Jan 16th, 2008 by ravi
More mortgage haemorrhage…

Forget all the damage control about this thing being significant but small, with localised effect… a quick tally of the chart at BBC, of losses declared thus far, comes up with about $80 billion. While that’s not in the Bush league of screw-ups (he being the genius who is spending upward of a billion dollars a week to kill Iraqis) but it sure is beginning to look like real money. And that’s not just me… read below on what Herr Wheeldon, one of the moneybag insiders (a.k.a “senior strategist”) has to say.

BBC | Citigroup’s $9.8bn sub-prime loss


Citigroup is far from alone in being hit by bad debt, but its write-off is by far the biggest announced by any bank to date.

Analysts generally welcomed the results, as the $18.1bn bad debt write down was less than market expectations of $20bn.

However, analysts had mixed views on what message cutting the dividend and selling securities sent to the market.

“It does nothing to send any signal that we are anyway near the end of the road that we’ve been going along for the past seven months, in the overall credit market woes,” said Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC partners.

Let’s see if the road leads to the sort of numbers posted by Dubya’s brother.

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Jan 14th, 2008 by ravi
More on the mortgage crisis…

In late October, a Cleveland judge halted foreclosures due to the inability of the banks to prove their ownership (that’s my summary — click the link for the legalese). Now Cleveland is suing them (the banks):

Cleveland Sues 21 Lenders Over Subprime Mortgages – NYT

Cleveland is suing 21 of the nation’s largest banks and financial institutions, accusing them of knowingly plunging the city into a financial crisis by flooding the local housing market with subprime mortgage loans to people who could never repay.

[ Link ]

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Nov 29th, 2006 by ravi
Ex-Lesbian born again guilty of kidnapping?

The below is a positive turn to a custody fight that I have been following with some sadness and anger:

Ruling Lets Women Share Rights Custody Fight – NYT

Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins had a child while joined in a same-sex civil union in Vermont.

The breakup of their relationship, and what it means for their daughter, Isabella, has for years been a source of tension between the Vermont courts, which recognize both women as Isabella’s mothers, and a Virginia judge who granted sole custody to Ms. Miller, Isabella’s biological mother, reasoning that Virginia law makes same-sex unions “void in all respects.”

But yesterday a three-judge panel of the Virginia appeals court unanimously accepted a ruling of the Vermont Supreme Court that conferred parental rights on both women.


The court ruled that a 1980 federal law, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, required Virginia to defer to the Vermont court.

The law requires states to give full faith and credit to other states’ custody determinations. Because Ms. Miller filed papers in Vermont to dissolve her union to Ms. Jenkins in 2003, the appeals court said, the Vermont courts thereby gained sole jurisdiction over custody and visitation issues concerning Isabella.


[ Link ]

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Nov 21st, 2006 by ravi
Preying suspicion

BBC NEWS | Americas | Six imams ejected from US flight

The six men were taken off the US Airways flight, bound to Phoenix from Minneapolis, after a passenger reported “suspicious activity” to cabin crew.

The men were told to disembark shortly after saying evening prayers. Three of the six had stood as they prayed.

The scholars, who were returning from a conference, allege they were handcuffed and “humiliated” during the ordeal.

[ Link ]

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Oct 11th, 2006 by ravi
From Gandhi to Geisha

Forget non-alignment and socialism! It’s East India Co Shining baby!

Guardian | America’s dirty secret: India becomes the gasoline gusher

Sitting on the edge of the water in the Gulf of Kutch on India’s western shore is one of America’s dirty secrets. A mass of steel pipes and concrete boxes stretches across 13 square miles (33sq km) – a third of the area of Manhattan – which will eventually become the world’s largest petrochemical refinery.

The products from the Jamnagar complex are for foreign consumption. When complete, the facility will be able to refine 1.24m barrels of crude a day. Two-fifths of this gasoline will be sent 9,000 miles (15,000km) by sea to America.


