Abandoning Those Who Have Clearly Abandoned Us by The Other Katherine Harris

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by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Glitzqueen
August 6, 2011

Concerning that vow in my last post that I would never vote again for anyone who supported the evil austerity bill, I mean to keep it. If more of us abandon those who’ve clearly abandoned us, maybe a real people’s party will arise in response to the need and/or Democrats will wake up and start acting like Democrats again.

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Super Congress = Fascism by The Other Katherine Harris + Kill the Budget Bill + Sanders: Immoral, Grotesque, Unfair

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Glitzqueen
August 1, 2011

TAX THE RICH

Image by littlegreenfroggy via Flickr

No “Super Congress” should be acceptable to anyone who claims to be a Democrat.  This is fascism on a plate!  It’s bad enough we’ve got five kinglets running amok on the Supreme Court.

My son and I, life-long Democrats who always voted in the past, will never vote again for any politician who votes for a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid, or sets up a band of tyrants to force the hand of our elected representatives.  Continue reading

The Harris Pole – Winter 2009-2010 by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Glitzqueen
Jan 11, 2010

NORTH POLE – Of Kringleshire, renowned from time immemorial as an elfin wonderland at the top of the world, only slush and traces of crushed peppermint remain. Continue reading

Exclusive: Why should I pay somebody else’s mortgage? by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Feb. 21, 2009

It’s a question I’ve heard frequently during the past few days – and I know that my friend who keeps asking it is far from alone in feeling greater outrage about public aid to homeowners than about the far larger sums we’re handing to financial elites who already grabbed trillions of dollars while wrecking the global economy.

Probably you’ve also appealed to friends to direct their wrath more appropriately at the banksters; their affiliated hedge-hogs and buyout vultures; and the governments which have been and continue to be their puppets. My friend theoretically grasps the wisdom of that, but still he seethes more furiously over any little break given to ordinary folks. He’s especially upset by the idea that an owner might receive $5,000 for keeping the adjusted payments current over a period of years.

That must be partly because we understand $5,000. Few can get their heads around millions and billions, let alone trillions, but we all know what $5,000 will buy. Its value to us varies with circumstances, of course. The privileged set drop that much on a handbag, while it would solve or significantly lessen many people’s urgent problems and, for many more, it would provide a welcome emergency fund or a special treat. Spent wisely, it could supply a life-changing chance for education or to launch a business.

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Exclusive: Derivatives for Dummies by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Feb. 18, 2009

Recent attempts by corporate media to explain the nature of our economic meltdown have left me ready to bite the ears off mice. They’ve been superficial, profoundly misleading and, above all, apologias for the likes of

Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner. So, having spent every spare moment over the past three years studying the debacle that many saw brewing, here’s the simplest explanation I’ve come up with:

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What is this, the jungle? by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Feb. 8, 2009

I used to write small blogs, quick riffs on the day’s headlines. Being a poet by nature, I found it easy to spot jarring but apt connections. Then things began growing Really Serious about two years ago and, being also a scholar by nature, I was driven to learn about economics and finance.

Now I’m bowed under a burden of research and insight so heavy that the blogs I need to write are massive. Nothing less complex will reveal all the relevant connections. Several of those are in the works now, some having been in development for months.

It’s hard to set those projects aside, because I’m so keen to finish them, but this is a moment for listening to the little bells again.

An e-mail received yesterday invited me to join a gang of speculators who, at their pack leader’s cue, spring to short something — and U.S. Treasuries are slated to be their biggest, juiciest prey. If word of this play has filtered downwards to embrace even me, you can be certain it’s part of a mighty assault. Shorting, you know, makes visions of disaster come true. It brings down companies such as — oh, let’s see, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers — and predators shorting its currency and banks even brought down Iceland.

Remember when Paulson and the boyz declared all remaining major financial firms off-limits to shorting last fall — lest it also bite the likes of Goldman? These guys get it. And they do it.

