Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hand Waving...

Greetings good citizen,

I’m ‘trying’ to tackle a lot of chores I’ve been putting off until better weather arrived and, naturally, they have expanded (or worse, ‘exploded’) beyond the time allotted to complete them.

Sadly, neglecting issues until they become ‘do or die’ comes at a price. Waiting to install new brake pads caused the tire to, er, ‘weld’ itself to the hub, requiring me to pound it free…which bent the rim. So now I have to deal with a slow leak that will cost me 75 cents a day until I can locate and have a replacement wheel installed.

Um, don’t even get me started on the freaking alternator, what a friggin horror show! Three bolts and a belt…who knew it would turn into a four day project!

But I digress…but not so much good citizen because the nation is ‘mirroring’ my personal woes. The longer our ‘so-called leaders’ keep twiddling their thumbs while the media continues to report meaningless hand waving rather than the important issues facing our civilization, nothing is being ‘fixed’, much less addressed.

So we encounter tonight’s offering where the media invokes the largely ‘imaginary’ recovery and blames Europe for its persistent ‘invisibility’.

The longer these things are ignored, the worse they’re going to become.

Europe Pain May Impede U.S. Upturn
Published: May 25, 2010

Only months after most economists forecast that the recession could be viewed safely through the rearview mirror, the European fiscal crisis poses an unsettling new challenge for the United States economy. [Same old same old, good citizen…how can the US economy be in ‘recovery’ if our supposed ‘customers’ are broke? Is someone lying their ass off here or are these people really that stupid…or worse, do they really think we are?]

Few economists predict the United States will pitch into another recession soon. [This is true since we haven’t really ‘recovered’ from the original one.] But a still weakened American economy could be slowed by its wounded European allies and trading partners. Even the optimists are wondering aloud if the United States will encounter a slower and bumpier recovery than expected. [What do you suppose this idiot means by this? How much slower and bumpier can ‘non-existent’ be? How deep does a ‘purely imaginary’ recovery go?]

“Look, a double-dip recession is a genuine risk — I’d place it at 20 percent as opposed to 5 percent a few weeks ago,” said Robert J. Barbera, chief economist for ITG, who has been notably bullish on the United States economy. “We have some chronic problems in Europe, but I don’t see it leading us to a Lehman-style contagion.

“At some point,” he added, “you revert to a focus on our fundamentals, and those are decidedly better than conventional wisdom has it.” [Um, what planet is he making this observation from because it sure as hell isn’t here! The global economy is so badly broken that we are faced with ‘emmenient’ worldwide social collapse.]

Perhaps so, but vertiginous drops in stock markets, belligerent rumbles from North Korea and an American economy throwing off mixed signals has economists treading carefully. Rarely have so many central banks taken such extraordinary steps to stave off banking and national collapses. Their wariness about what they have wrought is palpable. [‘Wary’? These fuckers KNOW they’re ‘tap dancing on a land mine’, is it really all that surprising they are paying extra close attention to public sentiment right now?]

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, traveled to London and assayed a noticeably careful defense of the global economy in a speech. He did not discount the risk of a financial contagion jumping the Atlantic, given the weakened state of global finances and the risky nature of the bailouts. Governments and central banks must strive to re-establish credibility, he said, even as markets shake and gyrate. “This new threat to global recovery will probably fall short of becoming a worldwide recessionary shock,” he said. [Um, no irony should be lost considering this is definitely a situation when ‘probably’ just isn’t good enough! It should also be noted that the only way to ‘restore confidence’ in government and banking is to tear them both down and replace them with far more ‘transparent’ institutions.]

There is no shortage of storm clouds to bolster a gloomier take. Japan and Europe are perched near the edge of deflation. And as one European leader after another takes a vow of austerity amid talk of layoffs and deep spending cuts, American manufacturers — which have led the domestic recovery — could find their goods piling up in warehouses and on docks. [Um, this is either an ‘isolated incident’ or an outright falsehood, the US manufacturing sector is easily small enough to be drown in a birdbath or a fairly shallow puddle, bathtub not required!]

“We were counting on a weak dollar and a strong European economy; instead we got a strong dollar and a weak Europe — that is clearly not good for our economy,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and a professor of economics at Columbia University. “It certainly increases our likelihood of a double-dip recession.” [Pay attention to Joltin’ Joe’s words here because it won’t be too long before we’re all wondering why the ‘strong dollar’ won’t buy you a hat full of shit!]

As well, the rate set in London that banks charge each other for short-term loans, known as Libor, has marched steadily upward in recent weeks, reaching a 10-month high this week. Such loans act as the fiscal grease that lets banks lend freely. [To who? The only ‘qualified borrowers’ have been the Investment banks and they’re using the money to pump up the stock market!] Their rising cost slows lending — something Mr. Stiglitz says is a consequence of governments’ bailing out banks without forcing them to make a clean accounting of their losses and bad loans. [Um, pointing out the obvious does nothing to alter the outcome.]

