Monday, 11 June 2012

09:09 - As expected, the markets have responded favorably to the Spanish bailout. That won’t last long. Like all of the bailouts and other actions taken to “save” the euro, this amounts to slapping a fresh coat of paint on a rotting structure. The markets will soon recognize that, as they always do, and Spanish sovereign debt will start heading for the 7%+ range again.

We got fair amount done over the weekend on a new batch of chemistry kits. The only major job that remains is filling a whole bunch of bottles.


09:28 - Wow! That was faster than even I expected. Benchmark Spanish bond yields started this morning just under 6%, and they’re already at 6.2% and climbing. Apparently, investors have already realized that promising a bailout doesn’t mean the money is actually available to do it.


09:31 - And, as of a few minutes ago, they’re at 6.4% and climbing.

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10 Responses to Monday, 11 June 2012

  1. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Finally! The New York Times has an article confirming what has been going on in the US economy—although the title erroneously makes it sound like the bad stuff just happened.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/business/economy/family-net-worth-drops-to-level-of-early-90s-fed-says.html

    The Federal Reserve just released figures from 2010, showing that the economists I trust have correctly assessed that the US took a step back to the early 1990’s in terms of net wealth. Although these numbers deal only with individual wealth, the same is true for corporate assets, which took a similar hit.

    This article lays to rest the claims that many economists and news analysts make—that all we need is politicians or economic leaders who will pull and push the right levers, and we will instantly return to the economic dynamism of pre-2007 crash levels. When you read that, you KNOW that the person saying it, knows little or nothing about economics.

    Nope. We have to earn our way back to the wealth we all possessed in 2007, and—as of 2010—that is 20 years of hard labor.

      

  2. Chuck Waggoner says:

    While you all are speechless on the edge of your seats, waiting for the collapse that never comes—ever wonder what English would sound like, if you could not understand it?

    Well, the Italian pop star, stage, film, and TV performer Adriano Celentano wrote this song in 1972 as a parody of what English sounds like to Italians who do not speak English. Celentano has long been fluent in English, and just put together gibberish English words to a tune that—strangely—sounds uncannily like rap before rap was ever invented. The term “hip hop” was not even coined until 1978. And I don’t recall hearing rap until the early ‘80’s—about the time MTV appeared on the scene,—but this song already sounds like rap, which historians say did not appear until the late ‘70’s at the earliest.

    The clip starts with a short scene from the original TV show the song was written for, where Celentano plays a professor guiding his students to a better understanding of English through song. Although the original TV show was performed with his wife, Claudia Mori, RAI did a dance version of the song with Celentano and dancer/singer Raffaella Carrà lip-syncing Mori’s part. Occasionally, it switches between the original TV show and the stage dance.

    The gibberish words are subtitled here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz04IBZqfFE

    TV sure used to be better than it is now—everywhere. A clean version of the excellent RAI dance video (I cannot confirm the 1974 date, but it seems right) here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMoK0focAFE

      

  3. OFD says:

    The bastards are STILL lying. I think it is more the levels we had in the early 60s here. My dad took care of a wife and five kids and a house and a car on thirteen grand a year. That amount now barely pays our rent/mortgage *alone.* And nothing else.

    Oh, and get this latest from my next-younger brother: he was at an in-law cookout down the Cape yesterday and several of the fembot in-laws (who all have absolute shite for brains) enthused together about all going (“only us girls” barked the 84-year-old widowed matriarch) to:

    (R U sitting down? holding onto yer hatz?)

    GREECE.

    For a nice little vay-cay.

    Now, my brother basically watches CNN and Faux Nooz but he knows the situation there is pretty bad so he was kinda shocked at their stupidity and ignorance.

    I was not; I told him it is far, far worse than the MSM reports here, and I have that via the net and the shortwave. I also told him it is a perfect illustration of Mr. and Mrs. Boobus Americanus; all they give a fuck about is partying, shopping, watching TV, pro sports, and slugging down junk food and lousy beer and wine coolers, a lot of them still smoking ciggies, too.

