Tag Archives: financial times

A few things that are bouncing around my brain

Cool video on Dark Matter:

I was kind of surprised that Senator Marco Rubio while talking about the death of dictator Muammar Qaddafi managed to thank British and French troops (warning: this link opens an audio file), but not American troops. I just found that interesting. A Republican thanking foreign troops first – curious.

There seems to be lots of people who are curious about how Muammar Qaddafi died. I’m sorry, maybe I’m just not inquisitive. I simply don’t care. I don’t care if a lightning bolt from Zeus hit him in the head or a sniper took him out at 300 yards with a 10 mile an hour cross breeze. I simply don’t care. From my standpoint, I’m happy for the Libyan people. They needed the dictator either captured or killed so that they could move on. Now they get to the difficult task of trying to make a nation out of Libya. Running a government is a lot harder than overthrowing the government. Running a government that respects all of your people is even harder. By the way, I wasn’t interested in the gruesome photos of Saddam Hussein or the photos of his sons when they were killed. Maybe it’s because I get enough blood and guts and work that I don’t need to see them at home. Maybe it’s because the blood and guts are beside the point.

Charles Blow has been writing some absolutely fabulous articles/op-eds in the New York Times. He has served up another one. This one is about Occupy Wall Street. There are a lot of people who feel a kinship with those who are doing the “occupying.”

Bank failure #84. Yes, there’ve been 84 bank failures so far this year.

According to the Financial Time,s the bondholders of Greek debt are expected to take a 60% loss on their current holdings.

I’ll have a little bit more on this later but I thought I’d start off now. Skeptics of global warming, some curmudgeon scientists, decided to prove once and for all that global warming was nothing but a bunch of hooey. They took a bunch of data than they crunched all the numbers and guess what, they found out what every other climate scientists of any stature has found out, that global warming is for real.

10 years since the anthrax attacks. There have been so many different things going on in the last 10 years, I really have not had a chance to delve into this case. I haven’t looked at the evidence. I know that both Glenn and Jim White have been following this case with more than a passing interest.

As I mentioned several days ago, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is nothing more than a fancy flat tax. Robert Reich agrees.

We should enjoy a little music on a Friday night:

Artist: Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto
Tune: The Girl from Ipanema

Globalization – hurts so good

Globalization sucks if you are most of America. On the other hand, if you can invest overseas in certain hot markets then you are making money hand over fist. If you are a large corporation and can play the labor arbitrage game then globalization is a bonanza.

From Mark Thoma:

Jeff Sachs:

The great failure of globalization, by Jeffrey Sachs, Commentary, Financial Times: …I’ve watched dozens of financial crises up close… Neither the US nor Europe has even properly diagnosed the core problem, namely that both regions are being whipsawed by globalization.

Jobs for low-skilled workers in manufacturing, and new investments in large swaths of industry, have been lost to international competition. … The path to recovery now lies … in … upgraded skills, increased exports and public investments in infrastructure and low-carbon energy. …

The simple fact is that globalization has not only hit the unskilled hard but has also proved a bonanza for the global super-rich. They have been able to invest in new and highly profitable projects in emerging economies. Meanwhile…, they have been able to convince their home governments to cut tax rates … in the name of global tax competition. … In the end the poor are doubly hit, first by global market forces, then by the ability of the rich to park money at low taxes in hideaways around the world.

An improved fiscal policy in the transatlantic economies would therefore be based on three realities. First, it would expand investments in human and infrastructure capital. Second, it would cut wasteful spending, for instance in misguided military engagements in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Third, it would balance budgets in the medium term, in no small part through tax increases on high personal incomes and international corporate profits that are shielded by loopholes and overseas tax havens. …

Export-led growth is the other under-explored channel of recovery. Part of this must be earned through better skills and technologies – another reason not to cut education. …

Sadly, these global economic currents will continue to claim jobs and drain capital until there is a revival of bold, concerted leadership. …

A couple of things…

A couple of quick items this morning:

  • I do not think you have to be an economist to figure out that things are bad out there. In spite of Republican calls to slow down, I think we need to speed upHousing starts for January were down over 50% compared to January 2008.
  • President Barack Obama unveiled a $75 billion package to help prevent foreclosure on millions of homeowners. I’ll have to look at the details but it appears that this will help homeowners refinance their mortgages in order to make their payments easier. You can find the executive summary here.
  • The Federal Reserve issued its annual report, forecasting the behavior of the economy for the next three years. The outlook is, of course, not good.
  • For reasons that continue to escape me, people still listen to Alan Greenspan. He told the Financial Times yesterday that we need to look at some way of nationalizing the banks. I completely agree that this has to be done, but what took Greenspan so long?
  • Finally, Time magazine has come out with its list of the 25 most influential (best) blogs of 2009 and somehow the Daily Kos is not on it. Some of my favorite blogs do make the cut, including the Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars and Talking Points Memo. I would argue that the Daily Kos has changed the game like no other blog and has done so for the past six years.  I’ll have more on this later.