Wednesday, September 30, 2009

End of Quarter Roundup

I started doing quarterly roundups, instead of monthly, because I don't do enough blog entries on my blog to justify a monthly roundup. This quarter I started out strong, with a series of book reviews on Christianity in Crisis and followed with some stuff on economics and politics. In fact, for some months now, I have been doing a monthly economic article. Good Start.

But ultimately, between paying too much attention to national politics and some health problems (nothing I haven't had before), I have been neglecting what I should be doing with this blog. So, in the next three months, I hope to do more with Bible Studies and book reviews. And be seen less on other peoples blogs, talking about politics. If you look at my November Chronicles articles, you might see why.

Now, as in the past reviews, here are links to some articles that generated comments, followed by some stuff I got involved in on a couple other blogs, and lastly, a list of article numbers on Combat Effective that are of interest.

Sotomayor Unqualified
Bottoming out in the Recession

Other people's Blogs
Judges tend to evolve - badly.
Young people leaving their Churches
Pilgrim's Political Link
Biker Bubba's Thoughts On Palin Leaving the Governorship
Calvinism's author turns 500
Chiggers and other insects
Business Climate in Michigan is Icy
Unemployment in Michigan is growth business

List of article numbers of interest on Combat Effective.
I am too lazy to do full links to them, but
if you are really interested, I will coach on
how to get to the referenced pages.

3298 Blue Ray DVD players
3301 We now have two liberal parties
(republicans sent me a survey - w/ donation request)
3303 Can Blogs be killed by outlawing linking?
3304 Honduras, Clinton, Castro, and then Sotomayor
3305 on twitter and blogs (DW anti communist blog)
3306 the US has voted to be enslaved and impoverished
3309 bankrupting farmers, and corporate psychopaths
3310 Jury sees Rep. Jefferson taking a bribe
3312 Obama's pick for surgeon general
3313 Taxes and healthcare (and my little rant about it)
morphed into international finance
3314 Moon landing anniversary
3315 the coming war of gog and magog
3316 various topics
3317 On the demise of News Papers
and rise of "free" media detailed discussions
3318 various topics
3293 Late breaking updates to:
Note to GOP - don't compare Obama to Putin
As a nation, we are hanging in the balance
Two bills, should they pass, will bankrupt us
3321 Fannie Mae Needs more money
3322 Long detailed discussion of Cash for Clunkers
including some comparison to Unabomber predictions
3323 Combat Rob and Wife Expecting a little one
3324 Consumer bankruptcies and Credit card defaults
3325 don't let news of economic recovery lure you into spending
3330 Are we bitter, or offended, at the corruption of the system
this was moved to forums
3331 will we, or our grandchildren, pick up the tab for this mess
3333 A Josef Goebbel's recovery
3340 Ghost Fleet of the Recession - ships parked near Singapore
3348 (administrative action) User Databases scrubbed
3349 Liberals want civility
3351 Criminally Insane escapes while on field trip

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Swine Flu is Back

With the start of the school year, the flu epidemic has renewed itself. Or epidemics. It seems there is more than one strain going around this year. And the government will have the vaccines out after the majority of the threat is passed.

At least the schools seem to be less panicky. Now they are sending individual students home instead of closing schools. There has to be a point, though, at which the school gets closed. Some studies I have read indicate that when 1% of the students have been infected, it is time to close the schools. I haven't seen any plans like that, this time.

The bottom line is: we must depend on ourselves.
What I have said about this in the past still stands.
April 29 swine-flu
May 1 swine-flu-2
May 4 swine-flu-3-panic-and-stupidity
May 15 swine-flu-from-panic-to-forgotten

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

the economy does a W?

While there are some who think the recession may be about over and Obama my be able to take credit, I disagree.

Federal Reserve efforts to thaw credit markets together with the Obama administration’s "cash-for- clunkers" program and tax credits for first-time homebuyers are reviving demand. Factories and builders, which have accounted for half of all the jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007, may keep growing in coming months as sales rise.

In fact, even while that was being written, a correction was getting underway. Within hours, the S&P was back under 1000. the price of crude and gasoline dropped, and the interest rate on 2-year bonds was back under 1%.

Nothing, of course, is cut and dryad.
"Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others." (John Maynard Keys).

Much of the problems of the economy is hidden beneath the surface. There is a backlog of real estate in the foreclosure process that rivals the size of all the houses currently on the market today. Consumers are racking up massive credit card debt, and job losses are still mounting up, meaning that a mountain of credit card defaults are just around the corner. (numbers you may have heard - accompanied by rosy narrative that things are getting better, are a farce - the situation is just getting worse more slowly.)

In addition, the banks have been hiding weaknesses (this is in addition to the weakness caused by NOT foreclosing on delinquent accounts) through a technique called Mark to Market accounting. This is where they can estimate their holdings to be worth more than what they really are worth.

One person I should have been reading some years ago, Bill Fleckenstein predicted much of this, years before it happened. He says this is just a continuation of the bubble collapse of 2001.

What me may be facing in the next few months is a second "bottoming" of the economy, with more job losses. More market contraction. More losses in equity of most commodities. Instead of a V shaped economic chart, it will look more like a W. The Great Depression was not all one long depressed economy, but rather 3 or 4 (depending on how you look at it) serious recessions. That was GD1, and this is shaping up to be GD2, and we will likely see a round of high inflation somewhere in the mix. Or something that just looks like inflation.