“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."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Federal Debt Grows at a Rate of 25 Times GDP, Two Years in a Row

This is the most frightening Post I have put up on this site. It is frightening because it is based on demonstrable facts and our own logical experience.

According to Stockman, $700 billion to $1 trillion in structural deficit reduction is needed and that cannot be done by spending cuts alone. Politically, he is correct. The Democrats and many of the Republicans do not want to cut anything and the Republicans are against any tax increase.

Tax increases without dramatic spending cuts will accomplish nothing and would probably make things worse.
Misapplied tax increases will hurt economic growth and will reduce the revenue available to the government.

Governmental spending cuts will reduce somebody's income by an amount equal to the cuts. That will be deflationary and increase unemployment. There is no painless or simple way to get out of this mess. It is not going to spontaneously disappear.

As an aside, the Democrats are back in town to save governmental union jobs with $20 Billion more in new debt.


Beware the light at the end of the tunnel
Commentary: It's a debt train about to collide with federal obligations

By David Stockman

David Stockman served in the House of Representatives and was President Reagan's budget director. He was a founding partner at The Blackstone Group and now runs Heartland Industrial Partners, a private-equity fund. This article first appeared on .

GREENWICH, Conn. (MarketWatch) --

The federal deficit is no longer an abstract long-term problem; it's a financially critical freight train hurtling down the track at alarming speed.

Here's a dramatic way to look at it: Nominal GDP is only $100 billion higher than it was back in the third quarter of 2008. That means it has been growing at only $4 billion per month, while new federal debt has been accumulating at around $100 billion per month.

Yes, this period represents the worst of the so-called Great Recession, but never in history has the federal debt grown at a rate of 25 times GDP for two years running! See "The Road to Recovery: Are We There Yet?"

This time is markedly different in terms of the business-cycle impact on the budget. During the past three quarters of "recovery" -- with real growth of 5.0%, 3.7%, and 2.4%, respectively -- nominal GDP growth has averaged only about 4%. This is steeply below the figure for past cycles when we had 7-10% nominal GDP growth due to higher real growth and much higher inflation.

Consequently, nominal GDP -- the true driver of federal revenue since they tax our "money" income, not the statistical "real" income confected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Commerce Department -- has only grown at $50 billion per month during the last three quarters. In other words, the federal debt still has grown at two times the rate of GDP during what looks to be the strongest phase of the recovery.

Further, if we're in a period of sustained debt deflation, it's extremely likely the GDP deflator will shrink toward zero and real growth will struggle to make 2-3%. Hence, nominal GDP growth is almost certain to be even slower in the quarters ahead -- say 3% or $40 billion per month -- than it has been since last summer. This "realistic" outlook compares with the Office of Management and Budget forecast, which assumes double this level of nominal GDP growth of a 6% annualized rate, or about $75 billion per month.

At the same time, there's virtually no chance unemployment will drop much below 10% in the context of a deflationary "recovery," meaning that budget costs for unemployment, food stamps, etc. will remain elevated, not come down by hundreds of billions as currently projected, either.

Consequently, under the current policy baseline and including extension of the Bush tax cuts -- at a cost of about $300 billion per year -- and with even mildly deflationary economic assumptions, it's not possible for the baseline deficit to drop much below $1.5 trillion any time before 2015.

Triple the debt

So we have baked into the cake a rather frightening scenario: monthly federal debt growth upwards of $125 billion, or three times the likely nominal GDP growth of $40 billion per month -- as far as the eye can see. See "The Main Event: Inflation vs. Deflation."

The publicly held federal debt will be about $9 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September, and since it now is growing at 3 times that of GDP, it should reach $12 trillion at the next presidential inauguration in January 2013. Adding in state and local debt, we'd be at $15 trillion, or a Greek-scale 100% of GDP before the next cabinet is picked.

Every reason of prudence says not to tempt the financial gods of the global bond and currency markets with this freight-train scenario: Do something big to close the deficit, and do it now.

Also, there's no possibility in either this world or the next of obtaining the needed $700 billion to $1 trillion in structural deficit reduction by spending cuts alone. We've had a rolling referendum since the first Reagan budget plan in 1981, and progressively over these three decades the Republican party has exempted every material component of the budget from cuts, including middle-class entitlements, defense, veterans, education, housing, farm subsidies and even Amtrak!

Like Casey, the GOP has been in the anti-spending batter's box for 30 years, and has never stopped whiffing the ball. The final proof is that the one GOP spending cut plan with any integrity -- the "roadmap" of Congressman Paul Ryan -- has the grand sum of 13 co-sponsors, and I dare say half would call in sick if it ever came to a vote. Therefore, tax increases are now needed because it's too late and too urgent for anything else.

Plus, both the Keynesians and the supply-siders are wrong about the alleged detrimental impact on the business-cycle recovery of a big deficit reduction package, including major tax increases. The reason is that both focus on GDP flows, with Keynesians pointing to a subtraction from consumer "spending" and the supply-siders emphasizing a detriment to output and investment.

Blocking the flow

Under present realities, though, the problem isn't the flows; it's the massive, never-before-seen stock of combined public and private debt that's depressing the economy, which overwhelms any "flow" effects from fiscal policy. Specifically, at $52 trillion, credit-market debt today is 3.6 times that of GDP, compared with 1.6 times that of GDP when the original argument of supply-side versus Keynesians opened up back in 1980.

Moreover, this 1980 total economy "leverage ratio" hadn't fluctuated appreciably for 110 years going back to 1870. So I call it the "golden constant," and note that had the total economy-leverage ratio not gone parabolic after 1980, credit-market debt today would be $22 trillion at the 1.6 times ratio.

In short, the economy is freighted down with $30 trillion in excess debt. The process of liquidating the household and business portion of this -- about $24 trillion -- will swamp the normal cyclical recovery mechanisms for years to come. And it's insane to keep adding the mushrooming public-sector portion of the debt or order to artificially juice the GDP numbers for a few more quarters.

Finally, in the context of secular debt deflation, the overwhelming priority is public-sector solvency, not conventional growth. So policy needs to be geared to long-term balance-sheet repair, not short-term flows. In every sector -- household, government, business -- the numbers are awful, and far worse than the bullish mainstream seems to recognize. See "Why Government Spending, Public Sector Jobs Are Burden to Society"

Let me close with one example: At least once a day someone on CNBC talks about the $1.5 trillion in corporate cash on the sidelines and how healthy business-sector balance sheets are.

That's pure baloney. If you peruse the flow of funds, and you'll see that corporate-sector cash assets have increased by $279 billion since the December 2007 peak, and now total $1.72 trillion. According to the same data, non-financial, corporate-sector debt has increased by $480 billion and now stands at $7.2 trillion. Corporate debt net of cash has actually increased by $200 billion during the Great Recession.

Stated differently, corporate debt net of cash was $5.3 trillion or 36.7% of GDP at December 2007 and is now $5.5 trillion or 37.6% of GDP. There's been no de-leveraging in the business sector either -- especially when its noted that tangible assets have also declined by 20% on a market basis and are flat on a book basis during the same period.


  1. I think we'll see how large the Federal Government really needs to be.

  2. Just watch, Congress will try to find a way to weasel out of the debt. Someone is going to get screwed.

  3. The fed can just keep purchasing bonds.

  4. Deuce said...

    The fed can just keep purchasing bonds

    That certainly appears to be the solution of the day. How long can they keep it up though? As Canada learned increasing taxes and cutting spending is the only way to get out of structural deficits. It is painful.

    The Fed is not out of bullets. They can print them as they please. At some point, though, the bullets don't kill as well. Controlling the money supply - a delicate game.

    I find it interesting that the Fed. is supposed to be arms length from the Gov. but it doesn't appear to be operating that way at the moment. The Elites rule...

  5. The overall question which must be asked about Mr Stockman's review...

    Is there any possibility that we can assume that the following is even within the realm of possibility?

    ... with even mildly deflationary economic assumptions ...

    That is an assumption that could well make an ass of whomever makes it, as a public policy prognosis.

    While the is some deflationary pressure from the real estate melt down, there is not much seen elsewhere in the economy, outside some drop in prices in Chinese electronics.

    There would be none of that if we tighten up on import controls of some manufactured goods from Charlie Chi-com. To "balance" their currency manipulations.

    There has been no deflationary pressure being brought on by lower energy costs.

    I fail to see how, what with the Federals flooding the streets with Chinese cash that there'd be a deflationary scenario develop.

    Though if the GOP were to regain the economic reins, there could be a fulfillment of those fears.

    After all these years, it is strange to think of inflation as our friend, but there you have it.

    That is the road that 100 years of economic management by the economic elites seated around the board table of the Federal Reserve Bank have put US upon.

    How bizarre.
    We're all Keynesian, now.

  6. dr wrote:

    "While the is some deflationary pressure from the real estate melt down, there is not much seen elsewhere in the economy, outside some drop in prices in Chinese electronics."

    I think the deflationary pressure is just that 'pressure' as opposed to evidence of price drops. I think the 'pressure' perceived is one of decreased demand. And, if one believes in a supply/demand/price causal link then it is reasonable to assume that lower demand creates pressure to lower prices and can be construed as deflationary pressure.

    As a small business man I've noticed a lack of demand in general. We are operating under-capacity and have forgone debt and expansion these past number of years.

  7. Especially if the Federals were to internalize the debt, as Deuce has advocated for.

    Then the Federal Reserve will just be printing the money, to buy the Government bonds.

    Not much deflationary pressure in that scenario, either.

  8. oh, and, the housing market is one heck of a driver of the economy and a collapse there puts 'pressure' elsewhere.

