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Interesting Links: April 23, 2011

April 23, 2011 2 comments

Just a few links to interesting TV and Web shows:

Cities of the Underworld

Cities of the Underworld was an American documentary television series that premiered on March 2, 2007 on History. The program explored the subterranean environment and culture beneath various civilizations. The series was hosted and narrated by Eric Geller for a short time in season one with Don Wildman taking over for the rest of the series. The show employed a quick-paced editing and shooting style along with extensive use of 3D computer graphics.

Really cool stuff about what people built in ancient times. It is apparent that people in earlier eras were no less sophisticated than us and did amazing things with available technology.

In my opinion, every single episode of this show is amazing.

Cooking with Dog (Japanese Style Cooking)

Cooking with Dog is a Japanese cooking show on YouTube – but don’t worry, they don’t actually cook dogs. It’s an internet cooking show comprised of short videos of simple Japanese recipes just wouldn’t be interesting unless it was narrated by a talking poodle.

Tells you more about average Japanese cuisine in a few clips than you could read in a whole book.

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD, The Triple D) is an American food television series that premiered in November 2006 on the Food Network. Produced by Page Productions, the program stars and is hosted by Guy Fieri.

I find this one interesting because of the sheer variety of restaurateurs and their signature dishes.

Do you have any suggestions? Comments?

Categories: Linkfest

Real Hamster Wheels Are Harmless

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

You may have heard about the “rationalization hamster” which afflicts feminine thinking. While mental hamster wheels can be problematic, real hamster wheels are fun.

Here is an ingenious example-

Comments?

Categories: Linkfest

Linkfest (February 20, 2010)

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

The Forfeiture Racket

Municipalities have come to rely on confiscated property for revenue. Police and prosecutors use forfeiture proceeds to fund not only general operations but junkets, parties, and swank office equipment. A cottage industry has sprung up to offer law enforcement agencies instruction on how to take and keep property more efficiently. And in Indiana, where Anthony Smelley is still fighting to get his money back, forfeiture proceeds are enriching attorneys who don’t even hold public office, a practice that violates the U.S. Constitution.

State Controlled Consciousness

Schooling is a form of adoption. You give your kid up in his or her most plastic years to a group of strangers. You accept a promise, sometimes stated and more often implied that the state through its agents knows better how to raise your children and educate them than you, your neighbors, your grandparents, your local traditions do. And that your kid will be better off so adopted. But by the time the child returns to the family, or has the option of doing that, very few want to. Their parents are some form of friendly stranger too and why not? In the key hours of growing up, strangers have reared the kid.

Tax Law Was Cited in Software Engineer’s Suicide Note

In his suicide note, the computer software engineer who flew a small plane into a building with Internal Revenue Service offices in Texas on Thursday cited a 1986 tax law as a major motivation for his action. The law, known as Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, made it extremely difficult for information technology professionals to work as self-employed individuals, forcing most to become company employees.

School used webcams to ‘spy’ on students at home

According to the lawsuit, the student and his parents were made aware of the district’s ability after the student was accused of “improper behaviour in his home”. As evidence, the school district presented a photograph taken from the webcam embedded in the laptop. It was not clear what the student was accused of.

Shock as British deficit equals that of Greece

Britain’s public finances are in a worse position than those of Greece, according to the latest figures on government borrowing. The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that January alone saw a net shortfall of £4.3bn, far worse than City forecasts and in a month which has always previously shown a healthy surplus. It puts the UK on track for a deficit of £180bn this year, or 12.8 per cent of GDP, economists said, shading the Greek figure, hitherto the worst in the European Union, of 12.7 per cent.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (15 February 2010)

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

Milestone Figures Grab Attention, but Their Impact Is Hazy

The milestones are the result of our brains’ attempts to impose order and assign categories to numbers that vary continuously. “You have to be able to draw some emotion or feeling from information in order to understand it,” says Paul Slovic, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon.

“Round numbers loom large in people’s consciousness,” Ms. Osler says. She notes that this may extend back to when counting was manual and five and 10 fingers were natural units.

For Some Firms, a Case of ‘Quadrophobia’

A new study provides further evidence suggesting many companies tweak quarterly earnings to meet investor expectations, and the companies that adjust most often are more likely to restate earnings or be charged with accounting violations.

