Saturday, April 25, 2015

SAR #15115

Just Asking: What did QE do if it didn't increase production and employment (and it didn't)? It increased the effective money supply (money is no longer the printed stuff, but computer blips) and that increase went into driving up asset prices, both equities and commodities, and driving bond prices down (which theoretically was going to cause an investment boom, but didn't). Now if we stop QE, push up interest rates and get the Fed out of the bad loan repository business, won't that – absent a “recovery”, which is really absent – cause even less production, less employment, a decrease in the money supply and thus higher interest rates and a dive in the prices of stocks and commodities along with a nasty bump in interest rates and – oh, yeah – another economic collapse? 
Silence Friction: China is building a series of giant floating battle stations in the South China Sea, to accompany its new international bank.

Classification: The US drone program, which has killed a few thousand innocents at various weddings and funerals and other social events, is in a lot of trouble because it killed a single American civilian. Fact is, at best the US simply thinks – thinks! - that there may be a bad guy or two among the casualties. The rest are collateral damage, much like what has happened to our reputation.

Big Boned: Repeated studies have shown that excess quantities of sugar and carbohydrates are the prime culprits in the global obesity epidemic – not physical inactivity and not sedentary lifestyles. Cheap carbs and high fructose corn syrup are the culprits, and the food manufacturers and purveyors know this and, like the tobacco companies before them, put profits above the health of their customers. 
First Do No Harm: The World Bank, in spreading prosperity among the world's bankers, dictators, tyrants and corporate giants, has displaced 3.4 million people in the last decade, nearly all of them poor and disenfranchised.
Bargain: In the first quarter of this year, US airlines have saved $3.4 billion on jet fuel and have passed 66 cents in savings on to the typical passenger. 
Coordination: Government scientists have confirmed that much of the surge in earthquake activity across the US has been caused by fracking – specifically by the disposal of the fracking waste water. Even Oklahoma has swallowed the bitter pill and acknowledged the obvious. But the same day they did, the state passed a law prohibiting cities and counties from doing anything to regulate the fracking industry. 
Noted: 61% of Americans support allowing gays to marry, just not in their churches nor to their daughters. 
Easy Crumb, Easy Go: In the petty cash department, the Pentagon can’t account for $1 billion in cash given to various military commanders as part of the Afghan victory. That's a very minor part of the cash distributed to Afghan leaders – Karzai and Klan – and hardly noticeable in the $1.6 trillion so far and $6 trillion overall that this Great Adventure will eventualy drain from the US taxpayer.

The Crime of Being Young: Sometime in the last 30 years or so, being a normal child has become a disorder requiring pharmaceuticals and restraints. How did this happen? How did childhood become a crime?

Friday, April 24, 2015

SAR #15114

Occam's Razor: “Facts not in evidence” covers most of the utterances of the GOP wannabes.

Tax Broke: Louisiana State University says it is planning to seek bankruptcy protection because Gov. Jindal's [Republican] budget has cut state funding from $3,500 per student to $660 per student. Bobby says the cuts were necessary to spur Louisiana on in it's race to the bottom.

Observed:. Bankers have impunity, teachers do not. For example, Deutsche Bank will pay a $2.5 billion fine for rigging interest rates on trillions of dollars in mortgages. No one goes to jail, while millions went to the poorhouse. No one paid back their bonuses, either. But cheating on a test in Atlanta put folks in the slammer. 
Prospectus: Saxo Bank's Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen, speaking for us all, says “"We have zero growth, zero inflation and zero hope." 
The List: Michael Bennet of Colorado. Maria Cantwell of Washington State, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Traitors all.

Need: The IMF says that the net effect of “multilateral liberalization” (for which read globalization of greed) has increased consumption in the effected economies by as much as 0.014%. That's 43 cents a month per person in the US. While the same “expanded trade” has cost the average US worker about $150 a month. Sounds like a good deal; bring on the TPP.

Back To The Future: NASDAQ is finally back to the level it was at fifteen years ago. Whoopie.

Naturally: There are efforts underway to replace the unicorn as Scotland's National Animal with Nessie (of Loch Ness fame), because unicorns aren't real.

Here And After: Reports indicate that most Swedes will die with mortgages on their homes that exceed 370% of their income. So then what?

Fifty-One: Puerto Rico’s government is “most likely” to shut down within three months because of a “liquidity crisis”. Which is a polite way of saying they're going to run out of money.

Point Of Origin: While the Republicans and Fox bemoan just over $2 million in foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation, the Koch brothers are offering $300 million to the Republican wannabe who sucks up to them the most.

Close Reading: “When researchers pencil out a 72-year drought, California... “ Whoa, a 72-year drought?

Porn O'Graph: The way we were. And are.