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Date Sent: 2009-08-27
Freedom's Phoenix Global Edition for Thursday, August 27, 2009 AM edition
 
Court: Investigators Wrong to Seize MLB Drug List -- US is monitoring journalists in Afghanistan

Adjustable Mortgages Loom as Threat to Housing Recovery -- Wall Street’s $4 trillion derivative kitty -- U.S. softens stance on private equity bank deals -- Kennedy to be buried in Arlington -- Agency that insures your bank deposits may need help -- Asian Stocks Fall as China Plans to Curb Capacity --  World's Stocks Controlled by Select Few -- Subprime Lenders Line Up For $21 Billion In Fresh Handouts -- Embracing Bushonomics, Obama Re-appoints Bernanke -- How to Build a Stateless Trading and Referral Network - by Brock Lorber -- House quietly gives 'bonuses' to top aides

 

Court: Investigators Wrong to Seize MLB Drug List News Link  •  Entertainment: Sports
Court: Investigators Wrong to Seize MLB Drug List
08-26-2009  •  AP 
[thanks for nothin] A federal appeals court ruled agents had no right to seize baseball's anonymous drug-testing results from 2003, an infamous list that tarnished America's pastime and some of its biggest stars.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for the players' union, which has argued for years to have the results of the 104 players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 returned.

  
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
US is monitoring journalists in Afghanistan News Link  •  WAR: About that War
US is monitoring journalists in Afghanistan
08/26/2009  •  AP 
The International Federation of Journalists complained that news people covering the war in Afghanistan are being monitored by the U.S. military to see if they are sympathetic to the American cause.  Read Full Story
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Reported by: Lola Flores
Adjustable Mortgages Loom as Threat to Housing Recovery News Link  •  Housing
Adjustable Mortgages Loom as Threat to Housing Recovery
08-26-2009  •  NY Times 
More than a half-million option ARMs scheduled to reset in the next four years, at rates many homeowners cannot afford. His mortgage payments have risen to $2,700 a month because of a clause he did not notice on his contract, and are scheduled to rise above $4,000 in two years.
 
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Wall Street’s $4 trillion kitty News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA
Wall Street’s $4 trillion kitty
08-26-2009  •  Reuters 
The Obama administration’s plan for reining in derivatives leaves unchecked one of Wall Street’s dirty little secrets: the ability of a derivatives dealer to redeploy cash collateral that gets posted by one of its trading partners.

On Wall Street, this practice of taking collateral and reusing it is called rehypothecation. In essence, it’s a form of free money for derivatives dealers to use as they please " even to repost it as collateral to finance their parent company’s own borrowings.

  
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
U.S. softens stance on private equity bank deals News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA
U.S. softens stance on private equity bank deals
08-26-2009  •  Reuters 
U.S. banking regulators partially retreated from a much-criticized proposal to impose new rules on private equity investment in troubled banks, aiming to encourage responsible investment in distressed banks.

The 4-1 vote by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp board was a partial victory for potential investors and some regulators who had warned that an initial proposal unveiled in July threatened to scare away much-needed capital.

  
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Real US unemployment rate at 16 pct: Fed official News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA
Real US unemployment rate at 16 pct: Fed official
08-26-2009  •  Breitbart 
The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday. Lockhart pointed out in a speech to a chamber of commerce in Chattanooga, Tennessee that those two categories of people are not taken into account in the Labor Department's monthly report on the unemployment rate. The official July jobless rate was 9.4 percent. Lockhart, who heads the Atlanta, Georgia, division of the Fed, is the first central bank official to acknowledge the depth of unemployment amid the worst US recession since the Great Depression. "If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking -- so-called discouraged workers -- and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.  Read Full Story
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Agency that insures your bank deposits may need help News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA
Agency that insures your bank deposits may need help
08-26-2009  •  AP 

The government agency that guarantees you won't lose your money in a bank failure may need a lifeline of its own.

The coffers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that analysts warn it could sink into the red by the end of this year.

That has happened only once before -- during the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s, when the FDIC was forced to borrow $15 billion from the Treasury and repay it later with interest.

  
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Asian Stocks Fall as China Plans to Curb Capacity News Link  •  Economy - International
Asian Stocks Fall as China Plans to Curb Capacity
08-26-2009  •  AP 
Asian stock markets fell after China said it will curb overcapacity and excessive investment in industries such as steel and cement, adding to worries about whether a global economic recovery is sustainable.
 
