Weekly Open Thread (2015-04-13)

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Here is your open thread for the week of April 13th, 2015. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread.  If you post such comments here, they will be moved there.

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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.

42 comments:

  1. 1
    Blurtman says:

    Spring has sprung in the beautiful Northwest. This year it seems that everything is blooming. I am getting my hiking gear ready for another assault on the Ira Springs trail.

    When my dog walks me in the morning, I get to routinely appreciate the beauty of this area. I have lived in a few California locations, but nothing beats the natural and unpretentious beauty of the Northwest. And with climate change, we may yet be the next San Diego.

  2. 2

    RE: Blurtman @
    Any trail that shares my first name has to be a good one. The dog walked me on the Jim Whittaker trail yesterday. I read some of the hiking books by Bob and Ira Spring. Where’s the trail?

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ – Here you go: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ira-spring-memorial

    If you are driving east on 90, you’ll drive under the freeway and then make a left on the road to the trailhead. The initial part of the road is paved, but it changes to gravel with large potholes depending on maintenance, so you might want to leave the 911 at home. It is one kick-*ss hike of never ending switchbacks. After a while, the freeway fades into the distance, and you have a nice hike with flowers and even the elusive marmot. The last bit to the top is a steep goat trail, and once on that trail, if you turnaround, you will be blessed by Alps like views. I take hiking poles for the trek down. Bring lots of water cause when the sun is out, you are totally exposed. And Ira Spring was one cool dude.

  4. 4

    RE: Blurtman @
    Enjoy the Trail and Solitude

    Actually, the solitude appears to have increased in Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area due to net migration out of the Seattle area….note the brown migration loss over our crowded limited land space reported 3/2014:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/census-domestic-migration-map-2014-3

  5. 5
    redmondjp says:

    Well well well! The $1.3M, err, um no make it the $1.2M, no check that, now it’s the $1.1M new home near me on busy 148th Ave NE has FINALLY sold (first listed last June, so it only took 9 months to sell) for $1.08M.

    Even in this crazy market, there are apparently limits to what somebody will pay for a house. Would you pay this much for a house on a busy four-lane divided arterial with only one-way access to your driveway, in which you have to sit and wait for the electric gate operator to fully open (hopefully you have a short car – a crew-cab pickup will have it’s tail end half-way out into the lane)?

  6. 6
    pfft says:

    taxpayers, are paying $153 billion per year to supplement the very low wages paid to our fellow working Americans by many large, profitable corporations.

    You Are Paying Billions Because McDonald’s and Walmart Won’t
    http://gawker.com/you-are-paying-billions-because-mcdonalds-and-walmart-w-1697556988

  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

    RE: Blurtman @ – I’m not even sure what that is. I know that Zerohedge isn’t credible, but what is the IMG?

  10. 10
    Blake says:

    Lackluster Rebound in U.S. Retail Sales Shows Consumers Hesitant
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/retail-sales-in-u-s-rebound-less-than-forecast-from-bad-weather
    -sn- The March rebound in U.S. retail sales was less impressive than economists forecast, signaling consumers are in no rush to spend the windfall from cheaper fuel prices.

    Purchases increased 0.9 percent, the first gain in four months, according to Commerce Department figures issued Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected retail sales would advance 1.1 percent. Other reports showed inflation is tame and small-business confidence ebbed.

    Americans are focused on using the savings at the gas pump to shore up finances even as employment and confidence firm and interest rates remain low. A boost in wage growth may be what’s needed to drive households to loosen their purse strings and spend more after unusually harsh weather slowed the economy in the first quarter.

    “The U.S. consumer is cautious and not ready to go on a shopping spree just because gas prices are lower,” said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, who correctly projected the retail sales gain. “Consumers seem to be paying down credit card debt or debt in general rather than spend what they save at the gas pump on other items.”
    (end quote)
    The great economic paradox is that if US consumers become more responsible and thrifty with money and debt the US and world economy TANKS!

