Recent comments by RE

The next level of risk is termed "speculative finance", where a debtor "must roll over debt because income flows are expected to only cover interest costs. None of the principal is paid off." Note that this implies, for a government, a BALANCED BUDGET (zero deficit), or a bit more generously a small budget deficit which maintains a constant debt/GDP ratio. But there is no net repayment of the debt. This is about the best we aspire to nowadays, even though we rarely achieve it, and even though in U.S. history we almost always were repaying debt. Note that in a speculative regime the debtor is very vulnerable to interest rate increases.

The U.S. consistently inflated its debts away over its history. It ran budget surpluses for very isolated and very short periods but based on my research rarely, if ever, paid off outstanding government bonds with tax dollars. Please link if you have proof that war debt was paid off in large part and NOT inflated away.

Also, you still didn't address your rapidly increasing debt comment as well as ignoring total debt vs. only government debt.

The chart completely invalidates your take.

You say that you’re not partisan:

BTW, I get labeled as a conservative, but I'm not partisan although I am anti-corporate.

But a few posts down I read:

Putting CR's post in a non-statist frame of reference:

Hmmm I know which party uses these terms. It is small but VERY partisan itself and predominantly conservative. Who are you trying to fool?

You didn't address your rapidly increasing debt comment as well as ignoring total debt vs. only government debt.

It completely invalidates your take.

Homeowner mortgage assistance is just one example. It replaced higher private debt burdens with lower public one thus reducing total debt obligations.

Wisdom Seeker wrote:

Note that this agrees with both Rob Dawg (U.S. historically runs decreasing debt levels over time, except for major wars) and Seb (debt can increase commensurate with income). However, Seb is missing the crucial point that for the last 30 years debt levels of all types have been increasing much faster than income levels. Total U.S. debt to income is over 3-to-1 right now, which is pretty much unprecedented historically and leaves everyone vulnerable to the political power of the debt holders.

The U.S. hasn't run decreasing debt levels since the 50s if you look at total debt. Like most Cons you often simplistically look at government debt. Note that is only under Obama that total debt/GDP got reduced meaningfully in the past 60 years.

And here I was hoping for a Teddy Roosevelt supported the minimum wage (for women) post.

p.s. only visiting quickly.

dryfly wrote:

Absolutely SNAP can go away. Name me one GOP house member that would lose his seat if SNAP went away? I can't think of one. Tons of Dems though if they don't support it.

Two party state?

Here is the key para regarding your question:

The US position seems to have faltered relative to Europe, for example, because of relative deficiencies in paid parental leave, benefits and protection against discrimination in part-time work, and the availability and affordability of child care services. These weaknesses have become increasingly troublesome in the light of changes in household structures. Since 1960, for example, the proportion of US households with children under the age of 18 years and where the mother was the sole or principal earner, rose from 11% to 40%. In this universe of almost 13 million households, with a median income of $57,100, about 37% comprised married mothers earning more than their spouses and with a median income of $80,000. The remaining 63% were single mothers with a median income of $23,000.

The whole article is actually quite good.

Interesting one from Izzy...

Females and the crisis | FT Alphaville

Worth noting, while the US female participation rate was the sixth highest among 22 industrial countries in 1990, by 2010 it had slipped to the fifth from bottom, says Magnus.

I just came across this chart and wanted to post it.

From here:

Warum die Amerikaner nervös werden - Fazit - das Wirtschaftsblog

What blew me away was the observation that Germany actually did worse than the Eurozone as a whole since 2010.

Austerity must be working its magic... somewhere.

KarmaPolice wrote:

I think Niall is really hitting the bottle.

Looks like a truth serum to me.

He seems like a poor fit for Harvard now though looking at Rogoff the university might be in need of a major upgrade.

Niall Ferguson at it again...

