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October 27, 2011

DOOM: Lefty he can't sing the blues


Richard Epstein: Is income inequality really a bad thing? Boiled down to gravy: incentives matter. (The interviewer's obvious liberal outrage at Epstein is hilarious, by the way. This clip is worth watching for that alone.)

No link yet, but the WSJ reports that the economy expanded by 2.5% in the third quarter and that jobless claims fell by 2,000 in the last week. Not the kind of numbers to throw a party over, but at least the line is moving in the right direction. (Though the cynic in me is waiting for the inevitable revision downwards.) EDIT: Here's a link from CNBC.

Rep. Paul Ryan: How class warfare weakens the United States. (I'm sure you'll all be as shocked as I was to discover that the liberal tools at The Nation do not approve of Rep. Ryan's message.)

Has a Eurozone deal been brokered at last? I sincerely doubt it. If the 50% haircut number is accurate, and is non-voluntary, it will count as a hard default and trigger CDS contracts in many cases. If "voluntary", they may not get enough buy-in for the deal to work. And even if they do jawbone bondholders into taking the haircut "voluntarily", it’ll only mean a few weeks of respite for the beleaguered Greeks anyhow. Their debt will still inexorably grow and grow. The whole charade is meant for French and German banks, not the Greeks. Sooner or later, the Greek citizenry will simply go into open revolt.

Dear Greece: Look, I get that there are some hard feelings against the Germans from the war. I get that. But man, you don’t go askin’ a man for money and then insult him to his face, you know what I’m sayin’? Cause that dude might just take a mind to tell you to go f**k yourself.

The problems with Obama's "targeted" mortgage subsidy. Just remember: anything Obama does from now until the election is not intended to produce actual results, but simply to give the appearance of positive action.

You think our political debates get heated? How about some fisticuffs on the Italian parliament floor! I have a feeling that the comity in our own House will be strained when the so-called "Super Committee" fails to reach a budget compromise.

Speaking of the "Super Committee": it is currently deadlocked...over taxes, of course. Everyone who’s actually surprised at this turn of events, raise your hand. (Maybe Kerry’s gaseous filibustering has just worn the poor folks out?)

Do our financial smarts erode quickly after age 60? I think it's more a case of making some really bad assumptions when you move into your elder years: too many people think they can shift completely away from saving and into drawing down their savings. They take the concept of "retirement" too literally, and interpret it as a total vacation from fiscal reality. The rise of the welfare state in America in the post-Depression years has had a lot to do with this. As long as you draw air (and even for a while afterwards), you are subject to the iron law of supply and demand -- there is no "retirement" or vacation from reality.

How do you go from 250 billion to 1 trillion without adding any extra money to the pot? Leverage, baby! It’s the salve that heals all wounds! What’s the worst that can happen? (Also: when you hear the words “special purpose vehicle” as an investment pitch, run, do not walk, to the exit because you are about to get fleeced, greased, and decreased.)

Apparently, “economic justice” smells like bad B.O., pot-smoke, hair-grease, Four Loko, dandruff, and that haunting ineffable scent of human turds.

Reducing the power of the guild. Much legal work does not require a degree in law, much in the same way that much healthcare work does not require an M.D.

I am a pro-critter person, and one of the saddest aspects of any downturn is the plight of companion animals. Too many people take on pets without realizing that there are significant expenses involved (both in time and money), and then simply abandon the pets when money gets tight. Companion animals are just that -- companions. They’re not toys to be thrown away when they become inconvenient. (I could even make the same observation about children in many cases.)

Ohio’s application to the Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB) is hereby approved. Let’s give our newest inductee a big hand!

The absurdity of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

barritz Pictures, Images and Photos

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posted by Monty at 08:49 AM

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