July 16, 2011

13 Minutes: Understanding Capitalism

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:33 pm

So quaint, but so good:

This Is So Much Fun …

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:07 pm

OhioRealRecover0711… I’m going to save the best stuff for Monday.

But for now, here’s just a bit of the news from BizJournals.com (HT Doug Ross):

S&P upgrades Ohio rating, warns on U.S. debt

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services upgraded Ohio’s debt rating just one day after it put the United States on “creditwatch negative” on what it calls a rising risk of policy stalemate in the debt limit negotiations.

For Ohio, the rating was revised from “negative” to “stable” after Gov. John Kasich signed a new budget the ratings agency says will essentially balance the state’s finances for the next two years. S&P also said Ohio is experiencing a modest economic recovery which has stabilized revenue.

In making the upgrade, the agency also assigned a “AA+” long-term rating to Ohio’s $416.75 million general obligation bonds.

“After a significant decline through the recession, Ohio’s economy is steadily recovering,” according to S&P’s statement issued Friday.

… It is that move in Ohio and the massive spending cuts signed into the new budget by Kasich that have given the state a more positive outlook from the S&P. However, those political actions have been controversial, and led to massive protests throughout Ohio and around the country.

Of course, the sour grapes from BizJournals reporter Joe Cogliano about “massive spending cuts” is a bunch of baloney, as will be demonstrated on Monday, along with an absolutely brilliant punch line from another media source.

Stay tuned.

Goldman Drops Fri. Evening ‘Bomb,’ Projecting Unemployment at 8.75% at End of 2012 (Also, CR Index Director Thinks 9.6% Peak Is Possible)

Per Reuters blogger James Pethokoukis, Goldman Sachs, demonstrating Democratic-friendly timing similar to that seen at the New York Times a month or so ago, published an extraordinarily gloomy economic forecast last night.

Here are some of the details he quotes:

“Following another week of weak economic data, we have cut our estimates for real GDP growth in the second and third quarter of 2011 to 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively, from 2% and 3.25%. Our forecasts for Q4 and 2012 are under review, but even excluding any further changes we now expect the unemployment rate to come down only modestly to 8¾% at the end of 2012.”

“The main reason for the downgrade is that the high-frequency information on overall economic activity has continued to fall substantially short of our expectations …”

“… the slowdown of recent months goes well beyond what can be explained with … temporary effects. … final demand growth has slowed to a pace that is typically only seen in recessions …”

Pethokoukis also quotes Goldman saying that, though they’re not predicting it, a return to recession is “clearly a possibility given the recent numbers.”

James P., who correctly notes that Goldman’s Democratic-friendliness, calls the report “an economic bomb on President Obama’s chances for reelection.” No wonder Goldman threw it out there on a Friday night.

Buttressing Goldman’s gloom, Thursday night, in an interview I heard on the Simply Money program on 55KRC in Cincinnati (unfortunately, the podcast found here is garbled with dual audio streams), Ed Farrell, who directs the Consumer Reports Research Center, publisher of the widely read Consumer Reports Index, stated his belief, based on the underlying indicators in the index, that seeing the unemployment rate go up to 9.6% in the next several months “is not out of the question.” Farrell reminded listeners that many other indicators which were positive in March and April “gave back” much of their gains in June. Further, in a supreme but sad irony during an administration which is all about class warfare, Farrell noted that those in the bottom half of the economy in earnings are struggling mightily, as evidenced in continued weakness in retail sales at discount stores, while those in the upper half are holding their own.

Additionally, as I noted on Thursday — in something Chris Rugaber of the Associated Press conveniently missed, even though his report was supposed to be about the results of the June Monthly Treasury Statement — year-over-year growth in federal collections seriously stalled in June.

The administration is attempting to buck up its position by overhyping polling data supposedly showing that Americans want the federal budget problem addressed with a “mix” of tax increases and spending cuts. Even the Associated Press’s Calvin Woodward has conceded that “Obama stretches poll findings” in making such claims. Unfortunately, the poll questions never seem to ask what the mix of tax increases and spending should be, and, more fundamentally, don’t ask whether respondents would still support tax increases if they increased the chances of slower economic growth — which history demonstrates they most likely would, particularly in an economy which is already decelerating.

Pethokoukis wraps his piece by opining that “cutting tax rates and regulation … may be the only way Obama can win another term.” Good luck with that.

It will be interesting to see whether Goldman’s predictions even make it into establishment press reports, and whether any will carry over into Monday morning’s news shows and broadcasts. My guess: Very little, if any. That’s why the report came out on Friday evening.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE, 11:45 P.M.: If Goldman is right about 2Q11, it will be the worst quarter since the recession ended, as seen in this rub-it-in Reagan vs. Obama graphic also seen in the far right column —

ReaganVsObamaGDPpostrec7Qtrs

Positivity: When mom has diabetic reaction, 3-1⁄2 year-old daughter makes life-saving phone call to grandmother

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:08 am

From Somersworth, New Hampshire:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Amanda Farnum still can’t believe her 31⁄2 year old daughter possibly saved her life by making a phone call.

Farnum has Type II diabetes and when the time came for her daughter, Autumn, to act and help her, she did.

“I remember I felt tired,” Farnum said, recalling how she had sat down on the couch to rest a bit on Tuesday evening.

It was when she began to feel thirsty and continued to feel sluggish that she headed into the kitchen to grab a piece of watermelon.

The next thing she remembers is Autumn standing next to her with Pepsi as Farnum lay on the kitchen floor.

“She had grabbed the home phone and dialed her Memere (Amanda’s mother),” Farnum said.

The spry little girl had climbed on top of her plastic kitchen set, reached up to the phone and used speed dial to reach her grandmother, who lives in Lebanon, Maine.

Autumn said exactly what her mother had practiced with her, “Mommy is sick and she needs help now.”

Farnum was having a hypoglycemic episode with a low blood sugar reading under 20. At some point, she said she believes she lost consciousness. She had been tired, shaky, confused, weak and sweaty.

She tests her blood sugar level two hours after her meals daily. She never made it to test before falling down.

Farnum’s mother, Diane Boire, drove down from Maine and took her to Frisbie Memorial Hospital where Farnum received fluids, more food and treatment. …

Go here for the rest of the story.