Tuesday, August 4, 2009

SAR #9215

Did I miss the part where we all suddenly got rich?

Crass Clunkers: Estimates claim that 200,000 of the 250,000 trade-ins would have happened anyway, over the next few months. It's cutting a foot of one end of the blanket and sewing it on the other - today's rushed sales will be next year's drought. Crushing the cars shrinks the used car inventory, driving up prices. At the very least the program should have required that the new car be a Chrysler. Save your old hair dryer, next week it'll be worth $750...

Dross into Gold: Am I alone in wondering how many framitzes went into Barclays $4.9 billion in profits? What do these people actually do? Where did the money actually come from, if not from some poor guy on a production line, oil rig, drag line or tractor?

Constructive Data: Total residential construction in June fell 30% y/y while single family residential construction was off 51% y/y.

No-Shows: Year to date, federal income tax receipts are down 22% y/y, which suggests that (even after adjusting for the effect of the stimulus tax reduction) consumer spending must contract? And corporate tax receipts are down 57% y/y. Doesn't that call into question recent earnings reports?

History, Anyone? Before the US hires even more mercenaries and sends even more troops to Afghanistan, perhaps someone in the administration should consider if it is possible that the mujahadeen - who were trained and equipped by the US - remember just what it was they did to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan.

Analogy: Describing our leaders - political and economic, but I repeat myself - as Jelly Men seems strained, but on reflection has just the right qualities...

Exhaustees (ig*zôst!-tees) n. Those who have been looking for work for 18 months and have thus exhausted their eligibility for unemployment payments. By Christmas, 2009 there will be 1.5 million such creatures.

Inventorying the Inventory: The historically high numbers of houses on the market, joined with the hidden inventory of REO houses held off the market by banks and the pent-up desire of some 12% of house owners to put their places on the market pretty soon all argue that down is going to happen long before up happens. Four years is one estimate.

Q & A: Will scientists lose their aura of authority? When did the public ever grant them any to start with? Evolution? Smoking? Global warming? Phah! They don't know nothing.

Words of One Syllable: The sticking point in health care reform is the regulation of insurers. Insurers don't want to be regulated and without regulation and independent competition, there will be no meaningful health care reform.

Meanwhile, at the Dollar Store: The dollar reached new lows for the year against the euro and the pound, while US manufacturing continues to shrink. But we're a service economy, right? That's why the market rises while the dollar shrinks, no?

Prime Mover: This recession began with people defaulting on their mortgages. Nothing has happened to erase that blot on the system. Then it was equity loans and credit card defaults, and nothing has changed those metrics either. The 3% or so deleveraging by the consumer to date is estimated to be about 15% of the debt that needs to be shed before a solid recovery can occur.

Pot, Kettle: Economist Paul Krugman says that it is hard to see what social value commodity speculators bring to the world.

Porn O'Graph: Real GDP, really.


Anonymous said...

Droos into Gold:

"Every gleezip is a snorkl. Framitzes which are snorkls can vaupel.

Does it follow that every gleezip can vaupel?"


TulsaTime said...

You, good sir, have impugned the outstanding reputation of jelly, and besmirched the name of jam by association. I demand satisfaction!!

ps- did she get the hot little red dress?


Anonymous said...

"Individual mandates are a way to prevent gaming of the system by people who don’t sign up until they’re sick..."

Memo to Krugman: you can't sign up for insurance after you are sick. Mandates are a way to make people - especially self-employed people - buy defective insurance policies that do little to help with the cost of medical care and do not protect from bankruptcy.

Maybe the NYT could pull Krugman's medical benefits so he could discover the joys of being a little fish in the shark pool. This is the first time in decades we've even had a chance to be heard, and people like Krugman get to character assassinate the people being swindled. When I don't have insurance, I pay my bills out of pocket and I pay more for not being in a big company's pool. When I pay extortion to the insurers and have "coverage,", I pay a little less to the hospital but a lot more to insurance. Bottom line is that I pay my medical bills out of my pocket with or without.

That's a big "pffft" to Krugman. And an Italian sweep under the chin. Arrrgh, with liberals like these who needs the Business Roundtable?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 12:45pm
Put aside your kneejerk mechanism for a moment and read again what mandates - in the public option plan - are. Under the POP, the mandate is a way to make sure everyone is insured. Everyone. Even those who have pre-existing conditions and can't get BCBS etc to cover them. Also the POP would not kick people out just because they get sick.

And if you are poor and cannot afford the POP insurance, tax rebates would pay them for you.

The drawback to the mandate under the POP is that it is a way of forcing those who can afford insurance but don't want it to pony up - even if they are healthy 23 year-old health nuts. It's called a tax - a fee you pay now so 30 years from now you can be part of the covered pool. Paying the POP premium would be much like paying for social security. (And I don't want any hoo-hah about viability. We're talking process here, not budgets.)

Now, to have the mandate for insurance without a public option is just more money for the very folks you are already pissed at - those who take your money until you get sick and then stiff you - and that makes no sense.

But if that's what we get, don't blame Obama and the liberals. Blame the Blue Dog Dems and the GOP and the health industry's very misleading propaganda efforts.

Anonymous said...

Crass Clunkers:

More OBUMMA Change you can't believe in. Those who have been awake and following the Implosion for the last decade will remember TX Fed Guy McSteer who advised citizens to "Go out and buy an SUV." to keep the economy going. Well, now it's years later and OBUMMA is telling everyone "Go out and buy an SUV and, by the way, here's $4500 to help with the purchase."

OSR said...

The Porn O'Graph won't put it, so to speak.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

OSR I'm shocked that no one brought this to my attention earlier. It's a fabulous chart over at Felix Salmon's blog.

Maybe I'll run it again tomorrow with a different lead...

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

CKM, my "kneejerk mechanism" is to the mischaracterization that those who don't have insurance are "gaming the system." That's a blame-the-victim characterization by Krugman, who has no idea what it is like to try and buy insurance as an individual.