  9. that is the dance they are playing rat - trying to control the money supply and hence inflation/deflation by 'quantitative easing'. One heck of a large amount of money 'disappeared' in the crash.

  10. DR,

    Re: deflation

    You've got to get out more. Despite the Gulf catastrophe and the attack in the Strait, for example, gasoline could and can be had for less than $2.50 per gallon in Atlanta. Since I know you are an authority on Atlanta, I needn't tell you that Atlanta is typically $0.10-0.15 higher than much of the rest of Georgia. Indeed, we have had some good, old fashioned price wars in the gasoline business.

  11. Looks like Lucifer, to me--

    Lucifer, Son of the Morning

    "How art thou fallen from heaven
    O day-star, son of the morning! (Helel ben Shahar)
    How art thou cast down to the ground,
    That didst cast lots over the nations!
    And thou saidst in thy heart:
    'I will ascend into heaven,
    Above the stars of God (El)
    Will I exalt my throne;
    And I will sit upon the mount of meeting,
    In the uttermost parts of the north;
    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will be like the Most High (Elyon).'
    Yet thou shalt be brought dow to the nether-world,
    To the uttermost parts of the pit."
    - Isaiah 14:12-15

    This is the only passage in the bible that mentions Lucifer. In Christian tradition, this passage is proof for the fall of Lucifer.

    However, it is more probable that this passage is an allusion to a Canaantie or Phoenician myth about how Helel, son of the god Shahar, sought the throne of the chief god and was cast down into the abyss because of this. Evidence for this theory comes from an Ugaritic poem about two divine children, Shachar (dawn) and Shalim (dusk), who were born as the result of the intercourse of the god El with mortal women. That would make El, Elyon, and Shahar members of the Canaanite pantheon and the "mount of meeting" is the abode of the gods, which corresponds to Mount Olympus in Greek mythology. Unfortunately, this is just speculation as archaeologists have not uncovered any Canaanite sources that describe Helel ben Shahar or a revolt against Elyon.

    Many Apocalyptic writers interpreted this passage as referring to Lucifer, and wrote about the fall of the angels. 1 Enoch refers to the falling angels as stars (see the watchers) and may be the beginning of the overlap between the story of the watchers and Isaiah.

  12. There is some hint of lower demand in some areas, ash, I'll give you that.

    And "pressure" may develop to lower prices as a result of that lower demand. But if the varied M supplies are being expanded, those pressures should be overcome by the volume of cash being pumped into the system.

    That the Federals allowed just a 1% raise in the M1 supply, in the 18 months prior to the melt down, indicative of the results that "tightening" has.

    Coupled with higher energy costs, the Federals brought on the 2008 recession by design. Their "fine tuning" of the whirled economy turned out to be a tad off.

    Both politically and economicly, from my perspective. but may have met their expectations and hopes. The power of the Federals increasing with each fubar they make. Counter intuitive, but true.

  13. Esquire has a profile of Newt Gingrich:


    It's been twelve years since his extraordinary political career — the one in which he went from being a bomb-throwing backbencher in the seemingly permanent Republican minority to overthrowing the established order of both parties — collapsed around him. And yet, stunningly, in all that time Newt Gingrich hasn't been replaced as the philosopher king of the conservative movement. And as the summer rolled on, a revivified Gingrich sat atop the early polls of Republican presidential contenders, leading the field in California, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas and polling strongly in Illinois and Pennsylvania. This year he has raised as much money as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee combined. He is in constant motion, traveling all over the country attending rallies and meetings. He writes best sellers, makes movies, appears regularly on Fox News.


  14. [...]

    You ask him if he feels vindicated by the Tea Parties, if he thinks that his third act has come around.

    No, he says. "I see myself as a citizen leader trying to understand three things:

    • What the country has to do to be successful.

    • How you would communicate that to the American people so they would let you do it.

    • And then how you'd actually implement it if they gave you permission to do it."

    He's the first person you've ever met who speaks in bullet points. In fact, he sometimes more resembles a collection of studied gestures than a mere mortal, so much so that he gives the impression that everything about him is calculated, including the impression that everything about him is calculated. Which can make him seem like a Big Thinker but also like a complete phony — an unsettling combination.

    The failure of the Republican leadership under George W. Bush created an opening for him, he says. Obama's "radicalism" made that opening wider. Now a lot of Republicans are starting to ask, What Would Newt Do?

    Or, he puts it another way: "The underlying thematics are beginning to be universalizable in a way that has taken years of work."

    At minimum, he expects to be a "sort of a teacher/coach/mentor." At maximum, a leader who may yet assume the role he has prepared a lifetime for —

    But let's not get ahead of ourselves, he says. The next couple of years will answer that question.

    (ON THE POLITICS BLOG: More of Our Interview with Gingrich on 2012)

    Still, isn't there one major problem with all this? The Tea Parties only embrace half of the Gingrich vision, the one that ties bureaucracy and corruption around the neck of the Democratic party like a dead cat. But some of the policy proposals he's thrown out over the years suggest that Gingrich also supports massive government spending on education, technology, high-speed trains, national parks, health care, Social Security, and a host of odd pet projects: compulsory gym class for every public-school student in America, forcing teachers to take attendance every hour, paying kids to read, even compulsory health insurance — isn't that exactly like the "Obamacare" that drives the Tea Parties mad?

    "I've always said you should have a choice between either having insurance or posting a bond, but that every American should provide for their medical future," Gingrich answers.

    He seems a bit annoyed by the question — his tone is somehow both unruffled and peremptory at the same time.

    And didn't he support the bank bailout, too?


    Gingrich bats these questions away like pesky little flies. He gets brittle if you try to pin him down.

    You call Obama's Iran policy appeasement. But what's the alternative?

    "Replace the government."

    You're advocating war with Iran?

    "Not necessarily. There's every reason to believe that if you simply targeted gasoline, and you maximized your support for dissidents in Iran, that within a year you'd replace the regime without a war."

    That's it? After such an incendiary charge, your only solution is sanctions and speeches?

    "The only thing you have to stop is gasoline," he repeats.

    But that just seems like nuance, and only a minor difference with Obama's position.

    "The difference between replacing a regime and appeasing a regime is pretty radical."

    But you won't replace the regime that way. You're just tinkering with sanctions, which have never worked.

    "I would cut off gasoline, and I would fund the dissidents," he repeats.

    He wears the tight smile of a man who has very little room to move.


    Newt v. The Obama 2012

    I'm trying to imagine it.

  15. Gasoline is still cheaper than bottled water here, water in those little bottles.

    It's three day nail and mail day to the football players today. If they use the scholarship and free ride money to buy steroids and coke, they're gonners. Got to run.

    Have a great day of argumentation.

  16. Borrowed money makes sense if the future income stream exceeds the cost of the borrowing. It matters how the money is spent.

    The US should use the present opportunity to focus on industries and projects that will replace imports and create profits that exceed the costs of the borrowing.

    Some of the projects recommended by Rufus and others would fit this model.

    The government could finance these projects without borrowing any money. They could use a model developed on the Isle of White, whereby they issue denominated currency that covers the cost of the project and then as income is developed they withdraw the currency from circulation until it is all withdrawn. Certainly income, fee or toll generating projects would all comply with this model.

    I can develop this further on a full post.

  17. Such a scheme would be done in conjunction with cost and spending cutting in other areas. It would be a balancing act to keep the two in sync, but necessary to create jobs in excess of those that would end with government cutbacks.

  18. Deflationary danger stems from decrease in money supply caused by liquidation of (highly leveraged) wealth - overwhelming Feds inflationary printing and etc.

    As I have explained before, deflation is more difficult to control due to consumer expectations/psychology.

  19. Trish's words to live (and die) for:

    "Tolerance is the virtue of someone without conviction."

    As in:

    Anti-semitic hate-sponsored mosque on hallowed ground?

    No problemo, we be cool, Dudes!

    "Toleration" a virtue,

    hate, not a vice.

  20. Whit said something that I thought about...

    Then I heard Christopher Hitchens say something as well..

    "we should do more to deserve anti-semitism"

    Maybe the BEST thing Jews can do is upset, push beyond the limit, be agitators, innovators and such.

    The hatred displayed by those who hate Jews & Israel is really the issue, the eternal Jew? is just a catalyst.

    ANd as everyone knows a "catalyst" doesnt CREATE anything, it just speeds up the reaction.

    So Whit, to your point (and it was taken with no defensive nature) I have been personally blamed for causing the Holocaust by those that blame my personality as the excuse of why Jews should be murdered....

    Rat's hatred of of Israel and Jews existed LONG before he encountered me...

    I am just his target de jour...

    I do not mind.

    Jew haters, and Rat is one have a burning black heart towards Jews, Israel and Zionism, they are not a new invention.

    I do strongly hold to the idea, that once we have exhausted all rational discussion, AND THE JEW BAITING CONTINUES, the only way is to mock & ridicule those black hearted beasts. What is not acceptable is to some how allow those beasts a sense of normal acceptance. They are outside the normals of decent society.

    A perfect example is the Imam behind the Mosque at Ground ZERO. He is a Hamas apologist, his "Cordoba" named institute is named after a brutal Islamic occupation of Spain, he has no tolerance of other faiths and he has set to open his Mosque 9/11/11 "The opening date shall live in infamy: Sept. 11, 2011. The 10th anniversary of the day a hole was punched in the city's heart.

    Read more:"

    AND as we speak his has been SENT, on the USA taxpayer dime, to travel to Arabia, UAE & other petro nations to raise money for the mosque...

    This man should be shunned. But he is not, he is elevated to new levels of honor.

