Updated: 1/11/10; 8:10:02 AM

 Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Blog and Tools

After more than 10 years of good Blogging use from Radio Userland 8 I've moved on to MarsEdit, NetNewsWire, and WordPress. Follow this link to my next blog, webstir.com/opmlblog/.

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 1:36:26 PM - trackback []
 Monday, March 16, 2009

AIG and Insanity

AIG-Bailout = Insanity
insanity
noun
1 mental illness, madness, dementia; lunacy, instability; mania, psychosis; informal craziness.
2 it would be insanity to make this loan FOLLY, foolishness, madness, idiocy, stupidity, lunacy, silliness; informal craziness.
3 Def. Repeatedly doing the same action and expecting a different result.

In my view AIG and the lying thieving bastards therein need to be put down, hard.

Cooler minds with a larger vocabulary speak to AIG at TPM:

Few exchanges have so captured the disconnect that makes this situation so politically explosive. We're collectively taking our country's future in our hands, spending vast sums of money to keep these companies from suffering the consequences of their own folly and (in many cases) criminality. And in return we're receiving cavalier dictates about pay-outs and bonuses from executives who by any reasonable measure work for us -- dictates we promptly accede to. There's a beggars can't be choosers problem there. And the disconnect is so mighty that it fuels the impression that the whole enterprise is not what it seems, not what we've been told, that in addition to picking up the tab we're being played for fools.

--Josh Marshall

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 7:58:14 AM - trackback []
 Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama Hosts Republican Party of Fiscal Irresponsibility

To the displeasure of many on both sides of aisle, President Obama on Monday will host the so-called Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House. While some Democrats question the timing of Obama's expenditure of political capital on Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement reform, obstructionist Republicans are ridiculing the event even as they hype the myth of Republican fiscal discipline.

And a myth it surely is. Far from the deficit hawks of Republican legend, the modern Republican Party from Reagan forward devastated the U.S. treasury, leaving mounting debt and hemorrhaging red ink for as far as the eye can see.

As the history of the past 30 years shows, those people "willing to point out the problem" are called Republicans. The ones doing something about it are called Democrats.

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 8:19:59 AM - trackback []
 Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Truth About US Unemployment Numbers

The BLS U-3 chart is the official unemployment rate. Shown as a percentage of the civilian labor force.

But over the past twenty years the American civilian workforce has undergone significant changes. John Robb outlines the situation.

The BLS U-6 chart attempts to include workers who are unemployed and underemployed. Table A-12 Alternative measures of labor under-utilization. The BLS U-6 number for December 2008 is 13.5%.

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 1:54:01 PM - trackback []
 Monday, January 5, 2009

When Economists Disagree

An average guy (me) tries to get a sense of the correct path to take during this financial crisis by reading economists who disagree.

Paul Krugman wants quick massive government spending ($800B) to prevent a US depression (Fighting Off Depression). I think that on the surface it sounds good. I like the idea of shortening the pain, turning things around and getting on with doing good works. But, then I think about the management of that huge sum of money, hmmm. The unintended consequences to the US boggle the mind. I am unconvinced.

Then at nakedcapitalism.com a post titled Willem Buiter Calls for Less US Stimulus, Expects Collapse in Price of Dollar Assets. Where Willem Buiter wants much less government spending ($300B) and places the US in context of the world economy. His point being that the US is near it's financial ceiling and thanks to Bush there is little to no trust or good will among the nations of the world toward the US. Therefor the US has to pay "the going rate" for international monetary support which in turn will lead to in 2 to 5 years a worldwide collapse of dollar backed assets, a sharply devalued dollar and corresponding US inflation.

Buiter does not address jobs and employment during this time frame as I suspect it does not fit easily into his world view.

Then Krugman responds with Faith-based macroeconomics. Krugman asks a good question:

But on the stimulus point: even if you're deeply concerned about America's future solvency, will going for, say, a $300 billion stimulus rather than an $800 billion stimulus do anything significant to help?

Today I read that President-elect Obama is proposing a ($300B) tax cut as part of the stimulus package. This I think is right and important.

The largest piece of tax relief in the new plan would involve cuts for people who pay income taxes or who claim the earned-income credit, a refund designed to lessen the impact of payroll taxes on low- and moderate-income workers. This component would serve as a down payment on the "Making Work Pay" proposal Mr. Obama outlined during his election campaign, giving a credit of $500 per individual or $1,000 per family.

This will get money into the hands of people who can use it. The next part I want to hear about is getting people working at a livable wage and then health care for everyone.

At this point I think President-elect Obama has a better vision than the Economists.

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 12:36:04 PM - trackback []
 Sunday, December 14, 2008

Somebody Has To Respond

A good story of response to the big banks that are destroying jobs, and damaging America. I strongly identify with this perspective.

The other side of the coin:

And then on Dec. 10 there is the despicable "Republican Action Alert".

When I first read this Action Alert my first thought was, my god these people are actively working against the best interests of the United States. That's not politics, that's freaking treason!

Continuing Back

Thom Hartman has a timeline perspective that lays out the source of America's prosperity and the reasons when it began to unravel.

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 10:10:08 AM - trackback []
 Wednesday, December 10, 2008

AIG Wants to Add $4 Million to Cash Awards

Hugh Son of bloomberg.net reports that AIG continues to push forward more bonus payments (under another name) to an additional 38 "executives" of as much as $4 million. These "executives" earn salaries between $160,000 and $1million. On Nov. 26, Hugh Son of bloomburg.com reported that AIG will pay 130 managers "cash awards" to stay with the firm, including $3 million to retirement services chief Jay Wintrob.

This insider corporate culture of rewarding people for failure has to stop. Does Edward Liddy need to get jail time to think about how WRONG this is? He is responsible for AIG losing $25 BILLION last quarter. I'm certain that this pressure to get the AIG bonus distributed before the next AIG quarterly financial report goes public is because the losses will be astoundingly high. AND REMEMBER, THAT'S OUR MONEY AIG IS SPENDING.

- Posted by Gary Secondino - 6:46:50 AM - trackback []