Friday, March 27, 2009

SAR #9086

Hoe your garden.

Momentum: Bailouts schmailouts, the economy is going to get worse, no matter how much taxpayers overpay for toxic assets, because the customer - and they are 70% of the economy - is going to see their jobs vanish, have less money and less credit available. Unemployed homeless folks don't really buy all that much stuff, no matte how handsome banks balance sheets are. The system itself, not any specific part of it, is the problem. Until the correct diagnosis is made, recovery is doubtful, implosion likely.

Alternate Universe: Not everyone buys the AIG doomsday scenario.

Contractions: Roubini is not bullish. He thinks US stocks will continue to fall (and that the current rally is but a passing phenomenon), US banks (including some major ones) will fail, and the economy will continue to deteriorate through the end of 2009.

California Dreaming Nightmare: By next spring California's unemployment rate will be nearly 15%, and will remain in double digits until the spring of 2012. Or so university economists with tenured positions claim.

Insight: The AIG scandal is, or should be, that the government used AIG to funnel money straight to its big banks here and abroad and, of course, to Goldman Sachs and the other usual suspects. Be nice to see an investigation into this particular bit of looting and secret bailouts.

Smoky Mirrors: Dr. Yellen of the SF Fed tries explaining the difference between the economy as seen by economists and the economy as experienced by real people.

Ex Exports: Japan's exports are down 49% YoY; exports to the US are down 58%.

Word Choice: Placing the big banks and AIG under FDIC receivership is misnamed "nationalization" so that it won't happen. Because if it did, the FDIC would put in new management. New management would have no reason to cover up the fraud committed by previous management.

We Don't Need No Stinking Stimulus: Consumer Spending dropped at a 4.4% annualized rate in the last quarter, more than previously estimated, which alone would drop GDP by abaout 3.5%..

Asked and Answered: Will Israel be Brought to Book? No.

Sign of Spring? The American Trucking Association reports that truck tonnage was up 1.7% in February, making it a two-month gain of nearly 5% from December's low. But the tonnage hauled was still nearly 10% below February 2008. So, not overwhelming, but a robin's a robin.

Headline Only: "Jim Rogers: The Dollar is Doomed."

The Beat Goes On: Citi and BofA are using TARP funds to buy up crappy paper legacy loans cheaply with the intent of selling them to the PPIP project as new-spun gold. Using taxpayer money to hoodwink the taxpayers out of more money. Isn't that what you thought would happen?

Porn O'Graph: New single family houses sold. Or house sold.

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