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  • The Hidden Depression of the 2000s  [View article]
    Economists like Bernanke seem happy just to see low interest rates, scads of fiat money and spending. Doesn't matter enough to them all the misallocation they have built since WWII with their policies, which have had such awful long-term effects that it sure appears to some, that it's main purpose has been fraud and theft.
    They have enabled unaffodable, bloated government, Wall St. and grossly inefficient healthcare sectors which are bleeding us dry, along with the other propped failures government now runs. These sectors have grown so large and influential, it seems the only question what the policy mix and timeframe of inevitable default will be and what this once prosperous, free country will look like after all the debasement runs its course.
    Maybe there is another "recovery" here anyway. James Grant writes in the weekend WSJ he thinks an unexpectedly strong snapback is possible. That, to me, would only enhance the crony power of already bloated nonproductive sectors and our march to serfdom.
    Sep 20, 2009. 06:43 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bulls Are Wrong About Our Economic Recovery  [View article]
    Those you hope will come up with "smart spending" are too busy re-inflating the old bubble economy. Propping up failures. Running countless $trillions of debt, on and off-budget.
    We ran up unprecedented debt during "prosperity." Doubling down on more of the same is the plan. Good luck finding "change," let alone "change you can believe in."
    Sep 17, 2009. 08:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Regulatory Reform: The Political Calculus  [View article]
    Wall St. reform seems as much an afterthought to Obama as the social utility of financial innovation to Main St. is to Wall St. and Washington. It's down the list as Living4Dividends points out, and Wall St. likely has any threat from it well in hand.
    Wall St.'s innovations help in symbiosis with Washington to keep the bloated government game going even after the meltdown of consumer credit. Even after multi-$trillion bailouts of Wall St. Even though Washington now provides 90% of mortgages. What was that about the social utility of Wall St.?
    Solvency, which can only be produced via goods and services sold at a profit, is not a priority. Reform efforts sure look like CYA to me, I hope I'm wrong.
    Sep 17, 2009. 08:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Regulatory Reform: The Political Calculus  [View article]
    The financial system serves the political economy well with fruits of their skills in financial innovation. The financial sector invents the "liquidity" that barely touches on the distant memory of solvency, which can only come from a private economy selling products and services buyers want at a profit.
    I have taken a more pessimistic read on our prospects for real reform. But I hope you are right.
    Sep 16, 2009. 09:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can the Market Stay Irrational Longer than the Fed Can Stay Solvent?  [View article]
    Thanks for the reminder of what those fools were saying to "justify" TARP and the like. And mark to magic accounting. That valuations are temporarily disconnected from their true, astronomical levels.
    While doing it, banks keep their bailout money away from Main St. and the government supplies all the support that business from a growing Main St. once did. And supplies all the mortgage lending, period.
    Awaiting a return to "rationality." The problem is, these decisionmakers get fortunes, win or lose, and taxpayers are stuck with the tab. I don't see how Main St. is supposed to bounce back and supply support to assets priced to to bubble-era levels in an economy that has a hangover from historic overlending and is losing jobs.
    Sep 16, 2009. 05:23 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Simple Economics of Student Loan Crises  [View article]
    Anthony B: Thanks!
    Sep 15, 2009. 04:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Simple Economics of Student Loan Crises  [View article]
    Anthony B: If your figures about income were correct, my daughters, who were near the top of their classes, would be going to school for nearly free. You couldn't be farther from the truth.
    Where did that information come from? I think I would have known.
    Sep 15, 2009. 02:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial Reform: Keep Dreaming  [View article]
    The Fed website says our national wealth went from 62 $trillion to 50 $trillion in two years. We've bailed out Wall St. directly, 2 $trillion. 8 $trillion in additional guarantees for "quasi"-government agencies like, FRE and FNM. About 1-1/2 $trillion average deficits in Washington, next 10 years, not counting "off balance-sheet" items. Trade deficits of over 1/2 $trillion/year. States and municipalities are getting 20+% lower tax receipts. Government pension crisis is becoming acute. Social Security and Medicare are 60 $trillion unfunded liabilities. Incumbents overwhelmingly reelected.