Regulators Hired by Toyota Helped Halt Acceleration Probes

At least four U.S investigations into unintended acceleration by Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles were ended with the help of former regulators hired by the automaker, warding off possible recalls, court and government records show.

Revenge of the Wall Street Traders: The Fat Cats Strike Back

They have already proven that they will destroy the country if you let them, and the only thing you can trust them for is that they’ll happily do it again and host a pep rally afterward to celebrate.

Top five health insurers posted 56 percent profit gains in 2009

According to a study by a pro-health reform group published Thursday, the nation’s largest five health insurance companies posted a 56 percent gain in 2009 profits over 2008. The insurers including Wellpoint, UnitedHealth, Cigna, Aetna and Humana, which cover the majority of Americans with insurance.

Can Eurobanks Take a Greek Default?

Yves here. This is to remind readers that as much as the press and the pols are depicting the Greek/Club Med problem as the the spendthrift vs. prudent nations, the problem not just the prospective extension of credit, but all the debt from these countries and their banks now sitting on the books of institutions in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland.

Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis

As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 30, 2010)

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

Summers, Obama’s econ adviser, says despite recovery, US in “human recession” over job losses Manipulated numbers overrule human misery and suffering. Welcome to the ivy league vision of USA.

“What we see in the United States and some other economies is a statistical recovery and a human recession”. But the level of unemployment in the U.S. is disturbing, with one in five men between the ages of 25-54 not working.

In the Packaging of Loans, a Bust With Precedent Where did the roaring 20s lead to? Never mind..

The original wave of securitizations took place in the 1920s, when the United States went on the greatest building boom ever. Many investors saw how rapidly real estate prices were rising and wanted in on the action. The builders and brokers were only too happy to oblige.

The Tablets of Our Dreams Merge With Reality We are living sci-fi.

Today we have the iPhone, iPad, Tabletop GUIs and we will soon have “project natal” (xbox360). Once we fit a few more modules to the iPhone, we have a tricorder.. The best part is they are cheap enough for the average person to buy and use.

See this video: Link

A Growing Share of Americans’ Income Comes from the Government But most Libertarians and CONservatives will take the money, and blame poor colored people for their misery

As you can see from the following graph, while the relationship between personal income and GDP has not changed all that much over the course of the past six decades, the share of income accounted for by transfer payments has jumped more than 200 percent.

What happens when the world defaults? The one way out of this hole is a debt jubilee, mutually agreed or otherwise!

Taleb vs Asberger’s Syndrome Sorts

Note that the very same people who attack me, on grounds of political correctness, for discussing Asperger as a condition not compatible with risk-bearing, and its dangers to society, would be opposed to using a person with highly impaired eyesight as the driver of a school bus. All I am saying is that just as I read Milton, Homer, Taha Husain, and Borges (who were blind) but would prefer to not have them drive me on the A-4 motorway, I elect to use tools made by engineers but prefer to have society’s risks managed by someone who is not affected with risk-blindness.

Financial Services: From Servant to Lord of the Economy One picture can often say much more than a treatise.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 12, 2010)

January 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

The Disposable Worker Who consumes then? Deflationary spiral are not good for anyone. It is ironic that so many idiots still blame “others” for their misfortune, when it is their own “elite” that are pauperizing them.

Pay is falling, benefits are vanishing, and no one’s job is secure. How companies are making the era of the temp more than temporary

Goldman Admits To Frontrunning Clients Through Its Prop Desk Is anyone surprised?

You should not consider Trading Ideas as objective or independent research or as investment advice. When we discuss Trading Ideas with you, we will not be acting as your advisor (including, without limitation, in relation to investment, accounting, tax or legal matters) and the provision of Trading Ideas to you will not give rise to any fiduciary or equitable duties on our part. We will not be soliciting any action based on Trading Ideas and it is your responsibility to seek appropriate advice.

More Bad News From The BLS: Job Openings At 2.4 Million, 50% Decline From December 2007 Let us screw the real economy..

Goldman Sachs Still Shines for MBAs Who Ignore ‘Hype’ Never mind.. MBA = training for becoming a parasitic sociopath.

Even in a Recovery, Some Jobs Won’t Return What recovery?

