Saturday, April 28, 2012

SAR #12119

Money and debt were invented to serve mankind; things have changed.

Tales From The Crypt:US GDP grew (?) at an annual 2.2% rate in 1Q2012 - not quite the 2.7% that had been expected. The $142.4 billion increase in GDP came as the public debt grew by $359.1 billion. In other words, it took $2.50 in government debt to raise the GDP one dollar.

Relapse: As of December 2011, 31% of underwater home loans were FHA-insured, which might lead to doubts about the wisdom of continuing to hand out low down payment loans. Of mortgages issued in the last 2 years, a million of them - 10% - are underwater, including 7.5% of home loans that are under four months old. Ah, the bottom, the bottom, buy now and get in at the bottom...

Spanish Fever: Spain's economy shrank 0.4% in 1Q2012, after a 0.3% fall to end 2011. Retail sales fell for the 21st consecutive month, down 3.7% y/y in March, as unemployment reached 24.4% - and over 50% in the 16 – 24 year old street-action crowd. The voters will not be amused to learn that austerity was just an experiment aimed at keeping bond holders happy.

It Is Different This Time: "In the first eight recessions after WW II, it took, on average, twenty months to get back the jobs that were lost. It's been 50 months this time... and counting.

Connoisseurs: Egyptian MPs are contemplating a law that would approve of a man having sex with his dead wife, which tells you what the Egyptian male is looking for in a bedmate.

Click Your Heels: The confidence fairy has died. The castor oil economies are tanking. Austerity, everyone now agrees, was a bad idea, but that doesn't mean a change in direction - there are too many deficit hawks hawking budget cuts who will continue to claim we must bleed the patient even more. "It’s anyone’s guess when this reign of error will end."

Catechism: A close study of economics leads to the conclusion that for enough money some economists will say anything.

Pot/Kettle: Larry Summers says Romney's fiscal plan is a fantasy, that political arithmetic is always suspect, and that one should carefully examine claims made by office seekers. Larry should know.

Stormy Weather: Scientists say that global warming is intensifying the evaporation/rainfall cycle over the oceans more than previously expected, suggesting an even higher potential for extreme weather in coming decades.

Asked and Answered: Why can't Republicans stop pissing off Hispanics, women and young people? Because they are middle-aged white men and think everyone else is, too. Next question.

Assigned Reading: History is replete with stories of those who submitted to strong, dictatorial leadership in the hope of being safe. It doesn't work. Is it really necessary to turn the US into a gigantic prison for us to be safe? From whom?

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