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September 29, 2011

DOOM. Sniffling, sneezing, aching, stuffy-headed, fever, so-you-can-fall-over-dead DOOM.

DOOOOM

Jobless claims fall a bit (I wouldn't call it a "tumble", but then I'm not carrying Obama's water). GDP is still flat at 1.3% growth. Not horrible numbers, but nothing to shout about either. It's basically a sideways drift.

Is the old bromide about small businesses being the backbone of the American jobs market incorrect? Are big companies really the main driver of employment? I suspect this is a regional thing, and patterns may have changed since the downturn got really bad in 2008 -- the heavy hand of regulation falls particularly hard on smaller businesses, and the downturn has put unbearable pressure on what was in many cases a low-margin business to begin with. If America wishes to have a healthy economy, small businesses must be able to thrive and grow.

Why stocks are safter than treasuries. I don't know that I'd use the word "safe" in a financial context these days: complete safety is an illusion. If you want a decent return, you have to accept risk. But I'd rather hold equities than government debt right now, I'll tell you that much.

Leave it to a Frenchman to come up with an idea this stupid.

Indeed, a tax of just 0.05 percent levied on each stock, bond, derivative or currency transaction would be aimed at financial institutions’ casino-style trading, which helped precipitate the economic crisis. Because these markets are so vast, the tax could raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year globally for cash-strapped governments and could increase development aid.
He then stroked his little pencil-line mustache, gave a fruity little laugh, and ate some stinky cheese.

Yeah, Obama's reign has been bad for Latinos. But it's been a catastrophe for everyone else too. Obama is an equal-opportunity boning machine. You could chalk the 2008 vote up to bad judgement and misplaced hopes, but a vote for this clown again in 2012 is nothing more than a death wish.

Ambrose Bierce rises from the dead and takes a crack at Euro-speak.

The error most Americans make when trying to understand the European debt crisis is this: They fail to realize that the euro isn’t just a doomed currency, but a language unto itself.

Liberals: Fond of diversity in everything but thought. Barney Frank once again shows the authoritarian leanings of the Democrat Party by proposing to strip the 12 regional Fed banks of their right to vote in the FOMC. Oversight is for chumps!

His Majesty, King Obama the Just: "Arrogant, pitiful, and sad." Where's the love? Didn't his majesty give a rapturously-received speech in Berlin a mere three years ago? What ingrates!

The Enron-i-sation of Europe.

All my sources confirm, again and again, this is a desperate attempt to find the right path through this mess. The people in the know, realize there are no longer any good solutions only pain. The pain from here is either 2-5 years of recession or 10-15 years. Enron-i-sation & tax makes this week
the new low in solidarity, rationality and solution seeking.

Conrad Black at NRO follows up with "Euro Collapse".

A scary little video about fiat money.

Out: "In God we trust." In: "What, me worry?"

The 'Chicago Way' is bankrupting the country.

How boned is Illinois? This boned:

Pension contributions and debt service comprise 17.4% of Illinois’ $33.6 billion general fund budget in fiscal year 2012, according to a report released Monday by the Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability at the Civic Federation.

The state will pay $4.2 billion in pension contributions in fiscal year 2012 and $1.6 billion for debt service on pension obligation bonds. Illinois sold pension obligation bonds worth a combined $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2010 and 2011 to pay its pension contribution expenses, according to the report.

And finally, in non-DOOM news, Amazon announces the Kindle Fire, which may turn out to be the first real competitor to the Apple iPad. Did I pre-order one? Yes. Yes I did.

UPDATE 1: Interesting bit of trivia -- Milwaukee only allows 321 taxicabs, and half the licenses are owned by one person.

UPDATE 2: Defending Obamacare with 'a Soviet-Style Power-Grab’.

UPDATE 3: More on the "myth of the macroeconomy".



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posted by Monty at 08:51 AM

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