This morning, I read of a cadre of American generals marshaling forces with Gates’ Pentagon and the media to overrule President Obama’s plans to withdraw combat troops from Iraq. Their scheme was presented dully, with no tinge of outrage, as if it’s perfectly respectable for unelected ideologues and profiteers to rule the world, scorning the public will and that of our president.

In a more civilized time, wouldn’t both of these attacks be regarded as treason?

And then there’s the TARP, yet more of the bloodyeffing TARP. Its creators now want to bestow a Bad Bank on American taxpayers (as if we weren’t cursed with more than enough evil ones).

As all these little bells ring, I see wild animals with their teeth in our throats, intent on shaking out every last penny, bleeding us fatally, soon to consume our torn carcasses at their drooling leisure.

see

Tax The Speculators, by Ralph Nader

Bailout for the People: “The Cook Plan” by Richard C. Cook

Dennis Kucinich Takes An Hour To Explain Our Current Economic Situation

Gareth Porter: US military leaders are pressuring Obama to cancel his Iraq withdrawal promise

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2

Holiday Greetings: The Harris Pole 2008

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

previously published Dec. 2008

Jan 1, 2009

NORTH POLE – On each year’s visit to formerly ice-bound Kringleshire, I find there’s less of it.  Lately there’s so much less that rescuing animals from the encroaching waters has become part of daily life.  When I arrived by ferry (quite a change from the sled treks of yore), the famously philanthropic Kringle clan chief S. Claus was guiding a group of polar bears to safety.  Some had been swimming for days, he said.

Claus looked as exhausted as the bears, so I helped beach his little rowboat, the HOHO, puzzled that no elves ran to assist.  Equally surprising were the many drilling platforms that had sprung up in the vicinity.  These developments turned out to be connected.

bearescuegettingfancy

larger view

“Must be crazy-busy in the factory now,” I remarked while we were walking to the house next door to it.

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Exclusive: The Big Grab, Part I by The Other Katherine Harris

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The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Oct 11, 2008

The Big Grab, Part I: First they came for the play money. Now it’s down to life and death.

In another burst of startling candor, Sir Alan “the Iraq war is largely about oil” Greenspan admitted who’s running the world.  Discussing fiscal meltdown with the Financial Times, he stated: “The danger is that some governments, bedeviled by emerging inflationary forces, will endeavor to reassert their grip on economic affairs. If this becomes widespread, globalization could reverse, at awesome cost.”

Sickening viewpoint, isn’t it?  Most of us see mass hardship as “the danger” of financial crisis, but the sociopaths in charge fret only about a backlash by sovereign nations against transnational schemes that harm their citizens.  The “awesome cost” of which Greenspan warned is merely damage to the fortunes of global predators, who scorn democracy, crush real competition and prize only money and power, feeling no bonds of patriotic loyalty or human empathy.  Any doubts?  Greenspan has been on record since 1974, calling capitalism “not only efficient and practical, but also moral,” because those whom he deems “parasites” must “perish as they should.”

Among acolytes sharing the former Fed chairman’s scorn is one who posted this comment to a Huffington Post blog last October, calling himself “Plutotoo”:

“… (W)hat happened to the money supply…from 2003 to 2006 is so self-evident … that I find it shocking that it need be explained at all. Everyone in the investment world is well aware of how this worked (and we all made a huge amount of money directly from the rate-cut rape of Americans’ savings and assets — not to mention pushing the real estate bubble, i.e. flipping new homes).

“Briefly, what happened was that, by 2002, as the economy was failing, we desperately needed all Americans to take the money out of their savings accounts and home equity and spend it … We accomplished this by making them feel rich by slashing interest rates — as Bonddad explains above. It worked great for nearly four years.

“Then, sadly, Americans spent all the money they had … They’ve also maxed out their credit and their FICO scores stink — so they’re worse than useless. They are a drain on the economy.

“When Bush politicians go on TV and mention tax cuts as the reason for the boost in retail spending (aka the economy) those of us down on the trading floor just roll our eyes. Yeah. Right. It doesn’t matter to us, though. We took the American people’s savings and invested it for ourselves — in Halliburton (in Dubai) and in foreign currencies held offshore. AND we hardly had to pay any taxes at all on our enormous profits (thank you. Mr. President!).

