Monday, November 9, 2015

SAR #15313

Courage and skill seldom overcome ignorance and arrogance.
The First Cut Is The Deepest: For a third consecutive year, purchases by first-time house buyers declined and their participation remains at the lowest rate in 30 years. And if you don't have people buying their first house, you don't have people moving up, etc. Maybe the lack of jobs for college grads and their student loan debts has something to do with it. Or maybe it's just the recovery, stumbling along like a drunk in the dark.
Receipts Please: Candidate Rubio claims he has paid back all $7,000 of personal expenses he charged to a GOP AMEX card. What, exactly, would your employer do if you ran up several thousand dollars on your company credit card? And how long would you have to pay it back?
Another One: Okay, so Ben claims that Vladimir Putin (born 1952), Ali Khamenei (b. 1939) and Mahmoud Abbas (b. 1935) attended school together in Moscow in 1968, when Putin was 16 and Abbas was 33. Okay, one last one: There is no evidence that Doctor Ben hid white classmates in the biology lab during a 1968 race riot. He might have, but no one else who was there remembers it that way.
Friends In High Places: The Democrats, the party of the people and all that, are trying to kill a bill that requires your financial advisor to work for you, not for his own benefit. I can remember when this sort of thing was done in smoke-filled rooms, not in the public square.
Observation: The Fed's easy money policies created such an immense bubble that any slight prick could send the economy spiraling out of control. Lord knows there are enough pricks walking around Washington and Wall Street to make it probable.
Being Prepared: The National Science and Technology Council says there is a 12% chance that sometime in the next decade a mammoth solar flare could really screw up satellites, telecommunications systems and electrical networks. That would be almost as damaging as a Trump Presidency, for which the current odds are much higher.
One And Done: Does Friday’s good job report mean that the Fed will raise rates next month? Probably yes. Does it mean that the Fed should raise rates? Definitely not.
Honor Code: Ben Carson did not — as he has claimed repeatedly — receive a full scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. First there is no such thing. Then there is no record of him ever applying. And General Westmoreland was not in Detroit On Memorial Day, 1969 when Carson claims he had dinner with the General. Westy was there in February, so the Carson campaign rescheduled the 1969 Memorial Day parade to fall conveniently in February and that's when “We believe he met Westmoreland...” Do you think I’m a pathological liar like.. or do you think I’m an honest person?” Carson asks, proving he is not a lawyer. Lawyers do not ask questions they don't know the answer to. And let's have no more talk about that scholarslip from theUniversity of Michigan.
Just Say'n: In October, Chinese exports fell 3.6% and their imports fell 16%.
Sum Numbers: In the big, big, big employment/unemployment carnival with 271,000 new jobs, please note that over there in the smaller ring the participation rate was still a miserable 62.4%. And over there in the sideshow, note that the older farts added 378,000 jobs while those who used to be considered to be of working age, males 25 – 54, lost 119,000 jobs. So we might as well see if Janet can kill the economy with a Fed funds rate increase.
Precisely: The IMF has concluded that the world's economies have not undergone a sustained recovery and all that QE cheap money has led to asset bubbles. It concludes that far from being ready to face the next recession, little has been done to get over the last one.
Authorized Version: The finally available text of the Trans Pacific Partnership is available. At 5,544 pages it is three times as long as the King James Version and covers a lot more sins.
True: “ It would be comforting to believe that somewhere in the commanding heights of our permanent government, there are important players who are serious grownups who know what they are doing.”
Porn O'Graph: Location, location, location.


McMike said...

re location. Would like to see that chart overlaid with other demographics. Voting patterns comes to mind. As does incomes. Probably also NASCAR attendance and maybe fire ants.

A quote I came across: "I learned that some cops lie. This was a brutal and profoundly disturbing realization: Those in control are not necessarily trustworthy. More importantly, authority is not necessarily to be obeyed, and certainly not feared. There is always a way to challenge authority, either in the courtroom or in the media or in the voting booth. He has done all of them many times, and usually successfully. In other words, he believes that it is possible to change a situation for the better, even in the face of entrenched authority." - Juan Thompson, from a 1996 tribute to his father Hunter S. Thompson. Text no longer available on the web except this link:

Anonymous said...

Come on CKM, are you in favour of or against easy money at zero interest rates for the banks. You seem to take both sides on a continual basis. Are you a Bernanke/ Krugman neo-Keynsian or a responsible adherent to sound monetary policy. There is only one correct answer in the long run.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 11.36: I'm neither for nor against "easy money". I am agianst "easy money for the banks." Given the either/or straightjacket you offer, I'd vote for going back to 2008 and letting the investment banks fail on their own, for letting the depository banks be taken over and flushed by the FDIC, putting nearly every recognizable name from Rubin and Summers to Palson and Geithner and all the CEOs at the TBTF banks in jail after stripping them of every penny they had. Let the bondholders fail and let those who extended credit to ineligible home buyers lose their money.

Then I'd take the TARP funds and about half the 2 trillion we gave the banksters and invest in infrastructure and putting people back to work.

Ask me about single-payer helathcare, raising Social Security taxes on all income, earned and unearned, and then raising Social Security payments beginning at age 62. I'd vote Yea on all that, too.

Then we'd have a debt holiday for student debt and put for-profit higher education and charter schools out of business - or at least out of the taxpaeyers trought.

Sorry I wasn't clear before.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Last thingy: If you were wondering where I stood on the Fed nudging interest rates up 25 basis points, who really cares? It certainly is not going to help the economy, may not hurt it. But as an inflation fighting tool... what inflation?

McMike said...

I am for a 25 bp bump just for the sheer joy of watching the conniption fits erupt on Wall Street. Fear and loathing baby.

PS. Re setting the wayback machine to 2008. Yes.

Anonymous said...

What inflation? Asset inflation. Inflation isn't just "prices".

Low interest rates help the owners of assets. Free money helps those closest to the source; the smartest-n-savviest highest evolved predators of society (who basically own the society).

The economy should have failed in 2008. What's the point of supporting low interest rates to save a corrupt system? Who benefits?

Anonymous said...

Re: It would be comforting to believe that somewhere in the commanding heights of our permanent government, there are important players who are serious grownups who know what they are doing.

One of the most dangerous ideas that exist: that "the grown-ups" don't know what they are doing (or that Bush was an idiot). They know exactly what they are doing. The "grown-ups" are winning. The children are the ones running around thinking Bernie or Donald (or Ben) matter.

kwark said...

Re Anonymous 2:45: There's no shortage of evidence that Bush IS a bona fide idiot (AND Jeb! for that matter) but their handlers certainly know what they're doing ;-)

Tulsatime said...

Kinda odd that economics was supposed to be about managing scarce and limited resources, for a maximum return to society. But the whole effort since 2001 seems to have been to create unlimited amounts of 'funny money', concentrate it into as small a number of people as possible, and hope that the production economy of the 1960's (along with $4 bbl oil) will magically reappear. There seems to be a massive misunderstanding of the good old days, and what made them.

Anonymous said...

Honorable mention: Another way to pitch the slip of the tongue on West Point is that everyone is on a scholarship, with an interesting hitch that costs, or a part there of, can be reclaimed if the cadet/officer fails to either graduate or do their full tour. That instead he goes of on a tangent says a lot about Carson's ability to apply Occam's razor, which in turn indicates the man has early(?) dementia. At least Reagan slept through his last 5 or so years in the Oval Office.

Perfect career path for a psychopath, the profession almost always closes ranks, and patient records are protected by confidentiality, making tracking outcomes statistically a hard task.