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November 30, 2011

DOOM: Cry your blues away


World central banks might be worried about another "Lehman event" in Europe. The Euro crisis keeps going from bad to worse. EDIT: Teh Bernank to the rescue? Hey, we've got plenty of money, right? If not, we can just print some more! Here's a rule, investors: never gamble with people who can print their own money.

Italian borrowing costs are higher than they’ve been for more than a decade. This can’t continue for much longer.

The future of jobs. Given that human intelligence and ability fall into a bell curve, it's going to be a tough world for those on the left side of the curve...but really, hasn't that always been the case?

The Great Job Massacre.

Curing the unemployment blues:

If one government program had its rough edges, a second government program could ride to the rescue. Implicit in this argument was the tantalizing, but fatal, assumption of economic abundance: The government has the power to tax, and with that power, has access to a cornucopia of public funds that never runs empty—at least until it does.

10 things that (honest) capitalists really believe.

The Eurozone: 10 days to live?

A credit rating is just an opinion, and often a mistaken one. It is not a performance guarantee, a fact that many financiers and investors either forgot or deliberately ignored. There’s no substitute for due diligence as a risk-abatement strategy.

Time was that as a kid Junior would eat all the cookies and beef jerky in the house and leave you none. Then Junior went off into the world and you thought, “Now, I can have the cookies and beef jerky to myself!” Alas, no: Junior has slunk back to the ancestral manse, is camping in the basement, is drinking up all your beer, and is sitting around in his underwear playing Battlefield 3 all day. (I figure we’ve done enough Boomer-bashing lately; let’s bash on some of those thankless lazy good-for-nothing kids for a change.)

When things stop making sense in the bond world, it’s a good sign that a big shock is not far off. The bond markets crave stability above all else, and when the behavior of that system becomes chaotic, it signifies some pretty bad things.

If the Eurozone crisis is worse than it looks, the citizens of that region are in for a world of hurt, because it looks pretty damned bad. (Also, see my post on the bond markets above: when things stop making sense in the bond world, bad things lurk nearby.)

I’ve said it many times: “Europe” is not a nation like the United States is a nation, and it never will be.

Standard & Poor’s to 37 global banks: BAM!

The problem with America’s spending is only partly debt that we’ve already accrued; the bigger problem is future obligations -- in particular Social Security and Medicare.

McConnell two days ago: “I say no to an extension of the payroll tax holiday!” McConnell yesterday: “I give an extension of the payroll tax holiday a good, firm maybe.” I always love to see a public servant of stout conviction and firm principle. It gives me hope for the future.

UPDATE 1: Those crazy kids from Taiwan explain the Euro crisis to you as only they can.

UPDATE 2: For many heavily-indebted cities, even bankruptcy may not provide an escape from their problems.

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posted by Monty at 08:47 AM

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