“All’s well that ends well — at least for the Plutocrats.”

Just who the real parasites are is becoming clearer to more people daily.  We’re in the present mess, precisely because governments LOST “their grip on economic affairs” to this gang of remorseless predators:  banksters, corporate magnates, buyout pirates, hedge-hogs and their minions, who’ve savaged working people not merely for the past 8 years but for a generation — ultimately recreating a level of economic inequality not seen since 1928 (and previously associated with the Robber Baron 1890s and the eve of the American Revolution).

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Exclusive: Helicopter to Hell by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Oct 1, 2008

Question: What could be worse than Hank Paulson’s $700-billion proposal to pay banksters too much for worthless derivative securities?

Answer:  “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke on the loose, dropping more than $1 trillion on the banksters, in loans based on their garbage securities’ FULL FACE VALUE (hyperinflated by up to 200 percent). Continue reading

Exclusive: Wall Street wants us to panic… by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Sept 30, 2008

Wall Street wants us to panic, but stocks are just way overpriced.

If you’re hyperventilating about the stock market this morning, please calm down.  What’s underway is simple Market Justice.  Artificially inflated prices can’t be sustained forever — not for $700 billion or any amount of cash.

For years and years, the housing bubble fed the stock bubble and vice versa.  Far too much money poured into both asset classes, so this isn’t a problem more money will solve.

In every speculative market, there comes a time when those who bought too high get rebuked by reality.  Wall Street doesn’t like reality any more than homeowners who paid too much do, but the fall has to happen.  It’s healthy.

Just as the housing market will recover when the median price of a home regains its logical relationship with the median household income, stock prices will stabilize at a level that reflects their fundamental value.  Trying to keep these prices unreasonably elevated by any sort of heroics is destined to fail.

Housing will find a realistic bottom less painfully than many stocks will, because 1) buildings and land are useful things and 2) the prices weren’t juiced as much.  A total fall of 40 percent in the most overheated markets is right, which is why banks are now selling off mortages in bulk at 60 cents on the dollar and finding plenty of buyers. (They should be offering that price to the residents, of course, but this is a topic for another day.)

Stock prices often veered much farther from sanity, particularly in the zany shadow realm of derivatives (secondary bets derived from the presumed value of debt and other underlying assets).  More than a QUADRILLION DOLLARS’ worth of them are currently outstanding.  This is nuts, considering that the entire world’s annual GDP was only $60-65 trillion in 2007, the domestic capitalization of every stock exchange on the planet comes to barely over $60 trillion and combined personal wealth around the globe was measured last year at $109.5 trillion. To make a quad takes 1,000 trillion: more money than even exists!

Such craziness is possible because, in the surreal alternate universe of derivative securities, leverage goes as high as 100-200 percent.  Their hyperinflated “notional” value acquires a hyperinflated real-world price tag when one party to a bet is proved right and the other wrong.  Styled as hedging devices, most derivatives are pairs representing opinion and counter-opinion — but they go far beyond normal risk management, in that you can buy the same coverage over and over and it can involve matters that don’t otherwise concern you. (Imagine taking out 200 insurance policies on somebody else’s $25,000 car and expecting $5 million, if it’s wrecked.)  Complicating things still further, the paper migrates among owners, when someone is willing to take it as payment or collateral.  Eventually contracts expire, due to a specified timeframe — usually five years, so tons will keep ticking well into the next decade — but up to half of the total face value of active derivatives COULD turn terrifyingly actual at any moment, requiring the loser or insurer of his bet (e.g., the defunct AIG) to pay the other.

The whole world couldn’t come up with even half of a quad, at gunpoint, yet that’s what today’s “financial innovators” have stupidly obligated themselves to pay on derivative contracts, if each ends up with a winner and a loser.

Can’t be done and the players know it, but they’re still trying to squeeze some profit out of these dog bets by selling the worst of them to us:  those marked Level III, which are based on subprime debt.  In the real market, they’re going for six cents on the dollar, but Hank Paulson kindly hopes to overpay.

