Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SAR #9209

Things are getting a little confused.

The Problem: The public wants health care reform, but also wants politicians to "keep your government hands off my Medicare." The health care industry simply wants to protect its profits. Americans are easy to scare over "single payer universal healthcare" because they haven't the faintest idea what it is. Neither does Congress, which is hatching a plan that doesn't include the government-run insurance option. And that's the part that would keep the for-profit insurers in line.

Super-size me! Why are car buyers are taking the $4,500 rebate for cars they could sell for more? Or rushing to get rid of paid-for cars that have another 5 years on them?

Heresy: Unemployment is at 9.5% and rising. If 16%+ of the workforce (U6) is not drawing a salary, won't that put a sizable dent in consumer spending? And won't that put a dent in the "recovery"? Is a jobless recovery actually a recovery? Is 10% unemployment the new reality? Maybe unemployment is not a lagging indicator after all.

With Straight Face: Goldman Sachs does not own the government; it's just renting the Congress and there are no former Goldman Sachs employees on the Supreme Court. Yet.

12 Step Program: If you've been drinking too much "Recovery Spirits", here's the cure.

All Bark: TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky, thinks that bailout funds should be publicly accountable, but Geithner wants to continue recapitalizing banks and consolidating weak banks with stronger ones. Paulson said TARP would "lead to increased lending." He lied. Barofsky better sit with his back to the wall.

Dead is Dead: There won't be as much damage from Option-ARM recasts as once feared. Most of them will be foreclosed long before the recast date.

The Big Five: Five of the Usual Suspects hold over 80% of derivatives - BofA, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP MorganChase and Morgan Stanley. They are just holding them until they can get the Fed will buy 'em for your account.

Asked and Answered: Can The Fed Be Trusted? I agree with Eliot, 'No!'

Choices: California is going to short college aid, public health, child welfare, AIDS prevention, and elementary schools - but keep spending $49,000 a year each to keep pot heads in prison.

Riley, Life of: The wealthiest 1 percent have never had it so good. Their share of America's income is the highest it's been since 1929. Their taxes are the lowest in two decades. Don't mention that taxing the top 1% a minuscule 1% more would pay for universal healthcare, you socialist.

Shocking: A university study has discovered that newspapers slant the news. Give the whole class a C-Minus.

Local/Global: Weather, like real estate, is a local phenomenon. Climate is global and getting warmer. June's global average ocean surface temperature was the warmest ever recorded (since 1880). June's combined average global land and ocean surface temperature was the second warmest on record.

Porn O'Graph: Foreclosures beat remods.


TulsaTime said...

And the conservatives say this is not a dumb nation..'keep your government hands off my medicare', to say nothing of their social security....jeeze louise!!!!

Gotta love all this 'birther' idiocy, a nice distraction from the looting of the future. I'm putting my money on a swine flu die-off!

CKMichaelson said...

TT - Well, back in the day when I was birthed in Appalachia it was a lot farther from being in the United States than Hawaii was... And my father-in-law never had a birth certificate but they let him into WWII anyway.

"Looting the future..." That's a good one. What future?


Eric Hacker said...

I'm getting a 404 for the Porn O'Graph link.

CKMichaelson said...

Eric - Thanks. They must have moved it. The link now goes to the source.


fajensen said...

Dead is Dead

And how is straight foreclosure different from Recast, then Forclosure??

*Someone* will still be left holding the crap bonds made from securitizing the Option-ARM mortgages; The sucker probably used them as collateral for loans too since the bonds were rated "AAA" ...

Could be CALPERS maybe - or they are buying them now since they are so cheap and CALPERS need to double back on its losses.

CKMichaelson said...

fajensen - No difference, only the cause of foreclosure. If the default and foreclosure come after the recast of the loan, then that becomes the most likely suspect. In that the Option-ARM's are dying long before the interest/payment revision - and the mandatory amortization payments - then the defualt is more likely some other aspect of the transaction- like the borrower wasn't a good risk to start with. Duh. Bet the bankers will be shocked to learn that!

But the net effect on the bag holders is the same, only the timing is different.

The entry was supposed to bring a wry smile...


Bill said...

An excerpt from:

Read the entire post; very interesting.

