"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, January 11, 2014

Thursday, January 09, 2014

positive outlook

Is Larry Summers Right About “Secular Stagnation”? by John Cassidy
On this point, I am a bit more optimistic, for a couple of reasons. The comparison with Japan, although worrying, isn’t fully persuasive. For many years after the stock-market and real-estate busts of the early nineties, stricken Japanese banks hoarded money, refusing to lend, and Japanese consumers saved more, crimping consumer spending. In this country, following the Great Recession, banks repaired their balance sheets much more rapidly and started lending again. Indeed, as Summers notes, there are already signs that credit standards are deteriorating again. Consumer spending, after an initial fall, has rebounded surprisingly well.

What has held the economy back is restrictive fiscal policy and a reluctance on the part of businesses to invest in new capacity. (For the first time in decades, gross capital investment has fallen below twenty per cent of G.D.P.) Looking ahead, there are hopeful signs in both areas. The budget deal at the start of the year modified the sequester, and investment, particularly in new home construction, appears to be picking up. Barring some unforeseen calamity, it’s quite likely that 2014 will be the first year since the housing bubble in which G.D.P. growth reaches three per cent. And with plenty of slack left in the economy, there’s no obvious reason why 2015 shouldn’t be another good year.