Local Stories, Events
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Health Care & Environment
07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]
07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]
07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]
07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]
07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]
07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]
07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]
07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]
07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]
07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]
07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]
07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]
High Crimes vs. Human Rights
07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]
07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]
07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]
07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]
07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]
07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]
07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]
Thinking about Stresses
Stresses placed upon US individuals, households, and auto giants are real and realistic. Hypothetical stresses just dealt the biggest 19 financial behemoths are not even close!I’ve been thinking about stresses. Actually I’ve been thinking about Treasury Secretary Geithner’s stress tests, rosy scenarios, the missing laugh track, the classes of 2009, households, and the automotive giants. Last week the public learned the “results” of Treasury Secretary Timmy (the Tiger) Geithner’s stress tests which had been performed on America’s 19 largest financial (banking) behemoths. These few mega-institutions handle roughly 90% of America’s banking volume. The “what if” scenarios applied to each were designed to provide benchmark insight into “would these institutions remain viable and solvent should the economy continue its downward spiral into further recession/depression in 2009 and 2010?”
You see an army of 200 federal examiners had gone over the books and calculated the impact of growing unemployment, asset (particularly real estate portfolio lending) deterioration, potential exposure on other investments, and various personal credit/loan write-offs. The unstated goal was to re-assure the general public that our banking behemoths were on solid ground and that there was no reason to fear any 1930’s type meltdown. With combined assets of an estimated $11.72 TRILLION, these 19 were clearly regarded as “too big to fail” - so any integrity of an honest testing was suspect. It was set up from the get go to advance all of them to the next grade level in the spirit of “no child (or mega bank) left behind.” Well, guess what? THAT is exactly what happened!
The worst case scenarios (of what can go wrong, will go wrong) for the coming two years suggested a “further potential exposure” of a mere $599 BILLION in losses (roughly 5.1% of total assets). The public was informed that 10 of the 19 were looking at a combined potential shortfall of $75 BILLION in this hypothetical two year worst case $600 BILLION of additional write-off losses. In effect, the BIG 19 already had $525 BILLION (or 87%) of these hypothetical losses covered! The 10 institutions facing any shortfalls could raise the needed capital themselves through common stock offerings and/or debt convertible paper. NO more taxpayer nor Treasury/FED bailouts would be necessary! THIS was exactly what the public needed (and wanted) to hear. How convenient!!! It was even announced that the highly rosy scenario figures had been negotiated (?) with the respective institutions. Humm... The only thing missing from the press conferences and media sound bytes about these tests were the background laugh tracks from TV network situation comedies.
A pensive analysis of Geithner’s stress tests shows them for what they are – spin, hype, and a “Hail Mary Media Pass” for May of 2009. The Obama Administration is currently promoting how the equity markets have experienced a significant up-tick in recent weeks, and that the increase of a mere 563,000 jobless claims for April 2009 was the smallest in six months! Short term positive market swings, and ONE “not as awful” labor number have more credibility than Geithner’s stress test, but do they mean we have turned the corner? Obama’s Administration needs to be very careful here because premature zealousness can come back to haunt them. There are too many variables looming on the horizon (both home and abroad). Any attempt at willful optimism being “the fix” for our economic/financial problems just isn’t going to happen.
This country is experiencing a great deal of stress. The high school and college graduating classes of 2009 are facing toughest job market in well over 30 years. Outstanding credit card debt and personal bankruptcies continue to set monthly records. One in five households now owes more than the real estate behind their mortgages is worth. Chrysler went into the government mandated Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May; GM will more than likely follow suit in June. The auto workers’ unions may end up with stock equity stakes in the surviving emergent companies, but will auto workers save their jobs here in the outcome? Stresses placed upon US individuals, households, and auto giants are real and realistic. Hypothetical stresses just dealt the biggest 19 financial behemoths are not even close!
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on May 11, 2009.