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icemann

The monolines are toast, the municipal governments will probably bail out and go with Buffett as soon as possible. His offer to Ambac et al was a great way to get FREE publicity. Don't let the grandfatherly image fool you, the man is a shark.

CK

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2007ltr.pdf
Smart shark.
The pdf above is the annual letter to the shareholders.

John East

Congratulations, Elaine, that is your best post ever, far more informed than anything I've yet seen on the MSM. You have set the scene for the next few months trading, and it will be bloody.
I will have a good laugh on Monday when I see the inevitable CNBC feature, "Is it time to start buying into the financials yet" which they've been running in various forms for the last couple of weeks now.

aprilzi

USS "Kitty Hawk" for India? Will the USA sell it?

Elaine Meinel Supkis

I think I may have landed a radio job here! Will give details next week. This will be great. A morning show? WOW.


Chris

Grats Elaine! Pls make sure your radio programs are available as podcast, or that we can hear them over the net! ^_^

EL JOHNNY

Anyone seeking to assess the financial health of any FDIC insured bank in the US can do so by connecting to the FDIC website and then typing the name of the financial institution one wants to assess in their search bar.

Every and all reports of each insured bank is on this FDIC website.

Elaine Supkis

Yes, the show will be podcast. I hope to set up a in-home studio in my spare bedroom upstairs. I need to have a room where the dogs, cats and husband can't just mill around in while broadcasting.

GMG


Dear Elaine,

Do you think it is even necessary to have monolines in the first place? Why not have the US Govt write the insurance and provide payment in the event of default? The taxpayers could earn the profit. MBIA and Ambac remind me of a "brother-in-law" business. By that I mean someone in the publice debt market figured out how a company (a relative,perhaps) could make a very easy buck. MBIA, Ambac, ACA- they simpley blew it. Essentially, they couldn't lose if the insured just munis, but they got greedy and stupid. By the way, in the options market (the marked-to-market kind) the analog to this is selling puts with not enough capital in reserve and no hedges in place. Not good.

GMG

CK

GMG
Whenever there is a surplus in a governmentally run thing, that surplus is spent by the government for its own purposes. It is never returned to the taxpayers nor used to write down the rate of taxation on the taxpayers. For reference check the social security administration's handling of the surpluses that once were in that big old account. Now those surpluses have been loaned to the government to support whatever war or theft the government wishes to fund without raising taxes. The money is replaced with promises to pay.
No bureaucrat was ever promoted for lowering the budgets of his operation. The motivation in government is to have the largest budget largest staff most warm bodies hanging around doing nothing ( except voting for larger budgets ).
There exists a quantifiable risk across all municipalities of bankruptcy. That risk is insureable because it is random, in the same way that lightning strikes are random or high winds. Buffett has made a nice income insuring muni's and not bothering with the derivatives and CDO and other such trash. Substituting governmental greed and stupidity which is only limited by the size of government for individual greed and stupidity is not a good answer, but it probably is a vote getter.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

And that purpose always ends up being graft and WAR.

CK

War is the health of the government.
Graft is the health of the government's employees.
Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial complex.

Cato

Speaking of Goldman. The rumor is that up to 25% of their global workforce could be laid-off. Somebody knocked over their printing press. Besides, financial engineering is so yesterday. They love commodities now and want to startup a new competitor to the Chicago futures exchange. Is Fairway, Key Food and Zabar's next? A name change is in order: Goldman "paper or plastic?"

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Of course, all the pirates are getting loans and driving up commodities which is why we have global inflation.

New York Home Loans

The market goes up and down mostly because of unsurity about the future, or a big news story that could shape world affairs. when you sell it dosen't necessarily mean someone is buying it. The market dropped from 14k to 9k a lot of wealth was lost into thin air.

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