Delicious LiveJournal Links for 9-30-2008

RESEARCHERS FIND LARGEST YET SUBPRIME NUMBER

RESEARCHERS FIND LARGEST YET SUBPRIME NUMBER

WASHINGTON, DC (AP) — Economists working at the United States Department of Treasury and top Wall Street banks announced the historic discovery of a very large subprime number, the biggest yet seen.

The group, working in secrecy for years and using banks and real estate holdings worldwide as a laboratory, found the gigantic number some time in the last year and is only now releasing the information to the public.

“This is a win-win,” said Gary Leukotomakis, the Treasury’s Chief New Economist. “We’ve shown that subprime numbers far beyond anything previously imagined are now possible, and even likely.” Subprime numbers, which may seem esoteric to the typical American, are used in complicated financial transactions such as derivatives, credit swaps, REITs, “Jumbo loans,” nonconforming loans, and spectacular, heart-stopping international financial crises.

Thad LabbĂ©, a senior economician at Goldman Sachs, credited new financial technologies for the breakthrough. “We had always theorized about the power of a regulatory vacuum, but when we were able to produce one in the field everything took a quantum leap,” he enthused. “Everything else we needed — weightless real estate, risk-free quantum risk, low-viscosity greed-through liquidity, and unpoppable Hyper-Bubbles — all of that stemmed from this revolutionary new postregulatory paradigm.”

“In layman’s terms,” said LabbĂ©, “it was like free money. But forever, because it’s government science.”

Tiara Hampton, a professor of Freedom Science at the Guthy-Renker Institute for Postscientific Study, agrees. “This proves what we’ve been saying all along, what naysayers have pooh-poohed. There actually is no hard limit to a subprime number, and the actual risk to researchers is nil.” “In fact,” she remarked, “risk in this quantum environment is entirely reversed, so that it’s not possible to suffer consequences from so-called financial risk unless you’re unrelated to the experiment completely.”

Sources close to the team estimated the subprime number as nearly 700 billion, but cautioned that this number was not exact. “You have to understand,” said one source with first-hand knowledge, “that the actual number will be the product of rectal extraction for some time. The important thing is that it’s big, and bigger by a big number than the last big number.”

Spokesmen for the research group said they did not yet know what would produce the next large subprime number, but that they were confident it would be discovered in much the same way.

The research group, which until now had been working behind a veil of secrecy, was funded by the Freedom Science Foundation, the Goldman-Sachs/Treasury Revolving Door Society, and subscribers like you.

(tip o’the hat to mcbrennan for the inspiration)

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 9-29-2008

City of dude’s shoulders

I ride the train to Los Angeles once a week now. It’s a good deal in a number of ways. It costs $17 round trip in pre-tax dollars. It’s less stressful and less wasteful than driving, and safer.

The train goes backstage in Southern California. The path goes through infrastructure, industry, and poverty. Huge warehouses stretch blocks in each direction. Hundreds of trucks fill acres of parking lots. Freight trains take a solid minute to go by at blurry speeds, dragging steel girders and tanks of plastic granules and stacked bulldozers and mysterious bumpy tarped plinths.

In one yard a crane holds up a locomotive while workers wrench on it from below. In another, a gigantic wooden beam three feet on a side stretches to the horizon. Huge junkyards hold crushed cubes of metal.

People live right up against the tracks and keep their style. One tiny house shows off a backyard entirely full of cactus. A pudgy Mexican dad floats in his pool as we roar by. Gang members argue next to an old Monte Carlo with a flat.

If you drive the freeway you see a million Dennys and gas stations and malls and orderly little suburban box homes.

Ride the rails and you’ll remember: Los Angeles isn’t tinseltown, it’s the biggest port on the West Coast and a Chicago’s worth of trains and trucks and warehouses and factories spewing steel and oil and toxic tanks and aircraft parts all over the world.

So this one’s for Commerce, California. Keep the hard hats on and pay your union dues, L.A. The people on the train see you, anyway.

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 9-28-2008

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 9-27-2008

Who was that noisy tire?

Musical Road Hits Sour Notes With Neighbors
Local officials say it was a mistake to allow a television commercial company to grind grooves into a stretch of desert roadway near Lancaster to enable car tires to play a song — “The William Tell Overture” — as people drive over it.

The sounds are disturbing people in a nearby subdivision, the Daily News reports. The City of Lancaster plans to pave over the musical grooves Tuesday.

Persons driving the posted 55 miles an hour west on Avenue K, in the high desert about five miles west of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, hear about 38 musical notes of the well-known theme, also known as the overture to “The Lone Ranger.”

American Honda has paid for the promotion as part of a television ad campaign set to air this fall, but amateurs have peppered YouTube with homemade renditions of their own vehicles rolling over the grooves.

The road is tuned to a car just exactly the length, and equipped with tires the same size, as a Honda Civic, a spokesman for Honda said. But other vehicles are also successful in playing the notes, if a little off-key.

That noise is not exactly music to the ears of persons living in a nearby subdivision, who are telling the Daily News that the notes blend into a cacophony that keeps them awake at night.

“When you hear it late at night, it will wake you up from a sound sleep,” said music critic Brian Robin, who lives a half mile away from the project. “It’s awakened my wife three or four times a night,” he told the newspaper.

But people from elsewhere are delighted. “I think it’s kind of cool,” said Peggy Hager of Llano. “When you are driving out on Avenue K, you’re going out to the middle of nowhere. It’s a nice surprise to come across this thing.”

Avenue K got its groove on Sept. 5, and the sour notes from neighbors soon reached a crescendo at City Hall, said Pauline East, the Antelope Valley Film Office liaison officer. The street was volunteered to help attract filmmakers and their dollars to the High Desert, she said.

“Was it historic? Yes,” she told the Daily News.

“Maybe the wrong location? Obviously. We thought it was far enough away.”

Ant Crossing

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }


Ant Crossing, originally uploaded by grickily.

Happy Friday from Dan Goodsell’s “Mr. Toast” cartoon.

I think Shaky Bacon is doing a fine job here, don’t you?