Interview with the Somali pirates. They didn't say "Yarrgghh, matey" and they like spaghetti.

“We just saw a big ship,” the pirates’ spokesman, Sugule Ali, told The New York Times. “So we stopped it.”

...In a 45-minute-long interview, Mr. Sugule expounded on everything from what the pirates want — “just money” — to why they were doing this — “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters” — to what they eat — rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, “you know, normal human-being food.”
He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.” LINK

Well, then. That certainly clears it up.

Now, that's a headline. "Panic grips world markets". Everybody panic?

"Panic grips world's markets
Shock as American rescue plan rejected on a day of nationalisations and bail-outs
The US government's $700bn bail-out of the banking industry collapsed yesterday as Congress defied the White House by voting down the plan, sending Wall Street stocks plummeting and spreading shockwaves through the global economy.
As alarm mounted on Wall Street about the stability of the financial system, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 777 points to 10,365 - its biggest percentage fall for seven years and its worst drop ever in terms of points.
Peter Morici, professor of business at the University of Maryland, said: "Things are going to get so bad something will have to be done in the next few weeks. Banks will sink, credit markets will seize, the economy will go into something much worse than a recession."" LINK

Such cheeky pirates!

Because looking at the collapse of the bailout talks and the subsequent economic meltdown is a wee bit too stressful, I'm watching the pirates-with-battle-tanks. Their demands seem pretty reasonable, actually- $35 million doesn't seem like a lot for what they have.

"Somali pirates in a hijacked ship carrying more than 30 battle tanks were steaming toward a notorious pirate den on Saturday, and they vowed not to release the ship until a $35 million ransom was paid, Somali and Kenyan officials said.
Mr. Mohamed said that while the cargo in this case was extremely unusual — 33 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks and a large supply of ammunition and grenade launchers, all intended for the Kenyan military — the tactics were pretty typical.
“These guys just want the money,” he said.
He predicted that the pirates would reduce their ransom demand to $1 million to $2 million, though Ukrainian officials have not said whether they will pay any ransom at all. " LINK

Great, now the pirates have tanks. What a fantastic day.

"KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- The Foreign Ministry says pirates have seized a Ukrainian-operated ship off Somalia.

...The ministry had no information on the ship's cargo. But the Interfax news agency cited an unnamed source as saying the ship was loaded with about 30 T-72 tanks and spare parts for them." LINK

A beautiful, beautiful post from a great blog.

A Dismal Science is pretty great.

"It's a beautiful, black mountain of waste, greed, and debt. We haven't even begun feeling what liquefying that is going to feel like, and already the masses are restless. This is more than unwinding Bush's bubble. This is setting the national financial clock back to the 80's, when the credit boom began. Maybe all the way back to 1934, when the modern financial system last began anew.

Hell of a time to be alive." LINK to A Dismal Science

Well holy mackerel. WaMu is out, and McCain fucked the bailout.

"A rescue for the U.S. financial system unraveled late Thursday amid accusations Republican presidential candidate John McCain scuppered the deal,
and Washington Mutual was closed by U.S. authorities and its assets sold in America's biggest ever bank failure.

As negotiations over an
unprecedented $700 billion bailout to restore credit markets degenerated into chaos, the largest U.S. savings and loan bank was taken over by authorities and its deposits auctioned off. U.S. stock futures fell by more than 1 percent." LINK

Keeping an eye on this.

"The Northeast has been put on alert for potential tropical trouble this weekend. The low churning over the Dominican Republic has the potential to trek northward, then curve into the Northeast early Saturday as a powerful hurricane.

It must be stressed that this scenario is anything but certain. The path of the low will become clearer once it develops tropically and the low off the Carolina coastline takes shape. The latter low could keep the low now in the Dominican Republic over the open waters of the western Atlantic." LINK

Hot damn.

"The FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG - and their executives - as part of a broad look into possible mortgage fraud, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Tuesday.

The sources would not speak on the record because the investigation is ongoing.

FBI spokesman Special Agent Richard Kelko had no comment on that information, but said that 26 firms were currently under investigation as part of the bureau's mortgage fraud inquiry.

Earlier this month, FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress that 1,400 individual real estate lenders, brokers and appraisers were now under investigation in addition to two dozen corporations." LINK

Tent cities during an economic disaster? You don't say.

"In hard times, tent cities rise across the country
Since foreclosure mess, homeless advocates report rise in encampments
Within weeks, more than 150 people were living in tents big and small, barely a foot apart in a patch of dirt slated to be a parking lot for a campus of shelters Reno is building for its homeless population. Like many other cities, Reno has found itself with a "tent city" — an encampment of people who had nowhere else to go.
From Seattle to Athens, Ga., homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation.
Nearly 61 percent of local and state homeless coalitions say they've experienced a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless. The group says the problem has worsened since the report's release in April, with foreclosures mounting, gas and food prices rising and the job market tightening." LINK
So put on a happy face!

