COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, June 08, 2009

The surplus economies of China, Japan, and Germany to be shattered?




Merkel's inflationary fretting may wake the bears from hibernation

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

It is lonely in the diminishing camp of bears, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.



Published: 10:11PM BST 06 Jun 2009

Those of us who still question whether the world has purged its toxins are reduced to the same tiny band of moaning Druids from early 2007, when we shook our heads in disbelief as the carry trade swept Iceland to fresh madness and bankers laughed off sub-prime rot at Bear Stearns.

We learned then to thicken our skins with walnut juice, lie down in dark rooms, and dissent from Goldman Sachs. Such seclusion is called for once again as Goldman replays its BRIC anthem and raises its oil forecast to $85 a barrel this year, betting that the world will roar back on a tidal wave of liquidity.

It is perhaps unkind to mention that Goldman issued a $200 call at the top of the speculative frenzy last year, just before oil crashed, but they have broad shoulders.

Note that Total's Jean-Jacques Mosconi said markets are awash with so much crude that almost 100m barrels (a near record) are stored on tankers at sea. Note too that May electricity use fell 10pc in China's industrial hub of Guangdong from a year earlier. This is revealing, given that China's fiscal boost has reached peak and will fade later this year.

For guidance on where we are in this long-drawn saga, I look to Berkeley's Barry Eichengreen, author of the Great Depression classic Golden Fetters – which avoids the error of viewing the 1930s through a US prism.

He has crunched the latest data with Trinity College Dublin's Kevin O'Rourke for VoxEU, concluding that the global rupture over the last nine months has been more violent than in the early slump. This is logical. Global debt leverage is much greater this time.

The fall in industrial output has been roughly equal to the 1929-1930 stage for Germany and the Anglo-Saxons, but worse for Japan, France, Italy, and Eastern Europe. The collapse in world trade has been swifter: the global equity crash has been twice as bad. "It's a depression alright. The good news is that the policy response is very different. The question now is whether that response will work," they said.

The elastic was bound to snap back, just as it did in the bear rally of early 1931. Whether the underlying economy has begun to heal is another matter. World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin said capacity utilization is running at an historic low of 50pc-60pc. Companies will have to fire a lot of workers. This is where the danger lies, and why he fears that deflation is creeping up on us.

Trade data from Asia are flashing warning signals again. Korea's exports were down 28.3pc in May, reversing the April rebound. Malaysia has slipped to -26pc, and India has touched a new low of -33pc.

US freight data is getting worse, not better. The Association of American Railroads said traffic was down 22pc in the third week of May from a year earlier. Canadian freight was down 34pc.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) said it saw fresh drops of 4.5pc in March and a further 2.2pc in April. Tonnage is down 13pc over 12 months. Bob Costello, the ATA's chief economist, said companies have not cut inventories fast enough to keep pace with declining sales. The contraction in truck volume has "accelerated".

Yes, the Baltic Dry Index for bulk shipping of resources has quadrupled since January, but this reflects China's bid to stockpile metals while prices are low.

Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's Far East chief, fears an "Asian Relapse", saying the region is prisoner to its fatal dependency on exports to the West. The export share of GDP has risen from 36pc to 47pc across developing Asia over the last decade.

"China's incipient rebound relies on a time-worn stimulus formula: upping the ante on infrastructure spending in anticipation of an eventual rebound of global demand," he said. The strategy cannot work this time because Americans have exhausted their credit, and their desire to borrow. Consumption will fall from its peak of 72pc of GDP to the "pre-bubble norm" of 67pc, if not more.

David Rosenberg from Gluskins Sheff expects Americans to retrench ferociously as 78m baby boomers face the looming threat of penury in old age. "The big story is that the personal savings rate hit a 15-year high of 5.7pc in April. I believe it could test the post-War peak of 15pc. Too many pundits are still living in the old paradigm of Americans shopping till they drop," he said.

If he is right, this will shatter the surplus economies of China, Japan, and Germany, unless they adjust fast to the new world order. Germany does not even seem to understand the problem it faces. Chancellor Angela Merkel lashed out last week at quantitative easing by the Fed, the Bank of England, and the European Central Bank, repeating the silly mantra that this will set off an inflationary storm.

