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The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) went through an audit by the GAO in October 2008. The GAO found many interesting things:

First, the flood maps used by FEMA were dated and underpresented the risk of flood;
Second, FEMA rates were designed to just cover annual claims - there was no expectation of creating the type of ndowment style funding insurance companies use to create reserves for excessive claims;
Three, FEMA was experiencing increasing claim frequency and claims but had not adjusted their model.

This is all what someone might expect from climate change, but the thing that causes the blood to boil is the chart blow the squiggly thing

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Bloomberg just put out a story on the Bangladesh factory fire that cites a meeting in 2011 where

At a meeting convened in 2011 to boost safety at Bangladesh garment factories, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) made a call: paying suppliers more to help them upgrade their manufacturing facilities was too costly
The article is here titled Wal-Mart Nixed Paying Bangladesh Suppliers to Fight Fire

The punch line

Kalavakolanu and her counterpart at Gap reiterated their position in a report folded into the meeting minutes, obtained by Bloomberg News.

“Specifically to the issue of any corrections on electrical and fire safety, we are talking about 4,500 factories, and in most cases very extensive and costly modifications would need to be undertaken to some factories,” they said in the document. “It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”

This is going to leave a mark
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Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:23 AM PST

Cory Booker SNAP challenge

by tjlord

Was on LinkedIn again this morning (there a lot) a found a fascinating article by a person there called "A Movement towards Food Justice". The person issuing the challenge is Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark.

I had not heard of the SNAPChallenge before - it is also being twittered at #SNAPChallenge. I just saw the prior diary by Laura Clauson here. Cory's idea is to live on a SNAP (Supplmntal Nutrition Assistance Program) in New Jersey for a week to, in his words:

raise awareness and understanding of food insecurity; reduce the stigma of SNAP participation; elevate innovative local and national food justice initiatives and food policy; and, amplify compassion for individuals and communities in need of assistance.  
More below
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I have seen some diaries on the Republican "immigration proposal"  to allow foreign immigrants graduating from a US univeristy to get a green card. The law passed the House last week as the Republicans opening move to show their concern for "other ppeople". What may have passed notice is that buried in the bill is the classic Republican give a little with one hand and take a lot with the other - meet me below

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Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:22 AM PST

Linked In - It's my economy, stupid

by tjlord

Interesting discussion about telecommuting and impacts over on LinkedIn, the author was opining:

We live in an age of technology where most people can do their jobs from anywhere. A study by Cisco, reported by The Atlantic Cities this week, shows “that 60 percent of assigned desks or offices sit empty during the day.” That’s a lot of wasted office space.

Corporate leaders give plenty of lip service to telecommuting but they still seem to like face time. If we let more people work from wherever they wanted to live throughout the country, we could distribute talent, earnings, and especially education a bit more evenly.

Right now, highly educated and highly skilled people are concentrated in a small number of metro areas. Imagine what distributing our population could do in terms of improving our local schools, economy, civic life, not to mention how much easier it might be to zip around the streets of Washington, D.C.

But this has become a political and cultural discussion
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Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:14 AM PST

My daughter and FaceBook Conservatives

by tjlord

The "day after" in conservative country Colorado Springs was entertaining - my daughter was fuming. Fellow students had posted on Facebook "Obama won - I'm moving to Canada" to which the her response was "They are more socialist than the US". (Not that my daugther was objecting to Canada's policies - just the lack of knowledge on the part of the poster.)

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There are a number of diaries on the H1-B program and its impacts. Let's talk about the other side of the coin - what it is like for a US citizen to try to get an overseas job.

I made this comment on this diary:

All I can say is that I can tell you

NO ONE in the EU will even look at hiring a US citizen today. I have made it to the final round in two different positions only to be told "our client says they cannot sponsor any visas in the current job environment".

The job postings in my business space continuously read "Do not apply if you do not CURRENTLY hold working papers for _" and it is the EU and EU allied countries.

Such much for a "global" economy.

The story below:

Poll

Is the answer

26%13 votes
20%10 votes
42%21 votes
12%6 votes

| 50 votes | Vote | Results

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This is making the rounds in the energy trading space today.

Nice article in institutional risk analytics.

The money quote right up front:

In fact, our investigation suggests that by the time AIG had entered the CDS fray in a serious way more than five years ago, the firm was already doomed. No longer able to prop up its earnings using reinsurance because of growing scrutiny from state insurance regulators and federal law enforcement agencies, AIG's foray into CDS was really the grand finale. AIG was a Ponzi scheme plain and simple, yet the Obama Administration still thinks of AIG as a real company that simply took excessive risks. No, to us what the fraud Bernard Madoff is to individual investors, AIG is to the global financial community.

Ok, so, we have spent how much propping "a Ponzi scheme plain and simple"?

There is more below the fold:

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I am beginning to see a pattern here - please hear me out.

The AIG bonuses are for past performance and are, therefore, sacrosanct, untouchable. Ok, how was the past performance calculated - that's right, mark-to-market.

But, we all know that the value of CDS positions have tanked - so badly that AIG had to pay $100 BILLION to settle what these "performers" put on the books. So, how could any mark-to-market valuation of performance have a positive value - oh, that's right, the prior administration with the help of Congress called off the mark-to-market dogs.

More below:

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Ok, saw this on a job board and thought everyone here would like to see what the hullabaloo is all about

My client is one of the most successful FX traders in the UK
His Annual compound is a staggering 378.2% over 379 days.
For the first years strategy he is looking for 20- million US

More below:

Poll

What percentage of this fund will you contribute?

0%0 votes
0%0 votes
14%2 votes
21%3 votes
64%9 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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Ok, AIG is saying "we had to pay". Real simple, I would like someone to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the underlying contracts. Since this is a publicly funded endeavor, we should have a right to see these "ironclad" bonus contracts.

Any bets how long the "intellectual property" of DKos would take to write the court brief asking for the bonuses to be thrown out? My over under is 12 hours.

So, I think it is real simple - you want to pay, show us the contracts. We are the majority shareholder - come on Congress, show us the body.

More below:

Poll

Will we ever see the body?

16%2 votes
8%1 votes
41%5 votes
8%1 votes
16%2 votes
8%1 votes

| 12 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 09:01 AM PST

The bailout demystified

by tjlord

This is circulating in the banking industry by email:

Some years ago Chuck in Montana bought a horse from a farmer for $100.
The farmer agreed to deliver the horse the next day.  The next day the
farmer drove up and said, "Sorry, son, but I have some bad news...the
horse died."  

Chuck replied, "Well, then just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that.  I went and spent it already."  

Chuck said, "OK, then, just bring me the dead horse."

The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Chuck said, "I'm going to raffle him off."  

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead horse!"  

Chuck said, "Sure I can; watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, "What ever
happened with that dead horse?"

Chuck said, "I raffled him off.  I sold 500 tickets at two dollars
apiece and made a profit of $998."

The farmer said, "Didn't anyone complain?"

Chuck said, "Just the guy who won.  So I gave him his two bucks back."  

Chuck grew up and now works for the federal government. He's the one who
figured out how this "bail-out" is going to work.

Have a nice day :)

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