Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Wednesday Open Thread

by Helen Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 10:22:50 AM EST

In the party mood ?


Display:
Never mind, get Out on Blue Six



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 10:24:14 AM EST
Guardian - 'Badgers are moving the goalposts' says Owen Paterson of cull

The controversial badger cull in England has been branded a "farce" by opponents after ministers confirmed the marksmen have been forced to seek extensions in order to kill the minimum number required.

Despite the government slashing by two-thirds in 12 months its estimate of the number of badgers in the Somerset cull zone, marksmen still failed to reach their target.

"The whole situation is a farce," said Gavin Grant, RSPCA chief executive. "They keep moving the goalposts on how many badgers exist and how many need to be killed but, whatever the figures, it is clear the system has failed."

Our climate-change-denying Environment secretary strikes a new blow for scientific illiteracy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 10:34:51 AM EST
Ah. That must explain England's poor performance in the World Cup qualifiers.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 10:50:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no, nothing can explain that. England have made the same errors, the same way of playing for the last 43 years irrespective of team players or managers.

The same clueless passing of the ball backwards and forwards along the back 4.

The same gap between the back 4 and the midfield, with each clueless as to how to bridge it.

The same pointless short passing going round and round in circles till it is entirely needlessly given away.

The same reliance on a supremely gifted individual who will win the world cup single handed, but who then suffers a minor nagging slow to heal injury or inexplicable loss of form just before a major championship.

43 years. The curse of Leon. Not that I care or anything

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 01:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well there's a book that looks at the statistical performance of football clubs and nations. and that reckons that England have actually overperformed in the last 40 years (especially in the period since theyve started taking on managers who are either from central europe, or have experience there

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Soccernomics-Simon-Kuper/dp/1458771105

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 03:39:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read it a few years ago, the moneyball of soccer. quite interesting.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 03:51:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maddow Blog - Steve Benen - Those who wrap themselves in the Constitution

When the 14th Amendment was ratified, U.S. Sen. Benjamin Wade, an Ohio Republican, argued, "Every man who has property in the public funds will feel safer when he sees that the national debt is withdrawn from the power of a Congress to repudiate it and placed under the guardianship of the Constitution than he would feel if it were left at loose ends and subject to the varying majorities which may arise in Congress."


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 01:00:56 PM EST
From last year, but hammered home strikingly well.

by Bjinse on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 01:54:51 PM EST
Needy mid-ranking bankers who can't afford to live in ... | Job news & advice | eFinancialCareers

Pity the mid-ranking banker on an income of less than £500k ($800k) - he (or she) often can't afford to buy a house in London. And if he/she does have a house in London, an increasing proportion of his income is eaten up by mortgage payments.

"Our mid-ranking people are struggling," said the head of HR at one British bank, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They're in a difficult position - they've got families and are targeting a specific lifestyle which is increasingly unaffordable for them. They're quite vocal about it, especially at compensation time - if you're earning less than £500k, it's very difficult to buy a house in central London and to pay school fees for several children."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 03:35:02 PM EST
That is surely something to which everyone can relate. But there is a solution, at least for some. Stash the family with relatives in some cheaper part of the UK and get a cheap flat in London. Then work for six years while saving at least £350K/per year. As bankers they should have access to appropriate tax dodges. At the end of six years quit your job in The City and move to the retirement paradise of your dreams and buy a house for under £750K. Your experience in the City should enable you to get some kind of job in local banking and that is all you would likely need for the rest of your life.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:17:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't do jobs like that to be sensible, they do it so they can be flash. Someone who's trying to be sensible will be seen in the hierarchy as "hedging their bets" and insufficiently committed, ie self-primed for failure and firing.

The locusts feed on their own first.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:28:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm wondering where you can find a cheap flat in London.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that rather depends on your definition of cheap.

Deptford/New Cross is probably still a hold-out

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:49:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah but it's crap.

