Do You Agree With This Take On The Stock Market? LOL

I saw this ridiculous message posted on TheLion.com and decided to repost it here because I wanted to show you how crazy/weird/paranoid/over thinking many people who “play” the markets are….sooooo many assumptions, almost a 0% chance they’ll be right because there’s just too many un-researchable variables involved.

So try to read this crap below and begin to understand why PennyStocking is sooooooooo much more useful–you find a piece of crap company with horrible to no financials, only care about it if it gets hyped/manipulated hier and then you short while being careful to avoid short squeezes…somehow I think my odds of being right are better than all/any of this:

US MARKETS

When, in the wake of the Bear Stearns collapse, Meredith Whitney of
Oppenheimer blew in Citigroup for carrying what can only be termed “pseudoderivatives”
at par with bogus AAA ratings, derivatives that were essentially nothing
but toxic waste created by Ponzi schemers Rubin and Prince to absorb a portion of the
millions of mortgages that should never have been made in the first place, the elitists
were caught with their pants down. For the Illuminati, this came out of left field, and
they have been scampering around like rats on a sinking ship trying to implement
some sort of damage control. These efforts to date have utterly failed to stop the US
economic supertanker from sinking further. In fact, all their machinations have instead
made the holes in its hull much, much larger, thus accelerating the rate at which it is
sinking.

The Illuminati had planned to milk the financial system for several more years
before intentionally destroying it. They were drawing out huge salaries, stock options,
bonuses, golden parachutes, fees, commissions and spreads, which over the course
of the past decade, mainly during the Caligula Administration, numbered in the trillions
of dollars. Mr. Bubbles, Alan Greenspan, of course made their paths swift and sure
with ludicrously low interest rates, while Slick Willie did away with Glass-Steagall and

its system of checks and balances. The Slickster also implemented the unregulated
OTC derivatives market with the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization
Act, an opaque market, which has burgeoned into a Quadrillion Dollar Derivative
Death-Star that will eventually destroy the world financial system. Via this destruction,
the Illuminists hope to pave the way for a world government based on the old feudal
system of nobles and serfs in an attempt to bring order out of chaos.

After all, the Black Nobility of Europe were feeling a bit nostalgic about the Dark
Ages. Those ages were indeed dark for everyone, except, of course, for the nobility,
and they would like to have some retro action on the economic mores of those times.
But now, caught with their pants down around their ankles as Meredith peaked in “da
Boys” lavatory to see what they were up to, they knew the jig was up. The tide
suddenly went out, as before the onslaught of a tsunami, and they were found as
naked as jaybirds, without so much as a Speedo bathing suit covering their diabolical
derrieres. Their conspiracy was exposed, and the chain reaction was beginning to
build.

Their plans to implement world government had to be accelerated due to this
exposure of their nefarious plans. First the subprime derivatives imploded, soon
followed by the municipal auction rate bonds and their insurers, and then the
investment bankers started to collapse, but you would never know it based on what
their CEO’s told everyone, seeing that they lied through their teeth about the condition
of their totally and completely insolvent companies right up to the day they went
bankrupt or were taken over. Every major commercial bank on Wall Street, some of
which were former investment banks like Goldman and Morgan Stanley, is still 100%
insolvent despite Hanky Panky’s nuts of taxpayer largesse from the Paulson Ponzi
Plunder Plan, which can now be found in the baggy little cheeks of these Illuminist
banks. These equity injections are a dog and pony show to keep up the appearance
of solvency while Sarbanes-Oxley is ignored by regulators and unmarketable
derivatives are exchanged for treasuries under the TSLF. Smoke and mirrors,
together with bailing wire and chewing gum, are the only things holding these large
commercial banks together. They, and the Fed which is feeding them, will be
nationalized after the Derivative Death-Star goes supernova.

The Illuminists were in panic mode, as their conspiracy was made public. This
meant that their dividends, stock options, bonuses, fees and commissions were going
into the tank unless they did something soon. Spreads were almost non-existent due
to low perceived risk based on CDS’s that turned out to be totally naked. The Fed
funds rate was at 5.25%, while prime mortgage rates hovered around 6%, yielding a
spread of less than 1%. But since all the other fees were going to get blasted, the
spreads were their only bread and butter (please forgive the pun).

What is a self-respecting, megalomaniacal, Illuminist miscreant-reprobatesociopath
to do under such horrifying circumstances? We’ll tell you what they did.

The first problem was that Bernanke was flooding the system with money and
credit to keep it afloat as the credit-crunch went wild, with M3 at 14% to 16%. This
was highly inflationary. How can you lower borrowing rates to increase spreads when
inflation is out of control? Answer: you can’t, if you want to retain some semblance of
credibility. So the Illuminati took advantage of the US sheople’s ignorance concerning
economics. They know that people look at prices to gage inflation, when it is really the
money supply that controls the level of inflation. Prices are the symptom, not the
cause. So they ran up all commodities, even gold and silver, for a time so that they
could bring about a dramatic drop in prices later to give the perception that inflation
was under control and that deflation might be setting in. This is how they justified the

near-zero interest rates you now see, which can yield a huge spread of about 5%,
which is more than five times what was available before all the trouble started.

In the meanwhile, the Fed arranged to accelerate the payment of interest on
hoarded bank capital on reserve with the Fed. This bank capital will now be deployed,
but it will be used for elitist speculation and insider trading, not for the opening of credit
markets to consumers. The idea is to keep the salaries, bonuses, dividends and
spreads going in order to line the pockets of elitists, not to save the middle class. They
are going to throw your money, via taxpayer-funded bailouts, down a rat-hole, the exit
for which comes out into their back pockets. They will become fabulously wealthy,
while you are hyper-inflated into oblivion, as your dollars are thrown at insolvent elitist
companies that are being artificially animated like zombies. Taxpayer-owned equities,
received in exchange for bailout money, are absolutely worthless. They will re-inflate
after they have destroyed the auto industry and as many non-Illuminist companies as
they can to eliminate competition. The loan money will not be available for these
unfortunate souls and entities. Ford may absorb GM and Chrysler before it also
succumbs, and then it will be nationalized as our Communist Comrade Obama uses
members of the former Clinton Administration to destroy what is left of our economy.

Does he really expect change from these people? Of course not. He did not
pick them. They were chosen for him.

Note that the asset losses worldwide are in the tens of trillions, but this does
not necessarily indicate deflation. Only to the extent the money supply is contracted
by these losses are these deflationary forces unleashed. Not all asset losses translate
into a contraction in the money supply. We believe that the 9 trillion the Fed has
pumped in thus far is just enough to offset the contraction in the money supply due to
asset losses. They were waiting to maximize spreads before they undertook to reinflate.
When they re-inflate, this will create inflationary forces that will require interest
rates to rise on everything except bank loans, for a time, thus increasing their spreads
even more, but at some point the Fed will have to raise rates again on the banks also.