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Kennedy to be buried in Arlington News Link  •  Death
Kennedy to be buried in Arlington
08-26-2009  •  AP 
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's body and members of his family will travel for at least two hours from his Cape Cod home to Boston, where he will lie in repose for two days before his funeral at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
 
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Ancient Bird's Feathers Had Iridescent Glow News Link  •  Science, Medicine and Technology
Ancient Bird's Feathers Had Iridescent Glow
08-26-2009  •  LiveScience 
Nanostructures preserved in feather fossils more than 40 million years old show evidence that those feathers were once vivid and iridescent in color, paleontologists say.

Iridescence is the quality of changing color depending on the angle of observation " it's what makes you see a rainbow in an oil slick.

Many insects, such as butterflies, display iridescent colors on their wings, as do many modern birds on their feathers.

  
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
World's Stocks Controlled by Select Few News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA
World's Stocks Controlled by Select Few
08-26-2009  •  LiveScience 
A recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world's finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and point out the worldwide financial system's vulnerability as it stood on the brink of the current economic crisis.
 
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Newfound Planet Might Be Near Death News Link  •  Space Travel and Exploration
Newfound Planet Might Be Near Death
08-26-2009  •  LiveScience 

A newly discovered planet that whips around its star in less than a day may have been found mere cosmic moments before its demise.

The planet, WASP-18b, is one of the "hot Jupiter" class of planets that are huge in size (10 times the mass of Jupiter in this case), but orbit very close to their stars. Their very existence was surprising to astronomers when the first of them were found a few years back. Now they've become common discoveries.

  
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Reported by: Powell Gammill
Hughes Appointment Shines Light on Century-Old Rules News Link  •  Federal Reserve
Hughes Appointment Shines Light on Century-Old Rules
08-24-2009  •  WSJ 
The Federal Reserve Board’s decision today to elevate Denis Hughes, a New York labor union leader, to the role of chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is an unusual choice, and also shines a light on a sometimes cumbersome law overseeing the governance of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Act (section 4, paragraph 20) says that chairmen of boards overseeing regional Fed banks need to have “tested banking experience.” Mr. Hughes, who is head of the New York branch of the AFL-CIO labor union, doesn’t seem to have that kind of banking experience on his resume. He’s spent most of his professional life as an electrician and union leader. The law, written in 1913, puts the Fed in a difficult position, because it also dictates (section 4, paragraph 15) that a chairman of a district bank can’t be an officer, director, employee or shareholder in a private bank, a hurdle Mr. Hughes easily clears. The century-old rules, in other words, say chairmen of regi  Read Full Story
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Subprime Lenders Line Up For $21 Billion In Fresh Handouts News Link  •  Federal Reserve
Subprime Lenders Line Up For $21 Billion In Fresh Handouts
08-26-2009  •  The Business Insider 
The subprime lenders that helped send the financial system -- and broader economy -- into a tailspin are now getting billions of taxpayer dollars to help fix the housing crisis. A new report by the Center for Public Integrity shows Washington is subsidizing them in what could be the next major credit bubble:  Read Full Story
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More Questions for President Obama News Link  •  Obama Administration
More Questions for President Obama
08-26-2009  •  Economic Policy Journal 
From Robert Ringer: None of the criminality of the Obama administration would be possible without the explicit (or, at the very least, implicit) approval of the media. Can you imagine a presidential press conference where, instead of asking Der Fuhrbama about his dogs or his latest beer summit, they asked him questions such as: "You told Joe the Plumber that you believe in spreading the wealth around. Since the Constitution doesn't allow you to do that, from whom did you acquire the moral authority to take people's earnings by force and arbitrarily hand them to others?" "You are on video in 2003 saying that you believe in a single-payer healthcare system. Why are you now telling the American public that you merely want a 'government option' added to our existing system? Were you lying in 2003, or are you lying now?" "How do you reconcile the fact that, within a short space of time, you said that the Medicare system is a perfect example  Read Full Story
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Embracing Bushonomics, Obama Re-appoints Bernanke News Link  •  Obama Administration
Embracing Bushonomics, Obama Re-appoints Bernanke
08-26-2009  •  CATO 
In re-appointing Bernanke to another four year term as Fed chairman, President Obama completes his embrace of bailouts, easy money and deficits as the defining characteristics of his economic agenda. Bernanke, along with Secretary Geithner (then New York Fed president) were the prime movers behind the bailouts of AIG and Bear Stearns. Rather than “saving capitalism,” these bailouts only spread panic at considerable cost to the taxpayer. As evidenced in his “financial reform” proposal, Obama does not see bailouts as the problem, but instead believes an expanded Fed is the solution to all that is wrong with the financial sector. Bernanke also played a central role as the Fed governor most in favor of easy money in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble " a policy that directly contributed to the housing bubble. And rather than take steps to offset the “global savings glut” forcing down rates, Bernanke used it as a rationale for inaction. Perhaps worse than Bush and Obama’s rewarding o  Read Full Story
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Feature Article  •  Central Intelligence Agency
Julia Child, Famous Friendly TV Cook, Government Spook (No Kidding!)
John Green
   It's not that this is big news.  It's just that these "change agent" CIA people keep popping up all over the place. 
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Considering a vacation in Israel? Have a look at how they treat their neighbors. News Link  •  Palestine -- Israel
Considering a vacation in Israel? Have a look at how they treat their neighbors.
08-26-2009  • 
The white phosphorous attack on the children's school yields particularly dramatic images. WARNING: THESE IMAGES DEPICT THE REALITY OF WAR ON CIVILIAN POPULATIONS.
 
