Daily Digest - Dec 17

Wednesday, December 17, 2008, 6:15 AM

NY state 'solves' budget crisis with large and sweeping tax increases, survival panic, IRS to help homeowners to sell homes (what?), Yale endowment plunges, Paulson declares victory, The Madoff affair, Facebook as process server, Canadian official declares a depression is 'possible',  charts of housing and oil exploration and CFO optimism, households struggle with bills, and skeptics emerge on Obama's infrastructure stimulus plan.


18% tax on soda, iPod tax, movie theater tax, sporting event tax, taxi tax, bus tax, limo tax, cable TV tax, radio tax, clothing tax...

Gov. David Paterson unveils dire New York State budget that includes new taxes, layoffs and cuts

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson's proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods - and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too.

Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes, including an "iPod tax" that taxes the sale of downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services."

Downturn Spurs 'Survival Panic' for Some in the US

"People start seeing their economic situation change, and it stimulates a sort of survival panic," said Gaetano Vaccaro, deputy clinical director of Moonview Sanctuary, which treats patients for emotional and behavioral disorders. "When we are in a survival panic, we are prone to really extreme behaviors."

IRS to help homeowners refinance or sell homes

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday it will try to make it easier for homeowners in financial straits to refinance or sell their homes.

Yale endowment drops 25 pct amid financial turmoil

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale University said Tuesday its nearly $23 billion endowment has dropped 25 percent to about $17 billion in recent months due to the recession, prompting the college to delay construction projects and take other cost-cutting measures.

Paulson: major financial institutions stabilized 

Paulson says he expects no more major financial institutions will fail during current crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday that he does not expect any more major financial institutions to fail during the current credit crisis.


The Madoff affair illustrates that rich people can be just as gullible and foolish as poor people. In their quest for social status and fitting in with the "smart" money crowd, affluent people all over the country put their life savings into the hands of this criminal. No investor can generate positive returns using the same strategy through all market cycles. Warning bells should have been going off.

Another American Tragedy is in the making. A much bigger Ponzi scheme that will shock every person in America is still operating. It is being conducted by the U.S. government and your elected politician leaders. It is called our National Budget. With most of our spending on automatic pilot, the aging of the baby boom generation will put tremendous strain on our economic system in the coming years. As you can see, Medicare costs will explode over the next 40 years. The increasing debt will result in interest payments on the debt becoming the largest expenditure in the federal budget.

The longer we wait to address this unavoidable train wreck, the more likely it will result in generational war between the baby boomers and younger generations. Mandatory spending for agriculture subsidies, unemployment benefits, civilian and military pensions and health benefits continues to grow. The ponzi aspect of this system is that we continue to pay out benefits by printing money. We are obligated to pay $53 trillion that we do not have. Social Security has run at a surplus since its inception. The money is not in some lockbox. Your trustworthy leaders have spent all of the surpluses ever generated by Social Security to keep the ponzi scheme going.

Australian couple served with legal documents via Facebook

An Australian couple who defaulted on their mortgage have been served legally binding court documents via social networking site Facebook.

Depression possible: Canadian PM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered a grim forecast for the Canadian economy, saying in an interview with broadcaster CTV a depression is possible.

Housing Starts (Chart --- Record Low)

CFO Optimism (Chart)

Impact of Low Priced Oil on Exploration (Chart)

One in Five Households Fell Behind on Utility Bills Last Winter

One in five U.S. households was behind on its utility bills coming out of last winter, a new survey concludes, raising fears that the current heating season could be even worse. One in 20 households had its utility service terminated in 2007.

Jim Chanos Sees Stock Rally Faltering, Shorts Cement

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The rally in U.S. stocks will falter as President-elect Barack Obama's infrastructure spending plan disappoints investors, said short seller Jim Chanos, who's adding to bets against construction, cement and steel companies.

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bikemonkey's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2008
Posts: 45
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 17


Ok, it's public...flee $'s while you can.

 "CMC Markets said today the currency’s prospects appear 'ominous.' ”

Gadfly's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 5 2008
Posts: 127
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 17

The concept that democracy inevitably leads to tyranny was revealed over two thousand years ago in Plato's "Republic".  When will we ever learn?

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2373
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 17

Plato's Republic is hardly a schematic for a functional Democracy, and thus his findings are based on a narrow, marginalised window of theorical government which panders to the Utopic.

Real liberty costs, and we've provisions to ensure this corruption doesn't overwhelm our system.
Read Thomas Jefferson if you want to know how to make Democracy work. Plato will get anyone nowhere.

crymoney's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 5 2008
Posts: 18
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 17

It’s a Ponzi world.

Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme verses the US social security ponzi scheme.

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