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  • On 22 Nov 2014 in Poop map shows problem of homelessness, mell said:

    on the sidewalk and have some weak brushes attached. Once in a while you see APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says

    Tell the homeless to shit in passing cars headed out of town. It will inspire drivers to keep traffic moving.

    And during open houses!

  • On 22 Nov 2014 in And The Person Responsible For Japan's Economic Endgame Is... Paul Krugman, mell said:

    There are two words that should strike fear in the hearts of any rational-thinking citizen of the world - Paul Krugman. Wondering why? As Alhambra's Jeff Snider notes, we already know of at least one respect where Krugman (as a stand-in at least for the Keynesian perspective that is somehow still widely shared, especially in the orthodox economist class) has impacted 'stimulus' activity, Sweden. And now his appearance in Japan enabled what Japanese economists call a "historic meeting," as Bloomberg reports that Abe met with the Nobel-prize winner for 40 minutes who "helped the prime minister make up his mind," that delaying the fiscally-responsible tax-hikes was the right thing to do (and increasing QQE) or Japan "wouldn’t escape deflation." Mission Accomplished... and if it fails, moar will be needed and 'capitalism' will be blamed.

    As Bloomberg reports, with a December deadline approaching, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was considering whether to go ahead with a 2015 boost to the consumption levy. Evidence was mounting that the world’s third-largest economy was struggling to shake off the blow from raising the rate in April, which had triggered Japan’s deepest quarterly contraction since the global credit crisis...

    When Japanese economist Etsuro Honda heard that Paul Krugman was planning a visit to Tokyo, he saw an opportunity to seize the advantage in Japan’s sales-tax debate.

    Honda, 59, an academic who’s known Abe, 60, for three decades and serves as an economic adviser to the prime minister, had opposed the April move and was telling him to delay the next one. Enter Krugman, the Nobel laureate who had been writing columns on why a postponement was needed.

    Honda succeeded in organizing a 20-minute meeting between the prime minister and the U.S. economist. It went about double the allotted time.

    “That nailed Abe’s decision -- Krugman was Krugman, he was so powerful,” Honda said in an interview yesterday in the prime minister’s residence, where he has an office. “I call it a historic meeting.”

    ...

    Krugman plays down his role, saying the Nov. 6 meeting with Abe “was very straightforward.”

    “He had questions and I hope I answered them clearly,” Krugman said in a telephone interview yesterday. “I told him the kinds of things I’ve been writing -- I hope I made a good case. What effect it had on him is unknown to me. He’s certainly not going to blurt out ‘I’m sold.’”

    Following Abe’s Nov. 18 decision to postpone next year’s tax increase by 18 months, Krugman said: “I’m happy to see what they’re doing.”

    ...

    Hamada, who had advised Abe on his pick for Bank of Japan governor, said that “Abe listened to Krugman’s view very carefully.” Hamada said in an interview Nov. 18 that “he probably helped the prime minister make up his mind.”

    ...

    “He said we should be cautious this time in raising the sales tax and if we weren’t it would break the back of the economy,” Abe said. “He said if that happened, we wouldn’t escape deflation, it would be uncertain whether we could revive the economy and repair the nation’s finances. I think that’s the case.”
    * * *

    And scene...

    * * *
    However, Alhambra's Jeffrey Snider has strong opinions on just where this leads...

    In reviewing commentary about all the posturing in Japan preparing for what looks like, to me, an end of the recovery idea, there was one very alarming passage that I think may be important (and not just widely ridiculous) that ties together failure and the possible future course:

    Abe said yesterday he hadn’t decided whether to proceed with any snap election. He has said he’ll decide whether to raise the sales tax by the end of December. Nobel laureate in economics Paul Krugman last week met with the prime minister and urged him to postpone the increase, citing concern it could hurt the economy, according to Abe aide Etsuro Honda, who was present. [emphasis added]
    This goes along with something I flagged a little while back in my own, at least, growing sense of a Keynes revival. What I said then seems to be sadly coming toward fruition:

