Friday, February 27, 2009

SAR #9058

'Food fight' will soon have a more serious meaning.


Bamboozled: Citigroup has a $12 billion capitalization. It is going to let Uncle Sam buy 40% of that for $25 billion. You do the math.

Infaltion? What Inflation? Obama's 2009 FY budget is planned to be $1.75 trillion - over 12% of GDP, assuming GDP doesn't crash as expected. But fear not, fiscal discipline is just around the corner, where it has been hiding for 25 years.

Succinct Answer: Is this the bottom?

That Time of the Month: The Census Bureau reports that January's new house sales fell 48% YoY and have now fallen 78% from the peak. The price of a new house fell 13% from January 2008, and the inventory increased to a 13.3 month supply.

Bridal Shower: I wish we could meet to discuss this, / and perhaps you would help me / murder this woman on her cell phone.

Here's the Plan: The administration intends to give unlimited amounts of taxpayer dollars to the 19 largest banks. Treasury folks will go door to door asking the banks how much stress they feel, the banks will lie, and then the Feds will back up the truck and shovel dollars into the banks until they feel better. Or something like that.

Quoted: "Given the incompetence in Washington and on Wall Street, our best hope is that the rest of the world is even less competent and even in deeper trouble."

Crass Warfare: The rich claim that Obama's plan to tax the top 2% of Americans - those making over $250,000 - is the beginning of class warfare. The other 98% of Americans certainly hope so. The GOP claims this will pit the have-nots against the haves, instead of their plans, which have always pitted the haves against the have-nots.

Red Wagon: GM lost $9 billion in 4Q08, $31 billion for the whole year. They would have lost more, but sales were slow.

Congratulations: AIG, like Citi, BofA and the auto makers, is playing chicken with the public purse. They've figured out exactly how much is left in Fort Knox and they are going to ask for every penny of it, leaving the government insolvent. Which is what the neocons set out to accomplish. Game, set & match.

They Say, We Say: S&P Case-Shiller's National Home Price Index fell 18.2% in 4Q08. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said that prices fell only 8.2% in 4Q08. Buyers and sellers have their differences of opinion, too.

Getting High: There were 667,000 new unemployment claims last week, and 5.1 million workers are now on the continuing unemployment rolls - the highest number since 1982. Apologists point out that there are far more 2-worker families today than in 1982, suggesting that many of the unemployed are dilettants whose income is not needed by their families.

Double Entry: Energy Department auditors report that the department could not account for the quantities and locations of nuclear material at 37% of the facilities reviewed. Being accountants, they accounted for this material under the heading "unaccounted," which balanced the books nicely.

Misery: Kazakhstan is pulling out of the Central Asian power grid, claiming that Tajikistan was hogging power. The move caused blackouts and electricity rationing in Kyrgyzstan. Gazprom is promising to cut of gas supplies to Ukraine in early March if it doesn't come up with $400 million. Zambia has cut electricity to its copper mines by 15%. And in Pakistan, high oil prices are making the country's business uncompetitive in world markets and causing record inflation.

Silver Lining: The current 1900 mile long line for unemployment is a Good Thing, because the sooner people get through sponging off unemployment benefits, the sooner they'll accept whatever job they can find at whatever pittance they can get and the economy can recover. Gotta love those capitalists.

Porn O'Graph: Single Family Housing Ski Run.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Infaltion? What Inflation?"

'Bout time we all start saying that. I call BullS**t on Obama!

RBM

The Anecdotal Economist said...

Re: Silver Lining.

What a kidder. Why that 1,900-mile line of people cashing unemployment checks could be wrapped on both sides by the other 4,900 miles worth of unemployed people who don't get unemployment checks, with enough extra people to wrap around this guy's house a couple of hundred times. Now that would be a GOOD thing.

In addition to the 5 million continuing-claims unemployed, there are 7.3 million (as of Feb) desperately-spending-what-little-is-left-of-their-401ks "other" unemployed people, and another 5.7 million conveniently-excluded-from-our-math-challenged-government's-magic-way-of-calculating-actual-unemployment-rates "persons-who-currently-want-a-job."

Yes, that totals 18 million people, about 6,900 miles worth.

So, an Even Better Thing...

Sounds like this was written by someone who's never (yet) been unemployed.

CKMichaelson said...

AE - I rather thought the item probably came from the pen of a 17 year-old newly minted libertarian who'd just finished Atlas Shrugged, or one of those hirelings of the investor class that hang out in places like the American Enterprise Institute - which is pretty much the same thing.
ckm

Anonymous said...

I was unemployed in the 1980's - and the lesson from that was that:

1) You may pay taxes but there is no social security for when *you* need it..'

2) You are on your own, you will have to fight your way out because nobody else cares.

Back then I left for England on an off-chance rumour of a crappy survival-salary-only job but within engineering that I trained for and succeeded exponentially.

I have been scared of not having money ever since - one does not get to "win the lottery" twice very often!

What I see happening now is way worse than the 1980's - the social contract being blatantly broken everywhere. On top of that *every* place in the world is screwed by the same class of tranzis, cronies and insiders so this time there is nowhere to escape to. There will be violence once summer comes.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations: AIG, like Citi, BofA and the auto makers, is playing chicken with the public purse. They've figured out exactly how much is left in Fort Knox and they are going to ask for every penny of it, leaving the government insolvent. Which is what the neocons set out to accomplish. Game, set & match.

Economic Theorem 1: The looting accelerates on the way down. Only so much $$$ left in the Treasury, get yours now. Demonstrated daily before our very wallets but totally ignored by our Economists.

Economic Theorem 2: If you ain't gettin' yours, you're payin' for theirs.

CKMichaelson said...

Anon - Hat-tip. Theorem #2 gets promoted to "Intro" in tomorrow's SAR. Thanks.
ckmk

aitrader said...

Perhaps to err is human and to forgive divine, but offering bailouts is simian and receiving them asinine.

fajensen said...

And in Pakistan, high oil prices are making the country's business uncompetitive in world markets and causing record inflation.

HIGH Oil prices? NOW??

I think it is rather the USD needed to buy oil that are becoming scarce since they will be leaving the country as fast as possible - the inflation will be Pakistan's currency tanking over the grim prospects for Pakistan overall and the country's inability to service the foreign debt.

CKMichaelson said...

fajensen - We tend to think oil is cheap at $40 a bbl because one day lasat year it was $147 a bbl. But in a longer time line - yearly average, for example, the price of oil has climbed ever higher and is at a point relative to the income of some countries to be too expensive. Much of Central Asia and most of sub-saharan Africa.

Anonymous said...

"In addition to the 5 million continuing-claims unemployed, there are 7.3 million (as of Feb) desperately-spending-what-little-is-left-of-their-401ks "other" unemployed people, and another 5.7 million conveniently-excluded-from-our-math-challenged-government's-magic-way-of-calculating-actual-unemployment-rates "persons-who-currently-want-a-job."
Yes, that totals 18 million people, about 6,900 miles worth.
"

From a Republican point of view these are 18 million worthless, antisocial parasites LOSERS, and they should be ignored.

Real Americans should focus on winners, and celebrate and applaud the massive contributions to GDP by the likes of Fuld, Mozillo, ONeill, Cayne, and all the other winners.

Anonymous said...

"Real Americans should focus on winners"

As to that, Republicans who celebrate Real American winners point out that even during the first great depression 75% of workers continued to be employed and contributed to GDP. The rest, the 25% of work shirkers and parasites were just a fifth column for the Communist dictatorship of Roosevelt...

Endowment said...

"Crass Warfare" lol. Worth the price of admission all by itself.