If the banks really wanted to get back to ordinary business, they could start immediately, simply by agreeing to nullify these contracts and refund whatever sums were paid up-front.  Some firms might need taxpayers’ help to pay the refunds, but it would be a manageable figure, a tiny fraction of what they’re trying to get out of us for frighteningly overleveraged garbage.

Nobody’s ever happy about losing paper wealth, but that doesn’t mean it can or should be sustained forever.

UPDATE (3 PM Mountain Time) – See, the sky didn’t fall because the banksters weren’t able to railroad Congress into a wrongheaded $700 billion bailout.  Wall Street just closed its best day in six years, as buyers picked over the merchandise that sellers kicked over yesterday.  Stocks that are still hurting deserve to be!

As for the credit markets, their remaining tight isn’t for want of money.  If cash were the issue, they’d be in puppydog heaven, based on Bernanke’s plans to pump another $630 billion into the system.  He announced this yesterday BEFORE the House vote, while nobody was looking in the Fed’s direction.  (See the Bloomberg story quoted HERE and weep. Then don’t miss the rest of what Karl Denninger has to say. I just read his no-cost plan for financial recovery and it’s much in line with what I’ve been thinking, although it doesn’t call for outright nullification of derivative bets.)

see

Want to stop the banksters’ bailout? by The Other Katherine Harris

“They Just Don’t Get It” – Political Leaders and Pundits Are Clueless About Bailout Rejection By Richard C. Cook

Personal Finance Meltdown Makeover: Take the Long View by Susan Boskey

Bailout by Stealth by James Corbett + Ron Paul: Inflation is an unfair tax

Catherine Austin Fitts: Financial Coup d’etat

Stuff the Bankers by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Exclusive: Resolving the Wall Street Financial Crisis: Monetary Reform

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

The Other Katherine Harris

Want to stop the banksters’ bailout? by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Sept 25, 2008

Rallies are being organized today by Democracy for America, so there may be one in your neighborhood.

Sadly, there’s none in Albuquerque, but I just sent a fax begging Democratic leaders in Washington to stop the lunacy. For several days, I’ve been writing a huge blog on the subject (tying it to all the other obscene 11th Hour Grabs underway); with luck, that should be ready to post here by tomorrow. Continue reading

Companies Change Hands in Fantasyland by The Other Katherine Harris

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The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
July 19, 2008

An intended corporate buyout in the billions has been announced with utterly no reference to where either firm is based.  For all we’re told, both parties to the deal are extra-cartological — off in Terra Incognita or “Here Be Dragons” land.

Simple case of sloppy journalism, one might think — except that the source was The New York Times, citing Reuters.  The story informs us that a giant pharmaceutical company called Teva purchased one of its rivals, Barr, for $7.46 billion in cash and stock — representing $66.50 a share, a generous 42 percent premium over Barr’s closing price at mid-week.  The author also bothers mentioning “a wave of consolidation in the generic-drug sector that some analysts suspect will result in only a handful of major global players” and says that Teva – already world leader in generics — will now command a staff of 37,000 and operate in more than 60 countries, gaining the foothold in Eastern Europe that Barr acquired in 2006 with the Croatian firm Pliva.  (Presumably, the location of a company was still regarded as newsworthy two years ago.)

Now, however, we have to click the right links for investment information to learn that Teva’s home base is in Israel and Barr’s in the USA.  Thus we can determine that the most likely immediate cuts to that staff of 37,000 will be in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

With a little further sleuthing, we can determine who’s to blame for this extraordinary omission.  It wasn’t Reuters. THEIR STORY is greatly detailed and raises the possibility of other suitors vying for Barr, as well as the issue of anti-trust risk (although unnamed “analysts” deemed both chances remote).

Interestingly, Reuters points out that Teva has bought three other US drug companies in the past two years: Ivax (for $7.4 billion), CoGenesys (for $400 million) and Bentley (for $360 million).

