Global Economic February Thread

Talk about the global and national economy to your heart’s content, as much as it takes to get it out of your system so the rest of the site can stick to real estate and housing.

As of 09/07/2010, global economic comments that do not directly relate to Seattle-area real estate go only in threads designated for this specific subject.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

450 comments:

  1. 251
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Jonness @ 248 – There was a magical belief that such spending would jump start things so that they would take off on their own. Of course, it is possible that the spending becomes life support, and things can never be self-sustaining at previous levels. Folks described as Keynsians seem to be blinded by ideology, and not conscious of reality, i.e., changing structural, real world realities. Also, don’t for one minute think that those in power know what they are doing. Reading Bernanke’s testimonies confirms that he was ignorant of many, many things.

  2. 252

    By Blurtman @ 1:

    RE: Jonness @ 248 – There was a magical belief that such spending would jump start things so that they would take off on their own.

    I think that is mis-stating it. What they believed is that without action things would have gotten much worse, and that recovery from that worse event would take much longer. I don’t think there was ever any claim that the recovery would be fast.

    But like many things, this is something we’ll never know for sure. It’s all just theory because we can only do things one way and know how it turns out that one way. How every other option would have worked out is just a guess.

  3. 253
    Ben says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – It is a magical thinking falacy. The government cannot create resources out of thin air. Peter has to be robbed to pay Paul. And a little vig plucked as well. One might also view it as intergenerational theft. There is no free lunch. There is the persistence of magical thinking, however.

  4. 254
    Ben says:

    RE: Ben @ 3 – I would also add that things are much worse. The attempts to throw money at everything has solved nothing. It has prolonged the agony, sowed the seeds of inflation, and put the nation in a precarious fiscal position, among other things.

    The Great Depression of 1920 is probably one you never heard of. Read about why you haven’t.

    http://mises.org/daily/3788

  5. 255

    By Ben @ 3:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – It is a magical thinking falacy. The government cannot create resources out of thin air. Peter has to be robbed to pay Paul. And a little vig plucked as well. One might also view it as intergenerational theft. There is no free lunch. There is the persistence of magical thinking, however.

    I would disagree. That would be like saying you can’t create a viable business by borrowing.

    And in any case, perhaps the deficits would have been even larger without the spending. Less revenue through 50% unemployment. More unemployment benefits. Paying everyone the value of their deposits in the now defunct banks.

    Again, you can’t say what the present would have been if certain actions had not been taken. We only know the present for the actions that were taken.

  6. 256

    By Ben @ 4:

    RE: Ben @ 3 – I would also add that things are much worse. The attempts to throw money at everything has solved nothing.

    You’re coming close to (but not quite) sounding like a Republican talking point, where they try to claim the stimulus has not worked because the unemployment went over 8% (or whatever number the Obama Administration foolishly threw out early on). If you’d used the word “helped” rather than “solved” it would be.

  7. 257

    Those of you who think the government shouldn’t have acted, can you point to a country where the financial system completely collapsed and then there was a recovery within 10 years?

  8. 258
    Ben says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6 – Never confuse an Austrian with a Republican. :-) Unless your are referring to Ron Paul, of course.

  9. 259
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7

    You may recall Iceland recently collapsed, a total meltdown. But by clearing the debt and restructuring they are now well on their way to recovery, all within just a couple of years.

    “In contrast, as a sovereign nation with sovereign control, Iceland has managed to successfully restructure her banking system, devalue her currency, boost her exports of fish, and restrict foreign imports. Three new banks have been established – one with state majority share.

    Her GDP growth in 2009 was –6.5%. Today it stands at 0%. The unemployment rate in 2009 was 9.4%. Today it has been reduced to 7%. Then compare these figures with Ireland’s disastrous catalogue of economic blunders”

    Iceland is expected to have strong positive growth in 2011 with unemployment continuing to fall. We, however, will most likely be continuing to dog ourselves an ever deeper hole from which we will never escape. It’s the math, stupid.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/What-Ireland-can-learn-from-Icelands-economic-recovery—-111721169.html

  10. 260

    RE: Scotsman @ 9 – Does Iceland qualify? Did they let any major banks fail?

  11. 261
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    Let’s see, Iceland devalued their currency (we’re doing that), they restricted imports (neither of our political parties will do that), they’ve increased the export of their natural resources (we’re increasing exports), and they socialized part of the financial system (are they going to call it fannie or freddie).

    “Iceland, a NATO member, maintains no standing army, navy or air force.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Iceland

    Sounds like about all we have to do to be like Iceland is disband the military and tax the F out of oil and anything made in China. Is that part of the teaparty platform now?

  12. 262

    By One Eyed Man @ 11:

    Sounds like about all we have to do to be like Iceland is disband the military and tax the F out of oil and anything made in China. Is that part of the teaparty platform now?

    I’d go for the oil tax–with a reduction of other taxes.

  13. 263
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 11

    Or we could follow Obama down the rabbit hole and see where it leads. Don’t Bogart that joint.

    Strawman much?

  14. 264
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 13

    Actually, I believe that a strawman would be if I made up an argument for you and attacked it rather than directly attacking something you said. I was just pretending to ignore you like you pretended to ignore Pfft. ;-)

    And what’s this about following Obama? I thought we were still following Reagan. We just cut everybody’s taxes while we raised spending again didn’t we? I always thought if you wanted to deter someones spending it was kind of stupid to give them the credit card. If you want to put somebody on COD you have to raise taxes when they bring the increased budget to the checkout stand. If you do that, you’ll get a whole lot more people who will vote to stop spending increases.

    And as for the tax cuts for the wealthy being good for investment and the economy, thanks again everybody for the 3D TV. Hope some of that gold is trickling your way and not just raining on your head.

    As you know, I believe we should gore everybody’s ox to the tune of about 20% of the current budget spread in 150B budget decreases each yr for 5 years. That means fewer organ transplants for octogenarians and only 8 super carriers instead of 10. And that hurts me personally alot more than potentially losing the tax cut for the top 5% cause my dad probably got 250K in medicare and tricare benefits in the last 5 yrs and I’ve got a nephew who’s a carrier pilot on the GW.

    As to taxes, we probably shouldn’t unfairly tax or restrict imports, but we shouldn’t put our own business sector at a disadvantage either. A flat tax still places a part of our tax burden on goods we make and export. Global competition probably dictates that a national sales tax (that puts Chinese and other imports on a more even playing field) should largely replace the income tax except for extremely high income individuals who would continue to pay some amount of income tax.

    QE would bet phased as we approach a more balanced budget. And just like we used federal policy to build the railroad system and the interstate hwy system, we should promote a switch to NG for trucks like Picken’s suggests. Certain things can’t be left to the private sector because although they may have a huge public reward, those rewards are in things like national defense cost savings, hedged strategic energy supply, and long term energy cost savings that can’t easily be captured on the bottom line of a first mover who invests the huge amount of seed capital. And besides, I like science and stuff like that and I want my government to invest in some of it, at least by R & D subsidies.;-)

  15. 265
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 249

    It’s called agribusiness.

  16. 266
    B&W NIkes says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 14 – Yep. The argument between “Tax and Spend” and “Borrow and Spend” couldn’t be made more clear than in looking at results.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms
    The experiment will continue, but it appears by 2011 the continual lowering of taxes is responsible for the high debt, the spending less so. For decades, real changes in spending have been pretty negligible, while the value of receipts has fallen nearly to the floor. It’s well past time to admit that as much as we all like to complain about what other people spend, most of us don’t want anyone messing with what we think is important, whatever our differing idealized fantasies of right sized Government are. Negotiations on who goes home empty handed to their constituents are not likely to become much more effective than the reductive and abstracted mess we see now.

  17. 267
    Ben says:

    RE: B&W NIkes @ 16 – It will be interesting to see how this goes. I believe over 50% of the voting population currently has no tax liability under current law.

  18. 268
    Ben says:

    RE: B&W NIkes @ 16 – It will be a battle royal or maybe Thunderdome comes to mind.

    How many rich people are there we can tax? Will the bottom 50% pay their fair share? Will the middle class be taxed into the lower class?

    http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

  19. 269

    By David Losh @ 15:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 249

    It’s called agribusiness.

    And they affect the supply. They might participate in futures markets, but they are not the futures market as you claimed. Future supply and futures markets are two different things.

  20. 270

    By Ben @ 17:

    RE: B&W NIkes @ 16 – It will be interesting to see how this goes. I believe over 50% of the voting population currently has no tax liability under current law.

    Oh, give me a break. 50% of the population are not real estate agents! ;-)

  21. 271
    Blurtman says:

    A nice Dylan Ratigan show, including a great interview with Darrell Issa. Note the summary findings of the FCIC investigation at 6:55. 11% of mortgages sold by the big banks were sold with no disclosure of their known toxic nature. This stuff was sold to pension funds, Fannie and Freddie, insurers. The FCIC that states this, based on the findings of an independent auditor. Sizzling!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/ns/msnbc_tv-the_dylan_ratigan_show#41651306

    This is a crime. Pretty sleazy boiler room stuff. Selling bogus securities as good as gold. It is really a crime that could have been covered by Damon Runyan, really vintage stuff. Dapper chain smoking hoodlums on the phone in the boiler room, touting can’t-lose-deals to their marks. Maybe with James Cagney, or today Leo DiCapprio, playing the slick but seedy investment banker lead character. Except in the movie the guy would get machine gunned by the Feds.

    Here we have documented, cheesy fraud, right out of the Sporanos. Boiler room peddling of bogus securities.

    Certainly even Eric Holder can grasp this. So the real question is: how much of a deal did Obama strike with Wall Street to gain their campaign contributions?

  22. 272
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19

    The other thing that I thought of was that my world is really pretty small. Most of my life I’ve done the usual things in Real Estate to make money. There was no reason for me to look at global economic trends, or what the stock market was doing, or commodities, because they were all separate things competing for the same investment dollars.

    Michael Surkan, Sniglet, made comments here about deflation and that property could go down 80%. Deflation was never a word in my vocabulary.

    Next we have Blurtman and his wild rantings about all the crooks who should be going to jail.

    I’d include Scotsman, but he is pretty tame.

    In the process, you might start getting the idea this, the global economic collapse was a conspiracy. It’s just business.

    Business has grown along with banks, and governments. The dollar amounts are so huge it takes a computer to process that information. We are talking about trillions, hundreds of trillions of dollars. Reagan had to explain a trillion dollars in one of his budget broadcasts, now we just throw the term around.

    Agribusiness is no longer mom, dad, and the kids around the table saying grace after a day of working in the fields. It’s a ten year calculation of future demand. Population and ability to pay are projected with an array of once in a life time events thrown into a “what If” set of calculations.

    There is more than enough food, if agribusiness would grow it. They won’t because there is no money in that. Money is based on scarcity, rather than abundance.

    Oil, same, clothing, housing, commodities, stock, bonds, investment dollars chasing the next scheme. There are so many dollars in the system that every one in the world can be rich, fed, clothed, and sheltered.

    Rather than working toward the abundance that technology has brought us we keep yearning for the industrial age. There is more than enough to make the world healthy, and happy. We are focusing instead on the money, rather than what it can buy.

  23. 273
    B&W NIkes says:

    RE: Ben @ 18 – I’m not sure. I’d say the middle class sliding toward the stunted mobility of the the lower classes is as much a result of unacknowledged effects of technology advances and artificially cheap transportation costs as it is class driven monetary and tax policies.

  24. 274
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 242:

    RE: Ben @ 239RE: B&W Nikes @ 237
    As an aside, if you look at the ten year budget projections made in 2000/2001 we were supposed to be running healthy ($trillion) surpluses now and paying down the debt. How did that work out? What makes us think that the 10 year projections in the current budget will do any better in terms of actually coming to fruition? We will likely be bankrupt long before the next ten years have passed.

    I thought we were supposed to go bankrupt in Jan?

    “As an aside, if you look at the ten year budget projections made in 2000/2001 we were supposed to be running healthy ($trillion) surpluses now and paying down the debt. How did that work out?”

    well the supreme court elected W and he spent the surplus on 2 unfunded tax cuts for the rich, two unfunded wars and an unfunded medicare part D. any questions?

    you were for the most recent line of tax cuts that added still trillions more to the debt so I don’t know how you can lecture about this. how can you?

  25. 275
    pfft says:

    By Jonness @ 248:

    RE: Scotsman @ 224 I must admit, I was appalled when Bush was borrowing a half billion per year. And here we are a couple of years later…Obama has tripled the size of Bush’s record breaking budgets.

    bush left office with a trillion dollar deficit. obama was not the first. that budget was already passed.

  26. 276
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 1:

    RE: Jonness @ 248 – There was a magical belief that such spending would jump start things so that they would take off on their own.

    am I missing something? is the economy not growing? did the stimulus not save millions of jobs?

    did china’s stimulus work?

    how is austerity working? let’s take a look.

    Conservative Austerity Idea Is Failing
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-28/conservative-austerity-idea-is-failing-commentary-by-david-blanchflower.html

    The U.K. may be a purer case of the harm austerity at the wrong time can inflict. Britain now looks as if it is headed back into recession on fear about the damage that will be done by massive spending cuts and tax increases, which haven’t even gone into effect yet. Government ministers with their talk of austerity have already smashed confidence.

