England hosts G20 Swap Meet

The world wide financial collapse is likely to be near the top of the agenda tomorrow, when officials of the Group Of 20 largest national economies meet in London for their annual summit.

But more than in any prior year, the annual meeting’s swap meet pavilion is expected to offer G20 attendees a bonanza of low-priced cast-off institutions like banks, brokerages, automobile companies, and Iceland.

The event organizer, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, says financial responsibility is the conference’s overriding theme this year.

Brown - Wearing the hairpiece he bought at the G20 swap meet in 2006
Brown - Wearing the hairpiece he bought at the G20 swap meet in 2006

“In light of the imminent global depression, citizens of the G20 countries have had enough of overspending. Well no one will think that after they see these bargains!” Brown said.

It is well known that G20 swap meeters get choosy during tough times. Water supplies, petroleum reserves and international rights to reality television properties are likely to top G20 shopping lists. Free-trade pacts and treasury debt notes — staples in good economic times — are likely to receive nothing more than sympathetic glances.

While most of his peers will be bargain hunting, first-time G20 goer Barack Obama says he will be selling.

“I’ll be trying to interest the other nineteen in a number of things America doesn’t need anymore, such as deregulation, a private health insurance system, and the Republican Party.”

“Selling them at the G20 swap meet makes more sense than letting them gather dust in some Smithsonian Institution broom closet,” Obama said.

The president went on to say that the GOP might have some life left in it. “It’s a good weekend fixer-upper project, for the right overseas authoritarian dictator who has the time and money to put into it,” he said.

iNews Friday, 3/27/2009

From the iNews 9000 wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: GOP predicts doomsday if Obama budget passed
Translation: GOP members add 666 earmarks – funds studies of locust plagues, toad-rain monitoring, support for four equestrian programs

Headline: NASA halts test of space station urine recycler
Translation: System damaged by Tang

Headline: Kroft to Obama – Are you punch-drunk?
Translation: Better to have a President who chuckles than having a President Chuckles

Headline: Sen. Gregg Criticizes ‘Banana Republic’ Budget Proposal
Translation: L.L. Bean just happens to be located next to New Hampshire

Headline: AIG ditches its tainted name
Translation: Paid marketing firm $200 million to come up with “AIU”

Headline: From jobless to topless – More women give strip clubs, adult films a try
Translation: “A 73-part series, starting tonight on the Factor”

Headline: Ex-madam confirms a link to A-Rod
Translation: “We were only experimenting with radium,” Yankee claims

Headline: Geithner seeks new powers over companies
Translation: Treasury issues RFQ seeking financial hypnotists

Headline: Florida finds strontium sulfide in Chinese drywall
Translation: Biased media ignore fact that no MSG was found

Headline: At 48, Valerie Bertinelli drops more than 40 pounds
Translation: Bertinelli value no longer pegged to the dollar

Headline: Obama Honeymoon is Over After Press Conference
Translation: Ed Henry locks himself in bathroom, sobbing on phone all night to Major Garrett

Headline: Nurse says octomom doesn’t care about kids
Translation: Babies covered with ink, suction cup marks

Headline: Jim Carrey, Sean Penn And Benicio Del Toro Cast As Three Stooges
Translation: Boehner, McConnell and Bachmann demand do-over audition

Headline: Israel disputes Gaza death rates
Translation: Israel uses 3/5 of a person standard

Headline: Microsoft Word Developer Blasts Into Space
Translation: Cosmonauts wonder what Simony has done with their old tools

Headline: States want to drug test Government Assistence recipients
Translation: Luckily, AIU stands for American International Urinalysis

You will also chuckle at:

Bachmann urges revolution – Has personally reached 25 RPM (video)

This has GOT to be a sign of the Apocalypse

Kvatch brought this one to my attention.  Apparently even though the automobile markets worldwide are tanking, Ikea has decided it’s a good time to enter the game.  If you’re having the same nightmarish images flash through your head as I am, you’re thinking hex wrench and directions.  That’s right.  For a mere $500 you get to put together your own car!  Dear God, what if the instructions come in Swedish?!