The banks are intentionally holding back on lending, hoarding their reserves, at
the direction of the Fed, so that the Fed could have some justification for bringing rates
down. Lending out their reserves would have been inflationary and made rate
reductions impossible, so they were told to wait. Now that the rates are down, you can
expect re-inflation to take advantage of high spreads for as long as they can give the
appearance that inflation is under control. This is why gold and silver suppression is
so important to them. But they are looking at a possible delivery failure in precious
metals, and this could have the effect of defeating their plans by exposing that we are
really still in an inflationary mode, not a deflationary one. The only thing propping up
the dollar now are settlements of CDS losses in the unregulated OTC market, where
arrangements have been made to settle losses on demand whenever the dollar needs
a boost. Hence the suspended animation of AIG and Citigroup. Lehman CDS losses
disappeared from public view, but they are still out there and are being used to prop up
the dollar also. This also explains why oil is getting blasted.

The objective of the Illuminati had been to create and dump toxic waste
weapons of mass destruction on nations around the world in order to collapse the old
nation-state system and replace it with an Orwellian New World Order, a global,
corporatist, fascist police state of feudality, where the would-be masters of the
universe get to lord it over us, their serfs. Instead of leaving everyone else holding the
bag, as was their intention, the rather fortuitous exposure of their fraud left them
holding a part of the bag, which they had intended to leave for everyone else. They
had SIV’s loaded with this nasty stuff off the books in off-shore funds, and they had
quite a bit left in house that was in the process of being worked on, like some sort of

deadly poison you might find being worked on in Dr. Strangelove’s laboratory, to the
tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. And yes, thanks to the Illuminati, rocket
scientists have become the new mad scientists of financial innovation, manufacturing
new financial poisons so toxic that they now threaten the whole world –God help us
all!

Some of those new financial poisons were called credit default swaps (CDS’s),
some sixty to seventy trillion worth that are currently reeking havoc with AIG, Lehman
and Citigroup, as well as many hedge funds. But if you think these are bad, wait until
you see what happens when interest rate swaps (IRS’s) meet double-digit interest
rates. It will be like “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.” This event will quite literally
be a financial Armageddon from which none will escape.

Enjoy the low rates while you can, our fine Illuminist miscreants. When rates
go into double digits, it will be like the sun going supernova. Hundreds upon hundreds
of trillions in notional value are at stake when the interest rates do what they did in the
early 1980′s. When the huge imbalance between low fixed rates that have been
exchanged for what will become astronomical variable rates starts to generate losses,
the likes of which have never been seen before in the history of mankind, the IRS’s will
reach critical mass and start a thermonuclear chain reaction that will vaporize
everything in their path.

The final implosion of the IRS’s (and we don’t mean the Internal Revenue
Service, although we find the commonality of their initials rather intriguing) will mark
the start of what will become the greatest world depression in many centuries, perhaps
even for all time. This horrendous event will follow the coming period of hyperinflation
that will be generated by now ludicrously low (zero, or near zero) interest rates,
speculation and a re-inflation of our economy utilizing the printing press and fractional
reserve banking, and it is this period of hyperinflation that will cause the interest rates
charged on virtually all loans in the real world outside of the banking system to go into
double digits. This will happen because the dollar will be in fiat money hell, and risk
will be in the stratosphere.

In the wake of this coming global depression, there will be worldwide
revolution. This is only several years’ away, not several decades. Those who do not
own gold and silver will be impoverished, and will join the new feudal system as serfs
and slaves of the Illuminati, unless, of course, these sociopaths are booted out through
revolution and bloodshed, which may well happen.

The National Association of Realtors say office vacancy rates are expected to
increase to 16.4% in the third quarter of 2009. Retail vacancy rates are expected to
rise to 12.7%.

We see SEC Chairman Christopher Cox’s comments on the SEC not catching
Madoff as a trial balloon to give the victims access to recourse from the public, the US
government.

The Fed is telling us they will further inflate the debt bubble and monetize all
debt.

The December Global Confidence Index by Bloomberg reported 6.10 versus

6.58 in November.
Our latest research on the SEC and naked short selling tells us nothing has
changed. The problem is getting worse. The SEC is still protecting the major corrupt
firms on Wall Street, such as Bernard Madoff. The SEC has absolutely no intention of
stopping naked shorting, because of the billions being made by major firms. If you
want this to stop write your Congressman, perhaps Mary Shapiro the new income
head of the SEC will have the guts to bring it to an end. As long as this persists there
is little reason to take delivery of your shares.

We see the distinct possibility of an extension of the Afghanistan War into
Pakistan. Most of the troops leaving Iraq will be shifted there. This expansion of
hostilities could be used as an excuse to implement a Selective Service draft. An effort
to clear the unemployed young off the streets and as a mis-direction away from
financial and economic problems.

The use of TARP funds have been directed at enriching the major banking and
brokerage firms on Wall Street, to keep them from declaring bankruptcy and to
consolidate power among a handful of Illuminist firms. The Fed refuses to release
information on the disbursement of TARP funds and what was accepted as collateral
and the values given to such collateral involved in swaps for treasury securities. The
excuse is exposure of trade secrets and national security. All the Fed is doing is
shielding its position as head of the Wall Street banking Mafia.

Needless to say, you can find little about the Bloomberg suit in the media
except on Bloomberg, who obviously is not an Illuminist. The Fed has been behind
every major fraud on Wall Street since 1913. They have been assisted by banking,
several of which are owners of the Fed. The main players are JP Morgan Chase,
Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. The power of these banks, investment banks,
brokerage firms and their leader, the Fed, control our government.

If you notice people from these Wall Street firms infest Wall Street as well as
positions in Canada, at the World Bank and the IMF.

What is going to surprise you and it is not something we’ve been writing about
recently, but back when gold was selling at $252 -$280, we said the Illuminists were
loading up on gold, especially during the sales of British gold at an average of $275.00
an ounce. We also believe this cabal has been buying gold on dips in price that they
themselves created. At British sales the Rothschilds were prominent buyers. When
asked for whom they were buying, they refused to answer. We can assure you the
Illuminists have plenty of gold. We also believe this is true of main US Illuminist players
like Goldman, Morgan and Citigroup. This gang knows that major inflation is coming in
this next year, because they have created it. They have to be buyers on dips even
though they are suppressing prices. They realize they cannot keep the price down
indefinitely. One of the players we know for sure is insolvent, and that is Citigroup.
They have been bailed out for $322 billion and will need another $160 billion to stay
afloat. The public will supply them with those funds. They are also faced with lawsuits
in the securitization of mortgages. Those losses to the buyers run into the trillions. This
is the brainchild of ex-Goldman bond trader Robert Rubin. The crook that long
suppressed gold during the Clinton years, as Treasury Secretary. If Citigroup were to
fold it would take the whole financial system with it and expose all the backstreet
corruption on Wall Street and in banking.