A cheap flat in London is rare. That which is rare is expensive. Therefore, a cheap flat in London is expensive.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the school fees! £30k/yr per child! Ruinous! A brood of three, and that's nearly half your after-tax salary gone.

Fine-boned Mrs Banker didn't marry you so she and the little ones could live somewhere grimy and northern.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:00:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, life is tough. Poor bastards. I agree with Helen and know that he would have to be a very good actor to survive six years in such a mode. Perhaps a prolonged 'family medical crisis' could provide a cover, especially if it were his wife's family. If very many were taking this path it would be an automatic bust. Probably the more common exit is from getting your 'Fuck you!' money from some big score for which you don't get prosecuted.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:08:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely they're re-posting this from the Onion?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reality at eFinancialCareers beats fiction at the Onion.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What'd those townhouses go for in Leyton back in the day?  £250k?

Yes, I know no bankster wants to live next to Pakistani and West-Indies folks, but...fuckin' hell, we're talking about £1-1.5m budget on that income, right?  You can't tell me you can't get a nice house or flat on that, even in London.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A one-bed - too small for a family - somewhere upscale but not dead centre is >£1m.

Larger family homes - say 5 beds - are >£2m in most places within a reasonable commute of the city.

I know someone with a tiny 1 bed in a very unfashionable area in Zone 3. That's £250k.

2-3 bed houses are easily twice that.

And if you live where I do, a 1st class season ticket is >£12k - which is actually a cheaper option. And you can get a reasonable house for £500k.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 06:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jesus.  They've gone way up since I was there.  Knew somebody in, I think, Archway who'd grabbed a one-bed flat for well south of £250k.  And my impression was that that was a pretty big step up from Leyton pricewise.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 07:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember there was nothing decent that I could buy with a mortgage of 3x or 4x annual income. With base rates at 5% prior to 2009, mortgage payments would have been prohibitive in any case. I figured I could afford to rent what I could not afford to pay a mortgage on.

Maybe moving out to area 4 or 5 along the Central Line would have worked.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:59:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Warren Mosler's navel: Worried about the debt ceiling? Republicans aren't. (October 8th, 2013)
Good luck to us, mates.
The USS Stupidity is going down...


In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 03:58:22 PM EST
Meanwhile, it's the going cold turkey to a balanced budget that's potentially catastrophic, not the risk of higher rates, downgrades, etc, etc.

I suppose it is still within the power of our elected representatives and the President to trigger something much more like what we saw in the 1930s.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when the republican economics brains trust consists of Paul ryan and Rand Paul, you know that reality isn't getting a look in.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:35:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What does happen ? I hear all sorts of stuff from Wall St etc etc, but what actually happens if the debt ceiling isn't raised ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 04:36:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a danger the US doesn't pay tribute to the various debts it owes - mostly Chinese, Japanese, and British.

Cue a crash of crashistic proportions as the dollar stops being the world's reserve currency, flying monkeys take over Wall St (well - more than they have already), and pundits the world over solemnly opine that We Are Moving Into Uncharted Territory.

In practice US government workers and contractors will continue to not get paid, which is more likely to cause immediate problems.

It's possible governments would have to give up QE (supposedly), and that would be very very bad for all the markets.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In practice US government workers and contractors will continue to not get paid, which is more likely to cause immediate problems.
What are the penalties for US government workers attempting to do their work unpaid? (See, for instance, the current salmonella outbreak)

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't work unpaid.  Big no-no, whether you and your employer agree it should be okay or not.

(Presumably there's an exemption for the Capitol Police.)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:27:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So they can't do like when the USSR crashed and the government stopped paying, and continue to show up in the hope of getting paid eventually. I am not sure if that is included in the famous collapse presentation, but surely it should be.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:24:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking yesterday that, in Europe, both governments and firms routinely go in arrears (to private contractors, to providers, to employees...) and life goes on as usual as people continue to work in hopes of getting paid eventually. That is not the case in the US, clearly.

