hopperbach


More monetary musings

The recent meltdown on Wall Street has produced a sense of urgency among politicians and pundits to get something done…  fast.  But haste isn’t always a good thing — especially where Washington is involved. Fortunately amidst all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, there are a few voices of reason surfacing. Here’s Newt Gingrich weighing in on the proposed bailout:

I think the idea of giving the Secretary of the Treasury $700 billion to bail out Wall Street is just so profoundly wrong. I can’t quite imagine that they’re moving forward with it. I mean, it’s wrong in every way. It’s wrong to take money and bail out Wall Street. It’s wrong to give that kind of power to the secretary of the treasury. Watching this Congress write it makes me worry about what all the hidden details will be.

Agreed. Clueless lawmakers are the reason our financial system is in this mess in the first place and the less they get involved in the ‘solution’ the better. I was actually happy last week when Congress for once admitted they didn’t know what the hell they were doing and announced they were going home. But alas… once again the scent of pork came wafting under their sensitive noses and they scurried back to Capitol Hill.

Bailouts might be politically expedient but they are never a sound solution. Every time the government steps in — like the overprotective mommy bailing her spoiled child out of trouble — they make matters worse somewhere down the line. And unlike a Fannie Mae loan, that’s guaranteed.

I’m not saying there won’t be rough roads ahead and I’m not trying to dismiss the seriousness of the situation. But having weathered a storm or two over the years, there are two things I know with certainty.

  1. Panic, worry and negativity NEVER make a bad situation better.
  2. Panic, worry and negativity are GUARANTEED to make a bad situation worse.

That’s why I don’t engage in any of that nonsense on this blog.  Gloomfest ’08 is alive and well elsewhere on the internet. If you’re one of those who hungers for and thrives on dire prognostications then your nourishment is just a click away. But you sure as shinola won’t find it here.

As for me, I have full confidence that we will get through this and be a stronger and wiser nation for it. Just how strong and wise we become depends largely on how much the government chooses to stay out of this and let the free market reign. Let a correction do what it was meant to do… correct. We’re a tough people. We’re going to be fine.

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-- Cartoon by Steve Kelley 
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The daily Joe

Honestly Joe Biden gives us so much great material I could start making a regular installment of it. Here’s the latest verbal blunder from Obama’s court jester-in-running:

WASHINGTON — Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says today’s leaders should take a lesson from the history books and follow fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s response to a financial crisis.

When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened,”‘ Barack Obama’s running mate recently told the “CBS Evening News.”

Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929. There also was no television at the time; TV wasn’t introduced to the public until a decade later, at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Relinquish thy trophy Sir Quayle and bow to thy master. Ye hath been officially out-gaffed.

Initially I dreaded the addition of Joe to the ticket. Having watched him on C-Span over the years I braced myself for weeks of phony posturing and long condescending speeches.  But now I’ve kinda grown to like the guy. He’s got this lovable, Howard Dean quality to him.  Listening to him speak off the cuff is like being at the plate against a hall-of-fame pitcher… you never know what’s coming next.

Please keep him on Barry, we beg you.



If it weren’t for bad luck…

Here’s the latest economic news from the AP:

Gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, its fastest pace in nearly a year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The revised reading was much better than the government’s initial estimate of a 1.9 percent pace and exceeded economists’ expectations for a 2.7 percent growth rate.

Now for the title of the article… drumroll please…

Spring’s economic rebound unlikely to last

And the subtitle:

Spring’s economic strength unlikely to last given slowdowns overseas, struggling consumers

Nuff said;) The article then goes into gloomy reason after gloomy reason as to why we shouldn’t derive any hope in these revised economic numbers. Click here for the full dreary details and then click here for the vocal accompaniment.



Deep dark depression, excessive misery…
August 1, 08, 3:56 pm
Filed under: democrats, economy, GDP, liberal media, media bias, MSM | Tags: , , , , ,

In case you haven’t heard, the economy was up in the second quarter. The latest reports say it grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate — double what it was in the first quarter. So how does the MSM decide to report this? Here are some samples of the latest encouraging headlines:

  • Unemployment at 4-year high
  • Economy Loses 51000 Jobs in July
  • Economy running out of steam
  • Economy grows, but warnings sound
  • US economy expanded less than forecast in Q2
  • United States economy shrinks for first time since 2001
  • US Recession May Have Begun in Last Quarter of 2007
  • Report: GDP Growth Is Stagnating
  • US economy slows, report shows

All this spin is making me dizzy.

One facet of the report that really excited the media was the fact that the numbers for Q4 of last year were revised down to -0.2%.  AHA! A CONTRACTION! If only we had followed that with another dip in Q1 of 2008 we would have been able to call this puppy an official RECESSION! Damn, we were so CLOSE!

The other cause for MSM giddiness came with the the jobless data.  51,000 jobs were lost in July — the “highest in 4 years”. But what is not being emphasised is that this was considerably less than the 75,000 that were forecast by economists (which, coincidentally is the number of miles that would be taken up if you put these “experts” end to end).

