"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

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting Away With It by Krugman and Wells
As Edsall concedes, this changing face of the electorate has had the effect of radicalizing the GOP. “For whites with a conservative bent,” he writes—and isn’t that the very definition of the Republican base?—
the shift to a majority-minority nation [i.e., a nation in which minorities will make up the majority] will strengthen the already widely held view that programs benefiting the poor are transferring their taxpayer dollars to minority recipients, from first whites to blacks and now to “browns.” 
What the country faces, they write, isn’t a problem with partisanship in the abstract; it’s a problem with one party:
However awkward it may be for the traditional press and nonpartisan analysts to acknowledge, one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier—ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country’s most pressing challenges.
(via Thoma)

The Violent Visions of Slavoj Žižek

Dean Baker reduces uncertainty

Jared Bernstein had mentioned this earlier

Reporting on the Housing Market: Do We Need Drug Testing for Economists? by Dean Baker
This report should have been seen as very positive news on the housing market. Unfortunately, the economists who missed the bubble still don't seem to know much about the housing market. While house prices are not going to return to their bubble levels (which no one in their right mind should want), they have bottomed out and will likely be rising modestly through the rest of 2012 and beyond. Furthermore, we are seeing higher rates of construction as the backlog of unsold homes has been whittled away in many areas. Housing is now making a positive contribution to the recovery.
Meanwhile China and India slow, causing oil prices to drop.

Chinese Data Mask Depth of Slowdown, Executives Say
Record-setting mountains of excess coal have accumulated at the country’s biggest storage areas because power plants are burning less coal in the face of tumbling electricity demand. But local and provincial government officials have forced plant managers not to report to Beijing the full extent of the slowdown, power sector executives said.
Reserve Bank Holds Interest Rates Steady to Fight Inflation
In spite of growing calls for it to support India’s slowing economy, the Reserve Bank of India said on Monday it would not cut interest rates or lower banking reserve requirements because inflation was still too high for it to act.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Euro Is Flat by Krugman
So it comes as something of a shock to look at Eurostat data (pdf) on real GDP per capita (or productivity, which look similar). Sure, Greece and Portugal are relatively poor, with GDP per capita of 82 and 77 percent, respectively, of the EU average; this means roughly 76 and 71 percent of the eurozone average, since the euro countries are a bit richer than the EU as a whole. Meanwhile, Germany is at 120 percent of the EU, or 112 percent of the EZ.
But it’s no different, really, than the US situation (look under per capita GDP). Alabama is at 74 percent of the US average, Mississippi at 67, with New England and the Middle Atlantic states at 118 and 116.
In other words, as far as underlying economic inequalities are concerned, the EZ is no worse than the US.
The difference, mainly, is that we think of ourselves as a nation, and blithely accept fiscal measures that routinely transfer large sums to the poorer states without even thinking of it as a regional issue — in fact, the states that are effectively on the dole tend to vote Republican and imagine themselves deeply self-reliant.
Anna Schwartz died
Mrs. Schwartz, who earned her Ph.D. in economics at the age of 48 and dispensed policy appraisals well into her 90s, was often called the “high priestess of monetarism,” upholding a school of thought that maintains that the size and turnover of the money supply largely determines the pace of inflation and economic activity.

Fed Fail Part 10

The Recovery The Fed Wants by Yglesias

Learning to See Brown Shoots Instead of Green Ones by Jared Bernstein

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On NGDP level targeting, True Blood, Tara, etc.

The Fed Keeps Slouching Towards Oblivion by Matt O'Brien

Fed Watch: Where to Next? by Tim Duy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

True Blood’s got 99 plot lines, and now Rick Santorum’s one? by Meredith Woerner

Lots of whining and complaining also in the comment section along with these classic GIFs.

Money, mind, and matter: a psychocultural digression by Doug Henwood
Fed downgrades its forecasts yet again

Public Workers Face New Rash of Layoffs, Hurting Recovery

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

1970s Stagflation by David Glasner