Geithner looks to Hollywood for help – New letter-ratings system for financial products

Countering criticism that the Obama economic team is out of touch, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner issued new protocols today affecting investor services companies. Based upon the system for rating motion pictures, the new rules mandate use of letter grades to rate stocks, securities and financial institutions.

Until now, companies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poors have collected, analyzed and disseminated information about the risks of corporate and government investment offerings, as well as the strength of banks. However, this system failed to provide warning of the collapse of major financial institutions.

“Companies that were supposed to give accurate information about risks like bundled mortgage-backed securities failed,” said Treasury spokesperson Bill Dollarhide.

For a solution, Dollarhide said Sec. Geithner has turned to Hollywood. Beginning May 1, investments and government bonds will be assigned risk ratings of G, PG, R, NC-17 or X.

“This is a simple labeling system that is easier for investors to understand, as well as providing opportunities to innovate Wall Street,” said Dollarhide.

He said investments might be promoted in new ways. For example, instead of issuing a prospectus, a corporation might promote its stock through poster campaigns and action-oriented trailers.

Dollarhide also said corporations would be more likely to premiere blockbuster stock offerings in the summer and Thanksgiving weekend. Riskier, more intellectual investments would debut in December in order to qualify for the following year’s Academy Award nominations.

The New Ratings for Investments:

G “Grandma.” So safe even your Grandma could invest in it.

PG “Passably Good.” Low Risk, could earn enough over 15 years to pay for your kid’s tuition to a community college.

PG-13 “Possibly Good-13.” Low-Moderate Risk, suitable to give as Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts.

R “Reamed.” A High Risk investment

NC-17 “No Credit-17.” Seventeen weeks after purchase your credit rating will go into the toilet.

X “X.” Invest in this and you’ll get screwed.

Obama backs Geithner – Denies Robbie The Robot being groomed for Treasury

President Obama told a national TV audience that he has full confidence in Secretary Tim Geithner, countering growing doubts about his Treasury Secretary’s handling of America’s financial crisis.

“If he were to submit his resignation, I’d tell him ‘sorry buddy, but you’ve got the job until it kills you and the critics are picking the flesh from your bones’,” Obama told Seals & Kroft on CBS’ “Sixty Minutes”
last Sunday.

The president also took the opportunity to deny reports that he intends to replace Geithner with former actor Robbie The Robot.

Robbie - Could he pass a background check?
Robbie - Could he pass a background check?

Robot, who starred in the film Forbidden Planet and “Lost In Space” on television and is currently Governor of California, has been increasingly talked up to take the top Treasury job after his name began circulating on Capitol Hill last week.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, House GOP front-person on crazy policy, said Robot could be a consensus choice as an alternative to Geithner.

“The trillion-dollar bank bailout needs someone who can speak up and warn the president, ‘Danger! Danger, Barack Obama!'” said Bachmann.

“That’s the kind of plain-spoken, uncomplicated economic oversight Republicans can get behind,” she said.

However, former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas disagrees with Bachmann. “Disposing of toxic assets calls for the Toxic Avenger,” Rep. Paul said.

Feds issue salmonella recall alert – Tainted corporate bonuses being returned

Anxious executives of insurance giant American International Group are turning in millions of dollars in bonuses today following last weekend’s issuance of a federal recall on the bonuses, citing danger of
salmonella contamination.

Salmonella is an infection that can be contracted from poorly washed or laundered money. Contamination affects the money as well as the things it is used to purchase, such as foreign sports cars, luxury vacations, summer homes, members of Congress, and prostitutes. Discovery of infection is accompanied by rashes of public outrage and feverish Congressional posturing.

Concern mounted last week, when severe cases of bad vibes swept through the upper management of AIG. By Friday, executives who had received $165 million worth of bonuses were reporting clusters of protesters around their enlarged homes. The government issued the recall yesterday.

Federal financial health officials said AIG executives should return the bonuses to the Treasury Department for a 10% refund.