How can it do so when the velocity of circulation has collapsed, and unemployment is rising everywhere? The Fed's "monetary multiplier" ended last week at 0.867, half its average of 1.7 over the last decade. The credit mechanism is still broken. This is what happened in Japan in its Lost Decade.

The ECB says the eurozone economy will contract until mid-2010, at best. Germany's trade association (Wirtschaftsverbände) warned Mrs Merkel last week that the credit drought threatens to become "life-threatening by the summer at the latest".

The list of countries in deflation is growing every month: Ireland (-3.5), Thailand (-3.3), China (-1.5), Switzerland (-1), Spain (-0.8), the US (-0.7), Singapore (-0.7), Taiwan (-0.5), Belgium (-0.4), Japan (-0.1), Sweden (-0.1), Germany (0).

Yet markets seem to think otherwise, and this has its own awful consequences. Inflation fears have driven 10-year US Treasury yields to 3.86pc, a full point above levels in March when the Fed intervened to force rates down. US mortgage rates have jumped to 5.29pc. Gilts have reached 3.92pc, and French 10-year bonds are at 4.05pc.

This bond revolt is enough to bring any global recovery to a shuddering halt. The irony is that those fretting loudest about inflation may themselves tip us into outright deflation, with all the perils of a debt compound trap. It is Angela Merkel who plays with fire.




74 comments:

  1. June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Shiller, the Yale University professor who predicted the collapse of the U.S. housing market, writes in a New York Times article today that home price declines “may well continue for some time.”

    Shiller, co-founder of a home-price index that bears his name, said prices may “continue to fall, or stagnate” in 2010 and 2011. The S&P/Case Shiller index of 20 major cities showed median home prices were down 32 percent in March from their peak in July 2006.

    Shiller noted that U.S. home prices didn’t begin moving up, “even incrementally,” until six years after the end of the prior housing boom in 1990-91. Home prices in Japan fell every year for 15 years after the 1991 bursting of Japan’s real estate bubble, he wrote in the column.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Austria Wholesale Prices Decline In May
    06/05/09 03:46 am (EST)

    (RTTNews) - Friday, the Statistics Austria announced that the wholesale price index or WPI declined 10.5% year-over-year in May, compared to the 8.6% drop in the previous month. This was the highest annual decline since the index series started in October 1948.

    On a monthly basis, wholesale prices increased 0.2% in May, after rising 0.3% in April.

    The wholesale price index for seasonal products decreased 10.8% annually in May, the statistical office said.

    ReplyDelete
  3. O/T, but can't help it. Sarah Palin is now 14 for 14 on the ethical complaints brought against her since 2008. Though it's cost her, and the state, a lot of money to fight these fraudulent charges.

    Sarah Palin Beats All The Raps

    ReplyDelete
  4. NEW YORK -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is using her public profile to draw attention to the needs of those with autism and other developmental disabilities in the New York metropolitan area.


    The former Republican vice presidential candidate is scheduled to join a fundraising walk for the group Autism Speaks in Westchester County on Sunday.


    Then she is to be honored on Long Island later in the day at an anniversary celebration for Independent Group Home Living Inc.


    Palin's youngest son, Trig, has Down syndrome.


    More than 20,000 people turned out to see Palin on Saturday in upstate Auburn, where she helped officials celebrate Founder's Day and raise money for a museum honoring William Seward. He was the secretary of state who acquired Alaska for the United States.

    ----

    People like Palin. When's the last time 20,000 turned out anywhere to hear a politician from the other side of the country in an off political season? Doesn't happen very often.

    -----

    Finally an explanation of deflation even I can understand. Thanks, deuce.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's only fair:

    "Britain and other rich countries will be asked to accept a compulsory levy on international flight tickets and shipping fuel to raise billions of dollars to help the world's poorest countries adapt to combat climate change.

    The suggestions come at the start of the second week in the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn, where 192 countries are starting to negotiate a global agreement to limit and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The issue of funding for adaptation is critical to success but the hardest to agree.

    The aviation levy, which is expected to increase the price of long-haul fares by less than 1%, would raise $10bn (£6.25bn) a year, it is said."

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. slim wanting to accept the spin doctors view of the recent past.

