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April 26, 2011

DOOM? You're soaking in it!


Bernanke: All in, baby! What's the worst that could happen?

In a chilling warning, Hussman writes:

“In order to achieve a non-inflationary increase in yields even to 0.25%, the Fed will have to reverse the entire amount of asset purchases it has engaged in under QE2. Indeed, the last time we observed Treasury bill yields at 0.25%, the monetary base was well under $2 trillion.”

Top ten American sports franchises that filed for bankruptcy. People sometimes forget that a professional sports team is a business, and is not exempt from the economic laws that every other enterprise is bound by.

Tax hikes are the Democrats' preferred mechanism for balancing the budget, but in spite of their "tax the rich" mantra, they know full well that any tax-based solution is going to have to raise taxes on the middle class -- because that's where the money is. And the tax-hike won't be a little one, either. The writer of the piece, like every other liberal, shrieks in rage at the mere notion of cutting entitlement spending, the main driver of our debt; but he does get this part right:

The Republicans’ alternative plan gets close to the $4,000bn target established by the independent Bowles-Simpson commission, but it does so by amputating health plans that are popular even among staunch conservatives. A recent McClatchy-Marist poll found that even 70 per cent of Tea Party supporters were opposed to cutting Medicaid and Medicare.
Older Americans love their benefits, no matter how unsustainable or ruinous to the nation's finances, and will fight to keep them regardless of party affiliation.

Robert Samuelson is only the latest in a long series of observers to note that His Most Royal Highness and Radiant Majesty Barack Hussein Obama has no plan...for anything, really. President Obama's theory of governance seems mainly to center around showing up to work in the morning and just letting the day wash over him.

The poor boned residents of California may finally be waking up to the perils that face them. It's too bad it didn't happen before the recent elections, when it might have made a difference. As it is, the realization of the mess they're in only serves to highlight their boned-ness.

I have my differences with Megan McArdle-Suderman of The Atlantic, but she's very on-point here:

The real issue starts, not when China starts selling our bonds, but when China stops buying our bonds. As soon as that happens, we're in big trouble.
And Instapundit says something I've often thought myself: "Plus, as a commenter suggests, what if the Chinese economy collapses and they’re no longer able to buy Treasuries? That’s hardly inconceivable." (I'd say it's more likely than not, myself, Tom Friedman's admiration notwithstanding.)

The problem is not with China, though. China is what it is, and has what success it's having, because of the West. China turned itself into a huge factory for the rest of the world -- it generates very little value-add of its own. It has a notoriously opaque internal market and highly-suspect financial numbers from its banks. The largest employer in the country is the PLA (their Army). It does not encourage entrepreneurs or risk-takers or visionaries -- in fact, the regime tends to beat such people down and chase them away. And it is still, lest people forget, a Communist-led authoritarian police-state. The problem is with us -- we are giving China a lot of our money to make cheap crap for us to buy, then we borrow our own money back to finance still more purchases of cheap crap. It's not China's fault that we're in the mess we're in; it's ours.

They say that the first step in handling a crisis is admitting that there is a crisis.

The housing downturn didn't spare the wealthy and famous. Check out Las Vegas, ground-zero for the real-estate bust:

Almost 70 percent of Las Vegas-area homeowners with mortgages were underwater at the end of 2010, meaning they owed more than the value of the property, according to CoreLogic Inc. (CLGX), a Santa Ana, California-based real estate information company. Among cities with a population of more than 200,000, Las Vegas has led the nation in the pace of foreclosure actions since November 2009, with one of every 31 homes receiving a filing in the first quarter of this year, RealtyTrac Inc., an information provider in Irvine, California, reported April 14.

[UPDATE 1]: Wall Street, which went big for Obama in 2008, is hurt that their former BFF is now bad-mouthing them to his friends. It's almost like they kissed his ass for nothing.

[UPDATE 2]: Commenter Kratos links a question that I've asked liberals many times myself: If deficits don't matter and the government can just print money any time they want, why levy taxes at all? The silence coming out of the liberal cognoscenti on that question is deafening.

[UPDATE 3]: (Via Dave In Texas) Texas City refineries without power; it may be days before the refinery comes back on-line. Get ready for another fuel-price bump. These refineries constitute about 5% of the national refining capacity. The regional price-effects will probably be more severe yet.

"Do! Or do not. There is no try."

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posted by Monty at 09:12 AM

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