Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SAR #11165

In politics a false hypothesis is better than no hypothesis. Much better.

Unknown Unknowns: The Bush administration's disdain for planning for the post-war occupation and administration of Iraq led to more than $12 billion in cash being piled on pallets and shipped off to Baghdad. $6.6 billion of the cash simply disappeared. The theft is being blamed on Iraqi officials, but the lack of accountability and records permits other speculation.

Reality Test: The real interest rate on 10-year bonds was a measly 0.79 % last Friday. Tell the children, the Inflation Boogie Men have been delayed!

Shared Struggle: House prices continue to fall and household equity is at an all time low, so the $8.7 trillion uptick in household net worth have come from somewhere else. Well, the stock market has nearly doubled – maybe that's where all that QE money ended up, pushing up the prices on stocks – 81% of which are owned by the top 10% of the food chain. Tells you who Ben's working for, doesn't it.

Prediction or Prescription: “At some point, the citizens of Europe's periphery countries will remember what democracy is for.”

"Dominion over all the earth... " Humankind is rapidly destroying animal life in the oceans. By 2050 there will be few if any wild fish left, and nearly no shrimp, lobsters, clams, and oysters. As with the rest of our self-destructive behaviors, there is no reason to believe we'll change our ways.

Zero Sum Game: Only 58.4% of Americans are employed, the fewest since the 1980s, yet corporations have recouped all of the profits they had lost to the recession and the GDP has returned to its pre-recession levels – with 7.3 million fewer US workers. The “US” label is required, because the corporations are hiring people in Bangladesh and so on, waiting for the US worker to become “competitive.” For the usual prize, define “competitive”.

Hollow Victory: This is not a repeat of the Great Depression, they say. There are no bread lines, they say. Yes, 44 million Americans depend on food stamps, but there are no bread lines.

X-Axis, Y-Axis: Estimates are that China will build humongous numbers of cars and trucks in the future – as many as 100 million between 2015 and 2017. The fear is that they will end up using up all 'our' gasoline. The worry should be that they'll use up everybody's iron, coal, rare earths and everything else it would take to build all those vehicles.

Emperor's Clothing: "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world."

Kicking Dead Horses: Robert Shiller (with Barry Ritholtz cheering madly) once again demonstrates that the Efficient Market Theory was (and still is) a load of hogwash.

Come the Jubilee: The only realistic way for the US to get out of debtors prison is through debt forgiveness. The rich who live off our interest payments are not about to call a time out, so we'll have to do it for them.


Anonymous said...

The 58.4% is the current figure for the Civilian Employment Ratio, which the BLS defines as "The proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population aged 16 years and over that is employed." The gross employment to population ratio is lower, and isn't reported.

CKMichaelson said...

Quite true. Some assumptions are made (and details left unexplicated) in the interest of space. But you are right. Until the Republican degregulatory drive gets its way, we do not think of children and seniors as part of the labor pool.


TulsaTime said...

Class warfare is not going to be an abstract concept before long. Poor folks and burny things flying through the air make for a bad bidness environment.