  11. 11
    Blake says:

    Great piece at Naked Capitalism on how and why the US consumer may never make it back:
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/04/ilargi-american-consumer-will-never-back.html
    … interesting nugget in there about the recent uptick in the “savings rate”… turns out they include “debt repayments” in the savings rate! So they are saving by paying old debts!? Oiii…
    Here’s some more from the piece by Ilargi Meijer… but read the whole thing. It’s good.
    -snip- “Going through the numbers from various sources, I can see that the US personal savings rate is presently some 5.8% of pre-tax income, and debt repayment is close to 10% of disposable -after tax – income. I’m still trying to make those stats rhyme. But no matter how you read and interpret them, it should be clear that debt repayments are a large part of ‘official’ savings. Even if they really shouldn’t be counted as such.

    Of what remains in real savings, retirement/pension savings must necessarily be a substantial percentage, and it would be weird to call those things ‘saving like there is a tomorrow’, if only because they are about, well, tomorrow. But that seems to be the new normal: creating the impression that saving any money at all is somehow detrimental to the economy. A truly crazy notion, if you ask me. Let’s get back to Bloomberg’s Coy: “There are only two things you can do with a dollar, after all: spend it or save it. If you spend it, great—that’s money in someone else’s pocket.”

    In someone else’s pocket, but no longer in yours. Why would that be so great? It’s only great if that someone has added value to something by doing productive work, not if you simply swap paper assets.
    “If you save it, the financial system is supposed to recycle your dollar into productive investment with loans for new houses, factories, software, and research and development.”

    That notion of ‘the financial system is supposed to’ refers to theories such as those that Bernanke and his ilk ‘believe’ in. Theories that have no practical value. What is normal for many everyday Americans is crippling debt levels, and no such thing is recognized in these theories. After all, according to them, whatever amount of dollars you get in, you either spend or save them. And if you use them to pay off previously incurred debt, you’re supposedly actually saving, even though you no longer have possession of the money in any way, shape or sense, nor a choice of what to spend it on.”
    etc… read the whole piece. It’s very interesting.

  12. 12
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ :

    Lackluster Rebound in U.S. Retail Sales Shows Consumers Hesitant
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/retail-sales-in-u-s-rebound-less-than-forecast-from-bad-weather
    -sn- The March rebound in U.S. retail sales was less impressive than economists forecast, signaling consumers are in no rush to spend the windfall from cheaper fuel prices.

    Purchases increased 0.9 percent, the first gain in four months, according to Commerce Department figures issued Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected retail sales would advance 1.1 percent. Other reports showed inflation is tame and small-business confidence ebbed.

    Americans are focused on using the savings at the gas pump to shore up finances even as employment and confidence firm and interest rates remain low. A boost in wage growth may be what’s needed to drive households to loosen their purse strings and spend more after unusually harsh weather slowed the economy in the first quarter.

    “The U.S. consumer is cautious and not ready to go on a shopping spree just because gas prices are lower,” said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, who correctly projected the retail sales gain. “Consumers seem to be paying down credit card debt or debt in general rather than spend what they save at the gas pump on other items.”
    (end quote)
    The great economic paradox is that if US consumers become more responsible and thrifty with money and debt the US and world economy TANKS!

    there is nothing US about the “great economic paradox.”
    one of the first things you learn in economics 101 is the paradox of savings.

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

  13. 13
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ – Didn’t Sid Vicious sneer IMF repeatedly in a song? Or was it EMI? Hmmm….

  14. 14

    RE: Blake @ – I wonder if they include bankruptcy discharges as part of the debt repayment, and thus as part of consumer saving? ;- (That means I’m only half serious.)

  15. 15

    SWE’s Financial Report for Q1 Finished

    Mar 0.16% 0.47% (1.57%) 1.24% (1.43%)
    YTD 0.47% 1.68% 0.97% 5.39% 5.70%
    Last 12 mo 2.19% 6.34% 12.82% 10.61% (0.61%)

    The order: long-term CDS, long-term bonds, American Stocks, Foreign Stocks and Foreign Stocks

    Lots of changes. Last 12 Month Investments Ruled by American Stocks. The YTD numbers for American Stocks are laggard [less than 1% for three months]. Is the mini-bear to attack the stock market in 2015? Not significantly YTD, but we still have Q2 – Q4 data to digest. Perhaps.