  27. 277
    pfft says:

    By Ben @ 3:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – It is a magical thinking falacy. The government cannot create resources out of thin air. Peter has to be robbed to pay Paul. And a little vig plucked as well. One might also view it as intergenerational theft. There is no free lunch. There is the persistence of magical thinking, however.

    who said the government is creating resources out of thin air? instead of people spending they are saving. the government borrows that excess savings and puts it to work building roads and bridges and employing cops. thanks to the recession there are plenty of unused resources. millions of talented people are unemployed and GDP is trillions below it’s potential.

    “One might also view it as intergenerational theft.”

    I am sure the next generation wants nice schools, safe roads and safe neighborhoods. I am sure that grandma and grandpa don’t want to live with their grandchildren no matter how much they love them.

    “There is no free lunch.”

    who said there was a free lunch? I’ve never heard that. where did you get that? as far as I know the government still has to pay interest but with the economic recovery and more people working the strain should be less.

    please point to the study that says we’d have less debt if the economy collapsed. I have posted many times that we would have more debt if the economy collapsed.

  28. 278
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7

    You may recall Iceland recently collapsed, a total meltdown. But by clearing the debt and restructuring they are now well on their way to recovery, all within just a couple of years.

    “In contrast, as a sovereign nation with sovereign control, Iceland has managed to successfully restructure her banking system, devalue her currency, boost her exports of fish, and restrict foreign imports. Three new banks have been established â�� one with state majority share.

    Her GDP growth in 2009 was â��6.5%. Today it stands at 0%. The unemployment rate in 2009 was 9.4%. Today it has been reduced to 7%. Then compare these figures with Irelandâ��s disastrous catalogue of economic blunders”

    Iceland is expected to have strong positive growth in 2011 with unemployment continuing to fall. We, however, will most likely be continuing to dog ourselves an ever deeper hole from which we will never escape. It’s the math, stupid.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/What-Ireland-can-learn-from-Icelands-economic-recovery—-111721169.html

    how come when I say as the dollar falls the economy will come back in the form of an export boom you said that wouldn’t work because inflation would cancel that out? yet in your article you said that the currency falling helped cause it’s recovery?

    “hen compare these figures with Irelandâ��s disastrous catalogue of economic blunders”

    Ireland doesn’t have it’s own currency so it’s a totally different story.

    iceland did bail out it’s banks too.

    Iceland agrees to repay £2.3bn owed to UK after Icesave failure
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8192496/Iceland-agrees-to-repay-2.3bn-owed-to-UK-after-Icesave-failure.html

  29. 279
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 22RE: David Losh @ 22 – Blurtman’s wild rantings about Wall Street fraud are not that unique nor uncommon. What happened is pretty obvious to many.

  30. 280
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 26 – “did the stimulus not save millions of jobs?” Reference, please.

    “how is austerity working? let’s take a look.” How did the non-austerity work for Zimbabwe?

  31. 281

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41650031/ns/politics/

    “. . . House Speaker John Boehner, whose Twitter talking point Thursday was: ‘Two years after the ‘stimulus’ was signed, we’ve lost 1.8 million private sector jobs.”

    This is the type of BS I hate about politics. We did not lose 1.8 million jobs because of the stimulus. Boehner is just as bad at some here at understanding the concept of causation. On the topic of causation, we lost 1.8 million jobs because of the piss poor job done by members of Congress over two years ago, including Boehner and Pelosi.

  32. 282
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31 – Boner is repeating the theory that by cutting spending we wil stimulate job creation. Nice to see that the rule by fear strategy is alive and well. We must cut taxes on the wealthy to stimulate job creation. We must deregulate Wall Street to stimulate job creation. We must allow crimes by wealthy elites to stimulate job creation.

    Pffft, care to weigh in? The olde economic canard being trotted out be the Repubs is that only by cutting the deficit can we stimulate job creation. Is there any data backing this up?

  33. 283
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 29

    How many believe?

  34. 284
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 30:

    RE: pfft @ 26 – “did the stimulus not save millions of jobs?” Reference, please.

    “how is austerity working? letâ��s take a look.” How did the non-austerity work for Zimbabwe?

    you mentioned zimbabwe so I invoke godwin’s law. I win!

    I am not posting yet another link showing how the stimulus saved jobs. I did it for months. if anyone doesn’t know now it’s willful ignorance.

    I turn the question around. prove that letting the economy collapse would have led to lower deficit levels. prove that a collapsing economy with unemploymet well over 10% would lead to more revenue and lower deficits than our current 9% rate.

  35. 285
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 31:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41650031/ns/politics/

    “. . . House Speaker John Boehner, whose Twitter talking point Thursday was: ‘Two years after the â��stimulusâ�� was signed, weâ��ve lost 1.8 million private sector jobs.â��

    This is the type of BS I hate about politics. We did not lose 1.8 million jobs because of the stimulus. Boehner is just as bad at some here at understanding the concept of causation. On the topic of causation, we lost 1.8 million jobs because of the piss poor job done by members of Congress over two years ago, including Boehner and Pelosi.

    really? I thought it was the economic collapse.

  36. 286

    RE: Blurtman @ 32 – I believe neither side is right, and that hopefully some compromise will be better than what either side claims to want. Which reminds me of “Imagine”–You may say I’m a dreamer . . ..

    Also, I continue to believe that the House Democrats will be nearly completely powerless, and that we might see some bi-partisan legislation that is a compromise between President Obama, Senate Democrats and House Republicans. Which may make me remind you of Supertramp–Dreamer.

    Total deadlock is also possible, but I think that’s unlikely.

  37. 287
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31

    Kary you don’t understand causation. You are working from ancient economic theories. I really doubt Boehner has any clue about what is going on in the world today, so he just talks to advance his political career.

    The United States is a beacon of freedom in the world because we wrestled control of this country from a distant occupying force. Individuals stood against a standing army, then won. The South lost to the politicians in the North, but retained control of the politics of where they actaully lived.

    If you really want to see causation you should look at the politics of the United States.

  38. 288

    By pfft @ 35:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 31:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41650031/ns/politics/

    “. . . House Speaker John Boehner, whose Twitter talking point Thursday was: ‘Two years after the �stimulus� was signed, we�ve lost 1.8 million private sector jobs.�

    This is the type of BS I hate about politics. We did not lose 1.8 million jobs because of the stimulus. Boehner is just as bad at some here at understanding the concept of causation. On the topic of causation, we lost 1.8 million jobs because of the piss poor job done by members of Congress over two years ago, including Boehner and Pelosi.

    really? I thought it was the economic collapse.

    I’m saying that ultimately the economic collapse is the fault of politicians. Bush couldn’t re-run, but despite two elections since the collapse Congress is still largely filled by members who were there before the collapse and did nothing to prevent it, and in many cases did things that actually promoted collapse.

  39. 289

    By David Losh @ 37:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31 – Kary you don’t understand causation.

    Yes, when I was referring to “some here” that don’t understand causation, I was referring to you. I could say the same thing about your understanding of most things that involve economics.

    But to use an analogy, I just had to put a cat to sleep this week. She developed a condition that was likely cancer, but the early treatment was antibiotics thinking it was an infection causing the rise in white blood cells. Boehner blaming the stimulus for the loss of jobs would be like my blaming the antibiotics for her death from cancer. Yes we had a stimulus, but that did not cause the loss of jobs. Yes my cat had antibiotics, but that did not cause her cancer.

  40. 290

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 36

    Budget Deficit Deadlock

    Lots of folks give the Democrats credit for the mid 90s budget surpluses, I don’t. The surpluses were caused by Republicans deadlocking the Democrats’ spending in political bickering…..but the root cause, IMO, for the bi-partisan bickering eventually causing a federal shutdown in the mid 90s over the horrifying deficits [they’re FAR worse today, even inflation adjusted] was Ross Perot, an independent party screaming for sanity in government.

  41. 291
    Ben says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 32 – I (and many others) think the economy will not recover until the bad debts and general debt load are recognized and dealt with. Japan papered over the debts for decades and is still a zombie. Japan also had the luxury of funding through their own savings. The US does not have that luxury. We are in a world of hurt. Keynesian something for nothing policy *appears* to work until peak debt is reached. The US reached peak debt around 2007. The Keynesian emperor wears no clothes.

  42. 292

    RE: softwarengineer @ 40 – I give technology the credit for the surpluses. The economy was booming, based largely on technological advances (or perceived technological advances). If you have a lot more tax revenue, it’s easier to have a budget surplus.

  43. 293
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 33 – Learn and grow wise: http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/12/letting-fraud-continue-will-not-restart.html

    Shiller, Stiglitz, Schwartz, Einhorn, Roubini, Keen, etc…

    I look forward to your list of experts who claim the opposite. (crickets chirping….)

  44. 294
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 34 – Look at the short term (pain) and long term horizon. You are focused on the short term only.

  45. 295

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 42

    I Believe You’re Referring to the High Tech Stock Bubble

    Which corrected itself and collapsed by 2000, somewhat like the RE bubble did in 2007, because the high tech stocks/RE were WAY overvalued. Back in the nineties, we didn’t have a clue what Yahoo really did with all their employees, so bought the stock hype, hook and sinker. Today, its corrected itself, but I’ve heard it’s raising it’s ugly head again….our local company Amazon is a great example [I’ve heard of many more examples too]….God help us.

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/10/22/the-amazing-amazon-stock-bubble/

    IMO, with the mass sell off by retirees and the Middle Class from the stock market in early 2009 [after the stock market collapsed], the only ones that will benefit from this funny money are the few stock investors left on top of the pyramid stock scheme [just like the mid 90s], probably the first to sell before it collapses too. Is this deficit reduction? Hades no, much of that elite group pays little or no tax anyway on their stock dividends with the Bush tax cuts in place under Obama.

  46. 296

    RE: softwarengineer @ 45 – Partly. The tax revenues from stock gains certainly helped tax revenue and the surplus. I think I used the term perceived gains to address that.

    But I was also referring to real technological advances, such as businesses investing in more computers and thereby becoming more productive. In some ways it was like the industrial revolution.

  47. 297
    Ben says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 43 – As the good folks on Denninger’s blog would say: STOP THE LOOTING AND START THE PROSECUTING!

    Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216

  48. 298

    RE: Ben @ 47 – I’m five pages into that article, and except for allegations of insider trading I’ve yet to see a single example of a claim that a crime was committed that would require someone to go to jail. Just losing money or failing is business is not yet a criminal offense. Even the “puffing” claim of AIG “patient zero” is not criminal.

  49. 299
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39

    I’m sorry about your cat. It’s one of the hardest things to do; to make the decision to let a family friend die. I’m sorry.

    Other than that I’ll ask again,What?

  50. 300
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 43

    I read and pay attention to all of your stuff, now. Roubini? Do you remember when he was a crack pot? Now not so much now, eh?

  51. 301
    Ben says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 48 – I’m beginning to expect snarky comments like that from you. It’s good to be a crony capitalist oligarch, eh?

  52. 302
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 46RE: softwarengineer @ 45

    It’s referred to as the tech revolution.

    There was the increase in productivity of putting a new product into the market place. There was also the operating systems and the job growth from that. The entire economy also became more productive by using complex mathematical formulas, and equations.

    The court system determined Microsoft to be a monopoly, and closed the good time era.

    Like I said, you don’t recognize causation.

  53. 303
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38

    These are actually the best examples of where you recognize that the world has moved on, but refer to politicians as some cause for a global economic collapse.

    Business has far out grown politics.

  54. 304
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 50 – Please. Ad hominen attacks on one individual do not discredit the large body of experts who have described undeniable widespread Wall Street fraud. Also, many believe there will be no economic recovery until this is addressed. But Obama and the Repubs have cut deals with Wall Street in exhange for money, unfortunately, while offering hollow words of concern about the victims of this fraud – the unemployed.

  55. 305
  56. 306
    Blake says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 14
    I’m in DC, annual meeting. Obama’s budget cuts our R&D budget 16%… foolish. The Under Secretary for Health was supposed to speak at our lunch yesterday, but he got called before the Republican Inquisition…. It’s ugly.
    btw: inflight meals up 40%!! Inflation!! :-)

  57. 307
    Blake says:

    RE: David Losh @ 53
    Re: “business has outgrown politics…”
    Have you been living in a cave?? Big business and government have completely merged and are in a sickening co-dependent relationship. It’s extremey disfunctional and big (father) business is still in denial and drunk with power – – the government is being abused and us(children) can only watch in horror… dial 911

  58. 308
    Blake says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38
    Re: “ultimately the ecocnomic collapse is the fault of politicians.”
    Agreed… insofar as they were the idiots who deregulated the financial markets in the 90s and 00s! (And yes, the nytimes and corporate, blue dog Democrats bear as much blame as the Repuglicans…) No Kary… this is what markets do when you remove the rules. Go read about the depressions of the 1840s… 1870s…. government?

  59. 309

    RE: David Losh @ 52

    Since Windows 98

    IMO, the O/Ss have not improved with significant capabilities I need in 15 years; it seems I’m not the only one…..both VISTA and Windows 7 are not used by the federal gov’t, still using XP the last decade. The reason, the S/W doesn’t work on the new and improved upgraded O/Ss.

    Also, the internet now makes it FAR easier for much of American trade secrets [that used to be only on paper] and security leaks too [Wiki] to be used/accessed by anyone in the world [they don’t need us as much anymore].

