Thursday, May 22, 2008

SAR #8143

I want to go back to capitalism.

Non-Recession Receeding: Federal Reserve officials have reduced economic growth predictions for 2008 from 2% to 0.3% . This is lower than inflation, thus the projection is for negative growth in real terms a strong suggestion of stagflation. Don't tell Wall Street; it would scare them.

Up, Up, Away: With petroleum costs at $130 a barrel, no airline has a viable business model. American Airlines, admitting that "The airline industry as it is constituted today was not built to withstand oil prices at $125 a barrel", plans to cut domestic capacity by 12% this year. The airline will charge passengers $15 a bag starting in mid-June. Increases in fares and fees will continue until they have no more passengers and air travel becomes a privilege of the wealthy and the government. Those who work for airlines, those who depend on air freight for delivery of their products, and those who depend on hordes of airborne tourists are on notice.

Bad Timing: Federal Reserve vice-chair Kohn now proclaims that the US economy "is in uncharted waters". Damn, they just repossessed my boat.

Just in from Denmark: Angelo Mozilo described a Countrywide customer's efforts to avoid foreclosure were "unbelievable" and "disgusting". As Countrywide's CEO, Mozilo had an unbelievable salary of $48 million and cashed in $140 million in disgusting stock options.

New Math: In late 2004, oil industry sycophantic Daniel Yergen predicted oil would fall to $38 a barrel by November 2005. Since then there have been additons: Four Yergens equals one Pickens. Two Pickens equals one Simmons. Two Simmons equals a Kunstler. Fill 'er up.

How Safe Are The Twins : Fannie and Freddie would be bankrupt except for their use of friendly accounting rules. Don't complain; if they fail, you - in the form of implicit US Treasury backing - are on the hook for hundreds of billions. Or more.

Economic Failure: Respected economists (an oxymoron) insist that higher prices elicit greater supplies. They have been preaching this gospel to the oil markets for several years. Just today, while the faithful were proclaiming that the end (of high prices) was near, the Energy Department reported that supplies had dropped 5.3 million barrels and prices broke $130.

Blame VISTA : Moody's claims a computer programing error inadvertently led to giving AAA ratings to several billion dollars of CPODs - at least 4 notches higher than they deserved. This went on for quite a while and they've been ... reluctant? .. to disclose the error for over a year.

Quoted : "... for the 40% of UK households with negative weekly cashflows, things can get far worse." How, shorter rations?

Tautology: Home Depot Inc. reported a 66% drop in fiscal first-quarter net income, indicating no improvement in the improvement business.

Revisions: Once upon a time the US stood for “truth, justice, and the American way.” No more. There's little truth in Washington these days, and the country is more into punishment than justice, but that's the American way. The government is building family internment camps in the US and expanding the capacity of a prison in Iraq from 20,000 to 30,000.

Take Two Quinine: The business elite who enforced the shock doctrine on so much of the world are now intending to force this bitter medicine on the US.

Porn O'Graph: How far down will down be in house prices? 80%?

1 comment:

Melancholy Korean said...

I want to go back to capitalism

No kidding. It's evening again in America. The signs are everywhere that the sun is setting on our empire: (a) we have a bankrupting, never-ending war (b) a broken system of credit, not a functioning capital market (c) for leaders, spoiled demagogues who bait and trick us, as opposed to courageous truth-tellers who lead with wisdom and grace (d) increasing political risk and rising populist anger (not that I blame the people for being angry) as the middle class disappears and moderate political consensus is a relic of history (e) loosening standards in schools, universities, public discourse, private morals.

The Spirit of the Age is plastic: cheap, easy, tasteless, gross. Nobility is a punchline, or it's condemned, or ignored. God help us all.