Friday, July 4, 2008

SAR #8186

A lot of 'what if's' are becoming 'when...'

The Great Charter: The Fourth of July's a good time to remember June 15, 1215, because we no longer have a country based on the Bill of Rights nor the Magna Carta's concept of habeas corpus. All that those men in Philadelphia were striving for has been swept away. A moment of silence is appropriate.

Essence: The central fact behind the latest labor statistics is this: the economy has added only 15,000 jobs in the last year. I personally know more new high school graduates than that.

Pants On Fire: The administration expressed great concern when Hunt Oil signed an oil exploration deal with Iraqi Kurds, and criticized it as undermining efforts to strengthen the central government in Baghdad. The White House denied any knowledge or involvement in the contract. They lied.

Unintended Consequences: In the early 1970's Nixon did three things we are coming to regret: He opened the US to foreign crude oil, he took the dollar (and thus the world) off gold, and he went to China.
Bubbles? As the continuing rise in the price of crude oil enters its second year, people are beginning to think it is not a bubble after all. If it is a permanent shortage of the basic fuel of the world's economy, it can but lead to a permanent decline in production and consumption. This, by definition, will be a permanent recession, with less and less of everything, day after day. Eventually we will return to subsistence living... after the wars.

Fighting Inflation: In order to fight inflation there first has to be inflation. If the Fed pushes up interest rates without the bogeyman, it will slow a slowing economy even further and become the bogeyman. As if it weren't, already.

My Fellow Americans: This political season America does not need more Republicans, nor more Democrats. America needs more engineers and the funds to rebuild its infrastructure and the research to develop sound renewable energy sources. Politics third, the planet and our children first.

Blood, Sweat and Tears: The head of the Bank of England has warned Brits that their standard of living will fall for at least the next year. Mr. Bush wants Americans to do more shopping, smile for the cameras.

One To Get Ready: Secretary Paulson says the Treasury must act now to improve its ability to handle the failure of large and complex financial institutions in as smooth a manner as possible, after the fact because "the Fed has neither the clear statutory authority nor the mandate to attempt to anticipate and prevent risks across our entire financial system." Sounds like he's trying to deflect the blame for something that's about to happen.

Fuzzy Math: American Airlines says it will reduce its payrolls by 8%, some 7,000 jobs. Is that 8% from the the number after last month's layoffs, or from those announced earlier this year, or from January 1st levels? Hard to keep score.

Porn O'Graph: Financing A Year.

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