    Claiming that 90 day or 120 days of performance are all that matter, that long term trends are meaningless.

    Just pick out the "blip" in the trend that is encouraging and then claim that it is a "stand alone" moment in time.

    When in fact it is just part of the continuum.

    The medicrity of spirit that Mr Steyn expressed concern over, was caused, he said, by a lack of adequate education. That failing has been widely known, since 1955, as exemplified in that Times piece.

    No news, there.

    That the youngsters do not realize it, well, inexperience and naivete are the hallmarks of youth.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Unless, of course, one wants to argue that the gassing of the Shia of Iraq, by Saddam, after Mr Bush urged their revolt against Saddam was really in the US National Interest.

    That that was just stellar US operational performance. On both a strategic and tactical level and not caused by mediocre planning and performance on the part of Stormin' Norman and the US.

    Desert Storm was just a moment in the Iraq/US war, a botched opportunity to destroy the Iraqi Army, in Kuwait, that was called off before action on the Highway of Death culminated in Saddam's total defeat.

    Which led to his brutal repression of freedom fighters in Iraq and the US invasion that followed, in 2003.

    That reality is part and parcel to any review of Desert Storm. It is part of the "Lessons Learned". Long term performance was poor, even though the inital driving assualt across the desert was classic and superbly done.

    The US would not even seal the victory by destroying the Iraqi Army, when the opportunity presented itself.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Desert Storm exemplifying piss poor performance, from a long term strategic perspective, in all reality.

    Or the US would not have needed to invade Iraq, in 2003.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We needed a "do over" or perhaps 2003 was analogous to hitting the reset button, on the decisions made during and after Desert Storm.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I traded my Gilts for Kilts.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ambrose holds Obama Harmless wrt
    Obama's disasterous tax and spend fiasco.
    How is business to address the uncertainty of 30 Czars ruling their future.
    (that 31 year old in charge of GM is the big tell:
    Control freak Obama makes Czars out of Yes Men.
    Voila!
    All Power derives from the Messiah!)
    PBU0

    ReplyDelete
  14. Obamamania in Ibero-America?
    -
    Shakira Makes Education Her Mission -

    On the flight to Quibd√≥, Shakira wanted to talk, again, about early-childhood development. She said that Latin presidents “want to be on the same ship as, you know, Obama and some of the other presidents. They’re noting that this is becoming a priority for so many other governments in the first world, and that the underdeveloped countries should not stay behind.” She endorsed Obama, sang at his inauguration and spoke with him backstage. Obama asked her about her coursework at U.C.L.A. (Shakira’s career stinted her education.) He asked her, she said, to “help” with Latin America. That’s the kind of thing that can boost a person’s confidence. (So was Bill Clinton’s visit to the Barranquilla school in March.)
    ---
    The Shakira Dialectic (November 13, 2005)

    ALAS website

    Barefoot Foundation website

    Shakira's YouTube Channel

    ReplyDelete
  15. And a free man you are, because of it, doug.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anybody seen any evidence of deflation at the Cash Register in the USA?
    Haven't seen any guesses on Global Liquidation, beyond comprehension, no doubt.
    US Residential Real-Estate alone in the Trillions.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Trading Gilts for Kilts, that is.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We need a do over of 41 and 43,
    and an office cleanup on 42.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yes, there are signs of deflation, at Walmart.

    In their Electronics Department, to be sure.

    The big imported LCD screens, prices are plummeting like a rock.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fight or flight

    A medicority of cultural spirit shown as pervasive, when the blogging youngsters threaten to take flight, rather than fight.

    The pigs are in orbit.

    Obama's success in Lebanon, just stellar. At least for the short term. As stellar as the two armoured drives across the desert, just done softly, with rhetorical style.

    Soft power as opposed to hard.
    Damned sight cheaper, giving a speech and achieving the policy goals, than moving hundreds of thousands of men and machines across the whirled.

    Putting Hezzbollah in its place, without firing a single shot.

    The audacity of democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Shakira another Lebanese Triumph!

    ReplyDelete
  22. No hezbo she,
    educated by Nuns.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Correction:
    Barry's Belle
    Dumb Fuck Marxist

    ReplyDelete
  24. What is more "unAmeirican" gaining foreign policy success through rhetorical license, or having 4,000 of US KIA in combat to achieve something less than success?

