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    Daily Digest – May 3

    by Davos

    Sunday, May 3, 2009, 3:37 PM

  • Week #19, Friday Night Special #30
  • Week #19, Friday Night Special #31
  • Week #19, Friday Night Special #31
  • Ford Sales off 31.3% YoY in April
  • Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued
  • Outbreak Map/Time Line Provided by Veratect Biosurveillance
  • “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – ZERO” (H/T Jarhett)
  • Foreclosures: Banks Setting Opening Auction Bid Below Amount Owed
  • Systemic Fraud at Public Pension Funds?
  • ISM Contracts at Slower Level (Chart)
  • Manufacturers Shipments Down (Chart) 

Economy 

Week #19, Friday Night Special #30 

From the FDIC: FDIC Creates Bridge Bank to Take Over Operations of Silverton Bank, National Association, Atlanta, Georgia

 Week #19, Friday Night Special #31 

From the FDIC: North Jersey Community Bank, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Assumes All of the Deposits of Citizens Community Bank, Ridgewood, New Jersey

 Week #19, Friday Night Special #31 

Ben, Tim, and Sheila. Whom do they remind you of? Moe, Curly, Larry.
by Soylent Green is People From the FDIC: Cache Valley Bank, Logan, Utah, Assumes All of the Deposits of America West Bank, Layton, Utah

 Ford Sales off 31.3% YoY in April 

From Reuters: Ford April U.S. vehicle sales off 31.3 pct 

This is a year-over-year comparison: April 2009 vs. April 2008.

In March, Ford reported sales off 40.9%

In February Ford sales were off 46.3% YoY

And in January Ford sales were off 42.1%

December: 32.4%

November: 31%

The other manufacturers will report later.

Update: Toyota U.S. April sales fall 41.9% to 126,540

Update2: GM U.S. April sales down 33.2% to 172,150 units

Update3: Chrysler April U.S. sales fall 48%

 Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued 

Veratect, based in Kirkland, Wash., uses a technique known as "data mining" to automatically search tens of thousands of Web sites daily for early signs of looming medical problems or civil unrest anywhere in the world. Anything of interest is turned over to a team of 35 analysts to determine its significance and to post on the company’s Web site 

Outbreak Map/Time Line Provided by Veratect Biosurveillance

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – ZERO” (H/T Jarhett) 

THE US GOVERNMENT HAS LOST ALL CONTROL 

The US Government is not running the country. It is running around like a headless chicken reacting to events and firefighting. It doesn’t have a cohesive or proactive plan how to deal the biggest financial crisis that the world has ever experienced. So it hasn’t taken a single measure that could solve the crisis. The only thing it knows is to print money. The US Government doesn’t understand that running the printing presses ever faster can never be a solution to a problem that was caused by excessive credit and deficit spending.

Wall Street is in control
All reactive decisions taken by the Government are governed by Wall Street who are more in control than the Government. Wall Street understands the problem much better since they are the principal beneficiaries of the current financial crisis. The crisis was created by the loose monetary policy of the US Government. Wall Street took advantage and exacerbated the problem by issuing unlimited amounts of toxic debt and derivatives. Wall Street obviously had the total blessing of Government which benefited greatly from political donations and the perceived prosperity that the credit bubble created. So not only did Wall Street make immoral amounts of money during the credit bubble but they are now the main beneficiaries of the Governments money printing. So far the US Government has lent, invested or committed $ 13 trillion since the crisis started in 2007. The majority of these funds are being used to save the financial system.

Wall Street by, being too big to fail, has created the perfect situation for itself. Losses are being socialised and absorbed by the Government and profits are privatised. So whilst the economy as a whole is suffering greatly due to financial crisis, most of the financial sector is continuing to prosper. In the medium term such unfair inequality will have political and social consequences.
What the US Government doesn’t understand is that directing virtually all their rescue efforts to Wall Street is not going to solve the problem. The Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in a recent interview that the bank rescue efforts will probably fail because the programs have been designed to help Wall Street rather than to create a viable financial system. Stiglitz went on to say: “the people who designed the plans are either in the pockets of the banks or incompetent”.

US debt growing exponentially

The US Federal debt in 2009 is likely to grow by at least $2 trillion and reach 100% of and GDP at around $13 trillion. In 1929 Federal debt was only 15% of GDP! Also in 1929 the US was a creditor nation as against today when the US can only survive due to its foreign creditors. In 1929 total US debt (private, commercial, state, federal, etc.) was 170% of GDP. In 1932-3 it reached 260%. In 2009 total US debt to GDP (excluding unfunded liabilites of circa $ 60 trillion) will be around 425%. Before this crisis is over this percentage will be significantly higher and possible even exponentially higher

 Foreclosures: Banks Setting Opening Auction Bid Below Amount Owed 

From Jillayne Schlicke at Rain City Guide: Why are Banks Setting the Opening Auction Bid Below The Principal Balance? 

I attended a foreclosure auction in Bellevue, WA last week to discover if the rumor was true that banks are opening their bids below the amount owed. I received confirmation from three professional investors that yes, the banks have been doing that, it’s no secret, and there seems to be no discernable pattern. It’s not one particular bank or lender, it’s not particular types of property or in any specific area. It appears to be random.

… Only a few of the trustee sales attracted bidders, and the rest were deeded back to the bank. Out of the 92 active sales, 25 had opening bids below the amount owed to the bank.
Jillayne offers some possible explanations why the banks are bidding below the amount they are owed. I’ve been hearing similar stories in California.

 Systemic Fraud at Public Pension Funds? 

Mr. Cuomo said a preliminary review by his office found that as many as half of the intermediaries in pension fund transactions in New York State and New York City were not properly licensed and registered with a broker-dealer, as required by federal securities laws.

 ISM Contracts at Slower Level (Chart)

Manufacturers Shipments Down (Chart) 

 

 

 

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