Monday, January 4, 2016
“Force does not work the way its advocates seem to think it does.” James Baldwin.
Emperor's Clothes: Armed white terrorists - not protesters, folks, armed insurrectionists - have taken over a federal wildlife refuge, threatening to fight to the death because they don’t recognize U.S. laws. They should be dealt with quickly and appropriately. At the very least the FBI should offer to drive them to Walmart.
Pinheads: Liberal/Keynesian economists Paul Krugman, Larry Summers and Brad DeLong are having an entertaining public disagreement about how the Fed is wrong to raise rates. Not that it was wrong, they agree that it was, but Summers tries to give them credit for knowing something that is "outside accepted models", while the other two politely don't say that the Fed is just guessing and hoping - which it is. I think they are talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I also think there is a grand conspiracy to ignore the monsters under the bed - the $2.4 trillion in excess reserves that the banks can turn into over $20 trillion in new cash and the question of how to drain $4 trillion out of the economy without making the 1930's look like the good old days.
Happy New Year: Saudi Arabia has executed 47 men for various bombings, attacks, for writing bad poetry, and for being the wrong flavor of Muslim. Apparently the Saudis want to get a running start on topping last year's grisly total.
Because It Can: PG&E's cost for producing electricity dropped 8.8% in the first nine months of the year, so it's raising electrical rates by 8.5%. Its cost for natural gas has plummeted 36%, so it's raising gas rates by 4.0%. The company explained that their customers had been cutting back on their use of gas and power, so it had to raise prices to make up for the lost volume. The regulators? Oh, no problem, PG&E got them pretty cheaply too.
Irrational Exuberance: Amazon has a market value of $325 billion, up from $145 billion a year ago, which seems a tad high for a company that earned only $328 million in the last year. Why do investors think the company is worth 985 times its earnings? The story is the company is sacrificing earnings for growth - they've been saying that for a quarter of a century. Sure they make a lot of sales; they just don't make a lot of money. It spends more ($11.6 billion) on R&D than Bristol-Myers Squibb but hasn't yet cured cancer. It's enough to think that people are just gambling in the dark, sure there's a bigger fool out there. There probably is.
Noted: Power and riches not only corrupt,they coarsen the humanity and narrow the intellect of those who posses them in vast amounts, which goes a long way towards explaining the last 30 years both in the US and the UK.
Nondenominational: Justice Scalia was out telling the little kiddies that there is "nothing wrong" about parading God around in public because there is "no place" in our constituitonal tradition that says the state can't pick sides on religion. He also claims that God has been "very good" to the US. Scalia didn't say which god he was so enamored of, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Pastafarian.
Porn O'Graph: Buying friends.
A Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 6:53 AM