And then we went to war...
Steps: If “nobody will defend quantitative easing without fiscal stimulus” why is Bernanke plunging ahead? Perhaps he thinks it can be done by smoke and mirrors. Oh, wait, we’ve already tried that.
Suicide Pact: The bipartisan commission charged with finding ways
to kill any hope of an economic recovery to lower the deficit suggests reducing child tax credits, abolishing the mortgage-interest deduction, eliminating the deduction for health insurance premiums and anything else anyone earning under $200,000 could claim. Let's write in and suggest we stop invading other countries and save a trillion or so a year.
Information: Bloomberg News xxxxxx FOIA xxxxxxx xxxx the US Xxxxxxxxxx for a list of xxxxxxxx Citigroup xxxxxxxx for a $300 xxxxxx from the xxxxxx xxxx. Now, xx xxxxx, they xxxxxxx useless xxxxxx.
Scattered Sunshine: US Treasury tax receipts, an indicator of payroll growth, are improving. Tepidly, but at least a positive. The improvement seems to come from employers restoring hours to their employees, not new hiring.
Clearing Things Up: The International Energy Agency says that the recent increases in claimed oil reserves by Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are "good news," but it remains unclear whether they will contribute to future oil supplies. I guess they're the sort of reserves that never get off the bench.
Reading Assignment: “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science” An everybody read.
One More Time: Repeated experiments with the US economy have demonstrated that tax cuts do not pay for themselves, no matter how many times Republican snake oil salesman make the claim. If they cannot learn from their own experiments, why should we trust them with any responsible position? Like being a Senator.
Credit Where Due: QE2 amounts to a decision by the US government to shorten the maturity of its outstanding debt, paying off long-term bonds while borrowing short-term... It’s just as if Treasury sold 3-month T-bills and used the proceeds to buy back 10-year bonds.
Long Term Investment : Holding a stock over the weekend now qualifies as a long term investment. 70% of all stock market trades are held for about 11 seconds. And in that 11 seconds computers can generate 15,000 quotes, playing with the price. I'm old enough to remember when humans and the law of supply and demand had some passing influence on the market.
If, Then, But: Serial prognosticator/economist Jeff Rubin sees the price of oil rising to $100 “in a few weeks” but thinks that the claimed 170 billion barrels of Canadian tar-sand oil will never be “completely tapped” because the cost of production will have a serious and significant dampening effect on the world economy, eliminating the demand that would pay for the production and ending globalization.
Curiosity: Reports claim the US wants to increase the CIA's presence in Pakistan “to help Pakistan” in areas the US military cannot reach through (illegal) cross-border raids. Can't anyone keep a secret?
Death and Texas: Texas needs to cut $25 billion from its two-year budget – which is 25% of the current budget. Even education programs face cuts, along with significant governmental lay-offs. Note that a 25% budget cut must come out of the discretionary budget, which is about half the budget. So 25% cuts really means 50% cuts in aid and services. New York, too, faces the same problem. Want to guess how long before the wheels come off?
Porn O'Graph: Where the boys are.