    We don’t use face to face meetings or pick up a phone as much, we email or blog first much of the time [LOL]…..that is a BIG efficiency killer, i.e., how many times have you sent hogwash emails out that could have been eliminated or totally tailored if you’s simply picked up the phone first or walked over to their office? I have a rule, no emails until I call or visit F2F first….and guess what, I’m running circles around my competition that email first….LOL

    Also, with the advent of personal computers, paper isn’t used less, it’s used FAR more now…LOL

    Considering computers and the internet were invented in the 60s, maybe our parents and grandparents had more brains keeping them out of the office and hanging on to domestic employment the old fashion way. The Baby Boomers and Gen X screwed up? LOL

  60. 310
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blake @ 57

    OK, I’ll give you that for the United States, but in many countries, many, business makes the decisions.

  61. 311
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 54

    You see, it’s talk like that some people might object to.

    However, I do read about two hours a day. It’s a learning curve. The things that you originally started talking about in terms of fraud make sense from a criminal view point. As a civil matter it was, I said was, all inside the law.

    My wife, and I went to Peru in like 2008 and the economy was booming! Booming! It was obvious the money, the dollars, left here, and went there. It’s a future problem in the making. The next year we went to Spain, we have family, and interests there, bigger problem.

    When you start seeing a larger picture, outside if what we focus on here, it does look a lot like crime. There’s no way to deny that this was anything but orchestrated. It’s still going on; it’s getting worse.

    It’s a learning curve.

    So you end up being right, when for a long time there was some deniability.

  62. 312
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 61 – No offense meant, just a little snarkiness. I do enjoy reading your comments which seem well thought out before written down. And my character’s name is Blurtman, what do you expect?

    The conculsions of the accounting firm hired by the FCIC must remove any doubt that these were not crimes, but simple, tried and true fraud. Lots of hand waving about complexity, poor models, etc. But the FCIC findings indicate that the banks that sold the dodgy mortgages and securities knew that were toxic and did not disclose that to the buyers. A classic boiler room fraud. Nothing really sophisiticated about it. Easy to comprehend.

    So why is no one going to jjail?

  63. 313

    By David Losh @ 49:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39

    I’m sorry about your cat. It’s one of the hardest things to do; to make the decision to let a family friend die. I’m sorry.

    Other than that I’ll ask again,What?

    Thank you for the cat comment.

    The point is, antibiotics didn’t kill the cat. Some of them might have even prolonged her life (some have a slight chemo effect). That the cat died after taking antibiotics doesn’t mean the antibiotics killed her. That unemployment increased after the stimulus doesn’t mean the stimulus caused the increase in unemployment.

  64. 314

    By softwarengineer @ 59:

    RE: David Losh @ 52 Also, with the advent of personal computers, paper isn’t used less, it’s used FAR more now…LOL

    But all those reports are created a lot more easily!

    I don’t know how many people here remember passbook savings accounts. You’d go into the bank with your little book, that looked sort of like a passport, and hand it to the teller with your money (or withdrawal request) and they’d make notations onto it, and also keep some paperwork for themselves that would eventually get processed later into their books. I don’t even want to know what they did to create monthly statements.

    Now it’s all just automated. The same thing is accomplished with 60 seconds of work, most of which pertains to pretending that the clerk cares about the customer.

  65. 315

    By David Losh @ 61:

    -The things that you originally started talking about in terms of fraud make sense from a criminal view point. As a civil matter it was, I said was, all inside the law.

    I’m not exactly sure what you’re saying, but an act is much more likely to be civil fraud than criminal.

    Even ignoring the burden of proof issues, a crime generally needs to be specific. Thus, there’s an old Supreme Court case where stealing an airplane and taking it across state lines did not violate a federal law because the federal law did not mention planes because they had not been invented yet. The law mentioned just about every other type of powered vehicle, but not planes.

    And the reason for that is somewhat obvious. You don’t want to be throwing people in jail based on populous uprisings and current concerns for doing things like failing in business.

  66. 316

    By Blurtman @ 62:

    So why is no one going to jjail?

    Because it’s civil fraud, not criminal fraud?

  67. 317

    By Blake @ 58:

    Re: “ultimately the ecocnomic collapse is the fault of politicians.”
    Agreed… insofar as they were the idiots who deregulated the financial markets in the 90s and 00s! (And yes, the nytimes and corporate, blue dog Democrats bear as much blame as the Repuglicans…) No Kary… this is what markets do when you remove the rules. Go read about the depressions of the 1840s… 1870s…. government?

    I don’t have a problem with rules, as long as they make some sense. I do think deregulation gets a bad name, however, because some of it is so poorly designed that it’s doomed to fail from the beginning (e.g. California’s energy deregulation that was nothing short of moronic on many different levels).

  68. 318
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66

    I’m not a lawyer, but I think the term is intent. Was it deliberate? Were there many people, and organization involved? Did they all know? Was it organized?

    There have been comments where they, who ever they are, just kind of bumbled along until one day they realized things had gottten out of hand. Oh my God? How did that happen? Kind of thing.

    The second part about the computer age is that some bean counter could make a computer generated business model, based on complex calculations, many parts, working together, to build a fortune. Then you would have to prove it, like AllState Insurance suing CitiBank.

    Well, it was hard to prove until it was global. Calculate the odds of every country on every continent taking a nose dive at the same time financially. It happened so it was better than even.

    Global economic collapse, and recovery is a calculated part of the business model. Wealth has a 100% chance of growing while poverty increases.

  69. 319
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ 58:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38
    Re: “ultimately the ecocnomic collapse is the fault of politicians.”
    Agreed… insofar as they were the idiots who deregulated the financial markets in the 90s and 00s! (And yes, the nytimes and corporate, blue dog Democrats bear as much blame as the Repuglicans…) No Kary… this is what markets do when you remove the rules. Go read about the depressions of the 1840s… 1870s…. government?

    why is everyone blaming the NYT all of a sudden? did I miss an episode of glenn beck?

  70. 320
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 40:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 36

    Budget Deficit Deadlock

    Lots of folks give the Democrats credit for the mid 90s budget surpluses, I don’t. The surpluses were caused by Republicans deadlocking the Democrats’ spending in political bickering…..but the root cause, IMO, for the bi-partisan bickering eventually causing a federal shutdown in the mid 90s over the horrifying deficits [they’re FAR worse today, even inflation adjusted] was Ross Perot, an independent party screaming for sanity in government.

    no. it was bush’s tax cuts for the rich and his unpaid for wars.

    please if you know otherwise post some numbers.

  71. 321
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 44:

    RE: pfft @ 34 – Look at the short term (pain) and long term horizon. You are focused on the short term only.

    tell me the long term pain. give me some numbers. I am not seeing a whole lot of long-term pain. I see millions of unemployed now and you gamble that someday maybe in a possible future there could be a crisis. the bond market disagrees.

    give me numbers. I’ve got mine.

    $2.3 trillion more in debt over 2010, 2011 and 2012 w/o the government measures. how do you think that effects the long term?

    if you look at the chart, the emergency saving measures are a negligible part of our future debt.

    Whose Deficit Is It, Anyway?
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/whose-deficit-is-it-anyway/

  72. 322
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 71 – I am saying there would be no, or less, long term pain, but there would be short term pain. Iceland has been proposed several times as such an example. Perhaps Argentina is another.

  73. 323
    Blurtman says:

    pfft explained:

    You Know Those Obnoxious Posters Who Almost Seem Like Alter Egos Of The Same Person? They Actually Might Be …

    I noted in 2009, in an article entitled “Does The Government Manipulate Social Media?”:

    The U.S. government long ago announced its intention to “fight the net”.

    As revealed by an official Pentagon report signed by Rumsfeld called “Information Operations Roadmap”:

    The roadmap [contains an] acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military’s psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans.

    “Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience,” it reads.

    “Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public,” it goes on.

    ***
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/government-and-big-business-gaming.html

  74. 324
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 72:

    RE: pfft @ 71 – I am saying there would be no, or less, long term pain, but there would be short term pain. Iceland has been proposed several times as such an example. Perhaps Argentina is another.

    Iceland’s debt to gdp ratio has skyrocketing from 30% to 100%. imagine if they enacted austerity?

    I can’t say it enough. john mccain’s own former economic advisor said we’d be trillions more in debt just over the period of a few years if we had not rescued the economy.

    economic collapse doesn’t do government revenue good.

    people without jobs don’t pay taxes.

  75. 325
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 73:

    pfft explained:

    You Know Those Obnoxious Posters Who Almost Seem Like Alter Egos Of The Same Person? They Actually Might Be …

    I noted in 2009, in an article entitled “Does The Government Manipulate Social Media?”:

    The U.S. government long ago announced its intention to “fight the net”.

    As revealed by an official Pentagon report signed by Rumsfeld called “Information Operations Roadmap”:

    The roadmap [contains an] acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military’s psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans.

    “Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience,” it reads.

    “Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public,” it goes on.

    ***
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/government-and-big-business-gaming.html

    nobody could possibly disagree with the geniuses of the SB commentariat?

    don’t give me conspiracy theories, give me data.

    EDIT:

    also tell me something I’ve been wrong about?

    not the market recovering. not CFC. not the double dip. actually, don’t bother.

  76. 326
    Blurtman says:

    Sorry, no recovery.

    Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment Up to 10.0% in Mid-February/ Underemployment surged to 19.6% in mid-February from 18.9% at the end of

    PRINCETON, NJ — Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, hit 10.0% in mid-February — up from 9.8% at the end of January

    Underemployment Surges in Mid-February

    Underemployment, in which Gallup combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with the U.S. unemployment rate, surged in mid-February to 19.6% — mostly as a result of the sharp increase in those working part time but wanting full-time work. Underemployment now stands at basically the same place as it did a year ago (19.8%).

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/146147/Gallup-Finds-Unemployment-Mid-February.aspx

  77. 327
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 76:

    Sorry, no recovery

    unemployment peaked out at 9.8% and is at 9% right now. why would you post numbers that aren’t seasonally adjusted when that’s all that is talked about. we added more than a million private sector jobs in 2010. in 2010 obama’s economy created slightly more jobs than bush did in his entire 8 years.

    I don’t know what employment charts you are looking at but here is one.

    http://cr4re.com/charts/charts.html?Employment#category=Employment

    click on all these graphs and tell me the recovery isn’t happening.

    Lists: Ranking Economic Data
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/02/lists-ranking-economic-data.html

    the stock market is up 100%.

    http://dshort.com/articles/current-market-snapshot.html

  78. 328
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 75

    CFC I’ll assume is cash for clunkers which took a lot of used vehicles out of the market place. We thought about it with our old disgusting beat up truck, van, and daily driver. We didn’t, and I’m glad we didn’t.

    Imagine if some one did get rid of a paid off vehicle in favor of a new debt. That’s a problem. The other problem is that it also changed the used vehicle market. More new vehicles are now needed to replace what has been lost.

    You see when you trade in a vehicle, or sell it to buy new, you are adding to supply rather than depleting it.

    More new vehicles, more debt, more drain on the economy.

    Let’s do the double dip because you must be out of touch. The housing market is getting poised for a collapse. We’re coming into a selling season with declining prices. How do you see prices stabilizing or increasing by July of this year?

    Last is employment. Define employment for me because you really must not be paying attention. I’m in heaven. I’ve had my little businesses for forty years, and I have never, ever, had people call me every week, many times a week asking for a job. Part time, week end, day, night, low pay, no pay, it makes no difference, people just want to work.
    Have you not noticed the spike in unpaid interns? I was shocked. I went to meet a guy in a Real Estate office where he had three unpaid interns. He hired one after six months, and another one was waiting to take his place. Unpaid. Real Estate.
    I can’t imagine what is going on in thriving industries.

    Did you have another point? Oh yeah you want some Google links. Well, it’s late, it’s common knowledge, so you can look it up,.

    Oh yeah, yeah, yeah the stock market, bond market, and Iceland I think, or some other nonsense.

    Here’s what’s going on there. Cash. Lot’s of cash. Tons of cash. More cash than you can count. More cash coming in daily to centralized business interests. Insurance payments, and the interest payments on all of that new debt that’s being created right now, is looking for a home, in stocks, bonds, and other non performing frivolous financial instruments.

    When you define the stock market and the over all productivity, then take away finance, you’ve got nothing. Quantify the service sector of the economy, now take away finance. You’ve got nothing.

    GDP without those debt instrument, and insurance company payments is nothing, negative.

    You keep asking us for stuff, but you only provide random Google links of frivolous ascertains. The politics mean nothing, you are right the three trillion in stimulus is nothing, and what other countries do, or don’t do makes no difference at all.

    Tomorrow I’ll give you some links about Egypt. It’s already beginning.

  79. 329
    EconE says:

    Obama’s creation of a million jobs in a YEAR doesn’t mean much when more than 400,000 new unemployment claims are filed every WEEK.

    I guess when people stop receiving unemployment benefits and are no longer counted towards the official rate, that’s a good thing.

    In Pffts world, it’s good when those “freeloaders” aren’t getting checks any more. They make the numbers look bad.

    So, what Pfft is saying is that it’s a good thing that we don’t extend UE benefits any longer because we want the numbers to “look good”.

    Rock on Pfft.

    Pfft: The one woman “Party of NO”.

  80. 330

    By David Losh @ 68:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66 – I’m not a lawyer, but I think the term is intent. Was it deliberate? Were there many people, and organization involved? Did they all know? Was it organized?

    Nope. Civil fraud requires intent. And either civil or criminal fraud can involve only one person. The difference is whether there is a specific criminal statute that covers the act. You can have criminal fraud, but for that you need a criminal statute.

