Friday, April 18, 2008

Pondering

Pondering the events of the week...

What to discuss at the end of the week?

Credit?

On this Friday, we could discuss the ongoing credit crunch. Citi wrote down $16 billion dollars worth of assets and the market rallied like mad this morning. And don't tell me it is the "final kitchen sink write-down". Enjoy that while it lasts, but the rotten balance sheets are beginning to reek. Anyone who can do math is realizing that these Level 3 assets are festering garbage and the big banks are loaded to the gills with them. Turning to regional banks, we find balance sheets loaded with construction loans to developers and builders - right in the teeth of an emerging slow-down in CRE. Not pretty, but enough traders are still popping Xanax that they can ignore it for the moment.

The Middle East?

We could discuss the situation in the Middle East, but there is no real change there. Things are tense. Much is going on underneath the surface events that are being reported to the public. Everyone is wondering when Israel will launch the attacks to settle the score with Hezbollah over the 2006 Summer War or when Hezbollah will launch the attacks to settle the score with Israel over the Mugniyah hit. No one (who is talking, at least) knows for sure, so many are talking about it as if they do.

Socionomics?

Or, we could discuss the muddled socionomic picture, but again, there is nothing fresh to report. We see signs of conflicted social mood everywhere. Food riots on one hand, rallies in the equity markets on the other. The growth of the Secession meme continues and walls are going up left and right, yet we also see popular culture still expressing a dominant positive theme, with even recent horror movies more campy than fearful. The only thing I can think to say about social mood is that we are in a long, drawn-out transition period where the delusions of the last huge spike in positive mood are still blinding the vast majority of the media outlets to the creeping tide of negativity that is popping up around the country and around the world.

Iraq?

Iraq is still Iraq. No new ideas have been put forth to provide a template for what "victory" might look like. No new strategic initiatives have been implemented other than to buy off Sunni Tribals and the Badr Brigades (pardon me, Iraqi National Army) and hope for the best. Good men and women are dying for a policy rooted in self-delusion and hubris. Alas, no change there either.

Or...

So, with little new to report, let's turn our attention to one of the enduring mysteries of our time - was it an attack by the Lizard Man, or a mad frenzy of violence by Bigfoot?

Bigfoot in S.C.? Experts: ‘it’s the real deal’
‘It’ attacked a van in Bishopville and attracted a Bigfoot-hunting team to the state
By RANDY BURNS - The (Sumter) Item
BISHOPVILLE — Something apparently attacked Bob and Dixie Rawson’s van in the early morning hours of Feb. 28.

The Rawsons live about two miles southeast of downtown Bishopville. They woke up Feb. 28 to find the front fender of their 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan chewed up, bite marks through the front grill, wheels on both sides bitten and metal crumpled in a wad. There was also blood on the front and sides of the car.

While there has been no “official” sighting of the Lizard Man since July 1988, the Rawsons’ evidence has created a stir, not just locally but nationwide.

After the Rawsons contacted a Columbia TV station, the story was aired on CNN. In March, filmmaker and self-proclaimed Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi and his five-man team visited Bishopville to discover the truth of the Lee County incident...

Have a great weekend...

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