    Rhetorical licesnse costing US little, the 4,000 KIA and a trillion bucks toted on the other side of the ledger.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Latinas are world super powers in the hip department. Hips of mass destruction.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Construction material prices are way down.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Inquiring minds wonder if our resident red head picked up any pointers from her southern exposure.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Seems like Chinese stuff like drills, fans, and the like are still up @ Walmart over a couple of years back.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Obama's America, that is the new reality.

    Fifty years of faulty public education, has blossomed.

    Incrementalism, at its finest.

    It's a long walk back, and no one is even talking about starting the trip
    ."
    -Rat
    ---

    Terminally Stupid Mom

    The class returns at 2:50 for some last-minute homework instructions. School ends at 3. Most stay and do homework until 4 -- just because they can.

    A face appears at the door. It is De-Zhon Grace, a boy who was in Zika's class until Barack Obama was inaugurated as president.

    Until then, De-Zhon and his mother had been fairly happy with American Indian. "I'm a single mom, and I'm trying to raise an African American young man, and I'm very serious about his education," said Chaka Grace.

    But on Jan. 20, De-Zhon stayed home to watch the inauguration with his extended family. And that crossed a line for Roberts, who believes that nothing -- absolutely nothing -- should get in the way of class. According to De-Zhon's mother, Roberts said the boy would receive extra work as punishment and that she might rescind his recommendation to a private high school.

    That, said Grace, "took it to another level for me. . . . I felt that was evil." She pulled her son out of the school.

    De-Zhon, a neatly dressed, well-spoken boy who came back for a visit, conceded that he misses American Indian.

    "I miss my class; I miss my teacher," he said.

    There are no televisions at American Indian -- no computers in the classrooms, either -- so there was no way for students to watch the inauguration. But Roberts wants to be clear: They wouldn't have been allowed to watch it anyway.

    "It's not part of our curriculum," she said.

    Love it or hate it, it's the American Indian way.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "School administrators take pride in their record of frequently firing teachers they consider to be underperforming. Unions are embraced with the same warmth accorded "self-esteem experts, panhandlers, drug dealers and those snapping turtles who refuse to put forth their best effort," to quote the school's website."

    ReplyDelete
  31. "We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism. . . .

    Multicultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply.
    "

    That, it turns out, is just the beginning of the ways in which American Indian Public Charter and its two sibling schools spit in the eye of mainstream education.

    ReplyDelete
  32. English language learners: 2%
    ---
    The unfair advantage:
    Educating legal Citizens.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Funny you should ask.

    I do not salsa, dear host, much less presume to Shakira. (Surely she's a verb, too. A mesmerizing five-foot, one-inch verb.) In defense of my fellow Americans, I will say that I am among the exceptions.

    Satisfying the urge to salsa in my locale almost always requires the grim endurance of music, otherwise pleasant, set at deafening levels. Where even simple communication becomes a matter of employing semaphore signals. Heartier people than I.

    I have gone native in other ways, however. Though this once universally meant, and in some places still does mean, going about one's business in sandals and the daytime equivalent of pajamas, here it is the opposite. Going to the market in heels, never being seen at the ATM without lipstick, perishing at the thought of going to dinner sans silk scarf. In north Bogota, the only things one dresses down for are Sunday morning walks and bike rides, and sleep.

    Here they rival Parisians, not necessarily in sidewalk style, but in making the rest of the world look like slobs. (They also rival the incurable snobbery of the French, but unselfconsciously so.)

    ReplyDelete
  34. For the sake of comparison.

    Stratfor:

    YTD GDP Percent Change

    US...-2.6

    France...-3.2

    UK...-4.1

    EU-27...-4.4

    Italy...-5.9

    Germany...-6.9

    Japan...-9.1

    Russia...-9.5

    (Figures for China have not been included, in part because of the unreliability of Chinese statistics, but also because the country’s financial system is so radically different from the rest of the world as to make such comparisons misleading...)