What is in the works is a lawsuit stipulating that Rubin and Prince covered up
Citigroup’s losses by shifting $120 billion in losses to Citibank as Rubin made $30.6
million and Prince $26.5 million in stock sales, prior to the transfer being known. The
bonds were held by Citibank off balance sheet. This is part of what Meredith Whitney
discovered when she put her sell on Citi’s stock. She, like we, knew two years ago Citi
was broke. We put our short on at $44.10. Meredith was right but somewhat late to the
party. What she did do, because of her visibility, was to expose the can of worms that
Citibank really was. Rubin and Price with assistance from the Fed forced the rating
agencies to give these toxic mortgage bonds AAA ratings when in reality they were
BBB. The difference between a 10 and a 3 or 4. All of this is fraud and another Ponzi
scheme. There will be many suits to follow and the toxic waste will have to be
redeemed by the creators such as Citigroup and that means they all go bankrupt. That
means we will then find out just how the corruption works.

The Madoff affair will just add fuel to the fire and lawsuits will blossom
everywhere within the financial Mafia. This could lead to a major move against the Fed
and any further disbursement of government funds to this crime syndicate. Most of
these corporations are bankrupt and that is obvious because Citi, AIG, GG, GM,
Chrysler, Fannie and Freddie are all bankrupt. Credit default swaps will in finality take
out these institutions. The losses are about $10 trillion. Morgan, Goldman, Citi and
others have the same problems that Bear Stearns, Lehman and AIG had, but the
Morgan, Goldman and Citi are top Illuminist firms. They cannot be allowed to go under.
Remember, they all did business together.

As we write the dollar is again wallowing at near 78. Two weeks ago we called
the top at 88. Next stop is 71.16. That should put gold in the $900.00s. The strong
dollar program of Helicopter Ben is a failure as we predicted it would be. Inflation
should start roaring again in March as the economy disintegrates further and
unemployment hits new heights. Not a pretty picture, but it is reality and we have to
live with it.

Some of the commentary we see is hilarious. Sir Alan Greenspan, the bubble
man, says in the Economist that the banking system needs another $250 billion. The
banking group has 30% losses minimum of $2.4 trillion in losses. That is ten times the
request, so you can see them asking for more and more. Greenspan continues to be
the charlatan he always was.

The Fed has purchased $308.5 billion in commercial paper and lent $631.8
billion under 8 credit programs, most of which are rated by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch,
which brought us the fiasco that has destroyed our financial system. They rated BBB
mortgage bonds as AAA, thus, Mr. Bernanke is basing his decisions on the value of
assets with three fraudsters, who should be criminally charged.

It is almost impossible to raise capital in today’s markets worldwide unless you
are a real good AAA risk. Banks are fattening their balance sheets and trying to hide
their losses, and large investment houses and funds are retaining their cash to cover
the unknown level of redemptions.

The public has absolutely no confidence in banks and financial institutions. We
have an older American population today who rely on savings and pensions for their
income and zero interest rates are killing them. In order to have banking, Wall Street
and corporate America the public has to subsidize them. These lower rates can only
lead to permanent cuts in the level of benefits available to retirees. This policy will
force investors out of savings accounts, CD’s and money market funds and into gold.
You can hold dollars, that are being created by the billions daily, or move to a safer
tangible asset. Savers will vote with their feet. They will move out of dollar
denominated assets.

Fear is stalking the land, financial and economic. Investors and the general
public alike are afraid the worst is ahead.

The new head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is Gary
Gensler, a former undersecretary of the Treasury and assistant secretary of the
Treasury and a former employee of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Obama has put one of the
key figures in the gold suppression cartel into a top role. The real question is will the
cartel be forced to re-collateralize the dollar with gold in order to save it?

Gensler played a control role in fending off tough regulations for exotic financial
instruments for hedging against risk. Now after the carnage these instruments caused
our President-elect to pick him for a central role in cleaning up the wreckage he was
instrumental in causing.

Barack Obama may ask Congress next year to approve a stimulus plan of
around $850 billion, an amount that has grown as the U.S. economy sinks deeper into
recession, an adviser to the president-elect said.
Obama’s transition team believes the amount, about 6 percent of the U.S.’s $14 trillion
economy, is needed to reverse rising unemployment, said the adviser, who spoke on
condition of anonymity. The sum would exceed initial estimates by House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as surpassing what
some economists and the International Monetary Fund say is required.

One month after world leaders vowed to avoid raising trade barriers,
governments around the globe are moving to aid their struggling industries at the
expense of foreign competitors.
Russia this month increased duties on automobile imports, China reintroduced tax
breaks for exporters, and India imposed caps on steel imports. On top of that, the U.S.
is considering rescuing its automakers, and France pledged $7.6 billion to shield its
companies from “foreign predators.”

The moves signal that the global recession may be leading to a protectionist
backlash, undercutting the pledges that the leaders of the Group of 20 nations made in
Washington on Nov. 15 and jeopardizing an economic recovery.

The government’s spending commitments exploded by 25 percent in 2008,
putting taxpayers more than $1 trillion in the hole even before the astronomical costs
of the economic bailout were taken into account, according to an annual report
released Monday by the White House.
A joint report by the White House budget office and Treasury Department said that
much of the increase in obligations came from an unexpected jump in veteran’s
benefits liabilities, while revenues remained mostly flat because of the recession that
began a year ago.

Say you got a ten billion dollar loan to shore up your finances, and you paid
your employees $10.9 billion, and you raked in $2.3 billion for the year.

What would you say you owed in taxes? One percent
That’s what you’d pay if you were Goldman Sachs, Inc. The high-flying brokerage -and
former home of Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson –has announced it’s
paying just $14 million in taxes this year.

Last year, their tax bill was $6 billion, or 34.1 percent. That represents a year-
over-year drop of 33.1 percent.

Goldman attributed its lower tax rate to more tax credits as a percentage of
earnings and changes in geographic earnings mix.

Tax accounting advisor Robert Willens told Bloomberg News the rate drop
seems a little extreme.

I was definitely taken aback, Willens told the business wire. Clearly they have
taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.

One of our short recommendations, Lennar Corp., a U.S. home construction
company that builds in 14 states, reported its seventh straight quarterly loss as
mounting job losses and record foreclosures cut demand.

The fiscal fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to $811 million, or $5.12 a share,
from $1.25 billion, or $7.92, a year earlier, Miami-based Lennar said today in a
statement. The loss, which included a tax-related charge of $4.61 a share, was higher
than the average estimate of $1.64 a share projected by 14 analysts in a Bloomberg
survey.

Responding to a global recession, Motorola Inc. said Wednesday it will freeze
its pension plan and employee salaries, suspend matching 401(k) contributions and
cut the pay of top executives.

OPEC oil ministers agreed their deepest output cut ever on Wednesday,
cutting 2.2 million barrels per day from oil markets in a race to balance supply with
rapidly crumbling demand for fuel.

