Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SAR #10229

Mostly we choose not to know.

Little Brother:  President Barack Obama personally warned Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that if Turkey didn't treat Israel better and quit bitching about Israeli commandos killing Turkish citizens, the US wouldn't give Turkey the armed drones it wants to use to kill Kurdish rebels.

Bottom Line:  AT&T has reluctantly admitted that Google and Verizon are right and that wireless communications are different from wireline communications.  One uses wires, one does not.  One form is regulated and net neutrality is required.   For the other, they want the freedom to charge as much as they damned well can.

Clear Sailing:  Goldman says that the sight of 'storage' tankers unloading their crude shows that demand is outstripping supply and that the fall's seasonal increase in demand will draw down crude inventories even faster. And drive prices up.

The Nutshell:  Society's communal needs keep increasing while the ability to meet those needs keeps decreasing.  People are unemployed and need assistance with food, housing, healthcare.  Politicians give encouraging speeches and refuse to raise taxes.  The public wants help, wants schools, wants police and firemen, wants safe roads and bridges - but also wants no more debt, no more taxation.  Will it really matter whose fault it was when the wheels come off?

Bear With Us:  The last three bear markets lasted an average of 17 years….

Democracy Now:  Iraqi authorities sent armed police into the streets to explain to the citizenry that demonstrations protesting the government's inability to deliver electricity were outlawed.  How much did we pay to bring democracy to Iraq?  Something get lost in translation?

Been There, Done That:  Deutsche Bank says the only way to resuscitate the economy is to re-inflate the housing bubble.  The instructions are on the bottom of the boot...

“Fall Weiss:”  Steve Schwarzman, founder of the Blackstone Group, says of Obama's intent to end Bush's tax cuts for the rich  “It's a war.  It's like when Hitler Invaded Poland in 1939.”   Get a grip, Steve, it's just taxation; you haven't got to sew a dollar sign on your sleeve and live in a gated community.

The Three Great Lies:  Buy stocks for the long run.  Your house is your best investment.  Globalization will benefit all Americans. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

Medium Rare:  The next time you have a steak, have a small bit set aside before the chef grills it to perfection.  That way, if the steak is uncommonly good, you can raise a herd of identical steaks with cells from that particular dead cow.  Perfection in the freezer.

Globalization's Guts:  We buy more stuff from the rest of the world than well sell to them.  Last month the difference was $50 billion.  So there goes another $50 billion in US productivity and US assets.  They're richer, we're poorer.  If consumer spending picks up and retailers have a 'good' Christmas, the foreigners who are holding IOU's on America will have an even greater hold on what little productivity and assets this country has left.  Is cheap plastic crap and sweatshop clothing worth what we're going to end up paying?

Out, Damned Spot:  President Karzai is giving private security companies 4 months to leave Afghanistan.  Perhaps security details will be provided by the Taliban, for most assuredly the Afghan Army is not up to the job.

Porn O'Graph:  The compass, or where free trade has lead us.


Anonymous said...

"Mostly we choose not to know."

Or we focus on doomer p0rn, blog about it, and do nothing.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Golly gee. And I thought there might be some value to the Paul Revere function....


OSR said...

To be fair, the world has yet to see free trade. When competition is only introduced on the cost side of the equation, I don't think that qualifies.

OkieLawyer said...

Re: Clear sailing

I always thought that summer was the high demand season, not fall. The reason being that summer was the travel season. What about the fact that there was a contango in the futures market just last year? That was the reason for storing so much oil on ships in the first place.

Is that evidence that peak oil is upon us? I had the sense that Iraq would come online and flatten the slope for about 10 years or so before it started its downward trajectory.

Has anyone besides me noticed that oil has remained right around $75 / barrel for the last year when oil at $80 starts to crimp the economy? It's not that I distrust Goldman Sachs' analysts; it's just that I want to know what they are basing it on more than unloading of tankers.

I mean, it was expected for this to happen at some point.

OkieLawyer said...

Re: Bear With Us

Did I mention the Hindenburg Omen here?

OkieLawyer said...

Regarding that last graph:

If you were to turn it upside-down, would it look like a bubble that is getting ready to pop? Surely there is a point where Americans will be willing to buy home-made goods, no matter what the cost.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Maybe so, OkiLawyer, but so far that smacks more of hope and wishes than anything based in human nature. I 'spect we'll give up Walmart only when the Chinese close them.

Then we may begin to buy "home-made", but they'll be home-made, as in made in the home, not manufactured locally. And buying will probably resemble barter.


kwark said...

"Or we focus on doomer p0rn, blog about it, and do nothing." CKM, so now you're a doomer I guess. Pretty sad when someone considers simple comments on the news of the day to be a doomer perspective. And why aren't you out there protesting in front of the FED . . . or something, sheesh. I suppose if you were promising pretty ponies to all then your critics would be happy. Keep up the good work.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

kwark - Oh, I guess I am a doomer - although I'm just trying to whack away at the fraud and fantasy that clog our politico/economic system and to point out the little (and big) absurdities that turn up on my doorstep every day.

I don't know how to make my position any clearer than the page already does: All this is somebody's opinion (namely, mine, mostly) and this is pretty much me sitting around over the remains of a good dinner, chatting with friends.

And I do it for my sanity - whatever benefit you (y'all) gain is pretty secondary. And I try to take Molly to heart:

Keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it.