider that Romney is a Bush-Obama clone (both love bailouts, war, cronyism, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve), it becomes abundantly clear that Ron Paul is the only choice for fundamental change.
Perhaps that is why in New Hampshire last week, nearly half of ALL young voters voted for Dr. Paul.
Full details on the brand new CNN poll are below, plus a few Ron Paul stories you might not have seen.
Washington – Mitt Romney is all tied up with President Barack Obama in a likely general election matchup, with the president showing signs of weakness on the economy and Romney seen as out of touch with ordinary Americans, according to a new national survey.
And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday also indicates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is also even with Obama in another possible showdown this November. The survey also suggests the Republican advantage on voter enthusiasm is eroding, which could be crucial in a close contest.
According to the survey, if the November election were held today and Romney were the Republican presidential nominee, 48% say they'd vote for the former Massachusetts governor, with 47% supporting the president. Romney's one point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.
The poll also indicates Paul statistically tied with Obama, with the president at 48% and the longtime congressman at 46%. But according to the poll, the president is doing better against two other Republican presidential candidates. If Rick Santorum were the GOP nominee, Obama would hold a 51%-45% advantage over the former senator from Pennsylvania. And if Newt Gingrich faced off against the president, Obama would lead the former House speaker 52%-43%.
Continue reading...

Sarkozy mocks S&P credit downgrade

Occupy Boston Rally at the Federal Reserve

Occupy Boston - Fuck the fed

Blue Chip Companies Bailing Out Weak Eurozone Banks

Role reversal Euro-style.  With 2% yields in the cash markets, this makes sense intuitively for cash-rich lenders, but with the possibility of default looming large, the loans are now secured.
Blue-chip names like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Peugeot are among firms bailing out Europe's ailing banks in a reversal of the established roles of clients and lenders.
One source with knowledge of the so-called repo deals or short-term secured lending, said the two U.S. pharmaceutical groups and French carmaker were the latest to sign up for them.
Europe's banks are struggling to secure the cash to fund their day-to-day business and have largely stopped lending to each other for fear Europe's sovereign debt crisis could land any of their peers in trouble.
As a result a group of well-known, cash-rich companies with solid cash flows has stepped in the repo market, which provides a form of lending so far almost exclusively in use between banks, and between banks and central banks.
One market participant said in one key area of lending companies now accounted for 25 percent of these deals.
Repos provide the new financiers with the strict guarantees they need before parting with their cash, answering worries that the crisis has weakened Europe's banks to the extent that they might not be able to pay the money back.
"Companies in the past were ... happy to deposit cash on an unsecured basis to a bank for an interest payment," said Frank Reiss, who oversees some of the repo business at Euroclear, the Brussels-based settlement house owned by a group of banks.
"Now following the crisis, we have seen that companies are engaging in repos secured with collateral against the cash they are lending," said Reiss. Euroclear is the largest administrator of repo trades in Europe.
Continue reading...

Protesters Ready Igloos To Occupy Davos

A member of the Occupy WEF movement uses a shovel to extend the entrance of the first igloo at their camp site in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 16, 2012.  The Occupy WEF members will stay in a camp of several igloos to protest during the World Economic Forum (WEF) which takes place from January 25 to 29.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Occupy protesters with their sights set on the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering next week of the rich and powerful in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, unveiled their igloo accommodation on Monday.
When fully erected, Camp Igloo will include two heated teepees and a field kitchen alongside the ice houses to sleep about 50 people in sub-zero temperatures, activists said.
Davos, which brings together politicians, central bankers and business leaders, has become a byword for globalization.
The Occupy Wall Street movement burst onto the scene last year to focus attention on income inequality and the perceived greed of the rich and powerful. Copy-cat protests sprung up in cities around the United States and worldwide.
But authorities have cleared many tented encampments and the movement has lost some momentum during the northern hemisphere winter.
"It is the decisions of the few which have led us into the crisis of recent years and now the same people are posing as the solution to these problems," David Roth, president of the youth wing of the Swiss Social Democrats, told reporters at Camp Igloo, near the Davos train station.
"This is the wrong solution as it is undemocratic and cynical. Democracy is not only the right path for the Arab states but is also urgently needed again in the West."
Continue reading...