  81. 331
  82. 332
    Blurtman says:

    Clearly Mozillo was defending our freedom. Of course if Mozillo went to jail, so would Deval Patrick, Chris Dodd, Kent Conrad, …

    AP source: Feds drop criminal probe against Mozilo

    LOS ANGELES – Federal prosecutors have ended a criminal investigation of Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo, a person close to the investigation said Friday.

    The federal official told The Associated Press that the probe launched in 2008 into the actions of the former chief executive of the housing giant during the mortgage meltdown has been closed with no indictments. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was never publicly announced, and the Department of Justice as a policy does not announce the closing of investigations.

    In October, Mozilo agreed to a $67.5 million settlement to avoid civil trial on fraud and insider trading charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but prosecutors pursuing the criminal case against him found that his actions did not amount to crimes.

    The SEC’s charges alleged that the 72-year-old Mozilo and two other former Countrywide executives who also settled profited from doling out risky mortgages while misleading investors about the dangers

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110219/ap_on_re_us/us_countrywide_mozilo

  83. 333
    Macro Investor says:

    By EconE @ 79:

    Obama’s creation of a million jobs in a YEAR doesn’t mean much when more than 400,000 new unemployment claims are filed every WEEK.

    I guess when people stop receiving unemployment benefits and are no longer counted towards the official rate, that’s a good thing.

    The fine print was Obama meant a million jobs IN CHINA. Over $2 trillion a year in stimulus and very few, if any, jobs being created! Gov is spending almost double the tax revenue. Imagine that. And imagine what would happen if they cut that. Half the gov laid off. 10’s of millions of jobs. Around 30% of GDP vaporized.

    That’s why inquiring minds know we’re done — all but the “fat lady” singing. It’s only a matter of time before interest rates shoot through the roof, or the dollar collapses, or both.

  84. 334
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 80:

    By David Losh @ 68:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66 – I’m not a lawyer, but I think the term is intent. Was it deliberate? Were there many people, and organization involved? Did they all know? Was it organized?

    Nope. Civil fraud requires intent. And either civil or criminal fraud can involve only one person. The difference is whether there is a specific criminal statute that covers the act. You can have criminal fraud, but for that you need a criminal statute.

    also a lot of those MBS contracts probably call for clawbacks so that should help shield them from fraud accusations like it or not.

  85. 335
  86. 336
    pfft says:

    By Macro Investor @ 83:

    By EconE @ 79:

    Obama’s creation of a million jobs in a YEAR doesn’t mean much when more than 400,000 new unemployment claims are filed every WEEK.

    I guess when people stop receiving unemployment benefits and are no longer counted towards the official rate, that’s a good thing.

    The fine print was Obama meant a million jobs IN CHINA. Over $2 trillion a year in stimulus and very few, if any, jobs being created!

    prove it. give me some numbers and some sources. where do you get $2 trillion in stimulus?

    china has a stimulus program too.

    China’s Stimulus Package Boosts Economy
    http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2009/gb20090422_793026.htm

    Don’t Sell the Stimulus Short
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/don’t-sell-the-stimulus-short/

  87. 337
    pfft says:

    anyone notice how the difference between obama’s budget and the republican’s budget is basically a rounding error?

    $60 billion? the difference between obama’s out of control spending a controlled spending is $60 billion?

    3.7 trillion versus $3.640 trillion? if you rounded up would anyone notice?

    this is all a farce on both sides.

  88. 338
    Blurtman says:

    The crowding out argument:

    Boehner trotted out an ages old Repbublican saw that government borrowing is crowding out investment in the private sector, which is contributing to unemployment. I have heard this argument over the last several decades, but I am unaware of any historical data backing this up. I believe right now the Fed is the largest buyer of US Treasuries. Is the argument that the Fed would be investing in Boeing and Microsoft if they were not investing in Treasuries?

  89. 339
    EconE says:

    By Macro Investor @ 83:

    By EconE @ 79:

    Obama’s creation of a million jobs in a YEAR doesn’t mean much when more than 400,000 new unemployment claims are filed every WEEK.

    I guess when people stop receiving unemployment benefits and are no longer counted towards the official rate, that’s a good thing.

    The fine print was Obama meant a million jobs IN CHINA. Over $2 trillion a year in stimulus and very few, if any, jobs being created! Gov is spending almost double the tax revenue. Imagine that. And imagine what would happen if they cut that. Half the gov laid off. 10’s of millions of jobs. Around 30% of GDP vaporized.

    That’s why inquiring minds know we’re done — all but the “fat lady” singing. It’s only a matter of time before interest rates shoot through the roof, or the dollar collapses, or both.

    Exactly.

    Here’s a great example of Pffts “green jobs”. The problem is that they’re going to China too.

    http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/evergreen-solar-moves-facility-to-china-012711/

  90. 340
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 87 – Coke or Pepsi. Either way, you only get to choose a cola.

  91. 341
    EconE says:

    It’s no surprise that Wisconsin can’t pay it’s teachers. They keep sending jobs to Mexico.

    515 jobs lost in a town with a population of 2500.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,593383,00.html

    Oh…wait. That’s fox news. It must not be true then. They’re lying about it aren’t they Pfft?

  92. 342
    EconE says:

    More companies moving to China.

    http://www.wrex.com/Global/story.asp?S=13966993

    Can you fact check this for me Pfft? I think it’s another one of those subversive conspiracy websites.

  93. 343
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 89:

    By Macro Investor @ 83:

    By EconE @ 79:

    Obama’s creation of a million jobs in a YEAR doesn’t mean much when more than 400,000 new unemployment claims are filed every WEEK.

    I guess when people stop receiving unemployment benefits and are no longer counted towards the official rate, that’s a good thing.

    The fine print was Obama meant a million jobs IN CHINA. Over $2 trillion a year in stimulus and very few, if any, jobs being created! Gov is spending almost double the tax revenue. Imagine that. And imagine what would happen if they cut that. Half the gov laid off. 10’s of millions of jobs. Around 30% of GDP vaporized.

    That’s why inquiring minds know we’re done — all but the “fat lady” singing. It’s only a matter of time before interest rates shoot through the roof, or the dollar collapses, or both.

    Exactly.

    Here’s a great example of Pffts “green jobs”. The problem is that they’re going to China too.

    http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/evergreen-solar-moves-facility-to-china-012711/

    so what? are all the green jobs gone? no. some green jobs will go to china but some chinese companies will build factories here. read any cleantech blog and you’ll see new jobs daily.

  94. 344
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 90:

    RE: pfft @ 87 – Coke or Pepsi. Either way, you only get to choose a cola.

    only for the budget though.

  95. 345
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 94 – Also for wars, Guantanamo, Wall Street fraud, war crimes, Patriot Act, Bush tax cuts, supporting dictators, ……

  96. 346
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 87

    OK you have made a comment that made sense. Crediting Reagan for the surpluses was also correct. The peace dividend was the biggest money maker our government has ever had. Tons of jobs created building weapons, infrastructure, research, and development that we still enjoy today. I credit the military build up, under Reagan with the amount of infrastructure the internet enjoys today. Then there was no war to drain the benefits of the build up. He lowered taxes, and created jobs all at the same time giving Clinton the ammunition, pun intended, to build the illusion of a surplus.

    George Bush destroyed any chance of a surplus with his ridiculous tax cuts for the wealthy while waging two unfunded wars.

    The Republicans and tea baggers have effectively lost all credibility by doing nothing with budget cuts. Cutting domestic program may look good, to a very few, but most people wanted a budget proposal.

    Boehner has presented, and said nothing about the budget. He must be campaigning for the Presidency or another term in office. Even Newt came in with a plan, back when he was somebody. $60 Billion in domestic spending cuts, that will only lose more jobs is an insult to the people who voted in these idiots. Now we have to wait two years to vote them out.

  97. 347
    David Losh says:

    RE: EconE @ 92

    I’ve never been to China, even though I have been invited several times. I have done business with many Chinese in many parts of the world. It’s bizarre.

    Number one is you are are the scum of the earth. You are stupid, ignorant, lazy, and slothful. White people are the ghosts that walk the earth, and unworthy of any consideration. Generationally the poorest of the country are taught to fear white people.

    So you are screwed either way, from professionals who will never pay any attention to the weird ranting of an ignorant white person, or the fear, generationally reinforced, of the workers.

    Next, China is a Communist country. They may play along, for now, but will eventually take over your plant, and phase you out. You are ignorant, unworthy of consideration in these matters of business.

    So let the stupid business entities go. Our country is still here, in need of repair. You choose what you want to do.

  98. 348
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 95:

    RE: pfft @ 94 – Also for wars, Guantanamo, Wall Street fraud, war crimes, Patriot Act, Bush tax cuts, supporting dictators, ……

    what about that record amount of filibusters? did you forget that?

    not for healthcare, wall street bill, regulation in general, global warming bill, extension of unemployment benefits and etc.

    obama wasn’t for the bush tax cuts and he wasn’t for the Iraq War either.

  99. 349

    By pfft @ 98:

    obama wasn’t for the bush tax cuts and he wasn’t for the Iraq War either.

    Well we all know at this point that the latter was merely political posturing. It would have been impossible to get the Democratic nomination being pro-Iraq war. When elected he didn’t change the policy in Iraq and even exported it to Afghanistan. And let’s not forget he was opposed to Guantanamo, and that is still open two years into his presidency.

    On a positive note he did let his position on drone attacks be known prior to the election.

  100. 350
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 98

    You probably missed the news yesterday that there is a demonstration in Libya. The military shot, and killed people with deliberate head, and chest shots. If Qaddafi falls, Morocco will soon follow. That will be the end of the United States presence in the Middle East.

    All the green shoots will wither from a lack of oil.

    Spain will default, they’ll have no choice, and Europe will valiantly try, but will ultimately fail to recover. There is no oil in Europe. Europe is more dependent on Africa than we are.

    Then what’s going to happen? Will a Central Banking system survive without a main source of natural resources to exploit? I think not.

  101. 351
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99

    The most powerful thing Obama did was, as a President of the United States, to stand before an Arab gathering, and say the words Salaam Alaikum.

    Right now, no matter what happens, Barack Obama showed the world that the United States is an open democracy.

    Our troops in Iraq, or Afghanistan are irrelevant. It was a pointless fight with Congress to recall them. Obama has done more to establish a peace in the Middle East than any one.

    We forget, that Persia is the seat of democracy. There have been elected officials in tribes since the beginning of time. Monarchies have been over thrown a thousand time, and the people survive.

    After World War II Europe wanted stability and installed puppet governments across Northern Africa to secure oil. Well, that’s over now, along with our troop involvement. We are seeing a win, win for Obama right now.

  102. 352
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 99:

    By pfft @ 98:

    obama wasn’t for the bush tax cuts and he wasn’t for the Iraq War either.

    Well we all know at this point that the latter was merely political posturing. It would have been impossible to get the Democratic nomination being pro-Iraq war. When elected he didn’t change the policy in Iraq and even exported it to Afghanistan.

    he dialed down the Iraq War and he focused on Afghanistan just like he said Bush didn’t during his campaign. I am not sure if he is pursuing the correct policy is Afghanistan but the two wars are entirely different. obama started neither of those wars. starting wars and inheriting wars are two very different things.

  103. 353
    pfft says:

    super-bear in NY times.

    Writing ‘Danger’ in Ever-Larger Letters
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/your-money/20stra.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=prechter&st=cse

    “Being bearish in recent months was wrong, but I think it was prudent,” he says.

    Does he still believe that the catastrophe is coming? Oh, yes, he said, adding that, if anything, the recent good news for investors has made the outlook over the next several years much worse.

    the refrain of the zombie bear.

    at what point when the market is going against you are you just plain wrong? is it fair when the market goes against you to say you are even more right because the market has gone higher? would this logic apply to a bear in 2008? if a bull said buy stocks in Jan. of 2008 are they even more right on Jan. 2009?

  104. 354
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 103

    The stock market stopped being an indicator of anything in 1998. Yes, any moron without any concern for the world we live in can make millions of dollars. I see it every day. This is one of the reasons why generational wealth needs to be stopped, now.

    The growth of the stock market is directly tied to the phantom derivatives. Smaller, and smaller slices of growing profits exponentially add more face value to stocks.

    Everything is fine well and good as long as the money stays circulating in stocks. The problem is that the money keeps alternating into other investment instruments, like bonds, commodities, or real estate.

    The money is no longer actual dollars, and the actual dollars have no backing. It’s laughable when people talk about going back to the gold standard, because as much as we inflate the price of gold it will never be enough to cover hundreds of trillions of dollars.

    By all means, if you can play the market, get your money out clean, and get that invested into something tangible, great! More power to you.

    Now for the part Kary called me on last week when I said that people sitting on cash are going to be in trouble.

    Tangible assets will be prized, and paper money, or gold will be useless.

    A guns, and gold economist could explain it better than I can, but all of the stimulus money dumped into the global economy, by a variety of governments destroyed the Central Banking System. There is nothing there.

  105. 355
    pfft says:

    I know that this isn’t an economic story but increasingly climate change is becoming that story.

    German insurers’ losses from natural catastrophes are rising as global climate change causes more inundations and storms, Munich Re said.

    Weather-related events have more than tripled in the country over the past 40 years, Peter Hoeppe, who heads the Munich-based reinsurer’s Geo Risks Research Department, told journalists in Dusseldorf today. A rising trend is also measurable worldwide, he said.

