Saturday, July 30, 2011

Public Service Announcement: I Won’t Work For Free

  While browsing the Internet a few days ago, I ran across a website/Forum which caters to hourly workers who have been either ripped off of their wages by their employers, or have been offered wages that a dog could not live on.

  The site is named I Won't Work For Free, and it is fairly new judging by the content posted thus far. Anyway, if you are one of those workers who have issues with your working conditions, or you are just curious, go check it out.  The site focuses on the lousy conditions of workers and what they have to go through down in the 3rd world state of Florida. The forums make for some interesting reading.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Funnies: Debt Ceiling Edition

  What else is there to laugh about?  John Boehner can’t get the Teapot Party or any other Republicans to vote for his debt ceiling bill, and President Obama doesn’t have a clue, much less a spine.

  John Boehner hunting for Republican votes to get his debt ceiling bill passed in the House


Cagle Cartoons

Jimmy Fallon: "This debt crisis still isn't solved, but yesterday, the White House said it's working on a 'plan B.' Unfortunately, the B stands for 'bake sale.'"

"Speaking of the debt crisis, I read that if the U.S. debt were stacked in $100 bills, it would be as long as two football fields and as high as the statue of liberty. You know, just in case $14 trillion didn't seem like a lot to you."

"Rumor has it that Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are friends again. There you have it. Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton are now more mature than President Obama and John Boehner." "

Jimmy Kimmel: "They say that the United States might default on its loans and China might foreclose. We'll have to move into a cheap rental country or something."

"President Obama urged the American people to call Congress and demand that both parties work together on a compromise. The calls are 99 cents for the first minute, and a trillion dollars for each additional minute."

"Sarah Palin said that if a deal isn't reached by Aug. 2, nothing will happen. Do you hear that, award-winning economists?"

Conan O'Brien: "The government is less than a week away from not being able to pay its bills. We may have to move in with Canada for a while."

David Letterman: "We are over $14 trillion in debt, but the 'feels like' is $20 trillion."

"Jeb Bush is toying with the idea of running for president. Well, I'm toying with the idea of drinking again."

Jay Leno:

"The number one movie in the country is "Captain America." Analysts say this movie is successful because it takes place in the 40's and has a retro feel. The film takes audiences back to a time where America could actually fight a war and get out of a depression at the same time. Whole different thing from today."

"A record 46 percent of Americans think Congress is 'corrupt.' The other 64 percent think Congress is 'extremely corrupt.'"

"According to a new poll, President Obama is losing support from his own party. To give you an idea how bad it is, today Jimmy Carter compared him to Jimmy Carter."


Government Wants More Of Your Info…

    …from your ISP.  Just say no.

   I am passing along this email to all of my visitors as it is important for you to stand up to the United States government and their continued invasion of your privacy.


"A direct assault on Internet users" is what the ACLU is calling it.

Yesterday a U.S. House committee approved HR 1981, a broad new Internet snooping bill. They want to force Internet service providers to keep track of and retain their customers' information -- including your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Demand Progress, and 25 other civil liberties and privacy groups have expressed our opposition to this legislation. Will you join us, by emailing your lawmakers today? Just click here:

They've shamelessly dubbed it the "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act." But our staunchest allies in Congress are calling it what it is -- an all-encompassing Internet snooping bill.

CNet Reports: Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the bill said, ""It represents a data bank of every digital act by every American' that would 'let us find out where every single American visited Web sites."

"The bill is mislabeled," said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. "This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It's creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes."

Please join the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Consumer Federation of America, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Demand Progress, and 25 other civil liberties and privacy groups in opposing this legislation. Just click here:


Oil Companies Post Big Profits…

    … and still the Republican Party insists on letting them keep their subsidies. Does one need further proof that the Teapot Party/Republican Party doesn’t give a rats ass about you?

   Second-quarter profits for ExxonMobile are up 41% to $10.7 billion thanks in part to the rise of the cost of oil and higher gas prices over the last few months. They still need government subsidies be cause as you and I know, $10 billion is not nearly enough to keep them going.

