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    • Refreshing Honesty About Bank Loans
      I actually appreciate this, from the HSBC AM Global Head of Responsible Investing, Stuart Kirk: “At a big bank like ours, what do people think the average loan length is?” he asked. “It is six years. What happens to the planet in year seven is actually irrelevant to our loan book. For coal, what happens in year seven is actually irrelevant.” That’s honesty. […]
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Thursday, Tell me something new.

It seems like the whole world is holding it’s breath to see if that Health Insurance bill is going to pass (as promised) this weekend. And CRAP, I guess it’s really going to happen.

I say, CRAP – but, I guess that’s stubbornness as much as anything. I mean, does anyone still complain about Medicare part D anymore? Or am I the only one who still thinks that is nothing but an insurance company give-away?  Give this bail-out another five or so years and we won’t still be talking about this.  Will we?

Well, it might be CRAP but, maybe it’ll actually help my family — I honestly can’t tell from the summaries I’ve read. Also?   I’ve got no idea if we qualify for a subsidy. And are there any limits to what an insurance company can charge you if you don’t qualify for a subsidy? I really don’t know.

No one does — and if they do, they aren’t telling.  I guess they don’t want to spoil our fun.

I don’t want to spoil your fun but, I did find a couple of interesting stories.

First up is a weird car story from someplace in Texas:

Texan accused of disabling 100 cars over Internet

DALLAS – A man fired from a Texas auto dealership used an Internet service to remotely disable ignitions and set off car horns of more than 100 vehicles sold at his old workplace, police said Wednesday.


The Texas Auto Center dealership in Austin installs GPS devices that can prevent cars from starting. The system is used to repossess cars when buyers are overdue on payments, said Jeremy Norton, a controller at the dealership where Ramos-Lopez worked. Car horns can be activated when repo agents go to collect vehicles and believe the owners are hiding them.

Apparently, after he was fired this guy used a buddy’s password to get into the dealerships network controlling the ignitions and horns of the customer cars…..

Why is this news?  Did you know dealerships were installing devices in cars that make repossession easier?  I didn’t.  As someone in the comments noted:

I wonder if anyone understands the gravity of this. It is but another sign that we are all slaves to corporations. These dealerships install these devices which disable vehicles when they CLAIM to have the right to do so in a repossession action. A lot of repossessions are carried out illegally. And this “technology” merely increases the chances that we Americans will lose our rights.

Do you really think these devices are removed after the vehicle is paid off? Do you really think this kind of abuse won’t happen more often? Do you really want this kind of control over your life?

The automobile industry really needs another remote-control crisis. Doesn’t it?

Susie Madrak is following the unemployment situation closely:

Administration Economic Officials See “Extended” Period of Unemployment

I continue to worry that at some point, Wall Street will convince the administration that it would be a great psychological ploy to cut off unemployment compensation to convince the market there’s a recovery.

And if they do that, all hell will break loose:

March 16 (Bloomberg) — U.S. employers won’t hire enough workers this year to lower the jobless rate much below the level of 9.7 percent reached in February, three Obama administration economic officials said today.

The proportion of Americans who can’t find work is likely to “remain elevated for an extended period,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, White House budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a joint statement. The officials said unemployment may even rise “slightly” over the next few months as discouraged workers start job-hunting again.

With stories like this one, in Washington State make me wonder just how that Medicaid expansion is going to work ::

Walgreens: no new Medicaid patients as of April 16

Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won’t take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition — the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement.

The company, which operates 121 stores in the state, will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients.

In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a “continued reduction in reimbursement” under the state’s Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents.

Walgreens follows Bartell Drugs, which stopped taking new Medicaid patients last month at all 57 of its stores in Washington, though it still fills Medicaid prescriptions for existing customers at all but 15 of those stores.

That’s pretty much it for me — if I have to see that headline about Democrats ready to vote but not ready to release the details one more time, I’m going to puke.

What’s making you sick this morning?