Thursday, March 26, 2009 \PM\.\Thu\.
Over the last week the news cycle has been enjoying a Five Minutes of Hate over the bonuses being given out to a number of individuals in the AIG Financial Product division, with some going to so far as to say that at a minimum they should all get jail time, and since that’s not possible they should see all their earnings taxed away. Given the, “our problems are all the result of Wall Street greed” narrative which many have applied to our current financial crisis, and that as fallen human beings we are all prone to envy, this can hardly be surprising.
For those wanting to know about the reality behind the fracas, this editorial in yesterday’s New York Times is illuminating. It is an open resignation letter from Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit (and a recipient of one of the infamous bonuses), to AIG’s CEO.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.
A look at the federal budget since 2000, with projections, for what little they are worth, by the White House and the Congressional Budget Office to 2019. By CBO estimates last week, the budget deficits between now and 2019 would total $9, 300, 000, 000, 000.00. The entire cost of WW2 for the US in 2008 dollars was 3.6 trillion. This year the budget deficit will total 13% of our gross domestic product. This isn’t economic policy, it is lunacy. These type of deficits are completely unsustainable, and we are running towards national bankruptcy. It is impossible to borrow these type of funds from abroad. We will simply create the funds out of thin air. The long term impact on our children and their children can be easily imagined. As the Heritage Foundation points out, this is a completely bi-partisan disaster. Politicians have acted like teen-agers with stolen credit cards for far too long. However, this will stop. It will stop either by voters throwing out of office the fiscally irresponsible, or, much more likely in my estimation, the economy will simply hit a brick wall. This will not, cannot, go on. How it is stopped is up to us.
Update I: The President of the EU slams current US economic policy as a road to hell. I never thought I would live to see the day when a President of the EU would have more economic sense than a President of the US.
UpdateII: Hattip to Instapundit. A sign of things to come. Stocks slide after a lack-lustre sale of T bills and notes:
“Bond prices fell after the auction of $34 billion in 5-year Treasury notes. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, jumped to 2.77 percent from 2.71 percent late Tuesday. The yield on the three-month T-bill rose to 0.19 percent from 0.17 percent Tuesday.
Investors gave an unexpectedly cool response to the note sale just a day after a $40 billion auction of 2-year notes suggested strong demand. The government is running up huge deficits in order to fund an array of plans to provide stimulus to the economy and support to the ailing financial system. Any suggestion that demand for U.S. government debt is weakening is a negative for stocks, simply because Wall Street has been relying so heavily on the government’s rescue plans.
The surge of worry over the debt auction wiped out the market’s early optimism in response to durable goods and home sales data.”