Friday, April 16, 2010

SAR #10106

More than half your taxes go to kill people.

Weakly Spin Cycle:  New unemployment claims rose to 484,000, up 24,000 from last week.  The 4-week average was 457,750, up 7,500.  The increase was blamed on the Easter Bunny.

Returning the Favor:  The economy is picking up, lifting the price of oil Soon the increased price of oil will bite the hand that feeds it.

Unforgiven:  There is a lot of discussion of how to 'modify' mortgages, who should get screwed and by how much.  Bottom line is that the government (you the taxpayer) will pay off part of the first mortgage, part of the second mortgage, pay some side bribes, and then watch the price of houses continue to fall, then rinse and repeat.  It is more extend and pretend and not an ounce of solution or resolution.  But the real question no one wants to address is this:  If you bail out the guy across the street because he lost his job or bought more house than he can afford etc, what are you going to do for me?  I vote,too.

Essay Question:  In several thousand well chosen words explain why JPMorgan can claim a $3.3 billion profit and not repay part of the $41 billion it owes the taxpayer.

Back At It:  One of the dumber things we do is celebrate the ridiculous profits the investment banks make for doing nothing useful.  JPMorgan claims a $3.3 billion profit but hasn't made a single widget and hasn't lent any money to anyone who wanted to make widgets.  It is all based on borrowing from the government at 0% and loaning the money back to the government at 4%.  Then they dress up the books by pretending their assets are worth way more than they really are, when everybody knows they are pretty worthless.  They pay their executives big bonuses while pretending they made an actual economic contribution.  Feather merchants, one and all.

Dead and Gone:  What's more important, alternative energy or the view from Nantucket's mansions, an Indian sunrise ceremony and a dead man's wish.  Can't have none of that “destructive” progress 'round there, nor a wind farm 5 miles out to sea.

Escalator:  Nearly a million properties received foreclosure filings in the first quarter, a 16% y/y increase.  March filings, at 367,056 – a new record, were up 19% m/m.

None Dare Speak Its Name:  Public debate over the dimension and timing of the coming supply crunch in petroleum is couched in terms of oil supplies.  It's a supply problem, they say.  Production of conventional oil has peaked and stuck around 74 mbd for 5 years now, despite record high prices.  Putative experts say global liquids production (now at 86 mbd) will grow to 95 mbd by 2020 – even while production of conventional oil declines.  At $200 a barrel there will be surprisingly little demand, so there will not be a supply problem.

Exponential Math:  Singapore's GDP was up 32% in 1Q'10, while China grew 11.9% .  Quick, how long can this go on, in that the things that caused the Great Recession have not been fixed?

Numbers:  A record 44% of the nations 15 million unemployed have not worked in over 6 months, and 4 million of them have been idle for over a year.  Just as the Great Depression scarred a generation, this will leave a mark on all the victims, many for a lifetime.  Most will never regain their career paths, many will never fully recover.  Nor will their children.

Census Data:  Maryland and Virginia scientists report there are 658,000,000 blue crabs hanging out in Chesapeake Bay, the greatest number since 1997.

Porn O'Graph:  A less-on in taxing the richer.


lineside said...


re "darjeeling" from yesterday:

you are entirely missing the boat. most of the people conveniently labeled "tea partiers" are fed up with their tax dollars being devoted to bank bailouts, bailouts of irresponsible borrowers, and 40-year pensions for public employees who work for 20 or 25 years. and they also resist the unrelenting creep of government intrusion into our lives.

no one needs to be "manipulated" into feeling frustrated about such things. one is not "ignorant" for being frustrated by such things.

this frustration cuts across left/right ideologies and embraces neither party. the republicans are trying to capture the movement and the democrats are trying to denigrate it.

candidates from both parties better hear the message or they will be kicked out on their asses come election time.

p.s. i'm not a tea partier but i can't stand the shit going on either.


Anonymous said...

"p.s. i'm not a tea partier but i can't stand the shit going on either."

I assume you mean things like:

- the excessively huge share of the federal budget devoted to our global military police force,

- the lack of money being invested in sustainable energy,

- the U.S.'s inane immmigration policies.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to learn the tea partiers want the Republicans to stop frustrating the will of the majority of the people as expressed in the elections.

I suspect, however, that this movement will turn out to be created, led, and manipulated for the benefit of the few, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Blue Crab Blues:

Yum, yum, a plate of blue crabs from the filthy polluted bottom of Chesapeake Bay. "Would you like antibiotics with that?":

Rather fitting that many of DC's finest crooks, thieves and liars who own prime waterfront property, gaze out on a filthy cesspool. Yes, Virginia, occasionally there is, by accident, some justice. "Here's your crabs, Senator."