Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hi, everyone, on another absolutely beautiful Thursday.  I would add 'so far,' but from the forecast the string of sunny days in the 70s will continue.  I was lazy yesterday and just trimmed the lemon verbena. Just looked at what else is waiting outside.  Wednesdays are our normal garbage collection day so the tote was out on the curb waiting to be emptied.  It was full so I couldn't clean anything more out of the garden.    Normally I put most of the plant matter in the compost bin but that is nearly full so now most is going in the regular trash.  I hope the compost will collapse enough for the leaves that I will soon have to clean off the patio.  The fall turning is progressing with some of the smaller trees already nearly bare.  The long range weather predictions are out and we are supposed to have another brutal winter.  Hope not but we are well situated and bless we had a prolonged (a week or more) without electricity we should be ok.  The Good Morning America show featured the snow in the California mountains expected to top out at about 2 feet.  And the shortest turn around between the last spring and first fall snow since we started keeping records.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs.

Well, Sarah Palin won't run for President.  For once the woman has shown some spark of intelligence.

I just found this insane item.  So the Spanish pharmaceutical industry is sitting on a manure pile of unpaid bills racked up by the regional Spanish governments.  Therefore they want to repackage those unpaid debts into securities that can be sold on the markets and guaranteed by the national Spanish government.  The companies get paid now and the Spanish taxpayer is on the hook somewhere down the road.  Back when our finance industry was packaging mortgage debt to be sold as investment instruments there was at least some rationale--the mortgages that formed the substance of the securities were backed by tangible property.  Unfortunately, when the value of that property tanked the value turned out to be very thin air.  These drug companies are talking about bundling and selling currently uncollectible debt backed by--not a damned thing.

You asked a very good question, Lois.  How, indeed, are we going to get out of the mess we find ourselves in?  I have a feeling that we will progress by a muddle through path and things will change in unpredictable ways.  For the last thirty years we have treated debt as a form of wealth and we spent it recklessly.  We are, some of us anyway, beginning to see it as it is--a claim for current expenditures that will reduce our futures, an eating of our seed corn that will reduce our future harvest.  We can't be Wimpy any longer promising to pay on Wednesday for a hamburger today.  Take a look at this interview with Michael Lewis for some examples of how we will get out of our fiscal swamp.  The Vanity Fair article I linked to a couple of days ago was also one of his.  We will get out of this from the bottom up though decisions by individuals and local governments.  And the first step is to figure out what our resources are and to live below them.

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