Monday, March 16, 2009

SAR #9075

Why did we ever think Musical Chairs was a game?

Run Away, Run Away: March 15, 2009: "... every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States" President Barack Obama; and Bernanke said the recession would be over this year. Cut it out, pin it to the wall over your desk. Pray.

Groundhog Day: Is it a dead cat bounce or the real thing? The S&P 500 is up around 10%, so we've hit bottom, right? Some think we're on our way back to DOW 14,000! On the other hand, maybe it's really a dead cat, bouncing. Roubini thinks it's another sucker's rally.

Tomato, Tahmato: Climate scientists have issued gloomier and gloomier predictions; economists say that economic growth will save the day. Of course they also think that pouring money down a hole makes petroleum appear.

Three Bears: Larry Summers says the problem is the Greed has been either too hot or too cold and what we really need is Greed that's just right.

Headline Only: Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies to Help Sell Billions of Dollars Worth of Potentially Dangerous Drugs

Details: The G20 members agree the world needs to do more to turn the economy around. They just don't agree on what to do. The Europeans want more financial regulations, the US wants more stimulus and the Chinese want to get paid back.

Modern Dance: Creationists visiting the Smithsonian are upset that it's all science, science, science. I felt the same way at the Twyla Tharp concert, where's the ballet?

Competition: The IMF is going to print tens, if not hundreds, of billions of a new global "super-currency" in an effort to drown the whole world in useless paper address the economic crisis. Careful, the Central Banks don't like competition.

Traffic Report: In February, inbound traffic at the Port of Los Angeles was down 35% YoY. At the container terminal in St. Petersburg, Russia, inbound traffic was down 27%.

Best of a Bad Lot: AIG, having managed to keep its theft from the taxpayers down to only $170 billion, is giving something over $100 million in bonuses so it can keep "the best and brightest talent."

Silver Lining: Over the last 30 years increasing airborne pollution has caused illness and death to millions while causing enough dimming to slow global warming.

Click Your Heels: Bankers say that if they don't have to label their bad assets as bad assets then everything will be hunky dory and people will trust them and there'll be a chicken in every pot.

Lights, Camera, Arrest 'Em: Police in East Haven, CT, arrested a Catholic priest for videotaping them using "unknown shiny silver object" they feared might be a camera.

Opinions Vary: The headline advocates: "Blame the Economists, Not Economics." I'd go with blame the bankers, not the banks.

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet: The CEO of FICO (you know, your credit score - that FICO) says " We easily have another 12 to 18 months of pretty ugly times in terms of mortgage resetting. ... Credit cards are next."

One from Column A and One from Column B: The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the global economic/credit crisis will slow the expansion of nuclear power. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says that "Nuclear is going to be part of our energy future."

Age Wave: Economies with high median ages - Japan, Italy, and Germany - have a built-in bias against expanding consumption, are resistant to credit-based bubbles, and put increasing demands on social programs just as available taxation to support them begins to fall. Ponzi schemes end poorly.

Where's The Beef: After unveiling one plan after another to inject liquidity into the system, credit markets are still frozen. So, why doesn't the economy smarten up?

Scene, Not Herd: US Army troops patrol Samson, Alabama after a man went on a killing spree ending with his own death. The soldiers are... doing what, exactly? And by what authority?


Anonymous said...

"Scene, Not Herd"

The insertion of US Troops into civilian law enforcement is one of the most troubling issues of the past eight years. Whether it was Washington using the military to put down Shay's rebellion or the distasteful manner of Union troops in the South after the Civil War or the Kent State shootings, the lesson is clear that the military does not belong in this role and that the US Population does not want them in this role.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the new administration has any desire to end this trend. I guess power is power.


CKMichaelson said...

RBM - Yes, power is as power does, and power tends to corrupt. I don't suspect that Obama will dismantle much of the imperial powers Bush gathered, just use them with a bit more subtlety.

The Anecdotal Economist said...

Re: Best of a Bad Lot...

Just pay the bonuses in AIG common stock, no-dividend, non-redeemable for 10 years and forefeitable if someone leaves the company.

If AIG goes under, completely, the stock is worthless and sorry about their luck. If someone of such immense talent is lured away from AIG to a competitor, too bad, they forfeit the bonus.

But if somehow these executive wizards can make AIG rise from the dead, repay the government/taxpayers the money we borrowed from China and increase the value of AIG common stock, then they would deserve the appreciated value of the bonus a decade down the road.

The government's "hands are tied" to pay these bonuses (maybe...), but the government doesn't have to pay the bonuses in CASH. I'm sure they could substitute something of equivalent value, such as AIG common stock.

fajensen said...

.... just use them with a bit more subtlety.

I disagree!

The set pattern is that the Democrats will not be happy merely taking over whatever mess created by the latest hare-brained world-improvement schemes the Republicans left them to deal with.

The Democrats will, instead of dealing, Embrace, Extend and Embellish - Exponentially!!