    It takes a lot to get the attention of the American public.
    Sep 15, 2009. 10:41 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Interview: Congressman Alan Grayson Demands Important Answers from the Fed  [View article]
    The wealth of the US has gone from 62 to 50 $trillion in about two years. Remember too, that we handed out 2 $trillion in Wall St. bailouts and the annual deficit level has risen an additional predicted $trillion/year for the next 10 years. Plus taxpayers assumed an additional explicit liability of 8 $trillion to backstop quasi-government entities like FNM and FRE. Add the 20% reduction in most tax receipts, the mushrooming municipal/state deficits, looming pension crises in same and of course, predicted 60 $trillion Social Security and Medicare deficits. Joblessness is exploding. I'd say we're broke.
    Sep 15, 2009. 09:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Simple Economics of Student Loan Crises  [View article]
    You forgot to mention the fact that government subsidy, indirect or not, has freed up schools to drive up tuition inordinately. Which has mooted much of the effort to get loans to students who routinely enter life as debt slaves. And afflicts parents who have tried to save for college education for their kids.
    It's a great example that gets student's attention, no doubt.
    Sep 15, 2009. 09:43 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Chimerica's Demise Take Down Global Economy?  [View article]
    Like government programs that feature inordinate costs for crumbs of benefit, the exploitive, unsustainable "trade" we've had that shamelessly trades our once-respected paper for goods gave us good deals at Walmart but royal status and wealth to the elites.
    The borrower is slave to the lender, according to the Bible. The elites have theirs and and will continue their arrogant, exploitive ways for as long as they have the power to.
    The developments in our country, for a long time, and the bailouts of powerful failure as our first response to major crisis points reveals the utter corruption of decision-making in the US. This article points out well the advanced state of crisis we're in with China.
    Sep 15, 2009. 09:25 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil Upsets Economists with Decision on In-House Drilling Rigs  [View article]
    The economists who slam Brazil probably normalize any number of practices that our unsustainable economic model festoons. The US is a people who vote for all manner of suits to handle everything despite track records almost universally wanting. Like, Americans who want their McMansion and SUV's, but they're green because they voted for carbon caps. And favor useless behavior generally: Makework for suits, like the Depts. of Energy and Education that have spent probably 1 $trillion since their inceptions to accomplish nothing towards their goals.
    Useless make-work that enslaves others is financially and environmentally unsound, wasteful, damaging, unsustainable. All we have to do in this country is come to our senses and live within our means. The damage we do to the rest of the world that creates blowback, and hatred would diminish enormously.
    I think Brazil appears to be on the right track in their enlightened self-interest. To develop their country in a sensible way that avoids the rampant exploitation that afflicts Mexico, Venezuela, the North Sea and probably most developed oilfields.
    Sep 15, 2009. 08:56 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama's Speech: The Good News  [View article]
    "If taxpayers ever have to step in to prevent a second Great Depression, the financial industry will have to pay the taxpayer back--every cent."
    So, the last, what, 11 $trillion in bailouts and explicit taxpayer backstops don't count?
    I'm sure they're quaking now!
    Sep 14, 2009. 02:54 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank of America / SEC: Rakoff Throws Down the Gauntlet  [View article]
    "BAC has refused to answer that question and the SEC doesn't think it has the leverage to force it out of them." Washington has given $trillions to Wall St. and accounting-rule gifts, and can't seem to get any reform. Imagine how pitiful and powerless our government would look if they couldn't keep throwing money and gifts at Wall St.
    Sep 14, 2009. 02:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tire Trade War Escalates  [View article]
    Obama seem to be building a record of incompetence and cluelessness that makes me look at Jimmy Carter with a bit of nostalgia. And, in no small part due to Obama, we will look at the 70's with nostalgia as our real economic situation was incomparably better then as was Jimmy Carter's administration.
    Sep 14, 2009. 07:52 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment