Hard money, hard times Archives

February 24, 2010

Step right up

Mr Obama has set up a commission to look into long run fiscal expenditures. I'm reminded of the infamous "Committee on National Expenditure" set up by that mercurial Welsh elf Lloyd George in 1921, headed by one Eric Campbell Geddes -- he of "We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak!"

In the event, that most nasty of nasty butcher-boy ops proved a very clear turning point in the then fast-gathering British public senility, recommending drastic cuts that were eagerly followed and effectively crimped any post-war slump recovery, leaving mighty Britain at 10% unemployment for the rest of the decade.

Of course, later in '25 came the far better-known crimp -- the golden pound cake cooked up by Stanley Baldwin and run through the ovens by party turncoat Winston Churchill. But in fact it was Geddes and his axe that done the foulest dirtiest deed, setting the precedent to be so scrupulously followed: all that needless spilling of boob-class blood over a few hollow accounting scruples.

Quite a show really -- 'til upstaged by a little thing called the Great Depression. After that one got in a few licks, everyone and her brother suddenly knew just exactly what manner of ultimo brutality the "profits system" was really capable of inflicting on its overmilked wage bovines, while His Majesty's government -- now headed up by Laborites -- stood stoically in place, adhering strictly to sound fiscal discipline.

March 3, 2010

The song remains the same

There are three vacant board seats to fill at the Fed, including the vice chairman's, now held by veteran stooge and lickspittle Donny Kohn, pictured above washing down... washing down... oh never mind, I'll spare Father Smiff's blushes.

Three seats out of 7 -- that's a big chunk of the central bank vote. Okay, so you got 5 regional chairman that get to vote too, every time, but... maybe the right sorta folks could start to turn that Wall Street shithouse around -- maybe openly and clearly dissent from the banker line.

Yikes, baby -- just think -- get some easy-money types in there and....

But alas -- who's said to be the boys Obama has sent out with the lamp of truth in search of these new spirits? You guessed it: Tim and Larry. Delightful, no?

Barking crow Jimmy Kwak over at Baseline Scenario sez he's perplexed by this:

"So now the question is, who will fill Kohn’s seat — and the other two empty seats on the Board of Governors? The Board is supposed to have seven members, and they matter because they have seven of the twelve seats on the Open Market Committee, which sets the fed funds rate. Business Week says that the search is being led by Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, and that the likely goal is to find people to back Bernanke...This confuses me for a few reasons"
Why, Jimmy? Why? What could possibly lead you or anyone else for that matter to expect anything different?

Here's Mr Kwak's undoubtedly bull's-eye query: "Does this mean that Obama is going to appoint three centrists who follow the [recent] central banking orthodoxy of putting inflation control over economic growth, and who oppose tighter regulation of banks?" Here's the answer:


But here's why I read Jimmy every day:

"I think the deification of the Fed chair in the past two decades has been a decidedly bad thing."
Is there a greater charm than the obvious truth when told with such innocent straightness?

July 22, 2011

Timeo Danaos

I'm way out of my depth on anything connected with money -- I can't even balance my checkbook. But surely it's news of some consequence that those unruly Greeks, Zeus bless 'em, have actually forced the Lords Of The Euro to give their bondholders a modest haircut?

Look how relieved Christine Lagarde, the IMF honcho, seems in the picture above. Dodged a bullet, have you, Christine? (She also looks a lot like Harpo Marx, of course.)

The idiot Sarko, one imagines, has no idea what the two girls are talking about. Angela, representing as she does the biggest bag-holders, looks a little grimmer than Lagarde. Indeed, she looks like a German masseuse -- an East German masseuse, from the bad old days:

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