The 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
were also aiming to build a floor under prices that have dropped more than $100 from
a July peak above $147 a barrel.
The cut, effective January 1, comes atop existing curbs of 2 million bpd agreed by
OPEC since September. It lowers the supply target for the 11 members bound by
output limits to 24.845 million bpd –down nearly 15 percent from September output.

Foreclosed homes made up 55% of resale transactions in Southern California
– 44% in Orange County and nearly seven out of every 10 sales in the Inland Empire –
driving down prices to levels not seen since the spring of 2003, market-tracker MDA
DataQuick reported today.

Last month’s price was roughly a buy-three-get-two-free sale for Southern
California homes: The median price of a Southern California was $285,000, down 44%
— or almost half off — from the value for similar homes at the market peak 18 months
ago. That is, a single median-priced home cost $505,000 in June 2007. Last month,
you could buy two median priced homes for $570,000, or just $65,000 more.

Cell phone maker Motorola says it will permanently freeze its U.S. pension
plans, temporarily suspend matching 401(k) contributions and reduce the base salary
of its two co-executives. Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola Inc. said Wednesday it will
also freeze the salaries of an unspecified number of other employees in many of its
markets. Co-CEOs Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha will take a 25 percent cut in their base
salary in 2009. Brown will also forgo any 2008 cash bonus earned under the
company’s incentive plan. Jha’s employment contract provides for a guaranteed cash
bonus for 2008, but it will also be reduced voluntarily.

American International Group Inc., which already has suffered more than $60
billion in writedowns and losses, may have to absorb almost $30 billion more because
of flaws in the way its holdings are valued.

An examination of AIG’s credit-default swaps guaranteeing more than $300
billion of corporate loans, mortgages and other assets not covered by a $152.5 billion
federal rescue shows the New York-based insurer may value some of its positions at
levels that don’t reflect distress in the markets, according to an analyst at Gradient
Analytics Inc. and a tax consultant who teaches at Columbia University Business
School in New York. Executives at two firms that have similar investments say they
account for the securities differently than AIG does.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is basing hundreds of billions in
emergency lending on credit ratings from companies that gave AAA grades to toxic
securities.

The Fed has purchased $308.5 billion in commercial paper and lent $631.8
billion under eight credit programs, most of which require appraisals of short-term debt
and loan collateral by “major nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations.”
That, in effect, means Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch
Ratings.

It is foolhardy to rely on the three New York-based companies, said Keith
Allman, chief executive officer of Enstruct Corp., which trains investors in financial
modeling and asset valuation. The major raters issued top marks to $3.2 trillion in
subprime mortgage-backed securities at the root of the financial crisis.

“They’re outsourcing the credit assessment to a group of people whose recent
performance has been unbelievably bad,” said Allman, the New York-based author of
three books on structured finance and a former vice president in Citigroup Inc.’s

securitized markets unit. “If their goal is to not take a loss on these assets, they should
be hiring independent analysts.”

Rating companies are hired by debt issuers to analyze the quality of securities
and the likelihood the borrowings will be repaid. Lenders demand higher interest when
a rating is low. If the Fed is relying on unrealistic valuations, it may be charging too
little and taking on greater risk than it intends, said Donald van Deventer, CEO of
Honolulu-based Kamakura Corp., which provides financial software and consulting.

Struggling U.S. automakers are launching a round of severe cutbacks as they
wait for a government rescue, with Chrysler saying yesterday it will idle all 30 of its

U.S. factories for one month.
Chrysler’s plants will furlough 46,000 workers beginning Friday, as a planned
two-week holiday shutdown is extended to a month and possibly longer. The company,
which has told Congress it needed $7 billion to survive the month, also told dealers
that it may suspend financing for new cars in a bid to conserve cash.

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by veterans groups to force the
Veterans Affairs Department to speed up handling of its disability claims, saying it was
not the court’s role to impose quicker deadlines.

Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Modern Warfare, which
represent roughly 60,000 military veterans, had filed the lawsuit asking the VA process
initial disability claims within 90 days and resolve appeals within 180 days. If the VA
failed to do so, the two groups were seeking interim payments of roughly $350 a
month.

At a court hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he was
sympathetic to the plight of disabled veterans, many of whom he acknowledged might
face unemployment and homelessness in a tightening economy. But Walton said that
setting a blanket rule of 90 days for processing claims was a role for Congress and the
VA secretary to decide.

Currently, thousands of veterans endure six-month waits for disability benefits
and appeals that take years, despite promises by current VA Secretary James Peake
and his predecessor, Jim Nicholson, to reduce delays. More recently, Congress
passed legislation that sets up a VA pilot program aimed at speeding the processing of
disability claims.

“It has to be appreciated that courts play a limited role,” Walton told a
courtroom filled with about two dozen veterans and their family members. “I am being
asked here in a sense to run the VA and set in place a timeline that Congress has not.

US President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday named longtime financial
industry regulator Mary Schapiro to head the Securities and Exchange Commission
amid calls for reform of the agency in the wake of a massive investment fraud scandal.

Obama also named Georgetown University law professor Daniel Tarullo to fill
one of two vacancies on the seven-seat Federal Reserve Board, which is battling to
ease a credit crisis and fend off a deepening recession.

And he picked former Treasury official Gary Gensler to head the Commodities
Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the U.S. commodity futures and options
market.

The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate fell just over 1/4 point to 5.19 percent,
the lowest since Freddie Mac started its weekly survey 37 years ago.

The 30-year rate fell from 5.47 percent the prior week, and from 6.14 percent a
year ago, while the 15-year loan rate fell by a similar amount to 4.92 percent from 5.20
percent in the week ended Dec. 18.

Rates on home loans have fallen after the government last month said it
planned to buy up to $500 billion of mortgage-backed bonds. The Federal Reserve this

week said it was ready to expand that program if needed to loosen the lending that
froze amid huge write-downs on soured mortgages and record foreclosures.

This was the seventh straight weekly drop in 30-year fixed mortgage rates,
according to Freddie Mac.

The U.S. Conference Board’s index of Leading Economic Indicators fell to its
lowest level in more than four years in November, the research group said on
Thursday, underscoring the depth of the economic downturn.

The index fell by 0.4 percent to 99.0, the weakest since February 2004 when a
reading of 97.8 was recorded. The index, a gauge of future economic conditions,
slipped by 0.9 percent in October to a revised 99.4. Analysts had forecast a 0.5
percent fall.

“The economy has been in recession for a year and the latest indicator data
show no signs of improvement in the first months of 2009,” said Ken Goldstein, an
economist at the Conference Board.

“An intense housing downturn that’s about to begin its fourth year and a severe
financial crisis with nearly frozen credit markets have sharply lowered consumer and
business expectations.”

The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, triggered by the collapse
of the U.S. housing market, has seen spiraling job losses and severe cut backs in
household spending.

