Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

How I Eliminated $15.4 TRILLION in Unfunded Debt: for $1.50 a week

by Bruce Webb Don’t step in the Voodoo. Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink Yhe latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and […]

When Strawmen Collide: Biggs v Lind

by Bruce Webb Michael Lind wrote an interesting article for Salon that was picked up by the New America Foundation under the snappy title Let’s Cut Social Security to Pay for Banker Bailouts!. In it he outlines arguments that will be familiar to followers of Angry Bear’s Social Security coverage, notably pointing out the ‘message’ […]

Time for Clarity: Income vs Cost & the Six Approaches to ‘fixing’ Social Security

by Bruce Webb Over the next couple of days I’ll be rolling out what I am tentatively calling the Northwest Plan for Fixing Social Security, ‘Northwest’ because the three current contributers happen to live in the Pacific Northwest. But before doing so I want to lay out some of the conceptual differences underlying various discussions […]

The Waldmann Plan

Robert Waldmann OK so no one is interested in my big bad asset bank which requisitions all MBS and CDOs and pays in shares proportional to revenue generated recently (won’t even bother with the link). I have a new plan. The Treasury wants to bring private investors in to help it buy CDOs and such. […]

CDS again

Robert Waldmann People are talking about regulating credit default swaps (CDS) . They include Collin Petersen D-Minn who proposes making it illegal to own a CDS without owning the underlying instrument (this is absolutely standard for other kinds of insurance). and George Soros who supports the proposal.(via Felix Salmon) A problem, I think, is that […]

Income distribution and GDP, it matters

I should title this: Yeah, it is just like 1929 you freak’n see, hear and speak no inequality monkeys. I have this pile of income data sorted out from Saez’s work (the GDP is BEA). My thoughts regarding our economy is that income inequality (or equality) matters. It matters so much, that it is the […]

UAW responds to Senate Republicans

rdan The Detroit Free Press carries this statement: “The UAW is deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have blocked the bipartisan legislation that was agreed to by President Bush and congressional Democrats. “In an effort to work out a compromise, the UAW was prepared to agree that any restructuring plan should ensure that the wages and […]

Auto companies need a "What next"

rdan The AP reports that the 15 billion is not available to the auto companies: Their efforts in Congress squashed, U.S. automakers are depending upon a reluctant White House to quickly provide a multibillion lifeline to help them avoid imminent collapse. General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which have said they could run out of […]

All auto sales slump

rdan hat tip vtcodger, who adds “All the focus on cars is on the Big Three whose CEOs will lay out their begging mats in Washington today. But imports aren’t doing so great either.” But these are not ordinary times. (NYT) For now, the port itself is the destination. Unwelcome by dealers and buyers, thousands […]