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March 24, 2011

The DOOM! Loop

[UPDATE] As statements of the obvious go, this one is pretty to-the-point. It's more like a judo-chop to the neck than a punch in the gut.

There actually is such a thing. Quote:

America’s too-big-to-fail banks are well on their way to becoming too big to save. That point will be reached when saving the big banks, protecting their creditors, and stabilizing the economy plunges the US government so deeply into debt that its solvency is called into question, interest rates rise sharply, and a fiscal crisis erupts.

In other words, the “doom loop” isn’t really a loop at all. It does end eventually, as it has – just for starters – in Iceland, Ireland, and Greece.

Over in poor, boned California: actuaries (finally) tell the state the truth, but the cities don't want to hear it. Whenever you hear a government official express concern about how underfunded the pension plan is, you can be sure that this concern is of a much lower order than their concern over immediate budget shortfalls. If it comes down to paying bills now or funding the pension, they'll kick the pension can down the road every time.

Speaking of the Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB)... Illinois? Boned. Massachusetts? Boned. Rhode Island? Boned. Montana? Boned. In fact, you can say that the LOTB now includes about 30 US states, and many foreign countries. Newest foreign entry: Slovenia! Welcome!

And let's not forget one of the founding members of the LOTB, Portugal. Their government collapsed yesterday over resistance to a government austerity call to fend off an ECB bailout. They now get in line behind Ireland and Greece in the ECB's bailout window. (I don't see how any of the three can avoid a default at this point; it's pretty clear that none of their citizens will stand for the kind of austerity measures the ECB is going to demand as a precondition for a bailout.) Next up: Spain!

What killed Detroit? Union Greed. Well, that, and four decades of truly abysmal city and state government.


In the immortal style of Nat King Cole, let me sing a little song for you. I call it...Unsustainable.

Unsustainable, that's what we are
Unsustainable though near or far
Like a fog of doom that clings to me
How the thought of debt does things to me
Never before has an economy been more

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.

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posted by Monty at 09:05 AM

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