The Unofficial List of Pundits/Experts Who Were Wrong on the Housing Bubble

The housing bubble has precipitated a severe, and possibly catastprophic, economic crisis, so I thought it would be useful to put together a list of pundits and experts who were dead-wrong on the housing bubble. They were the enablers, and deserve to be held accountable. People also need to know (or be reminded of) which pundits/experts should never be listened to again. But most importantly, I have time to do this kind of thing now.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 11, 2010)

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

Geithner Has Support of Obama, Democratic Lawmakers, Aides Say Surprised?

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner retains the confidence of President Barack Obama as he faces questions about why the Federal Reserve Bank of New York tried to withhold details of the government’s financial-industry rescue, administration officials said.

Federal Reserve Seeks to Protect U.S. Bailout Secrets Move along, there is nothing to see..

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve asked a U.S. appeals court to block a ruling that for the first time would force the central bank to reveal secret identities of financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest government bailout in U.S. history.

Bernanke Bond Spread Most Since 2007 Shows Decoupling What growth? Real or accounting shenanigans based?

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) — The correlation between Treasuries and German bunds that has prevailed since credit markets started freezing in 2007 is breaking down as U.S. economic growth leaves Europe behind.

Wages Still Under Pressure

Wages of U.S. employees are generally stagnant and likely to remain so as the pool of unemployed workers helps employers keep wages from rising even as productivity, or output per hour of work, soars.

Economy Still Bleeding Jobs

Employers cut another 85,000 jobs last month, dashing hopes of a turnaround in employment, even as the U.S. economy grows.

CRE: “Almost FREE”

Talk about falling rents … Doug in Chicago sends along this photo “a storefront in a normally bustling neighborhood retail district on North Clark St in Chicago, about a mile south of Wrigley Field”.

The Most Stunning (and Uncommented on) Revelation in Too Big Too Fail

Wilmustad understandably wondered how they were supposed to come up with $14 billion in the next several minutes. Then it dawned on them: the unofficial vaults. The bankers ran downstairs and found a room with a lock and a cluster of cabinets containing bonds – tens of billions of dollars’ worth, dating mostly from the Greenberg era. They began rifling through the cabinets, picking through fistfuls of securities that they guessed had gone untouched for years. In an electronic age, the idea of keeping bonds on hand was a disconcerting but welcome throwback. (p. 400)

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 7, 2010)

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

U.S. Job Satisfaction at Lowest Level in Two Decades Why could that be?

“Through both economic boom and bust during the past two decades, our job satisfaction numbers have shown a consistent downward trend.

Walk Away From Your Mortgage! Suckers pay for underwater houses (and sexless marriages and bastard kids).

John Courson, president and C.E.O. of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently told The Wall Street Journal that homeowners who default on their mortgages should think about the “message” they will send to “their family and their kids and their friends.”

Krugman Says American Economy Will Not Recover for a Long Time told ya..

and here is more Guest Post: Krugman Says American Economy Will Not Recover for a Long Time, Johnson Says “Crisis is Just Beginning”

The economic ‘experts’ who stopped making sense Because most people like to believe that universe is under control.

Why? We have surely not forgiven the sinners. Rather, in the confusion of economic collapse, and as the economists did themselves, we have lost trust in our common sense and are seeking refuge in apparent certainty. There is a deep-seated human instinct to seek out oracles, and in a world that is less religious than it once was, in an internet age characterised by a relentless blizzard of information, noise and data, we have become more reliant than ever before on “experts”: anyone with qualifications or distinctions which make them worthy of attention.

U.S. Now a Renters’ Market The effects of the housing bubble and a deflating economy.

Apartment vacancies hit a 30-year high in the fourth quarter, and rents fell as landlords scrambled to retain existing tenants and attract new ones.

Geithner’s Fed Told AIG to Limit Swaps Disclosure Did I mention that he cheated on his income tax, a few times.

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.

Help Wanted? Not Yet in the Service Sector An understatement

The nonmanufacturing sector comprises 88% of the economy, and it follows that most of the nation’s jobs are in services ranging from construction to finance to pet care.

But guess what, gang? There’s a new religion in these holy wars. And it’s Google. All hail our new overlords..

