Friday, September 4, 2009

Questions and Answers

Once again it is Friday, and a 3 day weekend as a bonus! I trust all will enjoy he holiday weekend. Fall is upon us, but that is the way of things (Yoda: Twilight is upon me, and soon, night must fall. That is the way of things. The way of the Force.)

Questions and Answers
With so much going on the past couple of days, I thought I would try a new format for this post where I either answer a question posed from the web world, ask a question I have and leave it open for answers, or some combination of the two.

Question: Why was there a 58.1% expectation of a rate hike by the December 2009 FED meeting?
Answer: I have no idea, I have stated a rate hike will be first seen not before 2011. The going expectation right now, 1.5%. Welcome to reality fools.

Question: Why is Paul Krugman so annoying?
Answer: There are many answers, but the two best are that 1) he is a political hack that bends his economic thinking to fit a liberal agenda even when the data is against it, and 2) he makes no sense. Case in point from his latest blog post:
The purpose of stimulus
Just a brief reminder. Industrial production is now rising; so, probably, is real GDP. Given the way the official business cycle dating committee dates recessions, this probably means that the recession — again, as officially defined — is over.
But unemployment is still very high and rising. As Calculated Risk points out, long-term unemployment — which is the most destructive in human terms — is at its highest level recorded since the Depression.
And the purpose of stimulus is, first and foremost, to mitigate unemployment. The fact that the economy may be technically in recovery is irrelevant.

First we needed stimulus to fill the "demand gap". Now that the economy is technically getting better (maybe) Krugman wants stimulus to target employment, because economic growth is irrelevant. Ok. So if unemployment was at 2% but GDP was shrinking at a 5% clip, would Krugman still want stimulus?

Question: Why have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stocks gone up so much when they are both worthless?
Answer: To avoid delisting.

Question: If no mortgages were written for 6 months, would the world end?
Answer: I am interested in any answers!

Question: Car sales up, but for how long?
Answer: Not long, wait until you see October sales.

Question: Is expanding FHA backed loans to people with no down payment in an effort to continue lending money for homes for the sake of lending a good idea?
Answer: Hells no.

Question: Why would anyone flee the dollar, which is backed by faith in the US government, and run to paper treasury bills, backed by the same?
Answer: ???????

Question: Why is Lil Kim so hot?
Answer: I dunno, but that restraining order she took out on me was a bit much I think.

Question: How come stocks are not just priced on time every quarter based upon final earnings numbers instead of moving all over the place all the time without a clue?
Answer: Because there would be no way to game the system and separate people from their money.

Question: How come the New England Patriots secondary has been so bad for 4 years?
Answer: I finally figured this one out! Bill Bellicheck defenses are geared to making a quarterback make a quick read and a strong throw based on alignments. Over the years, quarterbacks have become so good (even mediocre QB's are far better than even the very good QB's of 10 years ago) so they really are not as confused anymore and they have the arm strength as well. Maybe we can change things up? Please Bill!

Question: Why does Economic Disconnect love gold and silver?
Answer: Because they are shiny. I am a fan of aluminum foil as well.

Question: How come CEO's are not paid in milkbone biscuits? (via my wife)
Answer: Because they are not Pug dogs.

Question: Why is there so much emphasis on "saving enough for retirement"?Answer: This one is a puzzler, at least to me. I fail to see the point of having all this money saved up when I hit age 65 (hopefully!). I mean, what am I going to do at 65 plus? Scale a mountain? Buy a corvette and drive fast? Go to Vegas and have fun, you know, Vegas style? You are risking a myocardial infarction all the way! Money is to be used. While I think having enough for later in life is important, there is no reason to wait until you are too old to do much to have a pile of cash. What do you need at age 70 anyway? A one bedroom apartment and those cup-o-noodles. Not exactly high maintenance.

Question: Will the US system (economic, political, etc) ever get better?
Answer: Not when 50% of the population does not vote, and 90% of the ones that do vote have no critical thinking skills.

Feel free to add answers or new questions in the comments section.

