Friday, April 20, 2012

SAR #12111

Words matter; teach your children well.

Cloudy Weather: The IMF says European banks are expected to cut their balance sheets by $2.6tn (€2tn) over the next 18 months – and as much as US$3.8tr of assets in the worse case scenario. Such a massive delveraging will curb lending, slow growth and worsen an already disastrous employment situation spreading throughout the continent. Deutsche Bank reports that the worst of the crisis is yet to come.

Roll Call: The DOL says there were 386,000 initial unemployment claims, 6,000 more than last week's initial data – since revised to 388,000. Experts expected 370,000 this week, for whatever value that had, or didn't.

Snow White & The Seven Dwarves: What is the object lesson in the Justice Department going after Apple and six book publishers for price fixing while ignoring the monopoly and monopsony power exercised by Amazon?

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: The CIA wants permission to drone people even if we don't know who they are, just on the off chance they might be funny looking foreigners terrorists. Just in Yemen, for now. Oh, and to continue doing it in Pakistan.

One More Time: Why is it that speculation in futures contracts on oil is evil, while the same sort of speculation in natural gas is benign? Other than a price of oil in excess of $100/barrel and a price of natural gas at record lows below $2 per thousand cubic feet?

The Way We Are: Job creation slows, unemployment claims the worst initial report in 4 months , house prices down, existing home sales down, Philly FED business index down, Bank of America profits “better than expected”, Morgan Stanley “massively beats expectations,” and Europe is a train wreck and getting worse.

Pattern Matching: How do the extraordinary powers - including virtually unlimited powers of secret surveillance and secret data collection - of TEK, Hungary’s counter-terrorism police, compare to their counterparts in Homeland Security?

Another One For The Home Team: Vermont has joined Hawaii and New Mexico in calling for a Constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court's “corporations are people” and “money is speech” rulings.

Preferences: We are in a depression, not because we don’t know how to climb out, but because our financial leaders prefer not to address the problem for fear the purchasing power of their investments might suffer from policy measures to increase employment and raise customer demand. That's why Big Ben and Little Timmy continue to bail out the financial sector and remain ever vigilant to keep inflation at bay. Everything else is secondary.


TulsaTime said...

Preferences- we can't admit the core problem because any break in the dam will collapse the entire house o' cards. We can't have growth because THEY will not allow even a minor collapse. Probably afraid they will not be the Phoenix that rises from the ashes. So the collapse will be a big old honker when they can't hold it off any more. Hard hats are mandatory!

Eric Hacker said...

Preferences - Sorry, but you are completely off on this one. We can't have growth, we can't climb out of the depression. There are not enough resources on a finite planet for infinite growth. Please read some Greer and Growth is dead, period.

Sure they are being greedy and making the problem worse. Sure more deficit spending on the right things now (and not the military) might help a little. However, a minor collapse is not possible.

CKMichaelson said...

Granted 'we can't have growth' - hell, we can't really even have stasis, at least not until we dial our wishes and wants down a bunch. But we certainly coulda and shoulda spent the magic money on the all of us and not the few of them.

I keep suggesting that a lot of the problem is our malfunctioning distribution system (we need the consumers but not the workers). And yes, we need to stop consuming so much 'thingery' and patronize (and participate in) more creative services.

Check "Inertia" in tomorrow's SAR #12112. If I had a solution, I wouldn't be writing this blog.