Well, not "routinely" but it is a common enough occurrence, especially in a recession.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This has happened over an over in California for the same reasons. There it was Cavemen Republicans holding hostage the economy to ideology. Brown pushed through a constitutional commandment that helped and the demographics have shifted. Many times the state of California issued script or promissory notes to contractors.

I agree with the school of thought that, far worse than any default, there will be an agreement on a contractionary budget. Hello debt deflation death spiral. I don't know if even that would force the writedown of counterfeit debt held by the US oligarchs.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We'll assume for the moment that Plan B and Plan C don't exist (the platinum coin and the 14th Amendment).

Basically what happens is the Treasury has to prioritize payments.  Bondholders get paid first, so that we don't default and violate the 14th Amendment.  Then Social Security and Medicare recipients get paid.  Those are the three spending items required by law.  Everything else is discretionary, I believe.

Even if we (ridiculously) assumed no negative impacts from the multiplier effect: It would mean cutting spending by about $600-700bn (the current deficit).  That's 4% of GDP.  In other words, a similar hit to the Great Recession.

Then add the Social Security Trust Fund borrowings to that.  We borrow from SSA to fund current expenditures.  That's another $200bn or so, if memory serves.

Throw the multiplier in there and we're talking catastrophe.  Figure at least a 10% contraction.  Basically 1937 with more crazy.

(Others more knowledgeable feel free to correct me.)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:08:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We get a government by bondholders, for bondholders?!
by das monde on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think a lot of people will have an up-close and personal encounter with:

At the moment the Populist Left and Populist Right are two movements.  If the US goes into Depression I'd predict they'd unite real fast against the bankers.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:23:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am thinking that Boehner's phone is ringing off the hook right now with calls from Wall Street. And I'm sure he is saying that he can't do anything, and that they are saying he sure had better do something. It will be interesting to see how he chooses to cave.

I think Obama is going to hold out, because he got taken to the cleaners so many times in his first term. Maybe.

by asdf on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 06:15:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We should not underestimate Wall Street. It is not too hard for them to foresee a catastrophic missmatch of exponential growth of financial obligations and finite production limits, and prepare for that. All they need is to ensure the "right" payment order, and enough brainwashing and raw power to protect that.
by das monde on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 02:35:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The bondholders aren't the problem.  They have to get paid due to the 14th Amendment.  But our bond payments are absurdly low anyway (~7% to 8% of the budget).  If my debt payments were as low a share of my take-home pay as the federal government's bonds are, I'd be a very happy guy.

Bernanke could probably find a loophole somewhere to make those payments go away anyway, even though the Fed's not allowed to directly finance the government.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absurdly low.... by this young century standards? How do those 7-8% compare with other Uncle Sam's top expenditures?
by das monde on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 02:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By any standard.  Most people pay many multiples of that on their mortgages, cars and credit cards.

For perspective, I think Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid make up ~60% of the budget.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 06:13:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What fraction of the budget is "discretionary" an furloughed, and what parts of the Federal government are "mandatory" and are on a collision course with "default"?

Also, Halloween bonds!

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 06:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As Elizabeth Warren explained 6 years ago (YOUTUBE next 21 min), mortgage payments (and other  steady payments like insurance) have skyrocketed in the last 30-40 years. So for the time scale of 60 years, it is a recent standard for the West.

And when you think about it, Tchengis Khan commanded only a tithe, 10%.

And now you have cases like NJ flood insurance raise that puts even lucky rentiers into no win whatsoever.

by das monde on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 07:19:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was six years ago.  Six years ago we were near the peak of one of the biggest real estate bubbles in history.  Now we're at (hopefully) the trough with interest rates obscenely low.

Unfortunately the Census Bureau database is shut down, but a few charts on Google suggest mortgage payments are quite a bit lower than they were 30-40 years ago.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 09:45:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would you say, median mortgage payments are that lower? Many people are still paying for mortgages of the historical bubble. The ones enjoying the low interest rates are mostly specialists.
by das monde on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 10:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say so, but I don't know.  Like I said, the shutdown means the Census Bureau data is inaccessible, so we're flying blind in this discussion a bit.