See, veteran tech columnists know one thing very well indeed: If you write anything positive about an Apple product or negative about a Microsoft product, you get buried by hate mail and personal attacks. The only worse result is if you say something negative about an Apple product or positive about a Microsoft product, in which case you get exposed to the true ugliness of the human spirit (and sometimes, in fact, physical threats).

Simon Johnson: “We Now Have A Financial System That Is Completely Based On Moral Hazard”

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 5, 2010)

January 5, 2010 1 comment

In other news..

Obama Says U.S. Had ‘Sufficient’ Information to Stop Bomb Plot OK, now we are talking. Some honesty..

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said U.S. intelligence services had “sufficient information” to stop the Dec. 25 attempted bombing of an airliner and failed to properly analyze and distribute the data.

Letter from Chicago: F A good read.. with this gem

The math/science majors meant that I was obligated to take humanities and other (non-science) course work. So I signed up for (amongst other courses) Economics 101. It took all of ten minutes into the first class for me to recoil in horror. I asked the prof: “What do you meant that humans are rational? That is obviously not true. How important is this idea to economics?” The response was, in hindsight, not a surprise: “It is the fundamental building block for all of economics. If you fight that underlying concept, if you do not provisionally accept that premise, you will not be able to understand what comes later.”

Hoenig: Reinstate Glass-Steagall About time.. but with a modern version of that act.

“Beginning to break them, to dismember them, is a fair thing to consider.”
-Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig.

Manhattan Apartment Prices Fall as Finance Jobs Lost Not feeling so special? Aww..

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — Manhattan apartment prices fell for a third consecutive quarter as Wall Street job losses drained demand and the decline in co-op and condominium values reached 21 percent since the market peak.

Google Introduces Nexus One Handset to Take On IPhone Finally some real competition for the iPhone.

Iceland President Vetoes Icesave Compensation This what a head of state with balls looks like.

President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson Tuesday cited massive public opposition in his decision to reject the bill, which was approved in late December by the Icelandic parliament after months of wrangling.

Through the Eyes of the Ultra Rich Can one become super rich through honesty?

Jonathan Dee delves into a Manhattan family’s rise to the super rich via morally questionable means in his new novel, “The Privileges”

6 Ways to Cut Gym Membership Costs Why do people pay for services that you never use, but which make you feel for buying them?

Banks Roll Out New Check, Card Fees You bailed them out, NOW BEND OVER!

The nation’s banks will be bombarding customers with new fees and products in 2010 as they try to replace more than $50 billion in revenue wiped out by new rules that clamp down on certain business practices.

What’s Holding Back the Recovery? What about JOBS that are STABLE? and what recovery?

For More Workers, Home Is Where the Office Is Polishing a Turd?

As we continue to dig ourselves out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, many of us have lost corporate jobs. Others worry that layoffs are lurking. We’re taking on free-lance assignments, contract work and short-term projects — and getting them done in the extra bedroom, eat-in kitchen or spare corner in the utility room.

Personal Bankruptcy Filings Rising Fast The real economy is still in a tailspin.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 4, 2010)

January 5, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

CIA Blast Blamed On Double Agent Maybe we should screen those who we trust better?

The suicide bomber who killed seven Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors and a Jordanian intelligence officer was a double agent the CIA had recruited to provide intelligence on senior al Qaeda leadership, according to current and former U.S. officials and an Afghan security official.

The Best and Worst Jobs of 2009 What job?

Start-Ups Will Keep Struggling in 2010 So big companies are going to create jobs in the USA? -No, Outsourcing; Or maybe small companies can pick up the slack?- No credit.

IMF Worker Sought in Attack I did not know economists had balls..

How to Fix Your Finances in 2010 Not believing shysters would be a start.

Housing Animal Spirits to Be Banished by Prime Foreclosures But.. the rich are different.. not

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — Homeowners with the best credit are the next big risk for the U.S. housing market.

Stocks Jump on Faster Economic Growth; Asian Bond Risk Falls Have we not seen this movie before?

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — Stocks soared, led by shipping companies and commodity producers, oil rose near $82 a barrel and Asian bond risk declined to the lowest level since May 2008 on signs global economic growth will accelerate.

