Recently in Economy Category

Can I Have Your Attention

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Do you really think the French, during our revolution, cared one iota about saving the colonists, or democracy. Hell no. They were all about economic benefit. Anything to stick it to the English. However, in the process the United States of American came into existence.

Oh, and yes, the people of Libya would be ignored if there was no oil. However, I can not help but wonder if the violence would even be happening in the Middle East if there was no oil.

Now, that being said; Mustang Bobby is right:

All war is just a bad, bad idea. It means that there are no ideas left, and that just isn't acceptable.

Congratulations Ford

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Well done on weathering the storm.

(NYT) DETROIT -- The Ford Motor Company earned $2.7 billion in 2009 and said Thursday that it now expected to be profitable in 2010 as well.


The profit for 2009, equal to 86 cents a share, was a swing of $17.5 billion from 2008, when the company lost $14.8 billion. It is Ford's first full-year profit since 2005.

The company ended 2009 with $25.5 billion in cash reserves, nearly twice the $13.4 billion it had at the start of the year.

It also expects positive cash flow and an operating profit in 2010, which is a year sooner than executives had previously said the company would become consistently profitable.

"It really is pivotal and historic," Ford's chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, said on a conference call with analysts and reporters, "that during the worst economic recession in 30 or 40 years, because of the strength of the plan we put in place a few years ago, we were not only able to survive but also to create a foundation that is delivering now profitable growth during that year."


Is It News, Or SNL?

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No comment is needed. Well, other than a hat tip to John.

Paul Talks Dirty

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Seriously, doesn't Mr Krugman know children can read his blog?

The Domino Effect

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Growing up I was taught the Domino Theory; the fall of one country to communism would inevitably result in the fall of another, then another, so on and so forth. That theory itself seems to have had a set back in the end of the 80s when the Soviet Union fell apart. China's move to capitalism certainly nailed the coffin shut.

However, when it comes to economics, especially globally, I suspect we are seeing the first in what no doubt will be a Domino Effect; the fall of Iceland. Where as the collapse of communism in eastern Europe was hailed as a failure of socialism, I can't help but see now the failure of capitalism.

While Kevin Drum frets about nationalization of the banks, I figure it's a done deal, only being held back because of fear of the plunge. But extremes never work long term, whether it be socialism or capitalism. What needs to happen is a nice, steady balance of both. Unfortunately, I suspect there will be a swing closer to socialism for a bit until some of the more worthy capitalism systems are stabilized. Until then, prepare for a bumpy ride.

Kevin The Cynic

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If there is one thing I've learned over the last 5 years of reading Kevin, it's that he is great at thoughtful analysis as long as it's inside the box. His cynicism over Fiat getting a 35% claim in Chrysler is just one such example. At this point and time there appears to be no tried and true method for salvaging Chrysler's financial situation. Bully on them for giving something a try.

And least he forget, by keeping a plant open, Chrysler just saved jobs. That has to count for something.
This, people, is what leadership looks like.

CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama is already making presidential history by naming -- or at least his transition team is leaking to the press -- his Cabinet picks faster than nearly all of his predecessors.

"If we do not act swiftly and boldly, most experts believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year," Obama said Monday.

With an economic crisis spiraling out of control and a lame duck in the oval office, presidential scholars say the next commander in chief simply had no choice.

"This is really unprecedented. But it's an unprecedented situation," said Larry Sabato, a presidential scholar at the University of Virginia. "Obama is doing what the public and the markets demand be done -- and that is to show that the next president is really in charge before he even takes the oath of office."

Swift, decisive action. Not only that, but with evidence of foresight. From what we are seeing with leaks and announcements, all this activity was long ago planned out and prepared before November 4th. Three weeks, and look at what he's manage to assemble.

In case anyone is wondering, this is competence. Refreshing, ain't it?

Pre-Market Report

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CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks slumped Monday morning, joining the global market selloff as investors continued to retreat amid bets of a far-reaching recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), the Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) index and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) all lost at least 1% in the early going.

Stocks have gotten hammered over the last 2 months as the financial markets crisis has accelerated and the credit market has seized up, choking off access to much-needed capital. Efforts on the part of governments around the world have helped loosen up lending somewhat, but not enough to reassure investors.

What is it Atrios is always saying? Oh yeah.

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only, instead of a slide, it's more like one of those small, really fast, merry-go-rounds that spin exceptionally fast as you pull yourself closer to the center. Because, I've got to tell you, this corner we've been turning seems to be going round, and round, and round, and round......
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A new national poll suggests that only a quarter of Americans think things are going well in the country today, while the rest of those questioned are angry, scared and stressed out.
One quarter of the population thinks things are going well? What in hell is wrong with them?

The human race's capacity for denial never ceases to amaze me.

Kevin, Seriously; Duh!

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Is it really that hard to recognize that nothing has changed since the last millennium except our ability to engage in denial?

A bank, by any other name is a bank. It wasn't, isn't and will not be, about defining the term bank. It was, is, and will always be about avoiding being regulated.

Seriously; Duh

Half-priced oil by end of year?

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Ladies and Gentlemen, if any stop by to read my lonely, little blog, I present to you the hit of the summer:

The Price Decrease In Oil!

Just in time for an election near you.

Star Tribune

The sharp drop in energy prices since the beginning of the month is turning into a rare bright spot in a bleak economic landscape.

For the moment, at least, fears of a prolonged energy shock seem to have subsided a bit.

Oil has fallen more than $23 a barrel, or 16 percent, since peaking July 3. Gasoline has slipped below $4 a gallon and is dropping fast as Americans drive less. Natural gas prices, which had risen the fastest this year as traders anticipated a hot summer, have shed 33 percent since the beginning of the month.

New York Times

In short, in a nation that holds itself up as a citadel of free enterprise, the government has morphed from lender of last resort into effectively the only lender for millions of Americans engaged in the largest transactions of their lives.
All things said and done, it is the government that controls the money. From printing, to distribution, to control of credit, etc., etc., etc. The government is the Alpha/Omaga. There is just no way to get around this simple fact. That is why the cry about getting government out of our lives makes no sense. Without it we have no security, no safety, no pursuit of happiness.

Also, if free enterprise is so damn self-sufficient and efficient, why the hell are we encountering a recession? Why are we seeing one financial crises after another?

And yes, all the following are rhetorical. If I had the answers to those questions, I would be a billionaire to rival Gates.

Actually, I do have a hunch. It has to do with leadership and competence. The state of our country has much to do with who sits in the Oval Office.

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.

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