Bailing out zombies with taxpayers’ money. But you can trust the government with your money.
“An open, competitive, and liberalized financial market can effectively allocate scarce resources in a manner that promotes stability and prosperity far better than governmental intervention,” Paulson said 21 months ago.
As you see Henry Paulson is a real ‘expert’ you can believe in.
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Treasury committed $6 billion to support GMAC LLC, the financing arm of General Motors Corp., the latest step in the government’s widening effort to keep the largest U.S. automaker out of bankruptcy.
Treasury said it will purchase a $5 billion stake in GMAC, and lend $1 billion to GM so the automaker can participate in a rights offering at GMAC to support the lender’s reorganization as a bank holding company. The loan is in addition to $13.4 billion the Treasury agreed earlier this month to lend to GM and Chrysler LLC.
The fresh capital from the Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program will enable GMAC to expand lending to car buyers, which in turn may help save GM. The company’s U.S. sales plunged 22 percent this year through November after GMAC — which financed about 35 percent of GM’s retail customers last year — ran short on cash and limited loans to people with only the best credit. The Treasury stepped in after Congress failed to pass an auto industry bailout earlier this month.
For sale signs sit on the window of a former Circuit City store in New York, on Dec. 29, 2008. Photographer: Jeremy Bales/Bloomberg News
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers starting next month as holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years.
Retailers may close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. Talbots Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are among chains shuttering underperforming locations.
More than a dozen retailers, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens ‘n Things Inc., Sharper Image Corp. and Steve & Barry’s LLC, have sought bankruptcy protection this year as the credit squeeze and recession drained sales. Investors will start seeing a wide variety of chains seeking bankruptcy protection in February when they file financial reports, said Burt Flickinger.
“You’ll see department stores, specialty stores, discount stores, grocery stores, drugstores, major chains either multi- regionally or nationally go out,” Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a retail-industry consulting firm in New York, said today in a Bloomberg Radio interview. “There are a number that are real causes for concern.”
Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.
The first, on May 21, headed “Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts” , reported that the entire Alpine “winter sports industry” could soon “grind to a halt for lack of snow”. The second, on December 19, headed “The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation” , reported that this winter’s Alpine snowfalls “look set to beat all records by New Year’s Day”.
Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.
First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
Smoke billows from a site in Gaza today following more Israeli air strikes. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
ISRAEL today warned the people of Gaza that its attacks which have so far killed more than 300 were a “war to the bitter end”.
The statement from defence minister Ehud Barak came as jets obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of its overwhelming assault.
They hit a house next to the Hamas premier’s home, devastated a security compound and flattened a five-storey building at a university closely linked to the Islamic group.
- Six months of secret planning – then Israel moves against Hamas (The Guardian)
- Two Israeli armored divisions stand by outside Gaza (DEBKAfile)
- Mideast papers on Gaza (BBC News)
- Gaza: where civilians become targets (The Guardian)
- Aid reaching Gaza, but U.N. says it’s not enough (CNN)
- White House blames Hamas for violence (msnbc)
- Israel Moves Tanks Toward Gaza as Hamas Rockets Hit (Bloomberg)
- Protests erupt in the Arab world against airstrikes (The Times)
- Israel seals off Gaza periphery to journalists (Reuters)
Meanwhile there were reports that the Israeli navy had begun bombarding the area from the sea.
The death toll rose to 315, including seven children under the age of 15.
ISRAEL’S bombing of the Gaza Strip is a massive violation of international law because it is punishing an entire population for the actions of a few.
That is the assessment of the United Nations regional envoy, Professor Richard Falk.
Yesterday, Professor Falk accused Israel of targeting civilians and of a disproportionate response to the threat posed by Hamas’ equally illegal rocket attacks on its southern border.
An emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University and a trenchant critic of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, Professor Falk was again at odds with the White House, which has blamed Hamas for breaking the Gaza ceasefire.
The US used veto rights to block a UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to the Israeli attacks. The council instead issued a statement calling for a halt to violence.
While Israel said it targeted Hamas militants, Professor Falk said its air strikes hit the most densely populated area of the Middle East.
He said Israel’s blockade of Gaza led to food shortages and prevented medical aid from reaching the injured.
“Certainly the rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful,” Professor Falk said.
“But that illegality does not give rise to any Israeli right … to violate international humanitarian law and commit war crimes or crimes against humanity in its response. The entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants.”
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — The ruble fell to a record low against the euro as Russia devalued the currency for the 12th time in seven weeks after the government forecast its first budget deficit in a decade.
