Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nobody's worked up over a paltry $700 BB

Nobody's worked up over a paltry $700 BB - or are they?

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Easy credit?

Frusen glädje

Today's slushy news:

Libor Rises Most on Record After U.S. Congress Rejects Bailout

Bloomberg, By Gavin Finch, September 30

The cost of borrowing in dollars overnight rose the most on record after the U.S. Congress rejected a $700 billion bank-rescue plan, putting an unprecedented squeeze on the global financial system.

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, that banks charge each other for such loans climbed 431 basis points to an all-time high of 6.88 percent today, the British Bankers' Association said. The euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, for one-month loans jumped to a record 5.05 percent, the European Banking Federation said. The Libor-OIS spread, a gauge of the scarcity of cash, also increased to an all-time high.

``This is unheard of, the money markets should be the engine driving the financial system but they have broken down,'' said Kornelius Purps, a fixed-income strategist in Munich for UniCredit Markets and Investment Banking, a unit of Italy's largest lender. ``Any institution that hasn't completed its 2008 funding needs by now is going to be in very serious trouble. More banks are going to need to be bailed out.''

The seizure in the credit markets is tipping lenders toward insolvency, forcing U.S. and European governments to rescue five banks in the past two days, including Dexia SA, the world's biggest provider of loans to local governments, and Wachovia Corp. Money-market rates climbed even after the Federal Reserve yesterday more than doubled the size of its dollar-swap line with foreign central banks to $620 billion. In Europe, banks borrowed dollars from the ECB at almost six times the Fed's benchmark interest rate today.

Worried about your bank?

Then try Personal Bank!

Friday, September 26, 2008

AZ Update

AZ has just been in touch. The worst (except for the penicillin) is over, and she should be back on Monday.

The procedure took three (3) hours - one hour/tooth.

UPDATE (9/29): AZ is still out - due to the original infection. Penicillin didn't do the trick, so they're trying Doxycycline. Maybe it'll work overnight and she'll be in tomorrow.

Friday Tea - Octoberfest Edition

Despite the rain we're experiencing, Tea will be held this afternoon.

JT has graciously topped off our beer supply with some Octoberfest brews.

Greyhounds and Cape Codders will be available, too.

The cheese plate, as always, will be fresh.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WaMu, c'est pas plus mas Macho...

The FDIC has seized WaMu, in the biggest (by far) bank failure in US History.

$300 billion in assets, for $1.9 billion, and $30 - $54 billion in toxic loan write-downs. Where the hell were we!

It's not even Friday, yet.

Indexed asks:

We're all in this together?

We think instead of "Engels", it should maybe be "Mussolini" (or Gentile)...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread

2.5 c Warm (not hot!) Water
1/2 c Corn Meal
2 T melted shortenening or Oil
1 t Salt
1/2 c Molasses (Blackstrap or not)
1 Envelope of yeast
Roughly 5 c of flour - more as needed.

Proof the yeast in 1/2 c of the warm water, maybe with some sugar.

Mix everything else but the flour in a large bowl.

Add the proofed yeast to the mixture.

Add the flour, kneed and let rise.

Kneed again, and place in 2 loaf pans and let rise again.

Bake in 400 degree (F) oven for 3/4 hour.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good News!

The pepper harvest is in!

Available on OzBay(tm)!

While supplies last!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today's the first day of Fall.

Hang onto your hats!

And then there were none...

Last major investment banks change status

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve said Sunday it had granted a request by the country's last two major investment banks -- Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- to change their status to bank holding companies.

The Fed announced that it had approved the request of the two investment banks. The change in status will allow them to create commercial banks that will be able to take deposits, bolstering the resources of both institutions.

The change continued the biggest restructuring on Wall Street since the Great Depression.

The request for the change to bank holding companies was granted by a unanimous vote of the Fed's board of governors during a late Sunday meeting in Washington.

The change of status means both companies will come under the direct regulation of the Federal Reserve...
No more 30:1 leverage, alas...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And what's this now?

And what's this now? Corporate Wine Glasses?

After the success of last week's pepsi challenge, ED thought it might be nice to class up the joint a bit, and has donated a set of GLASS wine glasses to the effort. Thanks, they're just what we needed.

Perhaps tomorrow will see them used. Say, around 4:00.

Neddie Jingo is back on the air

By Neddie Jingo is back on the air - after some self-imposed radio silence while he was writing other things.

Welcome back Jeddie!

Thanks for fighting the good fight in VA.

Inappropriate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” remarks

Zeldman.com presents some Inappropriate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” remarks.

There doesn't seem to be a "Talk like a parrot day", international or otherwise.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our New Website is Live...

RS remarked that our new website is live.

We went there, and while there are differences, it looks much the same as it used to.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ah, crap.