The source of contamination has been traced to a defective thermostat in the accounting department used to store federal bailout money.

Outrageous Ragebot Block

For some, thus far, inexplicable reason my Singapore government owned ISP (OPTUS) has blocked access to Ragebot. It could well be that many of their customers had a problem with the prognostications of my associates on the blog, but I expect I might have said something to upset local political sensibilities.

Certainly I was intending to post here on my favourite US baddie, the ‘black ops’ and Bush heavy Richard L. Armitage; [http://cartledged.blogspot.com/2009/03/richard-l-armitage-name-to-conjure-with.html]. but I didn’t have an opportunity. No connectivity, no post!

Well, as we Australian’s have it, “there are more pleasant ways of killing a cat than sucking its brains out its arse!” Blocking IP’s is a crude tool at best and hardly worthy of consideration as a control measure. I could have asked someone else to post, but why do that when I can use a proxy connection myself? Admittedly there are some shortcomings, but we shall overcome.

So why was I blocked? First thoughts turn to a recent post Papua Merdeka – Free West Papua. http://cartledged.blogspot.com/2009/01/papua-merdeka-free-west-papua.html The problem there is that our Indonesian neighbours are sensitive about criticism of their heavy handed idea of territorial integrity. In fact the Aussie and other regional governments tend to share that sensitivity.

I was sort of prepared to leave that issue for now, to comment was the best I could do the help the West Papuans. More pressing, with the carnage currently occurring in Afghanistan, was a reflection on what we are really doing there.

Our PM, Kevin Rudd, reminded us the other day about the twin towers. Good one Mr Rudd, but that doesn’t explain much does it? No one has bout the scalp of Bin Laden home, no one has even spelt out a credible aim for the conflict.

Well why would they, at least publicly, when the aim is to ensure the steady supply of opium based narcotics? The American authorities have been engaged in this trade since Vietnam at least, and Afghanistan is simply the new money trail for these corrupt officials. I reflected earlier on Richard L. Armitage, and suggest a general investigation into his activities, past and present, would not be amiss.

CIA: Tapes? No. Paper trail? No problem!

The Central Intelligence Agency disclosed Friday that it has 3,000 summaries, transcripts, reconstructions and memoranda relating to 92 interrogation videotapes that were destroyed by the agency, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed Friday evening.

The Raw Story

Kvatch notes the similarity to the Nazi’s immaculate, and damning, record-keeping of their deeds during the Holocaust.

The Frogette adds that, if you really want to be ‘bad guys’, best to do what atrocity-minded regimes in Africa do…chop ’em up and don’t leave records.

(And all right-thinking people should be concerned that this is what suffices for stimulating conversation during the cocktail hour at ‘Casa de las Ranas’.)

iNews Friday, 3/20/2009

From the iNews 9000 wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: Seattle Post-Intelligencer to go Web only
Translation: Misanthropes celebrate – P-I’s online ‘Sound-Off’ forums will live on

Headline: Iowa Senator Says AIG Executives Should ‘Resign or Commit Suicide’
Translation: “Buy American” lobby outraged – AIG executives purchased seppuku blades from Japan

Headline: Actor Ron Silver Dead At 62
Translation: Will host ‘Extremely Hot-Talk’ radio show—in Hell

Headline: Guantanamo inmates no longer “enemy combatants”
Translation: Now termed “guests” – Pentagon predicts favorable scores on comment cards

Headline: Dem ‘Centrists’ Plot To Push Back On Obama Agenda
Translation: New ‘ConDems’ will be lubricated with insurance industry contributions
Translation (Turbo mode): ConDems are going to be ribbed for our amusement

Headline: AIG CEO asks employees to repay some bonus money
Translation: ConDems report AIG execs are big tippers

Headline: NKorea reportedly detains 2 US journalists
Translation: “You WILL interview me exclusively for Parade Magazine”

Headline: Presidential chat is late-night coup for Leno
Translation: Leno seizes power in late-night coup – Pledges to quickly turn over power to Conan O’Brien – Obama confined to far end of sofa