Friday, July 31, 2009

SAR #9211

It was fun until people started getting hurt.

Prognosis: With no public option, whatever they call the bill that finally slithers through Congress, it won't actually be either health-care or real reform. But such was never in the cards. The US spends $2.2 trillion on health care - at lest a third of that is administrative costs and profits. Actual reform would cost very powerful drug, hospital and financial corporations $1 trillion a year. The sick are big business - that's why there will be no reform.

Supply Side Economics: In Florida and Nevada, 1 of every 5 properties is in some stage of foreclosure. That's a lot of supply building up.

Weakly Employment Data: The latest number for initial unemployment claims is 584,000, up 25,000 from the prior week. Big shock - the recent downward spike in claims was "spurious" and unemployment is still on the rise. So is the Dow - go figure.

Ownership: We, the people, now own 34% of Citigroup. When do we get our bonus?

Money Quote: "There is no clear rhyme or reason to the way banks compensate and reward their employees." "Citigroup and Merrill Lynch suffered massive losses of more than $27 billion at each firm. Nevertheless, Citigroup paid out $5.33 billion in bonuses and Merrill paid $3.6 billion in bonuses. Together, they lost $54 billion, paid out nearly $9 billion in bonuses and then received bailouts totaling $55 billion."

Greatly Depressing: The Great Depression did not end in 1Q 1933 after 3 years of contraction. It had just started and had 7 more years to go. The current experience isn't going to end in 3Q 2009, either.

Runs With Scissors: According to the British Foreign Secretary, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threatened to stop the longstanding intelligence-sharing arrangement if Great Britain disclosed "creditable evidence" that the US had tortured at least one British citizen. Given the overall quality of US intelligence, it doesn't seem like that big a threat.

Contagious! Spain's current 17% unemployment is expected to reach 22% in 2010. Let's quarantine them.

Crystal Balls: PIMCO expects lower profit growth with little growth in consumer spending and a permanently high unemployment rate. Stocks will sink to P/E's in traditional ranges (not 100x?). High risk bonds, CRE and some municipal bonds "may suffer more than cyclical defaults." In short, stocks to sink, buy bonds. Buy bonds from PIMCO - that's what they sell.

Thank Cod! A 2-year study of 10 large marine ecosystems show that in at least half of them curbing overfishing is beginning to bring back endangered fish stocks.

There Goes the Neighborhood: The House has authorized Fannie and Freddie and FDIC covered banks to hold onto foreclosed houses and rent them out for up to 5 years. Instead of owners, we'll have renters. we'll also have lots of folks billing Uncle for managing the properties, mowing the lawns etc, etc. Called the neighborhood Preservation Act, it will preserve neighborhoods much in the style of public housing.

Essay Assignment: Does population growth impact climate change? (NB: Use of words of one sylable is encouraged.)

Bulking Up: India plans to develop low-cost shipyards and build 100 new warships to counter China's naval strength. Thirty-two vessels are already under construction. India is also modernizing its army.

Are You In Zinc: Studies suggest that zinc increases the body's activation of those cells (T-cells) that fight invading bacteria and viruses.

The Harder They Fall: There are 24% fewer large-diameter trees in Yosemite park than in the 1930's. Scientists suspect warmer climate conditions have played a role, but I suspect the trees all joined Jenny Craig and stuck to it.

Exactly: The reason a real health-care bill is not going to get passed is simple: because nobody in Washington really wants it.


YeOldFurt said...

I had to link this one CK. Hope you don't mind.

CKMichaelson said...

YeOlde... Don't see how a guy whose entire blog is made up of links (made without asking first) could object to someone citing his blog.

Thanks, ckm

Bill said...

CK, your linked articles are very provocative, and I enjoy them immensely. I also enjoy your short lead-ins. We differ on many issues, but I look forward to my daily review of your selected articles and graphs.

CKMichaelson said...

Bill - Your appreciation is appreciated. A little exercise from time to time is good for the digestion.