Saturday, September 26, 2009

More financial troubles ahead?

The news of legislation to increase oversight on Federal reserve got me curious about their current state of affairs.
More on proposed legislation >

I wanted to investigate how much Fed's credit has expanded in the past year see if there are signs on trouble as we emerge from the recession. Its the first time I'm looking at Fed's balance sheet and am not even sure I can understand it. However, whatever little I did understand makes me very nervous.

Reserve bank credit has almost double the past year from $1.1 trillion to $2.1 Trillion. About $900 Billion of it coming in increased Treasury Securities. But I also noticed that fed has about $690 Billion in Mortgage backed securities. I wondered if this was marked to market which I doubted and the footnote provided more details.

"Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. Current face value of the securities, which is the remaining principal balance of the underlying mortgages"

It appears that they are not marked to market but at face value of remaining principal balance which is cause for concern as these were trading at 10 cents to the dollar when they were bought. Most market participants thought that they would collect the fraction of the face value due to defaults. Fed is holding off selling these MBS for now but when the eventually do sell them they might incur a huge loss. I wonder what it means for a central bank but a $300 - $400 B loss on $2.1 T balance sheet can't be good.

Coming bank to increased credit and corresponding increase in treasury securities, it has to be inflationary. When the economy shows any sign of recovery inflation might be a big problem leading to a weak dollar. Further, holders might look to offload their US treasuries leading to Dollar plummeting. We might be in for serious currency crisis with lot of volatility world over.

Again, I am not a economist and most of what I have said is speculative. However, whatever I do understand is concerning. I did search for other who might be looking at fed's growing balance sheet. While most did say inflation is on cards I found this one particularly interesting saying that its not necessary and not inevitable. This one's explains it via basic marco-economic principles.

All said and done I am still wary of another impending shock and I think its best to be prepared.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Iran vs. USA - Other side of the coin

Wouldn’t you be pissed if a foreign country helped overthrow your democratically elected government in favor of Dictator? (1953 Iranian coup d'état) Now if that’s not enough what if when the Dictator was overthrown in favor or republic, however skewed, and this country called you Totalitarian? (Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979) Isn’t that a perfection definition of Hypocrisy? What if this power supplied Biological and Chemical weapons to another country you are at war with and had every intention of using these weapons and they did end up using them. (United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war) Would you trust the foreign power? What if that power labeled you as evil? Would your reaction be shock, disgust or hate? This may be Iran’s view of the USA as all the above incidents are actually factual.

There is the other side to the story which we are more familiar with - The Iranian revolution, Iran hostage crisis(Iran hostage crisis), the Islamic repulic and represive life in Iran. Maybe the US view of Iran is also equally justified. However, what started what? who is good and who is evil, right or wrong? Quite often it’s not as simple as right vs. wrong or Good vs. evil? Conservatives in US will like you to think otherwise and live in fear. Read and understand the events and make your own judgment!

Iran and US relations–United_States_relations

In future don’t be so ignorant about Iran. Learn more about the life in Tehran

Rageh inside Iran -

Don’t trust people who want to force an opinion down your throat. Read history and make your own judgments.

Added on Oct 05, 2009 - Something else I found on the net related to the topic

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Foreign language films

I guess the word "Foreign" depends on what your native tongue is. For me its Hindi though I watch far more English i.e. Hollywood movies. However, of late I have starting seen more Hindi i.e. Bollywood movies as well as films in many different languages. I compiled a list of some (other than Hindi and English) I have watched with rating on 5 point scale hoping that like me it provides those who are bored with traditional blockbusters an oppurtunity to enjoy something different. I know I am missing some good Chinese and japanese movies but i'll include them soon. Here is the list -

Paris je T'aime (Paris, I love you) - 4.0
Belle de jour - 4.0
Delicatessen - 3.5
Manon des source - 3.0
Il y a longtemps que Je T'aime (I loved you so long) - 4.0
Quand j'étais chanteu (When I was a singer) - 3.5
Auberge espagnole, L (The Spanish Apartment) - 4.0
Trzy kolory: Bialy (Three colors: White) - 3.5
Baxter - 4.5
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain - 5.0
Le scaphandre et le papillon (The diving Bell and the butterfly) - 4.5
Nikita - 4.0
Leon - 3.0
Der Name der Rose (The name of the rose) - 3.5
Irreversible - 3.5
A girl cut in two - 3.0
Three colors: Red - 3.5
Une Hirondelle a fait le Printemps (The Girl from Paris) - 3.0
Le Placard (The closet) - 4.0
Les rivières pourpres (Crimson rivers) - 4.5

Il Postino (The postman) - 5.0
La vita è bella (life is beautiful) - 5.0

Short film about Love - 4.5

Pistoleros - 3.5

Jerichow - 4.0
Das Leben der Anderen - The Lives of others - 3.5
Die Fälscher - The Counterfeiters - 3.5

The Spanish Woman - 3.5
Motorcycle Diaries - 4.5
Amores Perros - 4.5
La misma Muna - 4.0
Fermat's room - 4.5
Hable con ella- 4.0

No Mans land - 5.0

Cidade de Deus- 4.5

Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (The Band's visit) - 3.5

Offside - 3.5
The Song of sparrows - 4.0

Blood brothers - 3.0

*updated Oct 21 2010

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