Quick Hits

I loved this Karl Denninger critique of the NY Times article about homeowners having trouble getting help when they are not yet in default.
See, we are here because people at all levels of society, including you, Ms. Ulery, seem to think you can spend more than you make.

You did it.

The government, both state and federal, is doing it.

The New York Times is holding you forth as a paragon of virtue, and a “victim” of the evil banking system.

It sucks that you’ve got an employment problem Ms. Ulery, but that’s not the reason you’re in trouble and about to lose your house.

No, the reason you’re about to lose your house is because you treated your home as a permanent and inexhaustible ATM machine – a demonstrably unsafe, unsound and FRAPPING IDIOTIC act.”

Read Denninger’s full rant. I have to say I pretty much agree with all of it. Here’s a hint for the reader: whenever you read about someone (usually, when you’re reading the Times, an elderly person or couple who bought their house decades ago) who now owes much more than they originally paid for their house and is being made out to be a victim, there’s an excellent chance that the person is not a victim at all.

I also loved Steve Ballmer’s populist threats today, claiming that if Obama’s corporate tax plan goes through the stock market will go down. This is akin to screaming “OBAMA HATES PUPPIES!” After all, if there’s one thing Americans hate more than taxes, rich people, or Wall Street, it’s when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (side note: the most absurdly constructed index in the history of indexing – how ironic that it’s our benchmark!) goes down.

“Ballmer estimated that higher taxes under the proposal would reduce profits for companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average by between 10 and 15 percentage points.

“It’s just a question of how much will the Dow come down,” Ballmer said. “It’s not about companies anyway; we’re talking about shareholders.”

Attaboy Ballmer – hit ’em where it hurts – right in the POPULISM. Ballmer also said the tax plan would force more jobs overseas. If there’s another thing Americans hate more than rich people, Wall Street, taxes, and the Dow going down, it’s good old American jobs being forced overseas by new laws!


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