Thursday, June 16, 2011

SAR #11167

Last time, the Germans didn't use accountants.

Depends on What The Definition of Is Is: President Obama says he doesn't have to politely ask “May I?” for his war in Libya because “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” Besides, the Pentagon is paying for the un-war with spare change left over from its lunch money, so no appropriation is needed and so the House doesn't get to have an opinion.

Empire Falls: The NY Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed indicators of business conditions falling 20 points into negative territory, reflecting a serious drop in general business conditions, shipments, new orders and employment.

Dominos: Greece is insolvent and cannot, now or in the foreseeable future, pay its debts. The Greek default will seriously compromise if not outright bankrupt many major European banks. The European countries that still have some credit and credibility will be very hard pressed to prop up their banks. US banks (and hedge funds) will not be immune and the euro is likely to vanish in its current form. And that's just the financial part of this mess. The riots have already started in Greece and are well along in the planning stages in Spain, Portugal and...

Ah, That's The Problem: “...all of the big names surrounding economic policy are no longer economists but lawyers and people associated with Wall Street.”

Coal Miner's Daughter: China has more than doubled its coal consumption in the last decade. The global transition back to coal is fully on course, with a veritable second Age of Coal now on the horizon, which is getting harder to see through the haze.

As High As An Elephant's Eye... Republicans, ever alert to find ways to cut the budget, have quietly maneuvered to prevent reductions in federal farm subsidies. Instead, compensating cuts were made in domestic and international food aid programs. The Senate, not to be outdone, refused to end the completely idiotic $5 billion tax subsidy to the ethanol industry. And these folks are going to reduce the deficit?

Trees/Forest: Deforestation in the Amazon increased from 103 sq km in April/May of 2010 to 593 sq km this year. Most of the rainforest is being cut in order to expand the soybean crop. Let me know when the last tree is cut – we'll hold a memorial.

Early Worm: Early indications based on regional MLS sales suggests that existing house sales were down 5% in May, m/m and down 15% y/y.

Longer Time Plans: Chairman Mullen of the Joint Chiefs says that while a few troops are being withdrawn, the US “is not leaving” Afghanistan. Sorry Admiral, but we will leave. The question is when and under how much pressure.

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Politician! Spanish legislators in Catalonia have resorted to police helicopters to reach the regional parliament without facing demonstrators protesting proposed austerity measures.


Anonymous said...


I have been following the Financial Implosion since 1998. The PIIGS Problem since that started. Maybe some Blogger might explain since no Economist or other Analyst has done so: When one defaults why not default 100% rather than a piecemeal haircut, get a full shave! Go Kojack! It would seem that if this is done, one becomes even more of a prospect to lend money to, rather than less. Seems the experts never discuss some of the most obvious of issues. Or maybe in our VOODOO Economics, this is taboo.

For example, when one walks away from a mortgage in the US, it is from 100% of the debt not a fraction of it.

(By the way, Ms. Manners sez its Dominoes......"

Drewbert said...

As High As An Elephant's Eye: It's completely unsurprising. The Republicans will try and have you believe that the farm subsidies go to Maw and Paw with a few fields of corn and just getting by in a '76 Chevy Pickup. The reality is that most of the consumers of the farm subsidy dollars are huge food corporations who are, lets face it, already very rich. Once that realization is made, the entire thing makes sense. Republicans protect the incomes of the rich at the expense of the poor.*

*Next I'll be told that those hard working corporations deserve the subsidy because they are hard working and actually produce something. The poor who are starving should just go get a job if they want to eat.

CKMichaelson said...

Now, now, Drewbert - don't go stealing Bill's ammo.


Anonymous said...

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Politician!

Unless the Republicans and Democrats stop with the talking points and compromise on spending cuts and tax increases, this will soon be commonplace in DC.


Anonymous said...

BTW, the farm and ethanol subsidies are a joke. I'm not a kool-aid drinker.


Anonymous said...

RE: Trees/Forest

You may have your memorial.

I wonder though; Do you think the people of the region might be happy, throwing a party rather than a memorial, that they are on their way to having a washing machine, dryer and maybe "always on" hot water as opposed to living in abject poverty in order to assuage our environmental guilt?