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August 08, 2011

DOOM: Drown in my own tears.

DOOOOM

Thanks to Andy for covering the DOOM last week. I had a situation come up all of a sudden that had to be dealt with. (I filed this under "A pimp's work is never done", and cross-referenced it in "Keeping my pimp-hand strong." If you let those situations get out of control, you might as well just give up your corner and start selling insurance door to door.)

Lots and lots of DOOM over the weekend. Let's dive right in while the molten lava is still hot.

Not content with giving President Obama the singular distinction of being the very first President of the United States to oversee a downgrade of our sovereign debt, S&P warns that another downgrade might be in the offing a couple of months down the line. It's a hell of a note when a $2 Trillion error in arithmetic still doesn't change the equation much.

Of course, President Obama and the rest of his Administration made do with hectoring S&P and calling them names. Over in Europe, Italy raided their offices and impounded a lot of files. Maybe that will teach S&P to keep their big fat mouths shut!

Brad DeLong illustrates a tendency among economists that I discussed a while back: Being disconcerted when reality diverges from economic theory. Being smart is no guarantee against being dead wrong.

Mark Steyn, who has been doing DOOM since before DOOM was cool, pens another depressing yet terribly insightful column about our predicament entitled "Mad Debt". He also makes a point that I've wondered at myself: this "kicking the can down the road" business implies that we think our future selves (or our children) will be smarter, kinder, more prudent, and more willing to pay down debt than we are ourselves...and this in spite of the fact that the liabilities will be far greater in the future than they are now. Well, twenty years ago, we all thought the same thing of our future selves, and look what happened -- we turned out to be a bunch of spendthrift assholes.

Rick Santelli (the spiritual father of the Tea Party) does a little numerology. I really dislike this kind of analysis, I must say. In fact, I find a lot of technical analysis to be little more than faux-mathematical bullshit. You'd probably do just as well by having a monkey pick stocks at random.

Even the Israelis are raging against the dying of the light.

While the US is preoccupied with our outrage over our debt downgrade, the sovereign debt problem in Europe just keeps getting worse. It provides a certain kind of cold comfort: we are doomed, but everyone else is doomed worse. We live to suck another day! Woo hoo! USA! USA! USA!

S&P's little arithmetic error is a mere drop in the ocean of our debt. That's $223 trillion dollars, kids. Or about three to four times the entire economic output of the planet in a given year.

Noted ward of the state Fannie Mae is coming back to the taxpayer, bowl in hand, and asking for more gruel. Incredulous taxpayers look down at the ragged urchin and howl, "MORE?!?" (Remember when the liberal brain-trust assured everyone that Fannie Mae was completely sound and would never need a taxpayer bailout? Good times, man. Good times.)

A "read the whole thing" kind of essay from Janet Daley over at The Telegraph. The end of the capitalist welfare-state model is upon us: the band is packing up their instruments, the last drunks are being shooed out the door, and the bill for the party has been presented.

It would be nice to have some effective political leaders in this time of crisis, but alas, all we get are the washouts from the rodeo clown school.

Obama's problem is that he's not a leader. He’s a college professor, an activist who’s never had a real job. He asserts; the students nod and write it all down. He pontificates; the audience sits in respectful silence. He hates to be challenged, or to be called out. (Which is probably why Eric Cantor sets his teeth on edge.)

It looks like we're going to have Timmah to kick around for a while yet. (It's worth remembering that Geithner was hired by George W. Bush, not Barack H. Obama.)

In a rather stunning display of bad timing, 45,000 Verizon workers go on strike.

Extreme debtors. What really strikes me about these stories is the huge amount of student-loan debt that people are taking on in the (probably misguided) hope that more education will lead to a better job. Sadly, in many cases, the loan burdens will far outstrip any benefit the additional education confers. This bubble is going to pop soon, mark my words.

So Escape from L.A. was a documentary and not a crappy action movie. Who knew? California is so boned.

Oblivious, irony-immune jackass lectures a whole collection of oblivious, irony-immune jackasses.

UPDATE 1: Why Italy? Why Spain?

UPDATE 2: Wheeeee! The DOW opens down, baby, down.

UPDATE 3: No, I am not going to do some busted-ass Downfall parody about this. Mainly because that meme is more broken down than my girl KiKi, whose great-granddaughter just had her first baby. So...I'm not taking a cheap shot here. But I want you all to know that I could. And it would be funny. Because it's true.



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posted by Monty at 08:22 AM

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