Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘national default

Monday Morning Links

with 3 comments

* These kids today, and their games.

* The Post has a profile in motion of freshman House Republican Ted Yoho (FL). The focus is how he’s part of the faction who forced John Boehner to trigger the government shutdown and now wants to move along to default on the national debt. How bad will default be? “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets,” Yoho told the Post.

* In Conversation: Antonin Scalia.

Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.

You know, Antonin, I believe in the Devil too — and I even know his secret identity!

* Open Letter to Everyone Who Secretly Controls the US Government: Are you okay? Do you need help?

* Why I’m calling on all university faculty to refuse to write letters of recommendation to TFA.

* No, this is Detroit.

* And over 100 long-lost Doctor Who episodes found by dedicated fans – in Ethiopia. Someone’s getting over 100 replica Daleks.

The Absurdity of Devising Economic ‘Solutions’ to Please Those Institutions That Got Us into the Financial Crisis

leave a comment »

73 Hours

with 9 comments

The latest incarnation of the terrible debt deal—which follows the absurd spectacle of McConnell filibustering a more right-wing version of his own proposal—is only one more reason for Obama to finally invoke the Fourteenth Amendment and end this insanity once and for all. (For what it’s worth, Jack Belkin says he’s actually already begun the process.)

What worries me is that many progressives seem to have mistaken Boehner’s bad press in recent days for a reversal of results. Make no mistake: Republicans are still running the table, having somehow managed to transform what was once a purely pro forma vote into massive unilateral concessions. The final deal is much closer to Boehner’s than Reid’s, where Reid’s plan was a more right-wing version of McConnell’s, which itself was far to the right of where negotiations began, which itself is far to the right of just raising the debt ceiling without conditions, which is what was done the last hundred times this came up. As I said on Twitter earlier this evening, it’s a testament to just how badly Democrats have been outplayed on the debt ceiling that some progressives seem to think our side is winning. In fact the Republicans won this game by a mile: they got the drastic, draconian spending cuts they wanted and total control over an automatic trigger for even worse cuts—all without any new revenue whatsoever. Democrats got the good sportsmanship award.

The only hope left now is that the crazies are so crazy they can’t take even a lopsided deal for an answer, forcing Obama to take the constitutional option despite his congenital inability to take a stand.

We are now 73 hours from default.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 31, 2011 at 12:20 am

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Sovereign Debt Crisis

leave a comment »

…at the Atlantic. #13 in particular is the one that’s got my hair on fire, in no small part because it gives us #7, 8, and 9 as a bonus.

‘Riskless Return’

with 4 comments

Ezra Klein on my broken record: If the federal government’s borrowing costs rise, so will everyone else’s. Mortgages rates will jump, car loans will be harder to come by, universities won’t be able to float bonds, cities won’t be able to fund themselves.

Treasuries are supposed to set the rate of “riskless return” — the price of loaning someone money and knowing, with perfect certainty, that they’ll pay you back, with interest. So when lenders decide how much to charge, they start with the riskless rate and then add to it to cover the risk that you won’t pay them back, and the inconvenience of having to wait for you to pay them back.

It’s a practice called benchmarking, and it’s everywhere: in your mortgage, your credit card, your car payments, the loan you took out to hire three new employees at your business. It’s even common internationally. The fact that Brazilian loans tie themselves to the American government’s debt just shows the high esteem in which the world holds us.

But if the rate on 10-year Treasuries rises, it means rates rise for everything else, too. That’s why economists consider the Federal Reserve’s power to affect interest rates — a power it has virtually exhausted during this crisis — so potent: if you can move the basic interest rate, you can move the whole economy.

Friday Afternoon About-to-Go-See-Harry-Potter Links

leave a comment »

* Erick Erickson, cheering on apocalypse: Obama has a legacy to worry about. Should the United States lose its bond rating, it will be called the “Obama Depression”. Congress does not get pinned with this stuff. See also. Steven Benen on the reality gap. Ezra Klein: How default would harm homeowners, cities, businesses and everyone else.

* And then there’s Rick Perry.

I tell people, that “personal property” and the ownership of that personal property is crucial to our way of life.

Our founding fathers understood that it was a very important part of the pursuit of happiness. Being able to own things that are your own is one of the things that makes America unique. But I happen to think that it’s in jeopardy.

It’s in jeopardy because of taxes; it’s in jeopardy because of regulation; it’s in jeopardy because of a legal system that’s run amok. And I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God and say, “God, You’re going to have to fix this.” […]

I think it’s time for us to use our wisdom and our influence and really put it in God’s hands. That’s what I’m going to do, and I hope you’ll join me.

* Osama bin Laden was working to assemble a team of militants to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to communications Navy SEALs seized from his Pakistani hideout when they killed the al Qaeda leader this spring. The article claims that the planned attack targeted the U.S. train system.

* Fox News is comparing the News Corp. hacking scandal to companies that were hacked. The only suitable reaction is awe.

* And local news now: Lawsuit filed over Duke basketball tickets.

A woman filed a lawsuit Friday against her sister, her sister’s husband and Duke University regarding the transfer of two tickets that once belonged to her father for games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Katina Dorton is seeking unspecified damages and asking the court to invalidate the “fraudulent transfer” to Gordon and Sophia Caudle that occurred without the knowledge or consent of her father or other family members, according to the complaint.

“This is important and it’s valuable,” said Randall M. Roden, an attorney for Dorton. “She’s a graduate. She genuinely wants to support the Blue Devils and go to the games. But she was shocked by the way Duke handled this.”

Thursday Night Links

leave a comment »

* Sabotage accomplished: S&P warns there’s a 50 percent chance it will downgrade US credit rating within 3 months. This is really, really bad.

* One of the stranger features of the debt ceiling debate is the fact that Republican intransigence is the only thing saving us all from Obama’s neoliberalism. Ezra Klein tries to lay out the thinking, such as it is. And Matt Yglesias hopes the whole thing really is kabuki theater:

It’s generally wise to assume that the White House isn’t blind to that obvious potential political problem. Part of what they’re thinking is that a 2011 agreement to long-term spending cuts is the best way to avoid the need to reduce spending during the election season. How’s that? Well, it’s because the fiscal consolidation plans being discussed are for trillions of dollars worth of cuts over a 10-year horizon. Since you’ve got that horizon, it’s not strictly necessary for any of them to come between September 2011 and November 2012.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid continues his tireless life’s work stabbing his party in the back.

* What do we lose if we default?

* On the lighter side: the FBI has announced it will investigate NewsCorp. for alleged 9/11 hacking.

* Fall science fiction TV premiere dates.

* And Fox’s Eric Bolling can’t remember a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil between 2000 and 2008. This man is paid a salary to be a pundit.