The U.S. economy has been mired in recession since last December. In an
unprecedented move on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut its key overnight lending
rate to a zero-0.25 percent range, a record low, from 1 percent.

The step was aimed at arresting an economic downturn that analysts predict
could be the longest since the 1981 recession.

The Conference Board’s coincident index fell 0.3 percent in November,
dragged lower by a large contraction in employment and a drop in industrial
production, after rising 0.3 percent in October.

The lagging index inched up 0.1 percent after being unchanged in October.
Government data earlier this month showed U.S. employers cut just over half-a-million
jobs in November, the largest number in 34 years.

The manufacturing sector in the Philadelphia region continued to deteriorate in
December, though the survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions
improved a bit.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported Thursday that its index of
general business activity moved to -32.9 from -39.3 in November and -37.5 in October.
It had been expected to stand at -40.0 in December. The index fell a dramatic 41
points in October and has remained near its current low reading for the past three
months.

The report also showed the inflationary pressures eased again, with the prices
paid index moving to -33.2 in December from -30.7 last month. Last month it dropped
by 38 points. The index has now fallen a dramatic 109 points over the past five
months. The prices received index hit -37.8 from -15.5.

Firms are also expecting prices to decline over the next six months. Both the
future prices paid and the future prices received indexes remained negative for the
second consecutive month, falling 17 points and six points, respectively, to their lowest
readings on record.

The bank’s employment index fell for the third consecutive month, to -28.7 in
December from -25.2. The percentage of firms reporting a decrease in employment,
42%, was greater than the percentage reporting an increase, 13%. The average
workweek also index fell notably, declining by 12 points.

The survey’s new orders index in December stood at -25.2 after -31.4 in
November. The shipments index moved to -28.7, its lowest reading since February
2001, from the prior -18.8.

The report also showed area manufacturers’ expectations for future conditions
deteriorated even more this month. The future general activity index decreased from

10.4 to -14.5.
The index for future new orders fell three points and the future employment
index fell five points and was negative for the third straight month. The capital
spending index dipped 13 points -its third consecutive negative reading, suggesting a
deterioration in the outlook for future growth.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell more than
expected last week, moderating from a 26-year high touched the previous week, Labor
Department data showed on Thursday.

* Despite the decline, jobless claims remain exceptionally high, and are more than
200,000 higher than a year ago.
* Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell 21,000, to a seasonally
adjusted 554,000 in the week ended Dec. 13 from an upwardly revised 575,000 the
previous week.
* Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 558,000 new claims versus a previously
reported figure of 573,000 the week before.
* The four-week moving average of new jobless claims, a better gauge of underlying
labor trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose to 543,750 from 541,000
the prior week, keeping the average at a 26-year high.
* Continuing claims fell to 4.38 million in the week ended Dec. 6 after scaling a 26-year
of 4.43 million the previous week.
Agilent Technologies Inc on Wednesday said it would implement temporary
global pay cuts and lay off 300 temporary workers and 500 regular employees in units
that have been severely hit by the economic downturn.

The company, which makes electronics testing gear, said it would record a $55
million pre-tax restructuring charges, mainly related to employee severance costs.

Agilent said it hoped to save $65 million in annual operating expenses as a
result of the restructuring plan and the temporary worker cuts.

The pay reduction plan, which could include equivalent unpaid time off, was
expected to begin on Jan. 1 and to save about $100 million annually.

The U.S. retail industry will undergo a weeding-out process next year as
companies run out of cash as soon as January and competition forces store closings,
according to private-equity buyers and restructuring experts.

Soaring mall vacancies will devastate an already teetering commercial real
estate market.

The Fed’s balance sheet, which has already exploded from $880.2 billion before
the Lehman Brothers collapse to $2.293 trillion as of Dec. 11, will bear close watching.
It can be expected to balloon much further.

Now that the FOMC has effectively exhausted its conventional easing
ammunition, the Fed’s weekly H.41 release (Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of
Depository Institutions and Condition Statement of Federal Reserve Banks) will be the
best gauge of what monetary policy is doing. That and whatever further
announcements issue from the Fed regarding new credit programs and/or adjustments
to its existing set of credit facilities.

The Fed has been ‘using its balance sheet’ or doing a quantitative ease for the
past several weeks. Yesterday a Bubblevision personality went apoplectic because
pundits said the Fed is out of bullets. He averred that there is plenty the Fed can still

do.

All that the Fed can now do is continue to monetize assets and crappy paper –
expand its balance sheet.

This is all that remains and the Fed has been doing this with record vigor for the
past few months.

In the coming months, mental health experts expect a rise in theft, depression,
drug use, anxiety and even violence as consumers confront a harsh new reality and
must live within diminished means. It is also a rude awakening for a generation of
shoppers who grew up on easy access to credit and have never had to limit purchases
to simply what they needed or could afford.

The government’s spending commitments exploded by 25 percent in 2008,
putting taxpayers more than $1 trillion in the hole even before the astronomical costs
of the economic bailout were taken into account, according to an annual report
released Monday by the White House.

The ‘real’ deficit is over $1.5 trillion y/y according to the increase in ‘Gross
Treasury Public Debt’.

California lawmakers for a second time rejected tax increases intended to narrow
a record budget shortfall, even as the state’s swelling financial problems may force it to
abandon $3.8 billion in public works projects.

The legislation sought to cut $7 billion of spending while raising $11.3 billion in
higher taxes on retail sales, oil production and alcohol. The bills, proposed by
Democrats, needed approval by a two-thirds majority in the Assembly and received no
Republican votes. Democrats abstained from voting last night after it became clear the
measures would fail.

The dollar collapse implies that Ben and the Fed are now ‘on the clock’ and
investors will react negatively to further Fed balance sheet hyper expansion.

Here’s the really big problem with Ben’s gambit. It is the same thing that FDR
attempted – devalue the dollar to avert deflation and depression. However,
devaluation exports deflation and depression to other countries and they will retaliate,
which they did to FDR. ‘Tis another reason for The Great Depression.

So key questions are: How long will it take for China, Japan, Germany or others
to retaliate against Ben’s scheme to export deflation and depression to them? And
what will be the retribution?

The ABC7 I-Team has learned that an attorney who went undercover for the FBI
in the late 1980′s says he told federal authorities years ago about wrongdoing by
Blagojevich. His name is Robert Cooley.

Cooley was a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago in the late 1980′s who became
one of the most potent witnesses against Chicago corruption, testifying for federal
prosecutors in cases that resulted in dozens of convictions.

Cooley says that before Rod Blagojevich got into politics he was a bookmaker on
the North Side who regularly paid the Chicago mob to operate.

