Saturday, February 27, 2010

4th Quarter GDP: 5.9%


Jobless Claims Increase


Defaced Money


Restaurant Performance Index


Cartoon: Subprime

Cartoon: Unemployment

Cartoon: Unemployed

Cartoon: Toyotas and Social Security

Cartoon: General Tso's Chicken

Friday, February 26, 2010

Iron Man 2 Trailer

Tony Stark to Congress:

"You want my property, you can't have it."

"I have successfully privatized world peace."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Top 400 Taxpayers

the top 400 individual income taxpayers in 2007 (out of 143 million taxpayers) earned 1.59% of all Adjusted Gross Income in that year, and paid 2.05% of all individual income taxes collected.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bank Failures: 188 This Recession, 20 This Year


Nevada Casinos Lose $6.7 Billion

The state Gaming Control Board today released its “Gaming Abstract” for fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, showing a net loss of $6.7 billion among the 260 major casinos in Nevada.

Clubs along the Las Vegas Strip, which makes up 53 percent of the gambling revenue in Nevada, registered a $4.1 billion loss.

The only other time Nevada gaming companies reported a loss was in 2003, of $33.5 million, said Frank Streshley, chief of tax and licensing for the board.

Total revenues were down from $25.0 billion in fiscal 2008 to $22.0 billion in fiscal 2009. Gambling was off 12.7%, room revenue off 16.6% (hotels are getting crushed everywhere), but beverage sales were flat!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Unemployed over 6 Months

According to the BLS, there are a record 6.31 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks (and still want a job). This is a record 4.1% of the civilian workforce. (note: records started in 1948).

Losing Unemployment Benefits

Of the almost 1.2 million workers facing a cut off of benefits in March alone:

380,000 workers will exhaust their 26 weeks of state benefits without accessing the temporary EUC extension program or the permanent federal program of Extended Benefits.

Another 814,000 workers will not be eligible to continue receiving EUC past their current tier of benefits.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

New York Strip: 1.58 Pounds

Bubbles Greenspan and the Significance of Dow 10,000

When the Dow scaled 10,000 in March of 1999, the stock market had been rallying for several years already. Just five years earlier, the Dow had breezed through the 5,000-level. Therefore, almost no one doubted that 10,000 would be a mere stepping stone to 15,000…or 20,000…or yes, even 36,000, as James Glassman and Kevin Hassett infamously predicted in their 1999 classic: Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market...

What went wrong?

The short answer is: Alan Greenspan. (The long answer is also Alan Greenspan). The former Chairman of the Federal Reserve nurtured an epic financial bubble during most of his 19-year reign...

What does this condensed and biased portrayal of history have to do with Dow 10,000? Just this: without easy credit, and the mania it spawned, Dow 10,000 would not have been possible. When the Dow first reached that magical level in 1999, the blue chip index was trading hands for about 28 times earnings – its highest valuation in 70 years.


Bill Bonner on Det and Defaulting

Moody’s warned that the US would lose its triple-A rating if it continues borrowing money at the present rate. Our old friend Marc Faber was on TV this week explaining what the consequences would ultimately be: the US will default on its debt, he said.

Mr. Geithner did not even bother with the idea of default. It was beyond his imaginative powers. As to losing the three As, he said that would “never” happen. Which is what set us to thinking about the quality of US leadership. Of course, the US will lose its bond rating…and will default. There is no question about it. No nation has ever existed, except for present company…whose histories have yet to be completed…that didn’t default, renege, collapse, go bankrupt, disappear, disintegrate, capitulate, or otherwise fall over and die. The only questions are when and how.


Bill Bonner on Ben Bernanke

Mr. Bernanke is a standout example. The former head of the Princeton University economics department knows all there is to know about a depression – except the important part. He doesn’t understand what causes them. And he completely misunderstands what the role of government should be in dealing with them. But we have already explained all this to you, dear reader, so we won’t repeat ourselves here…except to say that any truck driver and hair stylist knows you can’t spend your way out of debt. Mr. Bernanke doesn’t believe it. That’s the very definition of Boobus Americanus Economistica; he has educated himself out of his common sense.


My thoughts: In case you missed the Mogambo Guru's rant on the Fed, it is easy money and credit that causes the unsustainable boom that inevitably leads to a bust. So this Greenspan/Bernanke recession can be blamed on the Greenspan's attempt to prevent a market correction when he took rates to 1.00% thus fueling massive amounts of malinvestments. He was successful in papering over a recession temporarily. He was also successful in guaranteeing that the next next recession would be much more severe. So does Bernanke learn? Yes, but it is the wrong lesson. When the economy starts to head south in late 2007, Bernanke starts lashing interest rates. He takes them down to between 0.00% and 0.25%. Instead of allowing a market correction that would have put the economy back on solid ground (like 1920-21), we are facing a double dip recession, double digit recession, and possibly a lost decade of economic growth.

