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Captured

Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev

I really don’t have anything to add. This 19-year-old male was captured.

From Boston.com:

Four days after two deadly explosions turned the finish line of the Boston Marathon into a scene of bloody chaos, the 19-year-old college student believed to be responsible for placing the bombs was taken into custody Friday night, bringing a sense of relief and justice to a shaken region.

Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev of Cambridge was pulled from his hiding place in a boat parked behind a house on Franklin Street shortly before 8:45 p.m. Friday in this community just outside Boston.

“We are eternally grateful for the outcome here tonight. We have a suspect in custody,” said Colonel Timothy Alben, commander of the State Police. “We’re so grateful to bring justice and closure to this case.”

“It’s a night where I think we’re all going to rest easy,” Governor Deval Patrick said at a news conference with a host of other officials in Watertown.

Here are some of the great tweets that are flying around the internets!! The best was from the Boston Police Department.

By |2013-04-20T21:20:50-04:00April 20th, 2013|Terrorism|Comments Off on Captured

A couple of things – Thursday

I’m still, frozen (or would focused be a better term?) on the fact that S&P decided that it needed to announce that US debt is getting “too” out of control.

From Brad DeLong:

What is going on here? A sovereign-debt downgrade is supposed to mean that a government’s finances have become shakier: the likelihood of internal price inflation is higher, the future value of the nominal exchange rate is likely to be lower, and the possibility that creditors might not get their money back in the form and at the time they had contracted for had gone up. The value of the dollar should have fallen. The nominal interest rates on U.S. Treasury debt should have risen. The value of equities could have gone either way–macroeconomic chaos would diminish future profits, but stocks have always been and remain a hedge against inflation. That is not what happened here: equities fell, the dollar rose, nominal U.S. Treasury interest rates were unchanged.

There are I think, two things to bear in mind.

First, you can go insane trying to overinterpret short-term market movements.

Second, news comes in flavors: new news, old news, no news, and political news.

If S&P’s announcement were new news being conveyed to the market we would have expected to see the standard pattern that we did not–dollar down, Treasury nominal interest rates up, equities either way. So it is not new news.

If the announcement were old news we would have expected to see no price movements–the smart money would already have taken up their positions, and when those less-informed investors to whom S&P was news responded by selling the smart money was there to buy and offset. That’s not what we saw either: so it is not old news.

If it were no news–if the market as a whole simply thought that S&P was irrelevant–then we would have expected to see no price movements at all. The problem is that we did see price movements: both in equities, and in the dollar. So it is not no news.

That leaves us with political news. (more…)

So, if this is just political theater, who’s behind it? I mean Standard and Poor’s doesn’t have the greatest track record of standing up for the American people. Here is the best thing that I have read about ridiculousness of S&P statement:

They put a “negative” outlook on the U.S. AAA credit rating, citing rising budget deficits and debt.

To which I say “Who Cares?

Its not that I disagree with their assessment — I do not — but I pay it little heed. It was much more important to me as an investor that PIMCO’s Bill Gross was out of Treasuries a month ago (and indeed, is short) than what S&P says. That was all any bond investor needed to know — no ratings agency necessary.

If ever there was an organization more corrupt, incompetent, and less capable of issuing an intelligent analysis on debt than S&P, I am unaware of them. Why do I write this? A huge part of the reason the US is in its awful financial position is due to the fine work of S&P.

Consider what Nobel Laurelate Joseph Stiglitz, economics professor at Columbia University in New York observed:

“I view the ratings agencies as one of the key culprits. They were the party that performed that alchemy that converted the securities from F-rated to A-rated. The banks could not have done what they did without the complicity of the ratings agencies.”

Hence, the “negative outlook” of US debt has come about because the inability of Standard & Poor’s to have performed their jobs rating mortgage backed securities. Ultimately, this enabled the entire crisis, financial collapse, enormous budget deficit and now political over the debt ceiling.

Of course there is a negative future outlook. Its in large part the work product of S&P and Moody’s.

Why we even have  Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) any longer following their payola =driven corruption, their gross incompetency and their inability to discharge their basic duties is beyond my understanding.

So, why didn’t someone investigate S&P and Moody’s for cooking the books? They took garbage and slapped a AAA rating on it and smiled. They also took serious money from all of the major banks who were feeding them these mortgage backed securities. Isn’t that fraud?

By |2011-04-21T12:54:57-04:00April 21st, 2011|Budget, Economy|Comments Off on A couple of things – Thursday

Some die at Pope rally

We live in the year 2009. People are not supposed to die at a rally. We have seen this all before. Angola. Tens of thousands line up and wait for hours (does this sound like Cincinnati in 1979?) The doors open and there is no assigned seating. Everyone rushes in. There is chaos. Two girls are dead.  Eight others are wounded. This is so preventable…  so preventable. It’s so sad. There is no excuse for the lack of planning and foresight.

From NYT: Pope Benedict, on a visit to Angola marred by a deadly stampede, on Saturday urged Angolan Catholics to shun witchcraft and woo back those who have left the Catholic church to join other religious groups.

Two teenage girls were killed and at least eight injured in the stampede to enter a stadium in downtown Luanda where Pope Benedict later presided at a youth rally, an official said.

Maria das Dores Celina, a nurse at Josina Machel Hospital, told Reuters the incident happened as thousands of people rushed to enter the venue before the Pope arrived. The two girls arrived dead at the hospital, she added.

By |2009-03-21T20:57:59-04:00March 21st, 2009|Foreign Affairs, Religion|Comments Off on Some die at Pope rally
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