Saturday, February 1, 2014

SAR #14032

Maybe the world's central bankers are trying to solve the wrong problem.

Toast: David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official appointed by Gov. Christie, says that “evidence exists ..." 

Flu or Flew? Ukraine's President Yanukovych either has the flu or has flown the coop – either way he's not showing up to face the displeasure of his fellow citizens.

De-Pressing: The democracy-loving Egyptian junta has arrested 20 Al Jazeera journalists and charged them with reporting the truth plotting terrorism attacks from their rooms in one of Cairo's luxury hotels. If convicted, they face life in prison. Or perhaps they'll be sentenced to confining their reporting to reciting the junta's press releases.

Noted: When you read about corporations 'reshoring' their operations, it's because our wages are now lower than the wages they have to pay over there, and those pesky unions have been destroyed.

Crime Prevention: Turns out, the NSA's interest in your Facebook page, online game playing and other social media stuff is based on their desire to build a psychological profile of everybody so they can predict which of you (not me, of course) is likely to become a threat to democracy or whatever version of political control that's being passed off as democracy these days. 
Vive la Différence: 82% of Japanese say that the elderly present a major problem to their country; in the US only 26% feel the elderly are a burden. The difference is that the Japanese take care of their elderly.

The Light's Better Over Here: Auditors working for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's report to Congress on US aid to Afghanistan are claiming that such aid has been – at best – misused and that there were few if any attempts to prevent corruption in the programs. The administration says that it is untrue that billions have gone straight into corrupt politicians' pockets and that the report does not take into account the admittedly flimsy pretenses of propriety that were used to cover the thefts.

The Octopus: Not content with having brought down the US economy and bought the US government, Goldman is in the process of bringing down the Danish government. For profit, of course.

Let The Buyer Be Unaware: Food companies using GMO ingredients in their products say that forcing them to disclose this use would infringe on their constitutional right not to admit things that might hurt their profits.

Inequality 101: What could any one person do that would be worth a $3.2 billion increase in his wealth in a single day?

The Easy Button: Now that the big money outfits have blended and sliced and diced and securitized the rental income from hundreds and thousands of single-family homes they gobbled up, the banks are looking for more... just like they did back in the RMBS days. Instead of sub-prime mortgages, they are turning to small investors, giving them 75% financing and then lumping lots and lots of mom- and-pop undertakings into hundreds of millions in securitized derivatives. What could go wrong- it's the biggest real estate opportunity of a lifetime, isn't it?

Obvious: The question was, are we giving ourselves cancer? And the answer is “Yes, and autism and ADHD and diabetes and drone strikes and those people in Washington and ..."
Sadistics: While government statistics show an economic picture that is brighter every day, 44% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck and 56% have sub-prime credit rankings. And that's the middle class.

Modern Finance: Note that Bloomberg asks "How Much Did Goldman Rip Libya Off?" and not "Did Goldman... " And the answer? A few hundred million. Pocketed change.

Porn O'Graph: Parallel Universes

The Parting Shot:
 Xmas tree worms, Spirobranchus giganteus.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

this is relevant

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Quite so. In the same vein March 3's SAR#14034 has two items - "Reality Bites" and "Maulled" that speak to the general demise of the middle class and the slow but steady impoverishment we are undergoing.

The slow deterioration is partly hidden by the general increase in aggregate numbers like GDP which do not reflect the impact (mostly of higher priced oil but don't get me started) on individuals.

Sort of 'adjusted for inflation, population increase, inequality, lost wealth of the GDP-gap kind... and so on. Certainly the oft reported 'wages have been flat for thirty years' is a good indication of the erosion.