Economic systems are belief systems.
Words As Deeds: “Investors can bring private rights of action against ratings agencies for a knowing or reckless failure to conduct a reasonable investigation of the facts...” Now all three ratings agencies are saying “Don't quote me!” Apparently investment ratings are now to be used only for amusement purposes, as though this were a change.
Suffer Now, Suffer Later: Deficit hawks keep worrying about the sky falling – some time in the future. Krugman & Company says 'Maybe so,” but would rather keep the circus going as long as possible. Now comes L. Randall Wray with a calm and rational explanation of why Vinnie will be happy to keep getting the vig while we go about getting the mess straightened out. It's moot anyway, because without additional stimulus the goose is well and truly cooked.
Measuring Rod: In signing the industry-written so-called finance reform law, Obama called it “the strongest consumer financial protections in history." Which tells you how little protection the consumer had before. Now everyone's bragging about financial reform, financial reform. Look, the current problem is the result of massive fraud, ponzi schemes, and outright lies. How are they going to reform? Tell smaller lies? Steal smaller amounts less often?
Silly Season: After a knee-jerk reaction to an obscure right wing blogsite's mischaracterization of Ms. Sherrod's comments, the White House is now trying to get the egg off its face. The only one that comes out looking good from all this is Ms. Sherrod. Not Obama, not the MSM which treated it as a serious story, nor Mr. Breitbart who started the whole thing with enthusiastic misrepresentation. You'd have thought he was auditioning for Fox or something.
Lies, Damned Lies & (GOP) Statistics: “The last year of the Bush administration, the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.2 percent...” Excuse me, but I was there and that's not the way it happened.
Waffles: Oil is leaking from the seabed around and near the BP disaster, but (a) it may be coming from an abandoned well nearby, (b) the five leaks around the BP disaster itself don't mean anything, (c) we don't know but we're pretty sure there's nothing to worry about. Certainly the BP disaster well isn't buckling or anything. There, feel better?
Be Prepared: If you are working on your survivalist Merit Badge, check out the 'How To' list that Michael Panzner posted.
Cost/Benefit Ratio: The “War on Terrorism” has cost the US well over a trillion dollars (including the useless war in Iraq and the endless one in Afghanistan) and several Constitutional rights. The bailout of Wall street has cost us over $3.7 trillion, to no discernible benefit to those who don't draw banker's bonuses. I've got a bad case of buyer's remorse.
Socialist Menace: Finland, not satisfied with spoiling their population through socialized medicine, now insists that access to high-speed broadband is a 'legal right'. If we can't invade them, how about lobbing a couple of Predators at the smarmy bastards?
Volunteers: European countries are asking their citizens to (quietly and obediently, if not happily) embrace major national sacrifices (for which read personal suffering) in order to
save bankers from 20 years of reckless lending prevent a disastrous future. Worked well in Hungary right? And Greece will go along quietly, too?
Stumble, Or Tripped? Hand-wringing anew as most areas show ever-increasing housing inventories as sales plummet, foreclosures increase, and prices fall. The WSJ says the problem is “too many homes and falling demand.” The problem is we built far too many houses on the ridiculous idea that everyone should own one – or at least be paying on one.
Porn O'Graph: Grease for the wheels, warfare as welfare.
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Lifeline: Stoneleigh has updated the Automatic Earth's Primer. The nicest thing you can do for yourself this very moment is to go and bookmark the entry (or copy and paste where it is convenient, like your Desktop), then treat her reference essays as reality therapy, taken as needed.