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Dig a little deeper, though, and Citi’s stress-test results look more like an F than the B+ the bank seemed to get. Among the 19 banks the government probed, Citi was found to have the lowest common capital ratio, which the government said was a key measure to protect against insolvency. What’s more, Citi also got credit for a capital conversion it has yet to complete. Strip that out, and the amount of capital Citi needs balloons to nearly $63 billion, more than any of the other banks tested. –“Inside Citi’s Stress Test: More like an F than a B+,” Stephen Gandel, Time (via)
The [Washington] Post argued that the bondholders are supposed to have a preferred position in the event of bankruptcy compared to workers’ claim for retirement health benefits. This is true under bankruptcy law. However, the factor that has apparently escaped the Post’s attention is that the government is giving money to Chrysler and General Motors. Bankruptcy law does not require the federal government to hand Chrysler and General Motors a penny. It is doing so as a matter of public policy. There are two policy goals that the government hopes to advance with its intervention. First, to try to keep jobs in these firms and their suppliers at a time when the economy is shedding jobs at an incredibly rapid rate. Second to protect the retirement health benefits of workers. The Post openly shows contempt for ordinary workers (as opposed to bankers), but President Obama was elected in large part because he promised to use the government’s power to advance their interests. One of these interests is protecting the retirement health care benefits for which they worked– just as the government protects the pensions for which they worked. –“Post Misrepresents Situation of Creditors in Chrysler/GM Bankruptcy,” Dean Baker, The American Prospect
American workers afraid to take vacations; Bid $15,500 for an unpaid internship at the Huffington Post; Recession sing-along (via); The new Blackwater/Xe logo; Jarvis Cocker reviews pop music with his sons
“United States Border Patrol! Put your hands up!” screams one in a voice cracking with adolescent determination as the suspect is subdued. It is all quite a step up from the square knot. The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence– an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters. –“Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More,” Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
A black bear named Pedals, famous for walking upright on his hind legs through Rockaway Township, New Jersey, was reported killed by a hunter, and a hiker in California was attacked after he interrupted two bears mating. It was a “pretty good bear attack,” said the local police chief.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."