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October 06, 2010

Financial Briefing: The Enchumpening!

I wish I could buy gold by the ton. But that would require a high-security vault, armed henchmen to guard it, and so on. Genteel poverty is so much less of a headache.

I know that you meant to turn this turd into a tea-rose, but alas, it still smells of shit.

Who runs Foreclosure Town?

When we say "The problem is Federal spending", this is what we mean. Too much debt is bad, but debt is the symptom. Spending is the disease. (Veronique de Rugy, by the way, is an excellent financial writer would often posts on NRO's The Corner as well as her gig at The American. I recommend her stuff highly.)

I don't like his tone of voice when he says "interesting". It rather reminds me of a boss I used to have who'd describe a series of grueling 14-hour days with no overtime as an "opportunity to excel".

Via Insty: First it was illegal aliens who took your job. Now it's robots. As Bender Bending Rodriguez might say: "Bite my shiny metal ass, meatbag!"

What Quantitative Easing (QE) II might look like. Bear in mind that the Fed will "buy" the Treasurys with money they printed fresh just that morning. So it's still debasing the currency, still inflation, regardless of how they sell it. The dollars now in your pocket are going to be worth less because of this. (However, before you slope off to leap from a tall building, remember that this is ZeroHedge, where DOOM! is the order of the day.)

Japan has a colossal amount of debt (about 200% of GDP -- Ye Gods and Little Fishes! -- at the present time), and the only thing staving off disaster is the fact that most of this debt is held by Japanese citizens. But as Japan now has the oldest population of any nation on earth and fewer young Japanese to shoulder the burden, rolling that titanic debt is going to be very difficult indeed.

David Stockman, Reagan's budget director from 1981 to 1985, is no fan of Ben Bernanke. In fact, he seems to agree with me that the best course of action right now is to reserve your boiled-rat concession space in Thunderdome before the crowds hit. Pull quote:

"I invest in anything that Bernanke can’t destroy, including gold, canned beans, bottled water and flashlight batteries."
He can be found on weekdays sitting in front of the dry-goods store, whittling a stick and cursing those kids with their long hair and their make-out parties.

Via Insty: Illinois may now be officially more boned than California. Illinois pays more to borrow money than Mexico does. That's right: Illinois has to offer a better rate on bonds than a violence-riddled narco-republic that defaulted on its debt in 1982 because investors deem the American state a worse risk.

One of the training courses that all Fed Chairmen must take is how to state the completely fucking obvious in such a way that it sounds oracular and nuanced and deep. Ben Bernanke failed this class. He just sounds like a drunk guy who announces to the whole bar that he's just crapped in his pants, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. So he'll just have another beer or six.

Linda McMahon: "How do you create a job?" Richard Blumenthal: "It begins in youth when mimsie and pater got me into a good prep school. That's sort of a requirement, because without a good prep school education you're not going to get into an Ivy League college. Then it's on to Harvard, where pater ensured that my rather quotidian grades do not count against me, and that my youthful indiscretions do not come back to haunt me. Then it's on to military service. Pater pulled some strings to make sure I remained stateside during the unpleasantness in southeast Asia, so I took the liberty of buffing my combat credentials to impress the peasants. And after that: success! On to a glorious career in public service! And then...oh, wait. You meant how to create a job for someone else? Uh...um....I don't know, I must confess. I've never had a real, actual job. Well, there was that short stint at the Washington Post, but it was a do-nothing job, if you take my meaning. Another step up the ladder, you understand, a way to meet the right people! A job, you say. Hrm. Perhaps the plebs can clean toilets or dig holes or something? People still poop during Depressions, you know!"

When you reach a place in your life when your only options are "bad" and "very bad", it might be time to re-think the habits that got you into this fix in the first place.

One, two, three, four! I declare a currency war! Winner gets head-noogies on the loser! Pull quote:

“The irony is that the Fed is creating all this liquidity with the hope that it will revive the U.S. economy. It is doing nothing for the U.S. economy and causing chaos for the rest of the world,” Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning professor at New York’s Columbia University, said today in New York.
My response? Screw those whiny bitches!

Ireland's woes intensify. This quote strikes me as an unwise dare against Fate, though:

“Ireland is at the lowest point, it shouldn’t get any worse,” Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin, said in a phone interview.
The fey gods of finance look upon statements like that as hubris, and punish the sinners accordingly.

The IMF has revised its estimate of US economic growth downward. The IMF seems to have joined the "QE now and forever" chorus (mainly, I think, due to a lack of actual ideas -- when in doubt, throw money at the problem and hope that it goes away). It's nothing we don't already know. US growth into 2012 and beyond is going to be very slow, barring some unforseen event.

Mish, you're one of the good guys. A simpatico economic soul. But this post makes me want to kick you in the yarbles. Who cares if it's true? My 401(k) is howling in pain, dude! At this point my big retirement conundrum is going to be whether I dine on Friskies, or go all out and choose the succulent Fancy Feast to go with my tasty dessert: a great heaping helping of nothing at all. (At least I'll have the comforting knowledge that my tax dollars are keeping the public-employee pension coffers filled. There's a thought to keep an old man warm on cold nights!)

I spend on your grave!

San Diego, a gentle and devout man of God, would no doubt be horrified by the perfidy on display in his namesake city. The bell of doom tolls in California, and the leaden note is: Boned! Boned! Boned!

"Whaddya mean, you don't know what 'Counterparty Risk' means?!? You little maggot! You make me wanna vomit!"

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posted by Monty at 10:39 AM

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