Mogambo Guru on the Fed

“Do you think that the economy of the USA is getting better, staying the same, or getting worse? And if you think that it is getting better, then explain how in the hell that is even possible, ya moron, when the Federal Reserve, that loathsome piece of treacherous crap which caused all the housing problems by creating too much money and credit, and which caused the derivatives problem by creating too much money and credit, and which caused the cancerous growth of a stifling, suffocatingly expensive government by creating too much money and credit, and which caused interest rates to drop so impossibly low by creating too much money and credit, is still on the job! Still On The Freaking Job (OTFJ), creating too much money and credit, but in amounts that dwarf any of the previously insane increases in the money supply by the loathsome Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve 1987-2006, even though those relatively small, $10 billion per month increases in Fed Credit were responsible for all the umpteen trillions of dollars in phantom gains, all of which are the result of year after year of sizzling inflations in stocks, bonds, houses, derivatives and the size of government that all that the extra money bought and paid for!”


Mogambo Guru on Keynesian Economics

the second-worst economic theory in history, which is the asinine neo-Keynesian econometric stupidity currently being swallowed whole by the vast majority of university halfwits, media halfwits, political halfwits and a host of voters that I variously describe as, for want of a better term because I am peculiar that way, “halfwits”; all of whom actually think that by electing government representatives who will always spend more than the government gets in revenue, by the simple, brain-dead expedient of creating more and more debt, all happily aided and abetted by the despicable Federal Reserve creating the money necessary to buy that much new debt, so that the government can spend this new money, for the childish, Pollyanna-expressed aim of equalizing everyone’s outcomes in everything; they can achieve A Perfect World (APW)! Hahahaha! Morons!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Hollywood's Top Earners 2009

1. Michael Bay, producer-director ($125 million)
2. Steven Spielberg, producer-director ($85 million)
3. Roland Emmerich, producer-director ($70 million)
4. James Cameron, producer-director ($50 million)
5. Todd Phillips, director ($44 million)
6. Daniel Radcliffe, actor ($41 million)
7. Ben Stiller, actor ($40 million)
8. Tom Hanks, actor ($36 million)
9. J. J. Abrams, producer-director ($36 million)
10. Jerry Bruckheimer, producer ($35.5 million)
11. Tyler Perry, actor-director-producer ($32.5 million)
12. Adam Sandler, actor-producer ($31.5 million)
13. Denzel Washington, actor ($31 million)
14. Emma Watson, actor ($30 million)
15. Rupert Grint, actor ($30 million)
16. Owen Wilson, actor ($29 million)
17. Nicolas Cage, actor ($28 million)
18. Russell Crowe, actor ($28 million)
19. Cameron Diaz, actor ($27 million)
20. Brian Grazer, producer, and Ron Howard, director-producer ($25.5 million)
21. Johnny Depp, actor ($25 million)
22. Steve Carell, actor ($25 million)
23. Robert De Niro, actor ($24.5 million)
24. Sarah Jessica Parker, actor ($24 million)
25. Katherine Heigl, actor ($24 million)
26. Shawn Levy, director-producer ($23 million)
27. Oren Peli and Jason Blum, writer-director-producers ($22.5 million)
28. Robert Downey Jr., actor ($22 million)
29. George Clooney, actor ($22 million)
30. Matt Damon, actor ($22 million)
31. Reese Witherspoon, actor ($21 million)
32. Angelina Jolie, actor ($21 million)
33. Jennifer Aniston, actor ($20 million)
34. Sandra Bullock, actor ($20 million)
35. Robert Pattinson, actor ($18 million)
36. Clint Eastwood, actor-director-producer ($17 million)
37. Kristen Stewart, actor ($16 million)
38. Mark Wahlberg, actor ($16 million)
39. Shia LaBeouf, actor ($15 million)
40. Brad Pitt, actor ($13.5 million)


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cartoon: Investing

Federal Debt and Deficit

Government Employment

The era of big government has returned with a vengeance, in the form of the largest federal work force in modern history.

The Obama administration says the government will grow to 2.15 million employees this year, topping 2 million for the first time since President Clinton declared that "the era of big government is over" and joined forces with a Republican-led Congress in the 1990s to pare back the federal work force...

Including both the civilian and defense sectors, the federal government will employ 2.15 million people in 2010 and 2.11 million in 2011, excluding Postal Service workers.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Budgets Projections: 2010 v 2011

A $2 Trillion Increase


Obama's Unemployment Forecast

For GDP, they are forecasting real GDP growth of 2.7% in 2010, followed by 3.8%, 4.3% and 4.2% in 2013.

For unemployment, the forecast is for an average of 10% in 2010, with a decline to 9.2% in 2011, 8.2% in 2012 and 7.3% in 2013