Harvard Professor Trashes Keynes For Homosexuality 

Speaking at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., in front of a group of more than 500 financial advisors and investors, Ferguson responded to a question about Keynes’ famous philosophy of self-interest versus the economic philosophy of Edmund Burke, who believed there was a social contract among the living, as well as the dead. Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of “poetry” rather than procreated. The audience went quiet at the remark. Some attendees later said they found the remarks offensive.

It gets worse. ...


skk wrote:

RE wrote:

These notions are like teenage wet dreams.

What was that you said about false ?

Huhhh, seems perfect to me. Guns give the intellectually weak a vastly inflated sense of strength and power. Happens in wet dreams as well.

Not me of course. I'm in the mould of Margaret Thatcher , and Norman Tebbit - practical and just get on with it. - and "got on my bike to look for a job".

Being a Thatcher fanboy doesn't deserve a lot of respect in my book.

skk wrote:

Not the one you and I part of surely..

To my knowledge there is a law against killing on the books.

Under U.S. federal law, murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.

The arbitrary definition of "war" is an altogether different issue.

Tom Stone wrote:

No mention that five times as many deaths are caused by physicians not washing their hands between seeing patients? No breakdown of "Gun Deaths" between suicide, criminal assault, legitimate self defense and negligence? Nope, guns are bad and should only be possessed by trained and responsible police officers like the ones in Torrance CA.

False or at least highly questionable equivalence.

Guns are killing machines explicitly developed for the purpose of killing. How can a civilized society condone such instruments since it condemns killing?

Failure to wash your hands as a physician is a dereliction of duty. It must be procedurally addressed. Something that obviously shouldn't be attempted with guns...

I don't see the point you were trying to make. Is it that killing another human is o.k. under certain circumstances as long as the instrument is a gun but always deplorable when it happens by negligence?

This gun fanaticism is not only terrible immature but utterly devoid of humane values.

Nope, guns are bad and should only be possessed by trained and responsible police officers like the ones in Torrance CA.

You obviously are in favor of an arms race between authorities and the public. Do you really think you stand a chance, ever? I simply don't see how that is desirable. The threat of mutually assured destruction must hold a lot of appeal for you as you obviously consider it more desirable than working for a lawful society.

These notions are like teenage wet dreams.

arthur_dent wrote:

unfortunately, the evidence that current monetary policy will solve our predicament is equally lacking.

No, it is not. Wishful thinking on your part.

The 1930s in the U.S. are an excellent example, just too mention one.

Mike_PNW wrote:

UE rate in 2003 was 6% (up from 4% in 2000)..Fed Funds rate in 2003 was 1%

I said employment problem not unemployment:

St. Louis Fed: FRED Graph 

merchants of fear wrote:

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

So you are advocating doing nothing? Based on our early 1930s experience?

Or do you have better information than Reinhart/Rogoff? I'm sure you could make a killing with it right about now.

black dog wrote:

PK had mucho concern for deficit/debt when W in the WH (at least the early years)

Somehow, I seem to remember that we weren't at the ZERO bound then with a severe employment problem...

Krugman isn't advocating his present prescriptions because he loves them but because they're thee ones most likely to work in present circumstances.

Hell of a difference but nuanced understanding makes for bad strawmen.

Pigged dryfly wrote:

I have said from day one - I want to see the plan for 'unwind' should they have to do it. Late 70s and early to mid 80s were an unwind - it wasn't a lot of fun. I would LOVE to see PK address that un more detail [other than BB's assertions it will be 'orderly'].

dryfly, you frequently comment along these lines which is why I respond late and now.

I simply see no evidence of an "unwind" in the early 80s of the sort you mention.

Here are two charts that illustrate my contention.

Clearly outstanding debt accelerated after 1980, so no unwind there.

M2 only stabilized in the 90s. Again no unwind, i.e. reduction in stock.

If you mean credit availability was reduced then yes but I wouldn't call that an "unwind" and the Fed can do that anytime as it has stated.