    That [the faltering global economy] seems to be a critique of all fiscal and monetary “stimulus” undertaken in the past seven years, and it is. But that setup is as my setup, mainly that the good doctor needed now, according to Peter Coy at Bloomberg, is Keynes. That would come as a major shock to almost everyone outside of the ideology as they might rightly ask whose theories have policymakers and authorities been following all this time?
    We already know of at least one respect where Krugman (as a stand-in at least for the Keynesian perspective that is somehow still widely shared, especially in the orthodox economist class) has impacted “stimulus” activity, so his appearance in Japan is not at least unique (of course, he may have been consulting all along in various locations but only now is that being used as something of a positive factor). The timing of this is not surprising, especially in the context of the growing and widespread acceptance of “secular stagnation.”

    In other words, Krugman’s primary critique has been to proclaim economic deficiency, which makes him look quite prescient. However, his basis for undercounting the “recovery narrative” is “austerity.” He has seen the lack of government spending in the past few years as the primary contribution to the weak growth environment. Now that the “weak growth environment” has become more widely accepted, not quite fully (yet) displacing the monetary-driven narrative, the danger is obvious.

    So the appearance of Krugman and this new(ish) affinity for Keynes is not that authorities have been ignoring Keynes’ philosophies for seven years (which cannot be claimed) but that they have not done “enough” Keynes to this point – which is Krugman’s main point of emphasis and has been all along.

    Within that framing the Bank of Japan should be doing even more QQE at the same time the Japanese government abandons any fiscal sense, scraps not just the future tax increase but likely the last while undertaking infrastructure “investments” (shovel ready, of course) on a biblical scale. In that sense, nobody probably should point out what Japan did in the 1990’s, as that probably wasn’t the “right” amount of Keynes either.

    We have been living in the age of Keynesianism reborn from crisis (which his theory contributed mightily toward), but now we are being told that though it may have been some Keynes it was not enough Keynes. Apparently, like QQE purchases of Japanese government bonds, there is a magic and sadly secret formula which in the exact right formulation delivers enchanted economic properties. For some reason, like every monetary point, central banks and governments keep falling short in their mixtures as the answer to all our problems is always more and more of it.
    As with a lot of changes taking place, there is a positive in that failure is not being ignored now as it had been uniformly in the past. Though certain “markets” don’t seem to be getting that message, that even the very practitioners of “stimulus” recognize if not its full failure then at least how far short it falls of intentions and expectations, it is a growing sense of nervousness groping for some answer. Unfortunately, the Krugman answer represents nothing more than the path of least resistance, as a way to maintain the status quo but still recognize reality.

    I suppose if the distance between these bouts of actual awareness is long enough, we could sadly be in for interchangeable failures of different pieces of statist intervention. We started with Keynesian government “stimulus” that relented to purely monetary “stimulus” and now seem to be heading back toward government spending once more. Once that inevitably fails, “they” will probably resurrect “Friedman” to replace “Keynes”, this time with the “right amount” of monetarism (rereading Chapter 11 in A Monetary History probably). And so it will go back and forth with nary a reference to the actual economy until the entire globe is encompassed in fullblown Japanification for a quarter century or more (which would be a depressing and desolate future, especially as past history surrounding desperate economic times almost always ends in significant conflagration – political history is really economic history without all the math).

    And “capitalism” will be blamed the entire time.

  • On 22 Nov 2014 in Top incomes soared as tax rates fell, mell said:

    Reality says

    Goes to show the futility of raising tax rate for the top income tax bracket, which is close to 40% and kicks in just below 0.5Mil, whereas these guys making on average 265Mil are paying only 18%.

    It's pointless to raise top income tax rate. The really rich can afford to buy tax lawyers, accountants, and even lawmakers, to give themselves exemptions. The higher the rate the more incentive for them to do just that.

    Agreed. The top quintile already pays almost all the taxes. Nothing except for a temporary direct levy on the uber-wealthy who could afford it (as compared to the wage-slaves) without risking a vertical slide and removing as many exemptions as possible (to minimize top lawyers exploiting every loophole) can really bring in more tax revenue without damaging the middle-class. Interestingly the Romney tax plan had some of those proposals, yet fanatic party-tribalism prevents people from critical thinking these days.

  • On 22 Nov 2014 in Liberals smarter, or more evolved ? Or both ?, mell said:

    SoftShell says

    I recommend going all in JCP.

    Black friday next week.

    IQ Test
    IQ Test

    This is damning evidence..

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in I'm liquidating all my stocks and going to cash, mell said:

    errc says

    Mell says " that's why his predictions of golds demise has failed as well"

    I'll give you the benefit of doubt that you weren't around here 7+ years ago, to know how silly that sounds. Iwog was saying that he was all in on gold by 750. He went public to sell pretty much exactly at the top. Then claimed it would crash down to 1000

    It's made it's way all the way down to 1150 so far. And your calling that a failed prediction?

    Haven't been on here for that long, but I have read that he sold gold at the top. Though I don't own any I disagree that Gold is going further down due to the central bank actions all around the world, and I never thought that it would reach $1000 or lower though it has come somewhat close a couple of times. The so often blasted Peter Schiff has been recommending buying Gold since 2000, that I remember well, so it roughly did a 6-bagger since then and now is still about a 4-bagger. This is at least as good a prediction/buying recommendation even though he did not tell people to sell at the top since he has become a permabull on gold. When you take more of an active trading approach you have to buy back in eventually and if you give a fixed price target and miss it's immaterial if it came close or not since it has taken off again. It's like a limit order that never hits. But I know other areas better than precious metals, so I stay out of Gold, and if it really goes down in flames I am sure this thread will be revisited in grand honor. Well, not this one, the other one with the gold prediction.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in There Is No Longer A Rule Of Law, mell said:

    bgamall4 says

    Quigley says

    Obama's move may indeed be very good for American workers, reducing the scabs by making them legal.

    Good point. Maybe the Republicans secretly want them working for less, lol.

    What's the point? It would also be great for workers if Obama signed an executive order to reduce taxes specifically for my tax bracket! Some folks would benefit ;)

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in There Is No Longer A Rule Of Law, mell said:

    bgamall4 says

    mell says

    The queue for legal immigration has been severely backed up since 2001 with highly qualified, law-abiding people waiting as long a 10-15 years to get their green-card.

    And why is that Mell? Maybe not enough funding? I bet the Republicans caused that problem too.

    They reduced the quotas significantly after 9/11, yes, under Bush, The point is though it was a bill signed into existence and that under the new lower quotas it's even more of a slap in the face to let illegals cut in front of the line. What some of you guys are rooting for is a banana republic where it's ok if the rule of law is abolished as long as you are in agreement with the executive orders.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in There Is No Longer A Rule Of Law, mell said:

    dublin hillz says

    The immigration issue has always been "divisive" in american history. At one point in time, southern and eastern european immigrants were considered undesirable and a threat to a cultural american continuity and those going through ellis island had to submit to a medical exam and carry $25 per head (a lot of money back in the day) to prove that they were not gonna become a public charge.

    Yeah, but that is no excuse for abandoning existing laws. You have to work with the majority you have in congress (and ideally within the population as well). The queue for legal immigration has been severely backed up since 2001 with highly qualified, law-abiding people waiting as long a 10-15 years to get their green-card. There is no excuse to let lawful applicants wait and then turning around and dishing out green-cards for people who came illegally. It's the same principle as bailing out the bankstas and their million dollar bonuses instead of prosecuting them while raising taxes on the wage-slaves.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in There Is No Longer A Rule Of Law, mell said:

    HydroCabron says

    mell says

    Goebbels would have no problem these days and insta-convert them into formidable snoops.