Had The Times put forward more complete information, perhaps the idea of anti-trust action wouldn’t be such a non-starter.  Could this be why they don’t even state in passing that yet another American company is slated to bite the dust?

Beyond the fact that it’s high time for the leaders of governments to climb out of the pockets of transnational grillionaires and protect their citizens’ livelihoods, imagine what will happen to generic drug pricing, if only a few firms soon control them all.

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The Other Gas Crisis by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
June 28, 2008

Given the impact of speculative greed on gasoline and food prices, it’s hard to enjoy a picnic this summer, let alone a vacation trip — but these will seem like the good old days, come fall and winter.  We’ll be not only hungry and house-bound then, but also freezing our fannies off, because the cost of natural gas is rising at nearly twice the rate of oil!

So far this year, natural gas is up by a whopping 76 percent.  That makes the oil price hike look puny at 42 percent and even outdoes corn’s riot-inducing 58 percent increase.

Don’t think you’re off the hook, if you heat with electricity.  Many power plants are running on natural gas these days, including virtually all built since the turn of the century.  This is one reason why it’s a can’t-miss bet for futures traders — the additional causes being an explosion of McMansions across the landscape and the biofuels boondoggle.  (Few realize how much natural gas it takes to grow and distill agrofuels, but the hedge funders and other predators definitely get it.)

BTW, for those who heat with oil and think maybe they’ll catch a break for a change, don’t bank on it.  The outfit now holding the largest supply of heating oil in New England is Morgan Stanley, as came out in a recent Congressional hearing on commodities market manipulation.  Their actually taking delivery of the stuff is no doubt a ploy to keep themselves in the game, if purely financial investment is finally restricted — but those capable of such a dramatic move can be assumed capable of profiting richly from it in every way.

So, in “gather ye rosebuds while ye may” spirit, it would behoove us to prepare during warm weather for the heating season.  It’s obviously a lot more comfortable to replace inefficient windows, improve insulation, futz with weather-stripping and so forth, before cold winds start to blow, and such efforts will be rewarded also by savings on air conditioning.  I intend to install seriously thermal window-coverings, having read that they produce remarkable bang for the buck, and look into adding some skylights and south-facing windows for solar gain.  Even projects that might have seemed unaffordable previously deserve to be reconsidered in the light of natural gas rates poised to double — or worse — by the time you turn your furnace on again.

Carbon Trading Is Just Another Derivatives Scam by The Other Katherine Harris

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The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
May 21, 2008

Being so often sold to the highest bidder, governmental legislation has been a product for a long time, but lately it’s deliberately spinning off other products, too.

Mind you, these aren’t products in any rational sense. Nothing tangible will be produced – not a road, not a sofa, not even a sandwich. Just money and other paper for elites who’ll trade so-called “new assets” created out of whole cloth (or, rather, dirty air) will result if supporters of the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill have their way. Its cap-and-trade provisions will commodify pollution in America into the basis of an “industry” so immense that $150 billion will supposedly spring into being during its first year (and $3 trillion between now and 2050).

These figures in fact represent fictitious value that will have to be sucked out of the productive economy somehow. That’s how trading derivatives always works. The principle was elegantly encapsulated by a gentleman who commented last month on one of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s columns in the London Telegraph. He was specifically addressing derivatives associated with commodities like oil and food, but the same trick lies behind the mortgage securitization scam and any other bubble. Walt O’Brien wrote (emphasis mine):

