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August 18, 2011

DOOM knocked me down and took my lunch money


[Spare a thought and a prayer for the innocent victims of the terrorist attack in Israel.]

Look, I'm not going to call this a vendetta or anything. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Is globalization a failure? It's too soon to tell, in my view. It's made a lot of very poor people richer, and that's a good thing. But it also seems to have driven low-end jobs into a vicious downward spiral: that's not a good thing.

The stock market is sensing some heavy weather ahead.

This fear threatens to pull an already weakened economy -- trudging along with unhealed wounds like 9%-plus unemployment and a dilapidated housing market -- down into a double-dip recession.

If that happens, the logic goes, we'll face a protracted downturn because we have few tools left to resuscitate growth. Given the economic imbalances, excess debt and pure desperation out there -- represented by record long-term unemployment and a record number of Americans relying on food stamps -- it could very well be Great Depression 2.0.

For our President, every day is Opposite Day. When he says "I'm going to create jobs", he really means that he's going to kill jobs. It's a little game he picked up in Illinois.

Remember back when schools were meant to educate children rather than enrich adults? Yeah, me neither. Before my time.

Aw. Krugman and his boyfriend are on the outs. Here's some advice, Paul: make Bammer a nice arugula quiche and I'm sure this little tiff will blow over. (Also: "Firebagger"? What a lame sobriquet.)

The Greeks would gladly pay you Tuesday for a souvlaki today.

A meeting between Wisconsin rockstars: Governor Walker pushes Paul Ryan to run for President.

Gold is now over $1800 an ounce. People keep asking me if gold is in a "bubble" right now. My sense is: I don't think it is. It's overbought and may correct back down, but I don't think it's in bubble territory. It may correct downwards as the panic-buying recedes, but if the western nations cannot get their debt under control, gold will only keep going up.

Jobless numbers and inflation are both trending up.

The core index, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.2 percent. That's below the 0.3 percent rise in each of the previous two months.

Prices are 3.6 percent higher than they were a year ago, matching the 12-month increase in May and June. Core prices are 1.8 percent higher than they were a year earlier, the largest increase in two years.

(Emphasis mine.)

The next time someone says to you that inflation is low, ask them if they've bought any food recently.

Millionaires go missing.

It's an old story: The best way to produce income equality is to destroy trillions of dollars of wealth. Everyone loses, but the rich lose relatively more than the poor and the middle class. By that measure, if few others, Obamanomics has been a raging success.

UPDATE 1: The European debt crisis deepens. I get the feeling that some kind of endgame is drawing near.

UPDATE 2: Obama promised to bring equality back to America. We may be poor and hungry...but at least we're equal. (I hasten to add that there are very few authentically "poor" people in the United States. Poor people do not own video game machines, flat-screen televisions, iPods, cellphones, and laptop computers. Compared with a beggar in Calcutta, our "poor" live the lives of the idle rich.)

UPDATE 3: Gold is way up (at $1822 as I write this); stock markets promise to open way down. Somehow I don't think that's helping His Majesty get his message to the plebs out there in Jesusland.

UPDATE 4: NYSE invokes Rule 48 on open.

UPDATE 5: Morgan Stanley: US and EU "dangerously close to a recession". Which means that we're probably already in one. (Or, more likely, never actually got out of the last one.)

UPDATE 6: Philly Fed report: pants-shittingly bad. 10-Year Treasury yield? At an all time low. Wheeee!


There was this blinding white light all around me, and I was unable to move at all. I could see the alien ship not far away, pulsing with red and blue lights. Then, a creature emerged from the ship and spoke: Take me to your Friskies.

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posted by Monty at 09:05 AM

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