The 70s were a classic inflationary period driven by an exponential price increase of a key commodity that had an enabling wage feedback loop.

We are nowhere near that so the "unwind" is easy. From any perspective IMO there is no 70s parallel.

REBear wrote:

Govt price fixing helps consumer confidence

You live in voodoo land. Basically every law that govrnment enacts affects the price of something.

It's the price of structure.

aleister perdurabo wrote:

What can't be paid, won't be paid.

U.S. debt has NEVER been paid back in U.S. history. It's just about managing the level of INCREASING debt.

merchants of fear wrote:

Piers Morgan made his gun control pitch today also on his show.

A man of courage and good reason.

comrade mike wrote:

Let the union dissolve: Other states want out too:

After Obama Victory, A Petition For States To Secede On The White House Website

Texans seem to have a strange sense of democracy: my way or the highway.

gabyjan wrote:


Adds diversity and it just might help explain group behavior.. There is a history, you know.

burnside wrote:

Matter of fact I share some of her views, though I generally don't see them in quite the same terms.

His views IMO. My guess, until corrected, is that he represents the Bay Area gay community in all its splendor.

burnside wrote:

that's true. But we show most of those traits often enough.

I know that there are aspects of this. KP as a target being a prime example.

However, on the whole, this board is much more diverse in its opinions that just about any board I can think of.

burnside wrote:

. . . and HCN.

Well, with regard to the elections, HCN was much more accurate in its collective votes than the mainstream and especially other financial sites.

I haven't seen much, if any, reporting on this:

The House – new, with less democracy!

... I estimated that Democrats would have to win the national popular vote by 2.5% in order to have a 50-50 chance of gaining control. I also predicted that the House popular vote margin would be D+0.0%, for Democratic gains of 2-22 seats . As of now, counting the leader in each undecided race, the new House will be 235 R, 200 D, a gain of only 7 seats. ThinkProgress reports a popular-vote tally of 50.3% D to 49.7%, a margin of D+0.6%. Both results are within range of my prediction.

However, this is quite notable. The popular vote was a swing of more than 6% from the 2010 election, which was 53.5% R, 46.5% D. Yet the composition of the House hardly changed – and the party that got more votes is not in control. This discrepancy between popular votes and seat counts is the largest since 1950.

JP wrote:

Don't worry about it. It would be a blessing if KP were pissing all over the board just for political season and would crawl back into whatever pond s/he came out of.

KP adds to the diversity of this board literally and figuratively.

He is IMO a wonderful representative of the outspoken and sometimes bombastic liberal Bay Area gay scene.

I enjoy his presence.

black dog wrote:

how many years of trillion dollar deficits yielding ~ 2% growth before "experts" back off from "cyclical" and admit "structural"?

Devaluing debt at not too fast a pace can be very health for the economy.

It is a debt jubilee in disguise. Why ignore postwar history? It worked very well.
Our real problem isn't debt but lack of jobs which IMO is and will become a lot more structural due to human obsolescence.

some investor guy wrote:

I will probably do a reckoning tomorrow. FL still needs to be called. I'll give it a day to make sure it all settles properly.

I agree. Thanks for the poll.

robj wrote:

Were there concession posts from volker or bearly?

I'd prefer them from the thoroughly ideologically blinded "analysts" like dawg and Yancy.

What will be the result of the 2012 Presidential Election? | Hoocoodanode? 

Skittles the Unicorn wrote:

I think after 7 years we should look forward. So, three more to go.

Financial crises take an avg of 10 years to recover from.

Nemo wrote:

Every single state called correctly by Nate Silver's models.

These guys were right on the button. Much earlier that Silver.

VOTAMATIC | Forecasts and Polling Analysis for the 2012 Presidential Election

dryfly wrote:

Ya Quinn is screwed - regardless who wins this go around the nation will be as tired of Chicago Machine as they are Clintons.

I'm not so sure that you are right. Bill is still extremely popular.