    Wait a minute: are you calling liberals racist?!

    gullible for participating in government-sponsored mass movements of propaganda promoting divide and conquer.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in This is Getting Old, Wall Street inches up to new Dow, S&P Records!, mell said:

    And Gold closed just shy of $1200. It's not really surprising though considering that not a single day goes by where a major economy isn't announcing that they are doing another round of QE and/or are slashing interest rates. That fresh fiat has to go somewhere.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in There Is No Longer A Rule Of Law, mell said:

    gsr says

    How is "lack of concern for the poor" is equivalent to racism?

    Yep - that's the main problem with these debates. They cannot keep their definitions cleanly separated, everything becomes -isms, with racism allegations at the fore-front because that's the universal size club that fits all to squash any reasonable debate. It's funny and sad at the same time that a formerly smart and well thought-out liberal bourgeoisie has turned into an amorphous mass of fanatic "progressives" reciting the racist mantra ad nauseam. Goebbels would have no problem these days and insta-convert them into formidable snoops.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in A fun read about government as a tool for concentrating wealth, mell said:

    Good article. Wealth concentration would have been greatly reduced in 2008 and its aftermath if the government/Fed hadn't stepped in and made the uber-wealthy even wealthier while eroding the upper middle class with tax increases and currency debasement/inflation. Note that the article mostly details a "leftist" libertarian (mildly anarchist), highly decentralized alternative view which is not totally in line with modern right leaning libertarians, definitely an interesting read.

  • On 21 Nov 2014 in I'm liquidating all my stocks and going to cash, mell said:

    yup1 says

    DOW futures up 112 on ECB QE to infinity and beyond. Iwog still will not admit FED ECB BOJ QE is driving the market to new all time highs. Iwog will also not admit that he made a bad call to liquidate "All my stocks"

    Scorecard Iwog pays 20% capital gains on all his liquidation, market gains 4% since he sold.......ouch!

    If he had bought back in on Oct 16 when Bullard of the Fed said this

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/10/16/bullard-says-fed-could-delay-planned-end-of-bond-buying-program/

    He would have a nice 10.5% profit......

    Iwog it is all about central bank largesse. Your failure to understand that most of your gains have not been due to your unique brilliance is becoming your downfall.

    Sometimes (or very often for that matter) it simply is the Fed ;) That's why his prediction of Gold's demise has failed as well - With the global raise for maximum debasement Gold and PMs in general will likely be seen and desired as some of the few dependable stores of value we have left.

  • On 20 Nov 2014 in There Is No Longer A Rule Of Law, mell said:

    indigenous says

    I heard a commentator say that O is trying to goad the Rs to gain some relevance.

    Maybe so, either way KD is right and he should be impeached immediately. With a rise in civil asset forfeiture while at the same time blessing and rewarding actual real crimes committed is the ultimate travesty.

  • On 20 Nov 2014 in What WILL they do? Do you think they can't find their own dicks?, mell said:

    Though unlikely (since both parties mainly pander to the status quo), I'd be happy if they go for impeachment, both Bush and Obama deserve(d) to be impeached. The only problem is they should have impeached Obummer as soon as he fucked over the GM bondholders, basically abolishing the rule of (bankruptcy) law.

  • On 20 Nov 2014 in Yes, the public is stupid but why?, mell said:

    Bellingham Bill says

    >the 2000 election was the beginning of the end of America

    I was driving home from work on election night when KGO announced Bush had taken Florida

    "Man we're fucked I guess" was my main reaction as I thumped the steering wheel, and his administration did not underdeliver on that promise.

    Had a similar reaction. But while this was easy to predict, envisioning that the administration following Bush would easily compete with W for worst administration ever wasn't that straightforward. Obummer and Boosh are about on par now.

  • On 19 Nov 2014 in Realtors haunted by sluggish October, mell said:

    October haunted by sluggish realtors.

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in GruberGate- "Senator" Obama Vs "President" Obama, mell said:

    Call it Crazy says

    mell says

    Hey now, some are doing well under Obamacare:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=HUM+Basic+Chart&t=5y

    Wait, where's that 20% - 25% bear trap? Looks like a new record to me?

    Yep, and will Gold reclaim $1200 tomorrow?