    I should write him back and tell him to get them one-way tix for a Med cruise in the Greek islands with final port of call in Athens. I will spring to send my son’s in-laws, too; they’re at least as dumb as that.

      

  4. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Yikes! They had better inform themselves. My relatives in Europe tell me that the resorts in Greece are actually dangerous. Criminal elements are using the crisis there as an excuse to get more active. I think if your family contacted a travel agent, they would advise against going to Greece right now.

    Greece, the Canary Islands, and Majorca were THE most popular vacation destinations of people I knew in Berlin. I still read Google’s aggregation of news in German, and very recently saw a poll of the German people, which said that something just over 70% of them want Greece to remain in the EU, because they are afraid it will be too expensive to vacation there, if there is a break. The price went way down when the single currency was introduced, and they fear the opposite will happen if Greece leaves the euro.

    I made some Greek friends in Berlin. One fellow in particular lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, and says he is not really affected. His family has farmed for generations, and they grow almost everything they need. They are fairly well off, and I am sure most of their money is not in Greece. He speaks English perfectly and spent several years in the US when he was school age. He broke up with his female partner in Germany before I left, and—even with the trouble—he says he has no intention of leaving Greece again.

      

  5. Miles_Teg says:

    Regarding the picture of Colin on Barbara’s page – does he *ever* let his ears down?

      

  6. Chad says:

    My dad took care of a wife and five kids and a house and a car on thirteen grand a year.

    Excellent point. My father supported our family of 5 on an enlisted man’s pay.

      

  7. Miles_Teg says:

    Just found out that elder my nephew (35 yo) is going to, wait for it…, GREECE in less than two months for a holiday.

      

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    My father had a clerical job in the Electricity Trust of South Australia and brought up three kids and supported a stay-at-home wife on that. I’ve always thought it’s possible to enjoy life without having lots of money. (Although I wish he’d trained as a lawyer or accountant, I think he would have been good at either.)

    After my father died and mum was living at home by herself she was living quite happily on a pension that was about 1/5th of my salary. I couldn’t have done that.

      

  9. brad says:

    I was wondering when we would see analysts pointing this out. There was an article a couple of weeks ago that tried to be flippant, something like “we have fewer millionaires, miniature violins selling like hotcakes”. I wondered if that wasn’t just taking some excerpt out of context, and apparently it was.

    Is the US back to the 1990s, or to the 1960s? That’s harder to say, because so many other things have changed. I also remember once, in the late 1960s, knowing my dad’s salary. At the time, $16,000, and we were living fine in the middle of the middle-class. Since then, we have not only inflation, but also many, many more women in the work-force. Prices and salaries have adapted, and the result is that, even before the crashes of 2001 and 2008, most middle-class families *had* to have two wage-earners in order to stay above water.

    As our host points out, the Euro-countries continue to dig their hole ever deeper. Sometimes you get these lovely justapositions. The day before the Spanish bailout, I read an article pointing out that Spain was 500 billion Euros short. The day of the bailout, the German finance minister is on the news saying “we wanted to give Spain such a huge sum in support that there could be no question – it is more than enough. We therefore decided on 100 billion Euros”. They have kicked the can a bit farther down the road, although it’s not clear just whose 100 billion Euros they used to do it…

    Greece, in the meantime, has new problems. Turkey is being absolutely flooded with refugues coming overland from the direction of Iran, Syria, and Africa. The refugees have heard that Europe is the promised land – I mean, you have these machines that just spit money out of the wall! Turkey, not wanting to deal with these refugees itself, turns a blind eye as they head onwards…into Greece. Where they get stuck, because they haven’t got any money to go any farther. At last count, there were something like 400,000 flat-broke refugees wandering the streets of Athens – that’s something like 1/3 of the total population!

      

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Regarding the picture of Colin on Barbara’s page – does he *ever* let his ears down?

    Yes, although they’re normally both sticking straight up. He has complete independent control of each ear. They can rotate independently, from facing straight forward to facing out to the sides. If he hears something, they rotate independently as he tries to determine the direction of the sound. If he’s frightened, one of them lies flat. If he’s very frightened, both lie flat.

      

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