A lot of people, myself included, are enjoying the low interest rates though.  Don't forget, too, that a lot of folks have also been able to refinance into lower rates -- both on their own and through the Obama administration's programs.  Some friends of ours were able to shave two full percentage points off their mortgage that way (fortunately they were well above water, so it was a pure windfall).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So 7-8% of the budget goes to bond payments. But if I understand correctly when the government borrows from banks, they turn right around and borrow from the central bank. So what part of those 7-8% ends up as income for the treasury?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 02:29:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Treasury income is already assumed in the numbers I'm talking about.  Typically the Fed sends about $50bn to Treasury, so it's already there on the revenue side.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:53:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I was just thinking.

Expenditures in the United States federal budget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

During FY 2012, the federal government spent $3.54 trillion on a budget or cash basis, down $60 billion or 1.7% vs. FY 2011 spending of $3.60 trillion. Major categories of FY 2012 spending included: Medicare & Medicaid ($802B or 23% of spending), Social Security ($768B or 22%), Defense Department ($670B or 19%), non-defense discretionary ($615B or 17%), other mandatory ($461B or 13%) and interest ($223B or 6%).

Sure, it is low in terms of managing to pay it, but if we view the part not returned by the Fed as simply a yearly bank subsidy, then about 5% of the US federal budget to banks should be compared with other purposes it could go to if the government choose to borrow directly from its central bank.

Looking at the linked wiki-page I also notice a graph over run-away social spending where (if you look at the break-down) Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security increases form around 3% of GDP in 1970 to 8% of GDP today and 20% of GDP in 2080, driving total federal spending from around 20% to 30%. Not to bad with an aging population.

In order to make the scenario catastrophic the revenue is kept at 20% and interests grows to 30% of GDP. With the same proportions as today, that means that while social spending grows to 20% of GDP, bank subsidies grows to 25% of GDP (when deducted the 5% of GDP the US federal reserve would be recycling to the treasury, in itself making a mockery of the fixed revenue side). Clearly the US can not afford a run-away federal subsidy program to the banks, in particular as the real economy is already suffering under a 30% VAT to the finance sector.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 03:33:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernanke could probably find a loophole somewhere to make those payments go away

I saw a proposal for reissue of existing bonds at a super premium. In the proposal they noted that B could pay $100 to pay off a either a maturing 10 or 30 year bondand reissue it at a superpremium, (1% or 2% over current rates) and sell it for $275. That would leave an extra $175 per bond, or $175,000 if on $100,000 face value bonds. The analysis claimed that this could finance current obligations with existing revenues for about another $100 billion a year. I am certainly not a bond guy so I don't understand the details, but the claim was that such a procedure was possible and legal.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:35:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No idea how that works, since I'm not a bond guy either.  But, yes, something like that.

Again, all of this assumes the other options aren't on the table.  I can't fathom they'd be off the table.  But, if it came to that, the Fed finding some kind of workaround is probably our best hope.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found this from Bruce McF, but it is different still from what I described above. It involves issuing the equivalent of English consols or perpetuals. That adds an obligation to meet a stream of expenditures but is never paid off so it doesn't count as debt. And it is a well established concept in economic history, theory and experience.

