Friday, November 5, 2010

SAR #10309

In business reporting, the word 'revised' is generally followed by 'downward'.

Christmas Shopping:  In preparation for the giving season, Obama will give the Republicans the tax cuts they demand for the ridiculously rich, in hopes of getting them to behave for a little while.  The White house characterized this as a compromise with Republicans.  Usual prize for anyone who can explain how 'capitulation' can be a 'compromise'

Mirandize Him! Serial human rights violator and prospective fugitive from international law George W. Bush has confessed that “Damn right” it was he who “personally ordered waterboarding” - a form of torture which is a crime under international law.

Self-Hoisting Petard:  Bernanke explained that QE will increase stock and asset prices and lower long term interest rates.  He hopes that higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending.  Excuse me, Mr. Ben, but how much stock does the average 99-week unemployed person have?

Chorus:  Weekly jobless claims came in at 457,000, up 20,000 after last weeks data were revised up by 3,000.  The 4 week moving average increased slightly to 456,000.  There were 4,340,000 continuing claims and a 357,000 rise in claims for extended benefits.

Once Upon A Time:  Changes in salt concentrations in North Atlantic seawater similar to those that occurred 20,000 years ago are expected to recur in the next 100 years.  Back then the flow of the Atlantic MOC (the Gulf Stream) reversed.

Modesty:  “While clearly the election did not transfer full control of the government to the opposition...”  Nice to know that Mitch McConnell can count.

Big Chill:  There is over $800 billion in outstanding student loans.  A young couple with average student loans are already $75,000 - $100,000 in debt.  How many years, in this economy, will it take for them to pay down that debt far enough to qualify for a mortgage?

Numbers Game:  It will take 107 months to sell off the banks' current and shadow inventory of foreclosed homes.  Divide by 12.  That's nearly 9 years.  And that's too long, partner.

Shiller Says:  House prices are flat now, suggesting a long-term decline ahead.  The housing market will not recover in 2011, strengthening the odds of a double-dip recession. If banks have to buy back their bad mortgages they may need another bailout, but are unlikely to get one.  There is more than a 50-50 chance we'll slip back into recession and unemployment will stay high for a long time.  There is, he concludes, something wrong with the system. Y'think?

Understatement.  Expect acrimony and gridlock...

Indigestion:  In another pre-need compromise with Republicans, the administration has dropped support for regulations to limit CO2 emissions and will seek other ways to curb production of greenhouse gases.  A long, deep, global depression would do the trick.

Stumble:  The IEA suggests that Iraq will miss its 2017 production target of 12 million barrels a day by about 20 years.  And even then it is more likely to be 6 mbd.  Turns out the cornucopia of oil is nearly as nonexistent the WMD turned out to be.

More & More & More:  Goldman Sachs sees QE2 lasting through 2012 and topping out at $2 trillion brand new dollar bills.   Interest rates are expected to be essentially non-existent until 2015. Invest in your favorite asset bubble now.

Mandatory Sentencing:  Four prominent economists ( George Akerlof, William Black, James Gailbraith, and Joseph Stiglitz) agree that we cannot solve the economic crisis until we throw the criminals who committed fraud in jail.  There were crimes, there are victims, and letting the miscreants off with token fines simply compounds the damage.  If you can go to jail for a year for stealing $1,200, how many years should you get for stealing billions?

Porn O'Graph : The consumer is spent.


Anonymous said...

Mandatory Sentencing:

Even at this late date in the Financial Debacle, I have yet to see any detailed analysis as to the number of crimes committed and the number of white collar criminals who continue in their serial crime careers. My conservative estimate based on the trillions involved would be millions of criminals running loose and expanding their crime horizons. And, with all due respect to Bill Black, the S&L Crisis and the failure to prosecute criminals fully at that time, was the learning template for what we are experiencing now.

But one fact is agreed: as the Rule of Law is diminished and ignored both by the criminals and the prosecutors and the courts (Robbertz Kourt foremost), the Crime expands and the chance of any recovery shrinks.

Where will all the honest people come from even if there was a will to hire them?

OSR said...

"A long, deep, global depression would do the trick."

So would another bubble in the oil futures market. I'm sure that Exxon, BP and Chevron are all chomping at the bit to get back to making record profits again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, CK!