Thursday, April 30, 2009

SAR #9120

Sometimes things are exactly what they seem.

On Reflection: It really should not come as a shock to discover that the US economy contracted at a 6.1% rate in the first quarter of the year. Nor should it be shocking that some folks are picking out one tiny uptick in consumer spending as a straw on which to base a market rally. Caution, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

The Epidemic: Seven police officers were assassinated in one hour in Tijuana, as the Mexican epidemic of drug violence continues with no cure in sight.

Dickens, or Here, Piggy,Piggy: From Geneva, WHO chief Margaret Chan says "It really is all of humanity that is under threat," while in New York "Stocks Soar To Highest Level Since Early February".

Perspective: Let's just pause a moment and ask ourselves if we really, really think a one party state is a Good Idea. We need at least two parties, just not necessarily the two we have. Maybe three or four - but as Krugman says, only after we get universal single payer healthcare.

Behind the Curtain: The Summers/Geithner PIPP is being sold as a way to bail out the banks but it is actually designed to bail out the hedge funds. Just as bailing out AIG was really aimed at AIG's counterparties, the PPIP is a way to help the hedge funds buy up toxic assets legacy loans for pennies with the risk going to the taxpayer.

Hard Data: Ever wonder what scientists mean when say global warming is coming and that it is dangerous? When they say we have to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions? Try this: No one can burn oil, gas or coal in their homes, cars or factories after 2024. Worst case, indeed.

Enough, Already: Unemployment rates rose in all of the nation's largest metropolitan areas for the third straight month in March.

Standard Standards: AmEx wants to extend an invitation to you to become continue to be a cardmember. All you have to do is send them certified copies of your state and federal tax returns for the last five years. Really.

Little Miss Sunshine, Incorporated: GDP is horrific today, but don't fret. "The worst of the contraction is past," and "we'll see positive growth very soon."

Stop the Presses: Paul Volcker says" The Federal Reserve is going beyond the traditional role of central banks here or abroad. At some point it's reasonable to ask should this particular institution, with its independence very well protected, be allocating so much of what is essentially government money."

But Wait: Only 23% of voters now identify themselves as Republicans. But then, only 30% called themselves Republicans in 2004 when Bush was re-elected.

Correction: If you continue to be befuddled by the money Washington is handing over to the bankers, let Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) explain it to you: "(Banks) frankly own the place."

11 comments:

TulsaTime said...

So the flu bug is speeding up, consumer spending is falling faster than anticipated, commercial realestate is going around the drain, and the big banks STILL don't have enough of our money.

good times....break out the PBR

CKMichaelson said...

TT - Okay, I'm slow this morning. PBR?

TulsaTime said...

pabst blue ribbon....for when you really want to drink the worst

fajensen said...

Try this: No one can burn oil, gas or coal in their homes, cars or factories after 2024. Worst case, indeed.So: No steel, Copper .... IOW ANY metal found as an oxide will not be available after 2024??

My bet is that there will be a tax on barbecue coal to Fight Global Warming instead (and we will be forced to buy a quantity of them to Keep The Economy going :-)

Anonymous said...

Little Miss Sunshine, Incorporated: GDP is horrific today, but don't fret. "The worst of the contraction is past," and "we'll see positive growth very soon."

I hope we can soon return to the heady, prosperous days when we made and sold Mountains of useless crap that nobody really needed.

Anonymous said...

Correction: If you continue to be befuddled by the money Washington is handing over to the bankers, let Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) explain it to you: "(Banks) frankly own the place."

Holy jumpin', they bought another lousy, depreciating asset! Do they never learn?

Morg said...

I could get more on board the idea of a national health care system if there was a nation out there that has it where it has actually worked. For the most part all you see is long wait times and rationing of service. I personally want to be able to decide for myself if I want a certain treatment. Not told your to old or the procedure is to expensive.

Seeing how much to government seems to screw up virtually anything it sticks its nose into. The idea of them running my healthcare is frightening.

Jeff65 said...

Morg,

Australia.

And if you don't want to wait, you can still buy private health insurance.

And by the way, the govt is supposed to be you. If it's screwed up it's only because too many of us expect it to run itself.

CKMichaelson said...

Jeff65. Most excellent comment, especially the second half, which I strongly second.
ckm

fajensen said...

I personally want to be able to decide for myself if I want a certain treatment.
You are a qualified MD who just happens to be a specialist in all the diseases you might be unlucky to get and the best current procedure??

In Scandinavia you can always pay for whatever extra expert-opinion / special / faster treatment you want and/or buy private health insurance to cover it.

If you don't buy the insurance it will not mean personal ruin to get treatment - the main difference is having to wait four weeks for the treatment instead of four days.

The worst aspect about the US, IMO, is that everyone hopes, against all reason and evidence, that One Day they will get to rise above the plebeians, they will "Make It"; To become "The Screwer" rather than "The Screwed".

Even people on the bottom of the pecking order do not want things to change because they would(!) miss out on their day of vengeance: Running a trillion-dollar business into the ground, become presidential advisor as a reward for it and continue the same way with a Trillion-dollar economy ;-)

CKMichaelson said...

fajensen - When you're right, you're right. They myth that keeps America running is the "hope, against all reason and evidence, that One Day..."

Except that it is not "hope", but the shared unreasoned, unreasonable, and unshakable conviction that the game isn't fixed.
ckm