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March 18, 2008

More Questions

Jim Henley says:

I’m genuinely uncertain. Is the economy fucked? Or is it fucked with extra fucked, slathered in fucked sauce, and fucked for dessert? Are we, as a commenter wrote downblog a couple weeks ago (in rough paraphrase), "Like Argentina, a formerly wealthy country that went bankrupt, and we just don’t realize it yet?"...Or has it just been so long since we had a real man’s recession we mistake an acorn for the sky?

Another way of putting it is, "So, did Bin Laden win then? Did we bankrupt ourselves on an insane and criminal war in half the time it took the Soviets, in response to his ever-so-helpful prodding?"

I know the answer to all these questions, and will provide them as soon as I have time. Hopefully this will be later today. In the meantime, I invite you to supply your own.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 18, 2008 10:46 AM

Oh God, Dr. Schwartz explains modern finance. This should be fun. Look, the dollar and the Dow aredown modestly from their earlier levels. So what, the US is still the most powerful economy in the world. And thanks to people like me, the world economy will continue to advance, as it has powerfully ever since economic liberalism became policy for all sensible national governments. Oh, and Bear is now 7, up 45% today, and double from yesterday morning.

Posted by: xyz at March 18, 2008 11:16 AM

Here is the correct link to Jim Henley says...

Posted by: cemmcs at March 18, 2008 11:34 AM

Hey, xyz, the European economy is now bigger than the U.S. economy. At least get your facts straight.

Posted by: Hairhead at March 18, 2008 12:00 PM
And thanks to people like me, the world economy will continue to advance [...]

Well, I doubt that I will read anything today as much fun as that statement. Thanks, xyz.

Posted by: albany layman at March 18, 2008 12:02 PM
I know the answer to all these questions, and will provide them as soon as I have time.

We all have answers, but they're just mostly wrong. Correct answers are tougher.

Listened to Diane Rehm a little while ago. Panelists still shilling for the plutocrats and oligarchs.

Meh. What do you expect from the National Palestinian Radio if not lies and obfuscation?

Posted by: angryman@24:10 at March 18, 2008 12:36 PM

i believe we have an unprecedented opportunity to fix blunders. this is very exciting.

Posted by: hapa at March 18, 2008 02:34 PM

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Posted by: Mike at March 18, 2008 02:38 PM

I imagine it's just plain fucked. In the 'the worse in the last 30 years' sort of way.

Posted by: abb1 at March 18, 2008 02:46 PM

"the worst" that is.

Posted by: abb1 at March 18, 2008 02:49 PM
The Collapse of American Power

Moreover, the GAO report pointed out that the accrued liabilities of the federal government "totaled approximately $53 trillion as of September 30, 2007." No funds have been set aside against this mind boggling liability.

Just so the reader understands, $53 trillion is $53,000 billion.

not sure about xyz but I don't think I have that kind of change lying around in my pockets..

To answer the original question.. yes the economy is fucked

as usual the taxpayers will be bent over and the money will be extracted to pay for all those promised future liabilities .. the Rich of course will be first in line and the rest of us will get a bag full of coal when we retire

Posted by: sam at March 18, 2008 06:07 PM

Meh. What do you expect from the National Palestinian Radio if not lies and obfuscation?

Oh, good, maybe this smackdown of NPR will really catch on. Of course, no one not in the know will know what we're talking about, but then, they don't anyway.

Posted by: catherine at March 18, 2008 06:09 PM

As always, xyz, your humility is a balm that soothes all worries away...

Posted by: slim at March 18, 2008 06:17 PM

It all depends on the meaning of "fucked". Please be colorfully explicit, or at least try for a degree of precision. And please, "I know fucked when I see it" just won't do.

Posted by: bobbyp at March 18, 2008 06:30 PM

I've been reading James Howard Kunstler for years so have been expecting all this for a while. I have no strategy for coping and the advance warning won't make me any more immune than anyone else, so I kinda wish I hadn't been reading JHK. Trouble is, his brand of doomsaying is now everywhere.

Quite soon it seems the US will find it difficult to pay for the oil it imports, which will mean shortages. All the important producers and other big consumers have been making nice with each other, setting up treaties and agreements, while we've been so triumphally destroying ourselves in Iraq.

Will the world's biggest military soon be used to 'secure' oil that the US cannot pay for? In other words, will the armed forces soon be used to directly steal other nations' sovereign resources, because 'the American weay of life is non-negotiable'?