[ Link ]

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Oct 7th, 2006 by ravi
$11 million judgement against Spamhaus

A bit of slightly old news: A judge in Illionois awarded [default] $11 million to a person/entity listed as a spammer in Spamhaus’ block list. There are many interesting issues here, primary of which is that of jurisdiction. Below is Spamhaus’ response:

The Spamhaus Project – Answer (2) to David Linhardt aka e360 Insight LLC

David Linhardt (aka e360 Insight LLC) filed a lawsuit in an Illinois court with no jurisdiction over the United Kingdom and obtained a default judgement ordering Spamhaus in the United Kingdom to pay Linhardt damages, to remove Linhardt’s ROKSO record and to cease blocking Linhardt’s spam. Unfortunately Mr. Linhardt was not advised that U.S. court default judgments have no validity outside of the U.S.

Below is ArsTechnica‘s report on the affair:

Spamhaus fined $11.7 million; won’t pay a dime

An Illinois judge has ruled that UK blacklist site Spamhaus must pay $11,715,000 to an alleged spammer. The ruling, issued Wednesday, comes after e360insight sued The Spamhaus Project in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that it had suffered massive harm to its business as a direct result of Spamhaus’ decision to list e360 on a ROKSO anti-spam blacklist.

How did it happen? After all, the judge, Charles Kocoras, is chief judge of the District Court in Northern Illinois and was last month awarded the Chicago Bar Association’s highest honor, the Justice John Paul Stevens Award. This is not a guy who hands out his verdicts like candy.

The answer is that it happened because Spamhaus didn’t bother to reply.


[ Link ]

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Aug 23rd, 2006 by ravi
Israeli buffoonery continues

How do you get from the image of the most advanced and successful fighting force in the world to a pathetic joke, in the period of one month?

Israel holds Nasrallah
Publication time: Today at 12:26 Djokhar time

Unfortunately for the embarrassed Israelis, he was the local green grocer – not the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah group.
Leah Tzemel, the Israeli lawyer who obtained their release on Monday, said Israel had snatched the four Nasrallahs and their neighbour on August 1 in a commando raid in the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek in northeastern Lebanon.

It would all be hilarious if the IDF silliness did not involve the death of others (15 people in this case).

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Aug 19th, 2006 by ravi
Anti-NSA ruling: technical problems?

The experts don’t like the technicalities of the decision against the NSA illegal snooping programme:

NYT: Experts Fault Reasoning in Surveillance Decision Even legal experts who agreed with a federal judge’s conclusion on Thursday that a National Security Agency surveillance program is unlawful were distancing themselves from the decision’s reasoning and rhetoric yesterday. They said the opinion overlooked important precedents, failed to engage the government’s major arguments, used circular reasoning, substituted passion for analysis and did not even offer the best reasons for its own conclusions. Discomfort with the quality of the decision is almost universal, said Howard J. Bashman, a Pennsylvania lawyer whose Web log provides comprehensive and nonpartisan reports on legal developments. “It does appear,” Mr. Bashman said, “that folks on all sides of the spectrum, both those who support it and those who oppose it, say the decision is not strongly grounded in legal authority.” The main problems, scholars sympathetic to the decision’s bottom line said, is that the judge, Anna Diggs Taylor, relied on novel and questionable constitutional arguments when more straightforward statutory ones were available. […]

I am not sure I buy into this entirely. Jonathan Turley seemed to think well of the trial/judgement in his appearance on Keith Olberman’s Countdown.

Update: Laurence Tribe doesn’t agree with the criticism of Judge Taylor’s judgement, either.

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Aug 16th, 2006 by ravi
Cheney/Rove forced to testify?

Tom Nadelhoffer points to a Reuters news item regarding the Plame civil lawsuit against Cheney et al:

Oh, the Irony

It appears that Dick Cheney and Karl Rove may be forced to testify in the civil suit filed by former CIA operative Valeria Plame and her husband Joseph Wilson (see here). The irony is two-fold: first,the legal precedent Plame’s lawyer is relying on to try to force Cheney and Rove to testify stems, in part, from the Paula Jones sexual harassment case against Bill Clinton; […]


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Aug 14th, 2006 by ravi
Bees do it, birds do it too…

Guess who’s blogging?


Currently down with error:

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
Runtime Error
Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

Some info is available at BBC.

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