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The Biz Roundup December 10

Hey! Send me money! I’ll be happy to pay you negative interest! What a deal! Just email me! :: The U.S. Treasury Department said it sold four-week bills at a high rate of 0.000 percent, a level never before seen, in a $30 billion auction. When Treasury bill rates turn negative it shows that investors are so concerned about the safety of other assets that they are willing to effectively pay the U.S. government a fee to look after their money. Rates for three-month bills in the market fell below zero, according to fixed-income trading platform Tradeweb. (CNBC, December 10) At this price (negative interest?), we can’t afford not to bail out Detroit. And the banks. And the airlines. And the sex toy industry. And Fred Pohalski down the street. And my dog, Fufu. My imaginary friend, Mr. Twiddles . . .

It’s on. It’s off. It’s on. It’s off. It’s on. It’s off. Oh, it’s back on, again. Come back tomorrow, when it will be off. :: Democrats sought to reclaim momentum in the Detroit bailout effort, with the bill they negotiated with the Bush administration clearing the chamber by 237-170. (Reuters, December 10) A bizzare mix of the substantial, the symbolic, and the fruity moves from the House to the 8th dimension of the Senate, that warp in space where consequential legislation goes to die unless the life of a brain-dead patient is at stake.

Speaking of Detroit, anyone want to buy a Hummer cheap? Maybe Detroit should lend you the money at a negative interest rate, eh? :: But this hip-hop icon, this military-porn embodiment of America’s post-911 belligerence, may now be a victim of the market. Thanks to recent high gas prices, and the stunning collapse of domestic auto sales, Detroit can’t give Hummers away. The beast, at least in its North American incarnation, may die not long after the Bush administration, whose shortsighted environmental policies and twisted tax codes helped give it commercial life. (Salon.com, December 5) Salon gives us a “told-you-so” history of the Hummer as the mighty frighty breathes its last on life support. So duping dumb rich people out of their money is not a sustainable business model? Who’d've thunk?

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