    These types should never be given any quarter.

    Ridicule and mocking is the only tool left we have.

    So as long as this blog treats those Jew haters, those that advocate the destruction of the State of Israel, those that use every turn to delegitimize Jews, Israel and Zionism I will in turn point them out to the world as the scum they are.

  21. [...]

    Next comes a delegation from the Tea Party. "Obama poses an existential threat to the Constitution," one man says. "I seem to remember that I swore an oath to protect America against 'all enemies foreign and domestic,' " says another. But when one of the Tea Partiers makes an ugly comment about immigration, Gingrich walks him back. "People who come here overwhelmingly come to work. They come from a culture where work is important."

    Like the business owners before them, the Tea Partiers seem puzzled. "Don't you think that when they get here, they'll learn to be lazy?"

    "No, I worry about them learning to be Americans."

    His behavior is bracing and principled.

    But with both groups, in the same placid and sensible voice, he moves quickly into darker themes: The work ethic is fraying, the feds are piling up debt, there are pizza parlors passing themselves off as HIV-treatment facilities and teachers who can't be fired and the Democrats passed a $787 billion stimulus bill without reading it, which proves they are the most radical "secular socialist machine" in American history.

    "The more angry we get, the worse it is for Obama," he tells his audiences. "I don't care how many three-point jump shots he makes."

    Newt Gingrich Portrait

    Thomas Nash/House of Representatives

    "There's a large part of me that's four years old," he tells you. "I wake up in the morning and I know that somewhere there's a cookie. I don't know where it is but I know it's mine and I have to go find it. That's how I live my life. My life is amazingly filled with fun."

    He says this in the same office, with the same assistant at his side and a digital recorder on the table.

    Last year, at sixty-five, he converted to Catholicism. He credits this to Bisek, a willowy blond who sings in a church choir. "Callista and I kid that I'm four and she's five and therefore she gets to be in charge, because the difference between four and five is a lot."


    "I wake up in the morning and I know that somewhere there's a cookie. I don't know where it is but I know it's mine and I have to go find it."

    That's incredibly funny.

  22. Some (possibly many) years ago, a prominent social observer predicted that the US was producing an "unemployable" class. Have we begun to reap the harvest of that (if true)?

    If one cannot see deflation in real estate, well...

    At this writing, not less than 20% of commercial real estate in Atlanta is going begging, with rentals (such as they are) generally being done for less than cost.

    Looking at residential real estate, the median has dropped not less than 1/3 the 2007 price in Atlanta. We have not less than a full year of inventory, and that is growing. Sellers are desperate and strategic foreclosure and short sales have become such a problem that the GAR and the Legislature are considering the advisability of punitive action.

    Like the weather, which I check each morning, paying no attention to the forecasters, economic "data" is the same.

  23. List Of Evidence For War in Lebanon

    Evidence is building that shows things are marching toward a major war.

    1. Hizbullah has dug tunnels into northern Israel.

    2. Hizbullah has 60,000 rockets many with chemical war heads.


    10. Israeli intelligence has captured data showing Hizbullah will preemptively attack Israel at months end, objective to take out IAF bases so our planes cannot hit Iran.

  24. Enlightenment Strikes Trish:

    Newt is an Assclown.

    Who woulda known?

  25. "Anti-semitic hate-sponsored mosque on hallowed ground?"

    Truth be told, I am a hate-sponsored anti-Semite.

    Now you know.

  26. Fear not, WIO:

    Toleration will triumph:

    Gutfeld is gonna open a (Gay) Toleration Bar next to the Mosque of Hate.

  27. "Newt is an Assclown."

    Yes, and could very well be our Republican candidate for president.

    Just think of it.

  28. Obama IS our president.
    Experience it.

  29. trish said...
    "Anti-semitic hate-sponsored mosque on hallowed ground?"

    Truth be told, I am a hate-sponsored anti-Semite.

    Now you know.

    1st response...

    No Brisket for you bitch...

    2nd response?

    Your point? not funny...

  30. Doug said...
    Obama IS our president.
    Experience it.

    Yep, and HE is an ASSCLOWN

  31. Real-estate website says that more sellers reduced their homes prices in July, the fourth straight month in which price reductions tracked by the firm have increased.

    The average discount on price-reduced homes is 10% off the original listing price, which is unchanged from previous months.

    None of this should be that surprising, given that inventories of unsold homes in many markets are rising, and that sellers may be seeing less traffic after that expiration of the home-buyer tax credits.

    Several reports show that housing inventories are building from relatively lower levels in the West, and Trulia’s data shows that several of those markets saw an increase in the number of homes with reduced prices. In Las Vegas, nearly 18% of listings had price cuts in July, from 12% the previous month. In San Diego, the share of price-reduced listings increased to 23%, up from 20% in June.

    Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, Minneapolis led with 42% of all listings showing a price reduction, followed by Milwaukee (39%), Dallas (36%) and Boston (35%).

  32. "...not funny..."

    You know what's not funny? That I've become the bizarre hobby of someone associated with allen.

    That's not funny. That's kinda sad.

  33. Trish they need to be careful what they wish for. They say no "victory mosque" two blocks from the WTC because Islam is a political movement not a religion, but with a sweep of a pen they can withdraw tax-exempt status from Mormonism or Catholicism or Protestantism, especially if they promote political candidates and issues. What goes around comes around.

  34. The shock is, Deuce, it has been found that the jobless cannot afford a New Home.

    ...unless and until we return to liar loans.

    Or Obama and Co begin paying for those in default.

    (Paid for by those of us who aren't,

  35. That is already the case, T:

    ...except in mosques and black churches.

  36. ACLU/IRS pursue Christian violators.

    Muzzies and Blacks, not so much.

  37. Enjoy that low price gasoline, allen.

    Here it is $2.79 to $3.03 depending on the grade of gasoline purchased at the pump.

    Not much deflationary pressure there.

    As to the Real Estate debacle brought on by the GOP management of the economy, yep, there is an overall depression there, seems to me.

    But no over all deflation, not a great decline in rents, not one that would correspond with the drop in sales prices. May be because so much of the rental real estate and the rents are not that driven by the current sale market.

    Having been purchased years ago, at totally different price points than were seen during the boom or the debacle.

    Time will tell, but the assumption that we will enter a deflationary period and that the Federals would not flood the streets with script to combat it, far fetched.

  38. trish said...
    "...not funny..."

    You know what's not funny? That I've become the bizarre hobby of someone associated with allen.

    That's not funny. That's kinda sad.

    I really have no clue as to what you are referring... but then again, as in most things, I am clueless

  39. "So tell me do you ever show up for anything but the race-baiting or do you have something else to offer?"

    nope, my main interests at the present are confronting the "False Patriots" of this country. Also seeing the reaction of bullies once they have been stood up to.

  40. "I really have no clue as to what you are referring..."

    I didn't assume that you did, What Is.

    It was just an opportunity to throw that out there.

  41. "As to the Real Estate debacle brought on by the GOP management of the economy,"

    Message from the (one sided)

    Department of Newspeak

  42. Deuce, please do make a Post on the Isle of White scheme. I would love to hear more about it.

  43. But how can that be, that those that support the mosque can be considered ant-Semites, when the majority of Semites are Muslims?

    Seems that many here are anti-Semitic, all those that disrespect our allies, the Semitic Saudi Wahhabi.

    So many labels, based upon race, religion and language.
    To bad they do not all conflate to each other, as the propagandists that support religious war would have you believe.

    First they debase the English language, in their attempt to control the debate.

  44. Teresita said...
    Trish they need to be careful what they wish for. They say no "victory mosque" two blocks from the WTC because Islam is a political movement not a religion, but with a sweep of a pen they can withdraw tax-exempt status from Mormonism or Catholicism or Protestantism, especially if they promote political candidates and issues. What goes around comes around.

    Man from your mouth to Allah's eyes...

    It's time to revamp the entire tax sham that allows any two-bit nut job to be tax exempt...

    As for the Mega Victory Mosque? It's a load of crap, there are over 100 mosques in NYC alone.

    Tell you what, AFTER they open a Mohammed's Finest Baby Back Rib Joint, Dog Grooming and Strip Club in Mecca, then they will have the right to open a VICTORY mosque 600 feet NORTH of Ground ZERO in metallic hued tones that will reflect a nice beacon right into the Twin Towers footprint...

    OH? time to bulldozer the DOme of the Rock... It's illegal, it never had a building permit and it's squatting on someone else's land

  45. We should deny all religions tax exempt status, all religions are businesses that should be taxed at the corporate rate.

    Truth be known.

  46. desert rat said...
    But how can that be, that those that support the mosque can be considered ant-Semites, when the majority of Semites are Muslims?

    Ah the jew hating rodent speakith?

    Heard a funny joke...

    Do you know when a rat lies?

    He's moving his lips...

    Rat has nothing of value to contribute. Just lies distortions and nonsense.

    Dont even attempt to correct him as truth and facts bear no bearing on his rodent like ways...

  47. time to bulldozer the DOme of the Rock... It's illegal, it never had a building permit and it's squatting on someone else's land

    Can't do anything like that on the first day of Rama dana ding dong. We must suspend all combat operations in Afghanistan today too, or risk the wrath of the Arab "Street".

  48. 60% of black men drop of of high school in Chicago

    1 in 40 go on to college.....

    Congrats to Chicago African American Leaders...


  49. Can't do anything like that on the first day of Rama dana ding dong. We must suspend all combat operations in Afghanistan today too, or risk the wrath of the Arab "Street".

    I am buying a big bucket of ribs and a fan and driving up and down the islamic hood in my town...

  50. Blacks in Chicago start a new program

    Urban Prep.

    Uniforms, disciple and homework...

    WOW aint that new concept

  51. "Deuce, please do make a Post on the Isle of White scheme. I would love to hear more about it."

    : )

  52. Total revolving credit

    For the first time in data recorded history total revolving credit has contracted on a year over year basis. Keep in mind this has occurred at the same time that record amounts of bailout funds were transported over in big giant dump trucks to banks. It is an odd sort of system we currently have. Banks begged and pleaded and lobbied their way to bailout funds because they said they needed funds to keep lending open for working Americans. Yet once the funds were allocated, no strings attached (remember that Paulson three page memo?) banks went to fixing their internal problems while speculating in the casino known as Wall Street. Now, banks have this righteous notion that they won’t lend to Americans because they don’t have the income to back up the loans! The same banks that would be out of work today are now talking about lending standards.

  53. You know what's not funny? That I've become the bizarre hobby of someone associated with allen.

    That's not funny. That's kinda sad.

    I certainly hope you are not referring to me as i have absolutely no interest in you as a person or a poster. someone else is messing with you. ever hear of blocking emails, why not try it?? or are you just trying to create something here out of thin air for attention?

  54. In Rama dana ding dong the five daily prayers required by Islam become six.

    MATT 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

  55. It should be noted that the Abdul Faisal Rauf clan is Anti-American as well as antisemitic.

    ...not that it matters,
    to some.

  56. "I certainly hope you are not referring to me..."

    How in the hell would I know? Who are you?

  57. For that matter, who are the "false patriots" you are preoccupied with?

  58. There is no lie in my statement, not a one.
    Semites are a language grouping, that includes all those that speak Arabic.

    If you stand religiously against the Arab Wahhabi, you are an anti-Semite.

    That is what the words mean, in the English language.

    That the Zionists wish to advance the phraseology of turn of the century Judaism hating German propagandists, telling to their true intent.

  59. Or with whom you are preoccupied?

  60. HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe is selling millions of carats of rough diamonds from an area where soldiers killed 200 people and forced children into hard labor.

    The jewels were certified ready for sale on Wednesday after the international blood diamonds monitor said the stones met minimum international standards.

    Heavily armed police and soldiers guarded top security vaults built at the main Harare airport, where several private jets brought buyers from Israel, India, Lebanon and Russia, officials said.

    Investigators said the gems were mined by virtual slaves who had been told to dig or die, and were smuggled out by soldiers who raped and beat civilians.

    Zimbabwe's mines ministry accuses human rights groups of "peddling falsehoods" over rights violations

  61. desert rat said...
    There is no lie in my statement, not a one.
    Semites are a language grouping, that includes all those that speak Arabic.

    If you stand religiously against the Arab Wahhabi, you are an anti-Semite.

    That is what the words mean, in the English language.

    That the Zionists wish to advance the phraseology of turn of the century Judaism hating German propagandists, telling to their true intent.

    *******************TROLL ALERT********************

  62. When they build that "Gay Toleration Bar" across the street from the 9-11 Victory Mosque in NYC, complete with bare chested waiters with bunny tails, we will hear CAIR complain (after a thorough investigation involving several nights of undercover work) that it is a "deliberate provocation".

  63. Jon Stewart did some funny stuff on the Mosque last night

  64. More loving commands from the scripture of the Religion of Peace:

    Sura 5.33: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.

  65. -There has been nearly $5 trillion housing equity destroyed and

    $4 trillion in stock market value has evaporated since this correction started...


  66. It's hard to find the right "tone" to respond to this post. It is a Serious post about a Deadly Serious Topic.

    It is a post about a topic that the "Best and Brightest" of our elites couldn't seem to even "imagine" a few years ago.

    The Greenspans, and the Paulsons of the world, not to mention our elected officials, let us down. They looked up, and saw a few wispy clouds streaming by, checked the barometer, observed that it had dropped a few points, and concluded that it was a beautiful day for a Sea Cruise.

    We have Big problems. Some are known, and some still seem to be unrecognized.

    That said, they Are solvable. Robert Gates just announced one of the most sensible, and encouraging things I've heard in years. Our bill in Iraq is getting smaller, and the one in Afghanistan will, starting next year, begin to decrease, also.

    The rather modest tax increases starting Jan 1 will add several hundred billion/yr to the treasury.

    Unemployment is going to remain a problem for quite awhile. There are a couple of million jobs going begging, right now, due to lack of qualified workers. The incredibly high cost of having a solar panel installed is a symptom of this.

    The misapplication of Capital right now is horrendous. The bankers say the regulators won't let them lend. The regulators deny it. Same story we've heard for a hundred years, where the truth lies, who knows?

    The fact is, small businesses can't get a buck. Without them, it's impossible to get out of recession. We could spend the next month on this. Later, I want to go check the EIA numbers.

  67. WiO: I am buying a big bucket of ribs and a fan and driving up and down the islamic hood in my town...

    The ultimate Jewish conundrum: Free ham

  68. 'Rat:
    In SOCAL, rents are usually far less than the carrying costs of Real Estate.

    I'd guess around one quarter.

    What are they in Phoenix.

  69. DR,

    Re: rent deflation

    Rents have certainly come under enormous deflationary pressure here. Last year, the enticements were in kind. This year, they are in cash (greatly reduced rents).

  70. I mean, what makes for a "false patriot"?

  71. "The rather modest tax increases starting Jan 1 will add several hundred billion/yr to the treasury. "


    The Perfect time to RAISE TAXES!

    That'll git her done!

  72. Why not have the EB pay it's own bills?


  73. doug, the US has to do BOTH - raise taxes AND cut spending. Painful but true.

  74. 'No to US aid with conditions'

    Lebanese minister rejects constraint that arms not be fired at Israel.

    BEIRUT — Lebanon's defense minister says he would reject any American military assistance to the Lebanese army if it comes with conditions that the weapons not be used against Israel on Wednesday.

    Elias Murr was commenting on the decision by a US congressman to suspend $100 million of military aid to Lebanon over concerns the weapons could be turned on Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.

  75. WIO:

    Be sure not to miss my

    Wed Aug 11, 09:46:00 AM EDT

  76. U.S. Exports Faltered in June; Trade Deficit Widened

    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    “The wider deficit came as a surprise to economists [experts] who had forecast a smaller trade gap because of lower global oil prices.”

  77. By taking some of the New Twenty Six Billion bailout,

    Schools are Legally bound to make NO CUTS to existing budgets in the future!

  78. What a strange reaction. Trade balance goes straight to hell, and the Dollar "Surges." WTH?

  79. my guess is 'flight to safety'. The ole greenback back by the full faith of the US gov. and, more importantly it seems, the FED. Don't worry about your treasuries -if no one else will buy them the FED will. That'll work until it doesn't. Then look out if you are holding US dollars.

  80. It's one of those ripples you predicted years ago as I chronicled
    New Century's demise,

    Rose Coloreds were darker then.

  81. Dollars safer than commodities.


  82. The instant I surfed to the jaw dropping The Top 12 Reasons To Burn A Quran On 9/11 Hubpages piece I convinced myself that western Journalism's web visitors absolutely should witness this link!

  83. I meant stocks, but WTH.

    Everything changes.

  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

  85. Advertisers Speak to Muslim Consumers

    As the Islamic population has grown in size and affluence, multinational groups have built marketing campaigns to attract Muslims. Above, an ad for Sunsilk shampoo features a veiled woman.

  86. Re: Do you have something else to offer?

    "nope, my main interests at the present are confronting the "False Patriots" of this country. Also seeing the reaction of bullies once they have been stood up to."


    Kind of like the goddess Nemesis seeking vengeance.

    Or as others might characterize it, a one-trick pony.

    Or an idiot savant who's one area of expertise is in baiting the rat.

    Unfortunately, you're a little late to the party. Everyone here takes a swipe at the rat at one time or another and we have a couple who do it full time.

    You do appear a little redundant.

    However, I must admit the redundancy is offset to a small degree at times by the comic relief you provide by dropping phrases like "False Patriots".

    Oh by the way, this is Anonymous I'm talking to, right. I wouldn't want to have Anonymous think I was talking to him or even to one of the other Anonymi.


  87. There's not a Man/Woman Jack, here, that wouldn't have bet a Million Dollars against this. Said Man/Woman would have lost their cheese.

    Portugal "Now" get 45% of Electricity from RENEWABLES

    Going for Sixty in 2020.



    Published on on August 9, 2010

    Dick Morris

    My observations from the campaign trail are that this year's elections will be a total and complete disaster for the Democratic Party. In fact, it will amount to the obliteration of an entire generation of Democratic officeholders. It will become very rare to find a youngish baby boomer white Democrat in elective office in the United States. I believe that almost half of the white Democratic congressmen who are seeking reelection will lose!

    A wipeout of this magnitude cannot be explained, alone, by Obama's ratings or his policies. He has fallen sharply since he took office, but even ratings in the 40s do not explain this type of result. It is increasingly obvious that Congress has earned much of this disaster by itself, quite unrelated to Obama. The vision of the deal-making that accompanied healthcare was too disgusting for the average American to stomach. And now the failure of the Congress to expel Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) underscores its inability to police itself.

    Blocked image But Republicans need to remember that when they lost the House in 2006, about 5 percent of their incumbents were under indictment, convicted or in prison, or resigned. Washington has always been the crime capital of America, but the House of Representatives was its highest crime-rate neighborhood!

    Republicans should embrace specific ethical reforms, which they should showcase in their campaign advertising in 2010. These positive ads will do as much as any good negative to underscore the difference between a Republican challenger and a Democratic incumbent.

    The reforms should include:

    • The establishment of an office of special prosecutor for Congress, with its head appointed by the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for a fixed term. The office should have subpoena power, a well-funded staff and the right to convene grand juries and issue indictments. Self-policing by ethics committees obviously does not work.

    • All earmarking should be banned. Congress cannot be trusted with this power.

    • A ban on spouses of members of Congress serving on boards or accepting employment by any company or organization that receives federal funds. In cases like Mrs. Chris Dodd and Mrs. Evan Bayh, corporate board employment was a way for special interests to influence their husbands and pad the family checkbook.

    • A ban on families of members of Congress serving as lobbyists.

    • No free travel, whether sponsored by foundations or lobbyists. Only government trips on official business -- real business -- should be allowed.

    • Full disclosure of the precise amounts of members' net worth, debts, investments and holdings, including home mortgages.

    • Full publication, online, of all committee votes.

    • No student loan repayments for congressional staffers.

    • A five-year ban on lobbying for members of Congress or their staffs after leaving office. The ban should also apply to employment by a company that performs lobbying services.

    • If a senator or congressman is absent more than 10 percent of the time for reasons other than illness -- including running for president -- his pay should be docked proportionately.

    • Term limits for congressional staffers. No staff member of Congress should be permitted to serve in a job that pays above $100,000 a year for more than eight years. If we can't get term limits for Congress, let's at least clean out the professional staffers!

    A smart candidate in 2010 will take elements of these proposals -- particularly the special prosecutor -- and put them in his or her campaign ads. Cashing in on Obama's unpopularity and his failed agenda is only half the battle. Capitalizing on the dismal state of congressional ethics is the other part!

  89. Dick Morris is such a, well, dick.

    "Senator Michael Bennet’s win in the Colorado primary gives Democrats hope of stemming an anti-incumbent tide in November. "

    In Colorado no less.

  90. It's amazing what a three day notice and the threat of accelerated payments will do. Focuses the mind like death or the threat of hanging is said to do.

    Ash is such an as.

    That's the short spelling.

    I'm thinking Mr.Morris might well be on to something.

    Wal-Mart time.

  91. Wrong it's grilled cheese sandwich time. Then Wal-Mart.

    It sounds like bad news doesn't it Ash. All your beloved democrats. To have a tidal wave come in and wash half the Congress away. I wish Charlie Rangel could escape the general slaughter, cause he's so nice. I bet eighty percent of the Black Caucus is crooked in one way or other. After Charlie and Maxine, looks like Jesse Jackson Jr's name may be making headlines. Working on up the line eventually we'd come to the Usurper. With a Congress of Pubs with some spine, we might. Dreadful thought, Ash.

  92. A vote for Harry Reid is a vote for storing dangerous nuclear waste on-site at power plants across the country.

  93. Israel Getting Set To Bomb Iran

    As to where to place the "Peace Mosque", how about Antarctica? Isn't it already internationalized? The Penquins should love it, being, like barack, kinda half black, half white already. A perfect place to celebrate Ramadan.

  94. Teddy Roosevelt = Square Deal
    Franklin Roosevelt = New Deal
    Harry Truman = Fair Deal
    Bill Clinton = Meal Deal
    B. Obama = Raw Deal

  95. Hey Bobbo, you tell us (a) what a good looking guy you are and (b) that you are a philosopher.
    However, this guy says the two are incompatible.

    "I can’t help wondering if ugliness is not indispensable to philosophy. Sartre seems to be suggesting that thinking — serious, sustained questioning — arises out of, or perhaps with, a consciousness of one’s own ugliness..."

    Was up?

    Beauty of the Mind


  96. Exception to the rule Quirk, the mold to be broken away from. I've overcome the worldly standards. The wife is calling, we go now to WM.

  97. Anon,

    Re: Quirk

    Just keep doing what you have been; you've hit paydirt.

    You see, the guy has to keep up these vapid, insipid exchanges because to do otherwise would force him to confront his inner bigot. So, Anon, you like me will get "yada" "yada" "yada", without so much as a straight answer to a strait question or comment. O, and he likes to think he is clever with word games..."PURPORT" indeed...Israel has been exonerated in every forum save one, the Aryan Brotherhood. The great news is that Evangelical Christians continue to support us almost to a person.

    By the way, this whole Liberty slander is turning into a real money maker for a few guys. Google "official reports uss liberty" and you will see what I mean. It will take you a while to get to the official results.

    Good work!

    PS: Re Trish "who are you"

    Just keep it up, friend :)

  98. Golf Digest's rankings of presidential golf games.

    1. John F. Kennedy

    2. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    3. Gerald R. Ford

    4. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    5. George H. W. Bush

    6. George W. Bush

    7. Bill Clinton


    9. Ronald Reagan

    10. Warren G. Harding

    11. William Howard Taft

    12. Woodrow Wilson

    13. Richard M. Nixon

    14. Lyndon B. Johnson

    15. Calvin Coolidge

    Li'l Kim Jong-Il is also said to be one of the best golfers in the world, but this statistic might be biased by the fact that anyone who beats his score goes to a gulag to be tortured to death.

  99. This comment has been removed by the author.

  100. Will we find out how Randy Paul was in college by reading the EB Comments?

    We certainly will not learn of BHO's collegiate activities at Oxy or Columbia.

  101. The wrestling woman won her primary.

  102. bob,

    The Israel bombing link was interesting.

    Lessons may be drawn from the 2006air campaign over Lebanon. Among them, expect Israel to take out infrastructure, i.e. dams, bridges, power grids etc.

    As soon as the Iranians consolidate and fire up their antiquated armor and air wing, they will be militarily destroyed in detail. Remember the "Road of Death" in Kuwait?

  103. Yoni says they lost a chopper in Romania:
    Says they have been making flights (with in air refueling) there and back after excercises.

    Romania being as far away as Iran.

  104. Also claims they have an airfield in land of the Sauds.
    (our state of the art discard?)

  105. ...also that if bioweapons are used against Israel, they will us "Neutron Bombs."

  106. Q2 GDP Growth Could Be Revised To Just 1% After Trade Data...

    Housing activity will be a big negative in Q3 after being a huge positive in Q2. Both reflect the April 30 deadline for the homebuyer tax credit.

  107. Quirk, I, actually, exaggerate a hell of a lot. It's the only way I can keep my ego intact.

    I don't know why she wants to go to Wal-Mart in the heat of the day. Why not go at night? I ask.

    Well, that's a stupid question, she answers, cause I want to go now.

    That settles it, then.

  108. You can count on the Idaho Fish and Game Department to get it ass backwards. Just got a call from a buyer friend of mine, since we've done business and may in the future, I can't turn him down. Wanted permission to hunt my place--for elk! Cow elk! An early season. All that's permitted there this year. He said though, he's heard wolves out there but hasn't seen any yet. I asked about the Mountain Caribou. His opinion was the same as mine, if the wolves get up in the Selkirks, they will wipe the last 300 of them out. And I thought we were in the business of saving species? And the wolves have crossed the Snake, into the Wallowas. They weren't supposed to do that, under Idaho Fish and Game Department guidelines. But these fellows, the wolves, can't read, or care. If fact, the Idaho Fish and Game fellows can read, and don't care, either.

    Your gov't at work.

    It's really tragic, and sad.

    My place is about 7 air miles from Moscow. We got wolves, right there.

    Unvelievable. He promised to sss the wolves if he gets a chance.

  109. I swear, that's one thing I really should try to do, get myself on the Idaho Game commission. They set the seasons. An early cow elk season, when the herds are collapsing, what the hell are they thinking?

  110. Reading around a bit, I see several wolves have been poisoned by Temik. People have had it with this nonsense.

  111. Wayne better protect his beautiful cattle. Bedded down in that pasture with no way out, as they are, sorta out and away from everything. Hamburger paddies on the hoof.

  112. Wolves, Dogs, and Temik

    Wish some magic bullet could be found that would wipe out every single wolf in the state.

  113. Bridge Building Names for Gutfelds Ground Zero Gay Bar:

    Turban Cowboy

    Grind Zero


    You Mecca Me Hot

    Suspicious Packages

  114. There is an incredible amount of empty retail space that is empty.

    Never seen the like in forty years.

    Commercial space I am not as familiar with, but times are certainly not booming in that market segment, either.

    Lots of empty stand alone houses, never seen as many of those empty, either. The McCain/Keating Savings and Loan meltdown, that didn't scratch the surface of what's happening now.

    Hugh hits on recreational properties, peak to trough.

    That one would suppose there to be substantial economic impact from this.
    Which there certainly is. Whether it is the cause or an effect, there could and has been, debate.

    It would seem though, that the great influx of cash, financed through the Federal debt has mitigated some, most all, of the deflationary effects one would expect to see.

    A deflation that would be at least as horrific as the long-term debt, if not more so, in all reality. Especially if the US can inflate itself out of a significant portion of the foreign debt.

  115. Film that increases the efficiency of Solar Panels by 10% for $0.10/watt.

    That's a great deal, kiddos.

  116. I just skimmed the article, don't really know what it said, but posted it cause it sounded provocative.

    And I thought Quirk might like it.

  117. Quirk,

    Re: Liberty notes

    Read the NSA and weep, Quirk

    Nowicki letter to WSJ refuting Liberty author and book promoter

    Since you are an honorable man, you would certainly want the testimony of someone with first hand knowledge of the Liberty accident; try Dr. Marvin Nowicki, formerly of NSA and a witness to the events of the day from on high.

    And, ah, Pooh, this is just too good to be kept secret by you.

    Quirk’s alleged recall of American aircraft by LBJ sent to relieve the Liberty came from the mouth of ONE DEAD GUY into the ear of ONE author.

    “Rear Admiral Lawrence Geiss was in charge of the USS Saratoga and USS America. He swore me to secrecy until his death, which happened about nineteen years later…

    Hey, Pooh, is this what you call evidence? You are easily convinced. Hmmm…Who said, “You can’t take an honest man”?

    “What he told me I kept SECRET until I learned of his death at the first reunion and twenty year anniversary of the veterans of the USS LIBERTY…

    So, Pooh, let’s see what we have here: We purportedly have a retired admiral willing to leave his men and history in the lurch and an equally disreputable confidant willing to let murderous war crimes pass until a more advantageous time (that would, of course, be the demise of the admiral, who, by the way as a dead guy, could tell no tales or make a [drum roll] REBUTAL) Wow, Dude, you really know how to pick witnesses. You are not real bright for a guy claiming multiple degrees – much like DR actually, with a sewer rat’s mustache and sneer.

    Tell you what, Buckaroo Bonzai, wade into all those NSA documents above and review the record of Dr. Norwicki. When you find a record of American planes having been scrambled and recalled as reported, please publish that finding here. You will be the first (that is, aside from the alleged dead guy and the imaginative author). Hey, you will put the EB on the map. Deuce and Whit might get an invitation to join PM.

  118. Quirk,

    As an alumnus, I needn't tell you that having made a claim, you are obliged to provide your documentation. I wait, assuming that Farmers University of Central Kansas recognizes the scientific method.

    If national security (DR tried that one once) prevents disclosure, please tell me. If you too have given your word not to release critical facts until the death of your source, please tell me. Are you getting that 007 tingle yet?

  119. Buckaroo Banzai

    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

    ... a renaissance man, a top neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star and comic book hero. In the film, he is seen as a mild-mannered hero and his latest experiments open the door to the 8th dimension and unwittingly start an interstellar battle for the world...

  120. And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

  121. Deuce,

    Re: Let's get real 98,000 Jewish docs

    Thanks! Sorry to have missed it earlier. (Is something amiss with the system?)


    Re: more harm than good

    WiO can speak for himself.

    Churchill thought WWII was the "unnecessary war". In his view, had the Allies, particularly France, drubbed Hitler when he sent a couple regiments into the Rhineland, Hitler's regime would have been toppled by the Wehrmacht.

    If you want to do something to protect the US, then, vicious liars and propagandists need to be confronted and forced to put up or shut up. When allowed to pursue the same fascist meme for days on end (sometimes vampiric body snatching...sometimes complicity in 9/11...sometimes a baseless claim of the wanton, malicious attack on a ship of the line...) this site stinks. If you don't like that, don't blame WiO and me.

  122. If I was Israel and I had to attack Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, The LAF, Hamas?

    Assuming there was no threat from the west bank, egypt, jordan, turkey, saudi arabia & iraq?

    I'd launch drones over battle areas scanning to create an electronic war map to be beamed back to target command.

    Then i'd hit major targets of infrastructure, power grid and C & C (like Revolutionary Guard HQ & barracks at about 4am), hit major symbolic targets like the presidential palaces of all of the above mention enemies. Hit Iran's embassy in Lebanon, use sub's to launch major hits against all suspected Iranian NUKE targets, I'd hit the 3 nuke sites in SYRIA, cluster bomb the bekka and naplaum southern lebanon, all the while run fighters up and down the syrian plateau taking out their tanks, anti aircraft and their chemical weapons and rocket stores...

    I could see, if Israel decides it's a "kill or be killed" historic moment, they may choose to use nukes on the major nuke sites and the desert.

    I doubt Israel will nuke population centers, unless chemical or bio weapons are used by syria, hezbollah or Iran, then all bets are off...

    I would before any of this happens set off several EMP's over Iran & Syria.

    If Egypt flips and goes radical? Moslem brotherhood takes over? Blow the Aswan dam....

  123. As the matter of fact, the dead guy cannot be "alleged" to be dead. He is or he isn't. For clarity's sake, the dead guy is in fact dead.

    It is his superduper secret revelation of a cover up that is alleged. Since the admiral appears to have failed to leave journals or diaries, we will never know. But one does have to admit that the testimony of one guy about the alleged testimony of another guy (assuredly dead), given in secret, has the odor of kitty litter.


  124. The Federal Reserve, in announcing the results of this week's meeting of the Open Market Committee, surprised the market by revealing it will begin purchasing US Treasury notes and bonds with the principal income it receives from its vast holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage securities. This practice - wherein the Fed buys up US government securities and injects cash into the public market as payment for these securities - is a form of monetizing the debt.

    Can't vouch for the source but the read the rest if you wish.

  125. I heard today that some in Congress are talking about using Fannie and Freddie to bail out the millions of homeowners who are underwater. If we're dependent income from the shams Fannie and Freddie to carry our debt how is it going to work out if we "magically" let those two institutions make America's homeowners whole?

    Kudlow was saying that with Obama's economic gurus, Romer and Summer leaving the only business savvy one left will be Geithner. He says the rest of the Obama economic team has a marked anti-business bias. He expects that Obama will have to moderate his economic policies.

    We'll see.

  126. What scares me, among a lot of other things, is the attitude the Russians might develop to the reality of a lot of dead Russian engineers at Bushehr. Perhaps that ought to be about last on the hit list to allow the Russians time to get out of harms way.

  127. The traditional danger of monetizing national debt is inflation but in our current environment (a well and truly burst bubble) there's little danger of that.

  128. We're Bankrupt Now And Don't Even Know It

    Hemingway said, in a nice turn of phrase:

    "You go broke slowly, then all at once."

  129. My wife was telling me there was an article in the local paper about farmland prices, which have gone down a lot. But I missed the article, which I'm trying to find. Doesn't surprise me though.

    If you want to know what farmland is really worth, take it's average yield, say, 50 bushels an acre a year, and add a 0. That makes it really worth $500/acre. You won't find any, though.

  130. From bob's link:
    the IMF is saying that closing the U.S. fiscal gap, from the revenue side, requires, roughly speaking, an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal-income, corporate and federal taxes as well as the payroll levy set down in the Federal Insurance Contribution Act.

  131. From Kudlow:
    But here’s the central problem. The Fed can print more money, but it can’t print jobs — or capital formation, or productivity. With a trillion dollars of excess bank reserves already in the system, there’s no shortage of money. The recovery is being held up by the tax-and-regulatory threats and anti-business attitude coming out of Washington.

    Some people are talking about New Deal jobs programs like the WPA wherein the Feds put millions of people to work.

  132. Marginal Revolution:

    What's the actual problem in the labor market?

    Tyler Cowen

    David Leonhardt has a very good piece which presents some relevant facts about unemployment. Felix Salmon summarizes one part of the piece as follows:

    In 2008, only 13.2% of the labor force was unemployed at some point. That compares to 18.1% in 1980, and 22% in 1982.

    Real wages, which normally fall during recessions, have risen in this one. Even nominal wages are up.

    Also from Felix:

    The overriding impression is of most Americans actually doing OK, with an unemployable underclass bearing the brunt of the recession.

    To those observations I would add that corporate profits are doing fairly well.

    Those facts, in a nutshell, are why I am not AD-obsessed when it comes to explaining the current economy.

    Furthermore, I don't buy the idea that so many of the unemployed are stupidly and stubbornly holding out for a higher wage than they can get, while at the same time they can be reemployed by a mere bit of money illusion. There are so many blog posts written to the Fed, to Bernanke, etc. "Hey guys, goose up the money supply! Bernanke, read your old writings!"

    Yet I have seen not one such post to the unemployed: "Hey guys, lower your wage demands! It's good for you! You'll get a job and avoid the soul-sucking ravages of idleness. It's good for the country! It's good for Bernanke, you'll get those regional Fed presidents off his back! Why not? The best you can hope for is to get tricked by money illusion anyway! Show up those elites and get to that equilibrium on your own! Take control!" and so on. If such posts would seem patently absurd, we should ask what that implies for our underlying theory of current unemployment.

    I sooner think of these unemployed individuals as having gone down economic corridors which are no longer promising and not facing any easy adjustment to set things right again. Furthermore I consider that portrait of their troubles to be more consistent with the general tenor of liberal, left-wing, and progressive thought, not to mention plain common sense.


  133. Real wages, which normally fall during recessions, have risen in this one. Even nominal wages are up.


  134. Tyler also points to this piece by Yglesias:

    Aug 10th, 2010 at 3:57 pm
    Ideological Positioning of Recalculation
    Vienna, Austria

    Vienna, Austria

    Something I ponder every once in a while is the strange ideological positioning of “real business cycle” or “recalculation” or “structural” or “Austrian” analyses of the current recession, or recessions more generally. These notions are usually put forward by people on the right, very strict libertarians most typically. And the idea of how the proposition fits together with the larger ideology is that the structural analysis serves as a bullwark against government intervention to stabilize the economy.

    This all seems to me to suffer from a paucity of ideological imagination. The problem, as Jim Henley points out, is that the “Recalculation Story,” if true, implies radical underlying flaws in the capitalist economic model that call not for small-bore government intervention but for wholesale rethinking of the way the economy functions. I others would look at this differently if they, like me, had been raised in a family that contained various Marxists. From inside a “left” point of view, real business cycle theory is a radical theory that rears its head in any downturn as evidence of the systemic crises of capitalism and perhaps the need for revolutionary change. New Keynesian insistence that timely public policy can, if implemented correctly, stabilize the situation is a very status quo pro-market point of view. The point of the New Keynesian analysis is that mass unemployment, where it exists, reflects a failure of the political system—exactly the kind of thing a libertarian should expect will happen now and again—rather than a failure of market exchange.


  135. [...]

    John Maynard Keynes understood himself to be a liberal trying to preserve a free enterprise system threatened by communists and fascists. Milton Friedman, I think, also understood that the grinding misery of the Great Depression only led to unhealthy politics and was an advocate of bank bailouts, helicopter drops, and all the rest to prevent disaster.

    In 2010, of course, we’re not going to go communist. Which is nice. But if you tell people that high unemployment is going to exist for a long long time, and there’s nothing the government can or will do about it, then of course people are going to support policies that make the economy less flexible and less open to imports and foreigners. If laid-off workers can’t find new jobs, then protecting incumbent sites of employment from competition becomes priority number one.

    It’s true that if you adopt this view you do need to give up some libertarian purism. If periodic state intervention is required for the purposes of macroeconomic stabilization then you legitimize state intervention to, for example, help poor people. But the battle for that kind of purism is lost anyway. What you gain by embracing stabilization policy and treating the political problems of how to do it effectively as a problem to be solved rather than a reason not to try is an account of why it is that 9.5 percent unemployment doesn’t discredit the underlying principles of a market economy.

  136. Here's the piece referenced by Tyler, whit:

  137. [...]

    In the deep economic slump of the mid-1970s, the average hourly pay of rank-and-file workers — who make up four-fifths of the work force — fell 6 percent, adjusted for inflation. In the early 1980s, the average wage fell 3 percent. Even in the mild 1990-91 recession, it fell almost 2 percent.

    But since this recent recession began in December 2007, real average hourly pay has risen nearly 5 percent. Some employers, especially state and local governments, have cut wages. But many more employers have continued to increase pay.

    Something similar happened during the Great Depression, notes Bruce Judson of the Yale School of Management. Falling prices meant that workers who held their jobs received a surprisingly strong effective pay raise.

    This time around, nominal wages — the numbers people see in their paychecks — have risen throughout the slump, as companies have passed along some of the impressive productivity to their (remaining) workers. Meanwhile, inflation has been almost non-existent, except for parts of last year, when real wages did briefly fall.


  138. Were my computer up to it, I would link to a great article by George Will ("a dick") on Netanyahu, comparing him favorably to Churchill.

  139. Tyler adds to Yglesias:

    I would add:

    1. The Industrial Revolution also was a tough slog for quite a few decades. Yet it was both worthwhile and it gave capitalism a bad name for a long time.

    2. Alexander Field argues that the Great Depression brought greater productivity improvements than any other decade in U.S. history.

    3. If one wishes to consider state intervention, in light of recalculation, one is pointed in the direction of direct employment of the struggling workers; the recalculation argument does not rule out intervention per se. This advice could potentially be useful and I don't see why even libertarians should consider it necessarily worse than $800 billion of fiscal stimulus.

    4. Like Matt and many others, I favor a more expansionary monetary policy. But the last stimulus was oversold and there is no reason to oversell this one. We really don't know how well it will work (and I'm not referring to liquidity traps). But if the Fed tries more monetary expansion, we'll see how much of the current employment is cyclical and AD-related in the traditional sense.

    5. By its very nature, a recalculation argument ought to be somewhat agnostic as to how much (and what kind) of recalculation is actually required. See #4.

  140. That was interesting, Trish. It reminded me of something Ruf said about all the overtime being worked.

  141. The son of former Vice President Dan Quayle and an Arizona Republican candidate for Congress admitted Tuesday night that he did, in fact, post comments on, a website devoted to chronicling the trashy side of the Scottsdale nightclub scene.


    “I just posted comments to try to drive some traffic,” he said.


    “This is four years ago,” Quayle replied. “This is hilarious this is being brought up.

  142. WaPo:


    Virginia received $35 billion in defense contracts, supporting more than 530,000 contracting and associated jobs in fiscal 2008, Fuller said. About 70 percent of those dollars flowed to Northern Virginia.

    He said three years of 10 percent cuts to military contracting, as announced by Gates, could swallow up as much as half of the economic growth projected for Northern Virginia in coming years.

    "This is big stuff, and it's going to disproportionately affect Northern Virginia," he said.

    Sharon Bulova (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said the decision "would definitely have an impact" on her contractor-rich county. "I wouldn't say this would halt our recovery, but it's not going to help," she said.


    Yeah, I can see how that would make the county supervisors a little anxious.

    When I first lived here back in the late 70's, the county was just beginning it's massive, defense-and-tech-related expansion. It is now a behemoth.

    Such behemoths cost A LOT of money to maintain.

  143. We're gonna get that "peace dividend" one way or another.

  144. Most of those who've been in the defense contractor business for any length of time accepted the fact that this was coming and were talking about it years ago. There was just no way the "gravy train" (and I'm not knocking them) would go on forever.

  145. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' vow to shut a major military command and eliminate thousands of contractor jobs to plug a "gusher of defense spending" will do little to reduce the Pentagon budget but will prove a breeze compared with cutting military health care costs.


    Congress may accept the more modest proposals unveiled Monday. Calls to reduce military spending are common across the political spectrum, with liberals joining libertarians to rein in the Pentagon budget.


    Most of the political fallout so far emanates from Virginia, where much of the pain of the first round of cuts will be felt. The Defense Department contributed $57.4 billion, or 15.6 percent of the state's economy, in 2008.

  146. That was a good piece, Trish. Had some interesting stuff in it.

  147. This economy right now is like the passage around the Cape. A dozen different currents converging, and a constantly changing wind. A mess.

    The good news is, the U.S. economy is like a Cape Tanker, damned big, and hard to sink. Unfortunately, all those little people out there on the deck might not make it to calmer waters.

  148. Doing a little more carping Allen?

    You'll have to pardon me for not getting back to you sooner. Surprisingly, my date book does not come with an embossed message, "Check to see if Allen is carping and needs a "urgent" response before setting up any appointments."

    For future reference, Monday-Wedesday-Friday evenings usual involve gym, dog walk, dinner with wife. Give me some prior warning and I may be able to fit you in.

    "As an alumnus, I needn't tell you that having made a claim, you are obliged to provide your documentation..."

    Don't know what the alumnus reference alludes to (must be a southern thing) but I assume you want me to respond to you previous post.

    Unfortunately, your first two links don't seem to be working. I have try them a couple times. However, with the name Nowicki, WSJ, and the Liberty I should be able to find it on Google.

    While I'm looking that up, answer me one other thing. I seem to racall that you work for the government in some capacity. Don't know if I saw you post that or if some one else mentioned it.

    Please let me know if I'm correct.

    Oh, and one final thing. I'm not really obliged to do anything. I pretty much do what I please.

    In this case, I expect I will choose to get back to you on your points.


  149. "Unfortunately, all those little people out there on the deck might not make it to calmer waters."

    That's true. And for them I absolutely feel. I did read awhile back that unemployment among those within a decade of retirement - those least likely to be rehired due to age - has skyrocketed. And that's just gotta massively suck.

    He's in real estate, Quirk.

  150. "This economy right now is like the passage around the Cape. A dozen different currents converging, and a constantly changing wind. A mess."

    It is an apt metaphor.

    But I think you mean the Horn.

  151. There's not lot of common sense going on right now. A year, or two, of heartstopping deficits won't kill us. Failure to make serious inroads on the systemic problems that led to the crisis most assuredly will.

    The human character flaws that led to the suicidal real estate debacle can't be cured. They can be beat down for fifty or sixty years, but they will always reemerge. No use dwelling on that one. You just pray to survive when they reappear.

    The continuing paradigm shift in technologies will, ala Schumpeter, destructively create their way along.

    The unholy alliance between State, Defense, and ill-conceived foreign adventures made possible by a bottomless government checkbook is going to be somewhat curtailed "for awhile."

    Brings us to "Fossil Fuels," most especially, Petroleum. Only a few years to get really, really busy on the Imported Oil front. Right now, This is the Biggie.

    Our economy is set to run on "cheap" energy. It won't run on $4.00 gasoline. Not next year. Maybe, five years from now we might have it trained to do so, but, right now, it'll just sputter out, and die.

  152. I can never remember which is Cape Horn, and Cape Hope. I knew if I said "the Cape" everyone would figure it out. Of course, Cape Hope is pretty nasty, also, I think.

  153. "The unholy alliance between State, Defense, and ill-conceived foreign adventures made possible by a bottomless government checkbook is going to be somewhat curtailed 'for awhile.'"

    You do not get a happy emoticon for this.

  154. Read Rounding The Horn. Great Book.

  155. The August 5 reports from the Social Security and Medicare trustees declared Social Security's long-term financial outlook mostly unchanged from the previous year, and the projections for Medicare were greatly improved from previous forecasts. But on CNN's Situation Room, this news amounted to a crisis in Social Security and a threat to the country.


    On the August 5 broadcast, host Wolf Blitzer announced: "Social Security reaches the final financial tipping point. The system is now paying out more than it's taking in.


    Blitzer was referring to the fact that this year Social Security is paying out more in benefits than it receives in tax revenue--a mostly meaningless fact, given the system's $2.5 trillion long-term surplus (CEPR's Social Security Byte, 8/5/10). But Blitzer turned to a single guest, Beltway fixture and former presidential adviser David Gergen, to echo his alarmism.

  156. Trish, we're All guilty. We got a bit arrogant, and lost our way. Everyone's ox is going to have to get a little "goring."

  157. Social Security Trustees' Report

    Actually, the Social Security Trust Fund will end the year with $40 or $50 Billion more than when it started.

  158. "Trish, we're All guilty."

    And I must admit, thinking oneself part of an "unholy alliance" is darkly charming.

    Don't think State could uphold its end, though.

  159. The Demogogues rail/whine/snark about the politician "raiding" the Social Security Trust Fund. The thing is, the Social Security Act ONLY allows surpluses be invested in "Special" Government Bonds.

    There is NO choice. They can't buy stocks. They can't buy "treasuries," or "Corporates." They can't buy "Real Estate."

    If there is a Surplus, which there's, basically, always been it MUST BE invested in Special Bonds.

    It's Not "raiding;" it's following the law.

  160. After lengthy investigation, Rep. Charles Rangel, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is facing charges of unethical conduct. In response, Rangel has scoffed that a plea bargain offer was nothing more than an "English, Anglo-Saxon procedure." The inference was that ongoing prejudice, not moral lapses, caused Rangel's problems.

    heh, good ol' likeable Charlie, finally caught in a web of his own weaving, so far is not going for any "English, Anglo-Saxon procedure" such as a lowly plea bargain.

    Hope he sticks to his guns.

  161. Well that didn't too long.

    The only article I could find in the WSJ was one published in 2001.
    It is an attack on James Bamford's Book Body of Secrets which was about the NSA.

    Rather than address the issues he raised I'll let Bamford respond in his letter to Steve Aftergood regarding an article in Secrecy News that made the same claims that Nowicki did. Bamford addresses the Nowicki and Cristol claims in the letter:

    James Bamford Response

    With regard to your comments on Adm. Geiss, yes I do believe the comments attributed to him by Lt Commander Lewis. It was what got me interested in the Liberty to begin with. My believe is based not only on the Lewis story but on other documentation and especially the numerous documentaries that show film of the people involved including Robert McNamara sweating and unsettled as he denied remembering anything about that day.

    As a matter of fact if you had read your link closely you would have noticed references to an URL for an article printed in Haaretz referencing a Chicago Tribune story with the following quote:

    "The Tribune quotes J.Q. "Tony" Hart, then a chief petty officer assigned to a U.S. Navy relay station in Morocco that handled communications between Washington and the 6th Fleet, as saying that he listened in as McNamara said, "President [Lyndon] Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors."

    "McNamara, who is now 91, told the Tribune he has "absolutely no recollection of what I did that day," except that "I have a memory that I didn't know at the time what was going on."

    You obligingly provide the rope to hang yourself.

    However, this whole incident is irrelevant to the central issue. Whether planes were called back or not does not affect the issue of whether Israel knowingly attacked a US ship. I think they did.

    You seem to be big on the NSA. Well here is another person from the Chigago Tribune article included in your post that thinks the same as I.

    "Oliver Kirby, the NSA's deputy director for operations at the time of the Liberty attack, is quoted by the Tribune as confirming the existence of the transcripts, saying he personally read them.

    "They said, 'We've got him in the zero,'" Kirby was quoted as saying, "whatever that meant - I guess the sights or something. And then one of them said, 'Can you see the flag?' They said 'Yes, it's U.S, it's U.S.' They said it several times, so there wasn't any doubt in anybody's mind that they knew it."

    In the past I have referenced dozens of people in positions of responsibility in government and the military that share my views.
    I think Mr. Bramford mentions a few at the NSA in his response.

    I have no intention of digging out and reposting the pages of links for article, books, and videos of documentaries that I posted on this subject before. If you are interested, you can go back to our first discussion on this matter and read and/or watch them yourself.

    I doubt you will do that just as I doubt anything will change your mind. Since I am unlikely to change mine, there seems little point in continuing on this subject.

    I realize now it was useless to try to get you to quit carping about this because no matter how this came out you would continue to carp anyway.

    As you said, it's what you do.


  162. It is an apt metaphor.

    But I think you mean the Horn.

    Could have been Cape Horn.


  163. This comment has been removed by the author.

  164. And that was so full of grammar fail, I had to delete it.

  165. My point was: Whose side are you taking here anyway?

  166. Deleveraging from 350% of GDP will necessarily result in deflation, despite the Fed and Treasury's efforts to avoid it. Inflation will not occur in the context of massive deleveraging. Inflation means too much money chasing too few goods/services. The only commodity in which shortages might arise in the near to intermediate term is oil, and that is primarily a function of geopolitics, not supply/demand. There is no FINAL, end of the chain demand to drive any intermediate demand because consumers HAVE NO MONEY. Neither do small businesses, and it is not because they can't borrow it. Why would any small business add debt in this fucked up economic environment? As Deuce said, businesses only borrow when economic return on borrow money exceeds the cost of borrowing it. There are very few investments where small business owners feel confident that they can make that judgment due to the unparalleled market uncertainty created by Obama/Pelosi/Reid political agenda.

    The banks, pension funds and other holders of MBS and related underlying assets have yet to mark those assets to market, and the Feds are facilitating that dishonesty. So long as they do, the markets cannot clear and the leverage remains in place, precluding the real deleveraging and realization of economic losses that must occur before the economy can regain its footing to begin growing in a healthy manner. Deleveraging must be accompanied by deflation of the assets which were leveraged. It's not rocket science, and anyone that thinks otherwise also believes in free lunches.

  167. From Bloomberg:

    If Congress fails to act, taxpayers in all income categories would face higher bills, the study shows. The 156 million taxpayers earning less than $200,000 would pay $157 billion more. Among high-income taxpayers, those who earn between $200,000 and $500,000 would pay $27 billion more in 2011. Those who earn between $50,000 and $1 million would pay about $10.6 billion more, and those earning more than $1 million would pay $32.7 billion more.

  168. This comment has been removed by the author.

  169. Somewhere on the net today I read something comparing Charlie Rangel's defense of his alleged ethics violations to the Amos and Andy character: the Kingfish, who was accused of some financial mischief:

    "I resent these allegations just as much as I resent the alligators."

  170. Deleveraging = deflation.

    The dotcom bubble was a relatively painless bubble (from a macro perspective, but not from a dotcom shareholder perspective)because it was equity financed, primarily in public markets.

    The truly dangerous bubbles are credit financed, and that is the type from which we must now recover. Government debt did not create the problem, private debt did (although the growth in private debt was facilitated by the GSE's). Assets purchased with all that debt inflated far past their true economic value (primarily real estate and stocks) absent the unsustainable increases in private debt.

    We have really made very little progress in deflating those assets, primarily because the banks holding them would fail if they marked the MBS and underlying real estate assets to market. We have to drop the leverage in the economy from 350% (end of 2008) to its historical norm of 150%, which as Stockman notes, means something like $30 trillion in debt
    reduction and corresponding asset value reduction (aka DEFLATION).

    Here's an excellent description of broader deflationary trends in addition to that caused by deleveraging. It is written by the gentleman formerly known as Spengler, David Goldman, who is also an excellent financial analyst (former head of fixed income research at Bank of America) - ationrdquo-are-misguided

    As he notes, the Fed has conducted the most stimulative monetary policy in history during the last two years(overnight bank rate at .25%, $2 trillion in securities purchased from the market), yet inflation is virtually zero. What countervailing force has precluded inflation? Deflation.

  171. From my trusty bookmarking service on steroids (Diigo), I found an article from almost two years ago that looks as true today as it did then in describing the deleveraging that must occur when credit bubbles burst -

    It has a great chart showing total credit to GDP over the last 80 years.

  172. Matt Taibbi's 8/4 Rolling Stone story on the FinReg backstory is an interesting read.

    Outtake: "Over a long year of feverish lobbying and brutally intense backroom negotiations, a group of D.C. insiders fought over a single question: Just how much of the truth about the financial crisis should we share with the public? Do we admit that control over the economy in the past dec­ade was ceded to a small group of rapacious criminals who to this day are engaged in a mind-­numbing campaign of theft on a global scale? Or do we pretend that, minus a few bumps in the road that have mostly been smoothed out, the clean-hands capitalism of Adam Smith still rules the day in America? In other words, do people need to know the real version, in all its majestic whorebotchery, or can we get away with some bullshit cover story?

    In passing Dodd-Frank, they went with the cover story."


  173. At the top of the Google search pile for deflation and deleveraging, I found this helpful article/interview. At the bottom, they provide some useful and clarifying definitions regarding deflation (contraction of money supply) and price deflation (reduction in asset values) which they also equate to deleveraging. Interestingly, it predicts that the fiat money system will end in the next 10 years.

  174. Just read that Matt Taibbi article and did not learn a thing. He's a sensationalist at best and a partisan Democratic hack at worst. And not very deep in his financial understandings.

    Did not need Taibbi to know that the Dems weren't going to crack down on Wall Street - it's their perpetual money machine.

  175. DR asserted/pontificated a few posts back that Obama was doing his job on illegal immigration enforcement.

    Funny how that can be when the union that represents the field agents of ICE say he isn't and issued a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in their own leadership - See this Powerline post for details and look forward to the slithering rat attempt to misdirect his way out of this one.

  176. Rufus:
    The NY Times has half a dozen articles "proving" only the superrich would get hurt.
    Liars figure.

    I was looking for one Medved mentioned that supposedly was more in line with your Bloomberg.

  177. Doug, the Dems are claiming they want to just let the taxes for the upper incomes expire, but that seems awfully unlikely. I doubt they have enough time to do something that complex even if they wanted to.

    Anyway, I imagine the NYT is buying into their "only the rich" argument.

    I believe the whole set of tax cuts will expire, while, all the time O, and the D's will be saying they're not going to let it happen.

  178. allen- need to send you an email

    how can you do that?