Silicon Valley ‘Bloodbath’ Leaves Entire Office Buildings Empty CRE is different.. haha

“There is a bubble bursting in much the same way as the residential market burst,” said Jon Haveman, principal at Beacon Economics, a consulting firm in San Rafael, California. “None of those towers will fill up anytime soon.”

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Probably Fell in November Tax Credits could only juice up home sales so much… People require good JOBS to keep on buying houses.

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — The number of contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes probably fell in November for the first time in 10 months as Americans waited for a tax credit to be extended, economists said before a report today.

Lawmakers See Quick Health-Care Agreement Without Public Option Let us screw the electorate..

Krugman Sees 30-40% Chance of U.S. Recession in 2010 I see a 30-40% chance of sunrise tomorrow.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished as Banks Seek Profits Who are the bagholders.. mirror please.

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — To understand the meaning of no good deed goes unpunished, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner can look no further than Wall Street where the banks that received the biggest taxpayer bailouts are seeking to reap trading profits from securities rescued by the government.

Erection Problems Linked to Restless-Leg Disorder, Study Shows Never Mind! It is Harvard, what were you expecting?

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (January 3, 2010)

January 4, 2010 2 comments

In other news..

Goldman Sachs To Launch New HQ! The ‘free’ market works.. suckers!

Mainstream Economists Unable to Discuss Economics I am shocked.. wait, are they not the “new priests”.

Blogging and the tyranny of government The government is keeping you safe.. from bloggers (never mind the real “evildoers”).

Last week two bloggers, Steven Frischling and Chris Elliot, were visited by TSA agents and threatened with jail time if they did not reveal their source of the TSA Travel Directive that they each published shortly after the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas day.

A Nation of Do-It-Yourself Lawyers Not a bad idea..

Tainted Burgers shows that Corporate Profits Trump Public Safety Any defenders of unregulated markets? Even Adam Smith never supported this type of behavior!

Ten Lessons (Not?) Learnt A good summary.

This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied Your elected officials are working in your best interests, trust them.

Yet new regulations proposed by the administration, and specifically by the ever-incompetent Securities and Exchange Commission, seek to pull one of these three core pillars from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal in the overhaul of money market regulation suggests that money market fund managers will have the option to “suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets.”

On Government DOL Misrepresentations Part 2: Following The Money, Or In This Case The Average Unemployment Paycheck You can always trust the government of western countries to not make up numbers… suckers!

Is The Government Misrepresenting Unemployment By 32%? Nah.. Why would they?

Origins of an American Kleptocracy Sometimes saying the truth is an act of bravery..

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

The Lost Decade (1999-2009)

January 2, 2010 Leave a comment

It has become fashionable for MSM to refer to the last ten years as a lost decade, a concept that they stole from the blogosphere where this term has been established since 2005-2006. In any case, here are a few MSM links..

Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers It is surprising that cheerleaders for the PTB are now acting skeptical.

For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different. The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation’s growth

Investors Hope the ’10s Beat the ’00s No kidding!

The U.S. stock market is wrapping up what is likely to be its worst decade ever. In nearly 200 years of recorded stock-market history, no calendar decade has seen such a dismal performance as the 2000s.

U.S. Stocks Drop as Crisis Causes S&P 500’s First Decade Loss Investment, retirements, pensions etc are DOA

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) – U.S. stocks fell this week, limiting an advance that sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its biggest annual increase in six years. The 2009 rally failed to rescue investors from the worst return for any decade.

The Decade With No Name Good article.

What the last decade should teach us is that our elites have not simply failed. They betrayed us. They aren’t just incompetent. They are out to get us. We are in a class war which they started and which they mean to win. To this end, they have locked us into a series of perpetual crises: the War on Terror and now permanent financial crisis. For them it means endless opportunities to loot and consolidate their power. For the rest of us, it means crash after crash, each more expensive and destructive than the last. Yeats described the situation we now are in.

Already lost Told ya..

