"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 28, 2013

The Service of Snowden by Roger Cohen

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Asian Markets Fall Like Cherry Blossoms In Gentle Spring Rain

Currency devaluation reflects silently on still and glassy water.

(H/T Bernstein)

"Go Zen" is good advice. I'm trying, Mr. Bernstein.

Fed Officials Play Down Fears of Quick Retreat on Stimulus by Binyamin Appelbaum

No Taper? Tapering the Taper Talk.

When Fed Transparency Fails, Go Zen by Jared Bernstein
As usual, the Onion was way ahead on this strategy: here’s a 2008 article titled: “Asian Markets Fall Like Cherry Blossoms In Gentle Spring Rain.”  Note the brilliant haikus sprinkled like soy sauce on my tuna roll throughout the piece.
Sony failed to provide confidence in a market already as skittish as the aging husband of a teenage bride, forcing investors to shore up cash reserves with orders of durable goods and agricultural products. “Fading dollar’s gleam, a feeble warning beacon: Seek bellies of pork.
Cost of Public Projects Is Rising, and Pain Will Be Felt for Years
States and cities across the nation are starting to learn what Wall Street already knows: the days of easy money are coming to an end. 
Interest rates have been inching up everywhere, sending America’s vast market formunicipal bonds, a crucial source of financing for roads, bridges, schools and more, into its steepest decline since the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008. 
For one state, Illinois, the higher interest rates will add up to $130 million over the next 25 years — and that is for just one new borrowing. All told, the interest burden of states and localities is likely to grow by many billions, sapping tax dollars that otherwise might have been spent on public services.
But tax receipts will increase if the economy is stronger. 
Supreme Court 2013: The Year in Review:  Entry 22: Justice Alito’s defense of DOMA is entirely emotional. From: Richard A. Posner

Caveman Lawyer

Searching for Plosser via Google I found a Zero Hedge link from 2009 where Tyler Durden reposted Plosser's predictions of inflation favorably. As wrong as wrong could be. Today I look and Google isn't turning up the link.

New York Magazine article on Zero Hedge:

The Dow Zero Insurgency by Joe Hagan

Taibbi defends Zero Hedge. Taibbi's good but sloppy. He's just wrong here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

it was a crime at the time but the laws we changed them

That's Nicki Clyne from BSG and Ryan Robbins from BSG, Sanctuary and Falling Skies.

It was crime at the time, but the laws, we changed them by John Holbo
Holbo in comments:
Of course. It’s a great song, indeed! I was playing it over and over yesterday, after I thought of it as a title for the post.

Then Belle and I were talking about how we misheard the lyrics at first. They are really hard to understand. Belle said that she thought the “Pharaoh on the microphone!” bit was “There are no marmosets!” Which I think is a totally awesome, anthemic cry from the heart.

Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution*

Supreme Court 2013: Entry 20: Kennedy’s DOMA opinion is a historic, thrilling, full-throated stand for equality. by Emily Bazelon

*from Wikipedia:
The Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to Magna Carta in 1215. For instance, grand juries and the phrase due process (also found in the 14th Amendment) both trace their origin to Magna Carta.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.[1] 
In Light of DOMA Ruling, Glenn Greenwald May Move Back to the United States
Does Wednesday's ruling mean Greenwald will move back? Here's what he said in an email to Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon today:
It's certainly something we'll consider. It's a huge choice with many complicated factors, and it's not the kind of thing you seriously evaluate when the option isn't available to you. We haven't made up our minds in the 90 minutes or so since the decision was announced!

We've lived here together for 8 years and built a life. My partner is finishing school. All of his family is here. So it's something that will take time to resolve. But it's definitely something that we both have a desire at some point to do, and will now spend the time figuring out how and when we can do it.
Greenwald tweets: "It is ironic that I waited 8 years for this decision, and now that it happened, I have that other small matter."

Massachusetts Senate Race off year election

Markey beats Gomez by 10 percent. It's not 2010 anymore.

Wendy Davis, Texas state senator for Fort Worth, successfully filibusters* most restrictive abortion bill in the nation

Huffington Post article

*a classic, epic filibuster.

The Religious Right takes a Hit as the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA and California's ban

The Better Angels of Our Nature (Off-topic) by Krugman
Just an aside: I’m sitting in a coffee shop near the hospital, waiting for word, and they have news TV on in the corner, so I’m watching coverage of the Supremes on marriage out of the corner of my eye (along with “New Jersey woman unaware of pregnancy, gives birth on front lawn”). Not my department, of course; but also of course, I’m very much for equality, and gratified by the tone of the coverage, which clearly is that this is normal, natural, and inevitable. 
This is really amazing when you bear in mind that this very issue was used to mobilize the right-wing base in 2004. The change in attitudes in such a short period is awesome. 
I haven’t seen a good analysis of this transformation. But whatever caused it, it’s a testament to American tolerance and open-mindedness. We have our fanatical minorities — but they are minorities, and they’re getting smaller all the time.

Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup Champions Roster





Sunday, June 23, 2013

My views on St. Louis Fed President James Bullard have changed. I remember Tim Duy was critical of his reasoning a while back at his blog and Bullard responded. The two had a polite dialogue and I was impressed by that even if I disagreed with Bullard. Now he's making sense and has become reality-based. Commenter and Fed-watcher Mark A. Sadowski says he has always been reality-based.

James Bullard: This is why I dissented at the Fed meeting this week by Neil Irwin and Ylan Q. Mui
J.B.: I was a big advocate of QE2, and if you remember what happened with QE2, we adopted the program in November 2010. At that point, inflation was quite low, and inflation expectations had dropped a lot. That all turned around in the first half of 2011. There was a global commodities boom. The Fed got criticized for that. By the end of 2011, even core inflation, even with all this slack int he economy, core inflation had gone to 2 percent. My feeling at that point was our work here is done. Because i though the Fed had done exactly what we needed to do to keep us out of the Japanese situation and push inflation back to target, and that we could start to think about how to normalize policy. 
But since the first part of 2012, inflation measures have been coming back down, so now we’re back in a low inflation environment, lower than i expected. yet the committee has sort of turned maybe a little bit more circumspect about how they want to respond to that. 
That’s where we are. One thing that hasn’t happened this time, when we adopted this QE3, and really the full-fledged QE3 is really December of 2012. We’ve been in this game for about 5 months. And we have not had the. What’s missing? It’s the global commodities price boom that occurred with QE2 , that is not occurring this time. It’s really clear why that is. Europe’s in recession and China’s slowing. That’s why. From our perspective, we could say let’s continue and provide more accommodation, because that channel isn’t hitting us so hard this time as it did during QE2. Why don’t we just continue the program, and eventually inflation will go back up to target? I guess that’s how I’m thinking about it right now.
No mention of the sequester?