Best thing about the debate – It's over

What a waste of time and opportunity – not to mention incredibly bad television.  I felt like I was watching the monitor for a security camera a good portion of the time – particularly when McCain was lurking in the background.

TPM: Snap poll gives win to Obama

The post-debate snap polls are out, showing that Barack Obama won the debate.

In CNN’s poll of debate-watchers, Obama won by a 54%-30% margin. In the CBS poll of uncommitted debate-watchers, Obama won 39%-27%.

The CNN poll’s numbers were just read on TV, showing that Obama is seen as better on Iraq by 51%-47%, McCain has a 51%-46% edge on terrorism — a subject where he’s usually done much better than this — and Obama wins 59%-37% on the economy. On the current financial crisis, Obama wins 57%-36%

Late Update: Some more numbers from the CNN poll were read just now on the air: Obama is seen as the stronger leader 54%-43%, and is more likable 65%-28%.

Huffington Post:Who won the debate? Instant polls say Obama

The insta-polls, which provide viewers with a somewhat skewered but important insight into how each candidate fared say, by and large, that Obama scored a victory in the second debate.

NBC’s focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters had the Illinois Democrat winning by roughly a 60-40 split. Frank Luntz’s focus group, over at Fox, showed undecided Continue reading “Best thing about the debate – It's over”

Best thing about the debate – It’s over

What a waste of time and opportunity – not to mention incredibly bad television.  I felt like I was watching the monitor for a security camera a good portion of the time – particularly when McCain was lurking in the background.

TPM: Snap poll gives win to Obama

The post-debate snap polls are out, showing that Barack Obama won the debate.

In CNN’s poll of debate-watchers, Obama won by a 54%-30% margin. In the CBS poll of uncommitted debate-watchers, Obama won 39%-27%.

The CNN poll’s numbers were just read on TV, showing that Obama is seen as better on Iraq by 51%-47%, McCain has a 51%-46% edge on terrorism — a subject where he’s usually done much better than this — and Obama wins 59%-37% on the economy. On the current financial crisis, Obama wins 57%-36%

Late Update: Some more numbers from the CNN poll were read just now on the air: Obama is seen as the stronger leader 54%-43%, and is more likable 65%-28%.

Huffington Post:Who won the debate? Instant polls say Obama

The insta-polls, which provide viewers with a somewhat skewered but important insight into how each candidate fared say, by and large, that Obama scored a victory in the second debate.

NBC’s focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters had the Illinois Democrat winning by roughly a 60-40 split. Frank Luntz’s focus group, over at Fox, showed undecided Continue reading “Best thing about the debate – It’s over”

Mediation failed to produce settlement in Renfroe v Rigsby (the Alabama case)

Bernard Harwood, the attorney selected to conduct mediation of Renfroe v Rigsby, the Alabama case, submitted his report to Judge Acker in a short letter posted on the docket today.

Dear Judge Acker:

I regret to report that the mediation of this case failed to produce a settlement.  The parties and their counsel and I meet for an all day session in Birmingham on September 25th and have subsequently continued in dialog by telephone and email up through today. Although some progress was made. no resolution of all aspects of the case was achieved and. the deadIine for completion having passed. I communicate to advise the mediation is terminated.

Very truly yours.

Bemard Harwood

No surprise here other than the lingering surprise mediation was even attempted.  In hindsight, it Continue reading “Mediation failed to produce settlement in Renfroe v Rigsby (the Alabama case)”

Good Gawd Almighty: We have all the best people reading us today

I guess I’m an incurable name dropper. Besides our old friends in the insurance industry I’d like to welcome various New York law firms, Citigroup Global, Exxon Mobile and Wal Mart to Slabbed today. We have a pool going on when Morgan Stanley will be showing up.  😉

When Nowdy and I started Slabbed back in March our goal was not page views but rather simply to have the right people reading us. We are very pleased to report we met that goal and then some.

Internally we’ve had a spirited debate on whether to be more forthcoming with our site stats.  Our friends at Phunk and Wagnalls for instance set their site meter account to public access. My experience is most blogs are not so open.

Do we get 100,000 or page views a day here at slabbed? No. But since Nowdy agreed I could talk traffic in very broad terms I’ll add we crossed 6 figures for page views months ago. Not bad for a blog on insurance and select southern legal cases.  Sam Friedman will tell you insurance is very dry topic. He is right.

So my question is should we be more forthcoming with our traffic stats and why or why not? I won’t promise any changes (Nowdy is a strong willed woman which is good because I’m hardheaded) but I’d like to hear what you guys think?

sop

Political views from "on top of Old Smokey"

With this view of the Smokey Mountains as a backdrop, it was impossible not to think about those who settled what is now the state of North Carolina.