… Derivatives are a means of introducing superfluous layers of financing to otherwise pretty tame trades in commodities. On a straight commodity exchange for a tanker owner or freightforwarder who … wants to move a couple of million gallons … oftentimes a factor is used (something now called “accounts receivables financing”). The tanker owner … (makes) a deal with the factor and the buyer where … the tanker owner takes receipt of the full value of the cargo less the factor’s discount — usually 3 to 7 percent simple interest – and … the tanker owner and/or freightforwarder know they are paid for the cargo and aren’t held up in demurrage at the dock while the greedy buyer tries to starve them out for a lower rate per gallon. If a derivatives trader is involved, the deal is between the fuel supplier and the trader. The trader fronts the cargo in transit with bank money … chats up the value of the cargo in transit and adds as much as 30-40% of non-value-added cost to the cargo in the process, which the trader then pockets, and the banker pockets … associated fees and interest. How many layers of useless and unnecessary derivatives trading can you plotz onto a commodity trade? Answer: in theory, an infinite amount; in practice, the highest number of … re-re-re-financings I’ve seen is 15 layers of needless trades on one consignment. This … trade boosted the cargo cost — not value, as the cargo price for the carrier and cargo owner in transit did not … change at all, though the cargo owner, to cover the derivatives had to stick the customer with his price plus the derivatives trades — by a factor of 12 times true cost. The bourses of the world are starving … the black and Asian world through extortion of unnecessary money while ruining the value of your currency… Annual payouts to derivatives traders looks to be at US$62 trillion, according to this Economist article (“Taming the Beast” in the April 19 -25 edition). That $62 trillion, if expressed as food, energy and metals commodities, could be the vehicle for the New Millenium to move forward in hope and in earnest, but instead is going to golf turf fees, amusing clarets and…eco-tourism by really fat and greedy people who constitute about .005 percent of the population.

Sadly, what’s due to be bruited about soon in Washington is NOT whether we should launch ourselves into this lunacy at all, but merely who’s to be handed how much of the first $150 billion in fairy money: chits representing the “right” to pollute at a certain level. Of course the polluters want them free, claiming their charges to consumers will rise horribly otherwise. Other proponents – including environmental groups and both Democratic presidential contenders – want the chits auctioned off to generate some form of public benefit. Conciliators of course favor splitting the difference. See Marc Gunther’s recent analysis for a wealth of detail.

The fundamental problem is that almost nobody’s saying hey, let’s stop and think before creating another Mad Max market to rob everyone else blind for the sake of the players; couldn’t we just pass a law that simply says you WILL reduce pollution by x amount within y timespan, or be subject to penalties?

Exactly the same aversion to laws with no payola for the bankers, traders and mega-corporations is apparent in our government’s approach to alternate energy — setting things up in such a way that big business controls it and has already spun off a myriad of derivatives in solar and wind power (a subject for another day) – and equally apparent in how our legislators are dealing with the housing meltdown.

As Dean Baker pointed out this week, we needn’t create yet more mortgages to be securitized, sold and resold, in order to avert foreclosures. The simple solution would be a law allowing residents to remain in their homes by paying fair market rent. This would prevent a further price-depressing glut on the housing market and also prompt banks to renegotiate their customers’ mortgages, rather than become landlords. Instead, Congress is tussling with a complex bailout proposal that would have the Federal Housing Authority guarantee new lower interest rate mortgages and put taxpayers on the hook for another $1.7 billion (or, as the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), prefers, swipe those funds from assistance to low-income renters).

I can see no surer route to utter ruin for most people than keeping the “structured finance” contingent in the catbird seat, sucking the world’s real economy dry with more and more derivative schemes. However, our elected representatives in Washington lack a grain of economic sense or are completely in thrall to Wall Street. Either way, it’s probably far too late to stop carbon trading here, given that it’s so entrenched in Europe. Normally our Pig Men lead the world – off various cliffs, in case you’ve been dozing since before the dotcom bust – but, in carbon trading, Europe has the jump on us. Lured by an annual volume that reached $50 billion last year, Morgan and others have already crossed the Pond to play.

And, yes, you’re throwing candy to the same beasts if you buy carbon offsets. We need real laws, not tricky financial mechanisms.

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Grassing for Dollars by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
May 18, 2008

“Crime doesn’t pay, but we do,” advertise police in Jacksonville, Florida. This and similar campaigns from coast to coast have created a new cottage industry for the downtrodden: turning in their friends, neighbors and even family members. As Sgt, Zachary Self, who answers Crime Stoppers calls in Macon, Georgia, and recognizes the voices of those who’ve phoned before, observed, “Two or three arrests per week, you could make $700, $750 … better than a minimum-wage job.” Continue reading