Saturday, February 27, 2010

SAR #10058/Weekender

The market has already priced in the bad stuff, they say.

Multiple Listing Service:  Sales of new houses in January fell 11%. Sales of existing houses fell 7.2%.  Both were... unexpected by those who think unemployed consumers are  rushing out to support the recovery, even while mortgage rates are on the rise.

Lottery:  Q4 2009 GDP was revised downward to 5.7% (and would have been less than 2% without inventory restocking), and the year's figure is down2.4%.  It's the worst full year contraction since 1946, when we were switching from making bombs to making babies.

Long/Short:  There are a lot of reasons the IMF cannot (and will not) help Greece, but the main one is the Greeks and their insistence they get a share of the proceeds – while the IMF would insist whatever money can be found should go to the international banks.

Bank Shot:  A chunk of ice the size of Luxembourg came loose from Antarctica and crashed into another big chunk and now both icebergs are bobbing in the ocean, melting away.  Researchers say the two could lower the oxygen level of the adjacent ocean, disrupt ocean currents, and change weather patterns around the globe.

Promissory Shortfall:  The UN has announced that not enough empty promises to cut CO2 emissions have been made to keep global warming below 2ºC even if, by some fluke, they were actually kept.

Asked and Answered:  Do toxins cause autism?  Quite possibly . It is likely something we have done to the environment that is doing this to us.

Oxymorons:  In order to insure the security and safety of the public, US military intelligence found it necessary to spy on the activities of Planned Parenthood.  And people wonder why Bin Laden is still at large – he doesn't go to Planned Parenthood meetings!

Perfect, Just Perfect:  Senator Bunning (R-KY) single-handedly blocked extending unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work the longest.  Senator Kyl (R-AZ) has estated better reasons.

Me! Chose Me!  The head of the IMF wants to be given the power to regulate the world's financial systems.  All of them.  For our own good.  Seen any flying pigs lately?

Expect The Unexpected:  No, it's not a Monty Python bit, bad economic news is always unexpected.  Except 'round here.

Pig, Poke:  Moody’s - having blessed them when they were new – now says losses on sub-prime backed securities will amount to 19% on the 2005 vintage, growing to 48% write-offs for the 2007 vintage.  Alt-A securities will do a tad better, with only a 14% loss on the 2005's growing to a 35% write-off on the 2007's.  We hope these revisions haven't caused any inconvenience.

Lip Service:  “Small businesses are the heart of the American economy.” Heard that one lately?  Yet America is 76th out of the 77 richest nations when it comes to small-business ownership.  Since 1960, non-farm self-employment has fallen by 50%.

The Wisdom of Crowds:  A majority of Americans do not trust the government to protect the civil rights of citizens.  Corporations' rights seem secure.

Porn O'Graph:  The not-so-evil tax rates.


Anonymous said...

RE: The Wisdom of Crowds

It's not if the revolution is coming, it's just a matter of when.


Anonymous said...

Me! Chose Me! The head of the IMF wants to be given the power to regulate the world's financial systems. All of them. For our own good. Seen any flying pigs lately?

Good for you for pointing this out.

All these acronyms are vying for control or at least an increased piece of the Disaster Pie. Let no Disaster go unexploited. Thank you, Naomi Klein.
One particular person I view with a very jaundiced eye is Simon Johnson, ex-Chief Economist at IMF. He says lots of good stuff but has never, to my knowledge, repented his IMF pedigree and connections. How then can he be Saviour? There are lots more of these types floating about, Obummah style, Reformers in Sheep's Clothing who would regulate and enslave us even more.

DIogenes would pass the whole lot of them by. Look within oneself and without this vast acronymic system to find solution.

Anonymous said...

The Wisdom of Crowds:

The entire reason that the founders wrote the Constitution was to keep a powerful federal government from encroaching on the rights of the states and the individual citizens of the US. If that wasn’t explicitly obvious from the actual text of the document, then the prolific discourse left by the founders in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere makes that point over and over again.

That a majority of Americans are concerned about the growth and power of the federal government shouldn't be a surprise; it should be basic civics.

However, I am surprised the percentage isn't higher, especially in light of the way that the Kamikaze Leftists in Washington are behaving. It’s hard to figure out what it will take to get the other 44% to comprehend it, short of total collapse.

There’s s only one way to defeat political martyrs who believe that increasing their power is more important than the will of the people: you substitute brass knuckles for gloves, pick up a 2x4, and slowly beat them to death using every maneuver you can dream up.

With any luck, that will buy enough time to November

CKMichaelson said...

Anony 358 - I'd agree a bit more enthusiastically if instead of 'citizens' in your first sentence you had used some term to denote 'the wealthy landowner class' (today mostly thought of as Republicans). The main concern of the framers was to gain the support of the commoner without actually granting any power to the lower classes.

'Twas ever so.


Anonymous said...

You might want to check your facts before commenting. 15 of the richest members of Congress in 2008 were Democrats.



In addition, Democrat members of the House of Representatives now represent most of the nation's wealthiest people, a sharp turnaround from the long-standing dominance that Republicans have held over affluent districts.


Finally, the Democrats happily accepted the majority of Wall Street campaign contributions during the last election.

I'm not defending the Republicans; rather, I'm simply trying to adjust your foggy vision and naive perspective.

Anonymous said...

I meant to write

..15 of the 25 richest...

CKMichaelson said...

Anony 551/554 - I believe I said "thought of as Republicans". The historic drift from pole to pole of the two main political parties is a fascinating study, but we've no room for subtly here. I am of the firm personal conviction that the terminology for our political parties is misleading in that it suggests there are two of them. There are not.

(By the way, being rich does not automatically preclude one from acting on behalf of the downtrodden - it just makes it more unlikely. Thus the wealth of the 15 Dems you cite does not necessarily disqualify them from the role of savior of the downtrodden.)

We have become (I'm not sure we were ever else) exactly what most of the framer's wanted: A land controlled by the landed gentry.

And we are as effectively a one party state as any empire ever was, although we spend a great deal of time and treasure to pretend otherwise.

I'm often surprised by those who attack me for being a liberal or a big D democrat. I would hope to be far more subversive than that.