    ReplyDelete
  35. And here's Tyler Cowen:


    The forecasters and the forecasts


    Hugo Lindren has just written a very interesting portrait of some of the major forecasters and their economic forecasts. In New York I was asked a number of times about my own forecast. I offer it with trepidation but here goes:

    1. The next year will see significant recovery in terms of published economic magnitudes.

    2. "Dormant inflation" will spring to life, at some point quite rapidly, and the Fed will choose to tighten. Five to six percent inflation for a while would be OK but we will be faced with the prospect of more than that and the Fed will choke it off and prevent it.

    3. We will see a "double dip" recession, with the second dip more closely resembling the 1979-1982 experience than did the first dip. It's not just that the Fed may make an error in the timing of tightening; there may truly be no good path from here to there.

    4. There will be yet a third dip to the recession, resulting from our current fiscal choices. At some point borrowing costs will rise and taxes will go up. There's a chance of a financial crisis for our government, especially if Chinese growth does not hold up.

    5. Ten years from now, the United States will have settled into a lower long-term average growth rate, in part for policy-driven reasons and in part for demographic reasons.

    6. There is still some chance that our current situation leads directly into a much bigger downturn. This will depend on international factors, not on the internal dynamic within the U.S.

    I do not put any of this forward with great confidence.



    [Smart man.]

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ol' Ambrosia, never let the facts get in the way.

    38 Million Barrels of that "floating" storage came ashore in May.

    And, Oil, and gasoline prices kept going up.

    We May very well have a "double-dip;" but it will be from oil prices, not interest costs.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This has got to make the oil companies, and Saudis, sick to their stomachs.

    Colombia Mandates all E85 Flexfuels by 2010.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Guy on Ingraham re:
    The French.
    They look down their noses (and remark to him) about us speaking only 1 language.
    ---
    Says he always responds with:

    "Yes, and if it were not for us, so would you:
    German.
    "

    ReplyDelete
  39. HANNITY: Well, is that how you feel?

    PALIN: That’s how I feel! I feel like… and I think that more and more constituents are going to open their eyes now and open their ears to hear what is really going on and realize ok… Maybe we didn’t have a good way of expressing that, or articulating that message of ‘here is what America could potentially become if we grow government to such a degree that we cannot pay for it and we have to borrow money from other countries, some countries that don’t necessarily like America.

    And this many months into the new administration, quite disappointed, quite frustrated with not seeing those actions to rein in spending, slow down the growth of government. Instead Sean it is the complete opposite. It’s expanding at such a large degree that if Americans aren’t paying attention, unfortunately our country could evolve into something that we do not even recognize.

    HANNITY: Socialism?

    PALIN: Well, that is where we are headed. That is where we have to be blunt enough and candid enough and honest enough with Americans to let them know that if we keep going down these roads… nationalizing many of our services, our projects, our businesses, yes that is where we would head. And that is why Americans have to be paying attention. And we have to have our voices heard. And ultimately it need to be our will, the American people’s will imposed on Washington, instead of the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
  40. (she doe not understand what our resident POTUS recognizes:

    We're one of the largest Muslim Countries in the Whirled.)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Good ol' Sarah, she's starting her run early.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Colombian snobbery is in part your standard Latin American anti-gringo chauvinism, part undiluted class consciousness, and part simple national rivalry vis a vis other Latin American nations (esp. Mexico).

    That's not to say that there isn't much else to recommend them. As with the French, you just have to get into the swing of things French. Or you will suffer and die.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I personally have found almost all Colombians (when they're not behind the wheel of an automobile) to be charming, helpful, and polite. But I live in a bubble.

    ReplyDelete
  44. And outwardly grateful for the political and military relationship we enjoy. But that's within a certain, restricted context.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Having met hundreds of Frenchmen, I have not found them anymore difficult than Georgians. In fact, like Georgians (US variety), they are, on the whole, fine folk.

    Now, Parisians...Well, they are something else, as they readily admit.

    ReplyDelete
  46. (And let it be known: The vast majority of native French speaks only one language. It is still, immigration from former colonies and recent interest in bilingualism notwithstanding, a monolingual country.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Banning cigarettes, now that is unAmerican.

    But another way to ration health care.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I never found Georgians difficult. Quite the opposite. If Americans in general are among the most outgoing, kind, and affable people on earth (my experience) Georgians rank near the top of that scale.

    One of the reasons why I miss it still.

    There is simply no comparison between a Georgian and a Frenchman, within Paris or without.

    ReplyDelete
  49. "monolingual"

    Hmm...

    In the Midwest, we say, "I feel your pain."

    In Georgia, they say, "I feel yer pine."

    Englishmen, Germans, and Frenchmen often make note of the same discrepancies.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Republicans Seize Control of New York State Senate
    -
    Democrats appeared to have lost their majority in the State Senate as two Democrats joined the 30 Republicans in a motion that would displace Democrats as the party in control.
    ---
    Palin @ Work, no doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  51. After the results of the vote were read aloud, the in-house television station that carries Senate proceedings live in the Capitol went dark. All that appeared on the screen was a still photo of the Senate chamber and the words “Please stand by.”
    -
    !
    ...Dems claim takeover illegal.
    Solution:
    Media Blackout!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Why Mr. Espada and Mr. Monserrate suddenly defected on Monday afternoon was not immediately clear. Both men are under investigation by the authorities. The state attorney general’s office is investigating a health care agency, Soundview HealthCare Network, that Mr. Espada ran until recently. And Mr. Monserrate, who was indicted on felony assault charges in March stemming from an attack on his companion, would automatically be thrown out of office if convicted.

    If Mr. Monserrate is convicted, the Senate would be evenly split between the parties, 31 to 31. But with the lieutenant governor’s office vacant until the 2010 elections, there would be no tie-breaking vote in the chamber unless one or more other senators changed sides.

    ReplyDelete
  53. One person backing the revolt to put Republicans back in charge was Tom Golisano, the Rochester businessman and founder of Responsible New York, a political action committee that gave thousands of dollars to Senate Democrats last year to help them take control of the Senate, but who has become increasingly critical of the party. Mr. Golisano recently announced that he was moving his legal residence to Florida out of anger about the budget deal crafted in April by Democratic leaders in Albany, which included an increase in taxes on high earners.
    ---
    Will a tax revolt stop the Marxist's March to Servitude?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Mr Golisano left New York, not the United States.
    He'll still be filing his Federal 1040 w/attachments.

    There will be no exodus from the United States. Movement within the States, no doubt, but few will be emmigrating.

    As for a taxpayer revolt. The number of folk that self-report is remarkably small. The small business man has the IRS so far up his ass, over those employee quarterly withholdings, that most have their personal IRS agent on speed dial.

    The way the system is frontloaded, even a mass of folks filing legal extensions, in protest, would have little effect.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The Supreme Court on Monday delayed the sale of most of Chrysler’s assets to Fiat pending further review of an appeal by three Indiana state funds and several consumer groups, a move that injects a new element of uncertainty over the carmaker’s fate.

    Read more at the NYTimes

    ReplyDelete
  56. "Snow Leopard

    The company also is challenging Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows 7 with an updated Mac operating system. The software, called Snow Leopard, will debut in September, the month before Windows 7 comes out. It will cost $29 to upgrade to the system.

    “Apple is going for the jugular with Snow Leopard,” said Hakim Kriout, a portfolio manager at New York-based Grigsby & Associates, which owns Apple shares. “Apple has lowered the price tag of their laptops to address criticism of their machines being overpriced.”

    Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, took a swipe at Microsoft’s Vista operating system, saying the company “dug quite a big hole” with the software. Windows 7 system is the “same old technology,” he said at the event. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. "
    ---
    Now what can MS Charge for
    Win 7/aka Vista Update?
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  57. "June 8 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy probably will emerge from the recession by September, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said.

    “I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer,” he said in a lecture today at the London School of Economics. “Things seem to be getting worse more slowly. There’s some reason to think that we’re stabilizing.”
    ---
    Good old Krugman

    ReplyDelete
  58. Things seem to be getting worse more slowly. --
    -/

    heh, that's got to be a classic.

    Things are sinking, but but we're sinking more slowly.

    heh

    Barkeep! Drinks all around!

    ReplyDelete
  59. North Korea explodes atom bomb, touches off numerous missiles, sentences two American journalists to 12 years hard labor.

    Our new Smart Diplomacy at work.

