Pimco’s Paul McCulley Wants Japan To Go “All In”

Posted on January 11th, 2010 by bile
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“Japan’s problem is deflation, not inflation as far as an eye can see,” wrote Paul McCulley, a member of the investment committee, and Tomoya Masanao, the head of portfolio management for Japan, in a report on the Web site of Newport Beach, California-based Pimco. “An ‘all-in’ reflationary policy is what is needed.”

The BOJ may also consider promising to refrain from raising interest rates until inflation becomes “meaningfully positive,” McCulley and Masanao said.

this is just craziness as mish points out.

Japan has the highest debt-to-GDP level of any industrialized country to the tune of 227% of GDP. It has built bridges to nowhere, held interest rates at .1% for a decade, tried massive amounts of quantitative easing, Keynesian stimulus, and even at times sold Yen to buy dollars.

The result is two decades of total failure. Japan’s recession is 19 years running. The Nikkei hit 38,900 in 1990 and sits at 10,800 today, down 72% two decades later.

Japan has already gone “all in”. It has tried everything under the sun for two decades including Keynesianism, Monetarism, and selling its own currency to sink it. All it has to show for its efforts is a massive pile of debt equaling 227% of GDP.

how does one look back on the past 20ish years in japan and claim they haven’t inflated enough?

Definitions of Insanity

  • In One Sentence: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results each time.
  • In Two Words: Paul McCulley
  • In One Word: Keynesianism
  • In Another Word: Monetarism

Keeping Recovery.gov’s developers well fed

Posted on July 22nd, 2009 by bile
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For those concerned about stimulus spending, the General Services Administration sends word tonight that $18 million in additional funds are being spent to redesign the Recovery.gov Web site.The new Web site promises to give taxpayers more information about where their money is going than the current version of the site.

“Recovery.gov 2.0 will use innovative and interactive technologies to help taxpayers see where their dollars are being spent,” James A. Williams, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, says in a press release announcing the contract awarded to Maryland-based Smartronix Inc. “Armed with easy access to this information, taxpayers can make government more accountable for its decisions.”

The contract calls for spending $9.5 million through January, and as much as $18 million through 2014, according to the GSA press release.

I maintain several websites in my spare time and it costs me a few hundred dollars a year. ~4 million dollars a year to run such a site seems extremely excessive… but what else would one expect? I’m sure that $18 million is better spent helping out Smartronix Inc. then however the people that money was stolen from was.

Churches, mosques say offering broadband net access is a moral obligation, advocate forced wealth redistribution

Posted on July 16th, 2009 by bile
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Jesus said that the poor would always be with us—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to bring them broadband. A coalition of Christian churches and the Islamic Society of North America has launched a new campaign to bring broadband to everyone in the US so that “our poorest communities, our rural areas, our public libraries, our public schools, and community centers” benefit from the communications revolution that the Internet hath wrought.

The “Bring Betty Broadband” campaign casts the broadband debate in moral terms. It’s about the “right to disseminate and receive information,” it’s a “right that helps to define ourselves as human beings and political actors,” and it’s absolutely essential for everyone in a modern society.

In addition, in the modern economy, just distribution of access to communication and information is essential to promote economic justice,” says the group. “Increasingly in the United States, the fundamental right to communicate is meaningless without high speed Internet access.”

The joint effort is part of a media reform project called “So We Might See,” and it’s spearheaded by the United Church of Christ. It has also been endorsed by the National Council of Churches, the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, the United Methodists, the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the Lutherans (ELCA), and the Islamic Society of North America.

The groups all believe that the government has a role to play in this process, especially with more than $7 billion in broadband stimulus money on the table. “For too long,” they say, “the process of reaching out and educating traditionally disenfranchised communities has been left to volunteer efforts and the philanthropic community alone. Increasing access doesn’t just assist the people who are helped, we all benefit. Just as the value of a telephone increases when we can reach more people by using it, the value of the Internet for all of us increases when we are all connected.”

But, recognizing that many people without broadband don’t currently see its utility, the coalition asks the government “to promote digital inclusion initiatives to stimulate broadband demand and ensure that all US residents have access to the digital skills and equipment necessary to take advantage of the Internet’s enormous potential benefits. For example, establishment of local and national digital inclusion councils could work with other agencies and programs to promote digital inclusion principles in the fulfillment of their missions. Media literacy curriculum for secondary schools should be established, along with technology literacy and digital media production.”

Churchs promoting theft and redistribution of wealth. Fun. It would seem to me the moral question here is whether it’s moral and socially legitimate to steal from Peter to give to Paul. I’d say no… as I’d suspect our Christian anarchist friends would too.

Someone in the comments of the article accused libertarians and freedom advocates of wanting to keep everyone in a third world like situation. I was compelled to leave a snarky comment.

