Monthly Archives: April 2011

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Alas, A Graph

Eye popping,

I find it interesting that we are spending twice as much for defense as we did to defeat the Soviet Union in the cold war, to chase some guy with a beard in a cave. Not that I think UBL is actually living in Bora Bora anymore, but perhaps the French Riviera, who knows besides his hair dresser?

I’m not sure people remember that during the cold war we maintained a posture that allowed us to fight WWII, a war on two fronts. I’m not sure that we need to make grandma eat cat food to sustain it either.

via by via.

The Decline And Fall Of Capitalism

How the West was lost will take longer to digest than to read. The major problem with resolving this is the politicians are being “paid” not to see it.

via

“Paid,” as in, defined.

It’s Bush’s Fault

I guess,

“I’m glad we had the tax relief that created the opportunity that helped us pay for and stabilize the economy during that tough time,” Rehberg said, according to the newspaper. Rehberg said that the federal government should take the blame in the collapse of the housing bubble, according to the newspaper.

“Is it the banker’s fault, the homebuilder’s fault, the Realtor’s fault, the purchaser’s fault?” Rehberg asked. “We have a tendency to ignore the government’s action that helped create the meltdown in the financial market (by promoting the idea that) everybody deserved an opportunity to be in a house, even if you can’t afford it. You can’t blame the banker, the homebuilder and the Realtor, when the government is encouraging the action that created the meltdown that occurred.”

Of course some might argue it was a credit bubble, not a housing bubble, and be more correct in doing so, but what does that have to do with understanding macro-economics?

Unsettling Economic Facts

Come from all quarters. I’m never surprised when I disagree with differing schools of economists, and other than the larger observation that it’s jobs, stupid, I’m not offering any economic advice,

Bloomberg reports: “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and other 14 other investment banks face a European Union antitrust probe into credit-default swaps for companies and sovereign debt, regulators said. …The European Commission said it opened two antitrust probes. It will check whether 16 bank dealers colluded by giving market information to Markit, a financial information provider.”

The rest of the post could have been written by other economists that I read too. When I used to have a blog roll, I listed all the various economists that I read, though not all of them since some of them weren’t blogging or had moved into different fields, like Krugman and Atrios. But I have a pretty eclectic list of economists because unlike politics, where I alone have all of the solutions, I don’t think one school is correct all of the time about everything. What I look for are facts about the past and current situations from all of them, and then I weigh their solutions as they present them to the situation at hand, in relation to historical situations that had some similar causes and effects.

Job creation is the critical path. Period. Unless economic self interest includes national suicide, which given the current disjunct may very well be result if not the plan. It is of no use to propose solutions to future problems when you cannot solve the current ones at hand, and the rhetoric masking the dereliction of duty for political and economic self interests has never, and will never, change the fundamental variables of the equation.

There is no conspiracy in applying the lessons of the past to problems of the now, it is merely stating the obvious that the narrow interest do not wish to hear, or are incapable of confronting due to their own defects in character or thinking, of which historical forces take no note..

Let The Good Times Roll

McGoodLord!

This is what the US economy has been reduced to: McDonalds reports that as part of its employment event to hire 50,000 minimum wage, part-time (mostly) workers, subsequently raised to 62,000 it received a whopping 1 million applications, or a Tim Geithner jealousy inducing 6.2% hit rate (h/t X. Kurt. Osis). Alas, the US economy is now so pathetic that the bulk of the population will settle for anything. Literally anything. And the saddest part: over 938,000 applicants were turned away. Here’s hoping to Burger King needs a few million janitors in the immediate future too. And yes, aside from reality, things in America are really recovering quite nicely.

The insurance! The tickets to the ball game! The college fund! The cat food!!!!

Rin$e & Repeat

Long term outlook for short term thinking.

Paul Farrell notes that “Many, many experts did predict and warn of the 2008 meltdown years in advance.” Yet it seems that business, finance and political leaders ALWAYS fail to see the next collapse coming. Why is that?

Also, too. Gleck Trump

Duly Noted

Thought this was worth passing along

Office documents can contain metadata such as names, storage locations and version information about the software used to create them. An attacker can exploit this information for targeted attacks. The free tool Foca shows how talkative a company’s downloadable documents are.

Because computer security begins with uh, you.

Interesting work arounds, or you can download the tools.

Oh Yeah, Important Stuff

Some royals in a foreign land are getting married, and the President has a birth certificate.

When Republicans Finally Snap

The hidden things the heartland doesn’t know about the conservatives.

But they did keep grandma off of state supported cat food.

Beating The Tom-Toms

WTF?

Navigation device maker TomTom has apologized for supplying driving data collected from customers to police to use in catching speeding motorists.

The data, including historical speed, has been sold to local and regional governments in the Netherlands to help police set speed traps, Dutch newspaper AD reported here, with a Google translation here. As more smartphones offer GPS navigation service, TomTom has been forced to compensate for declining profit by increasing sales in other areas, including the selling of traffic data.

Of course we Americans can expect that not to have happened here in the land of the free, which means free ride for businesses, but not you.