Monday, October 06, 2008

In 1907 American humorist Mark Twain, in his "Chapters from My Autobiography" wrote: "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"

That familiar saying refers to the persuasive power of numbers, the use of statistics to bolster arguments, and the habit of discounting statistics that don't support your positions. Here, James cumes is going to address hard statistics about depression, realistic picture these numbers paint …

Two years ago, early in 2006, James Cumes wrote, in America’s Suicidal Statecraft, that:
One of the more fascinating debates is whether, if and when we crash, we will have deflation or inflation - and either one in its most extreme form. Within this debate, we have such entertaining - or devastating - suggestions as the helicopter drop linked to the names of Friedman and Bernanke. Some forty years ago, one of the more beguiling habits of President Bokassa of the Central African Republic, was to fling handfuls of coins and paper money to his grateful people when he went on walkabouts among them. His little gesture drew the crowds, increased his popularity and nurtured his ambitions. Eventually, it helped to bring about his apotheosis as “Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire”. He was crowned in a magnificent, Napoleon-like ceremony, costing $20 million that the country could not, of course afford; but it added circuses to the presidential appeal. Sadly, however, the fantasy was short-lived. Even his exuberant generosity could not prevent the Emperor’s eventual overthrow and imprisonment…
Assuredly, there will be many extreme as well as some more rational proposals when what seems to be the inevitable crash does arrive. By that time, we may have reached what one commentator has called “The End of the Western World we have known since 1945”, the United States dollar may have become a “monkey currency” like the Emperor Bokassa’s and any dollar notes that Chairman Bernanke might drop from helicopters might have even less real value than the paper money with which the Emperor showered his people on his Coronation Day, back in 1977. The End of the Western World since 1977

Can we change the human tendency for recession? Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Interesting article from 1999 AD. courtesy of Steve M

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

Fannie Mae _ mea Culpa; [The Howard government did nothing as house prices spiraled out of control powered by a debt binge that will haunt us for years Sick Soil of Sydney and so on …; 'Casino capitalism', 'robber barren capitalism', 'the greed machine' - call it what you will - the corporate financial orgy has come to a shuddering halt. bubbles deflating worldwide ]
• · PERPETUAL and Wesfarmers are the latest in a string of companies to be targeted by predatory share-buying schemes, running under the names of Hassle Free Share Sales and Share Buying Group Beware of share predators;
• · Robert Higgs Boohoo: The Mainstream Media Are Ignoring Me Depression, War, and Cold War; On September 29, the day the House of Representatives voted down the bailout bill, the S&P 500 opened at 1,209 and closed at 1,106, registering a loss of 8.5 percent. Other stock-market indexes recorded similar declines in share prices. The Stock Market Proved . . . Or Did It?
• · · Mistrust over lending grips the globe, but a wiser, more nimble US could emerge from the chaos Branko Milanovic: Global crisis: how far to go? Part I; Collapsing share markets have dramatically reshaped the fortunes of the nation's multi-billionaires in recent months, stripping Mr Forrest of the crown and elevating perennial rich list bridesmaid Frank Lowy to the top of the rankings for the first time. Collapsing share markets
• · · · Shopping centre magnate Frank Lowy has taken the mantle of Australia's richest man for the first time. First time; Frank Lowy, an Australian Jew, for the first time was identified as the nation’s richest man.Richest Man; AUSTRALIA'S ability to crack down on offshore tax evasion is limited by how much it can legislate for activities that occur outside its borders Tax Havens
• · · · · 4 Corners, 6 October 2008. Liz Jackson reports on the insider who stole a bank's secrets, then sold them, sparking panic among the world's super rich Tax me if you can.; We need a watch kept on the operation of Australia’s terrorism laws Unique legislative regime" needs on-going review
• · · · · · Some of the most innovative ideas are generated during tough times. Kevin Roberts Presentation at the Insider's Creative Forum in Manchester; Three easy watching movies I’ve enjoyed lately in the air. It is definitely going to be Hugh Jackman’s year. He’s set to star in Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia