First over the cliff. I suppose I should take a victory lap after the Tribune Company's bankruptcy, having forecast financial crisis for the industry, but that one was just too easy to see. Sam Zell thought he was buying a cash cow, and got money pit instead. I don't envy the bankruptcy trustees trying to figure out how to get money out of the 'assets'. Well, maybe the Cubbies. Meanwhile, Bloomberg surveys other cheap credit media LBOs that could end up in trouble.
Saving Mother's. To the relief of at least some, Kelloggs buys the assets of Mother's Cookies out of bankruptcy. The famous circus animal cookies are way too sweet for me on most days, but they are just the thing to revive the blood sugar levels after a heavy day trail building.
Bio-feedback you've never considered. Someone in Japan thinks you can gain insight into your creative moments by seeing how your legs shake. If you do too, consider this gadget. There's an online community so you can compare your twitches with others'...
Never mind the Constitution, the state is hungry. California's Democrat legislature prepares an end-run of the requirement of a 2/3 vote to raise taxes. The RINO governator seems ready to go along with it. Lawsuits, if not recalls and ballot propositions, are being readied if this succeeds. When I moved here from Michigan 25 years ago, I assumed I'd left behind state governments stupid enough to raise taxes in the face of a recession. Guess not. Meanwhile, it turns out the state employee retirement fund not only bet big on the housing bubble, but leveraged itself to do so, and suffered losses of greater than 100% on their principal. So will unrealistic state retirement programs be revisited, or the taxpayers soaked to make up the difference? It's not even guessing, is it? NB: If you're holding California state or municipal debt, directly or indirectly, you should get out of it. Any tax savings are not worth the risk to principal.
And speaking of Michigan. The emblematic home state of the US auto industry. I'm glad to see the bailout of the former Big Three go down. They've been attempting to fly in the face of reality for far too long. Brands that have been milked to death, a union that thinks running machinery someone else owns should be a ticket to an upper-middle class income and early retirement, and states that try to balance their capital-hostile budgets on the backs of an immobile industrial base. American workers and managers can build world-class cars and trucks and make a profit. It just takes Honda and Toyota to show it. Time to get the assets out of the hands of the Detroit clowns, labor and management and politicians. The fallout from rolling Chapter 11s may cost the treasury as much as the proposed bailout, but at the end of that process you've got reality, not another attempt to ignore it.