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May 05, 2011

DOOM! fritters with taters and gravy


Why the killing of OBL didn't move markets much. My own take on this is simple: OBL was old business that had nothing to do with our current economic troubles. Most Americans are glad he's worm-food, but his death isn't providing the psychological lift it might have had in the dark days after 9/11. (And the Administration's increasingly-incoherent messaging on the event is only diluting the public opinion further.)

In Portugal, a DOOM delayed is only a DOOM deferred, not a DOOM avoided.

I sold a bunch of silver when it was nudging $50 an ounce because I thought that $50/oz silver was ludicrous. The price of silver crashed almost immediately after I did this. (What awful powers do I have?!?) I'm not saying this to brag (it really was a combination of guesswork and good luck) but just to point out that if even a dummy like me can see evidence of panic-buying, it must be really really obvious. I'm still pretty fond of silver and will probably buy some back when it goes back down some more.

Another call for states to go exclusively to defined-contribution plans rather than defined-benefit plans. I suspect that this will happen eventually, but only after the power of the public-sector unions have been broken and a lot of court cases have been filed. In other words: it'll take a financial catastrophe to force the issue. The pressure is going to mount when muni debt starts getting more expensive and states have to choose between paying pensions, servicing debt, and actually performing the day-to-day business of government.

California, senior member in good standing of the Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB), is home to San Francisco -- a city whose finances are in pretty dire straits. San Francisco is one of the big cities I'm keeping an eye on in the next couple of years as an interesting test-case in how Democrat-controlled governments are going to handle onerous benefit costs when they start to chew away at funding for favorite liberal programs (not to mention more quotidian stuff like trash-collection, sewer and water, and all the rest).

Okay, so Social Security is doomed. We obviously need to reform it (or preferably abolish it and replace it with something better). The Democrat answer? Let's implement another entitlement program just like Social Security! It can't miss! (If this actually comes to pass, fair warning: I'm leaving the planet to open an off-world mining, manufacturing, and prostitution entertainment business in the asteroid belt.)

Public sector unions in Illinois gearing up to do what public-sector unions in Illinois do. Which is to say: wring money out of the taxpayers.

Teh Bernank: Inflation is low! Spend! Consume! Reality: What are you, high?

The jobs recovery? Not a "recovery", actually. More like the twitching of a corpse.

The GOP and Democrats may be reaching a deal on the debt-ceiling debate. It's not a question of whether the debt-ceiling will be raised; of course it will. The big question is what trade-offs the Donks will be willing to make in order for that to happen, and whether the GOP will blink if the Donks play hardball.

[UPDATE 1]: It's not just the employment numbers that are sucking wind. Manufacturing is down too.

The liquor store was all out of Val-U-Rite brand vodka, apparently.

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posted by Monty at 09:08 AM

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