So who else did well? No company lost any money, that’s for sure.

Royal Dutch Shell took in $8.66 billion while ConocoPhillips made $3.4 billion, slightly down from a year ago but they still beat Wall Street expectations.  BP? $5.6 trillion and suffering (?) a loss at the same time last year. Remember the Gulf spill?

  Wonder if all of that political cash to President Obama helped the company stay out of some major crap?

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

GOP: Special Victims Unit

    I’ve been in the midst of still trying to get the remainder of my belongings moved into my new place, on top of doing some actual work a few days this week, so I’ve missed out on most of the political bickering still going on between John Boehner and the Tea Party idiots over the debt ceiling bill.

  Thankfully, I have had the time on Thursday to turn on one of the true news programs remaining in America, The Daily Show with host Jon Stewart. The Teapot Party and the GOP are funny enough in their own right, but Stewart makes the jokers a bit more palatable.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Debt Ceiling: Who Do We Owe?

  All that you have heard about in the media over the past few weeks is the ongoing “ debate “ between the Tea Party/Republicans and the Democrats over the debt ceiling being raised, with the slight news interruption of Amy Winehouse killing herself. No major loss there but you wouldn’t know it by the news coverage. Hell, you would have thought that she was in the Elvis category with all of the coverage.

  Debt Ceiling: Who do we pay all of that money to? Lucky for both you and myself, Dr Teeth  has done some of the research for us.

Treasury Notes 43% of the Debt
aka T-Notes

A T-Note is the most commonly traded product, which the government uses to raise money.  A T-Note has a face value attached to it (in multiples of $100 dollars).  An individual T-Note also has a set amount of time till it reaches maturity (from one to ten years).

Treasury sells these notes at an auction.  A ten year $1,000 note may cost $991 dollars, when Treasury issues it.  So if no other interest was accumulated, you would make $9 dollars profit in ten years time.

But a note also gets an interest payment every 6 months.  This is a fixed rate at the time the bond is issued.  So when the bond matures, the owner gets the face value plus the accrued interest.

So if Treasury issued $2 trillion dollars in 10 year/$1000 dollar T-Notes at 4.25% interest, each t-note would be worth $1,425 dollars in 2021.

This means the Treasury would have to pay out $85 billion dollars in interest on the $2 trillion dollars auction in 2021.  They would also have to pay the difference between the auction value and the face value of the bond.

What do you mean auction value?

Well, remember when I said that a $1,000 T-Note may only cost you $991 dollars.  This is because Treasury holds an auction for these notes.  The highest bidder wins.

So if you want to buy 500 T-Notes, you will make a bid on them.  This bid could be less than the face value of the T-Note, or even more than the face value.  The highest bidder gets the T-Notes first.

Right now, a 10 year $100 dollar T-Note costs $99.277862 dollars, based on last auction value on May 16th.  They return 3.125%.

So the current price of a T-Note will require the government to pay an additional $0.72 cents per $100 dollars on top of the interest.

T-Notes Summary

I know this section has been long, but this answers 43% of the question.

We owe 43% our debt to any holder of a fully matured T-Note.

This is the means by which most foreign nations end up owning US debt.  If the US were to default on these notes, it would cripple the global economy.

Intragovernmental Holdings 32% of the Debt
aka Government Account Series (GAS)

If you've ever heard anyone say we owe ourselves money, this is what they mean.  We owe the GAS to ourselves.

More specifically we owe the Social Security Trust Fund, the Medicare Trust Fund and the Federal Bank this money.  This is an internal accounting fund, which for obvious reasons doesn't charge the government interest.

There is some debate as to whether portions of this can be refinanced, but we can't just pretend it doesn't exist.  Unless we maintain this, no social security checks can be issued and no Medicare claims can be paid.

So between these two, we are looking at 75% of all US debt.

Treasury Bills 11% of the Debt
aka T-Bills

T-Bills are somewhat similar to T-Notes, but are used to generate short term revenue.  T-Bills have a face value just like T-Notes. However, T-Bills differ from T-Notes in two major ways.