But you don’t have to see a silver lining if you don’t want to. I can already hear some of you: “WELL [snort], the only reason the GDP GREW was because if the STIMULUS package.” Yes folks… that’s why it’s CALLED a stimulus package. It stimulates SPENDING. But if you want to see a half-empty glass, who am I to stop you?

Incidentally the headache I had this morning is gone… but that’s only because of the ASPIRIN I took. Without THAT it would still be here and furthermore I’m sure when the ASPIRIN wears off my headache will be back WORSE THAN EVER… Get off with your gloomy selves already.

But for those who insist on being unhappy and believing all the doomsday drivel, I have a catchy little tune for you. Feel free to join the chorus of the new Democrat and MSM theme song (after clicking the link, hit “Play” to hear the song).

Enjoy your weekend, folks!  And spend some money for God’s sake.



Media money malaise

I have often maintained that our ‘chicken-little’ mainstream media has been a major factor in bringing about our current economic woes by piling on the dire news until the public becomes fearful and overwhelmed. Certainly housing and fuel prices are a thorn in our sides at the moment but I suspect that it’s the the alarmist headlines which have a lot of consumers and businesses afraid to spend their money. And I further suspect that the headlines will take a much more positive tone if and when the Golden Boy is elected President.

Below is a link to a FOXNews video in which a panel discusses this very issue. Some interesting points are made here.

Doom and Gloom



Are you smiling or is it just gas?

The petro plummet continues:

NEW YORK — Oil prices tumbled below $130 a barrel for the first time in more than a month Thursday, as crude’s dramatic slide entered a third day accompanied by a sharp sell-off in natural gas.

So this sharp decline should be good news for consumers right? Not if you are the AP:

The declines accelerated amid growing concerns that the weakening economy and creeping inflation are eroding demand for fossil fuels in the U.S. and other large energy-consuming nations.

Just so that we understand the situation in MSMspeak: the sudden 10% drop in oil prices since Monday is not to be seen as a sign of hope. It’s to be seen as yet another sign that our economy is in the tank.

To further break it down:

  • Oil up  = proof of weak economy
  • Oil down  = proof of weak economy

Simple as that. Now turn that smile upside down and be on your unmerry way…



Apocolypse now… film at 11

I got a good chuckle out of this one. The AP has apparently grown impatient with the piecemeal approach and gone straight for the jugular with this catch-all, fear-mongering headline for all time:

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL

And this puppy does cover everything —  just name your nightmare and chances are it is included in this article. Armed with this you’ll never need another newspaper or newscast to scare you within an inch of your life again. Just a quick scan though this piece every morning should guarantee you’ll remain in a fetal position for the rest of the day.

Here’s how it starts:

Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

Whew! Why even get out of bed?

And lest you rugged individualists out there think you are immune:

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country’s sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.

Under assault by whom? Themselves of course! What is not mentioned here is that the sense of “dour powerlessness” is being planted and nurtured in the American psyche on a daily basis by none other than the MSM and their liberal buddies.

The AP even keeps a report card of their own progress:

Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003.

BARREL SCRAPING! High fives around the office — a job well done!

Seriously folks, the mind not only is a powerful thing to waste…. it is a powerful thing, period. There is always a misconception among any generation that things are worse in their particular time than they have ever been in the past. Fact is this country has weathered wars, disease, recessions and natural disasters for over 230 years. These events, in fact, span the history of mankind. None of them are harbingers of doom in themselves, they just make up part of the tapestry that we call life.

What has really changed if anything is our perspective. In the media we now have an entire industry that thrives on our uncertainty about the future. Ever notice some of the slogans? “DEPEND on us” they often will say – and dependency is exactly what they want. To help their cause they have found great advantage in teaming with a certain political party who has managed to build a voter base entirely out of fear and loathing. Together they have half the nation in a perpetual state of paranoia screaming for change and a comforting arm around their shoulder. Of course, none of these institutions have an interest in real change for the better… they would be out of work if this ever happened.

What we really need then is balance in our lives. Not balance the way the libs normally mean it, but balance of good news to help put the bad in better perspective.

One of my favorite daily stops is a site called HappyNews.com. It’s a politically neutral news outlet dedicated to spreading a little sunshine your way (heck they even have a guy in a sunshine suit for their mascot). Some of their stories are from the MSM and some from their own writers but all have a positive slant. Sometimes I even take a week off from the gloom and doom and read nothing BUT HappyNews.

Try it for a week — just turn off CNN and find a happier source for your daily information. The results might amaze you. If nothing else you will see that you don’t NEED the mainstream media anywhere near as much as they would have you think.

This is not some pollyanna form of therapy — just a refocus of attention. Bad things will always happen but trust me you’ll enjoy your life and get a lot more accomplished if your glass is half full.