Friday, September 26, 2008

He Wasn't Looking at His Watch

Overall the debate wasn't that exciting. I thought McCain did well, but probably not enough to make a significant change. The point where Obama had to look to see whose bracelet he was wearing was pretty cringe inducing though.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Would the Bailout Turn a Profit?

I am rather suspicious of this deal, but it is an interesting argument. From the WSJ:

You can slice the numbers a lot of different ways. My calculations, which assume 50% impairment on subprime loans, suggest it is possible, all in, for this portfolio to generate between $1 trillion and $2.2 trillion -- the greatest trade ever. Every hedge-fund manager will be jealous. Mr. Buffett is buying a small piece of the trade via his Goldman Sachs investment.

Over 10 years this could change the budget scenario in D.C., which can also strengthen the dollar. The next president gets a heck of a windfall. In the spirit of Secretary of State William Seward's purchase of Alaska for $7 million in 1867, this week may be remembered as Paulson's Folly.

Practicing Economics Without a License

I should be worried that the AP will charge me several thousand dollars for posting this bit, but here goes anyway:

"The financial markets are in quite fragile condition, and I think absent a plan they will get worse," Mr. Bernanke said.

Ominously, he added, "I believe if the credit markets are not functioning, that jobs will be lost, that our credit rate will rise, more houses will be foreclosed upon, GDP will contract, that the economy will just not be able to recover in a normal, healthy

GDP is a measure of growth, and a decline correlates with a recession.

No, actually GDP is a measure of, well, Gross Domestic Product. GDP growth would be a measure of growth. A decline in GDP doesn't just correlate with a recession, it is the definition of a recession.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just How Dumb is Joe Biden?

Sarah Palin may not have a graduate degree, but there is no way she could be as dumb as this moron. You would expect better from someone who (didn't) graduate from the top half of his law school.

Joe Biden’s denunciation of his own campaign’s ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric.

“He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’”