T-Bills do not pay interest.

T-Bills are short term investments (28 days, 91 days, 182 days or 364 days).

A T-Bill auction is held weekly.  The highest bidder wins just like with T-Notes.  The only profit earned at maturity is the difference between the auction value and the face value.

This is quick cash for both the government and investors.  Even though the profit margin is small, it is a very safe place to put your money for a financial quarter or two.

If the government were to default on T-Bill payments it would send shock waves through bond markets.  Remember even at 11%, we are still talking about $1.5 trillion dollars in market value.

This would not be as large of an impact as the housing meltdown, but defaulting on T-Bills would destroy any possibility for short term financing in the future.

Treasury Bonds 7% of the Debt
aka T-Bonds

These used to be the standard in the US, but since 2000 the Treasury has focused more on shorter term financing.  T-Bonds work like T-Notes, except that they are issued for longer terms of maturity (30 years).

The treasury still holds an auction quarterly of these bonds, and many are still outstanding.  Japan and Europe are both fond of 30 year maturity, so we maintain T-Bonds for their benefit.

I think 93% is enough for this diary.

There are other ways the Treasury raises money, but I've covered the vast majority.

If the debt ceiling is not raised, all auctions will have to cease.  Treasury will not be able to issue any new notes, bills or bonds.  As these hit maturity, it will deplete the coffers of the US.

If Treasury chooses not to honor the face value of T-Notes, T-Bills or T-Bonds, the US will effectively lose its ability to bring buyers to auction in the future.

If the US credit rating is downgraded, many funds will not be able to maintain T-Notes, T-Bills or T-Bonds in their portfolios.  The SEC requires a disclosure of risk in any perspective, so by definition Treasury securities would only be a part of high risk funds.  Other markets around the world have similar restrictions.

Because these treasuries would be higher risk, the interest rate offered at auction would need to be much higher, which would result in a higher cost to finance out debt.

In Greece the credit downgrade led to an auction without buyers.  Because no one wanted to buy Greek debt, the bottom fell out.  We don't have the same monetary restrictions as Greece, but the result would eventually come out the same.

Originally posted to Dr Teeth on Tue Jul 26, 2011
Also republished by Community Spotlight.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So, Who Do You Want to Destroy, Exactly?

By Crashing Vor    Mon Jul 25, 2011     Original Article

There is a small but growing contingent here that believe it might be best to simply let the debt ceiling deadline come and go, let the markets tank, let the so-called "recovery" die in its infancy.

Yeah, that'll show 'em.

Yes, it will be the fault of House Republicans. Yes, the majority of voters will understand that. Yes, it will doom the GOP House majority.

But at what cost?

The markets are down half a percent this morning, and the elevator's not going up. Mutual funds are going to decrease in value significantly as this goes on. Players large and small are dialing their brokers right now.

Let 'em suffer! Rich fat cat bastards! Yeahhhhhhhh!

Um, no.

A lot of our fellow citizens have skin in the market game. A lot of them have all their skin there, seeing as how their houses aren't worth their mortgages, even if there were buyers. Their 401Ks and mutuals are the only hopes they have left to keep from spending the rest of their lives in the poor house.

Oh, wait. That's right. There are no more poor houses.

Since 2001, everybody I know who'd hoped to retire some day has seen the value of their nest eggs go down by 50, 60 percent or more. Now most of them are resigned to working at whatever jobs they can find. Forever. To keep their worthless homes and not have to live in a damn tree.

Nothing would gladden my schadenfreude-hungry soul like watching the permanent destruction of a party that has sacrificed everything good and noble about this country in exchange for raw, naked power. It would suit me to the ground.

But some pleasures come at too high a price. Political triumph at the expense of millions would be one of them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Polling Graphics





Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nothing Sunday

  Due to problems with my diabetes, and the fact that I am tired of hearing/writing about the debt ceiling battle between our political parties, I’m taking a day off to do nothing but chill and enjoy the air conditioner.

  Good day all.