Monday, May 11, 2009

Larwyn's 'Lines: Weakening America for a 'more fair' world

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Cheney: Obama is dismantling our national security: Times
Kennedys in squabble for Ted’s Senate seat: Sunday Times
Gates' budget cuts 'chipping away' defenses: Times

NYC overflight wasn't for a photo: Althouse
Pelosi's latest spin: Instapundit
Thoughtful conservatism can win hearts and minds: PJM (Clarendon)


Hey, let’s throw another $19B down the rat hole!: Malkin
An offer you can't refuse: Economist
WSJ: Treasury’s Stress Test Results ‘Negotiated’ (and corrupt?): Bizzy

Ford workers unafraid of a little competition: BMW
Frightening Fiduciary Follies & Gangster Government: Bizzy
Weakening America to ensure a 'more fair' world: Townhall

Hard truths loom as GM faces bankruptcy: AT (Lifson)

Crime & Law

The Continuing War on Police: Kincaid
Amnesiatics: PJM (Hanson)


Swat This: JOM
Taliban-Style Justice Stirs Growing Anger: WaPo
378 civilians killed; MSM ignores it: JO

The end of collectivism: PJM (Yates)


Sally Quinn on Michelle O's "burnished and beautiful" yet "threatening" arms: P&P
A new low for Olbermann: ripping Reagan: GWP
UAW, ACORN, now newspapers: Obama preps taxpayers for another bailout: GWP

Was Reagan a better friend to gays than Obama is?: Irish Spy


Google I/O Developer Conference 2009: Google


Cadillac SRX 4.6 Review: London Times (Clarkson)
Motherlovers: TigerHawk (SNL Video)
The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition: IowaHawk (Video)

Deutsche Bank's Socialization Of Risk Culture Redux: ZeroHedge:

I joined Deutsche Bank in 2006 to build an investment business within its commercial real estate lending operation, and I was generally surprised by the aggressive sales culture within our firm. While many people consider the banking sector’s problems to be caused by residential lending, I witnessed multibillion-dollar loan proposals for commercial property... these loans were “priced to perfection” and assumed that property prices and rental rates would continue to rise. For perspective, a single billion-dollar commercial real estate loan is equivalent to 2,000 residential loans of $500,000.

In general, my colleagues are hard-working, decent people, but the system of incentives encourages people to take risks. I have seen honest, high-integrity people lose themselves in this cowboy culture, because more risk-taking generally means better pay. Bizarrely, this risk comes with virtually no liability, and this system of O.P.M. (Other People’s Money) insures that the firm absorbs any losses from bad trades.

As these losses have grown, taxpayers are being forced to absorb these losses. As an example, my firm recently received nearly $12 billion from American International Group (which has effectively been nationalized with $180 billion in taxpayer funds). Essentially, every American household sent my firm a check for $105. The reason for this payment: my firm bought credit default swaps from A.I.G. In plain-speak, we bought unregulated “insurance” from A.I.G. to cover losses from bad trades. What did taxpayers get in return?

Nothing. Taxpayers simply paid an I.O.U. triggered by our gambling losses. (Note: This $12 billion payment was more than 50 percent of our market capitalization at the time of its disclosure).

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