Friday, March 22, 2013

SAR #13081

"How many small coffins will we need the next time?" Daily News

Barber of Nicosia: Plan C or D or whatever for Cyprus is to let the 100,000 euro deposit guarantee stand and then take 40% of everything over that. Then the EU/ECB/IMF would have to quickly throw up some (currently forbidden in the EU) capital controls to stop an immediate dash for safe havens out of the reach of Brussels. Making things better by making them worse - an old EU tradition.

Alfred E. Bernanke: The Chairman assures us that the events in Cyprus will be contained.

Ignorance Is Bliss: By voice vote, to protect the guilty, the Senate has barred the National Science Foundation from funding any political science research " not deemed essential to national security or economic interest..." See, that polysci stuff isn't reliable so we're only going to use it in the most sensitive and important areas.

Plus Ça Change: Of course Iran and Iraq are different; Obama's president now.

Why? The USPS, having been forced into near bankruptcy by the Congressional edict that requires them to pre-pay the next 75 years of their retirees health benefits 65 years early, is not being told by Congress (and the GAO) that it cannot try to cut expenses by suspending Saturday delivery. What did the postal service ever do to make Congress so angry at them? I can understand the Republicans – they think all postal carriers vote Democratic – but who is paying the Democrats to gut the USPS? Who is going to benefit? No, not the citizens.

Suicide Is Painless: House Republicans have named Utah's Chris Stewart head of the Climate Subcommittee. Stewart does not believe in global warming and, as a bonus, wants to disband the EPA.

Big Brother Bother: Banning assault weapons and super-sized clips is not the problem holding up a federal gun law. It's universal background checks. The problem is that the Republicans do not want the government to be able to track gun ownership. Never mind that legislation does not create any such ability - all it requires is that gun dealers record to whom each weapon is sold so that if that weapon is later used in a crime the ATF can track it by going to the gun dealer and searching, by hand, through the records. But this is about guns, so we're not going to let reality interfere with interfering with regulation.

Clarification: The CIA’s chief technology officer says that "we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.” Move along, nothing to see here, move along.

Breathing Spell: According to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, there are no Americans currently on Obama's kill list. How many had been removed from the list, and the circumstances surrounding their removal were not immediately explained.

Through The Mirror: For reasons not explicable to the reality-based universe, Democrats in Congress are undertaking to free Wall Street from federal regulation.

Point Of View/Goal: No sense changing policies that aren't working. Unless, of course, the real policy is something else and it's working after all. The reason conservatives like austerity despite its "failure" is that it gives them cover for destroying the nation as we know it.

Keeper: Since over 99% of all trading in energy futures is speculative (another way to say 'gambling') why is it legal?

None So Blind: Everyone acknowledges that austerity has been a terrible failure in the UK. Everyone except the Prime Minister, who thinks the solution is “even deeper spending cuts” after the elections. Brits best hope someone other than George is running things then.

Spot Quiz: For five years now the quality of life in most of the EU has spiraled downward as social nets get slashed, unemployment soars etc. etc. Yet even in the worst hit nations the citizens have remained remarkably docile – even in Greece which is a certified basket case at this point. Why? Do they really hold out that much hope? Why?

The Parting Shot:


Lost & Found.


Anonymous said...

Breathing Spell: "...there are no Americans currently on Obama's kill list...."

American Exceptionalism Unchained: It's Ok to murder people as long as they are not Americans.

OkieLawyer said...


The great fight in economics is between the Austrian school of economics (Libertarian/Republican) and Keynesian (Democratic). During financial crashes, austerity creates more deflation ("vicious cycle"), which increases the value of "savers" holdings. The reason they keep stoking fear of hyperinflation is that it tends to compound the effect of the vicious cycle. Keynesian policies try to reverse this money-destroying cycle by putting labor (whose income stream is relied upon to support themselves) to work allowing them to shore up their credit worthiness and pay down their debts they had to borrow from the "savers."

The conversation has been dominated on financial news sites by the "savers" -- more often than not those who inherited their wealth, or generated their wealth from underpaying labor, or even in some cases simply stealing it.

At the broad national policy level, the Keynesian model seeks to bring back some balance to the equation. It is a bit scattershot in its application, but necessary when traditional laws are inadequate to righting injustices of unethical, immoral or even illegal wealth creation in few hands. Taxation with job creation would be a better way, but that solution does not seem to be plausible in the current scenario. That leaves Ben Bernanke with only one possible solution: low interest rates.

Just my two cents.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

And the choir thanks you, OkieLawyer.