No you can't have a house. Not yours!

This is one I'm just not sure what I think about.
"Some Ike victims may not be allowed to rebuild
Little-known state law could put Texas beach home owners in a bind
By MICHAEL GRACZYK and CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writers Thu Sep 18, 6:46 PM ET
GALVESTON, Texas - Hundreds of people whose beachfront homes were wrecked by Hurricane Ike may be barred from rebuilding under a little-noticed Texas law. And even those whose houses were spared could end up seeing them condemned by the state.
Now here's the saltwater in the wound: It could be a year before the state tells these homeowners what they may or may not do.
The reason: A 1959 law known as the Texas Open Beaches Act. Under the law, the strip of beach between the average high-tide line and the average low-tide line is considered public property, and it is illegal to build anything there.
Over the years, the state has repeatedly invoked the law to seize houses in cases where a storm eroded a beach so badly that a home was suddenly sitting on public property. The aftermath of Ike could see the biggest such use of the law in Texas history."LINK
WOW. Wow. This is an intersting story. I mean, this is really interesting.
I wonder how this law will be applied. So, if people are living, say, across the road from a beach, and a big storm wipes out the road (I'm thinking Matunuck, here, for Rhody-minded people, the new beachfront people suddenly on public property, and their home is condemned? Yikes!
But I VERY strongly support high/low tide line public access- in fact, it is one of my all time favorite things about Rhode Island- that that was written into the Rhode Island Constitution- "The Rhode Island Constitution specifically protects citizens' rights to fish from the shore, to gather seaweed, to leave the shore to swim in the sea, and to walk along the shore. In Rhode Island, state waters of public domain extend from mean high water three miles out to sea. Above mean high water, land and resources can be, and often are, privately owned."LINK
And hey, I want my right to fish from shore and gather seaweed, and if that's suddenly your front doorstep, I like my coffee cream, no sugar, thanks. I
ll be there.
So, all in all, a VERY interesting story, especially in light of all the the land loss we're looking at as the global warming/global storming plays out.

Lehman Brothers? More like Bush brothers. Cousins. Whatever.

Startling, isn't it, what comes up when you Google bush + lehman.
Heckuva job, kids. Seems like everything these fuckers touch turns to gold for them and to shit for everyone else.

In August 2007, Lehman hired Jeb Bush as an advisor.
"Jeb Bush: Lehman’s Secret Weapon
In the arms race by private-equity firms to line up ever-higher profile “advisers,” Lehman Brothers may have just taken the lead.According to a small handful of reports Friday, including this one in Investment Dealers’ Digest and another in Private Equity Hub, the investment bank has hired former Florida Governor and presidential son and brother Jeb Bush for its in-house investing arm. " LINK

In May 2006, "Bush Cousin Heads to Lehman
Lehman Brothers(LEH Quote - Cramer on LEH - Stock Picks) has nabbed George H. Walker, the CEO of Goldman Sachs(GS Quote - Cramer on GS - Stock Picks) Hedge Fund Strategies, to be the global head of its $188 billion Investment Management Division, Lehman Brothers announced today.
Walker has already resigned from Goldman Sachs and could not be reached for comment. A spokesman at Goldman Sachs did not return a call.
Walker, who is President George W. Bush's second cousin, had joined the merger and acquisition group of Goldman Sachs in 1991 and became a partner in 1998. He soon grew to be one of the principal architects of Goldman Sachs' investment management strategy and was overseeing a $70 billion group of alternative investments, including hedge funds of funds and private equity investments.
At Lehman, Walker will oversee two and a half times the amount of assets under his belt at Goldman, as he will run a global group that includes not just alternative investments but also traditional assets, including mutual funds. He succeeds Theodore Janulis, who recently became global head of the firm's mortgage capital business. " LINK

So effing doomed.

"A huge 19 square mile (55 square km) ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate, the latest sign of accelerating climate change in the remote region, scientists said on Tuesday.
They said the Markham Ice Shelf, one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. They also said two large chunks totaling 47 square miles had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60 percent.
"The changes ... were massive and disturbing," said Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec." LINK

Haitians 'screaming for help' after storms

"SAINT-MARC, Haiti (AP) -- Haitian families scrambled onto rooftops and screamed for help Tuesday in a city flooded by Tropical Storm Hanna, as U.N. peacekeepers and rescue convoys tried in vain to reach them.
Iris Norsil, 20, managed to flee the western coastal city of Gonaives and told The Associated Press that people there were isolated by muddy waters as evening fell, many seeking refuge on rooftops as wind gusts drove horizontal sheets of rain that flooded roads and buildings.
"They are screaming for help," Norsil said, as a U.N. aid convoy tried unsuccessfully to drive into Gonaives, now surrounded by a virtual lake of floodwaters. A team of AP journalists accompanied the convoy." LINK