    Come on, Al Gore, they are your employees, get on over there and get 'em back.

    Ross Perot would spring into action.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Elmore County Commissioners put off nuke plant vote--


    Elmore County Commission continues rezone deliberations on Idaho nuclear plant

    More deliberations June15;

    Attorney to draft opinion on development agreement, even though company has previously addressed all concerns



    June 8, 2009

    For more information, contact:

    Don Gillispie, 208-939-9311

    Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100

    www.alternateenergyholdings.com



    Blog: www.cleanidahoenergy.wordpress.com





    The Elmore County Commission will discuss and likely vote June 15 on a rezone application by Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., an investor-funded company seeking to build an advanced third-generation nuclear power plant in Elmore County, Idaho.



    The Commission deliberated for about an hour Monday, June 8, before deciding it needed more information to make a decision on rezoning 1,300 acres of land. Specifically, the Commission asked their attorney for an opinion as to whether or not they can restrict future uses of the land. The Commissioners are concerned that if they rezone the land for industrial use and the nuclear plant isn’t developed, the landowner could apply to build a coal plant or some other undesirable use and the commission would have little ability to stop it.



    “The move today puzzles us because we have submitted a development agreement with our application that addresses their concerns,” said AEHI CEO Don Gillispie. “If we do not develop a nuclear power plant on this site, we have agreed that it should revert back to agricultural zoning.”



    One commissioner also expressed concern about how construction would impact local services. Gillispie said that issue was addressed in several ways, including an economic study that shows greatly increased tax revenues. The company has also pledged to pay for all its service demands. Gillispie pointed out there are 104 nuclear plants nationwide, with over 90 in rural areas, that operate in harmony with the ag community and national polls show over 80% support by the local community for these existing plants.



    “The irony isn’t lost on me that the commission is also holding meetings on how to deal with a pressing budget crisis,” Gillispie said. “Our proposal would start putting people to work immediately and increase the economic security for the all residents of Elmore County.”



    On June 5, the company announced it signed an agreement with Source Capital Group Inc. to raise money for the project. The funds will cover land, water rights and engineering services to obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to construct and operate an advanced nuclear plant in Elmore County, Idaho, estimated to total some $70 million. Every company that has undertaken the NRC application process has successfully completed it and received a construction/operation license.



    The Elmore County Commission in April heard more than four hours of testimony in favor of AEHI’s request to rezone land for the plant, with over 500 supporters packing the hearing room. Gillispie has said that if the land is not rezoned he will cease his efforts in Elmore County and Idaho after two-plus years

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    "We (Arabs) want to devote our time ... to build a generation capable of confronting the future with science and work,"…

    …but first things first…the destruction of Israel…otherwise, we will be forced to keep doing what we have been doing for the past 1400 years…

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  62. No, the rot in our culture that has let in the BNP goes far, far deeper than that. It is because it has turned attachment to national identity itself into a crime. Anyone who objects to multi-culturalism is called a bigot; anyone who wants to curb immigration is called a racist; anyone who objects to the Islamisation of Britain is called an Islamophobe; anyone who wants to leave the EU and regain the power of national self-government is called a xenophobe; anyone, in short, who wants to retain Britain’s national identity rooted in the shared particulars of religion, law, history, traditions and culture and its powers as a self-governing nation finds themselves ostracised as a pariah.--
    -/

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  63. Want to know where your federal stimulus bucks are going? Check it:

    Twenty-year-olds looking for summer work commonly wind up stocking shelves at the local supermarket, or taking orders at the fast-food place down the street. But for 600 Camden County youths, and others like them all over the country, this summer will be anything but typical.

    These economically disadvantaged young people will participate in summer-employment programs funded under the federal stimulus plan. The programs aim to get them ready for employment through training and job experience.

    After work-readiness training, each participant will be placed in a summer job with a governmental or nonprofit agency…

    …Weir said the 60 participants in the program, 52 of whom have dropped out of school, were simply not “work ready.”

    Many of them don’t know, for example, that when they’re sick and can’t go to work, they need to notify a supervisor, Weir said. They don’t know how to dress for work, or that they shouldn’t have an iPod in their ears when answering phones…

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    Malkin/

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