Posted by: Glenn Condell at March 18, 2008 09:24 PM

"will the armed forces soon be used to directly steal other nations' sovereign resources" ?

You bet your ass it will.

This has been another episode of simple answers to complex questions etc etc etc.

Posted by: Creeping Coin at March 19, 2008 12:54 AM

oh brother, what nonsensical blather. And sure, if you consider the 26 countries that make up the EU, a customs union, as one entity, it would be nominally bigger than the US. dumbfuck moron. And a 400 point rally for the dow suggests the world is not coming to an end. But I already told you that. Really, the ratio of smugness to ignorance at this website is astonishing.

Posted by: xyz at March 19, 2008 02:04 AM

The Dow rose 400 points! Glory be to Wall Street we're all saved. Never mind the 63,000 jobs lost in
the last month. The Dow rose 400 points! We shouldn't even concern ourselves any longer that home foreclosures are up 60%, 1 in every 557 households are in some stage of default, an average of 4000
bankruptcies are being filed every day and consumer confidence sank to a new low of 33.1%. The Dow rose
400 points!

Posted by: at March 19, 2008 02:57 AM

While xyz is an arrogant nincompoop, his point is not altogether invalid. The stock exchange is not as badly off as it could be, although it is down about 15% from its highs last year.

However, this is because the stock exchange is based on financialisation, and since finance is doing its best to cover up its sorry real state, the stock exchange is likely to delay reflecting the real state of the economy as much as possible.

In short, xyz's optimism is delusional and the world economy is in real trouble. Exactly how bad the trouble is, is difficult to judge, but since the US has been operating on credit for a long time, and the crisis is in credit, and since the US's creditworthiness is what has been keeping the economy seaworthy, it seems likely that the trouble is bad.

Posted by: MFB at March 19, 2008 03:06 AM

@JHKfan17: the world needs us to clean up our act. if we can't afford to do that, i don't think they -- even loosely collected == can really afford to leave us hanging.

Posted by: hapa at March 19, 2008 03:47 AM

*that second thing's a dash!

Posted by: hapa at March 19, 2008 03:48 AM

oh, so one in 557 households is in default. that doesn't sound so bad, but too bad we can't tosee deadbeats into jail like in the good ole days. Really, the US has about the highest average (and mean) incomes in the world, at least among large nations, and isn't far behind the wealthy midget states either. And you'll notice, people are yet riding rafts out to see in search of a better life in Cuba. But I will pay for the materials if any of you yearn for a new life in the Socialist Paradise. and hey, those Cubans are such "colorful" people!

Posted by: xyz at March 19, 2008 06:01 AM

Absolutely! Until our standard of living drops to that of Cuba (minus the free health care and education, of course) all of you silly rabbits should just shut up.

Posted by: SteveB at March 19, 2008 09:08 AM

well, how many Cuban institutions of higher education make it onto the The Times Higher Ed Supplement 400? Zero. And take a look at the University of Havana's website, it looks about as impressive as that of the local community college in the backwoods part of WV where I grew up.

oh, and Cuban longevity? It's called a healthy diet and lots of physical activity, because they're all so fucking poor.

Posted by: xyz at March 19, 2008 09:40 AM

"I blame the system, I blame greed," he said. "Wall Street is really predicated on greed. This could happen to any firm."

My God, what is happening to our beloved capitalist system when even stockbrokers can lose their jobs? I'm sorry, but that's just going way too far.

Posted by: SteveB at March 19, 2008 09:59 AM

oh, some old geezer, I bet the WSJ had to lok pretty hard to find one wheezer to plug in the "IT'S UNFAIR" part of the story. and these guys still have more earned money than any of you, although some of you seem to be trust fund parlor leftists, so maybe your bank account is bigger.

Posted by: xyz at March 19, 2008 10:11 AM

I have a question: what the hell is an economy, anyway, and how do we know if one is healthy?

Posted by: saurabh at March 19, 2008 04:24 PM

Damn those Cubans for their economic embargo.

Still would rather live there than non-communist Haiti, tho...

Posted by: Paul at March 19, 2008 06:06 PM

well, the THES is considered pretty authoritative. and global. and I wouldn't even stoop to reading WM when the FT is available.

Man, it is hard to mock people so fucking stupid as you folk.

Posted by: xyz at March 20, 2008 02:59 AM

Oh yeah, I'm a blithering, delusional dork.

Posted by: xyz at March 20, 2008 03:38 AM