I found the article I referred to. It is by Mark Levine of Bloomberg Mint the Premium Bonds! Mark claims minting the platinum coin is too obviously a 'trick'. He prefers something more confounding. I have to agree. We need a solution that is so simple it repels the mind as Gailbraith said of money creation this better fills the bill:

My preferred creepy trick is creepier and less of a trick and it goes like this:

  1.  The U.S. government takes in $277 billion in tax revenues each month, and spends $452 billion each month, for a monthly deficit of around $175 billion.*
  2.  It also has, on average, call it $100 billion of Treasury notes coming due each month.*
  3.  Instead of just rolling those Treasuries -- paying them off at 100 cents on the dollar by issuing new Treasuries at 100 cents on the dollar -- it should pay them off at 100 cents on the dollar by issuing new Treasuries at 275 cents on the dollar and using the extra money to pay its bills. The 10-year yield today is around 2.6 percent, so you could sell a 10-year with a 23 percent coupon for 275 cents on the dollar.* The 30-year is about 3.9 percent, so a 14 percent coupon should get you there. Etc. Math here.
  4.  That's it. You aren't adding debt, so you never hit the debt ceiling, but you keep getting more money.

He suggests buying them back after the crisis but I would prefer that they stay in existence. It would be a safe way for someone like myself to get some income on some of my savings - that part I could hold to maturity. My current options are flushing the money or accepting 0.1% returns.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 10:25:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will bet that an offering of superpremium 10 year bonds with purchase prices of $10,000 each would sell like hotcakes. (Make that pancakes!)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 10:30:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if I'd call 7-8 % of the federal budget "low" when I was describing a pure, discretionary subsidy to a sector of the economy that hasn't contributed anything to the national interest in at least the last thirty years.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:01:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Relative to other countries, perhaps.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 10:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if we (ridiculously) assumed no negative impacts from the multiplier effect: It would mean cutting spending by about $600-700bn (the current deficit).  That's 4% of GDP.  In other words, a similar hit to the Great Recession.
That is seriously scary, because at the "zero lower bound" the multiplier is definitely larger than 1.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 01:45:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Much larger.  We're talking about direct spending into the hands of civil servants, contractors, soldiers, etc.  Who are all at that point defaulting on their mortgages, credit cards, car payments -- hello, banking crisis, and welcome to the party, Asia and Europe -- and not having enough to pay their other bills.

Which, in turn, wrecks the state and local budgets as revenue plummets and those workers all apply for unemployment comp and the like, forcing drastic cuts to labor forces at those levels of government.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this mean y'all have to stop your wars and close a couple of hundred foreign military bases?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 06:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be an interesting development.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 02:34:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't be silly.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew:
Much larger.

Like Fisher debt-deflation death spiral larger.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe not quite that large.  I saw today that Krugman came up with math similar to mine: 10% contraction, 5-point rise in unemployment -- which sounds a bit optimistic to me (I'd figure more like 7-8%), but I'll defer here.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

I figured more like 7 to 8 points up in unemployment.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:58:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman's a good guy, but his professional judgment remains colored by liberal application of automagic-mean-reversion fairie tales.

I'd take a Krugman estimate as the upper bound of realism: Anything more optimistic than that is clearly a comforting fantasy rather than a serious attempt at forecasting, but reality could very well substantially undershoot Krugman.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:04:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.  Like I said, I think it's at least a 10% contraction.

That said, the US economy -- and even the EU economy to a lesser degree -- has proved more resilient than I thought it would throughout the last five years.  Savings is still lower than I'd like over the long run, but households have done a good job keeping up some demand while rebuilding their balance sheets, and business spending has been better than I thought it would be.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 05:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depending on one's assumptions the Shutdown is costing between 2 to 8 percent of GDP plus some unknown and unknowable knock-down of future growth when the effects of the Sequester are also considered.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:06:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's 0.2 to 0.8 percentage points on the annual growth rate, not 2% to 8% of GDP.

Which is bad enough (a 0.8-point downward shift in GDP growth is a lot of jobs uncreated).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 05:14:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The end of the full faith and credit of the US government...

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:09:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CDC is shut down and There's a Major Foodborne Illness Outbreak and the Government's Shut Down"

While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture announced that "an estimated 278 illnesses ... reported in 18 states" have been caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg and possibly produced by the firm Foster Farms.

"FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period," the agency said in an emailed alert. "The outbreak is continuing."

