Monday, April 9, 2012

SAR #12100

If it doesn't work, it is not a solution, no matter how elegant.

FIFO: JPMorgan is "no longer accepting student loan applications as of March 29". They are getting out while the getting out is good, just as they did with the subprime market. If history repeats, what comes next is going to be... educational.

Payback: All those look-Ma-no-winter good job numbers in December, January, February and March will be paid back over the next few months, driving down job creation just when it traditionally surges due to spring's arrival. Add to that the excessive debt still carried by the American consumer, the higher oil prices, and business' lack of enthusiasm for expanding payrolls in the absence of stronger sales and the next few monthly job creation reports look to be anemic at best.

Marginalia: One of the unaddressed aspects of the shift towards part-time and temporary work is that these jobs do not, as a rule, come with any employer-sponsored health insurance. Another argument for universal single-payer healthcare.

Temperature Inversion: In some parts of the country the all-in cost of renting a house is more than the cost of buying the same house. This is a rather unique condition, and the investor-class is salivating over potential profits from becoming 21st century slum-lords to a group of former middle-class Americans who cannot scrape together enough money for a down-payment or enough credit for a mortgage.

Accentuating the Positive: On top of the world-wide supply 'tightness'TM US gasoline prices traditionally spike about 27% as refineries cut output to switch to their summer blends. At a national $3.93 average, this years rise is only about half done.

Headline Acts: Are the Republicans "callous and insensitive" towards women? In Wisconsin Republicans say workplace gender discrimination is a myth while Gov. Walker signs dozens of bills that "turn back the clock on women’s health, safety, wellness and economic security." Republicans try to defend their record with women but as Rachel Maddow points out, women notice when you try to take their hard-earned rights away.

You're Excused: Tennessee has passed a bill that exempts science teachers from teaching science.

We've Only Just Begun: "It's time to consign Peak Oil theory to the dust bin of history. The flaw of the theory is that it assumes the amount of a resource is a static number determined solely by geological factors. But the size of an exploitable resource also depends upon price and technology. These factors are difficult to predict. The petroleum age is just beginning..." Sure, but at what price? Another fracking idiot...

Pipe Job: Senators McCain & Kyl (R-AZ) are trying to con the Navajo and Hopi into giving Peabody Coal their water rights "irreversibly, for time immemorial," in return for three cases of Aquafina potable water piped to a dribbling spigot in three remote villages.

Pathfinders: Bankers, maintaining they've been greatly misunderstood and poorly treated, have formed a SuperPAC (Friends of Traditional Banking), which they describe as "a big stick" to get Washington's attention "Congress isn't afraid of bankers, they don't think we'll kick them out of office... We want to change that perception." And don't mention the bailouts, that's so yesterday.

Goalposts: Latin American leaders note that the 'War on drugs’ has failed. Well, maybe. But doesn't that depend on what the goal has been?

What Price Salvation? Gasoline prices are getting lots of attention. Maybe we can drill our way to lower prices, if we could only find a cheaper way to explore, drill, produce, refine and ship. Or we could lower our gas taxes - which are already among the lowest in the world. Bombing Iran to get more oil at lower prices seems like a slightly flawed idea (echos of Iraq, too). And electing Newt for $2.50 a gallon price controls is an even worse idea. Sigh.

Public Enemies: The foods most likely to be adulterated are olive oil, milk, honey, saffron, orange juice, coffee, and apple juice. Best cut back on the saffron.


kwark said...

Re "We've Only Just Begun". CKM, how do you find this drivel?! "The size of an exploitable resource also depends upon price and technology". . . They just, conveniently, forgot to mention that both of those factors make the amount of exploitable resource SMALLER not larger. Idiots. I have a bridge for sale, maybe I'll contact the Oklahoman's circulation desk for some potential buyers - got to be PLENTY of suckers subscribing to a rag that would print that article!

CKMichaelson said...

kwark - It is simply the idea that demand creates supply applied in a vacuum, without reference to any 'externality'. Happens all the time in economics, thus you get entire theories build on unacknowledged assumptions. Gets into print because editors aren't much smarter than the people they're editing - for instance all those billions of barrels of "oil" in those Rocky Mountain rocks... Or the wisdom of markets.