  16. 16

    RE: pfft @

    Yes Pfft

    I always wondered why they waited until economics in college to teach us the amortization calculation for principle and interest rates. Its just high school math anyway.

    Do they really want consumers educated in economics that they can plan life savings stretching?

  17. 17
    DrRick says:

    RE: pfft @
    pfft, You sound like Blurty…
    “Kill the Bankers!”
    Blurty, do you see this?

  18. 18
    Macro Investor says:

    By softwarengineer @ :

    RE: Blurtman @
    Enjoy the Trail and Solitude

    Actually, the solitude appears to have increased in Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area due to net migration out of the Seattle area….note the brown migration loss over our crowded limited land space reported 3/2014:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/census-domestic-migration-map-2014-3

    Good find SWE. I’ve decided to join the exodus. Enough traffic and overcrowding for me.

  19. 19
    Blurtman says:

    By pfft @ :

    By Blake @ there is nothing US about the “great economic paradox.”
    one of the first things you learn in economics 101 is the paradox of savings.

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

    ———
    >Similarly, after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush simply asked Americans for their “continued participation and confidence in the American economy.” <

    Do Americans have confidence in the American economy? On this website alone, fear of a RE bubble collapsing is routinely expressed. Record debt including the Fed being the largest holder of US Treasuries. Unprosecuted financial fraud. Revolving door between TBTF's and government. CEO's who presided over financial fraud at their institutions heading up the US Treasury. Corporate presidential candidates in bed with the TBTF's. Record student loan debt. Widening gap between the 1% and the 99%. It's a bad slow motion accident that onlookers are unable to prevent. Kabuki theater society. But keep shopping, everyone.

  20. 20
    pfft says:

    “On this website alone, fear of a RE bubble collapsing is routinely expressed.”

    oh well that just settles that doesn’t it?
    :)

    I’ve been following the stock market since 99. every month someone has a reason that the economy or stock market is going to tank. only somehow they hold assets that of course will sidestep or benefit from the crisis. always remember this, for every buyer there is a seller. for every person who thinks that a stock is going to tank or flatline there is someone who thinks the opposite. that’s what makes a market.

    I was watching a video the other day where Ron Paul said we were going to have a currency collapse. Almost none of the reasons were different than what you could have gleaned from his book that said the same thing. That book came out in 1980 or 1981! The same people that I read or listened to interviews of back in 2002 still have the exact same views! Ron Paul still thinks the dollar will collapse and commodities will soar. So does Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff. Same thing they’ve been saying for over a decade.

  21. 21
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ – Not even good straw men. Slacking. And recall what the market did in 2007-2008. And the TBTF’s are even larger.

  22. 22
    Blurtman says:

    Hillary is not anti-Wall Street: Steven Rattner

    It is untrue to say that Hillary Clinton is anti-Wall Street, former Obama aide Steven Rattner said Friday.

    “She has been someone who-I’m going to call her constructive on Wall Street- believes that Wall Street has a roll to play in the economy,” Rattner said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “She believes that our capital markets are the best in the world and have a role to play in our enormous success.” “In fact, she has shared more than one hot tub with Robert Rubin, and Hank Paulson, and sometimes both at the same time.”

    Clinton has recently raised concerns on Wall Street with comments that question whether it is fair for hedge fund managers and CEOs to pay a lower tax rate than the average wage-earning worker.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hillary-not-anti-wall-street-131814103.html
    ——-
    An endorsement from a criminal like Rattner must sooth the nerves of fellow cartel members. But Rattner is like the inmate who has copped a deal with the feds. He’ll say anything to stay out of the slammer.

    An upstanding Hillary endorser of sorts.

    “Rattner was accused of a “pay-to-play” scheme involving New York’s pension fund, in which Rattner’s Quadrangle allegedly gave kickbacks to officials if they directed state pension money to the fund.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/30/news/companies/cuomo_rattner_settlement/

  23. 23
  24. 24
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    Hillary is not anti-Wall Street: Steven Rattner

    It is untrue to say that Hillary Clinton is anti-Wall Street, former Obama aide Steven Rattner said Friday.