Financial Clearing Houses: The Next Casualty Of The Crisis?

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Clearing houses -- the plumbers of high finance -- could become the next casualties of the crisis as regulators insist that banks run their riskiest and private trades through them.
At the moment banks conduct over-the-counter trades between themselves: one to one dealings often involving multimillion-euro bets on differences in interest or other rates, the scale and complexity of which can be difficult to track.
But with the financial crisis still raging and banks, hedge funds and governments alike faced with unforeseen levels of debt, regulators are now forcing this shadowy, $600-trillion industry into the light.
The question being asked by industry insiders is whether the clearing houses, also known as central counterparties (CCPs), are any more secure.
"What happens if they go bust? I can tell you the simple answer: mayhem.  As bad as, conceivably worse than, the failure of large and complex banks," Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England, said in October.
Clearing houses, such LCH.Clearnet, Deutsche Boerse's Eurex Clearing and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's CME Clearing, sit between the parties at either end of a trade.
They protect companies from default because they hold collateral on behalf of their numerous members that can be used to reimburse individual firms if one member becomes insolvent -- a standard model used in various exchange-traded markets around the world.
But in taking on over-the-counter (OTC) products the concern is that the clearing houses will not have sufficient collateral to cover the scale of possible future positions.
In the view of International Monetary Fund economist Manhmohan Singh, the central counterparties dealing with over-the-counter derivatives need to hold $2 trillion in collateral if they are to successfully manage this kind of trading.
"The mandated clearing of OTC derivatives is a complex matter on many levels. Derivatives require a lot of collateral because the duration of the contracts can be very long," said Diana Chan, the Chief Executive of clearing house EuroCCP.
Clearing had been a largely overlooked feature of trading on exchanges for decades until it was thrown into the spotlight by the high-profile default of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
In the aftermath of its collapse Lehman's trading positions in markets that used clearing houses were sorted out in a matter of days. Those in non-cleared markets took months if not years.
Mindful of this experience, regulators in the United States and Europe have urged many of the largest over-the-counter markets to start using clearing houses in order to mitigate against any other default by a large trading firm.
Continue reading...

Move Over Solyndra Here Comes Another Solar Energy Scandal - A $1.2 Billion Federal Loan, '10-15' Permanent Jobs And A New Facility In Mexico (SunPower)

More American tax dollars down the rat hole of political cronyism.
All to create 10-15 permanent jobs.  That's not some silly estimate, that's what the Department of Energy thought would result from the billion dollar loan. Now we know why they call it green energy.
Source - Big Government
The Department of Energy bragged about giving a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to SunPower, a politically connected solar energy company, to create “10-15 permanent jobs,” raising critical questions as to if California SunPower is the next Solyndra in the ongoing Crony-Gate scandal.
Unlike Solyndra, which went bankrupt after receiving the loan from the government leaving taxpayer on the hook, SunPower’s deal is more complicated.  Many questions are being raised about how the company was able to obtain the loan and what they did after they got the money.  Questions include:
  • How could the Department of Energy give a loan to a company that was under a shareholder suit alleging securities fraud and misrepresentations?
  • The son of Rep. George Miller (D-CA) who was paid $178,000 to lobby on behalf of the company represented SunPower as a lobbyist.  Why did Rep. George Miller tour the SunPower facility – which is outside his congressional district – and what other official action did Rep. Miller take on behalf of the company that is represented by his lobbyist son?
  • Did the company’s hefty political contributions to the Obama campaign and the DCCC play a role in the deal?
  • Did U.S. taxpayers help pay for the company to open a facility in Mexico after the announcement of the loan?
  • Was the U.S. government aware that company executives were in the process of selling a portion of the company to a French company – an action that was undertaken two weeks after the loan was awarded?  Did the loan allow insider’s to cash out leaving other investors holding on to the stock that has dropped by more than 60% since the loan was awarded?
Continue reading...