“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Friday, January 25, 2008

01/25 Morning Report

There are more donation scandal problems facing Democrats. This time, it’s about Obama, the apparent closet Muslim. Along with taking donations from Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who is now under investigation by federal authorites on corruption charges, Obama also bought a piece of real estate from him while Rezko was under grand jury investigation. Obama claims everything was above board. But, even considering he gave all the campaign donations to charity, those are not actions that speak well of anyone running for the presidency.

Indiana’s voter identification law is being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Sure, the rules should not violate the constitution. But, without identification rules, what proof is there that someone really is the voter in question? Or is even a real citizen and entitled to vote at all? The AP does the usual media hack job of citing a couple of special cases, which do need to be addressed. Several solutions are avaialbe like states where

…voters can present other forms of ID - such as a Social Security card, a utility bill or a student ID bearing a photograph- or they can sign an affidavit affirming their identity.
But, in conjunction with “voter’s rights” groups, the writer, and MSM in general, totally ignores the larger issue. And, as usual, the fight breaks down along party lines. It’s pretty obvious this is going to get uglier as time goes on.

And, for those who think the sub-prime mortgage problem has been bad, it could get worse. Officials are now worried about bond insurer failures.
Regulators fear a possible chain of events in which the troubled bond insurers, MBIA and Ambac, might be unable to keep their promise to pay investors if borrowers default on their debt.
That could leave nearly $1 trillion in bonds, and their holders, uncovered in case of corporate default.

(…bet the Feds can’t cover that much with a bailout…time to get over our belief that government can solve all our problems…and regulate morality…)

On the subject of investing, have you ever wondered why the securities industry is the most regulated group behind nuclear power? Well, you could ask French bank Societe Generale. They just uncovered a massive fraud problem, supposedly caused by one man. The damage is approximately $7.1 billion. The suspected individual dealt in futures for the bank. The scariest part of the announcement?
Speaking to the BBC, [Nick] Leeson, [the rogue trader that brought down Barings Bank], said he was not shocked that the latest fraud had taken place - only its scale.

"Rogue trading is probably a daily occurrence within the financial markets," he said.

"What shocked me was the size. I never for one moment believed it would get to this degree of magnitude, this degree of loss."
(…that just fills you with confidence in the financial markets…doesn’t it?…)