Friday, December 19, 2008

Well, the storm finally came in last night.  We are on the southern end of it and most of our precipitation has been rain and freezing rain so far.  It is expected to change to snow before the storm ends around noon.  We woke up to find the glass on our front storm door glazed over.  We hope we will be able to open it later.  Luckily we got out shed door open yesterday so I could get a bag of cat litter out of it.  We have not had any problem with our electricity but the news was reporting that a couple of Chicago's electric trains were delayed because of icing on the lines.  Everyone east of me, look out because it is coming your way.

I found this post at I didn't know there were so many varieties of miniature and dwarf vegetables.  Since all we have is a small patio and must use containers (since things don't grow well on bare concrete), these are intriguing.  I wonder how many will be available locally.

Chris In Paris blogging at Americablog has a cynical view of the new rules for credit card issuers.  He first notes that help is fully a year-and-a-half away.  These new rules don't take effect until July of 2010.  I am somewhat cynical for other reasons.  I don't know if anyone else heard the somewhat veiled threat in a statement from an industry source that made it into only one news cast that I saw.  It was not repeated.  The statement from the industry said the rules would make credit less available because the banks could no longer 'protect' themselves from defaulting card holders by using all of those sneaky little and very expensive (for the borrower) tricks.  That cuts damned little ice in this quarter.  They are worse than drug dealers feeding crack addicts' habits.  Unfortunately we don't deal with them as severely as we should.

I absolutely love this post from Arlee Barr at DesignJournal.  Do click on the image and see it in larger format.  It is amazing.

Robert Reich notes that Alan Greenspan has evidently learned nothing from the present crisis.  Reich comments on an article that Greenspan wrote for the current issue of the Economist.  Therein he claims that regulations requiring banks to have larger capital cushions on hand before they lend aren't necessary because investors will require it.  This sounds very much like his belief (which, in testimony before congress, he claimed was mistaken) that the self interest of bankers would keep the bankers they dealt with honest.  But it echoes an article he wrote for the International Herald Tribune yesterday (sorry I didn't keep the link) in which he claims that regulation won't restore confidence in the system.  Only trust will do that.  Oh, Yeah???  And who are we going to trust?? Bernie Madoff.  During the 19th century, writers created a stock character out of the financial nightmares that haunted the dreams and lives of their compatriots--the confidence (con)-man.  The crook who put on the guise of a respectable and prosperous business man, gulled the locals out of their money, and disappeared.  Bernie Madoff is simply the 21st century version and Greenspan (and all his ilk) are simply enablers.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

We're battening down the hatches for your storm to arrive.

And yes, the credit card companies are a den of thieves. They give out high interest cards to those who can least afford them and wonder why they can't get their money back.