Daily Digest 1/28 - Americans View Global Economy as Negative, Unemployment Benefits, Foreclosure Rates Slow
- The Big Squeeze: Predicting the Effects of Savings Extortion and Abuse of the Middle Class
- The Blind Men & The Elephant—The Totally Bullshit FCIC Commission Report and Dissents
- Americans Increasingly View Global Economy As A Negative
- Crisis May Seem Criminal, but Try Making a Case
- Ahead of the Bell: Unemployment Benefits
- Foreclosure Rates Slow In Hardest-Hit Areas
- An Export Land Model Analysis for the USA-Part 1
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Not only have governments from China to the United States committed themselves to a chess game meant to eke out relative advantages on a sinking ship, but they have positively rewarded those who are speeding the collapse. A simple, cannibalistic economic rule now persists until a new system emerges: Economic manipulation, destruction, and extortion are simply more profitable, far more profitable, than good old fashion value creation. Disaster capitalism will be pursued full force.
Then the report squarely blames the Federal Reserve for abdicating its regulatory responsibility—which is very true: The Fed under Greenspan made it practically a point of honor to leave all the financial markets alone, and let them “innovate” as they saw fit, without vetting whether the “innovations”—like credit default swaps, mortgage bonds, and so on—were dangerous or not. Warren Buffett famously called default swaps the “financial weapons of mass destruction”—before the crisis. So Greenspan should have known better.
The poll also shows a widespread sense that that the closer ties among economies have a direct connection to what is happening in the United States, and that the durability of an interconnected world economy is the primary factor in global stability. The fragility of the international economy is rated as the top threat to world stability by one-third of the public. Security concerns taken together, such as international terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, also rate as top threats for one-third of those polled. Fewer cite an "erosion of shared values" or global climate change as the single biggest threat.
The commission’s various conclusions provide a plausible defense for almost any executive who might be accused of securities fraud or misleading investors: it was all the fault of uncontrollable market forces and regulatory laxity. So far, the recent financial crisis has failed to produce any criminal cases against big-name bankers or other top corporate executives, unlike the financial scandals in the last decade, when there were signature prosecutions of chief executives likeBernard J. Ebbers of WorldCom and Jeffrey K. Skilling of Enron.
Even with the anticipated increase, the four-week average, a less volatile measure, is expected to hover close to a two-year low of 411,250 reached Jan. 1. That suggests companies -- operating with lean work forces -- may need to add more workers as the economy gains momentum. Applications are well below their peak of 651,000 hit in March 2009, when the economy was in a deep recession. When fewer than 425,000 people are applying for jobless benefits, that's consistent with modest job growth. However, applications need to fall consistently to 375,000 or below to substantially bring down unemployment.
Foreclosures became more widespread "as high unemployment drove activity up in 72% of the nation's metro areas--many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a news release. Houston, Seattle and Atlanta saw the biggest increases among the 20 largest metro areas. Foreclosures jumped 26% in the Houston area in 2010, compared with 2009, according to RealtyTrac. In Seattle, foreclosures rose 23% and in Atlanta, they were up 21%. But fewer homes in hard-hit areas--including Las Vegas, California, Arizona and Florida--received foreclosure filings in 2010 compared with the year before. Even though the areas are improving, they still remain some of the most problematic.
An Export Land Model Analysis for the USA-Part 1 (crash watcher)
This is particularly important in the period after peak oil, when oil production begins to decline from the exporting countries and but the domstic consumption rate may still be increasing. The Export Land Model shows that the rate of decline in oil exports will be even faster than the decline in production if there is also increasing domestic consumption. For example, if the production rate was exponentially decreasing, and, the domestic consumption rate was exponentially increasing, then the export rate, represented by the difference of production minus consumption, would decline at a double exponential rate. In this kind of scenario, net exports hit zero long before production does. This has very serious implications for oil importing country, like the USA.
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