Saturday, July 14, 2012

SAR #12195

The market has spoken, and it is rigged. – Simon Johnson.

Game On! Silvio Berlusconi, one-time Italian prime minister before he was dismissed by the EU/ECB/IMF, says he will give actual Italians a chance to put him back in office.

Running of the Bears: Capital has been fleeing Spain at an annualized rate of 50% of the nation's GDP. Obviously the 100 billion euro “rescue” won't cover the damage - 990 billion euros might, but that's a non-starter. No one has the slightest idea where that sort of funding will come from, certainly not from more unemployment and higher taxes on a dying economy. Maybe they'll have another summit.

Slogan: Invest in the Cayman Islands, it’s the patriotic thing to do.

Humor: Here's an article that explains why America can look forward to a future of "energy abundance." Put the coffee down so you don't choke.

Black and Gray: Romney says he had "no role whatsoever in Bain management after '99." Yet he told the SEC he was, in 2000 & 2001, the Chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Bain. Oh, and they paid him $100,000 a year for doing nothing.

Terse: Russell Wasendorf Sr., CEO of the now defunct futures brokerage firm Peregrine Financial, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with making false statements to the SEC (memo to Mitt). Wasendorf wrote a suicide note claiming “"I have been able to embezzle millions of dollars from customer accounts...” Prosecutors say the fraud began 20 years ago.

Asked & Answered: Is Spain following Greece down the garden path? No. While doing the same things (cutting wages and social spending while raising taxes), they've been promised that it'll work this time. Italy hopes so.

Teaching Point: A statistical technique gives valid results only if the underlying assumptions reflect reality. In other words, even in economics, garbage in leads to garbage out. So go ahead, assume a cow is a sphere. Just don't try to milk it.

Supply, Demand & Budgets: Even as US and European demand drops, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries continue to produce petroleum far above their quotas - not because the market wants their oil, but because their budgets need the money. There's 'peak oil' and then there's 'peak citizen demands'.

Reminder: Social Security is full funded until 2038 with no changes whatsoever.

The Things They Carried: Unemployment, declining wages, poverty, foreclosures, student debts, inequality, price inflation, cuts in public services and social safety nets, poor roads, failing infrastructure and global warming.

Just Wondering: How can you support circumcising young males under the rubric of “protecting religious freedom” and condemn female 'circumcision' as barbaric?

The Parting Shot:

Ipomoea pandurata. Wild Potato Vine


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re "Just Wondering" - the answer is, in the words of Fiddler on the Roof, "Tradition!" - more specifically, OUR tradition versus THEIR tradition

claudiaResch said...

The difference is that removal of a scrap of skin (male) leads to few lifetime consequences, while the removal of the clitoris and/or the labia and/or literally sewing up the vagina can lead to lifetime pain, infections, problems with childbirth and death. Definitely a difference.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Well, I'd side more with claudia than with "tradition", but isn't it to some degree a matter of degree - mutilation is okay if it's minor and transient? In that case, how much is too much? You have two kidneys, after all...


Rick said...

Yes, not all female circumcision involves removal of the clitoris. This is argument by extremes and is pointless. You could as well say that male circumcision ends in penectomy because that has happened.

For an interesting take on the difference:

Oh, and by the way that "flap of skin" is a third of the skin of the intact penis...

Anonymous said...

thank you for your comment Rick and for the link. I really do think it is about "our" tradition vs "their" tradition. And of course, the other is always made out to be "irrational" and "unreasonable", so that those with power and privilege may with good conscious ignore the voice of those with less.

The goodest of the good, do the harmfulest of the harm.

ChrisA said...

Elective surgery without informed consent is unethical. End.of argument AFAICT.

Why not nose jobs? "It's our tradition."

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Extra points for Chris A.'s excellent resolution of the moral/ethical question.


I'm Not POTUS said...

"According to the Congressional Budget Office the program is full funded until 2038 with no changes whatsoever. The increased revenue needed to keep the program fully funded for the rest of the century is a bit more than 5 percent of projected wage growth over the next three decades."

Bugger off on the arguing over who's looping off who's TIPS. I am getting a raise of 5 percent in 30 years. Yippy. All is well.

Never you mind about current wage stagnation or actual documented declines in wage growth for the last 20 years. Tomorrow is gonna be different.