    “She has been someone who-I’m going to call her constructive on Wall Street- believes that Wall Street has a roll to play in the economy,” Rattner said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “She believes that our capital markets are the best in the world and have a role to play in our enormous success.” “In fact, she has shared more than one hot tub with Robert Rubin, and Hank Paulson, and sometimes both at the same time.”

    Clinton has recently raised concerns on Wall Street with comments that question whether it is fair for hedge fund managers and CEOs to pay a lower tax rate than the average wage-earning worker.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hillary-not-anti-wall-street-131814103.html
    ——-
    An endorsement from a criminal like Rattner must sooth the nerves of fellow cartel members. But Rattner is like the inmate who has copped a deal with the feds. He’ll say anything to stay out of the slammer.

    An upstanding Hillary endorser of sorts.

    “Rattner was accused of a “pay-to-play” scheme involving New York’s pension fund, in which Rattner’s Quadrangle allegedly gave kickbacks to officials if they directed state pension money to the fund.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/30/news/companies/cuomo_rattner_settlement/

    there really isn’t anything in those Hillary quotes that is bad or alarming. Hillary supports Dodd-Frank so she will get some but not a lot of Wall Street support. Since Dodd-Frank Wall Street has fallen out of favor with the Democrats.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @
    In 2005, Quadrangle made payments to private placement agent Hank Morris to help Quadrangle raise money for its second buyout fund. Morris had come highly recommended to Rattner from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. Morris was also the chief political advisor to Alan Hevesi, the New York State Comptroller and manager of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), which invests in many private equity funds. Morris told Rattner he could increase the size of the CRF investment in Quadrangle’s second buyout fund. Rattner agreed to pay Morris a placement fee of 1.1% of any investments greater than $25 million from the CRF.

    In 2009, Quadrangle and a dozen other investment firms, including the Carlyle Group, were investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for their hiring of Morris. The SEC viewed the payments as “kickbacks” in order to receive investments from the CRF since Morris was also a consultant to Hevesi. Quadrangle paid $7 million in April 2010 to settle the SEC investigation, and Rattner personally settled in November for $6.2 million without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.

    The case drew significant media attention when Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Attorney General, demanded more severe penalties from Rattner than any of the other firms or individuals who had hired Morris as a placement agent. Rattner was once a major fundraiser for Democratic Party candidates including Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, but Rattner had repeatedly passed on fundraising for Cuomo despite Cuomo’s past attempts to cultivate Rattner’s support.

    In an appearance on the Charlie Rose Show, Rattner asserted that hiring Morris as a placement agent was “legal then, legal now, and done properly.” He explained he was willing to settle on reasonable terms as he had done with the SEC, but questioned whether Cuomo was motivated by the “facts” of the case and called Cuomo’s demands “close to extortion.”

    On December 30, 2010, Rattner reached a settlement with Cuomo to pay $10 million in restitution but no fines or penalties. He was not prohibited from continuing to protest his innocence.

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

  27. 27
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    RE: pfft @
    In 2005, Quadrangle made payments to private placement agent Hank Morris to help Quadrangle raise money for its second buyout fund. Morris had come highly recommended to Rattner from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. Morris was also the chief political advisor to Alan Hevesi, the New York State Comptroller and manager of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), which invests in many private equity funds. Morris told Rattner he could increase the size of the CRF investment in Quadrangle’s second buyout fund. Rattner agreed to pay Morris a placement fee of 1.1% of any investments greater than $25 million from the CRF.

    In 2009, Quadrangle and a dozen other investment firms, including the Carlyle Group, were investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for their hiring of Morris. The SEC viewed the payments as “kickbacks” in order to receive investments from the CRF since Morris was also a consultant to Hevesi. Quadrangle paid $7 million in April 2010 to settle the SEC investigation, and Rattner personally settled in November for $6.2 million without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.

