Hi. It's Nuthin' But 'Net lite today, after a late night with Bruce Springsteen last night. The focus is on an update on the situation with those Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs) and how the banks that hold them are trying to bail themselves out. Also, strike two for Obama with the netroots, and some odd political bedfellows.
The New York Times reports on those struggling SIVs-- off the books investment vehicles that are causing big headaches for some big banks. And here's more on the fallout. There was an odd incident over the weekend, involving Treasury Secretary Paulson. He hinted that PIMCO, the huge bond fund, was going to back the CITIGROUP SIV rescue venture, but that turned out to be false. Bloomberg points out the domino effect of SIVs going belly-up. The WSJ points out that the necessity of CITI's super-SIV may bring on the failure that it's supposed to be preventing. A few weeks ago in this space, the question: "what's in your 'safe' money market fund?" came up. The WSJ has an answer.. and it's not pretty. And Calculated Risk links to the best explanation for all this you're likely to get. It's funny because it's true.
James Wolcott reviews the new Fox Business Network. Ouch. And Slate's Daniel Gross writes about FBN as a possible contrary indicator.
Salon's Gary Kamiya's latest opinion piece argues that President Bush has wrecked conservatism.
Last week ABC News ran a story purportedly explaining the evidence behind the mysterious Israeli raid on Syria. Earlier in the week, two former CIA guys filed their dissents on the media's handling of this whole thing. The IAEA is examining satellite photos of the Syrian site, but as AFP reports, the nuclear watchdog agency says it has had no indication that Syria was working on a nuclear weapons program and if other countries did, they ought to let the IAEA in on it.
And speaking of the IAEA, Mohammed el Baradai says Iran needs between 3 and 8 years to make a nuclear weapon.
Barack Obama took some hits in the netroots last week for not stepping in to try to stop the FISA reauthorization. Today, it's the presence of a guy with anti-homosexual views on a campaign Gospel Tour that has the left blogosphere riled.Talking Points Memo kicked it off.. and Americablog is leading the ongoing offensive. And you know you got trouble when even Perez Hilton is on the case!
Strange bedfellows, part 1: The New York Times put a topic that's been the subject of a lot of discussion in our newsroom lately on the front page yesterday: the obvious cooperation going on between the Clinton campaign and Matt Drudge, who was probably the individual who came closest to bringing down her husband's presidency, besides the President himself. Oddly, Times reporter Jim Rutenberg didn't find anyone to express the loathing this inspires in many a Democrat. DailyKos diarist sakitume gets at the disgust the New York Times missed. Steve Brodner has an interesting take.. but warning: the illustration make keep you awake tonight. And Andrew Sullivan got it right, about 3 weeks ago. (Hat tip: cursor.org)
And part 2: NY Yankees superfan Rudy Giuliani is rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series. This might seem obvious, given the number of Red Sox fans in.. ummmm.. New Hampshire. It also might seem offensive given the blood hatred between Sawx and Yankee fans, but as a New Englander who lived in Manhattan for a looooong time, I can tell ya.. the hatred flows much more swiftly in the direction of the Yankees than the other way around. Maybe he really is just an American League guy.
And finally, Bruce Springsteen did not dedicate any songs to me last night (but click on the link to see who he DID give a shout-out to..) though calling an audible and doing my desert-island-all-time-favorite Thunder Road did seem almost like a personal favor. To say the house was rockin' is an understatement. For lack of a bootleg.. here's a trip down memory "Road."