    Munich Re Says Natural Disasters in Germany Tripled Since 1970 on Climate
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-17/munich-re-says-natural-disasters-tripled-in-germany-since-1970-on-climate.html

    climate change effected the super bowl this year.

  106. 356
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 105 – “affected”

  107. 357
    DeeDee says:

    RE: David Losh @ 104 – I watched a very powerful documentary last night called Zeitgeist Moving Forward – I am Canadian, not socialized in the US and have lived here for only 3 years (husbands job is here) I don’t have a loyalty to either political party. I have been studying the economy, real estate and investments and US politics pretty intently to try to make sense of things to make good decisions. We used the info from SB and other sources to make decisions on housing while in Seattle. We liquidated in 2007 (house, boat, cars, investments, business) and moved to Seattle for work, rented and watched and decided the cost of living wasn’t worth staying, also family didn’t fit in socially (whole other story) anyway..we are now in Iowa. I still don’t believe buying a house is a good investment, but I agree with you that we need out of cash. I wish there was an Iowa Bubble to help me, but armed with my SB knowledge, husband already was on the county steps for auction day :) last week. I may be in a minority but people like me with cash are going to think – I can buy 2-3 houses for the price of one in Seattle – even a strong job market won’t hold all of those transients there once they figure this out. Meanwhile, I’m watching what is happening in Wisconsin and although I have opinions I think it really doesn’t matter, the money they are fighting over is gone, the people that are turning on each other are distracted by Politics and don’t realize what has really happened to them. Meanwhile, we all have to move along and make decisions like college for my kids is coming up next year…what should I tell them – the truth?

  108. 358
    David Losh says:

    RE: DeeDee @ 107

    We are teaching our kids about owning a business.

    We have a neice going to college to be a doctor, but she figures she will leave school owing $500K. Even with all other contributions it is $500K. That’s a big nut to leave college with. It’s a noble profession, but in other countries they encourage people to be doctors, here it’s just another path to a good pay check, if you are smart enough to run the business well.

    My work is in Real Estate. Every one has to live some place, or have a place to secure stuff. I’m also well versed in a variety of businesses, and like food, a lot. People need stuff no matter what happens. Keep it simple, and look at the lowest common denominator, what everone wants, or needs.

    There is a lot of allure in fancy stuff. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can do whatever you want to do. The world is a big place, and it is all open to business.

  109. 359
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: DeeDee @ 107

    And now a message from Bullwinkle’s corner in Frostbite Falls MN:

    “the truth?” It’s a good start, but life should be a little more personal too.

    I like the comment that you weren’t “socialized in the US.” I’m not sure exactly what you mean but the general consensus is probably that I’m not well socialized, if at all. They tried when I was a kid but it didn’t take.

    As for the truth, unfortunately even according to something as seemingly objective as physics, the truth about an observed phenomena can change depending upon your point of view. As one of my high school history teachers used to say, “nobody has a monopoly on the truth.”

    I’m 3 generations removed from Canada and I’ve got to admit I’m actually a big fan of the truth. But it has its limits. I generally believe that the truth is a good place to start, but everything in life should be a little more personal too (have a little heart and soul, although not necessarily in a religious sense). If you wouldn’t sell toxic assets to your friends, you shouldn’t sell them on an impersonal securities market either.

    As to buying property in Iowa, it worked out well for my family 75 years ago. My grandfather bought Iowa farm land for about $60/acre during the depression. My father thinks some of the farms were foreclosures and he got some of the land 100% financed thru the government farm mortgage entity at the time. Back then there were still more farm mortgages than home mortgages in the US. My dad remembers a friend of the family asking my grandfather if he thought things would ever get better. Apparently he did cause he bought the land although I don’t know if the loans were recourse or non-recourse.

    He had 7 parcels totalling 680 acres when he died in 1978. I believe it was valued at about $1750/acre for estate tax purposes. But it probably wasn’t that much of a gamble for him to buy the land. He had started with next to nothing. He was the son of a Canadian medical missionary born in Nanjing which is an incredible story in itself. He and his older brother came to Iowa from China with almost nothing when they were 13 and 14. His brother became an agricultural economics professor at U Wisconsin and he became an MD. And in addition to that his father- in-law was a big time farmer in Coon Rapids, Iowa. (Tell me that doesn’t sound like “Dog Patch.”) Along with being a farmer, the father-in-law owned half of what eventually became the biggest molybdenum mine in the world called the Climax mine in Leadville CO (although he sold out long before it reached that capacity).

    One of their fishing buddies was a guy named Roswell “Bob” Garst. Garst was a real wild hair so to speak. Bob Garst is the guy whose farm Kruschev visited when he came to the US in the early 1960’s. Garst had become friends with Kruschev while visiting the USSR trying to sell the Russians seed corn. Kruschev met Garst and they hit it off as they were both a couple of farm boys. Kruschev invited Garst and his wife to stay at their version of the White House. When they were leaving, Mrs. Garst told the Kruschev’s if they were ever in Iowa to come stay with them at their farm. (Just a little more personal than the red phone.)

    Garst and a guy named Charlie Thomas (an uncle of my father) became millionaires during the depression by growing and selling Pioneer Hybrid Seed Corn. Farmers didn’t have any money to by the hybrid seed corn and they just used part of last years crop, so Garst would give it to them free in exchange for 50% of the increase in their crop yield the next year.

    Pioneer seed corn was developed by a guy named Henry Wallace who had licensed Garst the rights to grow and market the corn. Pioneer seed corn became the biggest seed corn in the US at one point. I think its now owned by Dupont. I’m sure no one here has ever heard of Henry Wallace (I hadn’t) but he was Roosevelts vice president during his third term. He made too many left wing statements and ticked too many people off so they took him off the ticket in favor of Truman in the 4th term. If he’d kept his mouth shut the guy would have been president.

    If this all sounds a little too strange like it must be made up, its true, my real name isn’t One Eyed Man. Its actually Forrest Gump. But even though the most believable thing above might be that my real name is Forrest Gump, ironically, that’s the only thing that’s not true. The point is things may look bad now, but no matter how sure you are about the truth and how things will turn out, you never know what your gonna get. So have a little heart and soul. They’ll improve your life no matter what the truth is.

    (PS, my dad said he thinks that my grandmother and grandfather inherited a rental house in MPLS from her father and they eventually let it go back to the bank cause it didn’t pencil as a rental during the depression. Although I don’t generally approve of strategic defaults, I do believe that everthing is relative, including ethics. And apparently my family strategically defaulted 75 yrs ago, although it was after my great grandfathers death and grandma and grandpa weren’t personal signatories to the mortgage note.)

  110. 360
    Blake says:

    RE: DeeDee @ 107
    DeeDee, Small world… I moved to Seattle from Iowa. And my grandfather came down to Iowa from Canada after fighting in WW1. My first two houses were in Iowa and very nice (Iowa City)… last house was a 2,500 sf brick ranch (’51) on 2/3rds of an acre + adjacent to a green space… only 12 blocks from downtown. I miss walking to work…

    Not sure if an “Iowa bubble” would be needed because there wasn’t that much of a bubble there…? Iowa City was fairly stable with the Big Ten University, mega hospital, and NCS, Pearson, etc. Not to mention the corn and soybean prices… And the schools are excellent.

    And… yes, tell your kids the truth…”tough love.”

  111. 361
    Scotsman says:

    Oil prices surged almost 10% today, a sure sign the recovery is well underway. Krugman speculated the surge was due to increased demand by newly employed SUV buyers and a healthy increase in the number of miles driven by RV owners. “leisure is Back” he declared, and no one does it better than the now financially secure middle class tax payer.

  112. 362
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 111 – Yeppers. And as the economy is improving, people are eating more, driving up food prices. Also, folks are bying more jewelry, driving up gold prices. Happy days are here again. All praise the Bernank.

  113. 363
    EconE says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 112RE: Scotsman @ 111

    Next time you hear somebody b*tching about the price of gas or food just turn to them and say…

    “What’s the problem? You don’t like recoveries?”

  114. 364
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 112:

    RE: Scotsman @ 111 – Yeppers. And as the economy is improving, people are eating more, driving up food prices. Also, folks are bying more jewelry, driving up gold prices. Happy days are here again. All praise the Bernank.

    all of that is true, especially in emerging markets. it would help if you would link graphs like me!

    DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased in November
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/dot-vehicle-miles-driven-increased-in.html

    food prices aren’t up much, commodities price are up big but not food prices.

  115. 365
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 111:

    Oil prices surged almost 10% today, a sure sign the recovery is well underway. Krugman speculated the surge was due to increased demand by newly employed SUV buyers and a healthy increase in the number of miles driven by RV owners. “leisure is Back” he declared, and no one does it better than the now financially secure middle class tax payer.

    ?

  116. 366
    EconE says:

    By pfft @ 114:

    By Blurtman @ 112:

    RE: Scotsman @ 111 – Yeppers. And as the economy is improving, people are eating more, driving up food prices. Also, folks are bying more jewelry, driving up gold prices. Happy days are here again. All praise the Bernank.

    all of that is true, especially in emerging markets. it would help if you would link graphs like me!

    DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased in November
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/dot-vehicle-miles-driven-increased-in.html

    food prices aren’t up much, commodities price are up big but not food prices.

    Food prices are up substantially. Not sure why you keep bleating otherwise.

    http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/FoodPricesIndex/en/

    http://vixandmore.blogspot.com/2011/01/chart-of-week-world-food-prices.html#

  117. 367
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 116:

    By pfft @ 114:

    By Blurtman @ 112:

    RE: Scotsman @ 111 – Yeppers. And as the economy is improving, people are eating more, driving up food prices. Also, folks are bying more jewelry, driving up gold prices. Happy days are here again. All praise the Bernank.

    all of that is true, especially in emerging markets. it would help if you would link graphs like me!

    DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased in November
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/dot-vehicle-miles-driven-increased-in.html

    food prices aren’t up much, commodities price are up big but not food prices.

    Food prices are up substantially. Not sure why you keep bleating otherwise.

    http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/FoodPricesIndex/en/

    http://vixandmore.blogspot.com/2011/01/chart-of-week-world-food-prices.html#

    food prices in the US are up less than 2% YOY.

    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1101.pdf

  118. 368
  119. 369
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 114RE: pfft @ 115RE: pfft @ 117

    Well, our time together is coming to a close. It’s been nice.

    What they are saying is that Bernanke’s QEII just collapse the global commodities market. The oil spike will be blamed on Libya, but the food costs related to rioting in other parts of the world are due to speculation.

    Free money has a way of making the greedy want more.

  120. 370
    EconE says:

    By pfft @ 117:

    By EconE @ 116:

    By pfft @ 114:

    By Blurtman @ 112:

    RE: Scotsman @ 111 – Yeppers. And as the economy is improving, people are eating more, driving up food prices. Also, folks are bying more jewelry, driving up gold prices. Happy days are here again. All praise the Bernank.

    all of that is true, especially in emerging markets. it would help if you would link graphs like me!

    DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased in November
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/dot-vehicle-miles-driven-increased-in.html

    food prices aren’t up much, commodities price are up big but not food prices.

    Food prices are up substantially. Not sure why you keep bleating otherwise.

    http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/FoodPricesIndex/en/

    http://vixandmore.blogspot.com/2011/01/chart-of-week-world-food-prices.html#

    food prices in the US are up less than 2% YOY.

    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1101.pdf

    Your buddy Ritholtz can tell you why the BLS statistics are crap.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/11/there-is-no-food-inflation-the-bls-made-sure-of-that/

  121. 371
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 120:

    By pfft @ 117:

    By EconE @ 116:

    By pfft @ 114:

    By Blurtman @ 112:

    RE: Scotsman @ 111 – Yeppers. And as the economy is improving, people are eating more, driving up food prices. Also, folks are bying more jewelry, driving up gold prices. Happy days are here again. All praise the Bernank.

    all of that is true, especially in emerging markets. it would help if you would link graphs like me!

    DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased in November
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/dot-vehicle-miles-driven-increased-in.html

    food prices aren’t up much, commodities price are up big but not food prices.

    Food prices are up substantially. Not sure why you keep bleating otherwise.

    http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/FoodPricesIndex/en/

    http://vixandmore.blogspot.com/2011/01/chart-of-week-world-food-prices.html#

    food prices in the US are up less than 2% YOY.

    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1101.pdf

    Your buddy Ritholtz can tell you why the BLS statistics are crap.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/11/there-is-no-food-inflation-the-bls-made-sure-of-that/

    food prices are pretty straight forward. the costs of commodities are a small part of food inflation.

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2011/02/commodities-play-a-small-role-in-consumption.html

  122. 372
    EconE says:

    RE: pfft @ 121

    My data is about food inflation, not commodities.

    Thank you come again.

  123. 373
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 122:

    RE: pfft @ 121

    My data is about food inflation, not commodities.

    Thank you come again.

    well my graphs show that spending on grains is 1.3% of the cpi. that is very relevant to why food inflation is so low. food inflation is about a lot more than grain prices. BLS stats are not crap. most of the time I agree with barry but this is not one of them. hedonics and substitution don’t have much of an effect on the CPI.

  124. 374
    EconE says:

    RE: pfft @ 123

    I made no reference to grain prices.

