Daily Flog: The Dow of panic; stocks and bondage; U.S. snatches gold

The rest of the world rushes to Wall Street to try to clean up the vomit and wipe Hank Greenberg's brow, but first . . .

NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Gulf News (Dubai): 'Traffic violators pardoned if they offer body organs'

Wall Street Journal: 'Worst Crisis Since '30s, With No End Yet in Sight'

N.Y. Times: 'Administration Trying for Spy Satellites Again'

N.Y. Post: 'CONDOMS MAKE NYC RUBBER LAND'

CNBC: 'Morgan Stanley Is in Talks with China for Fresh Funds'

L.A. Times: 'Insurgents in Afghanistan show strength, sophistication'

China Daily: '3 Chinese banks hold $297m in Lehman debt - report'

SmashHits.com: 'Speeding bus kills 14 in India'

MarketWatch: 'Media's Wimpy Wall Street Coverage'

Forum 18: 'BELARUS: Orthodox complain of KGB intimidation at village funeral'


Running down the press:

As other countries' banks join hands, sing "Kumbaya," and try to bail out our financial system (WSJ: "Central Banks Take Coordinated Action"), don't you worry about us New Yorkers. We're going to bounce back.

We're still No. 1 in the stuff that counts. Take a look at David Seifman's piece in this morning's N.Y. Post:

New York City ranks as the undisputed condom capital of the nation.

The Mayor's Management Report, issued yesterday, showed that the Health Department gave away 39,070,000 male condoms to community groups in fiscal 2008, which ended on June 30.

That's enough for every man, woman and child in the city six times over.

Sadly, few of them went to investment bankers and lawyers, ensuring that we'll continue to be overpopulated with both species and thus always in danger of future Wall Street meltdowns.

The actual truth is that Wall Street hasn't been dominant for quite some time. In fact, many of its denizens are downright submissive, as the Daily News tells us:

'Tribeca S&M palace raided; owner, 'Domina' held on prostitution raps'

A Manhattan S&M club that billed itself as the "Leading House of Domination in NYC" was put out of business Wednesday after the NYPD busted its manager and seized its business records.

The ladies at the Walker St. club, Rapture, all had "extensive and rigorous" training in the art of bondage, and customers of the Tribeca dungeon were whipped and poked by professionals, its advertising claimed.

Give me those goddamn whips, and I'll show you how to flay the backsides of those downtown bankers.


Financial Times (U.K.): 'Housing data reinforce threat to US growth'

And a bottom of th' mornin' to you from London:

New housing starts fell to their lowest level in 17 years last month, sharply worse than expected, signalling the still deepening threat from the housing market to US economic growth.

Daniel Pimlott's story notes that this may not be such bad news for the long run:

The fall in starts is likely to further detract from US economic growth in the third quarter. But economists also believe that slowing construction of new homes is a necessary precondition to the stabilisation of the housing market and the financial system. A huge inventory of new and previously owned homes for sale is dragging down prices.

Well, that's good: One way out of this crisis is for the price of houses to stay too high to afford. And there's more of the same kind of supposedly good news:

The poor housing starts came as other indicators in the mortgage markets suggested a better outlook ahead.

Applications for mortgages jumped 33.4 per cent in the week ending September 12 in response to a fall in mortgage rates after the US government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

The rise in applications was driven by a 88 per cent jump in attempts to refinance - the largest weekly increase since the beginning of 2001 - as home owners rushed to take advantage of lower rates.

Yes, more money for the mortgage bankers and investment houses to play with. That's the kind of thing it will take to lift us out of this crisis. No joke, it really is.


N.Y. Post: 'PEDAL TO THE METALS: FLIGHT TO SAFETY BOOSTS GOLD, SILVER & OIL'

Paul Tharp's solid story early this morning notes:

Fearful investors armed themselves with safe cash, gold and oil to fight back a possible trading rout looming today over Wall Street.

Gold shot up $70 an ounce in the biggest one-day jump in a decade. Lending effectively shut down between US and European banks as a key lending-rate spread surged to an all-time high to break the record close after Black Monday in 1987.

Tharp recognizes that the rise in oil prices is a really slippery slope:

Oil jumped $6 a barrel here to $97.16 as investors scrambled for safety, pushing crude back onto its dangerous upward trajectory.

McClatchy: 'Pakistan reportedly opens fire on U.S. forces in tribal area'

The only thing that may re-fill the wallets of Wall Street's bankers is another full-scale war from which to profit. They may get their wish, if things don't calm down a little in South Asia:

Pakistani troops opened fire Monday on U.S. forces who were trying to enter the country's lawless tribal area, local officials said, marking a dangerous further deterioration in relations between the allies in the war on terrorism.

Both armies — and the Pentagon — denied that the reported incident had occurred, but local security officials and tribesmen in South Waziristan told McClatchy that two American helicopters had entered Pakistani airspace in the early hours and were forced to retreat when they came under fire.


Sex and money — is there anything else? How about sex, money, and movies? Turn to the Post's Page Six for, among other gossip, "NAUGHTY PRODUCT PLUGS":

George Clooney has sparked a sex-toy craze. In the Coen brothers' film Burn After Reading, Clooney plays a sex addict who totes along marital aids, including two items called "The Liberator Ramp" and "The Silky," both of which are sold in stores. Avn.com reports sales of both are on the rise thanks to the movie. Says one retailer: "Small mentions of adult products in mainstream media can have an outsized effect on sales."

BBC: 'India drug firm turns to Giuliani'

Too rich. Our ex-mayor is now trying to help people acquire drugs:

Indian drug firm Ranbaxy has hired ex-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as an adviser, the company says.

The move comes a day after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the import of more than 30 generic drugs made by the drug firm.

 


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