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October 03, 2011

DOOM: You upset me, baby.

DOOOOM

In news that surprises absolutely nobody, Greece is set to miss the new deficit targets set by the EU. It won't matter; the bureaucrats will make threatening noises but will hand over the the bailout money anyway in return for more promises that will not be kept. That's how the Eurozone works.

North Dakota: America's answer to Saudi Arabia. Except in ND, you can have Bibles, women can drive, homosexuals aren't flogged in public (as far as I know), and the natives actually work for a living.

California: the nightmare scenario.

When journalists bust out the Shakespeare quotes, you can be sure that false profundity and labored metaphor will follow. And this is just precious:

Still, the consequences of a disorderly default are considered so dire that Athens has cards to play, too. A strike by workers at the national statistics bureau has made it difficult to get up-to-date fiscal data. The government has said it faces default by mid-October without the aid, but we think they were exaggerating deliberately to put pressure on us, a senior European official said.
Greece cant get accurate numbers on how boned they are together because the people who compile the numbers are on strike. Greece has taken being boned to a whole new level of cosmic absurdity.

Bring me the head of Quincy the Quant!

Ronald Reagan used to say that "a rising tide lifts all boats". Liberals never really got that, neither then nor now.

You know what the world needs? More government!

What globalization requires, therefore, are smart government policies. Governments should promote high-quality education, to ensure that young people are prepared to face global competition. They should raise productivity by building modern infrastructure and promoting science and technology. And governments should cooperate globally to regulate those parts of the economy notably finance and the environment in which problems in one country can spill over to other parts of the world.
In Sachs' world, "government" is like grey duct tape: it can fix anything. And for only 50% or so of your yearly income! It's an amazing value, really, if only you wingnuts would sit down and think about it.

Tom Friedman hates those damned job-stealing robots. (Oh, he says that now. But wait until we get sexy replicants like Pris in Blade Runner. I bet he'll be singing a different tune then.)

Does business "despair of" Barack Obama? Barack Obama is an academic leftist ideologue with no real private-sector background or experience. I'm not sure why so many businessmen expected anything else out of His Majesty but hostility and contempt. (Here's another link if you can't get to the FT article.)

The NYT wails that "foreclosures are killing us". It may be painful, but we must clear the enormous debt-overhang in the real estate sector. Too many people took on too much debt, and it must be cleared in one way or another if a recovery is to take place. You're not doing underwater homeowners (or the real-estate market in general) any favors if you force them to stay in houses they cannot afford.

The media's war against the Koch brothers is heating up going into the 2012 elections. One wonders where this kind of due-diligence was during Barack Obama's campaign in 2008.

Americans are re-learning the virtues of thrift and saving, but it's going to be a long, tough road back to sustainability. Household debt is still historically very high.

A looming trade-war with China? It's like no one ever read about the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act of 1930. Which is not to say that China is blameless; far from it. But they are simply behaving rationally according to their own priorities. We are the authors of our own misery in this case.

The latest number on public pension obligations? How does $30 Trillion dollars sound? Everybody out there who thinks all this money is actually going to be paid out, raise your hand.

UPDATE 1: The days of double-digit returns on financial assets may be over for a while. I think investors are going to have to learn to be satisfied with returns in the 5% range; an 8% return will be cause for celebration.


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The Janus cat.

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posted by Monty at 09:04 AM

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