Read More…

You can’t sell your vote but they can buy it: Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in ’08

Posted on July 12th, 2009 by bile
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Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year’s presidential election.

That aid — about $17 billion — is the first piece of the administration’s massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally.

Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation.

Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows.

It’d be interesting to see a more in depth study done on these facts. I was expecting a discrepancy due to the likely greater enthusiasm that the Democrats would earmarking the so called stimulus money but twice as much seems excessive.

FCC to probe exclusive handset deals, enhance diversity in the radio business

Posted on June 22nd, 2009 by bile
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Likely Federal Communications Commission chair Julius Genachowski has promised Senator John Kerry (D-MA) that he’ll give due attention to a petition asking the FCC to investigate exclusivity arrangements between handset manufacturers and wireless carriers. The most famous of these is AT&T’s deal with Apple for the iPhone. The White House’s pick to run the Commission also pledged to take action if the agency concludes that these arrangements hurt consumers.

The long standing request for action on this issue came from the Rural Cellular Association (RCA), which charges that they shortchange rural areas. “Yes, if confirmed, I will ensure that the full record on the RCA petition is reviewed, and act accordingly to promote competition and consumer choice,” Genachowski declared in a set of formal responses to questions posed by Kerry.

Genachowski also responded to four other questions posed by Kerry, albeit with circumspect answers that probably stem from a desire not to commit to too much, too soon. To a query about addressing the “shocking lack of minority voices in media markets today,” he promised to develop (take a deep breath here) “constitutionally permissible strategies to ensure that there is a wide dissemination of licenses so that women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses have ample opportunity to compete, innovate, and contribute their voices to the national and local media marketplace.”

The nominee did agree with Kerry that the agency should, as part of its National Broadband Plan, conduct a comprehensive inventory of all available spectrum and the ways that it is currently being used. Kerry has introduced a bill that would make a survey of spectrum use between 200MHz and 3.5GHz a requirement of the Communications Act. And, while Genachowski didn’t sign on to Kerry’s proposal to extend the Universal Service Fund’s “Lifeline” program to broadband, he called it “an idea that I am very interested in learning more about.” At present the fund only subsidizes telephone service.

Kerry’s Lifeline question acknowledged that there is “considerable disagreement” about how the White House’s $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus money should be spent, specifically whether it should allocated to broadband rollout in rural areas, or to “demand side” programs (such as Lifeline) that encourage more consumers to buy high speed Internet.

“My concern is that we are funding projects that are sustainable beyond the 2 year window of funding availability—” Kerry told Genachowski, “the worst thing we could do is pour this money into projects that 2 years from now will not be viable.”

Putting the unanswered questions aside, no one should be surprised that RCA is quite happy about Genachowski and Copps’ comments regarding exclusive handsets.

“It is RCA’s expectation that the FCC will find that there are significant consumer and competitive harms caused by such deals,” Todd Lantor, the group’s attorney told us. “It is RCA’s hope that the Commission will move promptly on this item and ultimately decide that banning exclusive handset agreements is what the public interest dictates.”

Iterfering with contract, monopolizing the radio spectrum, treating people differently due to their class, being successfully lobbyed by small companies looking to interfere with volunary actions of other companies, advocating wealth redistribution. Can they stop pussyfooting around and just roll out the socio fascist red carpet? This bloodletting of anything resembling freedom is painful.

The First 100 Days: 100 of Obama’s Lies, Blunders, Gaffes, and Abuses of Liberty

Posted on April 30th, 2009 by bile
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  1. Promising to “publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days… before the President signs it,” then breaking that promise over and over again.
  2. Despite promising to keep lobbyists out of his administration, Obama has broken his word again and again (making 17 exceptions to this promise in his first two weeks).
  3. Obama promised to eliminate income taxation for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. He has broken this promise despite numerous opportunities to keep it, including the economic stimulus package and his administration’s first budget proposal.
  4. The President also boasted during his campaign that “During 2009 and 2010, existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired,” and has failed to keep his word.
  5. Obama made it part of his agenda to “allow withdrawals of 15% up to $10,000 from retirement accounts without penalty (although subject to the normal taxes). This would apply to withdrawals in 2008 (including retroactively) and 2009,” but didn’t include this measure in the stimulus package or his budget proposal.
  6. Obama broke his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
  7. Obama did a shameless 180 degree turn on earmarks by sharply criticizing them (and bragging that he would pass legislation without a single one) and then signing a spending bill with literally thousands of them.

I’m completely OK with 7. Better the so call representitives waste the money than the executive branch. The collection, allocation and spending of the money in the first place is the actual problem.

This list isn’t bad. It stretches to get 100 things but much of it is reasonable.