By some measures, America already has a lost decade in its rearview mirror. A couple more would mean a lost generation. Worst of all, it would mean my generation. I thought I was unlucky graduating into the tech bust. I had no idea. Of course, the past ten years hasn’t been lost in the way that the next ten years might be. While much of the increase in wealth of the 2000s has proven to be illusory, the consumption the fake wealth purchased while the bubble lasted was not. While the good times rolled, many people did have good times. Even those not experiencing wage growth did all right, since as many have noted, consumption inequality over the past decade grew by much less than income inequality, thanks to growth in household debt. That’s obviously what helped get the country into this mess, and this mess could be quite serious indeed. It is striking to me how rapidly the gains of the past ten years, such as they were, have evaporated. The American economy is nothing like we thought it was, as it turns out.

To lose one decade may be misfortune… Demography is a bitch.

The most pernicious effects of the bust, economists say, have been transmitted via banks and businesses. Banks found themselves loaded down with non-performing loans. Belatedly they faced up to many of their losses, restructured and consolidated. But according to Takuji Aida, an economist at UBS in Japan, long-term yields remained very low because of deflationary expectations, thereby flattening the yield curve (the difference between short- and long-term interest rates). That prevented banks from earning their way out of crisis, so lending remains weak. A weak culture of consumer borrowing means that people have been forced to rely even more on their savings, or those of their parents. But as society ages, growth in the stock of savings has dwindled. Savings are bound to fall as more people retire. For the younger generation the next decade may be even tougher than the past two.

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Linkfest (January 1, 2010)

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

Which states are facing the worst budget deficits in 2010? A good read.

“Unless you’re North Dakota, you’re probably a state that has had some degree of difficulty or crisis involving finances,” says Arturo Pérez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which released its survey of state budget situations earlier this month. “It’s the worst situation states have faced in decades, perhaps going as far back as the Great Depression in some states.”

China Property Bubble May Lead to U.S.-Style Real Estate Slump Anybody surprised?

If he finds the right place, preferably a two-bedroom in the historic Dongcheng quarter, near the city center, he hopes to buy immediately. Act now, he figures, or live with Mom and Dad forever. In the last 12 months such apartments have doubled or tripled in price, to about $400 per square foot. “This year they’ll be even higher,” says Li in the Jan. 11 issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Harsh lessons we may need to learn again Rugged self-made free-market individualists (lucky conmen) will not like this article.

The first lesson is that markets are not self-correcting. Indeed, without adequate regulation, they are prone to excess. In 2009, we again saw why Adam Smith’s invisible hand often appeared invisible: it is not there. The bankers’ pursuit of self-interest (greed) did not lead to the well-being of society; it did not even serve their shareholders and bondholders well. It certainly did not serve homeowners who are losing their homes, workers who have lost their jobs, retirees who have seen their retirement funds vanish, or taxpayers who paid hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out the banks.

More ammo for the bazooka Have we not seen this show before? We are so fucked!

Treasury has reloaded its bazooka and stands ready to shock and awe the housing market.Though, Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller data showed a fifth month of improvement yesterday, analysts still expect prices to fall 10 percent or more next year as various government supports wind down. Political pressure ahead of midterm elections will likely force the administration to do something in response and Treasury’s Christmas gift of nearly unlimited support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gives them a powerful weapon to do so.

“Is Our Tax System Helping Us Create Wealth?” No, but the sheeple still believe otherwise. It is ironic that those screwed over by the idle rich are so willing to defend their oppressors interests.

“Reviving Confidence in the American Economy – China, Investment and the Deficit Hawks” Stating the obvious..

Since the early 1980s, rises in the living standard of middle class United States citizens have not kept up with the gains in labor productivity. Wages in the middle class have been close to flat. At the same time, consumer spending continued to grow abetted by innovations in consumer finance that supported ever-higher levels of consumption for any level of income. The credit crisis of 2008-9 has ended and unmasked the contradictions inherent in this unstable system and also in the international commercial system that has relied upon U.S. consumers as the buyers of last resort since the Second World War. American consumers cannot be both under downward pressure from outsourcing competition and relied upon to be the locomotive of worldwide economic growth.

Why Powerful People, Many of Whom Take a Moral High Ground, Don’t Practice What They Preach Now get a job you lazy, violent non-white man or woman.

Ultimately, patterns of hypocrisy and hypercrisy perpetuate social inequality. The powerful impose rules and restraints on others while disregarding these restraints for themselves, whereas the powerless collaborate in reproducing social inequality because they don’t feel the same entitlement.