    “Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enough to be honest”

    – Benjamin Franklin

  125. 375
    EconE says:

    Mostly adequate supplies of Fruit and Vegetables. No serious shortages.

    http://search.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvwtrk.pdf

    However…Wholesale vegetable prices up 22.8% and Wholesale fruit prices up 15.4%

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/13/us-usa-economy-idUSTRE70B3VY20110113

    99c menus at McDonalds, Wendys and Burger King remain unchanged so Pfft must be right with her no/low food inflation call.

    Too bad all the people who *aren’t* seeing food inflation are the people who most likely aren’t eating their fruits and veggies so we’ll see health care costs rise for all those fatsos.

  126. 376
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 124:

    RE: pfft @ 123

    I made no reference to grain prices.

    “Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enough to be honest”

    � Benjamin Franklin

    if you read the rest of the paragraph I explained myself.

  127. 377
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 125:

    Mostly adequate supplies of Fruit and Vegetables. No serious shortages.

    http://search.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvwtrk.pdf

    However…Wholesale vegetable prices up 22.8% and Wholesale fruit prices up 15.4%

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/13/us-usa-economy-idUSTRE70B3VY20110113

    99c menus at McDonalds, Wendys and Burger King remain unchanged so Pfft must be right with her no/low food inflation call.

    Too bad all the people who *aren’t* seeing food inflation are the people who most likely aren’t eating their fruits and veggies so we’ll see health care costs rise for all those fatsos.

    do you know how much fruit and vegetables make up of the CPI? 1.152%. that means that category could double and nobody would notice in regards to the CPI. food away from home makes up around 6% of the CPI so it dwarfs the purchase of fruits and vegetables.

    pdf file:

    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1101.pdf

    “Too bad all the people who *aren’t* seeing food inflation”

    ok so lay down some numbers. tell me what food inflation actually is. show your work. food inflation is under 2% according to the CPI.

  128. 378
    EconE says:

    RE: pfft @ 127

    Sounds like people need to eat more fruits and vegetables.

    Does food away from home not include fruits and vegetables?

    Cooking oils were up 20%. Most meats were up 10% Rice was up 6%.

    I guess it’s all good if you have a fast food diet as those prices didn’t see much inflation.

  129. 379
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 128:

    RE: pfft @ 127

    Sounds like people need to eat more fruits and vegetables.

    Does food away from home not include fruits and vegetables?

    Cooking oils were up 20%. Most meats were up 10% Rice was up 6%.

    I guess it’s all good if you have a fast food diet as those prices didn’t see much inflation.

    umm total food inflation was 2% so it was good for just about everyone. all things being equal food inflation budged the CPI by a negligible amount.

  130. 380
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 129RE: EconE @ 128

    You’re both missing the global food prices. Our inflation rate in the United States, the newest country with the most untapped resources, can make up figures all day long.

    This is stupid. Let’s use Egypt as an example, because they are in the news. It’s a global problem of cash crops, like sugar, miles, and miles of sugar, or pinnaples in Hawaii, or beets, corn for fuel, bannanas, exotic woods, just name something useless, or addictive, or a luxury, and you find the cash crop syndrome.

    Just useless greed from farm land that could be productive. Cash is king.

    So you can have people starving, or paying 80% of thier income on food while the farm land is seeling cash crops, grown by multimational agribusinesses, with the profits going off shore.

    Low wages are the only benefit to the local economy.

    So commodities will be sold to those who can afford to pay, or pay the higher price, more money, less food. That’s a plan for disaster.

  131. 381
    scotsman says:

    Based on food prices we aren’t seeing much of a recovery. Krugman says world food prices are up sharply because of global warming_ too much hot air being expelled or something. He would know. But if prices aren’t up in the US it can only be due to a lack of demand. That’s not recovery. I think he has some logic issues to work out.

  132. 382
    David Losh says:

    RE: scotsman @ 131

    You’re going to love this because it’s alluded to earlier in the thread. We, here in the United States, have alternate choices of food. The United States has so much food that we can’t sell it all to keep prices up. Farmers grow less, and less food in an attempt to keep last years prices, but retailers, gocery chains, can buy from any place, like Mexico, Canada, or South America.

    We have so much food we have to give it away to prop up our ridiculously high prices. If the government didn’t have poverty programs the price of food would plummet.

  133. 383
    pfft says:

    By scotsman @ 131:

    Based on food prices we aren’t seeing much of a recovery. Krugman says world food prices are up sharply because of global warming_ too much hot air being expelled or something. He would know. But if prices aren’t up in the US it can only be due to a lack of demand. That’s not recovery. I think he has some logic issues to work out.

    and just where are you getting this? can I have a link? actually food prices are up. didn’t you notice that in the discussion above? they just aren’t up a lot.

    ” Krugman says world food prices are up sharply because of global warming”

    he actually says it’s rising demand from emerging economies too.

    Now, to some extent soaring food prices are part of a general commodity boom: the prices of many raw materials, running the gamut from aluminum to zinc, have been rising rapidly since early 2009, mainly thanks to rapid industrial growth in emerging markets.

    Droughts, Floods and Food
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/opinion/07krugman.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  134. 384
    Blurtman says:

    Happy times ahead?

    •Western world will not grow as rapidly as before
    •Unemployment will be a persistent issue
    •Social safety nets will be stretched
    •On top of that we have headwinds of higher oil prices and higher geopolitical risk
    •Commodity prices may overshoot on stockpiling, just as happened in 2008. That is the concern of a stagflationary headwind.
    • The Seahawks will not win a Super Bowl until the RE market recovers

    Clearly Mish has been reading Blurtman:

    “Please remember the origin of the term came about in the 70’s when the Keynesian theory at the time was that inflation and recession could not happen at the same time. Obviously it did, proving Keynesian theory belongs in the ashcan.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/02/libyan-rebels-close-in-on-capital.html

  135. 385
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 134:

    Happy times ahead?

    �Western world will not grow as rapidly as before
    �Unemployment will be a persistent issue
    �Social safety nets will be stretched
    �On top of that we have headwinds of higher oil prices and higher geopolitical risk
    �Commodity prices may overshoot on stockpiling, just as happened in 2008. That is the concern of a stagflationary headwind.
    � The Seahawks will not win a Super Bowl until the RE market recovers

    Clearly Mish has been reading Blurtman:

    “Please remember the origin of the term came about in the 70’s when the Keynesian theory at the time was that inflation and recession could not happen at the same time. Obviously it did, proving Keynesian theory belongs in the ashcan.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/02/libyan-rebels-close-in-on-capital.html

    2009 proved keynes right. mish doesn’t know what he’s talking about. the stimulus worked all around the world.

    britain announced austerity and what happened, it’s economy CONTRACTED in the 4th quarter.

  136. 386
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 135 – Sorry, Wikipedia disagrees with you. Down in flames you go. And take your discredited Phillips Curve with you, charlatan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagflation

  137. 387
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 133

    Well the reason they call it an Opinion Page is because that is an opinion. Global Warming, that must be some catch phrase for rising stock market with money dumped into commodities.

    Was it the fall harvest or the announcement of QEII? Hmmmm, I wonder.

    This guy and his obvious Wall Street buddies, including you, want more money drawn from the population into these frivolous stock transactions. Defending irresponsible economic policy fits right into that.

  138. 388
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 135

    The term is deflated.

  139. 389
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 136:

    RE: pfft @ 135 – Sorry, Wikipedia disagrees with you. Down in flames you go. And take your discredited Phillips Curve with you, charlatan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagflation

    how’s that austerity working in Britain right now?

    UK Economy Shrinks and Pound Plunges
    Government blames snow for shock 0.5 percent drop in output; opposition urges policy rethink

    David Blanchflower: Britain illustrates pitfalls of austerity
    http://collegefootball.msg.com/article/01pu5zna4B3kq?q=United+Kingdom

    Don’t Sell the Stimulus Short
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/don’t-sell-the-stimulus-short/

    Why Budget Cuts Don’t Bring Prosperity
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/business/economy/23leonhardt.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12754369

  140. 390
    pfft says:

    as usual krugman proved you wrong years ago.

    The lessons of 1979-82
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/the-lessons-of-1979-82/

  141. 391
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 139 – Loook ahead. How is Zimbabwe doing? Argentina survived and thrived.

    Yeah, Boeing!

  142. 392
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 141:

    RE: pfft @ 139 – Loook ahead. How is Zimbabwe doing? Argentina survived and thrived.

    Yeah, Boeing!

    I again invoke Godwin’s law on zimbabwe. I win!

    argentina recovered quite nicely.

    remember we are in a liquidity trap. money disappears down a hole and there is no inflation and no growth. the stimulus bypasses all that by directly spending the money and it worked.

    Economists agree: Stimulus created nearly 3 million jobs
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2010-08-30-stimulus30_CV_N.htm

    remember all those people who said the stimulus would create massive inflation? you don’t hear from those people much anymore. they’ve moved on. we don’t have many double dippers anymore. not a lot of people thinking the Euro will go to parity. it’s at $1.36. not many people around who think car sales only rose because of CFC. not a lot of people think half of europe will default. lots of people make lots of noise and then are forgotten when their predictions prove wrong.

  143. 393
    pfft says:

    I forgot, was zimbabwe in a liquidity trap?

    so fully two years after the stimulus and even more for tarp where is this hyperinflation or even high inflation? stubbornly high unemployment is keeping inflation low. krugman said in real-time while the schiffs of the world and his fellow republicans were screaming hyperinflation(or at least very high inflation).

  144. 394
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 143 – You are repeating another fallacious economics pseudo-theory. You must be a brain-washed academic! Gadzooks, now trotting out the discredited Phillips Curve. Look, most recently under Clinton we had record high rates of employment and low rates of inflation.

    Economics is not science. When the scientific method arrived on the scene, charlatans claiming to be scientists fled to the soft fields where ideas that seemed like they made sense could become “laws.” In ze real world, one can have high employment and low inflation, low employment and low inflation, low employment and high inflation, high employment and high inflation. It depends on what is going on in the real world.

    There are no laws that predict or hold. Economics is puffery.

  145. 395
    Blake says:

    Liz Ann Sonders (Schwab’s Chief Investment Startegist) has an excellent discussion of
    “Food Chain: Do Spiking Food Prices Warn of Generalized Inflation?”
    http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/research_strategies/market_insight/todays_market/sonders/sonders_021411.html?cmsid=P-3670702&lvl1=research_strategies&lvl2=market_insight
    -snip- “In reality, all that developed world central banks have accomplished is to free up reserves in their banking systems, little of which is getting passed through the lending channels to feed into the economy.”

    Check out the graphs and explanations… pretty straightforward. Inflation is money “velocity” (M2/monetary base) and that is flat flat flat…

    IMO: It’s been a nice little “recovery” (hah!) but it’ll be getting really nasty again real soon and deflation will continue to dog us (especially with the idiots in DC and the state governments slashing spending and laying people off!!!)

    Also saw this in Bloomberg today….
    “Hedge funds increased their net leverage in January to the highest level since October 2007, as they took advantage of record-low borrowing costs to bet that the U.S. equity rally will continue. Debt at margin accounts at the New York Stock Exchange minus cash and unused credit from margin accounts climbed to $46 billion, according to data released by NYSE yesterday. Hedge funds had $290 billion of debt from margin accounts in December, the largest sum since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in September 2008.”

    …It’s all good at the American casino!!

  146. 396
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blake @ 145

    I moved this phrase over from the article, then below that the heart of the matter which is credit.

    What bothers me in all discussion about monetary velocity is that we have sever credit issues. Where will the consumer in China get the money to repay debt? How about in the United States? You can see the wage graph, and now Wisconsin is gutting Union contracts.

    There is no fear of inflation, because once people stop using credit it all stops. We will have deflation by virtue of cash value, as opposed to credit value for goods, and services.

    “The China Syndrome
    China is at the heart of the inflation scare and bears close monitoring. Given its robust economic growth and excessive credit growth, the risk of food inflation passing through to general price levels is high and rising.”

    “excessive credit growth”

  147. 397
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    RE: pfft @ 143It depends on what is going on in the real world.

    exactly. and in the real world academics have been studying the liquidity traps for decades. people like krugman knew exactly that the stimulus wouldn’t be inflationary as high unemployment and high unemployment stunted growth.

  148. 398
    pfft says:

    Warren says housing my bottom this year.

    He said a housing recovery will likely begin within the next year.

    Warren Buffett remains optimistic about U.S. future
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41795921/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/

  149. 399
    EconE says:

    Warren Buffet wary about borrowing money, games public firms play with profit numbers.

    Buffett also urged investors not to focus on the net income figures that companies report because they are easily manipulated through accounting tricks or by selling investments. He said Berkshire’s net income can be particularly misleading because of the large amount of unrealized investment gains or losses the company holds at any given time.

    He said that regardless of Berkshire’s performance, it could easily and legally “cause net income in any given period to be almost any number we would like.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41795921/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/

  150. 400
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 147 – One contributory element to a liquidity trap is a lack of confidence in the economy. Stiglitz and others have described the the need for the restoration of law and order to re-establish confidence in the US financial system. As the financial sector exerts extraordinary influence on the USG, their demands that no one goes to jail can rightly be viewed as a drag on the economy. The USA may be too poisoned by corruption to recover. When a “Friend of Angelo” is he author of a financial reform bill, what more needs to be said?

  151. 401
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 150:

    RE: pfft @ 147When a “Friend of Angelo” is he author of a financial reform bill, what more needs to be said?

    but he passed it against the lobbying of wall street so there’s that.

