Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Deleveraging Shocks and Disinformation: News from a Treadmill

Flowers growing outside The Brittany along 16th Street NW with New Hampshire Ave. and my apartment building in the background, Washington, D.C., 4:01PM, July 15, 2012. I think these are chrysanthemums.


So ...  it's just after 10PM and I'm only starting this blog entry. My home computer has already had its obligatory blue screen of death crash immediately upon start up. I think it should be OK -- there is usually just one such crash per log on session -- but you never know.

The view from The Brixton rooftop bar looking to the southeast down Florida Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 7:35PM, July 15, 2012 after a rainshower.


The view of Nellie's from The Brixton with the 2-mile distant Washington Monument brighly illuminated by the setting Sun in the distance on a backdrop of clouds, 7:54PM, July 15, 2012.


Oh, and here is The Brixton rooftop bar, Washington, D.C., 7:35PM, July 15, 2012.


The second issue is that I'm quite tired as I returned a short while ago from the gym where I went directly after work. Yes, I made it to the YMCA two nights in a row and did 33+5 minutes on the treadmill, 22 on the elliptical trainer, a bit of machine weight-lifting, and some swimming in the pool.

I had planned initially major entry ... Then I planned to divide up the entry into two smaller ones, the first tonight and the second tomorrow night, all to discuss a range of my usual topics (weather, politics, my life, other stuff). But I'm so tired and these entries take so long to write, and there really is very little pay off, so to speak, given that I only have a few regular readers.

The view from the 2100 block of 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:40PM, July 15, 2012. There was a thunderstorm about 40 miles west of D.C. at that point that was slowly approaching but also dissipating. Nevertheless, there were still some rainshowers about an hour later.


The Sterling LWX radar in composite mode reflectivity at 4:38PM, July 15, 2012. This was just about when I took the above picture.


I'm home right now watching TV -- funny reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond on TVLand. Hopefully, it will be my usual night time line up -- "ELR" and The King of Queens on TVLand, maybe The Golden Girls on Hallmark, and even a bit of Too Close for Comfort on Antenna TV.

I had some Thai dinner that I got at Bua at take away.

Folks dancing in a warm rain shower on the upstairs deck of Nellie's, Washington, D.C., 6:43PM, July 15, 2012.


It again reached flippin' 100F officially at National Airport (KDCA) this globally cooled summer. But I can't even begin a political-themed entry so let me just end this one now ... except this ...

At the gym, all the TVs are tuned invariably to a political news channel (typically in order of descending frequency, -- formerly MSNBC; CNN; and Fox News) or sports channels. There are also the TVs connected to the treadmill and elliptical trainers (muted but some with closed captioning).

Tonight I watched while on the treadmill Chris Matthews get all worked up about Romney and his GOP surrogates and rightwing hate radio / hate cable allies.

The whole tax return and Bain Capital issue is a major one but today the GOP Death Star tried to hit back by saying Obama is "anti-capitalist" while the darker denizens again shrieked how he is not American. Matthews really let a Politico reporter he was interviewing have it.

Over on CNN, rightwing media-strumpet Erin Burnett had one of the most remarkably uninformed opinion segments to air -- on the occasion of "discussing" Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to the Senate banking committee on Tuesday in which he said the Fed would do nothing to reduce high unemployment or stimulate demand.

The segment was "objectively" entitled "Saying No To Addicts" and it featured in the usual mainstream whoremedia homage to the cult-of-balance, in this case between some Wall $treet Journal editorial board member -- all of whom are atavistic animals -- in this case, professional whore Stephen Moore, and some other totally ineffectual "liberal" to represent "the other side." Burnett, unable or willing to fathom actual fiscal or monetary policy, insisted that all "quantitative easing" efforts by the Federal Reserve, including a proposed new one, are simply akin to "printing money."

This is a long-running and deeply held rightwing shibboleth that is total bullshit. As Paul Krugman has repeatedly explained, we are in a global deleveraging shock as the private sector tries to unwind its debts with depressed aggregate demand, and as a result we are up against the "zero bound" of interest rates due to the excess desire to save. Increasing the Fed's balance sheets has had ZERO inflationary impact. End of story.

This graph of yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury securities from 1960 to 2012 shows that the whole premise of Burnett's segment was simply bullshit, but it does help the creditor / rentier class.

But Erin the Strumpet Burnett, who looks like a brunette Ann Coulter, is completely uninterested in facts. Naturally, the "left" side who was on -- I didn't get his name -- never really explained this since these shows are always rigged so that the rightwing nut wins (except on, which is genuinely a liberal yin to the Fox News rightwing yang).

Paul Krugman wrote on his blog yesterday about how many Americans deeply believe in the "Zimbabwe-style hyper-inflation is nigh!" meme and why, zombie-like, it keeps "shambling along."

He linked to a piece by Joe Weisenthal entitled The World Is Experiencing The Opposite Of A Sovereign Debt Crisis. That's where I got the chart.

This piece on Business generated the predictable blizzard of mouth-foaming comments by denizens of the internet. But more to the point, this gets into the whole nonsensical gold standard / crank monetary theories of the right but it seems to have a wider audience than just the 55-year old white guys in Red State who live and breathe Fox News.

NWS grid forecast 3 mile NW Washington, D.C., 17 -21 July 2012.


Returning to the weather, the good news is we have showers / t-storms in the forecast for tomorrow night through Friday night with more seasonable temps. by Friday into the weekend. There is still a heat advisory for tomorrow. KDCA is averaging about +6F above so far.

Oh, yeah, Sunday night was interesting.

OK, that's all for now. I'll try to post a new entry tomorrow.


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