Friday, March 12, 2010

SAR #10071

Resource wars are a form of denial.

Car 54: “... the NY Fed, and thus Timothy Geithner, were at a minimum massively derelict in the performance of their duties, and may well be culpable in aiding and abetting Lehman in accounting fraud...”  Never a cop around when you need one.

Emphasis: Foreclosures were either down 2% from January '10 or up 6% from February '09.  Default notices (future foreclosures) were either up 3% in a month or down 3% in a year.  February 2009. Prize headline: “Foreclosures Slowed Significantly”.

Missing Impossible:  Deutsche Bank claims that the risk of municipal-bond defaults is “higher than it's been in quite some time.”  Where you guys been?  DetroitGaryKansas City?

Coming Attractions: A report from some alternate universe claims that the 'wealth effect' is back and that “rising home prices and an improving economy” will lead to an increase in home equity loans, which will in turn drive the recovery even higher.  Cautiously.

Me! Me Me Me! USA! Geithner 'cautioned' the Europeans that not letting American banks and hedge funds continue to sabotage their economies smacked of protectionism, as though the idea of protecting their economies hadn't occurred to them.

The Numbers:  The DOL says initial unemployment claims were 462,000, 1.3% less than last week.  The 4-week moving average was 475,500, an increase of 1% from last week.  Continuing claims were over 4,550,000.  Unemployed not drawing benefits don't count.  Spin.

Here's A Tip:  TIPS won't reach a real return of 2% for at least four years. Unless the US begins inflating away the debt sooner.

Fad:  Obama is going to save the US economy by doubling our exports over the next 5 years.  So is Britain.   And Germany.   Japan, too.  And China, don't forget China.  Can we all get rich taking in each others laundry?

No Deposit, No Return:  Senator Corker (R-Loansharks) is making sure that hard-working Americans will not be deprived of the opportunity to pay an effective 360% (or more) annual rate for their payday loans by any liberal do-good Consumer Finance Protection Agency.  Payday loans are not issued by banks, he argues, but by Vinnie and the guys – who are some of his main contributors.

Choices:  Over 80% of Americans claim that God helps them in making decisions.  Given the choices that they make, they are obviously not listening to the advice.

As Always:  In order to allow foreign bankers and speculators to recoup their ill-advised investments in Greece, the EU is imposing severe austerity measures that fall mostly on the poor and will worsen the recession already underway.  Inexplicably, the unions representing about half the country's workers have called for strikes to show their displeasure at lower pensions, extended retirement age, lower wages and fewer social services.

Menu:  Column A: Inflation.  Column B: Default.  Pick one from Column B.

Shameless:  Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) the top GOP member of the Budget Committee wants to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense(!) plus privatize Medicare, increase taxes on the bottom 20% of citizens by 12.3%, decrease taxes on the richest 1% by a whopping 15%, send a few hundred billion to for-profit insurance companies and calls the whole thing a tax cut. Tax cut – where 90% of the population pays more taxes to receive less services. Check out the graph.

Asked, No Answer:  Why does anyone still listen to Milton Friedman's Chicago School of economic fantasy?

Slim Margin:  Mexico's Carlos Slim with $53.5 billion squeaked by Bill Gates' $53 billion to become the worlds richest man.  The list of billionaires increased by 27% last year, to 1,011.   How in the world can any of this be justified?

Porn O'Graph:  Discretion may be the better part of valor GDP.

1 comment:

Demetrius said...

Re God and listening. Perhaps it is just that we humans do not understand his sense of humour.