Posts Tagged ‘movingforwardville’

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!”


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!!!”


Saying Nothing Much About Everything

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

President Obama and Chinese Premier Hu, post-summit, at a news conference during which no questions were allowed.

It’s difficult to understand what purpose is served by these essentially empty gatherings.

The US and China know full well each other’s views on the big bilateral and international issues, none of these issues are currently susceptible to a breakthrough, and there’s nearly as much interest in doing nothing (climate change, dollar decline) as in doing something (climate change, yuan appreciation).

Gorilla thinks: “The appeal of congee and the appeal of congress make it easier to stay thick and happy in movingforwardville!”


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!”


What’s Bigger Than 46 States?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Why, the population of the unemployed of course!!!

In Movingforwardville, it is slowly dawning on the economic geniuses that the economy is much worse than they thought it would be by now, the stimulus package was woefully inadequate, and they’re totally boxed in politically.

So, there’s lots of leaking about extending benefits, but very little discussion about a second stimulus or aid to the states or job creation programs: that would be admitting the first stimulus wasn’t enough and the Republicans will say, surprise, surprise, that it was a waste of money!

Gorilla says: “When the bubble bursts, you can’t admit you’ve blown it!”