Posts Tagged ‘goingbackwardville’

Revised Up (And Down)

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Today’s headline GDP number for Q4 2009 is 5.9%, an upward revision from the initial estimate of 5.7%…

But consumer and residential spending in the same quarter were revised downward.

Message: growth was mostly in inventories, consumer demand remains weak, and the housing market’s moribund.

In Movingforwardville, the headline number will be greeted with confidence, but in Goingbackwardville the numbers say it will be a long time before anything other than a jobless recovery comes to pass.

Gorilla says: “Read between the lines, and you’ll find the proper signs!”


Fraud Pays When SEC Stays Away

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Bank of America/SEC settlement is in, and the government will be collecting $150 million.

On the other hand, the management of BofA perpetrated a fraud on its shareholders that cost them something on the order of $20 billion.

BofA remains a zombie ward of the US government.

The judge who made the ruling called it “half-baked justice”, since no one in management was punished and there is no evidence that BofA practices will change as a result of this decision.

So, it’s another example of the US government condoning fraud, just as it’s also condoned torture, so as to serve the political interests of Movingforwardville by avoiding any accountability in Goingbackwardville.

And it demonstrates, once again, that being a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street means never having to admit you’re a failure.

Gorilla paraphrases: “When you owe trillions, it’s always the government’s problem!”


Change For The Better Isn’t Here Yet

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Not at Alcoa, where revenues and profits missed estimates by a good deal.

It will be interesting to see whether this is the beginning of a round of disappointments from corporate world.

The economy is growing very anemically, and demand, outside of the export sectors, isn’t very great.

Gorilla thinks: “Goingbackwardville is not yet down for the count!”


Gassing Up Post-Gasbags

Monday, December 21st, 2009

So far, Mr. Market doesn’t think much of the Copenhagen (agreement? piece of paper? movingforwardville process?)…

Carbon prices fell big time this morning on the Euro cap and trade exchanges.

Gorilla says: “Goingbackwardville is selling at a discount!”


A Mess Is The Best Guess

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Paul Krugman says it’s now even money we’ll have a lost decade like Japan.

Brad de Long says there’s a 5 percent chance of a Great Depression-like downturn, bigger than the one we’ve just experienced.

Martin Wolf says we’ve again missed the boat on speaking plainly to the Chinese.

Today’s numbers say that, despite wasting billions on cash for clunkers and home buying tax credits, deflation remains a big problem, the housing bust will continue, oh, and unemployment remains above 10%.

The need for action is very clear, but that’s not what our leaders are offering.

Instead, they seem worried about utterly trivial things, from an extra $100 billion/year to expand health insurance to social program deficits in the years after 2030.

Anything in the here and now appears to be well beyond their imaginations.

Goingbackwardville and Movingforwardville are currently intersecting in Oblivionville.

Congress should be passing a second stimulus, to the tune of at least $1 trillion ($2-3 trillion would be even better!), with emphasis on the following: job creation via a new WPA with emphasis on road building, home and corporate energy efficiency, and public transit, guaranteeing state government deficits for the next 3 years, and continuing unemployment and unemployed health care benefits for the next 2 years.

The President needs to start leading, not engaging in further meaningless rhetoric and cautious poll gazing.

Gorilla is worried: “Round tables don’t put food on the table, and pointy heads only burrow deeper into the sand!!!”


The al-Qaeda Telethon

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

al-Qaeda’s not got as much cash as it used to, according to the US Treasury.

Several fundraising appeals have been made this year. The Taliban’s apparently doing better, mainly because they have direct access to the narcotics trade.

What isn’t mentioned in the Treasury report, of course, are the trillions of dollars being spent by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan to rid the planet of these very small time outfits. So far, all that cash hasn’t had much effect on either al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

You don’t need much money to unleash havoc, as we know from our experiences in Goingbackwardville. 9/11 likely cost less than a million dollars to plan and execute. The Madrid and London bombings cost a few thousand each.

One might conclude therefore that it’s a waste of time and resources for the Pentagon to be leading the anti-terror campaign, when economic development in backward lands, combined with better law enforcement and intelligence gathering at home and abroad, could do the job at least as ineffectively for far less moolah.