“When I was working with government wearing wire, I reported, I observed Rod,
the present governor, who was running a gambling operation out in the western
suburbs. He was paying street tax to the mob out there,” said Robert Cooley, federal
informant. [This is starting to resemble “Goodfellows”!]
“The biggest problem you have now and reason for what is happening is that the
people in power have money and ability to silence the media so it will never be
reported and as long as you have that going on, you will never stop it,” Cooley.

Arizona is shedding jobs at a pace rarely seen as the recession continues to
evaporate positions, particularly in the construction and service industries.

The state’s commerce department delivered the unsettling news on Thursday
that Arizona lost 83,100 jobs between November 2007 and November 2008.
That 3.1 percent drop neared the 3.2 percent drop seen in November 1949.

Arizona’s unemployment rate in November rose to 6.3 percent from 6.1 percent
in October. Metropolitan Phoenix’s rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.5 percent.

Are we a monarchy now?
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets well deserved and scathing blame for trying to
auction Obama’s senate seat.

Meanwhile, in New York, Gov. David Paterson is being asked to fill Hillary
Clinton’s seat by right of inheritance.

Is this much better?

Aside from her family connections, Caroline Kennedy has zero qualifications.

Being a scion isn’t enough.

General Motors Corp. opened its eighth vehicle plant in China and said it had
no plans for adding further capacity amid slowing demand in Asia’s biggest auto
market.

This “has been a big year in terms of expansion” and it “probably will keep us
occupied for the foreseeable future,” Kevin Wale, GM China’s president, said by phone
today. He spoke from the northeastern city of Shenyang after the opening of the
carmaker’s new 2.67 billion yuan ($390 million) plant.

GM expects to boost China sales about 9 percent next year as it adds new
models and an economic stimulus plan helps revive overall demand. Auto sales in
China have declined in three of the past four months because of the global economic
slowdown.

GM, the biggest overseas automaker in China, is counting on emerging
markets and U.S. aid to help it survive a plunge in North American sales. The Detroit-
based automaker expects to sell as many as 1.2 million vehicles in China next year,
Wale said on Dec. 5.

The new factory in Shenyang will be able to make as many as 150,000
vehicles a year, using a two-shift system, the automaker said in an e-mailed
statement. The plant is an equal venture between GM and SAIC Motor Corp., China’s
biggest automaker.

GM’s total capacity in China is more than 1 million vehicles a year, spokesman
Henry Wong said. The carmaker opened a new plant in Qingdao, eastern China, in
March with a capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year.

GM has no plans to shed workers in China, Wale said. The automaker expects
a “single digit” increase in industry-wide sales next year, helped by China’s $584
billion economic stimulus plan.

The new Shenyang plant will begin full production of Chevrolet Cruze compacts
in the second quarter of next year. GM plans to introduce 10 new models in China by
2011, according to Wale. The carmaker added a new Buick Regal on Dec. 1.

GM’s China-made vehicle sales rose 8.1 percent in the first 10 months to
861,458. Its U.S. sales fell 20 percent to 2.56 million. China’s industry-wide auto sales
jumped 11 percent to 7.83 million in the period, compared with a 15 percent drop in the

U.S.
GM and Chrysler LLC are seeking $14 billion in emergency aid from the U.S.
government to keep operating through the first quarter. President George W. Bush
may decide on the bailout as soon as today, according to a government official who
spoke yesterday on condition of anonymity.

Massachusetts lost 8,000 jobs in November, following losses of 8,000 in
October and 3,100 in September, the state reported. The unemployment rate jumped

to 5.9 percent from 5.5 percent in October. That’s the highest since August 2003 and
matches the peak unemployment rate of the last recession, which began in 2001.

The Federal Reserve and other bank regulators are cracking down on “unfair
or deceptive” credit card practices, including fees, and interest rate increases blamed
for pushing Americans deeper into debt.

The central bank adopted rules yesterday that limit rate increases on existing
balances and require lenders to give consumers a reasonable time to pay. The
National Credit Union Administration and the Office of Thrift Supervision adopted the
same rules, which an industry group said will raise borrowing costs. The new lending
policy takes effect in July 2010.

The rules ban lenders from increasing annual percentage rates “unless
expressly permitted.” They may raise a rate on existing balances when payments are
over 30 days late and must provide 45-days’ notice to raise the rate on new
transactions. The rules ban firms from applying payments strictly to the balance with
the lowest rate first on accounts that carry different interest rates. The rules also ban
double-cycle billing, when a lender imposes finance charges based on balances from
previous periods.

Targanta Therapeutics Corp., which failed on Dec. 9 to gain US regulatory
approval for its antibiotic for complicated skin infections, said it would fire 86
employees, or 75 percent of its workforce.

The state’s commerce department delivered the unsettling news on Thursday
that Arizona lost 83,100 jobs between November 2007 and November 2008.

That 3.1 percent drop neared the 3.2 percent drop seen in November 1949.

Arizona’s unemployment rate in November rose to 6.3 percent from 6.1 percent
in October. Metropolitan Phoenix’s rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.5 percent.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley
are among a dozen financial companies whose ratings or outlooks were cut by
Standard & Poor’s, which cited rising risks for the banking industry.

“The downgrades and revised outlooks reflect our view of the significant
pressure on large complex financial institutions’ future performance due to increasing
bank industry risk and the deepening global economic slowdown,” S&P said in a
statement.

Banks worldwide have reported more than $745 billion of writedowns and
losses since the credit crisis began, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. S&P
said it expects banks to face more volatility in funding markets and a higher level of
stress than in a “typical business-cycle trough.”

The U.S. government will offer up to $17.4 billion in emergency loans to the

U.S. auto sector, providing some breathing room to General Motors Corp and Chrysler
LLC as they try to shore up their cash position and restructure.
The U.S. government expects General Motors and Chrysler LLC to access the
money immediately, a senior administration official said on Friday.
Some $13.4 billion will be made available in December and January from the
$700 billion fund that was originally designed to rescue struggling financial institutions,
but the loans would be called back if the automakers cannot prove they are viable by
March 31, the official said.

The loans would require limits on executive compensation and other perks, and
the automakers would also have to provide warrants for non-voting stocks.

U.S. M-2 money supply rose by $73.9 billion in the Dec. 8 week to $8,062.4
billion, the Federal Reserve said.
Home sales in California’s San Francisco Bay area rose nearly 12.3 percent in
November from a year earlier and the median home price posted a record fall as

buyers continued to snap up properties in inland markets hit by foreclosures, a report
on Thursday said.

The median price paid for all homes in the region fell to $350,000 in November,
down a record 44.4 percent from a year earlier and off for the 12th consecutive month,
San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said. The median sale price in November was at its
lowest point since September 2000.

“Recently the hottest sellers have been discounted, distressed homes, mainly
in-land,” said DataQuick president John Walsh in a statement. “Coastal and move-up
markets, where sales remain sluggish, showed more signs of price weakness.”

A total of 5,756 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county
region last month, down 24.4 percent in October and up 12.3 percent from a year
earlier.

