Thursday, November 17, 2011

SAR #11319

Most men know as little about money as they do about sex.

Short Form: Italy has canceled bond auctions, explaining that it doesn't need the cash, even as it sets out to raise €440 billion. It has also declined to issue its preliminary 3Q GDP data because certain “revisions to previous data and procedure” were being made. See No Evil, Show no Evil. And, most certainly, Disclose no Evil.

Orienteering: Opening a new front on the war against China someone-or-other, 2,500 US Marines will be establishing a US toe-hold on Australia.

Foggy: Please explain what it means that the Federal Reserve is now the largest holder of US debt. At $1.665 trillion the Fed holds more than anyone, even China (at $1.1483 trillion). If the US pays the debt off, with interest, doesn't the Fed give the interest earnings back to the Treasury?

Blackened Swan: Amid all the assurances by 'reformed' banks, Winnebago County (Illinois) records show that “robo-signing” has not gone away. A small sampling of current foreclosure documents found hundreds of apparent forgeries by machines pretending to be Linda Green, Pat Kingston, and Brian Blaine.

Inflation Watch: The October CPI is down -0.1%, thanks to a decrease in energy costs, otherwise it was a 0.1% increase. Move along, nothing to see here.

Doing Well Without Doing Good: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are, by any measure, failed companies whose existence continues to depend on quarterly bailouts in the tens of billions of dollars, is getting set to pay the incompetents who run them nearly $100 million in bonuses again this year. And why, oh why, did Freddie pay Newt $1.6 million of borrowed taxpayer money?

Ketchup Redux: Republicans – of ketchup-as-vegetable fame – are trying to keep french fries and pizza (2 tablespoons of tomato sauce would be called a serving of vegetables) on the serving line at US school cafeterias, which would completely undo the nutritional standards proposed by the Agriculture department for school lunches. Remember, kids, a bunch of starch every day keeps the waistline away!

Ah, Wilderness: The BBC is doing a seven episode documentary mini-series called Frozen Planet. In the US it will only be a six-episode series, because the parts about climate change are intended for mature audiences.

It's A Gas: Retail sales reports came in encouragingly bullish with a 0.5% rise in October, m/m, and 6.7% y/y. But. But the Census Bureau notes that the statistical confidence range is ±0.5%. But October retail sales are regularly stronger than September's. And if you adjust for inflation and increased energy costs, the y/y drops to 1.75%. Adjusted for inflation, Octobers sales were 8.3% below the pre-crash high in January 2006. Note: Sears' 3Q sales fell 0.7%, Kmart's were down 0.9%, so we know were some of the sales at happier stores came from.

God Save The King: The King James Version of the Bible, my favorite publication in English, turned 400. Long may it live, if only for its delicious display of the power and beauty of the King's English.

Live Free Or Die: People trying to attend a Rick Perry even in New Hampshire were required to produce a picture ID to prove their citizenship. Strip searches were optional.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Usually I agree with your editorializing, but aren't you forgetting that ketchup has natural mellowing agents (presumably these also occur in the tomato sauce on pizza)?

Instead of trying to reduce the number of servings of french fries, maybe it would be a more practical approach to regulate the fat content in terms of percent of calories, saturatedness of the fat, and elimination of trans fat.

We all want a better world, but if we move in that direction it will be one step at a time.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Why, oh why, did Freddie pay Newt $1.6 million of borrowed taxpayer money? Presumably to keep him in their corner - only politics can keep their racket going, and even if Newt doesn't ascend to a position of formal authority, he may well be influential in the "climate of opinion" groupthink that shapes governance.

My verification word is "opult" - very apt, as it is clearly a contraction of "opulent".

Jesse said...

"Italy has canceled bond auctions, explaining that it doesn't need the cash, even ass it sets out to raise €440 billion"

Typo "ass" = "ask"

Thanks for what you do.

CKMichaelson said...

mistah c - You are right, of course. Ketchup is a marvelous concoction, perfect in the Heinz version, and I certainly use enough on my french fries to qualify it as a helping of veggies. But I'm not sure 2 T is a serving and I qould think of it as a sauce...

And Newt is being hired as what we used to call "an agent of influence" back when I was in the intelligence business.

Jesse - "ass" was (and is now) "as", an understandable Freudian slip.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re The King James Version of the Bible - having the Scripture in the vernacular is an essential step in moving toward the priesthood of all believers, as called for by many, including by Pope Maurice of the People's Catholic Church (as he put it in his native Italian, Tutti uomini sono Pietri - all men are Peters). Two points:

1) It is not just the sacerdotal function, but the prophetic function, that all those inspired by the Holy Spirit are called to perform. See, please, the statement of Rev. Rich Lang, of Temple United Methodist Church

2)Following Brother Jesse's example, I would like to point out a couple of typos - you mean

Long may it live, if only for its delicious display of the power and beauty of the King's English.

And thanks from me as well - I don't know where this ride is going, but it's good to have even virtual companionship.

CKMichaelson said...

Boy-o-boy is First Reader going to be embarrassed...

ckm (and corrections corrected, again)