Saturday, September 26, 2009

Absolute Flaming Idiots

Yahoo News:US auto safety group wants to curb gadget use by truckers

Advocates even wants the FMCSA, the DOT agency that oversees commercial trucking, to study whether using Citizens' Band (CB) radios -- which provide short-distance radio communications -- or dashboard-mounted navigational devices should be banned.

CB radios are a lifesaver on the road, both for truckers and other users. You can find out about accidents and hazards ahead and have time to prepare. Advocates are being absolute flaming idiots. Maybe if they could take a break from their railroad funded Jihad against the trucking industry they could, I don't know, do something about AUTO safety.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Reality Bites

Ever wonder why contestants always act so crazy on "reality" shows? They're isolated, buzzed and Sleep deprived. Almost like Gitmo with cameras.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Kucinich cuts through the bull

Bloomberg: Obama Saving GM Needed Dealmaker Team to Break It in Bankruptcy

Obama was taking the wheel out of the hands of a GM veteran who spent his 32-year career with the company that sent him to Harvard University for a master’s in business. The Wall Street restructuring experts were in charge.....

Because, after all, Wall Street has done such a good job lately managing its own affairs lately.

“Who is this auto task force, and who do they represent?” asked Representative Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat. “They represent various Wall Street interests who have long looked at exporting jobs out of this country.”

Wall Street Blows up the economy, then is handed vast sums of money with no strings attached along with many lucrative opportunities for self dealing at the taxpayer's expense. GM is blown up by the economy we give it to the geniuses who have worked night and day to ensure the collapse of the middle class so they can get a couple more beeps of yield on the deal.

By the Way, why are labor contracts sacred for AIG but not the UAW? How did the titans of Wall Street get to DC for their 4 trillion dollar bailout? How is complaining about a worker making $25 an hour plus benefits populism and complaining about a CEO making $25 million envy?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Financial Crisis continues apace

Brad Setser takes on the Foreign Bond Vigilantes story. He finds that Foreign Central Banks are not abandoning the treasury market, rather they are moving from longer dated (more than 2 yr) treasuries to shorter dated ones. This has an effect exactly the opposite of Greenspan's paradox, it lowers the cost of borrowing short and raises the cost of borrowing long. The effect is to drive up the costs of borrowing to fund the governments ongoing operations and to strangle the refinance boom (which is both getting Americans out of toxic mortgages and generating fee income for sick banks).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One of these things is not like the other

The Transportation Security Administration is warning truckers that Mexican drug gangs are out of control and may target trucking operations to move their goods. Meanwhile the Obama administration is trying to pitch another program to allow Mexican truckers to roam the country. I appreciate that in the current economic crisis the Obama administration is staying focused on long term objectives. What's sad is those long term objectives are. Not content with the declining real wages of working Americans and widening inequality the Obama administration is anxious to outsource more jobs and enhance corporate profits.


Daniel Howes: Sacrifice? It's in this state's DNA

More rope to extend the federal lifeline -- now at $17.4 billion for General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, and $5 billion for auto suppliers -- will come with conditions, the president says. He wants more sacrifice from unions and executives, bondholders and suppliers.
Sacrifice? What, exactly, has this town and its investors been experiencing the past three-plus years? Spring break? This notion, aired during the congressional inquisitions late last year, picked up by Team Obama and wielded by whoever's trying to score points, that Detroit Auto hasn't yet "sacrificed" in a (losing?) effort to fix itself is absurd.
The union has helped usher many thousands into retirement, bargained down its wage and benefit scale for new hires and agreed to sharp reductions in company health-care obligations. Brands have been sold, dealers lost, bonuses eliminated, salaries cut, tens of thousands of jobs eliminated in wave after wave after wave of reductions.
Plants are going or gone in communities across the country. Local and state tax revenue started plunging long before home values in Manhattan and the Bay Area did. Michigan's per-capita income, long among the nation's highest, has been dropping like a stone this decade and soon will be lower than Republican Sen. Richard Shelby's Alabama.
Sacrifice? We've seen a few, even if it doesn't look to be "enough" from the condescending heights of New York, Washington and San Francisco. And you know what? It isn't enough, not now anyway, not when technically insolvent companies are petitioning the Treasury Department for aid because their credit ratings are destroyed and car and truck sales are trending at terrifyingly low levels.
I, too, have argued Detroit's business model is hopelessly broken, that its costs were indefensibly high, its brand image tarnished, its culture mired in denial, its management and union leadership too often willing to accept short-term expedience at the expense of long-term success.
But sneering about sacrifice, as if there's been none, is a towering insult to the tens of thousands of families, white-collar and blue-collar, who took buyouts and walked out into a collapsing economy; to the dealers whose businesses have collapsed; to the 7,631 UAW members -- 53 percent of them in Michigan -- who this week accepted comparatively meager packages to walk away from GM.
Sacrifice? If there are two things this state and its bellwether industry understand, it's sacrifice and recession -- and the knowledge that there's more of both to come.

Gotta love how contracts are sacrosanct for the millionaire bankers at AIG, but when it comes to working people Obama is happy to use them for toilet paper. Obama's been busy this last week patting the poor persecuted bankers on the back and letting them know they are special after a few of them got their feelings hurt last week. The bankers, no doubt, are busy scraping the McCain bumoer stickers off of the back of the Beemer. The Union workers who helped put Obama in office may be allowed to eat the crumbs that fall from the bankers bacchanalian feast if they are suitably penitent and supine to receive what they've got coming.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pump and Dump

Words just fail me.

Treasury is going to overpay for Bank of America stock. We're going to pay "10% below the bank’s average stock price for the 20 trading days ending Feb 9" ("By the way, Feb 9 was the high point for all of these bank stocks during the month of February. What a coincidence.")

Guess what Bank of America executives were doing on the "20 trading days ending Feb 9"? Manipulating their stock price higher.

Oh, by the way, Obama has quietly signalled his intent to double TARP and give 750 billion more to the bankers (but we only expect to lose $250 billion of that, or over $800 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.).

This is Zimbabwe worthy.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Freight is "in a free fall"

So says FTR Associates

Truck purchases will continue to drop throughout 2009 due to overcapacity, and the first and second quarter will be incredibly difficult on fleets’ bottom lines, trucking industry analysts said today during an FTR Associates webinar.

“This recession, from a freight standpoint, started almost three years ago,” said Noel Perry, managing director of FTR Consulting. “There is a free fall right now, but it is also the effect of cumulative stress on the industry…We have such low capacity, as low as we’ve had since the 1970s—nobody working in the industry right now has experienced these levels.”

And railroads aren't doing so hot either.