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Reported by: Found Zero
How to Build a Stateless Trading and Referral Network Feature Article  •  Activism
How to Build a Stateless Trading and Referral Network
Brock Lorber
   Boost your business and your activism with no begging, no favors, and no debt, just an intriguing and powerful approach to giving and getting solid referrals. 
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Is the Loch Ness monster on Google Earth?
Security guard claims to spot the Loch Ness monster News Link  •  Weird/Offbeat News
Is the Loch Ness monster on Google Earth? Security guard claims to spot the Loch Ness monster
08-26-2009  •  Telegraph 
The image, which can be seen on the satellite mapping program, depicts a large object resembling a sea creature clearly visible beneath the surface of the water. Jason Cooke told The Sun he spotted "Nessie" while browsing the website's satellite photos. Mr Cooke, 25, of Nottingham, said: "I couldn't believe it. It's just like the descriptions of Nessie." Researcher Adrian Shine, of the Loch Ness Project, told the newspaper: "This is really intriguing. It needs further study." The image can be seen by entering coordinates Latitude 57°12'52.13"N, Longitude 4°34'14.16"W in Google Earth. Earlier this year it was reported that climate change may have killed the Loch Ness Monster. There have been "no "credible sightings" of Nessie for over a year.  Read Full Story
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The Next Credit Bubble Is Now
Are you ready for a replay? News Link  •  Federal Reserve
The Next Credit Bubble Is Now Are you ready for a replay?
08-26-2009  •  Slate 
Mortgage-backed securities"and the bankers who loved them"wreaked havoc last year, helping to pitch us into the deepest downturn since the Great Depression. Are you ready for a replay? Gird your loins. The signs are growing that there's a new Wall Street gold rush under way"for those complex bundles of mortgage loans that fueled banks' profits between 2005 and 2007. This year, prices for mortgage-backed securities are rocketing as federal stimulus dollars flood the market. But the difference with this "boom" is the center of gravity has shifted: from giddy, cowboy bankers to the Federal Reserve. The Fed is so eager to save banks, create a demand for these securities, and stabilize the housing market that it's taking troubled loans and mortgages onto its own books. The problem is the Fed may be in well over its head. The Fed is cleaning up the old mortgage securities in the market"mostly old residential mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But  Read Full Story
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EXCLUSIVE: House quietly gives 'bonuses' to top aides News Link  •  Government
EXCLUSIVE: House quietly gives 'bonuses' to top aides
08-26-2009  •  Washington Times 
A month after they voted to punish some corporate executives for taking hefty bonus payouts, members of the House of Representatives quietly gave their own staffers a new potential bonus by making even their top-earning aides eligible for taxpayer dollars to repay their student loans. The change, which took effect in May, means House employees earning up to $168,411, or the top level, are now eligible for government-funded subsidies to help pay down their student loans. House officials defend the change as a job-related benefit necessary to keep the government competitive in the hiring market - the same argument corporate chieftains used to defend their own pay scales. "There's still a tremendous demand for high-end Hill talent even in this current job market. Expanding eligibility for the benefit allows us to retain valued and seasoned personnel who might otherwise be lured away to more financially lucrative pursuits," said Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the Hou  Read Full Story
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Stand up to unchecked political power News Link  •  Philosophy: Political
Stand up to unchecked political power
08-25-2009  •  East Valley Tribune / Ernest Hancock 
Libertarian activist and radio host Ernest Hancock fired up concern about right-wing extremism around the country last week after he revealed to CNN's Rick Sanchez that he had planned the interview with someone who carried an AR-15 rifle to the protests outside of President Barack Obama's Aug. 17 appearance at the Phoenix Convention Center. At the Tribune's request, Hancock explains his motivations.
 
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Reported by: Brock Lorber
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