The median home price in California dived 38% in November from a year
earlier as foreclosures propped up sales but eroded prices, a real estate tracking firm
said Thursday.

The median home price dropped to $258,000 last month from $414,000 in
November 2007, San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said. A total of 32,163 houses and
condominiums were sold statewide, up 26% from a year earlier.

“Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions,”
DataQuick said. “Foreclosure activity is at or near record levels, financing with
adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low.”

Credit Suisse will pay “70 % to 80%” of bonuses by issuing $5B of the illiquid
assets that CS owns to employees. “Let them eat crappy paper!” We’re sure some
CS executive thinks this is very clever. What could possibly go wrong?

We’ll tell you what could possibly go wrong. CS employees that receive crappy
paper for bonuses, even if it’s just “partner asset facility (PAF) units that ‘will be linked
to the performance of a pool of illiquid assets’” should sell some part of the crappy
paper to The Street. In fact, if they are devious minded, they should do a little impact
trading and force the prices as low as possible.

Then the employees should inform the media and regulators what the value of
that crappy paper really is so regulators and the media can demand that financial
concerns mark their crappy paper accordingly. Can you imagine hundreds, if not
thousands, of people trying to hit bids on very illiquid assets?

Might solons call Credit Suisse in the very near future and advise them in very
strong language that issuing crappy paper to employees, so those assets can be
publicly valued is unfathomably stupid?

Does anyone think that GE Capital is immune to the credit crisis? Or the fact
that GE had to go to Uncle Sam and the Fed for aid might suggest that GE is not AAA
material?

PS – S&P averred that GE Capital’s stand-alone rating, without parent support,
would be A+.

Here is the Fed’s balance sheet per the H.4.1 released yesterday by the Fed:

`Averages of daily figures for the week ended Wednesday Dec 17, 2008 shows
Total factors supplying reserve funds is $2.305808 trillion, which is +12.282B for the
week. However for Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 the figure is $2.346696 trillion. This
appears to suggest that the Fed on Wednesday monetized an enormous (in excess of
$41B) about of ‘stuff’.

Italy’s public debt, the world’s third-biggest, equivalent to over 104% of GDP, is
not so much the elephant in the living room as the ogre in the attic. The fear has long
been that it could escape and wreak havoc, not only in Italy but also across the entire
euro area. On December 3rd came what some took to be an ominous rattling of the

attic door.

It took the form of an answer by Silvio Berlusconi’s welfare minister, Maurizio
Sacconi, to suggestions that he was at odds with the finance minister, Giulio Tremonti,
over how much to spend on stimulus measures. Denying that there was any conflict,
he said, “I too am constrained by the public debt. And I too am worried by the risk of
default.” Seemingly unaware of the possible effect of his words, he added: “There is
something worse than recession, and that’s state bankruptcy: an improbable, but
nevertheless possible, hypothesis.” If the Italian Treasury were unable to find buyers
for Italian sovereign bonds, said Mr. Sacconi, Italy could go the way of Argentina,
which defaulted in 2001.

Aid dwarfed by amount of commercial paper outstanding but frozen; FASB’s
rule changes won’t help.

However, a paper released today by the Tower Group, a consulting firm, found
that such aid is dwarfed by the amount of asset-backed commercial paper that
remains outstanding—but which is no longer being purchased in securitized form by
investors. While the amount of ABCP outstanding has plummeted since hitting a peak
of around $1.2 trillion in late 2007, it still represents roughly three times the amount
that the Fed has set aside to invest, according to the paper.

ADP has not been able to replicate the BLS’s NFP data this year because the
BLS can change seasonal adjustments each month and crank up fictitious jobs via the
Birth/Death Model. Link to ADP Employment Change methodology.

It has emerged that in 2001, Ms. Schapiro, currently chief executive of the
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), employed Mark Madoff to serve on the
board of the National Adjudicatory Council — the division that reviews disciplinary
decisions made by Finra.

Senator Carl Levin says a collapsed U.S. auto industry would lead to defaults
on over $1 trillion in corporate bonds, credit default swaps and other financial
instruments. As you can see the bailout is another Band-Aid on a monstrous problem
that is not going to go away.

JPMorgan Chase says 10% of the junk bond market is tied to GM, Ford, and
their financing companies most of which is trading at $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar.

A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs
this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince
lawmakers to freeze their own pay.
Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million
that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not
happy about it.

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a
year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said
Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan
group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are
living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”

Two of the largest banks in Massachusetts yesterday said they will be making
deep job cuts -1,900 positions in all -with both citing a weak economy that has
already led to sharp employment losses at rivals.

The cuts at Sovereign Bank and Citizens Bank parent Citizens Financial Group
will be across operations concentrated in Northeastern states.

This past week the Dow fell -0.6%, as S&P added 0.9% and Nasdaq added
0.9%. The Russell rose 3.8% and the S&P mid-caps 3.1%. Transports rose 4.4%,
cyclicals 2.1%, consumers up 1.5% as utilities fell 0.2%. High tech gained 07%, as
semis fell 0.5%. The Internets rose 2.7%, telecoms 1.3%, biotechs 4.1%,

broker/dealers rose 2.5% and banks were up 0.03%. Gold bullion gained $15.60 and
the HUI was up 3.9%.

Two-year Treasury bill yields were little changed at 0.70%, the 10s fell 49 bps
to 2.08%. German 10-year bunds fell 29 bps to 3.00%.

Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was off 28 bps to 5.19%. The
15s fell 28 bps to 4.92% and the one-year ARMs fell 15 bps to 4.94%. The 30-year
jumbos fell 11 bps to 6.94%.

Bank credit fell $11.5 billion up 8.5% annualized. That is up $572 billion over
the past 14 weeks. Securities credit fell $456 billion, loans and leases rose $34.1
billion, C&I loans gained $3.7 billion, real estate loans gained $7.3 billion, securities
loans rose $6.9 billion and other loans grew $16.5 billion.

M2, narrow money, surged $73.9 billion surpassing $8 trillion for the first time.

Total money market fund assets fell $3 billion.

Total commercial paper outstanding gained $8.3 billion this week to $1.709
trillion with CP down $76.6 billion ytd. Asset backed CP was unchanged at $739 billion
with a 2008 decline of $34 billion. Over the past year CP has contracted by $75 billion
or 4.2%. Federal Reserve Credit expanded $12.3 billion to a record $2.254 trillion. Fed
foreign holdings of Treasury, Agency debt rose $4.4 billion and custody holdings for
central banks were up $442 billion ytd, or 21.9%.

