Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SAR #8233

Globalization is reversible.

This Old House: Housing starts are at their lowest level since 1991. Credit markets continue to shrink. Compared to July 2007, 30% fewer houses were started in July 2008.

Wake Up! In case you've been asleep, can't read, haven't turned on the TV, I've got some bad news. Maybe you'd better sit down... Yes, it's inflation. The producer price index for July (9.8%) was up the most since 1981 (10%). Remember Arthur Burns?

ACT I: The first stop on the Bush administrations Last Chance Tour is the Endangered Species Act. By executive fiat, there no longer is one. The political appointees at the head of federal agencies will now determine whether the highway, dam or mine their prospective employers want to build would adversely impact any endangered species. This will keep those anti-growth revisionist scientists from assessing the impact the project - strip mining, new coal-fired power plants - would have on global warming and thus on protected species, like humans. As the Tour winds down, be prepared for further outrages announcements.

Technical Difficulties: John McCain, "In the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations." He's right, if you consider that the US invasion of Iraq started back in Daddy's days.

Comments, Please: "The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years. " Anonymous submissions will be accomodated.

Neo-Confrontation: In another fine rant, Jeff Huber explains that Those In The Shadows, grown bored with lobbing cruise missiles from nuclear submarines into Pakistani wedding parties, want US troops to pursue chimeras into Pakistan. Casus belli, anyone?

Roll Your Own: Go read the second column of numbers - the net borrowed reserves data - down from the top. Slowly. They are in millions, so that last figure is -$123.3 billion.

Peak Oil or Just Peak Exports? Russia is the world's largest oil exporter, slightly ahead of the Saudis. But Russia's oil exports from January to June this year are down 5.2% over the previous year, while production declined about 0.8%. The shoemaker's children seem to be getting new shoes.

Eye of the Beholder: The gov is giving $7,500 tax credits (to some people, under some conditions, yada yada). Well, not quite "giving" - it has to be paid back (a) without interest, (b) over 15 years starting 2 years after the loan is granted, or (c) out of the profits when the house is sold. Investment banks get a better deal, regularly. Like when they buy other investment banks with taxpayer monies.

Class Dismissed: New debt = inflation. Mortgage lending = Fannie & Freddie. Wave bye bye to Fannie and Freddie. Credit contraction = deflation. Wave bye-bye.

Mmmmmmm 3: There used to be something called M3, which was a good lead indicator of asset prices. It became embarrassing, so the government no longer keeps tract of how much money is being created. Or destroyed. Other folks have kept up with M3 and report that it has fallen from an annual growth rate of 19% to 2%. The first is inflationary, the second deflationary. There's a chart; it too is depressing.

Porn O' Graph: All boats, rising ?

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