Friday is international Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Why couldn't it have been on Saturday or Sunday?

Emergency Summit

SR will be driving here tomorrow in a push to clean up the software for imminent internal release.

That is all.

(AIG has nothing to do with this. Really).

News du Jour

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is out.

Oh, and AIG, the 18th largest business in the world, is probably going bankrupt over a measly $ 70 75 Billion dollars.

UPDATE: Make that $ 85 BB.

Roubini has some thoughts on the conundra of the deal.

What's this we hear?

What's this we hear? That LV (f/k/a LG) is soon to be working in Waltham?

End of an Era, and the beginning of a new one.

Welcome to Waltham, LV!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

WaMu es mas macho!

WaMu es mas macho...

Lehman Expected to File for Bankruptcy Protection

New York Times, September 14

According to people briefed on the matter, Lehman Brothers will file for bankruptcy protection on Sunday night, in the largest failure of an investment bank since the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert 18 years ago.

Lehman will seek to place its parent company, Lehman Brothers Holdings, into bankruptcy protection, while its subsidiaries will remain solvent while the firm liquidates its holdings, these people said. A consortium of banks will provide a financial backstop to help provide an orderly winding down of the 158-year-old investment bank. And the Federal Reserve has agreed to accept lower-quality assets in return for loans from the government.

But Lehman’s filing is unlikely to resemble those of other companies that seek bankruptcy protection. Because of the harsher treatment that federal bankruptcy law applies to financial-services firm, Lehman cannot hope to reorganize and survive as a going concern. It will instead liquidate its holdings.

WaMu es mas macho, but perhaps not by much...

Oh, and by the way, AIG, Merrill Lynch are in pretty tough shape, too.

Beware the ides of September... Probably going to be "bumpy" tomorrow in lower Manhattan.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The results are in!

Lime is in, baby!

The results of Friday's Pepsi-challenge between a California wine, a French Wine, and a Bellingham (MA) wine.

1) The California wine, a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from Ravenswood.
2) Bellingham's Cabernet Suevignon.
3) Some over-priced Bordeaux. Mis en bouteille au Château, indeed.

Thanks to all who participated. Perhaps someday soon we'll have our Pinot Noir tasting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Competitive Tea anyone?

Today's Tea will have a small wine tasting contest associated with it. ED and AO have acquired some wine for the occasion.

Drop by at 4:00 to watch, or to compete!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We are saved!

Chuck Norris has another book out, "Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America"

Please buy multiple copies of this book and spread the message around! Only Chuck Norris can save us now!

And while you're at it, check out his latest column at Human Events. Chuck Norris approves of "The Maverette" (Maverette Facts).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Liveblogging the LHC startup

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Que es mas macho?

Washington Mutual, or Lehman Brothers?

Lehman Brothers:
Investors' confidence in Lehman collapsed after talks fell through with the Korean Development Bank about a takeover or a capital injection into the struggling Wall Street brokerage.The group is desperate for cash after announcing $8.2 billion of writedowns on mortgage-related investments in the past year. It might disclose a further $5 billion hit with the release of its third-quarter results next Thursday.

Shares closed down 44% at $7.90 - close to it's 52-week low.

It affirmed the 'BBB-' long-term and 'A-3' short-term counterparty credit ratings on WaMu and the 'BBB' long-term and 'A-2' short-term counterparty credit ratings on Washington Mutual Bank.

A "BBB" rating is the second-lowest investment grade rating and a "BBB-" rating is one notch below that, the lowest rating before "junk bond" status.


The lowered outlook also comes a day after WaMu said it entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Thrift Supervision, its primary regulator. The Seattle bank committed to provide the OTS with an updated, multiyear business plan and forecast for its earnings, asset quality, capital and business segment performance.

They've recently fired their CEO.

Shares closed down 15% to 3.30 - within a quarter of it's 52-week low.

Que es mas macho? WaMu. They have free checks for life.

Oh, and we now have a corporate juicer.

Perhaps we'll be able to squeeze the last few dollars from the husks of these financial institutions once they've been abandoned by Wall Street.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Enjoy tomorrow

for on Wednesday a mini black hole might just gobble up the earth.

Just kidding.

CERN's LHC is going to go "live" on Wednesday - and maybe we'll get a look at that Higgs Boson we've all heard so much about.

The Presidential Debate schedule has been set

The Presidential Debate schedule has been set:

Foreign Policy: September 26
Vice Presidential: October 2
Town Hall Style: October 7
Domestic Policy: October 15

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Tea

The rumors of a change of venue for today's tea are greatly exaggerated.

Perhaps next week?

See you at 4:00 - same place as always.

Something's been keeping us up late

Something's been keeping us up late this week.

Not sure what it is.