How fun.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:37:32 PM EST
One nice thing about shutdowns: It gives people a nice clear view of all the shit the government does.

Bitch about the bureaucrats and then cry when your little snowflake gets salmonella.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 06:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least it's proper heroic Randian salmonella.

Without socialist health care to dilute the purity of your precious bodily fluids, your little snowflakes will have uber-mensch immunity in a mere hundred generations.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 06:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You guys probably believe in immunization against childhood diseases, and other similar socialistical behavior...
by asdf on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 06:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least it's proper heroic Randian salmonella.

You owe me a keyboard.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 07:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, I was thinking. That Silk Road guy and the trying to hire assassin charge, he was trying to assassinate his blackmailer right? So when the FBI faked it, the blackmailer must have stopped blackmailing or it would not have been convincing at all. So was the blackmailer a FBI agent or what? And if so, why did they have to go through that in the first place, was running the Silk Road legal?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:35:27 AM EST
Maybe the blackmailer has been separately arrested. Or maybe it was a sting operation. But the interesting thing about the blackmailing incident is that the Silk Road guy is reported to have bargained based on the price he claimed to have paid for a previous hit. So it was not the first assassination he had hired.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 03:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From my reading, the FIRST assassination "victim" was an FBI man. If they didn't take him down at that point, I suppose it's because they didn't have enough evidence to take the whole operation out.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:25:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that price was calimed to have been with another hitman right? I thought he was just making shit up for bargining purposes.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:45:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's possible too. To quote our Randian Superhero,
I just wish more people had some integrity


In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:05:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
from John Trudell (look him up)...

One afternoon, a wealthy lawyer was riding in his shiny
limousine...when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass.
Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop...and he got out to
investigate the situation.

He asked one man, "Why are you eating grass?"
"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We HAVE TO
eat grass."

Shocked, the lawyer said, "Well, then, you can come with me to my
house...and I'll feed you!"

"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over
there, under that tree."

"Bring them along," the lawyer replied.

Turning to the other poor man, he said, "You come with us, too."
The second man said, "But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children
with me!"

"Bring them all!" the lawyer answered......and they all jammed into
the huge limo.

Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said,
"Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you."

Genuinely touched, the lawyer replied, "Glad to do it." You'll really
love my place......the grass is almost a foot high!"

(OK, at least i hadn't heard this one already.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:31:05 AM EST
Google fails me, but this joke was told on ET not long ago.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:45:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll bet i read it then, too. oh well... it's better when it comes from Trudell.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:30:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google found it here. Another
A prominent young attorney died on his way to court, and found himself before the gates of Heaven. When he arrived, a chorus of angels appeared, singing in his honor. St. Peter himself came out to shake his hand. "Mr Jones," said St. Peter, "it is a great honor to have you here at last. You are the first being to break Methuselah's record for longevity. You have lived 1028 years."

"What are you talking about?" asked the attorney. "I'm 46."

"46? But aren't you Steven Jones? The lawyer from Brooklyn"

"Yes," the attorney answered.

"Let me check the records," said St Peter. He slapped his hand against his forehead. "Oh, how silly of us. Now I see the mistake! We accidentally calcluated your age by adding up the hours you billed to your clients!"

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 05:33:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you throw to a drowning lawyer ?

An anvil

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 06:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Avaaz - Who will stop the next genocide?
In just 2 days' time, African leaders could kill off a great institution, leaving the world a more dangerous place. 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world's first and only global court to adjudicate crimes against humanity. But leaders of Sudan and Kenya, who have inflicted terror and fear across their countries, are trying to drag Africa out of the ICC, allowing them the freedom to kill, rape, and inspire hatred without consequences.
 
I know that together we can change this. But we have to join hands and call on the voices of reason at the African Union (AU) - Nigeria and South Africa - to speak out and ensure that the persecuted are protected by the ICC. Join me by adding your name to the petition now and share it with everyone -- when we have hit 1 million our petition will be delivered straight into the AU conference hall where Africa's leaders are meeting in Addis Ababa.
 

