Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This is News? (700th post!)

Greetings good citizen,

After three straight days of (totally illogical) gains the ‘stupidity markets’ are falling once again.

Why, you might ask?

Economic uncertainty, of course!

Now, if I stated that money is funny ‘ALL OF THE TIME’, some of you would still scratch your head and wonder what I mean by that?

But most of you would ‘get it’, you’d know I was eluding to the fact that ‘economic uncertainty’ is CONSTANT, there is no such thing as ‘economic certainty’ precisely due to the, er, ‘fuzziness’ surrounding money.

Thus is the title of today’s post This is News?

FRANKFURT — Economic growth in the euro area fell more than expected in the three months through June, according to official figures released Tuesday, as growth in Germany came almost to a standstill.

All of Europe’s main stock indexes lost ground after the data confirmed fears that government austerity programs are taking their toll on the European economy, undercutting efforts to contain the sovereign debt crisis.

Gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro area rose 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the previous quarter, according to Eurostat, the E.U. statistics agency. Euro area growth was down from 0.8 percent in the first quarter.

G.D.P. growth in Germany, which has been the region’s economic locomotive, fell to 0.1 percent compared with the previous quarter, when the economy expanded 1.3 percent, the German Federal Statistical Office said. Analysts had expected growth of 0.5 percent.

Why do you suppose analysts ‘expected’ any growth at all? Absolutely NOTHING has been done to repair the customer base! Where do they expect this ‘growth’ to come from (besides their own fevered imagination?)

Like yesterday, I have little patience with ‘idiocy’ and I suspect most of you have little tolerance for being taken for fools as well.

How unfortunate is it that when you’re trying to play the public for stupid, you have to pretend you’re stupid too!

Which makes an excellent segue for our second offering of the day

Does it ultimately benefit American business if the country gets back on its feet again? It seems to me that you can make a pretty strong case for that. If enough companies started hiring — while wrapping their actions in the mantle of patriotism — even Carl Icahn might have trouble complaining about it.

There is, of course, another reason corporate executives might be reluctant to sacrifice short-term profits by putting people to work. What if their competitors didn’t go along? Then they would find themselves at a disadvantage. Useem would tackle that by having a credible group like the Business Roundtable leading the charge, rounding up companies that would agree to start hiring.

But Marc Groz, a financial risk expert I’ve gotten to know, has what I think is a more intriguing approach, which he calls a “contingent commitment facility.” “Everyone is waiting for someone else to go first,” he told me the other day. Using his facility, a company would agree to hire X number of new workers. But the commitment would only become binding if certain conditions were met — such as having other companies in the same industry agree to do likewise. Once that happened, all the companies would have to do what they’d promised.

There’s an old saying that goes ‘Better to keep your mouth shut and have people THINK you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it!

Overlooked here is that the quantity X needs to be in the tens of millions to be even marginally effective.

If we back the ‘energy crisis’ out of the equation we’d still be faced with the ‘automation dilemma’ that our current economic system doesn’t make allowances for.

Who (precisely) is going to hire tens of millions of people and what will they be put to work doing?

Top answer is ‘I don’t know’, second answer is ‘clueless’ (and the third answer is just what you’d expect…‘can you repeat the question?’)

Not that there is any lack of things that need doing, the ‘lack’ (at the moment) comes from the lack of willingness to invest in what amounts to ‘redundant infrastructure’ in what is slated to become the next third world hell hole.

The real irony lies in how this will be turned into ‘our’ failing, we failed to vote for the ‘right’ legislators who would have provided an alternate outcome to the one the ‘status quo’ chose…

Yep, it’s the same old story over and over again, ‘they can’t help it if you’re stupid’ (and if you get played for stupid there really isn’t anything (legal) you can do about it without taking the law into your own hands…

And that’s the ‘choice’ we’ve been left to make good citizen.

If there is to be ‘justice’ it is up to us to make it happen.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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