[Marxism] In Other News...

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 30 22:47:27 MDT 2009


Thanks to Greg for translating the article posted by Nestor.

There were events of importance in the world apart from the spectacle 
surrounding Polanski.

For one thing, continuing the work of his predecessor, Obama [his face 
rapidly changing to resemble that of Ronald Reagan] followed through on the 
investigation of the legal status of workers employed by the Los Angeles 
based American Apparel.  The company decided to resolve the issue by firing 
1800 workers.

Most of those fired, reported the New York Times, were women; many the sole 
support for their families.  Meet the internal maquiladora, same as the 
external maquiladora.

The owner of the company, Dov Charney was busy assuring investors that the 
firings would not impact business as production was already down due to the 
recession.  Oh, happy synchronicity-- firing the workers brings the company 
into compliance with the demands of the Dept. of Homeland Security, and.. 
right sizes the company in these difficult times.  Who says markets aren't 
efficient?

Meanwhile, John T. Morton, Asst. Sec. of Homeland Security, and in charge of 
the Immigration and Customs sector [ICE] stated:

"Now all manner of companies face the very real possibility that the 
government, using our basic civil power, is going to come knocking at the 
door."

Isn't that wonderful?  Wonder how the US Chamber of Commerce feels about 
that.  Actually, I don't.  But I do wonder why ICE has such all encompassing 
power-- currently the dept. has initiated audits of the employment records 
of 645 companies-- but OSHA seems to have so little.  OK, I lied again.  I 
don't wonder, I know why.

Meanwhile... the Census Bureau reported that the TARP and stimulus programs 
are working just as intended as poverty rates rose in 31 states and DC in 
2008, with children particularly hard hit.  Poverty rates for children in 
poverty rose in 26 states and DC.

Trent Lott isn't worried, as Mississippi kept its pole position as number 
one with a bullet in the poverty derby with a rate of 21.2% of the 
population existing below the poverty line.  Way to go, Trent!  Give us a 
rebel yell!

Meanwhile, Venezuela will issue 3 billion dollars in bonds, denominated in 
US currency in an attempt to soak up some dollars in the system and close 
the gap, hopefully, between the offical rate of exchange and the real, 
street rate of exchange.  The issue is being managed by Deutsche Bank and 
Citigroup.  So nice of Hugo to throw a little business to these two 
hard-pressed financial corporations

Meanwhile, I don't want to rain on anybody's parade, or parade on anybody's 
green shoots, but the FDIC admitted its insurance fund is tapped out after 
only 95 banks have failed so far this year, and will ask for pre-payment by 
member banks of premiums due over the next 3 years.  Each  bank remitting 
the amount in full before January 1, will receive a "Get Out of Jail Free" 
card, endorsed by Sheila Bair and countersigned by Ben Bernacke.

In other news, none of it good for the old FDIC insurance fund, the IMF 
expects write downs of another 1.5 trillion dollars, bringing the estimated 
total to 3.4 trillion dollars.  Of that 3.4, 2.8 trillion in losses belong 
to banks.  IMF also estimates that US banks have written down 60% of its 
non-performing troubled assets, but the European Union has written off only 
40 percent.  Do the math and the estimates yield totals of  $900 billion in 
losses for US banks, and $1.9 trillion in losses for European banks.  What 
was it Brody said to Quint in Jaws?  "You're gonna need a bigger boat." 
Note to Ben Bernacke-- keep those open ended credit swap lines in place for 
awhile.

The IMF is way too optimistic, and way underestimating the exposure of US 
banks to bad loans; to commercial real estate; construction companies; 
private equity corporations; to commercial mortgage backed securities; to 
bad credit card debt.  Me, ever the one to look on the bright side, think 
the remaining exposure is about twice what the IMF estimates, and US banks 
are nowhere near the 60% level.  Sorry, Sheila, perhaps you should get the 
4th and 5th years prepaid while your at it.  Tell the banks to think of it 
as..... as a loan?  No, they don't do much of that anymore.  As an asset? 
Nah... hey tell them to think of it as a collateralized debt obligation, 
since you could post as collateral all those assets you absorbed as part of 
the deals persuading bad banks to take over worse banks.  Then keep the 
money, and give the assets right back to the banks, so we can start all over 
again.

Meanwhile, CIT is facing, again, bankruptcy, again.  This primary source of 
credit for small and medium and enterprises, for financing inventory and 
purchase-- for "factoring,"  is going down, and the third time is not the 
charm.

Not to worry, companies start reporting 3rd quarter results soon and the 
street is abuzz with talk of major companies, and major numbers of 
companies, exceeding analysts' expectations.    In the words of Hudson, "I 
feel safer already."    Hudson also said [in Aliens.  Did I mention that?] 
"Stop your grinnin, and drop your linen"  which I think is somehow a bit 
more accurate in describing the current and future conditions.

Anyway, that's the news, now back to our 24 hour coverage of the Polanski 
story, with our special guest analysts  Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles 
Lakers, and Luis Polonia former major league baseball outfielder. 





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