Monday, October 13, 2014

SAR #14285

Economic crashes are slow motion things, until they aren't.

Pop Go The Weasels: The market has another ten percent to go before the correction gets renamed. The Dow is negative for the year after stocks suffered their worst week in three years. The other indexes are similarly depressed and depressing. Oil is down. Gold and silver had their best week in months. Move along, nothing to worry about. It's just a correction. So far.

Noted: Your e-book is snitching on you.

Ebola Room: For some hysterical perspective, the great flu epidemic of 1918 killed 75 million people worldwide, out of a population of 1.8 billion. To equal that percentage of deaths, Ebola will have to kill about 300 million. So far it's done in about 4,000.  Take a deep breath and stand in the line over there.

Public's Enemy Number One: Growth around the world has been lackluster at best – even as the QE I, II, III, etc. inflated US asset markets – and the IMF warns that tougher times may be at hand. The eurozone is given at least a 40% chance of slipping into its third recession in 6 years. Germany is seen as the primary villain in the ongoing Euro-disaster, with the acolytes of austerity throughout Europe and the US in strong supporting roles. An unstable eurozone could topple the world economy with or without the ongoing slow motion melt-down in the US.

Political Science: Georgia's Republican Governor Nathan Deal has assured the voters that water kills the Ebola virus. Apparently Georgia is becoming a science-free state like North Carolina where public schools are now teaching that old time 7-day creationism.

Social Insecurity: Just as employers today judge applicants by their Facebook pages, in the future banks may use social network analysis to judge your creditworthiness. Birds of a feather...

The Old Fashioned Way: Seems that the super-technical NSA has been relying on actual human agents to gain physical access to the “sensitive systems” of foreign countries and American companies. George Smiley would approve.

Leaderslip: The US Army War College has revoked Senator John Walsh's master's degree because the Montana Democrat plagiarized a required research paper. Back on the Atlantic Seaboard, it seems Democratic Senator Mark Warner offered various bribes inducements to state politicians in an attempt to keep the Virginia legislature Democratic. Politicians are just like you and me – they don't think they're going to get caught.

Capitalismimo: Marriott has been fined for jamming guests' wi-fi and soaking them as much as $1,000 to access the hotel's system. ATT has to pay back over $100 million to customers they billed for made-up services. An Idaho school district cut employee hours to 27.5 a week in order to get out of paying for their health insurance. Wal-Mart, too, is cutting health benefits from 30,000 part-time employees and seems to be working toward an end to employer-based health insurance. I'm all for doing away with the tie between employment and health insurance, but let's get a single-payer universal coverage in place first.

Tell-Tale Heart: Why is the quality of the restaurant experience declining? Yes, Starboard Value is set on ruining most things, but that's not what we meant. No, don't Google the answer – because that is part of the answer.

Porn O'Graph: Honey, I shrank the labor force.

Footnote: Add the following speculation to the weekend edition of this blog: It is now alleged that a secret deal was made between the US and Saudi Arabia in which the Saudis would, in return for more effort on the part of the US to overthrow Syria's Assad, drive down the international price of oil in order to give Mr. Putin his comeuppance. Maybe so, but it seems unlikely – the Saudis are no longer alone at the top of the production heap, need the money, and are happily funding ISIS and the other Syrian rebels.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re the restaurant experience story - one commenter posted there had the same reaction that i did - this appears to be a fictional account, and deserves to be debunked on snopes

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

I wuld agree it is quite likely exaggerated, but not wholly fictional based on repeated observations in our local middle-class restaurants. More and more it seeems going to lunch is about catching up on Facebook and not about the eating or the companions and most certainly not about the food.

Tulsatime said...

I saw an article about that restaurant in NYC a month or two ago, comparison of times between 2004 and 2014, with the increased times due to selfies and photos of food, waiter, etc.., I can believe it very easily

mistah charley, ph.d. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mistah charley, ph.d. said...

to be clear about my comment - i don't doubt that diners these days are spending more time on their communication devices, etc than previously, and it is possible that this is delaying service - but the cover story and the detailed statistics are clearly bogus, with the stench of "truthiness" about them - the fortuitously discovered tapes from ten years ago, "loaded up on a large monitor, and next to it on a separate monitor loaded up the footage" of ten years later - that's how you would show something to an audience in the movies, it's not how you would actually study something like this - this is fiction

Tulsatime, you saw this article before, about "that restaurant" - but no restaurant is stated in the article ckm3 has referred us to

mistah charley, ph.d. said...