By: Mark W Adams

Note: We all should know by now that "Sub Prime" really means, Really Bad Risk!

If you want to know what the hell a "derivative credit-default swap" is, or an english version of what the hell just happened and where we might end up, I'm directed to TIME and the Wall Street Journal.  For some gawdawful reason, I think I need to figure out what these things are if only to warn my grandchildren what they look like and how to destroy them if and when they ever reappear.

This Paragraph from the TIME article really crystalizes why this crash is worse than anything since the Big One in 1929.
In normal times, problems in the economy cause problems in the financial markets because hard-pressed consumers and businesses have trouble repaying their loans. But this time — for the first time since the Great Depression — problems in the financial markets are slowing the economy rather than the other way around. If the economy continues to spiral down, that could cause a second dip in the financial system — and we're having serious trouble dealing with the first one.
Translation: The fundamentals of the economy have been twisted, turned, and stood on their head.

In the worst systemic breakdown our our financial systems since the Great Depression (something else I'd hoped I would never have to brush up on since that paper I did in High School), George "Katrina" Bush thought it so important he canceled a fundraising trip to stick his head out of the White house for two whole frickin' minutes and tell us absofrickinlutely nothing -- but wanting us to know four days after all hell broke loose on Wall Street that the CEO PrezNitWit with the C+ MBA thinks "nation’s financial stability is important."

Ya Think? Thanks Dude, I feel so much better.

I see Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney decided he didn't need not to skip the fundraiser to lend his own business expertise on how to fix everything.

And by "fix everything," I mean EVERTHING  -- the Mother Of All Bailouts is in the works overnight.  The United States is about to become the world's largest hedge-fund manager on top of becoming the world's largest insurance company and biggest mortgage lender.  Remember when we actually believed Bush meant it when he promised to shrink the size of government?  Feh!

The only administration types who seem to be working for a living lately are Secretary Paulson, Chairman Bernake, and that guy Sarah Palin's running mate wants to fire (which he couldn't) for allowing "naked short selling" (which he already stopped and is probabaly going to stop all short sales like the Brits did -- not just the ones that are clothing challenged.)

And what a weird visual, everyone important in the government meeting together, Sec.Treas.,  Fed Chair, SEC Commissioner Cox, along with everyone who thinks they're relevant, House and Senate leaders from both parties all meeting at Speaker Pelosi's office.  But no C+ Augustus.  Either he phoned it in or the grown-ups sent Shrubster to bed since the meeting was after dark.

I wonder how may other after hours meetings Teh Decider-er decided he didn't want to do any of the decider-ing at.  I guess if there's no way to blame the Democrats, there's just no reason to be there.


Saturday, July 28, 2007, American Home Mortgage suspends its divident payment due to "unprecedented" disruptions in the credit market and major writedowns of its loans and securities resulting in "significant margin calls."

Late Friday afternoon, August 3, 2007, the secondary market stopped sales of non-conforming mortgage-backed securities that Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae could not legally buy as Government Sponsored Enterprises.  Bear Stearns protests Standard & Poor's revision of it's outlook on the company due to concerns over hedge fund exposure, insists the company is on sound footing.  Fitch downgrades the rating of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sup-prime securities.  American Home Mortgage closes it's doors for the last time. (IndyMac acquired it's western division.)

Last-minute, early morning conference call on Friday, August 17, 2007, the Federal Reserve lowered the discount rate 50 basis points in response to the imminent collapse of Country-Wide Financial,

Sunday, March 16, 2008, backed by $29 Billion in Fed funds, JPMorgan/Chase acquires Bear Stearns.

Sunday, June 15, 2008, former AIG clerk since 1970 and now CEO, Martin Sullivan resigns due to losses and falling stock prices, replaced by the Chairman of the AIG Board.

After the markets close on Friday, 9/11/08, in the largest S&L failure in history the FDIC seizes former Country-wide subsidiary IndyMac Bank who loaned billions of dollars in mortgages to people who couldn't prove their income.

On Saturday, 9/6/08, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are taken over by the Treasury.

Sunday, 9/14/08, agreement is reached for Bank of America to take over Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers readies bankruptcy filing.  AIG announces its plan to sell it's aircraft division to raise cash, the Fed hired Morgan Stanley to examine the "sytemic risks" of AIG failing and asked private entities to supply AIG with a bridge loan of $40 Billion.  Meanwhile the State of New York approved a $20 Billion loan from its state regulated insurance subsidiaries.

Just before Midnight, 9/15/08, AIG's quest for a $40 Billion loan ballooned to begging for $75 Billion to keep them afloat -- later that day it's stock dropped 60% when the market opened and its credit rating was downgraded.

Tuesday Night, 9/16/08, The Federal Reserve authorizes a 48 month credit line to AIG of $85 Billion for a 79.9% percent ownership stake in the company that used to be the 18th largest in the world.  Why not 80%, or the whole kit-n-kaboodle?  Cuz at 80% they'd have to include it on the balance sheets.  AIG, just like Freddy/Fanny will be off book.