DECEMBER 31, 2008
I can only assume this is not bad news Jobless claims drop by much more than expected and is the steepest decline since 1992. But the folks over at Big Picture say do not put too much stock in the number as an economic indicator due to the apparent volatility of this number in Christmas week. Apparently the same for this week. Still, the forecasters are aware of this too. Guess we have to wait until the first and second week in January to get a more clear picture.
(posted at 10:33 am by Mike Rulle)
How kind and gentle of these authors For Kennedy, Self-Promotion Is Unfamiliar. When one is so selfless it can be shocking to learn you actually have to tell people what you think and believe before they simply hand you the keys to the Senate office. "Self-promotion"---that sounds so grimy. Is that the key to political success? Is self promotion a necessary evil and we therefore prefer our politcians to be naifs, as it reflects their inherent goodness? What is the point? The NY Times is really stretching the limits of credulity here. Kennedy is quite good at self promotion. I have always had a favorable image of her as most people probably have. Why not? Its the audacity of the request to be Senator that is galling, which I am beginning to believe was never her idea to begin with. This has to be very uncomfortable for her. Maybe not, but she sure seems really uncomfortable. She has never engaged in serious political activity and no amount of redefining her past to fit the requirements of the position will change that. Let her run in the Democratic primary in 2010 if she wants to be Senator so bad.
(posted at 9:41 am by Mike Rulle)
I have not written about Charlie Rangel, in part because I always liked the guy at the personal level Newshounds should stay on Rangel’s scent. I am pretty sure I never agreed much with him but he always seemed like a practical non-ideologue who just had, like any good politician, his views on what should be done. Plus, the intial charges seemed petty and probably apply to anyone who has been in Congress for any length of time. But I have been deluding myself. Where there is one, then 2, then 10 exposed lies, there probably are 100 that are not---time for him to go. Chris Dodd too, by the way Halos and Horns. Dodd, who I have never liked, so far has just been accused of getting a sweetheart deal on a Country Wide Mortgage, who he is supposed to be overseeing! You know there is more where that came from, but who cares? Does anyone not see the pure corruption in this? My new rules on political "due diligence"; if a politician is caught in an overt monetary illegality/conflict of fiduciary responsibility (with proper due process)--gone. That would help sweep the Congress clean from time to time---maybe keep it clean. But first we need to get rid of McCain Feingold--the pro-incumbent, pro-billionaire rights law for political office.
(posted at 9:38 by Mike Rulle)
I have not read the full report Full Report: The Origins of the Financial Crisis but I have a hunch I know where it is going. There is this "meme'" out there that somehow the financial problems have been caused by "deregulation". Of course, this is utter nonsense. We have more regulation in more areas of our economy than we can keep track of. But that is not what this meme is really about anyway. Deregulation is code for "less Government". "Regulation" is code for "more Government". There were plenty of regulations which contributed to this problem and plenty of situations where the lack of regulations was helpful. This is not a "regulation" versus "deregulation" issue. The problem is we have many regulations working at cross purposes to each other. The authors begin their tale with the horror of derivatives not being regulated. Of course they were regulated, but regulated by the Bank for International Settlement rules, rather than Futures Exchange rules which I gather the authors seem to prefer--without seeming to understand why. Personally, I prefer the latter too. But its not because one is "regulation" and the other "deregulation". That meme causes more confusion in an area where we have quite enough confusion already. Worse, it has become a normative political term rather than one with the neutral meaning it should have.
(posted at 8:33 am by Mike Rulle)
Crooks steal $50 billion with ease; unemployment rises rapidly; Israel torches Hamas; housing prices plummet; the Financial Sector will have to learn how to shrink itself permanently; but Newsweek informs us that the most important thing for us to do is Fight Climate Change Fast . What is the exact or semi-exact definition of "climate change"? It is difficult enough to define "global warming", but at least its name narrows down the field. "Climate change" is an absurd concept concocted because the global warming forecasts were not working. This particular article highlights that CO2 emissions have surprisingly increased. No one disagrees that we have had increased CO2 in the atmosphere, almost as high as when before mankind existed (what caused that, I wonder?). The utter lack of scientific consensus is not on whether there is increased CO2 in the atmosphere, but what its impact is on weather. So far the alarmists have got it wrong--hence the undefinable concept of "climate change" has emerged.
(posted at 8:16 am by Mike Rulle)
Amity Shlaes discusses the mistakes of the Roosevelt Administration in the Washington Post Economic Mistakes to Avoid in '09 and warns that the greatest error was the uncertainty he created through "bold" experimentation. Paulson and Co. have done enough of that and lets hope it ends on January 20th.
(posted at 7:55 am by Mike Rulle)
There is an active trader at a website called Market Preview who writes a daily commentary on market related events. He has written a summary today of the year's financial problems and their causes. He invites commentary. I recommend it. I will be commenting on it as well.
(posted at 7:50 am by Mike Rulle
Did you know Obama played golf? Shhhh! As the world waits for Obama to voice his opinion on Gaza .I wonder how that would have gone over with the left wing of his party last Spring. Back in July I joked he was soon going to be to the right of Reagan; I hope I am right. Not that Liberals can't or don't play golf, mind you. Just my sense is more Conservatives do---although I could be stereotyping! By the way, what is his opinion on "Gaza"?
(posted at 7:36 am by Mike Rulle)
What else would they call it? RNC draft rips Bush's bailout At least some group in the Republican Party sees things for what they are, Bush going "big Government" aka Socialism. Is it full blown Socialism? Of course not. These things do not happen over night. The party of the "free market" declares markets don't work as they create bailouts. Markets only work when they go up? So far nothing they have done has made "markets work". They should have left it alone. Obama's administration needs to be very clear upfront what it is willing and unwilling to do regarding interference in markets. As bad as interference is, combining it with uncertainty is even worse.
(posted at 7:28 am by Mike Rulle)