Categories: Linkfest

Linkfest (December 29, 2009)

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

In other news..

Next Decade Will Be Good One for Stock Investors: Matthew Lynn Some connected guys (and gals like abby cohen- of GS)are paid big bucks to lie.

Thousands to be saved from losing homes by closure of legal loophole I thought you required a court order to foreclose and seize a home, on the other hand UK is a quaint country.

Housing Recovery Fails to Bolster Broker Commissions First of all, there is no sustained recovery in home prices.. never mind.

Calpers Restricts Contacts Between Board and Money Managers Calpers has demonstrated a level of incompetence that would shame a drunken chimp.

The decision follows disclosure by the pension fund that former board member Alfred Villalobos earned more than $50 million in a five-year period acting as a middleman between firms seeking stewardship of some of Calpers $200 billion in assets and the fund’s board and staff.


CalPERS expected to report losing nearly one-quarter of investment portfolio

The estimated $56.8-billion drop at the U.S.’ largest pension fund, the second annual loss in a row, would have a huge effect on what state and local governments must shell out to support retirees.

Goldman Sachs Takes Biggest Share of $923 Million U.S. IPO Fees GS can do what it wants, as it “owns” the Fed and your elected legislators. You have a problem with that?

Fannie, Freddie, Heading to Zero Guess who is paying for their unlimited creditline? You!

Fannie, Freddie exec pay suggests stock worth nothing

Fannie Chief Executive Michael Williams and Freddie CEO Charles Haldeman got $6 million annual compensation packages, according to regulatory filings last week.

Higher-End Homes Still Declining Turns out the ‘rich’ are not rich.. but don’t expect that to dampen their contempt of “poorer” people.

Despite Subsidy, Cobra’s Bite Still Stings for Many No socialism for you.

Categories: Economy, Linkfest, MSM Idiocy

Linkfest (December 28, 2009)

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

In other news..

President Obama, It’s Time To Fire the TSA A Must read!

Today, DHS’s Napolitano’s response to the crotchbomber: “We’re looking to make sure that this sort of incident cannot recur.” But the TSA’s response to Abdulmutalib’s attempt makes one thing clear: We must stop pretending the TSA is making us safer.

The TSA isn’t saving lives. We, the passengers, are saving our own.

Pomboy: A Looming New Credit-bust a commentary on A Jolly Good Year

Stephanie speculates that one reason for their reluctance could be that while stocks have rallied, thus enriching their portfolios, dividends have been relentlessly shrinking: the $775 billion-plus annual dividend windfall the affluent had grown accustomed to has been slashed by a third or so. Or, it just may be that “even for the high-end, housing deflation outweighs equity inflation.”

Tanker Glut Signals 25% Drop as 26-Mile Queue Overwhelms Demand and crude is still 70-80 $/ barrel.. Guess who (IBers, speculators) are busy screwing YOU

How not to solve a financial crisis Another good guest post by By Edward Harrison at nakedcapitalism.com

One can only assume that alternative policy solutions were rejected because the Bush and Obama Administrations preferred the solutions they crafted to these.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

But if Wall Street is back on top, the everyday lives of large numbers of Americans continue to be subject to overwhelming trauma, chaos and disruption.

Fannie, Freddie Backstop May Foreshadow Mortgage Forgiveness If it does not work, keep on trying harder.

Through November, servicers had permanently modified 31,382 mortgages under the Home Affordable program, which was announced in February as targeting 3 million to 4 million loans, the Treasury said Dec. 10. A total of 728,000 of the modifications were under way.

Berkshire Eliminates 21,000 Jobs as Manufacturing, Retail Slump But Buffett is still the seer… right?

Berkshire and its subsidiaries have about 225,000 workers, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said this week in regulatory filings. That’s 8.6 percent lower than the 246,083 disclosed in the 2008 annual report.

War on Wall Street as Congress Sees Returning to Glass-Steagall Who has hurt us more, swarthy “evildoers” or immaculately suited sociopaths?

The Recession Begins Flooding Into the Courts It is too bad that average people have not got the memo about our “great recession” ending.

Oh wait..

Krugman: ‘Reasonably High Chance’ the Economy Will Contract The “great recession” does not want to end..

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy
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