--Desmond Tutu


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 07:35:08 AM EST
SA mum on continent's possible exit from ICC | African News | BDlive

SOUTH Africa is refusing to show its hand ahead of Saturday's special African Union (AU) summit on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

There are calls from some countries for the continent's 34 ICC members to pull out en bloc in protest against the court's alleged bias against African leaders. Kenya is helping to drive the exit campaign, spurred on by the prosecution of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, for crimes against humanity.

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane would not be drawn when she was asked on Tuesday to explain South Africa's position.

"The summit will consider our participation as African countries in the ICC. Do I give you the outcome of the summit before it sits? No, I can't," she said at a briefing in Pretoria.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 07:35:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kenya denies urging Africa to quit ICC - Africa | IOL News | IOL.co.za

Nairobi - Kenya denied on Wednesday that it was lobbying other African states to pull out of the International Criminal Court, the Hague tribunal that has put its president on trial.

Leaders at an African summit on Saturday will discuss relations with the ICC, which has only prosecuted Africans. Kenya's foreign minister denied Nairobi was urging countries to pull out and played down any prospect of united action.

"It is actually quite naive to think that 34 countries can come together with the sole aim of moving out of the Rome Statute (that established the ICC)," Amina Mohamed told reporters in Nairobi.

"We have not asked anybody to support a walkout."

Kenya's parliament is demanding the government quit the ICC, and many other Africans have voiced frustration that it has so far only charged people from their continent.

But officials from several African states, including continental powers Nigeria and South Africa, have suggested there is no consensus to leave the court.

An African Union official said when the summit was announced in September that leaders would decide whether they would withdraw and said Kenya had been lobbying for that.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 07:36:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity pushing Europe into social and economic decline, says Red Cross | World news | The Guardian

Europe is sinking into a protracted period of deepening poverty, mass unemployment, social exclusion, greater inequality, and collective despair as a result of austerity policies adopted in response to the debt and currency crisis of the past four years, according to an extensive study being published on Thursday.

"Whilst other continents successfully reduce poverty, Europe adds to it," says the 68-page report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "The long-term consequences of this crisis have yet to surface. The problems caused will be felt for decades even if the economy turns for the better in the near future ... We wonder if we as a continent really understand what has hit us."



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 09:16:31 AM EST
The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ | World news | The Guardian

Add to this the fact that a lot of this electronic potential gives access not just to external real-world data - our locations, our conversations, our contacts books - but to the inside of our heads. I call this the "knowing you're gay" test. Most of us know someone who has plucked up the courage to reveal their homosexuality, only to be cheerfully told by friends and family, "oh, we've known that for years".

Now, though, search engines know facts about people's thoughts and fantasies long before anyone else does. To put it crudely, Google doesn't just know you're gay before you tell your mum; it knows you're gay before you do. And now GCHQ does too.

What this means is that we're moving towards a new kind of society. Britain is already the most spied on, monitored and surveilled democratic society there has ever been. This doesn't seem to have been discussed or debated, and I don't remember ever being asked to vote for it.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 09:49:07 AM EST
Well there might be a problem with this line of argument. If the friends and family had picked up something, then that means it could already be picked up before the electronic monitoring. That monitoring is just a different way of picking it up.

Where is the dividing line between what is ok to be picked up and what is not?

by asdf on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Question's just as much "by whom?" as it is "what?"

Me, I don't get the warm and fuzzies when I imagine the political police keeping a catalog of citizens' sexual preferences. 'Specially not during a postmodern reproduction of the 1930s.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 04:52:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So that is how the gay detector in Kuwait will work, they already bought the lists.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 03:42:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no reason to suppose that Google won't/wouldn't monetize their social data mining to the highest bidder. Note the way Facebook has poured on the targeted advertising since their share float.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 03:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]