Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wasted Time Chasing Balloons

Thursday has arrived at last! The end of the week is upon us.

Good news for Economic Disconnect, the wife and mom in law are going visiting tomorrow until.....Sunday! An entire weekend left to my own devices. I better set some bail money aside just in case.

No worries, Friday Night is still a go and may be even more entertaining than usual, if that is possible. Some questions have come up about Friday night content, here are a few answers:
-I stop looking at comments and emails around 7-7:30pm on Friday night so that is the latest I would see a request.
-Some wonder what songs make it on the show that are requested. It depends. If it is your birthday it makes it no matter what (unless it is a Beatles tune, in which case birthday FAIL). The number of requests makes a difference, I like to stick around 7 songs for page loading speed. I play most anything but my mood and the tunes I have pre-selected may affect which songs I choose to play. How recently I may have played a request also factors in.
-You know you can request all kinds of things, not just songs right?

Anyways, it's on like Donkey Kong for Friday.

Wasted Time Chasing Balloons
I had about a million things I wanted to write about this week but I got killed on time and now it is Thursday. Boom Boom Bernanke's speech tomorrow is all anyone cares about so I will just make a few big picture ideas and leave it at that.

In regards to Quantitative Easing 2.0 (QE2) there has been a weird cacophony of headlines over the past few days that make the chance of it happening about 200% in my opinion. My best evidence? Check this out:
Citi Says QE2 Would Be End-Game For The USD
Now this is a Zero Hedge headline, but the Citi missive says that QE2 will be very dollar negative, which in today's perverse world we know it will not be so this is a contrary indicator.

And how about Mark "I love to be on TV" Zandi just a few weeks away from writing a paper on how the FED beat a Great Depression re-run is all aboard the QE2 train. What a sick joke this all is. Too bad it really matters.

QE2 is accepted by almost all big players as the "right thing" to do but they can offer no real explanation why that is outside of platitudes like "increase aggregate demand", or "cushion the misery" or other such crap. Even a big time economist writer like Econbrowser's James Hamilton writes "More thoughts on what to expect from the Fed" but in the end he just says QE2 is correct with no real argument for that other than a weak economy. What if it is going to be weak anyway? Why bother?

I do not want to spend all night on this, I have beaten it to death ten-fold. There is no reason for a small business to go ape shit expanding because their borrowing rates over 10 years goes from 3.5% to 3% or whatever. This is SMALL business, not multi billion dollar conglomerates where a small rate change can mean billions in funding differences. Why can't anyone see that?

I would even argue that cheap money has always resulted in terrible decision making. When capital is dear, only the best ideas get out. When cash is everywhere most of it is wasted or ripped off. That's the way it is. We have spent 10 years now chasing crap like Pets.com and McMansions in the middle of deserts. Where is the new energy research? Where is nanotechnology? Where is fusion? Where is my floating car? Where is tissue regeneration? Where indeed. I can show the round trip for CSCO stock or a map of ghost towns in Phoenix metro though.

(Note: I am not one of these crazies that think wasting money on science research (especially "green" energy) is all great by the way. Serious science is out there, but you need people that can evaluate it, which we are short of, most especially in the financial sector)

All this time (and capital) wasted chasing balloons instead of something tangible. Something competitive. Something to drive real growth of productivity or manufacturing. Instead we have an over capacity in malls and places to eat.

It would be refreshing to hear Bernanke speak to such things tomorrow, but I imagine we will get the good old "we will do what is needed to...." baloney. Throw in a all is well except we have to buy our own bonds and another shortsighted, misguided rally in assets no real man on the street has in any quantity will ensue. Whuppidi Doo!

Ok, sarcasm on way high (the dial DOES to go 11 you know!) but I am making my point.

Have a good night.

119 comments:

getyourselfconnected said...

Maybe a contest? I can make a DNA puzzle or maybe something else for Friday night? Make suggestions, I will have plenty of time this Friday, ha!

CT-Hilltopper said...

Sarcasm? You?

Nahhhhhhhhh.

LOL.

Am anxiously awaiting what you come up with for tomorrow night.

getyourselfconnected said...

C-T,
it may unsuitable for anyone under 16! I think it should be good. Thanks for stopping in, great to see you!

GawainsGhost said...

The Allman Brothers Band, "Blue Sky." That's my request.

Great song off a great album, Eat a Peach. So named because founding member and lead slide-guitar player Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident after crashing into the back of a truck while the album was being recorded. Lot of good songs on that album, including "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" and "Melissa."

By the way, GYC, I totally agree with you on science, research and development. Misallocation of capital has been a major problem in this economy for quite some time.

getyourselfconnected said...

Post up in a bit.

S. Gompers said...

It is a little long, but you might find it interesting, it goes back to what you, SNK, and I chatted about months ago.


http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/08.10/oz.html

Something from Ron Paul about it.

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/116971

getyourselfconnected said...

Wow Gompers! Great to see you! What ever happened to SNK? Do you know?

I remember it well, a great thought excercise. Check back in a bit, Friday post almost up!

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