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  • Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig - the central bank’s longest serving policy maker - says the real problem facing our economy is bad debt, and a quick-fix monetary policy isn't the cure-all. He asserts that if we don’t turn our focus to the long run, "we will be dealing with overnight crises for as far as the eye can see.”  [View news story]
    “What’s the fundamental problem?” Hoenig said. “Is the fundamental problem a yield curve issue? Or is the fundamental problem that the United States and world have too much debt?”

    That kind of talk can get you branded as a racist teabagger in some circles...
    Aug 25 09:30 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Banks may be facing "headwinds," but the notion that they're "zombies" is "hogwash," JPMorgan Chase's (JPM -3,3%) Jamie Dimon says; it's a bank's job to run its business in any market condition. He criticizes Obama for a lack of "consistent, coherent policy" but is "thrilled" Geithner is staying on at Treasury - and no, he's not interested in the job.  [View news story]
    I don't know if we should trust Dimon... he was drooling and making guttural groaning sounds after the interview...
    Aug 10 01:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • First Solar: A Strong Company in an Uncertain Environment [View article]
    Behind every good solar farm is the gas-fired power plant it takes to stabilize it. Remember kids: the sun doesn't shine at night.
    Aug 5 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forget Greece - The Market Isn't Pricing in a U.S. Default [View article]
    Let's get real people. A casual read of contemporary history (i.e. news from my lifetime) shows that we faced the same situation not once, but twice, during 1995 and 1996. The government actually shut down, even. Guess what: the United States is still a going concern. No massive restructuring, no soup lines, no open borders or Mad Max mayhem. Just the good old deficit-running juggernaut that we've come to know and love.

    Now if the United States was a land full of tax cheats, say, like Italy or Greece, then there might be a problem. Side note: a tax loophole is a mistake in the tax code. It isn't a loophole if, say, the CEO of GE bribes Congress to put it there. In Greece and Italy, you "honest to goodness" tax evasion on a national scale. People blatantly and illegally underreport income, from taxi drivers to doctors. Depending on the time of year, Greece can't even collect enough tax revenue to make interest payments. Default is a much greater possibility there. That is why you see much higher interest rates and CDS spreads for Greek debt.
    Jul 19 09:41 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After Bin Laden, Financial Day of Reckoning Looms [View article]
    I hate to say it, but pulling out of the Middle East - we will still be running a deficit north of $1T/yr.
    May 2 03:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eurozone finance minister chair Jean-Claude Juncker wags his finger at the Greek government, after its deficit to GDP ratio comes in around 9.5%, far higher than the 8% target. What is he going to do? Force a bigger bailout on them?  [View news story]
    Yes, to quote braintrust Joe Biden, "if we don't spend more money, we'll go bankrupt!"
    Apr 8 10:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rep. Paul Ryan releases a new deficit reduction proposal that claims to cut $5.8T in spending over the next decade and includes major changes to Medicare and Medicaid. These problems won't get fixed because (choose one): A. they're unworkable; or B. politicians and voters don't have the stomach for such deep cuts.  [View news story]
    No, rather he would stop Octomom from grossing up her welfare pay by having 14 children. Many Scandinavian countries limit welfare payments to 2 children. More children, no more money. Maybe we should learn from our "socialist" brethren.
    Apr 5 07:56 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rep. Paul Ryan releases a new deficit reduction proposal that claims to cut $5.8T in spending over the next decade and includes major changes to Medicare and Medicaid. These problems won't get fixed because (choose one): A. they're unworkable; or B. politicians and voters don't have the stomach for such deep cuts.  [View news story]
    Fact-check time. From Wikipedia: "The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated US$323 billion." GDP of Australia (CIA World Factbook): $1.22 trillion (2010 est.) Maybe they got the numbers backwards???

    To use the same logic that justified the $787B stimulus bill, that $323B will create thousands of jobs, increase innovation and grow the economy. Allowing an inbred Downeaster to heat up his trailer with the front door wide open, not so much.

    But seriously, there should be cuts across the board. The alternate F35 engine is a waste of money, as is extending the C-17 transport contract, both supported by, ironically, Democrats in Congress. Changing Medicare and Medicaid so that we don't lose $600B during the next ten years due to fraud alone sounds like a great idea too.
    Apr 5 07:44 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors: The Apple of EV Car Makers [View article]
    The Apple of EV car makers? I can only drive 25 miles on one charge, but I don't care. It has a nice steering wheel!
    Apr 1 04:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America: Rubbernecking at Euro Pileup But Still Going 1,000 mph to Its Own Crash [View article]
    Sorry man, the word 'Euro' in the title refers to Europe, not the currency of the same name. Although you could argue that Great Britain, the subject of a large part of the story, does not like to consider itself to be European.
    Mar 29 12:33 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Syrian security personnel come down hard on protesters in the southern town of Darra, killing at least 15 over the past day. Activists are calling for massive protests across the country on Friday, a day to be called "Dignity Friday."  [View news story]
    Hopefully it won't be 'Death with Dignity Friday'.
    Mar 23 04:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Elizabeth Warren's trip to Capitol Hill last week, Republicans were hoping that "if they threw enough mud, some of it would stick," Paul Krugman writes. "Nothing could be worse, from the point of view of bankers and the politicians who serve them, than to have consumers protected by someone who knows what she’s doing and has the personal credibility to stand up to pressure."  [View news story]
    Yeah, informing people about their credit card interest rates is going to prevent the next financial meltdown...
    Mar 21 05:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Economists' answer to Inside Job: a code of ethical standards. MIT's David Autor: "Certainly the implication of the movie was that people were selling their academic reputations to further the interests of moneyed individuals and institutions."  [View news story]
    Will Krugman accept a code of ethics, or remain silent?
    Dec 31 02:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NYC's failed storm response has become Mayor Bloomberg's Katrina, Paul Krugman says, accusing the city's administration of failing to take weather warnings seriously. Krugman may be unaware that some of the slow snow job appears to have been caused by union protests over budget cuts.  [View news story]
    I'd like to see Krugman out shoveling snow. Doubt he would lift a finger himself. As Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ..." Now these days it's "I'd like that stimulus in 10s and 20s."
    Dec 30 11:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia (NOK -0.7%) is pushing "intercept" ads that appear when a user of a Motorola (MOT -0.8%) Razr phone surfs the web from their handset. Nokia isn't alone using this technique, which shows how the wireless market "is saturated, and pretty cutthroat." With luck, the ads will catch a user whose contract is expiring.  [View news story]
    It is appropriate that they would target Razrs. Nokia's steadfast commitment to the Symbian operating system puts it squarely in 2005.

    But seriously, many of their low-end phones are nicely crafted. They could make a play in the US again if they could tout the monthly contract savings of using a dumb phone without requiring a data package. Something like "less is more." Not sure if any carrier would like that though...
    Dec 27 12:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment