"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas

trailer of David Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander will be played by Rooney Mara who played the girlfriend who dumped Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network. Daniel Craig will play Blomkvist.

Hitchens's review of the book.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Profiles in Fed Cowardice by Krugman
Not really a surprise, but still shocking. The Fed predicts disastrously high unemployment as far as the eye can see (pdf):
Fed forecast of the unemployment rate 
And in response to this dire prospect, it declares its work done.
Notice that the Fed does not buy into the notion that there has been a large rise in the structural rate of unemployment, that 9 percent is the new normal. That stuff off to the right, labeled "longer run", is in effect the Fed’s estimate of how low unemployment could and should go without causing inflation problems. So the Fed agrees that something should be done to greatly increase demand.
But it washes its hands of the problem, even though Bernanke and his colleagues are well aware that nobody else will act.
I’m aware that there are doubts about how much the Fed could accomplish; I share those doubts. But that’s no reason not to try.
This display of passivity is awesome. And it’s shameful.
Krugman lecture on Keynes
How the Repo Market Ate Wall Street by Kevin Drum
PIMCO Founder To Deficit-Obsessed Congress: Get Back To Reality by Brian Beutler

Bill Gross is saying what Bernanke and other are arguing: stimulus now, mid-term deficit reduction later. Hopefully if the economy continues in the doldrums Bernanke will do QE3.

(via Krugman)

Maybe Gross is admitting he was wrong about rates shooting up once QE2 ends.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greg Mankiw:
Democratic critics of the [Ryan] plan suggest that enacting it would be akin to pushing Grandma over a cliff. But they rarely point out that the premium-support model is in some ways similar to the system set up under President Obama’s health care law. If choosing among competing private plans on a government-regulated exchange is a good idea for someone at age 50, why is it so horrific for someone who is 70?
Obamacare was a political compromise. It's better than nothing and Medicare is better than Obamacare.*

*My theory is that after winning in 2008, Obama's people decided Romney was their most likely opponent in 2012. After passing the ARRA, they went to work to pass Romneycare and drew out the process (town halls, lengthy committee debates) so that it would really sink in with the conservative base that they hate Romneycare and therefore Obama's strongest opponent in 2012 would be tainted by the association and have a more difficult time in the primaries. But man that Mankiw really is a hack, isn't he?