The Swiss franc gained 6.5% this week after a terrible Friday as the dollar fell
2.8% to 81.30. Gold rose 1.9% to $838, while silver fell 5.8% to $10.25. Oil fell $12.41
to $33.87, gas fell 9.1% and natural gas fell 2.8%. Copper fell 7.2%, wheat rose 7.9%
and corn rose 1.9%. The CRB fell 3.6% and the GSCI fell 6.4%.
The volume of new bank loans rated by Moody’s fell 91% last month to the lowest in
more than six years as financial companies hoard cash. Newly rated programs fell to
$7.3 billion in November, from $17.1 billion in October and $82.3 billion a year earlier.
The ratings company has ranked $217.5 billion of programs this year through
November, 70% less than in the same period of 2007.

Tremont Group Holdings Inc., a hedge-fund firm owned by Oppenheimer
Funds Inc., had $3.3 billion, or more than half its total assets, invested with Bernard
Madoff.

The value of U.S. homes is on target to fall by $2 trillion in 2008, a private
research group said. The most recent Zillow Real Estate Market Report said home
values fell 8.4% from a year ago by the end of the third quarter. At the end of the
quarter, U.S. homes had already lost $1.9 trillion in value, the report said. At that
point, one in seven homeowners were ‘underwater,’ with a total of 11.7 million owing
more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.

San Francisco office rents dropped 22% during the fourth quarter from the
previous year, the largest decline in seven years, as the shrinking financial services
industry flooded downtown with empty space.

Hedge-fund liquidations rose to a record in the third quarter according to Hedge
Fund Research Inc. About 344 funds closed in the three months ended Sept. 30, the
most since the firm started tracking this data in 1996. Closures in the first nine months
of 2008 rose 70% from the same period last year to 693. The $1.5 trillion hedge-fund
industry is heading for its worst year, with the average fund losing 18% through
November. Investor withdrawals could reach $400 billion in 2008, according to an
estimate by Morgan Stanley. For the full year, 920 funds might shut down, topping the
563 closings in 2007 and the previous annual high of 848, set in 2005, HFR said.

California may soon have more bankrupt towns on its hands. The city of
Vallejo, Calif., gained national attention earlier this year by filing for Chapter 9
bankruptcy protection. Now, two neighbors are fighting to avoid the same fate, as the

state’s economic crisis spreads. Isleton and Rio Vista, small towns roughly 50 miles
northeast of San Francisco, say they have begun consulting with bankruptcy lawyers
as they draw up plans to deal with their mounting budget crises. California’s troubled
towns can’t expect much help from the state. A state board voted Wednesday to shut
off $3.8 billion in financing to hundreds of infrastructure projects to preserve cash.
California’s fiscal house is burning down State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said.

*****
Fed unleashes greatest bubble of all

John Kamp

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/17/fed-unleashes-greatestbubble-

of-all/

*****
Bernanke’s Fatal Flaw

By MIKE WHITNEY

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney12172008.html

*****
London Banker: “The market has failed, and officialdom is perpetuating that failure.”
By Mike Whitney

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21486.htm

*****

Arizona Police Trained for Economic Civil Unrest

*****
Obama’s New Appointments -by Stephen Lendman

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/

*****
IMPOSTOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: VICTORY WILL BE SHORT LIVED
By: DevvyiDecember 18, 2008
© 2008 -NewsWithViews.com

http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd420.htm

*****

Change? Obama Inner Circle Filled With Bilderbergers

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/obama_bilderbergers_160.html

*****

Government bailout hits $8.5 trillion

http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/

object/article?f=/c/a/2008/11/26/MNVN14C8QR.DTL&o=0

*****

From a Fellow Subscriber:

Hi Bob: Rumor has it that Marc “IZZY” Dreier is a Zionist—and that previously he
was a Lawyer To The Stars—so there might be more Bernie Madoff type of coreligionist
rip offs as per your reporting. Maybe the hard lesson to the subscriber
base in all of this is that now co-religionists of all religions need to do a rethink of the
downside of living your life as “CASTE ROBOTS”—that your friends are not always
your friends and instead turn out to be your worst enemies — the JDL/ADL’S
silence in all of these scandals is deafening.

*****
Hi Bob: Rumor has it that the main directors of Madoff’s firm all had fraud insurance
policies with Lloyds of London—the Madoff criminal indictment was necessary in order
to activate the fraud insurance coverage—rumor has it that both of Madoff’s sons are
in on it—also rumor has it that the judge he appeared before —was “enlightened” as to
what was really going—the main idea here is that Madoff is trying to steal the same
money twice—this is skilled malpractice of the highest order—so it was not really a
Ponzi scheme–NO MISTAKES WERE MADE –it was more like a Meyer Lansky
scheme–everything is going exactly to plans.

*****
Hi Bob: Rumor has it that Madoff actually stole closer to $100 billion and that most of
this money is still “intact” in Israel—as per your recent reporting regarding the Russian
oligarchs which are actually the Rothschild oligarchs—also rumor has it that most of
the Jewish charities claiming to have been swindled by Madoff have offices in Israel—
and that they are being

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  • http://www.netgenpr.com Tom Allinder

    Its interesting Tim, that years ago when I started to get into the stock market, everyone told me to stay away from the pennies. I went to the pennies anyhow and stayed there; made a nice living for myself.

    My biggest loses have always been on listed stocks when I got tired of the pennies and decided to go play the big ones.

    We are also finding that there is just as much corruption in the big ones as the little ones…

    Maybe they will all be pennies before too long?

  • http://www.netgenpr.com Tom Allinder

    Its interesting Tim, that years ago when I started to get into the stock market, everyone told me to stay away from the pennies. I went to the pennies anyhow and stayed there; made a nice living for myself.

    My biggest loses have always been on listed stocks when I got tired of the pennies and decided to go play the big ones.

    We are also finding that there is just as much corruption in the big ones as the little ones…

    Maybe they will all be pennies before too long?

  • Tommy Tim

    To sum up the article for anyone that doesn’t have the patience to read it.

    “WE’RE FUCKED”…..

    The pending financial armageddon of the U.S. is upon us.

    God Bless us all. 09 is going to send us back to the dark ages.

  • Tommy Tim

    To sum up the article for anyone that doesn’t have the patience to read it.

    “WE’RE FUCKED”…..

    The pending financial armageddon of the U.S. is upon us.

    God Bless us all. 09 is going to send us back to the dark ages.

  • Kishore Kumar

    Timothy Sykes, you can LOL all you want, right now. But let us all be prepared to cry to our banks for our savings. Banks are a disgrace to mankind. We must find alternative means of safekeeping for our savings.

  • Kishore Kumar

    Timothy Sykes, you can LOL all you want, right now. But let us all be prepared to cry to our banks for our savings. Banks are a disgrace to mankind. We must find alternative means of safekeeping for our savings.

  • http://timothysykes.com Timothy Sykes
  • http://timothysykes.com Timothy Sykes
  • Zykosis

    “Is your money safe?!…..or is it in a bank?….” – Stephen Colbert

  • Zykosis

    “Is your money safe?!…..or is it in a bank?….” – Stephen Colbert

  • The Master Trader

    TL, DR

  • The Master Trader

    TL, DR