    The case drew significant media attention when Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Attorney General, demanded more severe penalties from Rattner than any of the other firms or individuals who had hired Morris as a placement agent. Rattner was once a major fundraiser for Democratic Party candidates including Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, but Rattner had repeatedly passed on fundraising for Cuomo despite Cuomo’s past attempts to cultivate Rattner’s support.

    In an appearance on the Charlie Rose Show, Rattner asserted that hiring Morris as a placement agent was “legal then, legal now, and done properly.” He explained he was willing to settle on reasonable terms as he had done with the SEC, but questioned whether Cuomo was motivated by the “facts” of the case and called Cuomo’s demands “close to extortion.”

    On December 30, 2010, Rattner reached a settlement with Cuomo to pay $10 million in restitution but no fines or penalties. He was not prohibited from continuing to protest his innocence.

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

    I don’t really care that Rattner endorsed Hillary.

  28. 28
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ – “I don’t really care that Rattner endorsed Hillary.”

    You lay down with dogs,…..

    Any truth to the rumor that Jon Corzine is being considered for her Treasury Secretary?

  29. 29
    Blurtman says:

    Have Large Scale Asset Purchases Increased Bank Profits?

    “Our findings are thus consistent with the hypothesis that the Federal Reserve undertook these policies, at least in part, to increase the profitability of their main constituency: the large banks.”

    http://ineteconomics.org/working-papers/papers/have-large-scale-asset-purchases-increased-bank-profits

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/04/federal-reserve-destroying-economic-future.html

  30. 30
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Blurtman @
    Also from your link:

    “GE: Here’s the interesting thing: the fact that QE and lowering interest rates almost to zero has worsened inequality, does not mean that raising interest rates will help reduce inequality. Economists have long known — and recent work by IMF economists supports this — that increases in interest rates normally worsen inequality, at least partly by reducing employment and wage growth.”

    Darned if you do; darned if you don’t.

  31. 31
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ – The banks deal in fictitious products, agreements basically, and so easily remedied using equally fictitious remedies. Real people frequently need to work in real jobs, and policies designed to benefit the banks will not remedy these problems, described to be significantly structural.

  32. 32
    whatsmyname says:

    Blurtman
    I cannot penetrate the meaning of your first sentence. As to the second, the structural biases predate and are outside the realm of Federal Reserve control. Whichever way the Fed moves, there will be more benefit (or less harm) to the monied class.

    This is a boon to Bolshis and Teapartiers alike, as they can both claim an anti-populist result of literally any action taken by the Fed. As a person of the working persuasion, I prefer the option of enriching the rich even more than myself over the option of impoverishing myself even more than the rich – and leave the question of economic justice to an area where some action might actually make a difference.

  33. 33
    Blurtman says:

    By whatsmyname @ :

    Blurtman
    I cannot penetrate the meaning of your first sentence.

    — Synthetic CDO’s would be a fine example. Absolute nonsense, but we had to make sure Goldman Sachs got paid for their bets and bail out AIG. But closer to home, any mortgage loan is fictitious as there is not money backing it. But as all banks are part of the cartel and can also issue fictitious paper, everyone plays along.

    As to the second, the structural biases predate and are outside the realm of Federal Reserve control.

    —Yes, true, and the low bandwidth Republicans obstructed efforts to utilize non-Fed resources.

    This is a boon to Bolshis and Teapartiers alike, as they can both claim an anti-populist result of literally any action taken by the Fed.

    — No link between the Fed bailing out banks and bankers and folks blaming the Fed for the lousy economy. The average joe doesn’t even come close to being able to reach that conclusion, but what the average joe does know is a two-tiered justice system and revolving door when he/she sees it.

    As a person of the working persuasion, I prefer the option of enriching the rich even more than myself over the option of impoverishing myself even more than the rich

    — false choices. See Pffft for bruising up on the lame straw man technique.

  34. 34
    whatsmyname says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    — Synthetic CDO’s would be a fine example. Absolute nonsense, but we had to make sure Goldman Sachs got paid for their bets and bail out AIG. But closer to home, any mortgage loan is fictitious as there is not money backing it. But as all banks are part of the cartel and can also issue fictitious paper, everyone plays along.

