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IRL News – 2/18/10

February 18, 2010

  • Some Cheney or another criticized Obama for not believing in American Exceptionalism, which actually made my head explode; I am dead now, my head exploded.
  • If this bit of speculation is to be believed at all, we might actually get something resembling progressive legislation passed through this squalid pit of a congress.  It’s just apparently going to take every trick available.  This country is ludicrous.
  • You’ve probably heard about this stupid thing already, but man is this hilarious.  This is like the Star Wars Episode I of political scandals.
  • A boring, probably unimportant thing happened, but it’s on basically every news page I looked at, so here you go.  Something about banks.
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4 comments

  1. The Fed raising interest rates is actually important, but for reasons that are themselves boring.


  2. The rate being below 1% is a disgrace. Have you ever noticed that your savings account earns you virtually no interest these days? That’s because the Federal target rate is so low. The idea is to make it such a bad idea to put money in the bank, and so cheap to get into debt, that it’s possible to get the kind of horrendous leverages that blew up the housing bubble in the first place. Even poor people feel the pressure to invest their money in something other than a traditional bank – something, of course, riskier and easier for Goldman Sachs to sell off before the rest of us. Raising the rate .25% is unimportant. They should go back to the 5 or 6% they had back when anyone in charge even nominally cared about this country having a future.


  3. When you put it that way, it’s not as boring.


  4. The sad thing is that there are economists who, in completely good faith, say that this is a good thing, because more expensive credit would sap our apparently boundless potential to get better at everything forever. Read some whitepapers from the first half of the ’00s. They actively make fun of people who want a financial policy based on restraining growth in any way.

    The whole theoretical point of the financial industry is to say “no” to other industries, to allocate the country’s limited capital to the people who can prove that their projects are the most worthwhile. But in practice, financial companies just say “yes” to each other, selling each other securities based on securities based on securities based nominally on something like real-estate or Internet companies. These things at the bottom are supposed to go up in value next year, because they went up in “value” last year, because of the actions of the financial companies in the first place. And the people who profit are the ones who can afford to pay the people who employ the Federal Reserve Board etc. etc.



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