Greece a Year or Two after Exiting the Euro

Just a quick thought, but what happens if Greece leaves the Euro and then a year or two after, things start improving rapidly.  What would be the reactions of the other Euro peripheral countries like Spain and Italy.

Would the electorates there go further to the non-austerity parties if things have not improved?


If this system can’t support a living wage…

There has been some comment recently about what is called “inequality”.

Notably here, here, here and here.

But it was this article from Yahoo Finance, about fair pay, that caught my attention.  Now I could go on and on about the leverage capital has on of wages of the working class, especially in a depression, or the 3 to 1 ratio of applicants to job openings, but that wouldn’t  be my gut reaction.

People who work hard should get a living wage.  If even our hybrid capitalist system can’t offer this basic necessity to a huge amount of the people, then we should do some long and hard thinking.

I don’t think conservatives realize that the policies they are pushing, the one’s that cater to the 1%, don’t exactly line up with the ability to hold power in a representational democracy.  As Paul Krugman recently pointed out, people are realizing the extent of the skewed distribution of income.  This can’t be good for national polling for republicans.  I mean losing 4 of the last 5 popular votes should be some kind of sign.

Clear up the Debt Overhang in Housing

Brad Delong has a great post:

More Jobs and Higher Middle Class Incomes as Economic Policy Job #1: Housing Policy Edition

Years late and terabucks short blogging…

Four years ago, Obama pivoted to the Axelrod-Geithner line that the decline had stopped, economic recovery was on the way and could handle itself, and that economic policy job #1 was stabilizing the long-term finances of the federal government.

Now, after four largely wasted years spent mostly talking about the deficit, he may be pivoting back:

“I want to make sure that all of us in Washington are investing as much time, as much energy, as much debate on how we grow the economy and grow the middle class as we’ve spent over the last two to three years arguing about how we reduce the deficits”, Mr. Obama said. He called for a shift “away from what I think has been a damaging framework in Washington.”

This is most welcome. Let us hope that it is indeed permanent.

Now the first step is to strike a deal to get the Republicans in the Senate to confirm Mel Watt as head of FHFA, and then for FHFA and the GSEs to offer a conforming loan-rate refi (with equity kickers attached for those underwater) to every mortgage holder in America. That policy to clean out the credit-channel mess created by the housing finance disaster and housing bubble crash of 2004-2008 would have been good policy in 2009. It would have been good policy in 2010. It would have been good policy in 2011. It would have been good policy in 2012. And it would be good policy today.

Yellen for Fed Chair

I would echo Mark Thoma’s sentiments: have been following the Fed Chairperson debate and I think (and continue to believe) Janet Yellen the best candidate. 

The fact that Larry Summers is being hinted about as the front runner to see what the Punditrati think about it should be telling.

Tim Duy has named them Yellen charts for crying out loud.

I will unsubscribe to Organizing for Action if Summers is put forward (that should show them).

Krugman and China (a timing issue)

I like Paul Krugman, I think he is very good, but i think he has set himself up here as regards to China.  Ok, he says its (China) is riding a bicycle into a brick wall, but when does this implosion happen? 

And by reading his articles I feel like he’s saying “ok next month China is Dooomed!”, when I think he means to say that over the next 4 years we could see a decline of China growth by 3 percentage points from where it is now (Its 7.5% now).

Having worked China deals since the mid 2000’s, knowing how China works (as Krugman states in his article) is incredibly complex.  When he says China’s econ stats are a little science fictiony, he ain’t lying.

But the ability of a populace to take extreme hardships before doing something about it (see Europe) is pretty vast.

So no matter how much “rebalancing” takes place, I don’t see a hard landing for China.


Kick Ass Video – Duck Duck Punch – RGB

Great electronic dance vid from Duck Duck Punch. Also check out their song Mirage.

The ‘Bar Car’ Signs

                There’s a bunch of  ‘Bar Car’ signs piled up in the tunnels that lead away from Grand Central.  They hit the side of the tunnel and fall off.  I bet they fall off near the same spot every time.  The sign itself is just taped to the side of the train to tell you which car is the bar car. 

                The crowd is pretty light today. Not much business on a Friday rush hour home in the summer.  Most people left far earlier in the day, which is not like the winter.  In the winter, it’s a party.  A car full of half strangers, some you don’t know, some you see once in awhile and those you see all the time.  Packed into the bar car to grab a drink on their way home. 

                The winter cars can be loud, especially around New Rochelle, when every one is half way through their first Gin and Tonic or 22oz. Fosters.  Friends who have taken the train together are deep in conversation with one usually talking and the other one nodding their head and replying with short sentence fragments.  Other people are sitting together because they work at the same place and live in the same place and sit together not to seem rude if they don’t actually like each other.  If friends they’re loud and already on their second before Larchmont, if not they just sit in silence with small bursts of conversation over the weather or the recent headlines.

                Couples are usually interesting.  Whether they work together or know each other from where they live, or just coming back early from a day in the city.  The body language or the confidence in the voice or the enthusiastic responses to glib remarks to make the conversation sound interesting is all very fun or very embarrassing.

                The bar signs just cannot be cleaned up.  I would think it’s the combination of factors including difficulty to get to, out of sight so completely ignored, or no one really knows about it.  Whatever the reason, they’re piling up down there.