Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blowing Bubbles and Chances

Blowing Bubbles and Chances
©2012 Ross Williams

Headline: Fed Missed Housing Bust

Article Synopsis:
In March of 2006, incoming Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke saw no evidence that falling home prices would have any major consequence to the US economy, according to Federal Reserve meeting transcripts released by the Fed this week. Within three months, Bernanke was convinced there was a danger, though small. A young Fed official, Timothy Geithner, maintained until late in 2006 that there would be no “collateral damage” from the housing bubble, even if it did burst as Bernanke, by that time, considered possible. Mr Geithner is now Obama’s Treasury Secretary.

The One-Eyed Fed Chairman: In March of 2006, banks had long known the danger posed by continued compliance with one of the Frank-Dodd provisions that compelled mortgage lenders to ignore credit risk when making homes loans. Falling home prices was due, mainly, to the same force that created the sharp rise in home prices in the several years before: idiot government regulations on mortgage lending practices.

When banks were required to stop considering credit risk in the mortgage process, more people could buy houses – and houses that exceeded their ability to pay for. Home prices skyrocketed. When those with bad credit or exceeded credit started defaulting on their home loans, home prices started falling.

Home prices fall in only a few circumstances, none of which are desirable, and which are effectively limited to:
1] aerial bombardment;
2] apocalypse; and
3] economic collapse.

Since the influx of terrorists has refused to materialize despite DHS’s sober predictions, probably due to TSA protecting us from cupcake frosting [see below], there was no real or figurative military danger to our nation’s houses that would cause their values to plummet.

While a certain section of our population at any given moment believes the end is nigh, the housing bubble managed to inflate even over the millennium change, which saw the relatively large crowd of Millennialist chowderheads, Old-Time Religion and New Age Pansy versions, both, ducking for cover.

That leaves ... economic collapse.

For a group of bankers to dismiss the key sign of the most significant event of the generation in their world and ours, and to refuse to see the underlying cause of it, is like ... simile fails me.

Conclusion: Not to make too many political innuendos here, but ... it was the Bush appointee who thought that maybe there’d be problems; the dickweed who became the Obama appointee denied it the whole time, even as it was happening.

Headline: Aon to Move Corporate HQ to London

Article Synopsis:
The world’s largest insurance brokerage firm is moving its multi-national corporate headquarters from Chicago IL USA to London England; the headquarters for “Aon America” will remain in Chicago. Aon will reincorporate in England. The move is to “gain access to emerging markets”.

The Rat and the Sinking Ship: We have seen US government regulations create a financial meltdown in our country by requiring banks to do phenomenally stupid things that caused those banks to make bad loans and lose money. In the last few years, idiots in our government finally woke up enough to realize what the banks had known for over a decade: the regulations were phenomenally stupid. The government started throwing money hand over fist at the banks which had lost money, trying to cover its tracks. A number of those banks failed anyway.

Then that portion of the American voters which believes, against all known evidence, that government can do no wrong blamed the banks for doing what the government required them to do rather than the government for requiring it to be done in the first place, and the government saw an easy out: implicate the whole financial sector. It’s not government ineptitude and busy-bodying behind it; it’s purely the greed of large financial corporations.

Couple this Perfect Conspiracy with a state of Illinois that would rather raise corporate taxes by 50% than stop spending money, and a US Congress that created the world’s highest corporate tax rate while giving freebies out to “favored” industries, it doesn’t take an MBA to read the writing on the wall and realize that everyone in the now highly disfavored financial sector, which includes insurance and insurance brokerage, is going to get fleeced in America very very shortly.

Conclusion: When contrasted with a collapsing market, a flea market is “emerging”.

Headline: ‘Wicked’ Cupcake Flies High After TSA Seizure

Article Synopsis:
A “cupcake in a jar” was seized by a TSA agent in Las Vegas in December. The agent claimed the frosting was a gel, and more than 3 ounces of gels and liquids are prohibited. The cupcake uses a red velvet recipe and is baked into an 8 ounce jelly jar, and was named National Velvet; it is being remarketed as National (Security) Velvet, and internet sales have skyrocketed.

Wicked Defensive: The cupcake is made by a small bakery in Boston called Wicked Good Cupcakes, and their product had been taken to Las Vegas by a media and advertising consultant, and was being brought back to Boston along with a hummus sandwich and a bag of cherry tomatoes. The cupcake made it past security in Boston on the flight to Vegas, but on the return trip the frosting attracted the attention of the Trained Ape while the gooey hummus sandwich and cherry tomatoes did not.

Apparently hummus is not a gel or a liquid while frosting is. God only knows what, if anything, was passing through the Ape’s mind as he considered the tomatoes, which are both gel and liquid in a thin tomato skin, often with a fuse-like stem coming out the top.

TSA maintains their farcical position despite the inherent contradictions, stretches of truth, and misrepresentations of reality necessary to make it. ...what the rest of the world would call “lies”, but which passes, in these government circles, as “security”. TSA maintains this position with, presumably, a straight face, though they are undoubtedly furiously crossing their fingers each time they emerge onto their website to defensively reiterate it. Terrorists will use everyday items to bomb our planes, they exhort.

Frosting is made with sugar and butter, cream or milk, and whipped until it’s pasty, and this constitutes a ‘gel’ to a pinheaded Ape who can’t cook; hummus is made from smashed chick peas with olive oil and spices and whipped until it, too, is pasty, but this does not constitute a ‘gel’ to the same Ape who can’t cook.

Probably lost in all this is that hummus is a Middle Eastern food staple, but not terribly popular among that type of American likely to find employment with the TSA.

Conclusion: Drop the pretense; the Trained Ape was hungry.


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