Friday Night Entertainment
Enough work for one week, it is time to relax and have some fun!

Kitten in the Works
My best friend in the world for most of my young adult life was my cat. She was with me through it all, thick and thin, for over 8 years (my mom had her before that). When my cat died two years ago, a part of me died as well. She really was my little darling.

I think the time may be right for another little princess. I am looking for a kitten as of now, and I have my heart set on a Scottish Fold Ear cat. Here is a picture of how cute they are:

Let's hope the dog will understand!

Film Clips
Loyal reader Watchtower pointed out this simply amazing clip form the Miami Vice show. In this episode the cops have a sting set up on an assassin, who happens to be played by Jim Zubiena a world renowned marksman. Even though a cop has the drop on him, watch at the 1:45 mark on to see how fast this guy can draw his backup weapon:


On the same line, that Miami Vice episode was a Michael Mann directed piece. Mann is on of my favorite directors. One of his films which did not get enough credit was "Collateral" with Tom Cruise. The film has many memorable dialogue scenes (the jazz singer exchange was creepy) punctuated by terrible violence. In this clip Vincent (Tom Cruise) retrieves his stolen suitcase:

The film "Raising Arizona" is one of my favorites, yet not many people have seen it. Hilarious and full of depth, it is a treat. Enjoy the dream sequence of the biker from hell:

Rock Blogging
Back as always by popular demand (well, my own demand anyway) here is the music!

A band that was formed by Randy Rhoads, Quiet Riot, had a few hits in the 80's. Can anyone forget "Cum on Fell the Noise"?:

My favorite The Cult song is "Sweet Soul Sister" and it rocks:

The singer/songwriter Jewel has long been a favorite of mine. While her vocals may not be all time list quality, I think she has no equal for raw emotion that bleeds out into her singing. I found a live peformance of "Wicked Games" that just makes you hurt listening to it with the feelings behind the words:

A song to listen to on the way back from any vacation is John Denver's classic "Back Home Again":

From the obscure file; how about a Christian heavy metal band? Impossible? I submit the group Stryper. While I am not much interested in religion, I do love great bass lines, great voclas, and thunder drums. Great line: "It's been said money talks, if so what does it say?":

Last Call, time to close the show.

We will close things out with a Jimi Hendrix song. With so many to choose from, it can be hard, but I pick "The Wind Cries Mary" for the timeless guitar work, cryptic lyrics (the traffic lights, they turn blue tomorrow), and just plain awesomeness (is that a word?):

Have a good night.


watchtower said...

My daughter says to definitely get one of those folded ear kittens...two thumbs up!

getyourselfconnected said...

I love cats, my wife loves dogs. We have a pug dog and he is great, but a cat offers so much more. I never felt I could be with another kitty, but now I think I am ready.

PS the scottish ear fold cats;
you do not know for 3 months if the ears will fold over, it is a recesive trait.

Stagflationary Mark said...


"Question: Why is Paul Krugman so annoying?"

I know this one! Well, sort of.

"What is it that makes a complete stranger dive into an icy river to save a solid gold baby? Maybe we'll never know." - Jack Handey

Maybe we'll never know EXACTLY why Paul Krugman is so annoying! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...


"Question: Why is there so much emphasis on "saving enough for retirement"?"

My answer is going to differ a bit from your answer.

Someone once asked me why I was investing so much for the future. I'd be too old to enjoy the money anyway.

My response was that if I was too old to enjoy the money then I sure as heck would be too old to enjoy continuing to work!

I'd alter that response ever so slightly these days. My most accurate answer as it applies to me is...

So I do not have to be a Wal-Mart Greeter when I'm 82!

No that's not quite it either.

So I would not have to stand in a line of 500 applicants all trying to become the next Wal-Mart Greeter. It would be one sad day to be turned down because I lacked a Masters of Business Administration with 10 years of investment banking experience. I figure by that point in time and based on our current rate of economic decline, the competition in the labor market may be quite intense for jobs such as that one!

Before you laugh, rumor has it that a high school diploma was once good enough to get a decent paying job.

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