Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity

There’s no doubting that rumours of disaster can cause chaos and mayhem, especially in financial markets – in fact, day to day trade relies heavily on it.

However, I think it’s important to understand and distinguish between speculative rumours and genuine concern.  It’s also worth noting that even when we see real cause for concern our psychological make-up is apt to help the chaos and hysteria along as we get swept away by a sea of emotions. Continue reading

Torture and MI5

More information on the torture of the inmates at Gitmo is coming to light. American Torture has a detailed post on  the Daily Mail’s (that well known leftoid paper) story on Binyam MOhamed’s torture, and how the British secret service (MI5) was complicit in that torture.

Of course, some on here dismiss this because he is an “innocent goat herder” and that his allegations cannot be believed. But the story relies on fact.

Over and over, the article presents evidence of U.S. and British collaboration in the interrogation and torture of Binyam Mohamed. Telegrams are sent back and forth, lines of inquiry are proposed, a “case conference” is held between U.S. and British intelligence at MI5 HQ in London.

The full extent of the collaboration and the torture are partly obscured by the fact that the British High Court reluctantly (and with public protest) have acceded to the demands of the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to withhold the publication of secret documentation of Mr. Mohamed’s torture — documents already seen by Mohamed’s attorneys, but not the public — because it would supposedly harm U.S.-British intelligence cooperation.

I suggest that you read the full post.

One of the parts says that the torture at Gitmo got worse after Obama was elected and said that Gitmo would close. Some have said that this is a blot on Obama, but note how it says that it got worse after Obama was “elected” – not since his inauguration. So it looks like the brutality increased before Obama took office.

The post on American Torture finishes:

But the real criminals sat or still sit in the highest chairs of government. The political will to hold them to account is crippled by the need to save the integrity of the system in the eyes of a scared and cynical populace — scared by a collapsing economy, and cynical because they too have lost all faith in the integrity of their leaders, and are placing all their hopes now in the charismatic Barack Obama.

Those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.

Don’t Stop The Dance: First-home grant to end

I know, I’m retired, but I could not resist this one.

I can see why the “Rudd Government is resisting requests to extend its highly successful increase in the first-home buyer’s grant, raising fears of a housing slump once the scheme is terminated on June 30.”  Not my words

First-home grant to end

For Domenico Monardo, 21, and his girlfriend, Carla Hirigoyen, 20, the $21,000 in federal and $3000 in NSW government grants they received was a big incentive to build a new house rather than purchase an established one. The couple recently paid $305,000 for a 594sqm block of land at The Ponds, a new Landcom development near Kellyville in Sydney’s northwest.

They will borrow a further $240,000 to build their dream home.

Extending the first-home owner’s grant has split the housing industry, with the Housing Industry Association backing the Government’s view that the scheme should end as scheduled on June 30, while the Master Builders Association wants it extended to the end of the year.

New housing finance figures released yesterday show the stimulus, which doubled the first-home buyer’s grant to $14,000 for people buying established homes and trebled it to $21,000 for people buying new homes, has had a dramatic effect on demand.

The number of first-home buyers has risen from a low of 8818 in August to 12,500 in January, traditionally a quiet month in property markets.

The 6657 loans for new houses in January was 16.9 per cent ahead of the level in September, before the increase in grants for first home buyers was announced.

Insane?  Have Domenico Monardo, 21, and his girlfriend, Carla Hirigoyen, 20, done their  maths?  Check out their ages.  HUGE COMMITMENT!