March 18, 2008

Bear Stearns By the Numbers

Posted by TMLutas

E J Dionne's fatuous analysis of Bear Stearns led me to take a look at their stock chart. Bear Stearns has 118.1M shares outstanding. A month ago they were valued at 80 dollars a share. Over the weekend the Fed forced a sale at 2 dollars a share to JP Morgan/Chase. That's a haircut of 97%. Essentially Bear Stearns stockholders are being told that their thrashing around bleeding cash is worth a "go away" payment of 3%. For E J Dionne, that's Wall Street turning into "a bunch of welfare clients".

The real story is that Bear Stearns executives do seem to have tried to mau mau the Fed but the Fed instead forced a sale whose terms are so harsh that Bear Stearns shareholders may not approve, a threat realistic enough that bondholders (who make out better in the Fed forced deal) seem to be buying up stock and bidding BSC's share price to 5 dollars Monday and almost 6 dollars Tuesday.

It's going to be an interesting episode in managed capitalism but educational only if you pay attention to the details, especially the numbers.

March 16, 2008

Half a vote? Why not 3/5ths?

Posted by TMLutas

After reading about the Democrat's delegate dilemma, this proposal by Senator Ben Nelson (D) seemed to strike almost the right chord:

Meanwhile, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a Clinton supporter, raised the possibility of seating his state’s delegates based on the January vote — which Mrs. Clinton won 50 percent to 33 percent — but awarding each Florida delegate only half a vote at the August convention. That would mean that Mrs. Clinton would narrow the delegate gap with Mr. Obama by a net of 19 delegates, rather than the 38 she would have gained under the January result. She trails Mr. Obama by more than 100 delegates, according to most counts.

But why 1/2 a vote? Why not give the Floridian's a little more, let's say 10% more. Giving them 3/5ths a vote would have the added benefit that the DNC could sell access to a unique pay-per-view event, the press conference where reporters ask Barack Obama whether he's ok with counting delegates on a 3/5ths basis. Proceeds could go to a worthwhile charity, say the United Negro College Fund? It would be a train wreck of epic proportions, one that any political junkie worth his salt couldn't look away from.

People are people and the Dems already count too many delegates as less worthy of full voting rights. Either you're in the club and have the vote or you're out. This fractional voting idea is nonsense and historically insensitive nonsense at that.

March 05, 2008

Democrat Delegate Math

Posted by TMLutas

RealClearPolitics provides the raw numbers on the delegates. After subtracting Florida and Michigan, there are 2642 Pledged Delegates in the pool. There are 795 Super Delegates as well for a total of 3437 seated delegates. You need 2025 to carry the nomination apparently (both RealClearPolitics and ABC News agree). This sets up a very strange situation where you need 58.9% of the seated delegates to get the nomination. At present time, with only 52 of Texas' 193 delegates assigned, there are only 752 delegates left to win and Obama has only 1280 Pledged delegates. If he gets all of them, he'll have 2032 delegates, 8 more than he needs to win the nomination. With Texas being called for Clinton, it's highly unlikely tonight that he'll get the nomination absent superdelegate votes and by morning it will be mathematically impossible as there will be only 611 Pledged Delegates left and Obama's not going to have 1414 Pledged Delegates come morning. He only has 1280 right now.

Absent the DNC lowering the 2025 figure or seating Michigan/Florida which puts 366 mostly Clinton delegates on the convention floor, the Democrat Party presidential nomination will be decided by the Super Delegates. The political junkies wet dreams will come to life this summer. The smoke filled rooms are back.

March 04, 2008

Obama, Rezko, and Connecting the Dots

Posted by TMLutas

So now the press is asking "tough questions" about Sen. Obama's relationship with Antoin Rezko. Color me unimpressed over Obama's denials about doing Rezko favors. Rezko isn't an isolated player but rather part of a corrupt machine. "Public Official A", Rezko's major political patron, has now been officially revealed to be Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Smart corrupt officials don't always do simple cash for favor deals, not in a place like Chicago which is crawling with corruption, not if they want to go national and want to be able to pretend to be honest. Smart corrupt officials use middle men. What if Obama wasn't paying Rezko directly but rather paying Blagojevich to pay Rezko? Blagojevich gives Rezko contracts, Rezko raises money and does little favors for Obama like his house deal and Obama votes the way Blagojevich wants and provides other, so far undiscovered, help to Blagojevich and crew.

Or perhaps it's the other way around and Blagojevich is the initiator, offering Obama the services of his pet fixer in exchange for votes and help reeling in the Chicago based black power block.

Once you get past the need for things to be nice and neat and only involve two people, the Rezko situation gets much more serious because the money can flow in nonobvious ways that will take years to unravel, long after the american people will have voted for the next president.

What a fine mess this country is in when the Clinton in the race might be the more honest Democrat.

A product of BruceR and Jantar Mantar Communications, and affiliated contributors. Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's half-informed viewpoint on the world.

Blog Tank
A project to create
a blogging think tank

April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
Recommended Reading
The Pentagon's New Map
Links I rely on
Hosts and Friends:
Snapping Turtle
Jantar Mantar
Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog

Chicago Boyz
The Globe and Mail
The Wash. Post

National Review TNR
Weekly Standard

Thomas Barnett
Den Beste
The Shark
The Weevil
Q and O
Jane Finch

Listed on Blogwise

Powered by
Movable Type 2.661