Thursday, August 18, 2011

SAR #11230

Governments rest on the consent of their victims, too.

Devil/Details: The leaders of Germany and France have proposed the eurozone form a “true European economic government” led by the president of the EU and consisting of the leaders of the 17 eurozone nations. They also want a constitutional requirement for balanced budgets to be adopted by all the eurozone nations. A few details remain to be worked out.

In The News: The Mortgage Bankers' Association reports that applications for mortgages fell 9.1% last week. The market's volatility got noticed.

Politics, As Usual:How do you judge economic performance? Number of jobs? Number of unemployed? Employment/population ratio? Average wage? Pick the one that makes you look good, or him look bad. Tiebreaker: 44.7% of the US population has a job; 43.5% of Texans. It was 47% in Texas when Perry took over.

Echo? What Echo? A Shell platform off the Scottish coast has been leaking for over a week, but so far Shell has been less than forthcoming with information about the size, cause, and prognosis for the leak.

Question: Deficit this, deficit that, deficits everywhere and under the bed. How big is this deficit thingy? After all the numbers and assumptions and grinding of teeth and threatening to evict grandma from the nursing home, it turns out that the CBO assumption that makes the ten-year deficit a problem is the assumption that the Bush tax cuts never expire. If they end when they are supposed to under current law, presto-chango, no big deficit problem.

Up In Smoke: In July, China increased its coal imports by 36% y/y, to 17.5 million metric tons. How much is that in atmospheric CO2?

Ransom Note: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor vetoed Obama's plan for a major jobs program even before the plan had been announced. He insists that the Republicans stop any discussion of new stimulus spending. New tax breaks are fine, but any new spending will have to come at the expense of existing spending, preferably from health care and social services.

Art Appreciation: In Long Beach, CA, the cops will arrest you if your vacation photos do not have any "apparent esthetic value." The officers have no specific training or guidelines, but will arrest you "based on their experience" if you are not engaging in"regular tourist behavior."

Leftovers:Saudi internal consumption of petroleum increased 15% y/y. Good thing their production is up by 17%.

Prospecting: Obama seems to think busing around the country saying 'we need more jobs' is going to get him re-elected. It won't. Actually creating jobs by hiring people to build infrastructure with the free money the world is begging us to take pretty much interest free, now that's an idea...

Faintly Praised: Rick Perry is George Bush “without the intelligence or the ethics.”

Maybe: Further economic deterioration, such as that anticipated to follow the budgetary cuts demanded by the Republicans, is likely to trigger higher unemployment and another fall in aggregate demand resulting in a recession which will trigger yet another leg down in housing and increase in foreclosures - which would increase banks balance sheet problems. But when they turn to Washington for further bailouts, the cupboard will be bare. Note the "is likely". Ditto for Europe.

Capitalism Explained: The meaner you are, the more money you make - $9,772 a year more.

Porn O'Graph: 'Crushing' illustrated.


Drewbert said...

CKM - How can you post "Prospecting" with a straight face in the same day as "Ransom Note"

CKMichaelson said...

It seems painfully obvious that the know-nothing wing of the GOP will prevent any job building spending (except that which might build more jails, drones, surveillance equipment etc.)and that without government spending to stimulate the economy there will not be any significant number of new jobs. And an economy still in the dumps with 10% or more of the voters unemployed is not going to re-elect the President. The fact that he wants to create more jobs won't count.

And having kept Obama from creating jobs, the GOP will run against him for not having created any new jobs.

So I didn't even have to bite my lips to post both items. The one and the other make a whole... even if some assembly was required.


Drewbert said...

Orange you Speaker Boner keeps ranting on twitter at Obama saying "Where are the jobs Mr. President?"

To which I reply "Where is the JOBS BILL for Mr. President to sign Madam Speaker!?"*

*he cries a lot.
** I'm not very popular on Twitter.

tulsatime said...

Sort of like the great budget crisis via extension of the bush tax cuts. Nobody worryin bout no debt then! And what do you want to bet there will be some crack fantasy out of the super committee that closes a loophole for middle class and opens a floodgate for the endowed class ? BOHICA !

Bill Hicks said...

Ummm...if the world is "begging us to take their money interest free," how come the Federal Reserve had to buy a couple of trillion dollars in Treasury Debt?

We cannot print our way out of this economic crisis. Down that road lies a final dollar crash and hyperinflation. I agree that the alternative to stopping the insane amounts of deficit spending will suck as well, but that's the bind we have placed ourselves in through 30 years of reckless fiscal policies.