The managed currency weakened 2.6 percent to 41.7245 per euro, the lowest since the European currency started trading in 1999. It fell 0.7 percent to 29.1797 versus the dollar, a four- year low. Bank Rossii allowed the ruble to fall 1.7 percent against its basket of 55 percent dollars and 45 percent euros, the most since the measure was introduced in February 2005, according to a central bank official who declined to be identified, citing bank policy.
Shadow Children’s Minister Tim Loughton is chairman of Classwatch
Schools have installed CCTV cameras and microphones in classrooms to watch and listen to pupils as young as four.
The Big Brother-style surveillance is being marketed as a way to identify pupils disrupting lessons when teachers’ backs are turned.
Classwatch, the firm behind the system, says its devices can be set up to record everything that goes on in a classroom 24 hours a day and used to compile ‘evidence’ of wrongdoing.
The equipment is sold with Crown Prosecution Service-approved evidence bags to store material to be used in court cases.
The microphones and cameras can be used during lessons and when a classroom is unattended, such as during lunch breaks.
But data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner has warned the surveillance may be illegal and demanded to know why primary and secondary schools are using this kind of sophisticated equipment to watch children.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota is deep in the hole financially, but the state still owns a premier golf resort, a sprawling amateur sports complex, a big airport, a major zoo and land holdings the size of the Central American country of Belize.
Valuables like these are in for a closer look as 44 states cope with deficits.
Like families pawning the silver to get through a tight spot, states such as Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois are thinking of selling or leasing toll roads, parks, lotteries and other assets to raise desperately needed cash.
The patient (U.S.) is dying because of poisonous and deadly medication administered by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Government:
- Lindsey Williams: The Dollar And The US Will Collapse; Saudi Arabia And Dubai Will Fall; US Will Be Third World Country; The Greatest Depression Is Coming
- Gerald Celente: The Greatest Depression
- Analyst: One Third Of Banks Could Collapse In 2009
- Peter Schiff: “There is going to be an inflationary depression in the US”
- Marc Faber: “2009 is going to be a catastrophe”
- Ron Paul – TRUTH on Government Fraud funds (12/22/08)
- Economic Collapse of 2009 – Greater than Great Depression of 1929
- U.S. Economy: Housing Prices Collapse at Near-Depression Pace
- Official says California could be broke in 2 months
- World faces “total” financial meltdown: Bank of Spain chief
- The Neo-Alchemy of the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul
- Jim Rogers: If Obamanomics happens it’s all over
- Jim Rogers: “America is out of control”
- Jim Rogers: The Larger US Banks Are Bankrupt, Totally Bankrupt
- Interview with Peter Schiff (12/13/08)
- Interview: Peter Schiff still grim on future
- Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 – 2007 (2nd Edition)
- Peter Schiff: Low Rates, Big Problems
- Peter Schiff: The Economic Crisis Is Only Just Beginning (Nov. 24, 2008)
- Federal Reserve Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has hinted that his January budget proposal will include proposals to privatize some of what the state owns or does. The Republican is looking for cash to help close a $5.27 billion deficit without raising taxes.
GOP lawmakers are pushing to privatize the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the state lottery. Both steps require a higher authority – federal legislation in the case of the airport, a voter-approved constitutional amendment for the lottery. But one lawmaker estimated an airport deal could bring in at least $2.5 billion, and the lottery $500 million.
One way to quell a violent and deteriorating situation, according to the U.S. military, is to flood the place with guns.
That’s exactly what is planned for Afghanistan, where a rising tide of chaos is slowly pushing the country past Iraq as the most dangerous battlefield Americans tread upon.
“The U.S. military plans to help the Afghanistan government recruit, train and arm local Afghans to fight a resurgent Taliban,” reported CNN’s Barbara Starr.
“For the United States, the most sensitive part of the proposal will be the use of American military funds to purchase small arms, most likely AK-47 rifles, that will be given to local Afghans, according to a U.S. military official.”
“There are worries,” Starr continued, “putting even more weapons in the hands of local communities could lead to tribes fighting each other instead of the Taliban. U.S. troops could get caught in the middle.” The plan would also hinge upon the weak Afghan government to maintain the loyalties of the newly armed populace.
The last time the U.S. poured weapons into Afghanistan was during the administration of Ronald Reagen, who opted to back the Mujahadeen against occupying Soviet Union forces. The CIA spent billions arming the Afghans through the Pakistani and Saudi intelligence services, finally resulting in driving the Soviets out.
Ultimately, the wealth of destructive force and financial heft given to the Afghans concentrated around two groups: Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.
This ‘new’ strategy will be presented for President-elect Obama’s consideration, Starr said.
This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast Dec. 26, 2008.
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Published: Saturday December 27, 2008
Source: The Raw Story