    1. Synthetic CDO’s are insurance. No money backing a mortgage? The borrower’s money is backing the mortgage. And the house is backing payment of that money if not forthcoming. These are forward looking contracts, much like the one that says your employer will pay you if you work. Perhaps that is fictitious for you as well, but our entire economy runs on little things like these. You know debt obligations, and the selling of debt obligations is only about 4,000 to 6,000 years old.

    —Yes, true, and the low bandwidth Republicans obstructed efforts to utilize non-Fed resources.

    2. I was pretty disappointed to see the government’s response to let main street burn, and rescue wall street. It was certainly the more expensive way to save wall street as well. It is what you would expect from ideologically driven disdain for helping the individual coupled with a desire always to help “business”. But the steps to help people, and stop the contagion early were not in the purview of the Fed.

    — No link between the Fed bailing out banks and bankers and folks blaming the Fed for the lousy economy. The average joe doesn’t even come close to being able to reach that conclusion, but what the average joe does know is a two-tiered justice system and revolving door when he/she sees it.

    3. To which I would repeat number 2, adding perhaps that while I thought the government too tepid in stabilizing the economy; many hungry bubbleheads took the opposite view, ready to sacrifice most anything for cheaper house prices. Most anyone can see the difference between tightening and accommodation.

    — false choices. See Pffft for bruising up on the lame straw man technique.
    4. Really? I took this point from your link. I posted it above, remember?
    Does easy money help asset prices, create inflation expectations, allow for more speculative investment and employment? Does tight money reduce asset prices, slow the economy, reduce employment opportunities?

  35. 35

    RE: Blurtman @
    Now you’ve gone and done it. Now I’ve got this disgusting image of Hillary, Robert Rubin, and Hank Paulson in a hot tub together.

  36. 36
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    RE: pfft @ – “I don’t really care that Rattner endorsed Hillary.”

    You lay down with dogs,…..

    Any truth to the rumor that Jon Corzine is being considered for her Treasury Secretary?

    still don’t care!

  37. 37
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    Have Large Scale Asset Purchases Increased Bank Profits?

    “Our findings are thus consistent with the hypothesis that the Federal Reserve undertook these policies, at least in part, to increase the profitability of their main constituency: the large banks.”

    http://ineteconomics.org/working-papers/papers/have-large-scale-asset-purchases-increased-bank-profits

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/04/federal-reserve-destroying-economic-future.html

    QE created hundreds of thousands of jobs.

  38. 38
    pfft says:

    By whatsmyname @ :

    RE: Blurtman @
    Also from your link:

    “GE: Here’s the interesting thing: the fact that QE and lowering interest rates almost to zero has worsened inequality, does not mean that raising interest rates will help reduce inequality. Economists have long known — and recent work by IMF economists supports this — that increases in interest rates normally worsen inequality, at least partly by reducing employment and wage growth.”

    Darned if you do; darned if you don’t.

    not really. I am ok with inequality is worsened at least temporarily if it means that things are stabilized or are made better when the economy is collapsing.

  39. 39
    pfft says:

    ” See Pffft for bruising up on the lame straw man technique.”

    how did I get dragged into this? please source any straw man claims:)

  40. 40
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: pfft @
    The point was that if you object to loosening because it favors the banks and the rich, (darned if you do); then you should be aware that tightening does the same, (darned if you don’t).

    Also, there was no straw man. The choices infer what they infer. Those inferences are not even a matter of dispute.

  41. 41
    pfft says:

    By whatsmyname @ :

    RE: pfft @
    The point was that if you object to loosening because it favors the banks and the rich, (darned if you do); then you should be aware that tightening does the same, (darned if you don’t).

    it doesn’t necessarily favor the rich or the banks. almost any policy that helps regular people is going to help the banks. same goes for just about any sector of the economy especially during a downturn.

  42. 42

    By pfft @

    :QE created hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    Wow! Hundreds of thousands of jobs! Too bad we need millions of jobs.

    (I say that not necessarily being opposed to QE. I’m just pointing out that’s a pretty lame response.)

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