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  • Pres. Obama's budget underestimates federal deficits by $2.3T over the coming decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. His budgets would produce deficits totaling $9.5T over 10 years rather than his expected $7.2T. Chief reason for the discrepancy: Obama uses rosier economic assumptions.  [View news story]
    It's ok, as former RNC chairman Michael Steele explained to us, the CBO lies and is a tool of the government which controls what it can say. So no point caring about what the CBO says since they are liars.
    Mar 18, 2011. 06:26 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama will ask Congress next week to approve a six-year, $53B program for construction of a national high-speed and intercity rail network. GE Transportation President Lorenzo Simonelli, whose company is the leading manufacturer of diesel electric locomotives, welcomes the plan.  [View news story]
    Wow everyone playing politics on this post, hilarious.

    Go ahead and hate on O, but the fact remains this is an INFRASTRUCTURE initiative which translates to AMERICAN jobs.

    Everyone talks about how China mostly sidestepped the global recession while forgetting it did it by investing in domestic infrastructure projects to keep the engines running.

    Not to mention the fact transportation of goods by rail is cheaper by orders of magnitude than truck, and far more efficient.

    Or wait, let private initiatives do it so we have a fragmented half-assed, hodge podge mishmash of incompatible and partially built out networks, there's a grand idea for a national; plan.

    China embarrasses us by building out the highest speed rail system in the world, the biggest and tallest bridges and SA commenters whine about losing their tax dollars. Woe to us, once upon a time we didn't want to lose the space race now we are desperate to hang onto to entitlements, nickels and dimes, and the crumbs that fall off the oligarchs tables.

    Fall America, fall, here let me give you a push in the right direction, kick out the dude in the big white house...

    Yeah go ahead and thumb me down if it makes you feel better, but you hate America if you do.
    Feb 8, 2011. 08:17 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Greece Matters ... To Everyone [View article]
    That's an image problem brought on by lack of clarity in the reporting of how Greece got where it is.

    It's not Greeks who created the problem, but a systemic corruption of the upper echelon of politico-elites who abused the currency and created an overextended bureaucracy with way too many public employees who were handsomely rewarded for voting and maintaining the status quo...

    A cycle which should have ended under the Euro but was maintained for a further decade via obfuscation and creative accounting.

    Greece actually has a highly educated, highly skilled, competent workforce but the size of the public service sector and the compensation for what little work was asked of them + guaranteed employment made entrepreneurialism and business investment seem a waste of time.

    Interestingly, dismantling this wasteful beast that led Greece to this eventuality is GREAT for the country, and IMF involvement is too (if it manages to annihilate the amazing excess and waste in the public sector).
    May 4, 2010. 10:36 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How PHEVs and EVs Will Sabotage America's Drive for Energy Independence [View article]
    Considering my wife drives less than 10 miles to work, my wife would never need to use gas if we had a Volt. How does the Prius compare favorably in that regard as per oil/fuel consumption? I don't understand the logic.

    Additionally, your whole premise is that we seem to be 'wasting' resources on developing PHEVs when we could be investing in HEVs? Since the batteries going into non-Priuses could be going into Priuses?

    Why not let the market determine this?

    Also your comment that the industry 'could' switch to entirely HEV in a decade... i believe Mercedes expects to be fully hybridized by 2015, and new CAFE standards will make a lot of companies follow suit.

    Also... batteries are not finite... almost every auto manufacturer has a battery production facility in the works... and lithium is far more ubiquitous than a lot of other commodities...

    One final point... most Americans didn't know what a Prius was before $4/gallon gas, and $4/gal gas has permanently changed American perceptions of what constitutes a viable commuter car. Regardless of Prius' 10 yr track record, it's maybe in the last 2 it ever interested anyone but the fringe. I also submit that Nissan has built pure EVs as long as 30 years ago, but the tech to do so and appeal to the mainstream didn't exist until recently.

    EVs are hardly a new phenomenon, but much like YouTube would not have succeeded in the mid 90s when most folks were on dialup, EVs didn't have much raison d'etre before pretty recently.

    I don't know seems like a lot of hyperbole and bluster in the post.
    Aug 26, 2009. 12:16 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Pain In Store For Greek Equities As Syriza Party Holds Firm On Anti-Austerity [View article]
    Not sure how closely you follow Greece, but Samaras won the election in large part in -spite- of his support of the bailouts which were widely unpopular, and in another large part because Tsipras had certain positions unrelated to the bailouts which were also largely unpopular.

    What's changed is that Samaras has imposed austerity in an autocratic and very non-transparent way. He's made almost no real reforms, bent over backward to accommodate foreign demands on the Greek people without fixing any of the issues that actually plague the economy, like onerous regulation and an environment that does not encourage and FDI since it is virtually impossible for foreign investors to make money under the current regulatory regime.

    In the meantime Tsipras has walked back much of his more unpopular rhetoric - which had nothing to do with bailouts - and maintained his position on renegotiating the terms of the bailouts which any casual observer will quickly admit haven't helped at all because the terms sucked.

    Further, Tsipras has backed off his Euro-currency exit position which makes a big deal and seems to have gone virtually unnoticed by most observers, and Samaras continues to be widely viewed as a puppet for the bailout providers and not the 'voice of the people'.

    Greece will not recover until an authority is elected with the will to enact changes that will fix the horrible regulatory environment. Since Greece has entered the Euro and even more so post bail-outs, it has become MORE beholden to greater European economy than it was before. Greeks consume far more European goods than they did in 2000, and this appears to be structural. Yet Greeks continue to be unable to export or create financial activity, and this in my view is because of the centuries-old merchant traditions which have been rendered obsolete by the globalization of economies.

