In pictures: US bear escape BBC
Will Humans v2.0 have Pogo Legs? h+ (hat tip reader Sugar)
Equities: As Good as it Gets? Dead Cats Bouncing
FDIC lowers capital rule, but there’s a twist Rolfe Winkler
April 2007: when Gordon ignored the warnings Spectator. Jim Chanos and Paul Davis briefed G-7 leaders and were ignored.
Clunkers and Home Sales – It’s All the Same Thing Bruce Krasting
If we want to change the world – we can… we just have to think we can. Kaupthinking was beyond thinking… John Hempton (hat tip reader Joohn L). But they did change the world, just not in the way they thought they were.
U.S. Biofuel Boom Running on Empty Wall Street Journal. DoctoRx asks, “Was it more a scam than anything else?”
Subprime Lenders Getting U.S. Subsidies, Report Says Washington Post (hat tip reader John D)
Real US unemployment rate at 16 pct: Fed official Raw Story (hat tip reader John D)
Antidote du jour:
I think the BBC loves those images of bears. More craziness from those yahoos over the pond – they have bears running loose in their cities.
Re biofuels – It's a textbook rent-seeker with zero "capitalist" viability.
It's never made one cent of legitimate profit. The entire business model is based on government subsidies, government mandates, and free-riding on high oil prices.
Since the third leg of that tripod was kicked out last year, they've been moribund.
So has their response been to "innovate"? Nope – it's been to lobby for an intensification of the mandate, through an increase in the blend wall from 10% to 20%.
Luckily, there's alot of powerful business opposition to this. Every manufacturer of engines fears liability from engine damage, since Big Ag's friends in Congress have also, in a prior energy bill, absolved agrofuel manufacturers of any such liability.
So here it's lobby vs. lobby. Of course, if that were not the case, we'd certainly be screwed yet again, and may end up so anyway.
From the commercial for kaupthinking-
-We increased our balance sheet by 500%.
-We said we wanted to double our balance sheet in a year, we did.
It's Bank Porn.
The "Kaupthinking is beyond thinking" commercial to me is one of the funniest things I've ever encountered. You can't make stuff up that ridiculous, and somehow it not being meant to be ridiculous and subsequent events proving its ridiculousness beyond a shadow of a doubt makes it even more funny.
Any particular reason that U6 is 'real' unemployment in a bust, but wasn't in a boom? Wouldn't call that cherry picking, would we?
The Raw Story story has zero new information in it. Anybody who follows the BLS's U6 calculations has known about higher unemployment figures (based on discouraged and underemployed workers) since 1994, when they first broke the numbers out in U1-U6 versions.
Political cherrypicking and media laziness have a lot to do with how information is presented. Some, including a blogger named eCahn, have been pushing the U-6 number for a while. I think the employment and wage numbers are extremely important too. The truth is that we need a variety of numbers to tell us where we are as a country and an economy.
But we see this a lot. Why for example is the off budget number used for the federal deficit instead of the on budget? Why somewhat contrarily is the total national debt number used instead of the publically held portion? Why do we cost out programs, like cap and trade or healthcare, over 10 years when anything beyond one or two is pure fiction? Just wondering here.
AIG shares have been on a roll for days. I knew there would be good news soon.
Time for me to sell my 79.9%!
I got a giggle out of Dmitry Orlov's post on Hunger Insurance.
"… Here's how it works. You buy a hunger insurance plan from my hunger insurance company, or from one of my illustrious competitors in the hunger insurance industry. The hunger insurance market is very competitive, offering you plenty of consumer choice. You can even decide to go with a hunger maintenance organization (HMO); that would make a lot of sense if you are on a diet …"
"… But even more importantly, who do you want your children to be when they grow up: lowly, overworked, underpaid government bureaucrats, or fat-cat capitalists like me? Isn't this compelling vision of hope worth tightening your belt for? To be perfectly honest, those jobs are reserved for my children, but yours might still be able to find work as their personal bathroom assistants, if they are docile and pretty… let's pretend you didn't hear that …"
"… But ultimately it is still all up to you, because it is you who, every few years, walks into a voting booth and pulls a lever. And then I have to work with whoever you elect, and bring them around to seeing things my way. We are in this together, you see: you get to pull the lever, but I get to write the checks, with your money. Politicians have to eat too, you know, I am there to help them, and they know it …"