Saturday, November 26, 2011

SAR #11328

I have little faith in the past; none in the future.

Conundrum: Any move towards greater fiscal integration in the eurozone will take years, but the eurozone does not have years to spare. Days, weeks, maybe even a few months; not years.

No, Virginia... European banks have run out of their supply of greater fools and are stuck with a pile of supposed assets that are losing value every day – which is why they can't sell them. This leaves the banks desperately needing to raise cash to survive. And no one wants to buy what they have or to lend to them.

Firstly: On close reading, nothing in the Constitution says that you can't be assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets or – for all we know – disappeared, for wanting to reverse most of what happened in the last third of the 20th Century in the land where money is speech and corporations are people.

All Together Now: The generals managed to turn out a crowd of “thousands” to demonstrate in support of Egypt's ruling military junta, chanting “The military, the police and the people are one.” And in that order.

Over the Horizon: Our economic problems will not end with the 2012 elections, they are likely to be around a decade from now. At 90,000 new jobs a month – our recent average – most of the 14 million unemployed will be permanently unemployed, for it takes the 90,000 new jobs just to keep up with the month's new workers. That sets up a vicious cycle where lower spending leads to slow job formation. Expect the millions of discarded workers to demonstrate for a piece of the pie, while the haves put up walls to guard their privilege. Money will command the corridors of power while the people take to the streets. Eventually, new directions and new approaches will arise. Eventually.

Heads I win, Tails You Lose: Temporarily leading GOP wannabee Newt Gingrich wants the government to make good on your investment losses: " If someone with a personal account retires with benefits lower than those offered by the current system, the Treasury will send them a check to make up the difference." Remember - and this is true of the whole herd of midgets - if you want 'em, don't cry when you get 'em.

The Dickens You Say? In more than a third of US states, debt collectors can get arrest warrants for people who are behind on their bills.

Where the Bouys Are: Since the 'end of the recession'™ in 2Q09, nominal national income has increased 11.6%. But inflation has risen 4.7%, the population has grown 1.9%, and real wages have risen less than 1%, which means that the real per capita labor income has fallen by 1%. However, the FDIC reports that banks earnings in 3Q11 were up 48% y/y at $35.3 billion.

Location, Location... A senior executive at the Bank of England predicts that the UK housing market is “unlikely to recover”, that home ownership rates will fall and that house prices will never return to their former levels.

Kettle, Bubbling: Four were killed and nine wounded in clashes between Shiite commoners and Royal Saudi security forces in the oil-rich Eastern Province.

Report Card: The nation's food banks report that one in five children – and nearly 1 in 3 African-American or Latino households - are at risk of hunger. Hungry children have trouble focusing in school, get sick more often and struggle daily with stress at home. Many are eligible for free or reduced-price food at school, but often have no food available at home at night or over the weekend. Many schools provide backpacks of food for their hungry students' weekends. Remind me again how poor student performance is the teachers' fault.

Calm Down & Look at the Data: Denialists are enthused over a report that suggests global climate change will produce a slower rate of warming than previously suggested. The difference is between the IPCC's estimate of a rise of 3ºC with a doubling of CO2 levels, and 2.3ºC.


Queenbee said...

CK I love you sense of humor and sarcasm. Basically the world is screwed and no one will save us.

Anonymous said...

"On close reading, nothing in the Constitution says...

Hello CK: Been a while. Sorry for that. Busy.

No, the constitution seems not to cover occasions arising from uprising, yes? Problem? It was always an elitist piece of shit, imo. Just my opinion. Make of it what you will.

kwark said...

RE "Kettle, Bubbling" The security forces are acting with "restraint" and 4 are dead, doesn't bode well. And meanwhile, in other disturbing news that doesn't bode well . . . "24 troops dead in NATO helicopter attack" and "US expresses condolences to Pakistan". You just can't make up this stuff. So, if you were an average Abdul in Karachi, why wouldn't you conclude that Pakistan was at war with the US? Which leads one to wonder when Pakistan might make it so.

CKMichaelson said...

Oh, to see ourselves as others... Pakistan and the US are like tectonic plates, grinding againstg each other, heading in different directions toward an inevitable release of the pressure. Stepping back from the odd US war in Afghanistan and looking (with some historical perspective) at the geopolitics of the great arc of the Indian Ocean might help explain the conflict between the US thirst for influence and the Pakistani struggle to exist.

US arrogance doesn't help, but subtlety and sensitivity in the Great Game are not US hallmarks. It seems inevitable that the Americans are about to get another geography lesson.


kwark said...


Well, I confess to being among the relatively ignorant American masses when it comes to understanding our actions relative to Pakistan and India - short of the obvious resource issues that have become apparent in the last 10 years (and drive our actions in the "stans" regardless of the "freedom" jaw-flapping out of DC). Hmmm . . . we do get highly trained tech workers really cheap so our home-grown highly trained tech workers can collect unemployment. And with the wonders of the internet we don't even have to import them as much as we used to - they can stay in Islamabad or Delhi dressing oddly and worship what they wish and not upset the sensibilities of upstanding American WASPs. Ah well, I digress.