    What I mean is that Greece will continue to struggle under a "trade-imbalance" inside the currency union which will continue to siphon capital out of the country and continue to make Greeks poorer and poorer until some mechanism is devised of fixing this. And since the regulatory environment doesn't encourage FDI, and most of the remaining capital has either been taxed or fled out of the country, the endgame looks bad for the Greeks.
    Dec 30, 2014. 10:43 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel (INTC -1%) spikes lower on a Bloomberg report that Apple (AAPL +1.3%) is thinking of abandoning the use of Intel's CPUs within Macs in favor of internally-developed, ARM-based processors such as the ones that power its iOS hardware. Similar reports have been around for a while[View news story]
    Apple: back on the road to "proprietary everything" that caused it to fail the last time.

    It's pretty clear that intel hardware and Windows interoperability is one of the biggest momentum drivers its had. Abandoning that which is inevitable, will lead it to failure.
    Nov 5, 2012. 04:12 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the U.S. better off than four years ago? When it comes to energy, Duke Energy (DUK) CEO Jim Rogers says yes: "Are we better off in terms of efficiency? We see per-home usage of electricity declining… We [have had] two license[s] for nuclear plants issued. We have abundant supply of natural gas at low prices... [In] the various ways to generate electricity, we’re better off today." [View news story]
    I've made this point before:

    Do you know what your computer consumed 10 years ago? Wattage wise.

    Or your TV. Or better yet, how any pre-2000 refrigerator, boiler or hot water heater compares to anything modern?

    What the average SEER rating of an a/c was 10 years ago? Or how much wattage it consumed?

    I'll help, since well, I am making a point and want to continue....

    It's less. In some cases, 50% r more less.

    Efficiency is a big part of declining US energy consumption.

    Another large part of the picture is growth in solar, in particular by corporates. Part of that was encouraged and initiated under the Bush administration and carried on under the Obama adminstration (federal, state, county and utility level tax breaks, reverse metering regulation, etc etc)

    I guess that doesn't necessarily prove standards of living have risen, but I'd say it doesn't indicate they've fallen either.
    Sep 4, 2012. 02:03 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Americans now work for the government than in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities - combined. Stephen Moore: "We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers."  [View news story]
    "“We have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society,” said Sen. John McCain"

    About the 2000-2008 years.

    Sure let's compare it with 2008-2011, but do you really think its appropriate to cut out the expansion of the Bush era?
    Apr 1, 2011. 07:36 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • John Boehner takes the gavel from Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, but now it's time to govern, and Republicans are already forced to scale back plans for deep spending cuts. When House leaders said highway and mass-transit programs shouldn't be shielded from cuts, they immediately drew fire from states, the construction industry and the Chamber of Commerce.  [View news story]
    What is also true is that regardless of what they can or cannot do, they successfully manipulated the public into believing that they would do big things and it took a NY minute for them to say 'well hold on a minute..."

    What a disgrace.

    If they didn't know they couldn't make the cuts, then they are so incompetent as to be unworthy of office. If they did know they couldn't make the cuts, they are liars and crooks and also unworthy of office.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:11 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Lights, Global Floods, Australian Coal [View article]
    I should point out that even though US energy consumption has been going down, it is also due in part to the export of manufacturing to the very emerging markets growing their consumption.

    the point being, let's not break our arms patting ourselves on our collective backs for our reductions when we may just have shifted our consumption.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:07 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Net neutrality rules are hardly a "threat to freedom" - they're a toothless compromise crafted with the goal of winning the approval of corporate interests, Timothy Karr writes. Indeed, nearly all affected stocks rose today. ISPs and wireless carriers: CMCSA +1.5%, VZ +0.6%, T -0.2%, TWC +0.9%, S +0.9%. Content streamers: NFLX +4.6%, GOOG +1.3%, AMZN +0.8%.  [View news story]
    "Instead of a rule to protect Internet users' freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola - letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road."

    It doesn't appear to be a net neutrality rule effectively at all.

    Another step backwards as the US favors the oligarchs. China becomes more US as US becomes more Chinese.
    Dec 21, 2010. 07:56 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The European emergency fund, billed as having the financial firepower to douse a financial crisis in the euro zone, may not have enough money to cover a bailout of Spain. If Spain needs a bailout, the fund "will be precarious and it won't leave anything for anybody else," a World Bank official says.  [View news story]
    Because if I owe you 100,000, I have a problem, but if I owe you 100,000,000, you have the problem.
    Nov 24, 2010. 06:29 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sure It’s Legal … But Is It Right? [View article]
    Part of the problem is we have a weak political system in the US, there is no "party line" like in most other representative democracies.

    Although it is good in that disparate areas of the country and more accurately represented the inability for a party to force its constituent members to vote around a party policy is problematic.

    This is why the lobby system is both so outrageously huge as well as disproportionately powerful - lobbyists can target members of the houses and encourage them not to follow the presidents policy.

    So any and all legislation handed down gets diluted and watered down and weakened so it's not what is was meant to be when it was conceived.

    Sure certain folks may have the political will to promote change, but good luck getting meaningful legislation through both houses even when your "party" controls both. Money talks and lobbyists have lots of it.
    Sep 2, 2009. 02:41 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Income favorites ponder the idea of rate hikes [View news story]
    These have moved pretty hard up over the last few weeks, so this isn't too surprising.
    Feb 6, 2015. 10:26 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lower oil prices could provide $1T global stimulus [View news story]
    For one... 'millions' is an exaggeration... and for another the employment of one small sub-sector of the economy pales in the face of.... well the entire rest of the economy...
    Oct 18, 2014. 10:26 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment