Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let us now blame infamous minorities, terrorists, aliens...

Top economics blogs according to technorati, via projo

An effort at transparency: Public MarkUp.org - comment on Paulson, Dodd, etc. via JOHO.

Impermeable Transparent Guess:
  • I never make predictions, but now I'm willing to guess that it's going to take a genuinely brutal collapse, one in which our citizens cannot get even the most basic necessities of life before the spell of American exceptionalism is broken.
  • And even when that happens I have no doubt the citizenry will be provided with some appropriate scapegoat abroad, most likely a Muslim or Russian one.
  • Hell, they are already ginning up the case against several suspects.

"Gullibility and greed caused this latest calamity, but what allowed those basic human traits to combine to such catastrophic effect was a legal and institutional framework that resulted from deliberate policy actions." Cassidy.

China has over $900 billion of exposure/investment in US Treasury bills and in debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...
Helena Cobban via Informant38


Blogger jonhusband said...

China is a very old country and has a complex (range of) culture(s) that has / have seen and survived many extraordinary challenges over the centuries. The size ofits middle class is now beginning to approach the population of the USA. There will come a time, I believe (and I think the Chinese have known this for a while) when it will not be dependent upon the USA as the main client for the output from its economic engine.

At which time all bets are off ... what reason, exactly, do the Chinese have for being any more friendly to the USA than to any other country ? Competition for oil ? Ha .. Iran is closer and in many ways a more evolved country (certainly more peaceful than the USA), and ready to provide the Chinese with oill before selling it to the USA.

All over but the wailing and gnashing of teeth ? Maybe.

9/24/2008 3:23 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

Okay, as well here as anywhere. No poetry no dithyrambic logorrhea. A simple question.
WTF is this?
Like as in point A to point B. Overextended mortgages. Got it.
Bad loans. Check.
But how does that lead to this?
I was trying to talk about it earlier today with somebody and realized I don't know.
Can't say.
Don't comprehend.
Et cetera.
What happened?

9/25/2008 12:37 AM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

Bankers provide people with mnoney, through loans and overdrafts, when they actually (the people they provide it to) ain't go t the money.

The USA doesn't have money .. it only has the ability to sell China (and others) US Treasury Bills.

The USA can't bail itself out unless one of its "bankers" agrees to the overdraft privilege by buying the Treasury Bills.

the USA got overextended tyhrough its internal financial system "making money" by creating these thibngs called derivatives that now are recognised as having little or no value.

The USA, being the peculiar kind of country it has become, does not want to admit it is broke or has made mistakes, plus the bankers who may be cut off from their bonus schemes aimed at rewarding them for being salesmen/women of this unusually worthless paper do not relish the idea of giving up what they are (in their minds) rightly entitled to, as it reflects their "performance" as salespeople.

And so .. anyone daring to call a stop to all this must perforce be a member of a minority, or a jihadist, or a muslim, or some kind of evil bogeyman .. an "other" .. because no self-respecting and America-loving patriot could never take it upon themselves to do such harm to America. What has happened is positively un-American, and thus must somehow be the nefarious work of "others".

N'est-ce pas, obvious, QED and what's your next question, please ?

9/25/2008 1:12 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

So, cross-posted at Crooked Timber:

Money and I have a very tenuous relationship at the best of times, but the picture looks a lot like these companies are in trouble because they made loans (or bought them from those who made them) that were unsecured and unlikely to be repaid.
So the American taxpayers are being asked, forcefully and with threats of imminent doom if they don’t, to give them loans which are unsecured and unlikely to be repaid. Only with lots more zeros.

9/25/2008 2:35 AM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

The determination of whether something loanish is "good" or "bad," "secured" or "maybe secured," seems itself indeterminate. It's hard to tell whether it's hard to tell. Likelihood is a moving target, or a bet.

See this, which can make it sound like something other than a completely recursive process.

Faites vos jeux, mesdames et messieurs.

9/25/2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

Indeed .. isn't Monaco lovely on a weekend afternoon ?

9/25/2008 2:52 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

In whose best interest is it to extend a line of credit to a patron who's lost all at the wheel?
House odds, nespah?
Now if only we could get families to actually bet their mortgages on the come line.
Wait, that's craps.

"My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters."
"The waters? What waters? We're in the desert!"

9/25/2008 2:58 PM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

From the World Socialist Web Site:

No to Wall Street bailout!
The socialist answer to the financial crisis

9/25/2008 3:17 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

Well being pretty much certifiably paranoid I'm kicking around the idea that this is not unrelated to the larger picture of climatic upheaval and overpopulation's ancillary symptomologies.
Gathering the sheaves of duplicity and manipulation.
A eugenic aspect to the whole thing, slooowly heating the water til the mythical but metaphorically accurate amphibians are ready for lunch.

9/25/2008 4:31 PM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

Unfortunately, Juke, I'm more with you than I would like to be.

I always interpreted Ronnie Raygun's essential message to be "let's kill (slowly, if need be) all the poor people".

9/25/2008 4:38 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

Not only does the economy not like them, but clearly God is displeased with them as well.
It's pretty much a civic obligation to see them weeded out.
That I'm currently on the food stamp and panic edge of teh economy has no bearing whatsoever on my thoughts on this issue, being a paranoid of rigorous intellectual integrity.
On a lighter note, such as it is, I was in Community College when Reagan was the gov. of California, Nixon and Agnew were in the White House.
Despair at political reality being a feature of almost my entire adult life.
Almost used to it.
The long strange trip.

9/25/2008 5:13 PM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

Odd ..

I graduated from high school in Connecticut in 1970 .. heady days, seemed promising.

Immediately went up to Canada to go to university because I could (dual citizen) and stayed.

I was recently lamenting to my 90 year old father that there has been nothing but a right-ward drift to the governance of North american (and most most others in the world) society since I became an adult.

How sad it will be (and will have been) to have lived in such times all one's adult life. I sure hope I can live amongst sensible people someday .. Amsterdam and Copenhagen seem half-decent but I don't think affordable. canada is unfortunately seeming more and more Americamn all the time, but we may be able to forestall full-bore hysteria.

Long strange trip indeed.

9/25/2008 10:12 PM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

Paul Krugman on most recent Bailout deal ...

A $700 Billion slap in the face

9/25/2008 10:16 PM  
Blogger jonhusband said...

Krugman's bottom line:

"It's a crude psychological experiment. "

9/25/2008 10:19 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

And now for the "debate".
Seems like the Dem position is same-same with the Iraq position, "We'll let you do whatever you want but we get to watch."
Big up if Obama talks straight talk about Wall Street.
Big surprise too.

9/26/2008 6:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

The debate? Looked more like a nasty encounter between a butterfly and a gila monster.

9/26/2008 11:18 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

Giant butterfly, tiny Gila monster.

9/27/2008 6:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Kann sein. But which looks more impressive on TV?

9/28/2008 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Nisha Thompson said...

Thanks for pointing to Public Markup for the draft legislation. I wanted to inform you that we just put the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act up on Public MarkUp. We are also asking people to sign a petition to ask lawmakers to not vote on the bill for 72 hours so that Congress can actually READ THE BILL. http://bsd.sunlightfoundation....

We need to require better lawmaking from our representatives. They can't rush this important legislation through without reading it.

Please sign the petition and thanks so much for your support.

Nisha Thompson
Sunlight Foundation
Online Organizer and Outreach Coordinator

9/29/2008 12:51 PM  

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