Bill Clinton Is More Popular Than Ever, Poll Finds -

In the wake of his rallying speech to Democrats at the party’s convention last week and his new role as a top-surrogate for President Obama’s campaign in battleground states, only 25 percent of voters have a negative view of him. His ratings are higher than they were during any year of his two-term presidency that was marred by the impeachment scandal, according to two decades of Times/CBS News polls

yagij wrote:

What kind of performance gain would you get from a RAID striping configuration? Anything noteworthy or still use SCSI/SATA?

You should be able to get 1 GB/s read performance. You make the call.

sm_landlord wrote:

I don't think the price increases are going to stick, even with the new duopoly

Exactly.. No buying enthusiasm for HDs at current prices. 256GB SSDs at around or below $170 are killing demand for volume IMO.

dryfly wrote:

Yoga Spa's and 'Medicinal Dispensaries' count too ya know..

Small business owners might actually need customers with discretionary income. Cutting the minimum wage and a worsening GINI will not help there. They just might not be that stupid...

some investor guy wrote:

RE wrote:

Obama tops Romney in new poll of small business owners - The Washington Post


I only report...

... Nearly half of small business owners (47 percent) plan to vote for a second term for the president, compared to 39 percent who plan to vote for Mitt Romney, according to a new poll conducted by the George Washington University School of Political Management and Even more importantly, perhaps, the president is perceived as more supportive of small companies by the most coveted group of voters — independents. ...

steelhead wrote:

Do you think the 1% of 1900-10 were that smart or that they controlled everything just below the surface?

GINI was even worse before the Fed. I have textual sources but no chart data.

BTW here is the longest-term GINI chart I have. Note when it started its ascent. What changed then? Tax policy!

greenchutes wrote:

Sure, RE, let's bring it back to the great Christmas sneak-in, the centennial is almost here.

Correlation isn't necessarily causation. Far too simplistic. Many things changed since the 70s/80s that had IMO a much bigger impact on GINI. I agree with Yuan, GINI is primarily driven by taxation policy.

Blaming the Fed for taxation policy is laughable.

sm_landlord wrote:

And the Fed/post BW policy has nothing to do with GINI in the past 4 decades...

You are not supposed to notice that, citizen

Where was the GINI before the Fed?

Vonbek777 wrote:

Probably not, but lots of small business owners....who knows how that equation will balance out over time.

No dice there either.

Obama tops Romney in new poll of small business owners - The Washington Post

The story that IMO will really be the tell of this election.

Final impreMedia-LD tracking poll: if Latino vote is high, Obama will carry 4 key swing states | Latino Decisions

Sixteen percent of respondents indicated that they had already voted early, with another 73% saying they were certain to vote, reflecting increasing levels of enthusiasm over the course of this poll.

The President’s support continued its steady climb with 64% saying they are certain to vote for him on election day and another 8% leaning towards him. Romney’s supporters also remained consistent, but overall he was unable to make significant inroads with Latino voters. Week 11 polling found 22% said they were certain to or might vote for Romney, compared to 24% during Week 1 polling.

Among likely Latino voters, those with consistent vote history or have already voted, 73% say they plan to vote for Obama compared to 24% for Romney and 3% undecided. If Obama wins 73% or higher of the Latino vote, it would eclipse the 72% won by Bill Clinton in his landslide re-election in 1996, and mark the highest total ever for a Democratic presidential candidate.

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

Which representative figureheads of our unelected oligarchy are you supporting tomorrow?

To abstain is no solution but just a cop out. As stated many times, I always vote for the lesser evil. Only the delusional think that they can do otherwise in a two party system. The political spectrum is far to wide to be accommodated by two platforms.

I'll always vote for the party/candidate that wants to eliminate/reduce money/bribes in government. I'm for publicly financed campaigns across the board.

Given equality above, I'll vote for the bigger supporter of the poor and disadvantaged