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September 06, 2011

DOOM: I see a red door and I want it painted black


You know how I'm always harping that Social Security is doomed? Well, it's even more doomed than I thought. Dean Kalahar lays it out:

In simple terms the FICA program is a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. In the fraud, people on the top of the pyramid collect as long as they can get others below them to pay in. Now as the baby boom retires, the takers outstrip the payers. And like all Ponzi schemes, this is when the system will collapse like a house of cards and take with it the American economy.

The day of reckoning is here. Not even the all powerful OZ can spend other people's money, write an IOU to himself, and then on some future day expect to use those IOUs to fund the Emerald City. It's time to pull back the curtains and admit "the emperor has no clothes."

Rhode Island: the vanguard of the LOTB. I would have guessed Illinois or California would go first, but RI beat them to the tape.

An economic crisis is nature’s revenge on those who make and those who accept false promises; it is a holocaust of lies when the dross is burned away and only what is real and true remains.
Amen, brother. Amen.

Germany and the fate of the Eurozone.

More on that heaping helping of FAIL served up by Solyndra, courtesy of the Democrats.

The first economist. The theory is still sound!

Stiglitz: The economy is because of 9/11, which happened a decade ago, and not Obama and the democrats, who have been in conrol of the government since 2006. Also: IT’S BUSH’S FAULT, YOU WINGNUT FREAKS! LEAVE MY BOYFRIEND ALONE!!!

More on that whole "we need to roll a s**t-load of short-term debt" problem.

The United States has the least balanced maturity schedule of any
major nation. Over 70 percent of its bonds mature within 5 years,
compared with an average 49 percent for the 34 member countries in the
That's right, kids. 70% of our bonds mature in 5 years or less, and most of that is going to have to be rolled rather than retired. If interest rates go up even by fractions of a percent, we are completely hosed. We're already broke borrowing at zero percent interest. Can you imagine how screwed we're going to be when interest rates go back up to 3-4% (or higher)?

The Greek “bailout” has gone from drama to low comedy to absolute farce. This is particularly hilarious:

The collateral offered would be worthless in the event that the Greek state failed to repay the bailout loans.
So...it’s really not “collateral”, then, is it?

New Jersey unions take the news of pension cuts with all the grace and dignity you’d expect.

Stories like this one put me in a very anti-government mood. Very.

When something costs more, you buy less of it. That’s as true of labor as it is of everything else. How do you make labor cheaper to buy? Repeal the minimum wage law, for a start.

USPS is living on borrowed time. That’s been true for about twenty years now, but the clock is finally ticking down to zero.

The End Of the New Deal Order. Read it all, but here's a taste:

Only later would we come to understand that the house FDR built sits on a wobbly base. Steady economic growth is necessary to pay for all of the government’s promises. The bureaucracy functions only if experts have the confidence of the people. And government and citizenry must agree on a limiting principle that prevents national bankruptcy, a bloated state, and an irresponsible public.

Otherwise, the nation backs into a situation where government has promised far more than it can afford; where the dollars coming into the Treasury are spent entirely on satisfying creditors; where public institutions and leaders are denigrated; where the future is frightening; where snark is the dominant mode of public discourse; where menace grows overseas without check; and where voters lurch from one party to another, desperate for a way out.

The nation, in other words, would back into precisely the situation where we find ourselves today.

Clive Crook at the FT asks Obama to be something he has never been, and will never be.

The magic 8-ball says...Italy is boned!

Even TV chefs have fallen prey to the class-warfare gestalt abroad in the land right now. No bacon cheeseburger, no peace! Chili fries and cheese are what made this country great!

If banks had to fairly value a lot of their assets (especially sovereign debt), they’d collapse in a day.

UPDATE 1: People keep asking me if I think gold is in a bubble or not. I don't think so, and neither do a lot of other people. That "correction" downward last week lasted for about three days, and now gold is flirting with its all-time highs again. (Gold is at $1894/oz as I write this.)

UPDATE 2: And how a word from an actual job creator.

UPDATE 3: California is crumbling. Via Insty.


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posted by Monty at 08:37 AM

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