But that’s not a debate anyone in Movingforwardville wants to have, much better for the Treasury to claim they’ve succeeded in reducing financial resources for insurgent and terrorist groups. Victory is mine, sayeth the Geithner!

Gorilla says: “If only we’d gotten Wells Fargo to do Option ARMS in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we’d have wiped these guys out by now!”


Answering Paul Krugman

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Who asks: why is going back to the 2007 securitization model for the banks better than returning to the traditional bank lending model?

Answer: It isn’t better, it’s worse. But the banks are largely insolvent now and they still haven’t come clean on their balance sheets. So even the traditional model won’t save them from themselves. Goingbackwardville is all the Fed has to offer.

Gorilla answers: “Spell TALF and TARP backwards, and you’ll understand banking policy in Movingforwardville!”


Deciding To Dither

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Once again, the Administration wants to find the soft middle ground at the intersection of Goingbackwardville and Movingforwardville.

This time, it’s Afghanistan. Eight years on, we have not captured the al-Qaeda leaders who attacked us, we do not have a reliable partner on the ground, and we do not have a clear exit strategy.

More troops or less troops? It doesn’t matter. By conflating a handful of fifth-rate terrorists into the greatest threat in history, we’re stuck in a quagmire.

Better intelligence and better development assistance to backward nations is the key to getting this mess under some control. But that’s not sexy, it doesn’t provide jobs to generals, and it doesn’t get you to and through the next election cycle.

Gorilla thinks: “In the war on terror, we may change Administrations, but Osama still rules the roost!”


The Swirly Gates

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Our Defense Secretary says that we’re losing in Afghanistan because we didn’t have enough troops, because we invaded Iraq!

This astonishingly acute perception of the obvious comes from a man who presided over several years of doing nothing about Afghanistan. Was he wrong then or is he wrong now?

But that’s Goingbackwardville, in Movingforwardville we’re busy weighing our options, none of which are good.

Meanwhile, our guy Karzai is poised for victory, and nobody outside of Kabul gives a damn, but we’re “rethinking” in light of electoral fraud!

It’s this kind of nonsense that keeps the war on terror going.

Rather than seeing terrorism as a very small bore threat, best overcome by a combination of law enforcement and a more serious commitment to economic development in backward lands, we’re trapped in the rhetoric of victimhood by a military that’s roughly two wars behind.

Gorilla says: “Why be afraid of these clowns? Nihilism has yet to win an election!”


TGIF And Predictions

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

These were the events that mattered in Gorilla’s world this week:

*Health care reform went nowhere in the US Senate. There’ll be a bill of some kind passed, but it won’t be much more than window dressing. Most people will continue being satisfied with their health insurance until they lose their jobs or get sick. Gorilla thinks a golden opportunity has been blown, but remains confident we’ll eventually do something serious when the bill really comes due in 10-15 years.

*The US economy remains dead in the water. In Goingbackwardville, the banks still haven’t come clean and unemployment is approaching 10%. The stimulus is the only thing keeping Movingforwardville slightly upright. There’s a desperate need for more stimulus, but there’s also a total lack of political leadership. Short of the unemployed retraining to become Olympic athletes or bank regulators, Gorilla believes the economy will not begin to come off a non-inventory building bottom until 2011 or 2012. Unemployment will stay high for a decade.

*A new fossil was found that pushes human evolution even further back than originally thought. Gorilla suggests that the evolution away from religion may take a bit longer.

*The US and Iran finally engaged in bilateral negotiations. President Obama played his hand very well. Gorilla thinks the deals will be coming thick and fast over the next 12-18 months, and foresees a time when we will treat the Middle East filling station like we now treat Africa.

*The Chinese celebrated 60 years of the East being Red. Gorilla doubts there will be such a ceremony in 2049.

*Honduras continues the dance of the idiot politicians. These were joined on Friday by a delegation of our idiot politicians, who seem to think that military coups and the suspension of civil liberties are ok. Gorilla believes this will be resolved at the next election, when Honduras will choose a new idiot and Senator DeMint will remain an old idiot.

*General McChrystal submitted his new plan for Afghanistan, which is essentially the old plan with a few more troops and trainers. Gorilla believes we’ll be on the way out within 12 months.

*The Irish voted on the EU Treaty and the 2016 Olympics were awarded to Brazil. Gorilla thinks this would not make any more difference if it was the other way round.