Bearish

In St. Thomas Real Estate News, a Virgin Islands realtor has run off with millions of dollars of other people's money. Apparently she cleared out escrow accounts and her office and disappeared in early February.

You can read earlier accounts here:

St Thomas Real Estate: The Shady Side of Realtors

Why one person can cause so much havoc with St. Thomas Real Estate

One month later, Rosemary Sauter is still missing... and so is the approximately 2.5 million dollars. Where does one flee when fleeing paradise? Another paradise in the South Pacific? Sunny California? Canada? And how is it that RE/MAX is not responsible for these missing funds?

Who knows... but here's a picture of her in case somebody spots her. Her "dream properties" website still exists and so does her LinkedIn profile.

Subscribers to global warming theory will be happy to know that Australia is going to combat the emissions gushing out of their livestock.

Cow, goat, and sheep farts release substantial amounts of carbon into the air... estimated to be about 1,500 kg of carbon per cow per year. Enjoying your steak dinner tonight, Mr. Gore?

Livestock down under outnumber human residents 5.7 to 1. The Gov't is going to invest about $27mm researching dietary supplements, bacterial agents, and genetic engineering to minimize the fumes.

Hopefully, this will lead to better falafel.

Here are two t.v. shows are worth watching if you are grappling with the financial shakedown, even if you don't have a t.v. The Bill Moyers interview with Simon Johnson does a good job of focusing on the big bankers and how they work with our government.

The Frontline piece is an interesting film about how the events of the last 15 months unfolded, from Bear Stearns to TARP. Amazingly, it doesn't even attempt to figure out what CAUSED this to happen. The Moyers interview provides part of that gap.

I'm impressed with the quality of these free television shows. Over my DSL, they look great at full-size video and the audio is crystal. Who needs television when you have fast internet?

We just went for a little walk in Downtown Alameda and I wound up being interviewed by the Channel 2 News. Apparently I will DEFINITELY be on the 6:00 news tonight discussing the budget crush and getting IOU's instead of tax refund checks. I don't have a television so could somebody please watch it and let me know how I do? Better yet... capture and youtube it? And Happy New Year!

update: Hopefully I will show up on the ktvu.com site as a Tom Vacar segment but so far... no dice. Anyone out there catch it? Does anyone watch t.v. news anymore? I sure don't.

Excellent graphic from wallstats.com

We once again interrupt duckies and bunnies to remind you that it's official: you've been swindled in broad daylight!

From Bloomberg:

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

It's bad, you know.

Bailout Bill $700 billion
Additional Pork $150 billion
Dow (-484) in 3 hours $600 billion
Total carnage to you, The Taxpayer $1.45 trillion

Don't you love it when congress gets together with George Bush? Patriot Act... Iraq War... and now Bailouts for Bankers. You think this was going to save your 401k? What are you, nuts!?!?!

Today's congressional vote against George Bush's bailout plan for bankers was perhaps the most glorious thing to happen in grass roots politics since the 60's. Especially after the sudden crammage of the Patriot Act and that duct tape-induced madness leading up to the Iraq War, I was expecting dogs and ponies.

But instead, they in fact LISTENED to us!

Well I know the pigmen are persistent, so they'll be back with another plan soon.

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