  152. 402
    Blurtman says:

    Quite analagous to the 12 oz box of food that costs $2.00 being replaced by the 10 oz box of food that costs $2.00. See, prices are stable.

    U.S. Economy Trades High-Paying Jobs For Low-Paying Positions, Report Finds

    In the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has largely traded high-quality jobs for poorly-paid positions, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project.

    Though the economy has added more than a million jobs over the last year, new positions have skewed towards relatively low-wage industries, the New York-based non-profit finds in “A Year of Unbalanced Growth: Industries, Wages, and the First 12 Months of Job Growth After the Great Recession.” The report finds a “striking imbalance” between the jobs being added and those lost over the last year:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/us-economy-trades-high-pa_n_827360.html

    See, the economy is recovering.

  153. 403
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 152:

    Quite analagous to the 12 oz box of food that costs $2.00 being replaced by the 10 oz box of food that costs $2.00. See, prices are stable.

    U.S. Economy Trades High-Paying Jobs For Low-Paying Positions, Report Finds

    In the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has largely traded high-quality jobs for poorly-paid positions, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project.

    Though the economy has added more than a million jobs over the last year, new positions have skewed towards relatively low-wage industries, the New York-based non-profit finds in “A Year of Unbalanced Growth: Industries, Wages, and the First 12 Months of Job Growth After the Great Recession.” The report finds a “striking imbalance” between the jobs being added and those lost over the last year:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/us-economy-trades-high-pa_n_827360.html

    See, the economy is recovering.

    the goalposts are always moving with the zombie bears. we lose jobs for years and people say where are the jobs? now that we’ve added jobs they aren’t good enough.

    “Quite analagous to the 12 oz box of food that costs $2.00 being replaced by the 10 oz box of food that costs $2.00. See, prices are stable.”

    you honestly think that? you honestly think the BLS doesn’t see that? you fell for another internet meme.

    During each call or visit, the economic assistant collects price data on a specific good or service that was precisely defined during an earlier visit. If the selected item is available, the economic assistant records its price. If the selected item is no longer available, or if there have been changes in the quality or quantity (for example, eggs sold in packages of ten when they previously were sold by the dozen) of the good or service since the last time prices were collected, the economic assistant selects a new item or records the quality change in the current item.

    How are CPI prices collected and reviewed?
    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_8

    Frequently Asked Questions
    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm

  154. 404
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 153 – Great. Please provide a similar link for jobs, thanks!

  155. 405
    David Losh says:

    I’m kind of a perfect example. in the past twenty years if I ever got into financial trouble I could do a couple of Real Estate transactions, and Bob’s you uncle. Even though people swear to me that nothing has changed I know that it has. It’s not just here in the United States, it’s global.

    We are now building, from the ground up, my “fall back” position of Real Estate services. While most of my buddies are going along with business as usual, I know that lower price points are what the consumer is buying, will buy, and will have to buy.

  156. 406
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 154:

    RE: pfft @ 153 – Great. Please provide a similar link for jobs, thanks!

    see #152

  157. 407
    Blurtman says:

    Charles Ferguson, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary for Inside Job. He said at the end of his acceptance speech:

    “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong.”

    Obama is holding the unemployed hostage to Wall Street. As Stiglitz and numerous others have stated, there will be no real recovery until there are prosecutions for fraud.

  158. 408
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 157

    “there will be no real recovery until there are prosecutions for fraud.”

    Maybe in the short run. I think it slows up the return of investor confidence in the short run, but I doubt that prosecutions affect investment confidence or deter future fraud to any great extent in the long run. I think they had about a thousand convictions after the S & L crisis in the early 1990’s and about 10 years later a new crop of cutting edge financial geniuses managed to do it all over again, but even bigger and with just a slightly different twist.

    No matter what you do, in the long run, people will want government to reduce cost and regulation, and some ingenious but unscrupulous capitalists (perhaps a small minority but with a large impact) will figure out a new way to unethically and often illegally gain a competitive advantage in seeking alpha.

    Saddly their success will cause others to copy their unscrupulous practices in order to compete and the financially sleazy will once again increase in number and rise to the top. The task of stopping the bastards is a never ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way. Its a super human job to figure out which regulations are just wasted cost and an unnecessary imposition on business and which are needed to really deter fraudulent buiness practices. Even when you figure it out, some capitalists will figure out arguably legal ways around the law (that’s what some lawyers do for a living) to gain a competitive advantage. Americans hate to spend money on government and they hate to lose. In all likelihood it will happen again and probably within my remaining life expectancy of about 25 years (although perhaps not as large in amount or with such devastating impact to the economy).

  159. 409
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 157:

    Charles Ferguson, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary for Inside Job. He said at the end of his acceptance speech:

    “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and thatâ��s wrong.â��

    Obama is holding the unemployed hostage to Wall Street. As Stiglitz and numerous others have stated, there will be no real recovery until there are prosecutions for fraud.

    I hope you come around to some of Stiglitz’s other ideas.

    Joseph Stiglitz: The Stimulus ‘Absolutely’ Worked, Wants Second Round
    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/joseph-stiglitz-stimulus-absolutely-w

  160. 410
    Ben says:

    RE: pfft @ 159 – If it “worked”, then why do we need more? Obviously, it failed. So let’s do it again and prove Einstein’s definition of insanity to the world with real conviction this time. Also, the article is from October 2, 2010. What moral ground do you have to borrow from and tax future generations without representation into debt servitude? You have none and you know it.

  161. 411
    Blurtman says:

    “Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” Judge Louis D. Brandeis

    A good read, as always: http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2011/02/american-monster-excerpts-from-madoff.html

  162. 412
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 159 – Jeepers, do I have to agree with everything that Greenspan says, too? He also decries the rampant fraud on Wall Street in the link I provided previously, and once again below. The point, which I know you undertstand, is that is you can have an assembly of learned people who may not agree on everything agree on this one thing, that no accountability means no recovery, and so you have to lsiten.

    http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/12/letting-fraud-continue-will-not-restart.html

  163. 413
    Ben says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 162 – You nailed it. Having no accountability is a wonderful benny of becoming a crony capitalist oligarch.

  164. 414
    Blake says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 161
    Re: A good read, as always:
    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2011/02/american-monster-excerpts-from-madoff.html

    That is excellent… I’ve been reading a lot about sociopaths the last few years (Robert Hare’s work especially – i.e. Snakes in Suits). There are varying degrees of sociopathology – with some being completely psychotic (usually end up dead or in prison early in life) and others with some signs of compassion and empathy. But they are narcissists as much as the sociopaths always think of themselves first and love power/manipulating others. (They are often highly intelligent as well). This is a very real and substantial problem that our society must deal with: Sociopaths are driven personalities and never really quit and they comprise 2-4% of our society (6-12 million individuals!) and are disproportionately represented in the fields of business, finance and law according to Dr. Hare and other researchers.
    See: http://www.hare.org/
    and this is an excellent article
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/10/081110fa_fact_seabrook

  165. 415
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Ben @ 160

    Ironically, that may be one of Einsteins biggest failures. Quantum dynamics says Einstein was wrong and he never accepted it. According to quantum dynamics you may have a probability of the same result, but you can do the same thing over and get different results, at least at the sub-atomic level.

  166. 416
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 164 – Ahh, the New Yorker. Good stuff!

    “Can you say Ted Bundy caused more disaster than the guys at Enron? How many destroyed lives and suicides followed as a result of so many people losing their savings?”

    Exactly. How many lives are being destroyed by Wall Street fraud? The unemployed. Seniors receiving zip on their savings accounts. Pillaged pension funds.

  167. 417
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 249

    You don’t get it. Agribusiness is no longer your local farmer. It’s not a supply, and demand issue. It’s a complex set of calculations to get the most money from the crops that can be produced anywhere in the world.

    I’m consistent when I say it is simple enough to feed every one in the world. It’s a matter of distribution, and a willingness to let go of massive profits based on free dollars getting a return.

    I don’t think you are getting the free dollars part. Credit is cheap. Borrowing money, millions or billions of dollars is cheap. The risk is very low.

    An example that comes to me is when the Hunt brothers wanted to corner the silver market they were using hard dollars, real dollars. Today they could simply buy the dollars for cheap, buy all the silver they wanted, drive up the price, sell off, slowly, and make profits. They could dollar cost their way to owning the silver market.

    What would be there to stop them?

  168. 418
    pfft says:

    By Ben @ 160:

    RE: pfft @ 159 – If it “worked”, then why do we need more? Obviously, it failed. So let’s do it again and prove Einstein’s definition of insanity to the world with real conviction this time. Also, the article is from October 2, 2010. What moral ground do you have to borrow from and tax future generations without representation into debt servitude? You have none and you know it.

    it worked, it saved millions of jobs but it wasn’t enough. it was too small to begin with.”What moral ground do you have to borrow from and tax future generations without representation into debt servitude? You have none and you know it.”if they economy had collapsed we’d be in even more debt. trillions more. futures generations will benefit if the economy doesn’t collapse and their parents and grandparents have good lives.

    mark zandi, who was one of john mccain’s economic advisors, had a report that said this.

    With no special government intervention, the 2010 deficit would have passed $2 trillion, according to their model. It would have reached $2.6 trillion in fiscal 2011 and $2.25 trillion in 2012.

    that’s $2.3 trillion more over just 3 years. so those who say it’s irresponsible to shoulder future generations with debt now have to support the stimulus, right?

    http://www.creators.com/liberal/froma-harrop/washington-saved-our-economic-hide.html

  169. 419
    Ben says:

    RE: pfft @ 168 – “if they economy had collapsed we’d be in even more debt. trillions more. futures generations will benefit if the economy doesn’t collapse and their parents and grandparents have good lives.”

    Prove it.

  170. 420
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 168 – Mark Zandi is working at Mad Magazine! Oh wait, he is working at Moody’s Analystics, a place with much less credibility. Moody’s should be out of business for fraud and gross incompetence. And speaking of incompetence, didn’t Zandi endorse McCain’s witch craft trickle down economics nonsense?

  171. 421
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By David Losh @ 167:

    I’m consistent when I say it is simple enough to feed every one in the world. It’s a matter of distribution, and a willingness to let go of massive profits based on free dollars getting a return.

    Yes, North Korea and China are doing really well feeding their people without regard to profit. :-D

  172. 422
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By David Losh @ 167:

    An example that comes to me is when the Hunt brothers wanted to corner the silver market they were using hard dollars, real dollars. Today they could simply buy the dollars for cheap, buy all the silver they wanted, drive up the price, sell off, slowly, and make profits. They could dollar cost their way to owning the silver market.

    What would be there to stop them?

    Well for one thing, as soon as they stopped buying the price would plummet, leaving them with a bunch of silver they couldn’t sell for what they paid for it.

    You do remember how that worked out for them, right?

  173. 423
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 168 – Ben, quit making me agree with pfft! The argument that the stimulus “didn’t work” is merely a Republican talking point designed to sway the ignorant. You can debate how effective it was, and whether it was worth it, but to argue it didn’t work at all is an argument based on a complete lack of understanding of the world we live in.

  174. 424
    Scotsman says:

    The stimulus did squat. Kicking the can down the road isn’t fixing anything. How is delay the same as repair? Here are some pictures for the intellectually challenged. Revenues are on the left, expenditures are on the right. Pay attention to the gap. Also note that these numbers don’t reflect temporary recession, they reflect permanent imbalances:http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4d690245ccd1d5d750110000-920-691/usa-income-Now here’s the kicker- the gap, $1.3 trillion, is 10% of GDP. A 10% reduction in GDP is the accepted definition of depression. Balancing the budget by reducing spending will put us in depression by the time multiplier effects are accounted for. Balancing the budget by borrowing or printing will only lead to increasing interest rates and or a depreciating currency, both of which will also throw us into depression, albeit through different mechanisms I won’t attempt to explain here. The long and the short of it is we’re cooked. The stimulus didn’t do anything except buy time and political favor at the expense of an increasingly negative and painful resolution. That’s not success.

  175. 425
    Ben says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 173 – I am NOT a republican, nor a democrat for that matter. Not sure why you keep saying that. It should be pretty evident that I can’t stand either major party as both were complicit in the destruction.

    Just jerking pfft’s chain as he likes to do – you too on occasion. The trick is to not post anything original and simply tear down other people’s posts with inane insults. Add a few non sequiturs and anyone can play pfft.

    \sarcasm

  176. 426
    Ben says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 173 – To give you a serious reply, stimulus can never “work” in the way people would like to believe, in the same way that living off your credit cards after a loss in income “works”. The future is borrowed from to pay for the present. Something for nothing does not exist, no matter how much you want to believe it so. The credit card of the US, otherwise known as peak debt, was maxed out about 2007. The consequences of this cannot be wished away. The fraud must stop, prosecutions start, and debts dealt with in order to return to anything resembling prosperity.

    Call me “Sparks”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLpNSvpMoZQ

  177. 427
    pfft says:

    By Ben @ 169:

    RE: pfft @ 168 – “if they economy had collapsed weâ��d be in even more debt. trillions more. futures generations will benefit if the economy doesnâ��t collapse and their parents and grandparents have good lives.”

    Prove it.

    less people working means less tax revenue=more debt. it’s very simple. do you think that economic collapse helps government revenue?

    here is former mccain economic advisor mark zandi and here is his report.