In a stunning paper in Science, researchers claim to have reversed the impact of clouds on global climate. It has long been known that low level cloud cover creates a net cooling effect on climate. This new study, which concentrated on a restricted area of the Pacific Ocean, claims that warming oceans reduce low cloud cover letting in more sunlight that further warm the ocean and hence provide a positive feed back that adds to global warming. Based on a warming episode that started in 1978, the article claims that observational analysis showed that clouds act as a positive feedback in this region on decadal time scales. But a cometary on the article in the same issue of Science says that the analysis suggests—but falls short of proving—that clouds are strongly amplifying the warming. If it's true, then almost all climate models have got it wrong...

What does this new result mean? It means that there are still a lot of things to be figured out about how Earth's climate system works: in this case feedbacks unsuspected or wrongly calibrated. If the paper's result holds a lot of climate models will need to be revamped. Note that this doesn't make the dreaded global warming any worse or any better, it simply changes how factors in Earth's climate system interact. In fact, this report re-emphasizes the importance of low cloud cover as a cause of cooling on climate. It also shows how foolish is is to accept the output of models as valid predictors of future climate variability.

Modelers continue to tune their software playthings to match the last century's ups and downs, all the while ignoring the fact that their models are wrong. It was recently reported that all the aerosol models have been significantly wrong for decades (see Warming Caused by Soot, Not CO2). If this new result proves to be global, another important climate regulating factor has been wrongly implemented in most every model in use. Still we are told that that model results are valid, not to worry that the model's fundamental assumptions are incorrect. As I have been trying to communicate through this blog, the new discoveries being made day by day are not, in and of themselves, a repudiation of global warming. Instead, they are indications that climate change theory is fundamentally incomplete and so flawed that its predictions cannot be trusted.

Anonymous said...

The birthers are starting from the worst possibly legal-logical position: they are trying to prove a negative (Obama was not born in Hawaii).

I can figure out the wavelenghtwith what's left of the Republican party (dumb, uneducated, Southern white male) because I am from Appalachia and used to teach freshman composition. "Kenya" probably name it. From reading about the British royal family, I know they made several trips around the British Empire, so I remember that Kenya won its independence from Great Britain.

Today online I looked up the date of Kenyan independence from Great Britain, December 1963. President Obama, if he'd been born in Kenya in August of 1961, would have had the same legal documentation required by British law. Ssssh. Birthers haven't figured that one out yet.

CKMichaelson said...

Bill - I read the "entire post" at the climate denier's website. I also read the original abstract (I'm having the full text retrieved...).

The characterization by Hoffman of Clement et. al's paper is misleading - they accurately report (as everyone in the business knows) that modeling clouds is very difficult, requires NSA level computing power and this does add some uncertainty to predictions.

Their current research concludes that a reduction of cloud cover (below norm?) amplifies the greenhouse effect and increases warming. This is a positive feedback, causing greater warming than would be predicted by most extant models. Not that the models are wrong, but that they may be understating the warming ahead.

So the research serves to improve the models, not to debunk them.

How Hoffman can accept the positive feedback effect of diminished cloud cover as a "local" effect and then say it has no effect globally is unclear. To go further and quote Keer (a dissenter) as though his comments were part of the original research is... disingenuous at best.

Hoffman also pretends surprise that CO2 is not the only factor impinging on the globe's changing climate and implies that ENSO, POD and such have been ignored by climate researchers, which is poppycock.

The models are not perfect. Research like this improves them. Neither fact invalidates the results, both validate the scientific process, which makes progress by slowly finding which part of what we know is wrong - and correcting it.


Bill said...

How is this disingenuous (emphasis added)?

According to Richard Kerr, “During a cooling event in the late 1990s, both data sets recorded just the opposite changes—exactly what would happen if the same amplifying process were operating in reverse.” In his commentary on the paper by Clement et al., “Clouds Appear to Be Big, Bad Player in Global Warming,” Kerr quoted climate researcher David Randall of Colorado State University. “There's been a gradual recognition that this rather boring type of [low-level] cloud is important in the climate system,” said Randall. “They make a good case that in [decadal] variability there is a positive feedback. The leap is that the same feedback would operate in global climate change.” The study indicates an important role for marine low clouds in amplifying global warming, he says, but it doesn't prove it.

You seem very defensive in your critique. I didn't come away with the impression that Hoffman was asserting that CO2 isn't the cause of global warming, but simply that the jury is still out.

CKMichaelson said...

Bill - I am exasperated, not defensive. Exasperated by those who want the jury to still be out. It isn't.

Bill said...

Fair enough, but policymaker actions belie their words. The cap-and-trade bill does nothing meaningful about global warming, but enriches Wall Street and, from what I've read, Al Gore. Now that's what I call disingenuous.

Have you read The Civil Heretic in the NY Times?