Monday, February 2, 2009

SAR #9033

The trouble with economic competitions is that someone wins them.

Qualification: How many years do I have to cheat on my taxes to qualify for a Cabinet position? Two? Four? Two out of Four?

Simple Math: The GOP says the stimulus bill will not pass the Senate unless Obama and the Democrats cave in and give them everything they want. Okay, let's have a show of hands again on who won the elections roll call vote and let them filibuster as the Dow drops further and unemployment rises, stores close...

Reasonable Doubt: The US is going to continue bailing out the banks and brokerages and insurance companies and car companies and damned near everything else because the free market system does things better than the government, right?

Bleeding Heart/Conservative Compromise: In order to protect children, after February 10th this year retailers are forbidden to sell toys with minute amounts of lead in them. Businesses have to stop manufacturing them by February next year. Ah, exports.

Geopolitics: The US is preparing to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, each one of them privately wondering what the hell the our vital interests are. Why not fence the whole place in and leave 'em to it?

Playing With The Big Boys: Fortress hedge fund went public in 2007, giving the little guy a chance to get in on the good times along with the uber-rich. So far the shares have fallen 94%, from $31 a share to $1.34.

A Rose by any other Name: Social scientists have discovered that kids with unpopular names tend to become criminals; they advise against giving your kid a name like 'Barack.'

The UN Diet: The UN's World Food Program in Zimbabwe is seriously underfunded. Their solution is to give each of the 7 million people dependent on them - that's 70% of Zimbabweans - 600 calories a day, which is less than half of what it takes to keep a person alive.

Bears In The Woods Bonds: Citigroup suggests that a "full-blown bear market" in bonds is underway. But that's just Citi, so reach for the salt.

Open Government: Soon, maybe this week, the government is going to give anonymous banks undisclosed sums of taxpayer money for unidentified assets of undetermined worth on terms as yet undecided... in an effort to build confidence.

This Ad's For You: Those TV sets showing ads may have tiny cameras looking at you to determine your age, sex, ethnicity and such so it can tailor the ads to you. Once we get the chips in our neck, they'll address us by name.

Ante Up: The EPA has entered the Sea Level Sweepstakes, predicting a 40 inch rise by 2100. Even a 16 inch rise would begin submerging New York.

Quoted: "We have to change the entire system, otherwise we’re going to have another one of these massive asset and credit and leverage bubbles, and it’s going to be disastrous." Nouriel Roubini.

Backwards: During good times the states expand their budgets and offer more services to the taxpayer. The taxpayers, in return, pass amendments which prohibit the states from budget deficits and most certainly do not support higher taxes. That's why there's no cake for dessert.

Hint: Beginning with Reagan, twenty years of GOP rule transfered massive amounts of money from the bottom 80% to the richest 5%. Sharply reversing that might be all the stimulus package needed.

The Man Company That Came to Dinner: AIG's back at the trough, having digested the first $150 billion plus. Now it is "looking at a broader array of recapitalization options." I don't know what that means, other than they've got their hand in my pocket again.

Not Even Maybe? Morgan Stanley analysts say hyperinflation is a distant possibility for the USA, which brings out the long knives of the deflationists. I think they're wrong; doesn't seem like a longshot to me.

Porn O'Graph: Toiling for oil.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget, on the Historical Income Tables for Families that you referenced with "Hint," one worker used to earn that money. Now it takes two workers to earn it.

CKMichaelson said...

Anony -
As a certified grumpy old fart, I grew up in the 40's & 50's in a one-worker laborer's family. While not today's middle class, we were well fed, well housed, reasonably dressed. Not poor, as most two-worker middle class families would be if one lost his/her job today.

Anonymous said...

The Bill Clinton count for jobs created during his presidency was 23 million jobs during 8 years. For George W. Bush, the count was 10%, 2 million jobs created in 8 years, most in real estate, by Bush's own admission, and most gone. I offer the Bush jobs creation figure to point out that the Bush tax cuts did very little to create jobs; the labor pools available in India and China are way too large. Too bad the American middle class didn't figure that out 9 years ago.

CKMichaelson said...

Thank you; that's gone into the quiver.

Anonymous said...

Check out this comparison from the 50's to the 00's