    How the Great Recession Was Brought to an End(warning PDF)
    http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/documents/End-of-Great-Recession.pdf

  178. 428
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 170:

    RE: pfft @ 168 – Mark Zandi is working at Mad Magazine! Oh wait, he is working at Moody’s Analystics, a place with much less credibility. Moody’s should be out of business for fraud and gross incompetence. And speaking of incompetence, didn’t Zandi endorse McCain’s witch craft trickle down economics nonsense?

    mark zandi is a pretty respected economist and is on all the business networks.

    after 5 minutes of googling mark zandi saw this coming.

    Moody’s Economy.com Study: Housing Market Downturn in Full Swing
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/moodys-economycom-study-housing-market-downturn-in-full-swing-55951062.html

    “The housing market downturn is in full swing,” said Mark Zandi, chief
    economist of Moody’s Economy.com, who added that “to date, the housing
    downturn has been generally orderly and is characterized best as a
    correction and not a crash. Whether the housing correction unravels into a
    crash will largely depend on the secondary or indirect effects from the
    housing downturn.”

    ok?

  179. 429
    Ben says:

    RE: pfft @ 177 – Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.

    Watch why you have never heard of the Great Depression of 1920 if you really want to build your brain cells:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcUmnsprQI

  180. 430
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 174:

    The stimulus did squat. Kicking the can down the road isn’t fixing anything. How is delay the same as repair? Here are some pictures for the intellectually challenged. Revenues are on the left, expenditures are on the right. Pay attention to the gap. Also note that these numbers don’t reflect temporary recession, they reflect permanent imbalances:http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4d690245ccd1d5d750110000-920-691/usa-income-Now here’s the kicker- the gap, $1.3 trillion, is 10% of GDP. A 10% reduction in GDP is the accepted definition of depression. Balancing the budget by reducing spending will put us in depression by the time multiplier effects are accounted for. Balancing the budget by borrowing or printing will only lead to increasing interest rates and or a depreciating currency, both of which will also throw us into depression, albeit through different mechanisms I won’t attempt to explain here. The long and the short of it is we’re cooked. The stimulus didn’t do anything except buy time and political favor at the expense of an increasingly negative and painful resolution. That’s not success.

    you couldn’t be more wrong. you’re already 0-1 in predicting economic disaster.

    I repeat, economic collapse would put us into MORE debt not less. $2.3 trillion more just over 2010-2012.

    “The stimulus did squat.”

    if you don’t think that spending $700 billion didn’t help the economy it’s because you don’t want to. 2 years plus and it hasn’t led to much higher interest rates or even hyperinflation.

    CBO says stimulus may have added 3.3 million jobs
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-economy/2010/08/cbo_says_stimulus_may_have_add.html

    Research Desk responds: How do stimulus size and economic growth compare internationally?
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/research_desk_responds_how_do.html

    Keynes In Asia
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/keynes-in-asia/

    the stimulus worked all throughout the world.

    austerity is failing in the UK right now. if you don’t see that it’s because you don’t want too.

    Under Mr. Cameron, Britain has led the way in embracing fiscal retrenchment, while President Obama’s administration has warned Britain and other European countries that they are at risk of tipping their economies, and possibly the Western world’s, back into recession by cutting deficits too soon and too steeply.

    Britain’s Economy Stalls, in Setback for Cameron
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/world/europe/26britain.html?_r=2&src=twr

    “Balancing the budget by reducing spending will put us in depression by the time multiplier effects are accounted for.”

    in a way only you could you just proved that the stimulus worked. you said Iceland was a model yet their debt increased from 35% of GDP to 100%.

    “The long and the short of it is we’re cooked. ”

    you in another Friedman Unit?

  181. 431
    pfft says:

    By Ben @ 176:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 173 – To give you a serious reply, stimulus can never “work” in the way people would like to believe, in the same way that living off your credit cards after a loss in income “works”. The future is borrowed from to pay for the present.

    exactly. and since the government has a stake in the economy not collapsing it makes sense to take on short-term debt to keep the economy afloat.you guys just can’t seem to grasp the fact that if the economy collapsed we would be in even more debt.in 2019 the cost of the bailouts are a combined $69 billion dollars. the cost of tax cuts that year is $702 billion. the bailouts are hardly a drag. Iraq will cost more at over $100.http://www.cbpp.org/images/cms/12-16-09bud-rev6-28-10-t11.jpg

    “To give you a serious reply, stimulus can never “work” in the way people would like to believe”

    yes it can. supposed you are unemployed and just need to fix your car to get to a job that is already lined up. would you put your repairs on your credit card knowing that you could pay them off working for a few months at your new job? off course you would.

  182. 432
    pfft says:

    I am knocking down internet memes left and right tonight. I leave you with this:

    Moody’s: GOP Budget Would Cost 700,000 Jobs
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/moodys-gop-budget-would-cost-700000-jobs.php?ref=fpblg

    reduced spending=less jobs=less tax revenue=more debt. austerity is not expansionary.

  183. 433
    Ben says:

    RE: pfft @ 182 – All you left me with is the realization that the morons I work with are comparative geniuses. The credit card is maxed out, silly rabbit. Cutting back your expenses to live within your means is not fun.

  184. 434
    EconE says:

    RE: Ben @ 183
    I can’t seem to figure out how we’d have more debt with an economic collapse. I like your analogy of a person living on credit cards after losing their job rather than cutting back expenses.

    I look at a foreclosure as a personal “economic collapse” after which, the person has less debt…not more as pfft yammers on about.

    How long do you think Pfft would last on Denningers forums?

  185. 435
    pfft says:

    By Ben @ 183:

    RE: pfft @ 182The credit card is maxed out, silly rabbit.

    no it isn’t. interest rates are still low years after the stimulus and tarp. you’re wrong

    “Cutting back your expenses to live within your means is not fun.”

    that’s right and that’s why you don’t do it as a nation. austerity is not expansionary. it’s failing in real-time in the UK and it still doesn’t register with you people.

    austerity during a recession reduced demand period. the UK economy contracting in the 4th quarter of last year.

    Conservative Austerity Idea Is Failing: David G. Blanchflower
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-28/conservative-austerity-idea-is-failing-commentary-by-david-blanchflower.html

  186. 436
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 184:

    RE: Ben @ 183
    I can’t seem to figure out how we’d have more debt with an economic collapse.

    because if less people are employed the less the government collects in tax revenue. that means more debt. austerity would just compound the problem.

    do you think the government would be less in debt if unemployment were 15% or if unemployment were 10%? the answer is obvious.

  187. 437
    Scotsman says:

    Yup, this recovery is just boiling along. Here’s some cold water reality:

    “Adjusted for inflation, S+P stock gains since 2000 have been negative, even counting dividends.

    Federal spending has leaped up $1.5 trillion—a staggering 60%–in just six years, from 2004 to 2010, and $1 trillion—36%–just since 2007. Though the Great Recession officially ended in mid-2009, Federal deficits just keep going up.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been treading water. In adjusted-for-inflation dollars, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 was almost precisely the same as it was in 2007: $13.363 trillion in 2007 and $13.382 trillion in 2010.

    Remove this extraordinary rise in Federal spending, and the GDP would have declined by about 11%.

    Anyone who thinks the U.S. economy is suddenly going to start growing rapidly organically–that is, via private-sector growth, not ever-rising Federal borrowing and spending–is delusional.”

    We won’t even talk aboput pensions, but there’s more here:

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb11/public-pensions2-11.html

  188. 438
    EconE says:

    RE: pfft @ 186

    Debt would be defaulted on and we would have hyperdeflation.

    People with cash would hire former debt junkies like yourself for $2 per day.

    At $2 a day wages the U.S. would be able to export far more and more people would be employed.

    It wouldn’t matter to people as they wouldn’t have to service their former debt and prices of everything would adjust to accomodate their new wages.

    You really need to brush up on your economics.

  189. 439
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 171

    That is exactly the point. You are either playing the game or you’re outside, needing the product, but it is a game.

  190. 440
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Scotsman @ 174:

    The stimulus did squat. Kicking the can down the road isn’t fixing anything. How is delay the same as repair?.

    It’s not about delay. It’s about preventing cascading failure. In the medical profession there’s a reason they use band-aids. Your approach is to ignore what little we know about economics and pretend it will somehow be better by doing nothing.

  191. 441
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Ben @ 176:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 173 – To give you a serious reply, stimulus can never “work” in the way people would like to believe, in the same way that living off your credit cards after a loss in income “works”. The future is borrowed from to pay for the present.

    Thank you for the serious reply. I too think both parties are at fault. And BTW, I didn’t accuse you of being a Republican, just of stating one of their talking points.

    I don’t understand though how you can say borrowing doesn’t work. Companies borrow all the time to make more money in the future, and where they can’t do that you have what we call third world economies. For governments it wouldn’t be to borrow to make money, but instead borrowing to set conditions for the economy to grow.

    What doesn’t work is borrowing nearly every year for 50 years in a row. But we only have ourselves to blame for that. The voters of this country like government spending money and hate taxes, so that’s what the politicians do.

  192. 442
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By pfft @ 177:

    By Ben @ 169:

    RE: pfft @ 168 – “if they economy had collapsed we�d be in even more debt. trillions more. futures generations will benefit if the economy doesn�t collapse and their parents and grandparents have good lives.”Prove it.

    less people working means less tax revenue=more debt. it’s very simple. do you think that economic collapse helps government revenue?f

    It also means spending more to bail out banks (on deposit guarantees) and less lending for business activity, meaning even less tax revenue.

  193. 443
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 172

    I do remember.

    It just wasn’t that long ago that it was big news that a few million here, maybe a billion over there could sway a market.

    My point is that today, by the sheer volume of money, in the system, it’s possible that there are a hundred Hunt Brother schemes going on today, tracked by a computer generated, and managed portfolio.

    Now that sounds like a conspiracy, which I know it isn’t, it’s there, as a part of doing business today.

    In addition to the volume, the massive amounts of money already made, we have governments throwing more money into an already bloated system.

    I’m not saying it will work, or it’s smart, I’m saying that there is no risk. I think we are seeing the system is broken.

  194. 444
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: David Losh @ 193 – My point was the Hunt brothers ended up in bankruptcy. Your scheme doesn’t work.Something like that can work for stocks if you create some hype to get others to buy it. But the key is to get others to buy, not buying it yourself. But just the process of buying stuff up doesn’t make you any money, because when you stop the value returns to normal.

    I would add that if you want to buy something in a scam, the key would be buying something nearly worthless, such as a penny stock, not a precious metal.

  195. 445
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: EconE @ 188 – You’re talking about a sovereign default. A nation’s money is its credit – the result is hyperinflation not deflation. To put it in the personal economy metaphor you seem to favor, if you default on your obligations, your credit is worth less, not more.

  196. 446
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 190

    No, my approach is we’re already dead, we just haven’t hit the ground yet. So it really doesn’t matter what we do. But the sooner we get started on the real clean up the better it will be.

  197. 447
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 196 – If it doesn’t really matter what we do, how can it be better to get started sooner? Sir, this makes no sense.

  198. 448
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 187:

    Yup, this recovery is just boiling along. Here’s some cold water reality:

    “Adjusted for inflation, S+P stock gains since 2000 have been negative, even counting dividends.

    GDP- growing

    unemployment has peaked

    recession has been over for almost two years

    ISM Manufacturing Index increases in February
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/03/ism-manufacturing-index-increases-in.html

    how can you look at this chart and not see the economy improving and growing for almost two years.

    http://cr4re.com/charts/charts.html?Manufacturing#category=Manufacturing&chart=ISMFeb2011.jpg

    same here:

    World-Wide Factory Activity, by Country
    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/03/01/world-wide-factory-activity-by-country-14/

    “”Adjusted for inflation, S+P stock gains since 2000 have been negative, even counting dividends.”

    we can cherry pick any time period we want. the stock market is up 100% almost two years to the day. I guess that means we are recovering?

  199. 449
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 188:

    RE: pfft @ 186 Debt would be defaulted on and we would have hyperdeflation.You really need to brush up on your economics.

    I need to brush up on my economics? you still haven’t explained how less people paying taxes would lead to more government revenue. your argument makes no sense. less people working means less tax revenue period. debt wouldn’t necessarily be defaulted on. I don’t even know what hyperdeflation is. did you make that up? the nation most similar to ours is Iceland. Greece and Ireland don’t have their own currency or monetary policy. what happened in iceland? the currency crashed. inflation roared. gdp crashed. unemployment went up national debt went from 35% of GDP to 100%. no hyperdeflation.

    mark zandi’s report proved we’d be in more debt. the higher the unemployment rate the more debt. more people unemployed means more payments like welfare and food stamps.

  200. 450
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 196:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 190

    No, my approach is we’re already dead, we just haven’t hit the ground yet. So it really doesn’t matter what we do. But the sooner we get started on the real clean up the better it will be.

    you aren’t worried about a collapse. you don’t care about the national debt. you supported the extension of the bush tax cuts. that adds more than $3 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. you want repeal of obamacare which will subtract $250 billion over the next 10 years from the national debt and even more over 20 years. it’s the singlest biggest deficit reducing plan in over a decade.

    watch what people do not what they say.

    Putting the $3.9 trillion extension of the Bush tax cuts in context
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/putting_the_39_trillion_extens.html

    CBO: Health-care reform bill cuts deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years, covers 95%
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/cbo_health-care_reform_bill_cu.html

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