digitaldiscipline: (Lumberg)
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/14/opinion/20081014_OPCHART.html

[link stolen elsejournal from a f-locked entry, so I won't out the source]

As much as I'd like to make a snarky, partisan observation to this, instead, I'll simply lay out some math.

Two things jump out immediately, which have a relatively disproportionate effect on the outcome.

First, the best-performing Democrat and, other than Hoover, the worst-performing Republican represent the final eight-year chunk of each party's overall performance, so they have the largest amount of capital upon which to operate, and that, while not skewing the results per se, does make for a more dramatic reading of them. I'd like to see how these charts would look if the timeline was sixteen years shorter, leaving both Clinton and Dubya out of the computations (because their predecessors had done the lever-arm lifting of previous investments).

Second, other than Clinton, nobody but Republicans have an annualized return above 10%. There's a reason the GOP is considered to be the more pro-business of the two, and this illustrates it.

Now, is the SPMI a viable tool for measuring prosperity? Yeah, if you're an investor, but not necessarily for your average asshole on the street like me, even though I do invest.


All that being said.... Dubya is still the worst President (either including or since Hoover, your call).
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digitaldiscipline: (f*ck [by fireba11])
What we know:
- House of Representatives[1] did not pass the latest version of the bailout plan, at least as of this writing
- $700b figure was essentially pulled out of Secretary Paulson's ass[2]

What I think:
- GOOD. Engage in risky behavior, THERE IS RISK OF FAILURE INVOLVED. There's a fucking news flash. Being insulated from risk in the face of endemic, systemic stupidity and avarice is how we got here in the first place as an economy/society (not to mention why so many otherwise unfit individuals survive to adulthood and procreate, but that's another rant altogether).
- Let the market "correct." If a whole lot of businesses that were poorly-managed and directed fuck the dog, that is, more or less, what they deserve. Apparently, my secondary brick-and-mortar bank (Wachovia) is being bought out by CitiGroup today, because they did some dumb shit. My credit union isn't, because it didn't. Amazing how that works.
- There's a lot of common-sense talk going around by, you know, people who aren't highly-paid Washington or Wall Street suits about "Maybe if you fixed the fairly mundane root of the problem (ie: mortgage fraud, questionable lending practices, sketchy financial instruments, etc), and not the gaudy burning plane crash ass end of it, you might actually do some good."

Of course, that doesn't make for good theater, even if it's the smart fucking thing to do.


From an IM conversation with a colleague:
Him: We're talking about financial collapse that would make the Great Depression look minor by comparison. We would never fully recover. The US would no longer be a financial superpower, the Euro would replace the dollar as the reserve currency for the world. The free market needs regulation. Nobody who knows anything about economics would argue otherwise. This is extreme regulation, but it's necessary because it wasn't regulated enough to begin with.

I'm not sure where to even begin refuting all of those points. Let's just say he and I disagree about as comprehensively on this topic as possible. I am fundamentally ambivalent about the US' remaining as a financial superpower, or the continued use of the USD as the coin of the realm; the Europeans are also, to my understanding, trying to insulate themselves and their market structures from their own misbegotten forays into the shitty mortgage-backed securities and credit default swap insurance businesses.


[1] O HAI, A THIRD OF US ARE LIABLE TO LOSE OUR FUCKING JOBS IN FIVE WEEKS IF WE PISS OFF OUR CONSTITUENTS BY DOING SOMETHING THIS EGREGIOUSLY STUPID. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a synapse fires.

[2] Seriously, I'm not making that shit up about them making that shit up. In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy. "It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number." Source: http://www.forbes.com/home/2008/09/23/bailout-paulson-congress-biz-beltway-cx_jz_bw_0923bailout.html
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