Monday, April 20, 2009

SAR #9110

The pendulum swings.

Take A Memo: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 184 times in a single month. These acts of irrational sadism were filmed, and the videos were delivered directly to the White House. No wonder Bush choked on a pretzel.

Piracy: Redeploying Seal Team 46 to the real Heart of Darkness.

Appointment, Not Anointment: The White House stands behind Rattner as Auto Czar because "he's not likely to face any criminal or civil charges..." Obama keeps selecting the same sort of people - rich, powerful, shady grifters. This one seems to have paid his taxes.

Over There, Too: German wholesale prices fell nearly 1% from February to March and are down 8% y/y.

Reprise: We've noted this before, but it's worth repeating every time they assert it: The Federal Reserve doesn't have to tell the US taxpayer how it spent $2 trillion of public money because it is a private bank. As such it has no obligation to tell the public anything at all about what does with our money.

Good Question: "Why Are We Cutting Public Transit Funding?"

Let Me Count the Ways: Stiglitz & Bilmes' new book starts: "By now it is clear that the US invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake." We all know that, but the enumeration goes on and on and might well serve as a cautionary tale. Not much plot, terrific character development.

Blabbermouths 'China Says U.S. Needs Adult Economic Supervision'

Another Question: Would the economy run into demand constraints even with unlimited supply? Is there a biologic/neurologic limit to wants, a limit to how much 'new' can humans tolerate?

Enlightenment? (A) The Bank for International Settlements says there are about $700 trillion in outstanding derivatives. (B) Global stock markets total market capitalization is about $30 trillion. Somehow I'm supposed to believe that A is okay and not a threat to B because (C) the $700 trillion is a make believe number, the real number is a lot smaller. But (D) No one has the faintest idea what it really is. Or maybe I didn't understand the explanation...

Point of View: A nurse who secretly filmed the neglect and ill-treatment elderly patients were receiving has been fired from the hospital for misconduct. She took time off her duties to take the pictures.

Now and Then: The bustling economy of the early part of the decade was based on our spending our mortgage equity. We don't got none no more.

Advice: Don't invest in things that will only be profitable when and if the economy returns to normal, unless you live in Oklahoma. Also, it's quite possible to live on less money as long as you spend less money.

Homestead Act II: An interesting suggestion on how to put the stimulus money to good use.

Bonanza: Last fall, VerSun Energy opened a 110 million gallon a year corn ethanol refinery, one of the largest in the country. VeraSun lost about $500 million in 3Q09. Two months after opening the refinery, designed to run 24/7, it closed. Make an offer.

Porn O'Graph: We've got 1.6 of everything, in inventory.


Anonymous said...

RE: Porn O'Graph:

Anyone know why the graph is in a down trend channel for the past 15 years? Just in time inventories? Has supply chain software really made that much of an impact?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony - My guess is yes and no. Certainly the software sharpened "Just In Time" production and let inventory levels drop, but don't ignore the effect cheap and plentiful petroleum had on facilitating the transportation of goods around the world cheaply and quickly.
Cheap oil-> globalization-> JIT mfg & supply -> lower inventories.

Unknown said...

CKM, thanks for posting the seal team 46 link.