Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Germany = Botswana

Has some pizazz, doesn't it? It's kind of true what MattY is saying in this post, but the gold standard comment (third) is probably a better comparison. If the ECB is not going to act as lender of last resort, then the Euro really isn't functional.

Incidentally, the first commenter on Matt's post doesn't seem to understand fiat currency or the "lender of last resort" function even a little. It isn't--or at least shouldn't be--possible to be insolvent if you print and borrow in your own money (i.e. have fiat currency) but that requires the entity that does print your currency be a lender of last resort.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Generational Leadership Failure

An excellent article here on the leadership vacuum that is the Baby Boom generation. He talks about the generation before the boomers having done amazing things while:
Our parents’ generation has balked at the tough decisions required to preserve our country’s sacred entitlements, leaving us to clean up the mess. They let the infrastructure built with their fathers’ hands crumble like a stale cookie. They downgraded our nation’s credit rating. They seem content to hand us a debt exceeding the size of our entire economy, rather than brave a fight against the fortunate and entrenched interests on K Street and Wall Street.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Paul "Cassandra" Krugman

If you read through this it seems a little boring. It just encapsulates a whole mess of ideas and thoughts gong around today, particularly among progressives. Then you see it was written in 1996, and just think "Wow!"

Prescient to say the least. Maybe the Obama administration should listen to that guy.

Maybe China Can Step Up

Krugman didn't provide a link, so I'm linking to him, but in that massive sentence quoted, Roubini says:
...the willingness of the policy makers to sweat blood and tears to avoid falling into the arms of the “Russian bear” was, for a while, unlimited...
This got me to thinking (dangerous, I know). What would really be helpful right about now would be the Soviet Union. Not Russia, but the big, bad, Communist-block-creating USSR. Imagine a world where Greece were failing as they are, and the Soviets were around to phone up Greece's PM and offer assistance. I'd imagine that the US, (West) Germany, UK, et al. would be throwing money at the small Baltic nation as fast as it could be printed.

But we don't live in that world anymore. If Germany insists that the Greek people suffer, then they will. The US/UK may prefer a bailed out Greece, but really prefer to keep Germany happy. There isn't a competing alternative that Greece can go to that would force the other Eurozone nations to act humanely. Their best alternative is to leave, but they don't want to do that either, so they are stuck.

I wonder what would happen if China were to recognize how cheap it would be to buy all of Greece's debt in exchange for some very favorable deals that would allow them better access to the Eurozone.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Bloomberg is the 1%

Yes, he's an ass hole. And yes, reading Matt Taibbi say so is very cathartic.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Obama Liberal or Conservative

No matter how Republican his policies are. Obama calls himself a Democrat and, therefore, any policy he sends to the legislature is--to all Republicans and most independents at the least--representative of the LIBERAL position. Also, too, Atrios and DougJ (at Balloon Juice).

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

[Big] Banks...Still Evil

I hope that Occupy Wall Street is causing this change in bank behavior. But I would be much happier if this works:
...several companion movements, such as National Bank Transfer day...“revitalized a citizen’s movement to take money out of the large Wall Street banks and to put it into community banks or credit unions.”
People should drop Bank of America like the bad bet they are. Here are current BofA rates of return for money market accounts:
Ponder, for a second, that they have a bracket for people with $2.5 million stashed in a money market fund. Then ponder that the rates are, across the board, abysmal. Now look at my little, local credit union rates:
The $5 to open share account returns the best rate possible from BofA. Even better, the rates at the other credit union where I am a member:
I get a better rate of return on $30 than someone at BofA with $30 million. Why the hell would anyone keep their money in a big bank? Back in the day--the '30's?--you may have had more security, but the share accounts at (these and most) credit unions are FDIC insured so there is no more risk here than at BofA. Also, too, these credit unions didn't need bailing out so what risk is present is, if anything, lower.