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Tricky

Tricky
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  • Recovery isn't a complicated calculus: You can't have it until housing bounces back, and that won't happen until banks figure out a comfortable middle ground on lending - which means consumer debt is still the key issue, Fox's Dunstan Prial writes. Consumer spending is some 70% of the U.S. economy, and the average consumer has a debt-to-income ratio of 150%.  [View news story]
    LOL. Wyatt = Jonathan Swift, reincarnated.

    Now if that plague was designed to take out the elderly and long term unemployed... hmm... you might be onto something.
    Oct 8, 2011. 12:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Recovery isn't a complicated calculus: You can't have it until housing bounces back, and that won't happen until banks figure out a comfortable middle ground on lending - which means consumer debt is still the key issue, Fox's Dunstan Prial writes. Consumer spending is some 70% of the U.S. economy, and the average consumer has a debt-to-income ratio of 150%.  [View news story]
    Papaswamp -- what do you mean by "35% of work age people aren't working?"
    Oct 8, 2011. 11:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Recovery isn't a complicated calculus: You can't have it until housing bounces back, and that won't happen until banks figure out a comfortable middle ground on lending - which means consumer debt is still the key issue, Fox's Dunstan Prial writes. Consumer spending is some 70% of the U.S. economy, and the average consumer has a debt-to-income ratio of 150%.  [View news story]
    Two points.

    1. You forgot the primary way in which the supply could be mopped up -- lower prices.

    2. It has been shown over and over again that high-skilled immigrants CREATE jobs. They are quite prolific in starting new companies, especially in high-wage high-technology sectors. And if they have advanced degrees in engineering -- which Americans are pursuing in decreasing quantities -- how are they taking jobs away from Americans?
    Oct 8, 2011. 10:14 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany's Catastrophic Euro Mistake [View article]
    Well, yeah, all they have to do is institute some economic reforms. Fortunately, we can take that to the bank. I mean, look how long it took for the crowds to come out in the streets in Athens, or how long it took for Berlusconi to backtrack on his promises. But fortunately, I understand that they are now both willing to pinky-swear.

    You don't like the concept of "morality". Okay, how about "credibility"? Does that have a place in financial markets? Of course it does, it's one of the bedrocks of credit markets.
    Oct 7, 2011. 09:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany's Catastrophic Euro Mistake [View article]
    Hello. By the way, I did find it a useful and thought-provoking article, although we may have some different views on things.

    My overall point is this -- ALL choices going forward involve massive pain. It's just a matter of what form you choose. I fully agree that austerity makes things worse for Greece in the short term (maybe even the medium term). The Greek populace is resisting any sort of reform, even with a sword hanging over them. What makes anyone think they will reform if they get bailed out? They've spent most of their modern history in default. While I agree in principal that "short term expansionary + mid/long term reform" would be the best approach, any commitment from Greece to deliver on the 2nd part of that plan simply isn't credible.

    So yes, a Greek default will inflict massive pain. But if they get bailed out, they will simply keep sucking Germany dry in perpetuity, they will never reform. Much better to cut them loose.
    Oct 4, 2011. 09:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany's Catastrophic Euro Mistake [View article]
    Yes, it's all the Germans' fault -- that Greeks are unproductive, don't pay taxes, refuse to cooperate with any new programs to try to collect taxes, want to stop working at 52 on full pension after a perilous and strenuous career as a hair stylist, and spend like drunken sailors. While the Germans came to a grand bargain with the unions to become more competitive.

    Much better for the Germans to suck it up and take away ANY leverage for Greece to reform, right.

    If the Germans pay up, what makes you think we won't be right back in the same spot again? The pain IS coming. It's just a matter of what form and who gets the bills. So Germany can either take the pain now, or continue on funding the Greek parasite in perpetuity.
    Oct 4, 2011. 09:17 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pres. Obama says he will offer an announcement “in the next day or so” on sending trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress after years of delay. The agreements will be considered in tandem with a scaled-back version of the Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides extended unemployment benefits to workers displaced by globalization.  [View news story]
    Well, he doesn't have a ranch to clear brush on, so the golf course will have to do
    Oct 3, 2011. 04:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China suspends more than 80% of existing railroad construction projects in the wake of July's fatal high-speed rail crash and last week's collision on Shanghai's line. Safety is an obvious concern, but the alarming debt load of the Railway Ministry weighs as well. "Almost all banks have stopped lending for railway construction," according to a source.  [View news story]
    DVW -- no, I have never been to China. That said, I can't help but marvel at the number of accounts similar to yours. Including MULTIPLE totally empty cities.
    Oct 2, 2011. 08:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China suspends more than 80% of existing railroad construction projects in the wake of July's fatal high-speed rail crash and last week's collision on Shanghai's line. Safety is an obvious concern, but the alarming debt load of the Railway Ministry weighs as well. "Almost all banks have stopped lending for railway construction," according to a source.  [View news story]
    Exactly.
    Oct 2, 2011. 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As expected, Greece's Parliament passes a law allowing new property taxes. The tax will be assessed on citizens' electricity bills, thus making them subject to losing utility service if left unpaid. However, workers at the state electric company have said they would not enforce such action.  [View news story]
    So they don't want to work past 52. Or pay taxes. But I assume they still want the Germans' money?
    Sep 27, 2011. 09:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A greater threat to Greek stability than rioters and strikers are the reserved members of the growing "We won't pay" movement. Self-employed and middle-class, these people are beginning to refuse to pay "charatzi" - taxes levied without justification. "Financial resistance has now become the supreme civic duty."  [View news story]
    Indeed. Gawd, cut them loose
    Sep 23, 2011. 10:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Our version of subprime ... is lending to local authorities," says Cheng Siwei, former deputy speaker of the People's Congress in China. The bill is near due as monetary tightening is putting the squeeze on thousands of companies set up by local governments to circumvent Beijing's control over finances. "Everybody assumes that they will be bailed out ... but I disagree with this."  [View news story]
    Full disclosure -- I have never even been to China and wouldn't pretend to know what's going on there. That said, from the outside, when I keep reading things like this, it certainly makes me go "hmm, better watch this space".
    Sep 18, 2011. 11:23 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Trade With Rest Of World Is Always Balanced [View article]
    Your update was just as stupid as the original article. You are celebrating America buying goods and either incurring more debt or selling equity in things to finance these purchases as "good".
    Sep 15, 2011. 11:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "American leadership in aerospace and defense is being threatened by forces in Congress and the administration," says a coalition of manufacturers attempting to sink their teeth into the supercommittee. Defense spending- not including multiple wars - has doubled to more than $500B annually in the 10 years since 9/11.  [View news story]
    Neil, you make some good points, and thanks for expanding upon your earlier post.

    I would similarly propose there is LOTS of defense spending we DON'T need. I agree in cutting intelligently. But there's plenty of stuff that can go. Even programs that the military itself doesn't even want but is forced on them by house and senate members of BOTH parties.

    Cheers.
    Sep 14, 2011. 08:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "France and Germany are convinced Greece's future is in the eurozone," goes part of a joint statement by Merkozy after a conference call with George Papandreou, in which the Greek leader reiterated "his government's determination to take all necessary measures to meet targets."  [View news story]
    ... but this time I really mean it...
    Sep 14, 2011. 07:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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