Saturday, October 20, 2012

Willard does good

Willard Romney finally did something good for the United States, not on purpose of course. Iran apparently has decided to swallow its pride and begin nuclear negotiations. We can't know for sure that they are really afraid of a not too bright and totally lacking a conscience cult member who is in the pocket of an extreme right-wing Israeli billionaire with a ton of Chinese money. Maybe the sanctions are finally getting to them, it's cost them dearly, or maybe China intervened with them. We will certainly never know the truth, a good guess is all we'll ever have. Beware of any story that sounds good.

Obama can of course take credit, it's not like he hasn't been doing everything he could, this probably includes things we won't know about anytime soon, if ever. If Iran doing this keeps the Meth Rat out of the White House, they've more than repaid any debt to the world than they ever could have owed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October Surprise?

The Dow dropped 200 points today on 'below expectations' earning from McDonalds, GE, Google and others. It also happens to be the anniversary of the 1987 crash, the biggest since 29. Who was President then? (The Sainted Reagan) Today's drop wasn't a significant event given the size of the market number, but you wouldn't know it to listen to the media.

The thing you have to remember is that the term 'below expectations' means that the companies are actually doing well and making huge profits. They just didn't meet an arbitrarily contrived number issued by market 'analysts'. You can bet that the Republicans will be screaming "economic collapse!" based on nothing of consequence.

Since the Wall Street banks dominate the 'trading', they could easily drive the market down between now and the election just to make Obama look bad. All the while these 'below market expectations' companies are collectively sitting on $5 trillion in cash and have been showing record profits all through the Obama Administration.

Since Romney made a point of challenging Obama to look at his retirement account, you can bet that they will be running ads showing your 401(k) draining away in real time as they push the market down.

If you are invested in the market, I have some bad news, it's a Ponzi scheme. The stock market makes no money. The entire value of the market is based on the willingness of new suckers to buy into the market. The replacement value of the companies in the Dow 40 is about 6000 points, as if you actually had any claim on that value.

You could in theory get your hands on that money if you bought all the stock and liquidated the company. Though at the current stock price that would be 50 cents/dollar or less.

You could borrow a bunch of foreign money and do a Leveraged Buy Out, or what they call today, Pirate Equity (excuse me, Private Equity). You know, like Bain does. How do you make money at 50 cents/dollar? You cheat. Sell off the assets, loot the pension fund, cook the books to make the company look profitable and resell the stock to new suckers. Load the company with the debt you used to buy it, saddle it with a business model that inevitably leads to collapse, and get yourself appointed to manage the bankruptcy. Then take handsome fees to 'restructure' company. It's not unusual to repeat this process several times. The creditors, suppliers, stock holders and bond holders all get screwed. The fees for 'managing' the bankruptcy have to come from somewhere. The workers were already screwed, upper management is generally well taken care of to keep their mouths shut.

If you're creative you can offshore the profits from doing this, and never pay taxes on them. If US corporations actually paid their income taxes, that alone would eliminate half of the annual deficit. But we can't put that sort of burden on the 'job creators'. Economists that have been studying international banking reports estimate that between 20-30 trillion USDs are stashed in these off shore tax havens. I guess it shouldn't be any surprise that the Federal Reserve has long ago stopped reporting how many USDs are in circulation off shore. We really need a man with Willard Romney's experience to deal with this. He knows how to make it work.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three to win

The corporate media reported today that Obama is maintaining a comfortable margin of 5-7 points in Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio. These are the only swing states that Obama needs to win. The media of course didn't report this all in one bite, you have to pay attention and put the pieces together. Otherwise you would think it's still a horse race and Romney is pulling ahead and will lap Obama any day now. Just keep that foreign super-pac money coming into the ad department. I guess it is good for the balance of trade.

China isn't really thrilled with Mittens dissing them all the time, 'face' is important in China. It's not that they're afraid he'll actually 'get tough' with them. They would rather have him, except for the stupidity. Bain has a huge contract with China to provide them with factories from the US, crated up and shipped complete from the US. This plan includes a market for the new Chinese production, since the factory no longer exists in America.

As I suggested last week, this week's unemployment claims shot up to even out last week. We'll see next week if the long term downward trend continues. Housing starts are way up so this should create a mushrooming of new jobs. Home prices are up, but with so many home mortgages still under water there is a functional shortage of houses for sale in many markets. Foreclosures are also down significantly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Real time fact checking

As I predicted after Romney 'won' the first debate that he would have a hard time in the subsequent debates once he was on the record with his new set of lies. Obama was ready for him this time and Romney showed his contempt for 'the help' questioning him on his lies. He came very close to demonstrating why Ann is concerned about his mental health if he's elected.

