Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SAR #10244

If it is immoral but not illegal, ask who wrote the law.

Spin Cycle:   The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows a 4.4% rise in US house prices in 2Q 2010 and a 3.6% increase y/y.   Usual caveats:  The buy-a-house-tax-bribe, the report is for the end of June and things have gone rapidly downhill since and, and, and.  Hey, for just a moment let's enjoy the sun while it's shining.

Fightin' Words:  “There is no evidence that immigrants crowd out U.S.-born workers in either the short or long run. Data show that, on net, immigrants expand the U.S. economy’s productive capacity, stimulate investment, and promote specialization that in the long run boosts productivity.”  Giovanni Peri, a visiting scholar at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.

Daylight   Hedgie Dan Loeb has says “It's easy to see why people conclude the whole system is rigged.” Right, Dan, the system is rigged – just not the way you think it is (too much regulation!). Everybody knows.

Shade Tree Mechanics:  One way to hide solve the unemployment problem is to say the rules have changed and that from now on 8% will be called 'full employment', because most of the unemployed had jobs that will never come back.  And if an 8% unemployment rate is 'normal' then economists and politicians not only don't have to do anything, they – by definition - cannot.  The problem then becomes what do we call the 'structurally' unemployed and how do we feed them?

Decoder Ring:  Mexico claims to have found 1.5 billion barrels of proved, probable and possible oil reserves.  'Proved' means a 95% chance it's there, 'probable' is the 50/50 stuff, and 'possible' has a 5% chance of being there.  Would you apply the same approach to describing your love life?

Whether Forecast:  “The next few years will be a combination of economic stagnation and political witch-hunt.  This is going to be almost inconceivably ugly.”

Hullabaloo:  There is no real reason to be worried about Social Security's finances for at least another 25 years - as long as Uncle Sam honors the Treasury bonds Social Security holds. The problem is Uncle Sam cannot afford to keep running around bombing folks at random, bailing out gadzillionaires, giving Big Pharma and the health insurers buckets of money, paying farmers to grow stuff and all the rest... So it was time for a diversion.  It's that or actually do something about health care costs and the Defense budget.

Parse the Following:  In discussing the fact that one in six Americans is now receiving government aid of some kind, a writer observed: “the surge in benefits recipients is a combination of both economic weakness and the expansion of benefits eligibility in order to support Americans during the crisis.”  Of course the one has nothing to do with the other.

Porn O'Graph:  Mapping the future.


Anonymous said...

That Dan Loeb guy was appalling. One can imagine him righteously indignant about the gov preventing him from selling meth to elementary school kids. How dare their be any barriers to capitalism?

Anonymous said...

Re: "Fightin' words" - this one point may in fact be true, that slave labor enriches the elites...

However there are also the "externalities" to consider for the rest of us.

Externalities like teachers having to spend a disproportionate amount of time with non English-speaking children, increased use of social services, and crime-filled barrios.

Our country has a love affair with exploited labor. First it was black slaves, then it was Chinese indentured labor, and now it's undocumented Hispanics.

Next it will be un(der)educated Americans.

kwark said...

RE: Fightin' Words Well, he's Italian so we can safely ignore anything HE says. But immigrants make such useful useful scapegoats - especially the brown folks from south of the border. They're at least as useful to the elites in that sense as they are as cheap labor. And those folks wouldn't be coming in large numbers if our client states to the south had healthy economies. Thank you NAFTA and 125 years of stifling, err ... "helpful", US foreign policy and corporate plundering.