Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's Wrong With Washington.

Fifty years ago, Rodgin Cohen would have walked into a job at Treasury and the country would have been much better for it. Today, he withdrew his name from consideration for a Treasury post. Lose talent like that and eventually you end up with second-stringers in first string positions.

I doubt there is a lawyer (or a banker, for that matter) in America who knows more about the financial crisis than Mr. Cohen. Whoever gets the job he wanted won't be half as good.

Ice Cream Wars.

Let's see.  On one side, we have the sad sack European Ice Cream maker, whining about energy and ingredients costs.  On the other side, we have the great American Ice Cream Maker, which believes that a pint of ice cream is the full 16 ounces, not the cheeseball 14 ounces that the Euro-slobs are trying to get away with.

Marketing advantage: Team USA.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Please, Just Go Away.

A group of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are giving President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geitner a failing grade for the Administration's handling of the economy.  The WSJ article goes on to say:

The economists, many of whom have been continually surprised by the depth of the downturn, also pushed back yet again their forecasts for when a recovery would begin. On average, they expect the downturn to end in October. Last month, they said the bottom would arrive in August. They estimate that U.S. gross domestic product will continue to contract in the first half of this year, with slow growth returning in the third quarter.

Can we be done once and for all with surveys of economists?  Does anyone care what they think?  Their "analyses" and "forecasts" from 2006, 2007 and 2008 were so embarrassingly awful and wrong (with a few notable exceptions) that it seems almost indecent of them to still be answering the phone.

Coming Soon.

Not My Fault.

It would be nice if  someone  -- anyone -- who contributed to this epic disaster manned up and said: "I am at least partially to blame and for that I am deeply apologetic." Fat chance of that ever happening. The dreary dance of blame-shifting continues today in the Wall Street Journal, with a particularly irritating op-ed piece by Alan Greenspan.   

The Fight Will Go On....and On....And On.

Mickey Kaus has an excellent overview of why the fight over "card check" legislation will go on until the last dollar in campaign contributions has been extracted from labor and business. It's all about feeding the beast that is permanent Washington.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grantham height="500" width="100%" > value="">    
   Publish at Scribd or explore others:                grantham              gmo      

The Coming Consumer Credit Crunch

Meredith Whitney again sounds the alarm on the yanking of consumer credit lines.  She predicts that when all is said and done, $2.7 trillion of consumer credit will be erased. You don't need to be a weatherman to figure out which way that wind blows.

Monday, March 09, 2009

First They'll Work For You.

Then, who knows? It's possible that with Artifical Intelligence, you'll be working for them.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Customer Service Update!

You call. You get a robo-voice on the phone.  There follows an endless series of "press one" for more options.  Your head explodes.  

Ellisblog! has a better way.  Get to the humans.

Thanks to James Walker for the heads up.

The AIG Scam

Now we know.  You can read the shakedown language here. (via Clusterstock)