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April 24, 2010

The Classic Liberal noted that Economists expect no hyperinflation. So did the Daley Gator, but he was more interested in the idea of the right wing TV network.

The Other McCain linked to my observation that Amber Heard seems a little full of herself.

Thanks all. Once again if I missed anyone let me know and I will rectify the situation immediately.


Arizona’s Governor signed a new immigration law that outlaws sanctuary cities and allows police to demand proof of legal residence on “reasonable suspicion” of someone being in the country illegally. I understand the sentiment but I think this is going to cost the state big time. Lawsuits are already being prepared and I can’t think of a single lawyer I have seen who thinks this will survive court challenge, especially the ID requirements. It is also going to cost the GOP come November. AZ is 36% Hispanic and the anger this is going to generate may be enough to throw a few races to the Dems. If I was working on this law I would have gone with just outlawing the sanctuary city policies, which are actually already illegal under federal law, although that is never enforced, and the requirement that every prisoner be checked with Homeland Security for immigration status that avoids racial profiling charges. I think those two provisions would accomplish most of what AZ is after and survive court challenge.

The Center for Immigration Studies disagrees with me but they have a dog in the fight so I discount their polling a bit. Pew noted that prior to the immigration fight Hispanics had been slowly moving to the GOP –

In addition to their strong support for Obama, Latino voters have moved sharply into the Democratic camp in the past two years, reversing a pro-GOP tide that had been evident among Latinos earlier in the decade. Some 65% of Latino registered voters now say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with just 26% who identify with or lean toward the GOP. This 39 percentage point Democratic Party identification edge is larger than it has been at any time this decade; as recently as 2006, the partisan gap was just 21 percentage points.

Nothing like giving away trade secrets – Wall Street was given access to the formulas behind those magic (credit) ratings — and hired away some of the very people who had devised them.

while the agencies have come under fire before, the extent to which they collaborated with Wall Street banks has drawn less notice.

The rating agencies made public computer models that were used to devise ratings to make the process less secretive. That way, banks and others issuing bonds — companies and states, for instance — wouldn’t be surprised by a weak rating that could make it harder to sell the bonds or that would require them to offer a higher interest rate.

But by routinely sharing their models, the agencies in effect gave bankers the tools to tinker with their complicated mortgage deals until the models produced the desired ratings.


But for Goldman and other banks, a road map to the right ratings wasn’t enough. Analysts from the agencies were hired to help construct the deals.

What bothers me about this, if it’s true, and with the NY Times that is kind of an open question, isn’t the credit agencies so much. They were responding to criticisms that there process was a blackbox and according to a number of people quoted in the article they did make an effort to keep things honest. No, it is the lack of ethics it indicates on the part of the banks. One of my very first posts here was a rant against the MBA mentality, and this just reinforces it again. Sometimes I wonder which level of hell MBAs go to, the fourth or the eighth?

Curses! Foiled Again! notes the driving force behind the push for gay marriage.

Dustbury has an excellent quote of the week.

Big News Everyone – Obama Lies!

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