Sunday, September 28, 2008
Immediate Changes Required for Any Bailout
1. No bailouts without conditions and reciprocity in the form of stock warrants
2. No more lobbying for any company that is bailed out
3. No golden parachutes and get out of jail free cards for guilty executives
4. No bailouts without public hearings
Changes to Housing Market
5. Reduce the moral hazard in U.S. mortgage markets by introducing covered bonds for the majority of mortgage products as they do in Western Europe. That gives institutions that finance mortgages an incentive to be prudent, because they cannot just unload them and wipe their hands clean of the liability, but are instead on the hook if the homeowner defaults.
6. Maintain neighborhood stability and housing security by passing a law with a sunset clause allowing below median-value homeowners facing foreclosure the right to rent-to-own their homes at fair market value rates.
7. Avoid future housing bubbles by removing implicit government guarantees for new mortgages that exceed thresholds of greater than 15-20 times the annual fair market rent value of the home.
Structural Changes to Financial Markets
8. Make the Federal Reserve a Cabinet Position, so it is accountable to Congress, as well as making sure all Federal Reserve Bank presidents are appointed by the President and answerable to congress.
9. Reduce conflicts of interest by taking away power for auditor and rating agency selection from companies and placing it in the hands of the SEC to be administered on random assignment.
10. Implement a securities speculation tax, starting with derivatives to deter casino-style capitalism.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Outside, petitioners seeking signatures for ballot measures have come to blows with opinionated residents. In the tiny parking lot, nicknamed the Berkeley Brawl, frustrated motorists have been known to ram one another's cars. At the checkout, people have thrown punches and unripened avocados at suspected line-cutters...
the full story
Saturday, September 20, 2008
There have been many studies about how men and women decide how to vote, and what influences them. Well! It's actually quite simple. I normally hate kids, but when I saw this photo—taken in Farmington Hills, Michigan—I suddenly wanted to have Obama's post-racial children. I can't even think right now! I just want to cast a million votes and populate the earth with beautiful mixed-race kiddies, because they are our future. This photo is likecrack for ladies.
Friday, September 05, 2008
The online retailer will help with its next Give 1 Get 1 (G1G1) programme that is due to begin in late November.Under this scheme people can buy one of the XO laptops for themselves and donate the other to a school child in a developing nation.It is hoped the deal with Amazon will iron out the problems OLPC encountered when it ran the G1G1 programme itself.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Kwame Kilpatrick had been charged with misconduct, obstruction of justice and lying under oath to try to cover up an affair with his former chief-of-staff.
Mr Kilpatrick's plea deal means he will spend 120 days in jail and will pay $1m in restitution to the city. He has also agreed that he will not run for office for five years.
In Wayne County court, Mr Kilpatrick read out a statement in which he admitted to two counts of lying under oath during a police whistle-blower trial in 2007.
He had faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
A prominent African-American politician who was elected mayor at the age of 31, Mr Kilpatrick had been considered one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party.
The spread of the Roman Empire through Europe could help explain why those living in its former colonies are more vulnerable to HIV.
The claim, by French researchers, is that people once ruled by Rome are less likely to have a gene variant which protects against HIV.
This includes England, France, Greece and Spain, New Scientist reports. Others argue the difference is linked to a far larger event, such as the spread of bubonic plague or smallpox.
The idea that something carried by the occupying Romans could have a widespread influence on the genes of modern Europeans comes from researchers at the University of Provence.
They say that the frequency of the variant corresponds closely with the shifting boundaries of the thousand-year empire.In countries inside the borders of the empire for longer periods, such as Spain, Italy and Greece, the frequency of the CCR5-delta32 gene, which offers some protection against HIV, is between 0% and 6%.Countries at the fringe of the empire, such as Germany, and modern England, the rate is between 8% and 11.8%, while in countries never conquered by Rome, the rate is greater than this.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, has been quoted saying the candidates’ public image will matter more than issues in deciding the election. In an interview with the Washington Post, Davis said, “This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.”