Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good Tuesday morning to you all.  Wet this morning.  The weather people say we may get 1 to 2 inches of snow but I don't really expect it.  East of us will get that but the system appears to be fizzling out before it reaches us.  We were surprised when the sun came out for a bit yesterday afternoon.

Oh, yeah, Kay.  I think we must be founding members of the 'I'm staying home on Black Friday Club.'  And I would love to see the bought congress critters get tossed out in sufficient numbers to do some good.  I would love to see the so-called 'safe districts' most of them (mis-)represent suddenly become totally unsafe and up for grabs.  And one piece of good news from the morning broadcast:  the recall movement in Wisconsin has more than half of the signatures needed with a month and a half to go.  Maybe Walker will be a half-term governor.

I don't know how often I watched news that someone (usually the Germans and the French) had come up with a solution to the sovereign debt problem and that story alone caused an orgiastic buying frenzy on the stock markets.  Then suddenly some bright person discovered that the 'solution' was anything but and the markets sold off.  This little piece from Zero Hedge puts a bit of light on the darker possibilities.

I am about two-thirds through Michael Lewis' Boomerang and it is a fascinating take on the financial meltdown as it manifested in Europe.  It is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.  I can summarize it so far in a few short sentences.  The Icelandic bankers borrowed foreign money to buy foreign assets which they then sold to each other at inflated prices giving the appearance of fantastic prosperity.  The Irish bankers borrowed foreign money to buy Irish assets that they sold to each other at inflated prices or loaned to land developers who built overpriced homes and commercial property.  The Greek government borrowed foreign money to support inflated government expenditures and inefficiency.  And then Lewis presents the German situation.  The sober German bankers, who would never have approved such loans to German customers in Germany, provided the foreign money that fueled the debt frenzy.  I find it amusing that the Germans are now insisting that their frugal ways be adopted by the spendthrift peoples of the European periphery when part of the problem was the much-less-than-frugal actions of their bankers.

I found this Psychopathic Economics 101 post both apt and amusing.  Is your house insured??  Against what dangers??

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