Monday, March 25, 2013

SAR #13084

Who will be next for a trip to the barber?

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet:Egyptian President Mursi says that the protests against the Muslim Brotherhood have reached the point where "If I am forced to do what is required to protect this nation, then I will do it. And I fear that I might be on the verge of doing it." He did not elaborate, preferring to let the nation's imagination do his work for him.

Been More Or Less There, Done Pretty Much That: The US is once again feeding intelligence, money and weapons to a group of Muslim revolutionaries, this time in Syria. What could possibly go wrong?

Germany Rules: Perhaps the misery soon to be visited on Cyprus is a feature, not a bug. Perhaps the intent was, and is, to make it clear to all that the politics of the core states (for core, read Germany) is primary and the destruction of peripheral economies is... peripheral.

Record Breaking: According to the IMF, there have been 147 banking crises since 1970. In not a single one of them were loses inflicted on all depositors. Until now.

Consequences: the Fed is printing money but that money is going directly to the banks and the banks are simply parking most of it with the Fed as excess reserves – drawing risk-free interest. This does not stimulate the real economy, but does prop up the banks, which have not yet written down their bad assets, which they keep selling to the Fed at 100%. Guess who gets to eat that pudding. As long as the Fed's new money is tied up in excess reserves, inflation will be dormant. Dormant, not gone. But there is generally a lag between 'printing' money and the onset of inflation. A lag. It ain't the fall that gets you, it's the sudden stop at the end.

Don't Worry, Be Happy: The UK government, sitting on natural gas reserves in storage sufficient to last a day and a half, has told the public not to worry, there's enough to keep heating the castles.

Bad Moon Rising: The Republicans have suddenly realized that upper-class whites are dying off, being replaced by the lower ranking hoi-polloi. So to shore up their deteriorating brand acceptance they have started wooing the poor. The motivation, this being politics, is the urge to win votes, to retain/regain their power. Their desire to tend to the needs of the poor is not part of the equation. It's not part of the Democrats' either, but they are still coasting on Roosevelt and LBJ. It's more like Dillinger robbing the banks - that's where the money is votes are.

Tomato Tamahto: For those of you playing along at home, researchers now say it was a comet, not a meteor that wiped the dinosaurs out. Check your insurance policies.

The Ins & Outs: Governor Rick Snyder, the former venture capitalist whose first priority in office was to slash business taxes, has now discovered that some taxes on some people are okay. To fix the state's potholed highways, he is nearly doubling gasoline taxes and hiking car registration fees by 60%. See, these are not 'taxes' they are 'user fees', justified by saying those who benefit (in this case from roads) should pay for them. Don't ya think the truckers are going to pass the costs on to everyone? And these taxes fees will be “an investment” in infrastructure. Unlike, say, education and other public services, which are just a drag on the economy.

Love & Marriage: Demand for oil in the US reached 20 year lows as seasonal gasoline prices rose to record highs. We have all the oil we can afford.

Porn O'Graph: Winners and losers, or Fröhliche Tage.

The Parting Shot:


Calm, for now.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re tomato tomahto - and in a similar astronomical vein - 2 friends go to a lecture on the solar system and as they leave one is visibly agitated. "Did he say that in five million years the sun will become a red giant star and swallow the earth?" "No - five BILLION years." "Oh - what a relief!"

Anonymous said...

What camera are you using?3172

HS said...

Consequences-That money is partially going to excess reserves and much of it is going directly into the equities markets. Uncle Ben's fingerprints are all over the current S&P500 bubble. That is stimulation of the only economy that matters to the wealthy.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 2.08 Today's picture was taken with a D40 Nikon, f/4 55-200 mm Nikkor lens. Usually the close-up flower shots are with a D3200 and a Sigma f/2.8 macro. Trail shots with either camera body and a Nikkor35mm /1.8 lens.

Anonymous said...

Great thank you. I am on the fence on what kind of camera to get. Maybe the D3100.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The Nikon D3100 has a 14 meg resolution, the D3200's selling point for me was the 24 meg, ISO of 6400 vs 3200. The ISO above 1600 is in the nice-to-have and not-nice-to-have-to-use category.

Depends on shooting style, but I find the larger format of the D3200 helpful come processing and cropping time.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Thank you! Great job with the photos!

Blissex said...

«discovered that some taxes on some people are okay. To fix the state's potholed highways, he is nearly doubling gasoline taxes and hiking car registration fees by 60%. See, these are not 'taxes' they are 'user fees', justified by saying those who benefit (in this case from roads) should pay for them.»

That's the Texas/Dixie model, and your comments are based on a fatal misunderstanding.

Republicans are not at all against taxes: they are against downward redistribution, whether done by the "market", "regulation", "taxes" or chance.

For Republicans taxes are a very good idea if they are paid primarily by people on lower incomes and they fund state services that benefit primarily people on higher incomes.

So for example a progressive income or property tax and spending on unemployment insurance are bad; but sales or per head taxes to spend primarily on property protection (e.g. policemen, firefighters) and banks bailouts are good.

Whether this is because they think that low paid people are inferior loser who should pay tribute to their superior masters, or more simply that it is easier to draw tribute from the weak than the strong, depends I guess on the theology of the specific conservative.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Blistex - Yes, Yes. My point exactly. Glad you agree.