Thursday, October 1, 2009

SAR #9273

More growth will not solve growth's problems.

Essence : Using up resources as fast as possible with no thought for tomorrow is logical and inevitable in a human economy, given our evolutionary history and our credit based economy. A passing desire to preserve things for our children – or their children - does not stand a chance against our needs, wants and desires today. A world based on perpetual growth is doomed by its success. As long as our civilization is based on credit, its demise is foreordained.

Truth Out: Republican health care plan is "Don't get sick and if you do, die early."

New Math: Senate Democrats are busy considering GOP amendments to the health care bill, even though not a single Republican will vote for it. In fact, the GOP now says the minimum number of votes needed to pass health care reform is 70. You know, a simpleton's majority.

Big Brother: The US can talk about levying serious economic sanctions on Iran, but as long as China is happy with Iranian oil, talk is all that's going to happen.

Shade Tree Mechanics: There have been 95 bank failures so far this year. More are on the way. The FDIC projects that bank failures through 2013 will cost about $100 billion, so they are going to raise $45 billion by collecting three years insurance premiums from the banks in advance. Feel better? Would you feel better if that didn't leave a $55 billion shortfall?

Conundrum: The US economy runs on petroleum. So with a recovery underway, why was oil demand down 133,000 barrels a day in July, to the lowest level since 1996?

Inertia: Experts now say that a 2 meter rise in the world's sea levels is “almost unstoppable,” even if the world were to stop all CO2 emissions today. Global warming is a very large phenomenon, slow to start but nearly impossible to stop on any human time scale.

Pendulum: According to ADP, the US economy lost 254k jobs in September – instead of adding the 150k jobs needed to meet our growing population. The pit gets deeper.

On the Streets: A Comptroller of the Currency report on US mortgages shows that 13.4% of mortgages are delinquent and 5.3% are 60 or more days past due (with a 95% probabilty of foreclosure), while 7.5% of FHA and VA-insured mortgages are likely to go to foreclosure. Over 15% percent of Payment Option ARMs were seriously delinquent, and 10 percent were in the process of foreclosure.

Long Time Coming: S&P cut MBIA Monoline's rating to 'junk' level. Does anyone pay any attention to S&P ratings any more? Why?

How Temporary is Temporary? Remember that the FDIC is broke and borrowing from the banks. Then explain, please, how and why Citi can make a $5 billion bond issue backed by the FDIC's Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program. Anybody here know how to play this game?

Whether Report: The IMF warns that banks have only recognized about half of the write-downs they need take – another $1.5 trillion by the end of 2010.

Straw Houses: The government reports that half of all modified mortgages have re-defaulted. The Bank of England , meanwhile, is afraid the banks there are re-inflating the housing bubble. Back in the USA, a 'massive' inventory of houses being held off the market threatens to depress prices even further.

The Whole Truth: Mankind's thirst for petroleum is not going to go away. Oil will continue to create problems for the world's economies, enrich a number of repugnant regimes, and keep CO2 building up in the atmosphere.


Anonymous said...

Essence : ...A world based on perpetual growth is doomed by its success. As long as our civilization is based on credit, its demise is foreordained.

Congratulations about posting on the fraud that is Growth Economics. Most economists agree about the need for GROWTH, everlasting. They just disagree about how to do it. Thus we have the unthinking bureaucrats at IMF, WORLD BANK, UN, FED, etc. all trying to keep Growth going when they should be doing the exact opposite.

Part of the Growth Mantra is that Technology, another human creation, will solve all. Yet with Technology we only measure the upside. Just like the GDP, we do not measure the downside. Even now as the supercomputers whirl in the Financial World, very few have asked whether these thousands of supercomputers and their trading models and super software are the harbinger of where Techonology and Growth will take us. Uncontrolled and unrestrained, this Finance Technology has demonstrated that it is a Destructive Force and that those who control it, GOLDMAN SUCHS amongst others, must be continuously rewarded.

So, personally, I have little respect for analysts who cannot see the Destruction Forest for the Growth Trees.
I hope you will post more on this subject as it is far more important than the usual financial fare of interest rates, deficits, taxes, etc.

CKMichaelson said...

Anony 205. There are only a handful - 3 or 4 - topics of singular importance: That the Earth is a closed system. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The doubling effect of growth rates. And that humans evolved one day at a time.

But if I wrote that, I'd be all done and then I'd hang around being bored.

Anonymous said...

Gee willikers, the Democrats have overwhelming majorities in Congress, and enjoy the ability to legislate as they please, yet they and their constituents can't stop whining about the Republicans.

Why waste precious time ridiculing the GOP as "foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who know nothing but no" when there's "a holocaust in America."

Just STFU and enact something already!

One problem, though, that even morons like me understand: the problem isn't the Republicans; it's the Democrats. Hence the Dems' frustration, lashing out and desperation to assign blame on the GOP for its inability to pass a bill.


fajensen said...

Just STFU and enact something already!

Politics is *not* about solving problems or improving things;

It is about *managing* problems by keeping them simmering, yet never actually removing them putting yourself out of a career and *keeping things the same* so you don't have to spend precious energy on learning new ways to leach!

The Democrats fail exponentially by their "Embrace & Embellish" approach just about every stupid / wrong thing the Republicans started through all times - they are so weak and pathetic it hurts!

They cannot even kill off, One, Single, Republican, Programme ... Just escalate, escalate, escalate.

Jim said...

Fools. Republican = Democrat. It's all a muse to distract the populace from the real fleecing going on.

CKMichaelson said...

Jim - It's far worse than that: Each of them is serious and believes that they, and they alone, have the solution to everything. It may distract us, but that's just an optional extra. They're serious.