    Related: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-putin-buying-much-gold-210532064.html

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in Only Silents and Boomers Benefit From Housing Bubble, mell said:

    Tim Aurora says

    Indiana Jones says

    "Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen recently treated the nation to an astonishing lecture on the solution to rising wealth inequality--according to Yellen, low-income households should save capital and buy assets such as stocks and housing."

    She is right. You have to save from what you earn. I have saved while I was earning $14 an hour ( before taxes) with a wife . Never bought a car with a loan. Just refused to spend of vacations, dinners and cars.

    Yeah and if the Fed would abolish itself and stop causing stagflation they could actually get a head start with the savings instead of being fucked over with far-below inflation yields and inflated house prices ;)

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in GruberGate- "Senator" Obama Vs "President" Obama, mell said:

    Hey now, some are doing well under Obamacare:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=HUM+Basic+Chart&t=5y

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in Only Silents and Boomers Benefit From Housing Bubble, mell said:

    Reality says

    iwog says

    During the middle ages, one could say that the price of real estate was infinite since the only way to acquire it was through war and the eviction of the old lord who would quickly be replaced by the new lord.

    Excellent observation! It was sound money (i.e. everyone is equal in front of the money) that transformed privilege-based society to an equal-opportunity society, where peace and division of labor can prosper.

    What do you think the Privilege of Fiat Money printing does? The power for a tiny minority to print, and the rest having to accept it as money satisfying all debts. That privilege transforms the society back into a Privilege-based society! That means going back to the dark ages of mutual predation!

    Yep.

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in Deflation Rearing its Ugly Head Around the Globe, mell said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    - It doesn't hurt people on fixed income since interest rates are higher by the inflation rate.

    But they aren't higher wrt artifically created inflation which leads to stagflation as we see now. Inflation due to economic boom raises wages and rates. this QE shit doesn't. It inflates asset prices while keeping wages and interest rates down. Very very bad for the middle-class, very good for the uber-wealthy.

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in Deflation Rearing its Ugly Head Around the Globe, mell said:

    bgamall4 says

    indigenous says

    Heraclitusstudent says

    Please try to keep track.

    Back at ya

    No, we have had massive inflation over the years. This allows wealthy and governments to rack up debt and pay it off. Frugal people are washed out and that is wrong over the long term. I realize that inflation is necessary to compete with some other nations but it is mainly a rip off of the frugal and of the guy on fixed income. It is a rip off of the working people as well. It is a tax. Add to it the commodity tax of cornering the markets in so many ways, and you have a lot of theft from the people.

    Inflation is always bad when not naturally occurring as result of an organic boom. In fact countries don't need it to be economic powerhouses and stable, take Germany or even better Switzerland since the 90s with very tame inflation since then, yet their economies rock. There's nothing to fear about deflation as a symptom, only the Fed and the wealthy they protect are fighting it with tooth and nail.

    Graybox says

    Once USD (DXY) closes above 90 real deflation is on it's way and just the beginning of what I would consider a long term deflationary cycle.

    My question is @ what "price point" is deflation @ critical mass and the collapse/destruction of the USA or global financial systems taking place? Is it DXY 95, 110, 120?

    I have notion that at the brink of destruction what ever that might look like, the USD will lose as stand alone standard currency.

    The USD in relatively strong compare to other shit fiat currencies since the race to global debasement has commenced - so you may have something here though the dollar long train is getting awfully crowded. Wrt to gold though I don't thinl its predicted demise is going to happen, it's putting a reversal in once again and will not reach the gold-doomers predictions imo. The demand for physical has been and is simply too high. There's a reason many countries have been stocking up on gold.

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in Added To My Basket of Miners Yesterday; "I Am My Own Central Banker", mell said:

    Gold is going in the wrong direction again! Someone quickly summon the Schiff-haters!

  • On 18 Nov 2014 in Climatologist: 30-Year Cold Spell Strikes Earth, mell said:

    The declining solar activity is def real. If that is a real trend with legs like this guy believes, global warming will be history. Big if of course.

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