The corporate media obliged the right by ginning up the story that both men hate each other. You don't have to hate a meth rat to hit it with a stick. It's Willard that 'hates' since he doesn't have any rational reason to lie like he does. The lies have to serve a higher purpose, it can't be simple greed or lust for power. His lessers are the enemy and must be stopped. This is of course the Republican meme, the 'takers' are out to get them. The 47% can't be reasoned with, they must be brought under control by a strong leader.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Man the Depth Charges, U-6 sighted! Au-ooga, au-ooga!

The right is suddenly obsessing over the U-6, they didn't care how high it was during the reign of the Bush Crime Family. The reality is that it's been steadily climbing ever since the Baby Boom started to retire, and the Millennium generation started to swell at the same time the Bush Depression eliminated their jobs. The newest crop of adults actually out numbers the Boomers, Social Security isn't in trouble if the 20 somethings can get good middle class jobs.

Everybody without a job is counted in the U-6 if they aren't in the Military, or in an institution. Grandma might think her cat is aunt Katy, but if she isn't in the nursing home, then she's counted as unemployed.

This is not to say that there isn't an unemployment problem, but the real reason is low wages. The former middle-class factory workers aren't supporting the rest of the economy like they used to. Rich people buying French jets and Italian yachts that they register in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes aren't creating those jobs they promised us. The Trolls who post the talking points and call into radio shows do get paid, but it's not middle-class wages, they aren't creating jobs either. 

Cutting taxes and getting out of the way of the corporations and rich 'job creators' will only make that worse. Lower wages are also seen as the solution by the right, certainly the 'job creators' will hire more people if they will work for nothing but low quality food. Third world countries make that work so well. Why don't these Trolls just move to Somalia?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Planet with four suns

When you though things couldn't get any stranger, a planet has been discovered with four suns.

Speaking of science, there is a debate among Theoretical Physicists as to whether any aspects of their work should be made public. This 'news' inspired me to do some research. This stuff is freaky. Compared to the religious crazies, this is really far out. The thing is, they can prove the 'truths' that they're saying. If you like the world the way you know it now, don't ever read anything about theoretical physics. BTW, theoretical doesn't mean that they are just guessing. A theory is 'proven' by testing it.

Things are better, if not that much

To listen to the Republicans you'd think unemployment was on a upward spiral, and had been ever since Obama succeeded Bill Clinton in the White House. The fact is that the better part of a million people found work of some kind in September. True, they weren't good union jobs, or high tech jobs like the ones Bain is currently sending to China just as fast as they can, but these were real jobs.

The Republicans say the 60,000 people surveyed for the unemployment number were lying. They probably say that about all the retailers that reported significantly higher sales in August and September. No matter that this will be born out by Sales Tax receipts.

Historically it has always taken about ten years to recover from a financial collapse. A robust stimulus program can shorten that to a couple of years, but we didn't have one of those. We had a milk-toast stimulus that went heavily to tax cuts and had no 'buy American' provision because the Republicans demanded those things. They pretend that there weren't any tax cuts at all, but rather claim bald faced that Obama raised taxes dramatically, and they complain that companies that got stimulus money off-shored work.

The good news is that enough Americans aren't buying 'it' to allow the Republicans back into power. If the Dems can get the turnout, all will be well. God help us it they don't.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's all about the Benjamins

The corporate media has been successful in ginning up the 'horse race' by pretending that Romney actually won the debate, largely because Obama was oblivious to the close-up split screen. They called the VP debate a draw despite old Joe mopping the floor with the punk, wringing him out and putting down a coat of wax. Obama is still winning the election of course, Ohio knows who led them out of the wilderness while Romney was trying to sell them to China.

Enormous sums are rolling into the media from super-pacs, thanks to the 'horse race'. China, Saudi Arabia and other dubious characters are more than happy to unseat Obama. They don't need anymore 99% tariffs, Arab Springs or green energy.

It's likely that Romney will say something stupid in a Town Hall setting and you can bet that Obama will be ready for him. Will the media try to push Obama as being ahead now that the ad buys are already in the bank? Since he's going to win anyway, they probably don't want to look stupid, so that's what you can expect a new leader, unless they think they can make it a real cliff hanger. The news departments are all under the entertainment divisions now, so the more drama the better. The next debate will be 'Beauty and the Beast' since last week was 'Revenge' and before that it was 'Once Upon a Time'. The drama would be so much fun if it wasn't likely to play out as a real tragedy.