If those of us who gathered there for a visit last week are any indication, the early settlers in our family would have been unsettled by the Vice-Presidential Debate and up-in-arms over the bailout.

Our nation was founded by people who cherished freedom.  Looking across the mountains and into the valley below, you get a sense of the hardships endured by those freedom-seeking settlers that moved further inland.

The ability to tell a maverick from a renegade has long been a survival skill in our nation – and, with that thought in mind as I returned to Mississippi, I plan to be closely watching and carefully listening to tonight’s debate.

Political views from “on top of Old Smokey”

With this view of the Smokey Mountains as a backdrop, it was impossible not to think about those who settled what is now the state of North Carolina.

If those of us who gathered there for a visit last week are any indication, the early settlers in our family would have been unsettled by the Vice-Presidential Debate and up-in-arms over the bailout.

Our nation was founded by people who cherished freedom.  Looking across the mountains and into the valley below, you get a sense of the hardships endured by those freedom-seeking settlers that moved further inland.

The ability to tell a maverick from a renegade has long been a survival skill in our nation – and, with that thought in mind as I returned to Mississippi, I plan to be closely watching and carefully listening to tonight’s debate.

The Hartford to Bankruptcy? Part Deux: It was closer than they admitted.

Turns out they needed $2.5 billion to tide them over until next payday. The WSJ has the story and I’ll follow with coverage from the National Underwriter:

Hartford Financial Services Group said it will receive a $2.5 billion capital investment from German insurer Allianz SE while also warning of a big third-quarter loss and announcing a 40% cut to its quarterly dividend.

The investment from Allianz “strengthens our ability to weather volatile markets and continue to invest and vigorously compete in our businesses,” Hartford Chief Executive Ramani Ayer said in a statement. With the investment, Hartford will finish the year with a capital margin about $3.5 billion in excess of its requirements to maintain AA-level credit ratings.

The move comes as Hartford’s stock has tumbled in recent weeks amid industry-investor worries concerning problems in the stock and credit markets. Shares traded at $30.90 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading Monday, up 13% for the day but down 65% on the year.

Monday, Hartford said it expects a third-quarter net loss of $8.50 to $8.80 a share, hurt by $7.05 to $7.25 a share in net realized capital losses. The company said the “vast majority” of the losses are write-downs on its investment portfolio, with about 75% of them related to investments in the financial-services sector amid recent market turmoil. Amid those losses, Hartford announced a new investment chief.

The news positively impacted the credit rating of the Hartford per the National Underwriter: Continue reading “The Hartford to Bankruptcy? Part Deux: It was closer than they admitted.”

Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack: Quintessential Crook in a Gucci Suit. Welcome to Slabbed

Alright folks you want to know the type of people that are benefiting from the rescue package? I’m going to profile one in current Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack. I don’t have much time to compose this post so I’ll be featuring the work of others on this subject. I hope some of the general public anger can be channeled to the worst of the offenders like Mr Mack. We start our tale couresty of the UK Independent:

John Mack, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, is at the centre of an insider-dealing storm, after allegations from a former investigator at the Securities and Exchange Commission that he passed trading tips to the head of one of Wall Street’s oldest hedge funds.

Morgan Stanley said yesterday the allegations, reported in The New York Times, were simply not true. The hedge fund involved, Pequot Capital, said it had been investigated by the SEC but had never done anything wrong.

The SEC investigator, Gary Aguirre, claims he was ousted from the organisation after insisting it subpoena Mr Mack, a powerful ally and fundraiser for President George Bush. Continue reading “Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack: Quintessential Crook in a Gucci Suit. Welcome to Slabbed”

Jim Grant on the Financial Crisis: A Full Blown Financial Storm

Bellesouth sent me an email mentioning Jim Grant appeared on 60 minutes Sunday night. I’ve mentioned Jim Grant several times of late since he has been out front of this financial crisis for quite a long time.

Jim knew what the implosion of our financial system would mean and steered his subscribers to safer ground including short positions in certain financial services indices.   As you can see from the story transcript he doesn’t mince words. Here are some highlights:

It started out 16 months ago as a mortgage crisis, and then slowly evolved into a credit crisis. Now it’s something entirely different and much more serious.

What kind of crisis it is today?

“This is a full-blown financial storm and one that comes around perhaps once every 50 or 100 years. This is the real thing,” says Jim Grant, the editor of “Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.” Continue reading “Jim Grant on the Financial Crisis: A Full Blown Financial Storm”