“The credit markets’ reaction is sending a strong message that the banks don’t trust each other’s balance sheets,” Mr. Stiglitz said.

There are, too, lingering questions about the strength and sustainability of the American recovery — questions that loom as more important than ever given the weaknesses in Europe.

The American economy has picked up recently, with consumer spending jumping higher and debt falling sharply. Manufacturers, too, have put a collective toe back into the hiring market, and bankers are exhaling — even if they are not lending at their former levels.

Mr. Barbera speculates that the quirks of federal data collection have understated the strength of hiring. “All the measures of industrial production are better than expected,” he said. [What numbnuts isn’t saying is what passes for ‘industrial production’ these days has little to do with either ‘industry’ or ‘production’!]

But state governments, from California to New Jersey and New York, are readying draconian spending cuts, with forecasts of layoffs of hundreds of thousands of state workers. Residential housing inventories continue to grow and prices continue to soften. And large businesses have yet to begin hiring in considerable numbers; the ranks of long-term unemployed have swelled to a number not seen for decades. [Is this ‘magic or even ‘coincidence’ good citizen? NO! It represents our badly broken economy that won’t be fixed as long as it is more ‘advantageous’ to let it remain broken. But that ain’t gonna happen either!]

“This has to go down as one of the most fragile economic recoveries in recorded history,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist for Gluskin Sheff, an investment firm. “We’ve had jobless recoveries before, but this recovery has been totally devoid of income growth, and that’s very disturbing.” [Who else thinks Mr. Rosenberg is being ‘extremely charitable’? If you ‘deny’ that the economy is recovering, the pundits will point at the…stock market as proof they are right, even though it has long ago become obvious that the stock market has little to do with the state of the ‘real economy’.]

Salvation could come from unexpected corners. The United States, in the words of the St. Louis Fed chief, might be “an unwitting beneficiary of the crisis in Europe.” That is the lesson suggested by recent history. When the Asian economies shuddered and currencies nearly collapsed in 1998, many economists predicted the tremors would take down the United States and European economies. Quite the opposite occurred. [Um, the ‘safe haven’ effect does absolutely NOTHING for the ‘paycheck peasants’…which is where the trouble will originate.]

A stream of money flowed from Asian banks into United States Treasury bonds, and interest rates fell as a result. Oil prices also dropped. And the United States emerged stronger. [It is this kind of ‘blissful ignorance’ that created the current fiasco, the inability to recognize what is ‘good’ for investors is ‘bad’ for the nation is wholesale stupidity because investors make up less than one percent of the population…even less if we look at it globally!]

“Everyone competed to reduce their G.D.P. forecasts and it ended up being much stronger than forecast,” recalled Mr. Barbera. [Um, there is so much ‘wrong’ with this ‘blanket assertion’ that it isn’t even worth parsing…what would Mr. Barbera be measuring?]

There is suggestive evidence that this could happen again. American interest rates have fallen in recent days, as investors apparently seek refuge in Treasury bonds. And talk of a slowdown has caused the price of oil to fall, which helps the American consumer. [Um, it is ‘astounding’ that this evidence that the wheels are flying off is being interpreted as mere ‘turbulance’ in the economy, but this is what the media is trying to ‘distract us’ from examining too closely.]

A risk attends here, too. Pumping so much money into a nation can be like pumping adrenalin into a sick patient — it masks the underlying infection. It could be argued that the infusion of cash in 1998 further inflated the Internet stock bubble, which popped several years later with disastrous consequences. [Not nearly as disastrously as it would have been without the ‘pump and dump’ Real Estate scam following right on its heels!]

Mr. Bullard raised that warning obliquely in his speech Tuesday, suggesting that while the United States might draw temporary advantage from the European crisis, it must “directly address” its fiscal problems if it is to retain credibility with credit markets. After all, along with the countries of the euro zone, Britain and the United States are running outsize deficits, compounded by their spending to stimulate the economy.

The ability of American officials to pull this off while markets jump and twist poses a considerable challenge.

“A lot of our recovery was financed by government handouts, and the sustainability of that is open to question,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist for MFR Inc. “I see lots of fits and starts ahead.”

He said, She said…and it’s all self-serving bullshit! All of these opinions the media quotes (and they are ‘opinions’ make no mistake about that!) come from people whose job it is to sell stocks and other financial products…you don’t suppose they may be a little ‘blind’ to the true state of ‘economic activity worldwide?

The disaster in the Gulf is only going to exponentially expand the economic desert at the worst possible time.

Worse, instead of cleaning up the disaster, it will be left to ‘fester’ causing decades of financial ruin that the fucking irresponsible capitalists will use their control of the media to ‘ignore’.

The longer you let a situation go, the more it costs you later.

Just something to think about as the fucking political class tries to distract you with useless ‘hand waving’ over largely meaningless issues.

Makes you wonder, what the fuck is wrong with the media?

Short answer, nothing…it is doing what it is paid to do, and that’s a damn sin.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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