“It is hard to find fiscal situations that are worse than Japan’s. The gross government debt/GDP ratio, at more than 200%, is the worst among the major developed economies. Yet yields on Japanese government bonds (JGBs) have not only been among the lowest, they have also been stable, even during the recent deterioration during the European debt crisis. This apparent contravention of the laws of economics is both an enigma for foreign investors and the reason for them to expect fiscal collapse as a result of a sharp rise in selling pressure in the JGB market. As Goldman notes, the European debt crisis has led to an increase in market sensitivity to sovereign risk in general and questions remain on when to expect the tensions in the JGB market and the fiscal deficit to reach a breaking point in Japan. In the following 14 charts, we explore the sustainability of fiscal deficit financing in Japan and Goldman addresses the JGB puzzles.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Shhhh…It’s Even Worse Than The Great Depression
According to Wikipedia, Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) affects one percent of the population and has little to do with looking at yourself in the mirror. It has a lot to do with unrealistic fantasies of success, power and intelligence. Some NPD sufferers become cult leaders or mass murderers, the rest become economists and policy-makers. Despite having a highly elevated sense of self-worth, narcissists have fragile self-esteem and handle criticism unpredictably, so let’s keep this to ourselves….
Velocity of money is the frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services. It is a far better indicator of economic activity than GDP, consumer prices, the stock market, or sales of men’s underwear (which Greenspan was fond of ogling). In a healthy economy, the same dollar is collected as payment and subsequently spent many times over. In a depression, the velocity of money goes catatonic. Velocity of money is calculated by simply dividing GDP by a given money supply. This VoM chart using monetary base should end any discussion of what ”this” is and whether or not anybody should be using the word “recovery” with a straight face:”
Via Zero Hedge
” Nearly 100 boats and barges were waiting for passage Monday along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed due to low water levels, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
New Orleans-based Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets said the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.
Tippets said the area is currently being surveyed for dredging and a Coast Guard boat is replacing eight navigation markers. He says 40 northbound vessels and 57 southbound vessels were stranded and waiting for passage Monday afternoon.”
Via Yahoo News
“Conspiracy theories have now blossomed into what the smug presstitute media calls a “conspiracy culture.” According to the presstitutes, Americans have to find some explanation for their frustrations and failings, so Americans shift the blame to the Bilderbergers, the Rothschilds, the New World Order and so forth and so on.
Readers will not be surprised that I disagree with the presstitutes. Indeed, the conspiracy culture is the product of the presstitute media’s failure to investigate and to report truthfully. I am certain that the Western media is worse than the Soviet media was.
The Soviet media devised ways for helping the public to read between the lines, whereas the Western media is so proud to be confidants of the government that they deliver the propaganda without any clues to the readers that it is propaganda.”
Via Activist Post
“A legal team from the Rutherford Institute has given Phoenix city officials until next Friday to apologize for actions taken against a local citizen whose only offense was to hand out free water. The threatened law suit is the result of a Ms. Crow-Smith being cited for giving away free water bottles at a city festival on a day when temperatures reached 112 degrees.
John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute said, “It is beyond comprehension that local government officials would interfere with citizens performing such a basic act of charity as giving water to the thirsty”.
The woman cited was approached by Dwayne Grierson, the “Neighborhood Preservation Inspector,” as she was handing out free water and told she was in violation of Phoenix City Code because she did not possess a vendor’s permit. The incident occurred during a recent downtown festival on a day when temperatures reached as high as 112 degrees. “It was really hot and, yeah, we wanted to show God’s love and a small act of kindness is a great way to do that without shoving it down someone’s throat,” said Crow-Smith to ABC 15 News in Phoenix.
Grierson told the good Samaritan that handing out free water is considered vending with a license. In essence, she was told citizens of Phoenix must obtain permission before showing acts of kindness. But Rutherford spokesmen said the Phoenix City Code has no such prohibition of individuals from handing out free water, or anything else. The Code only states that individuals cannot sell goods or services on public sidewalks and property without first obtaining a vending permit.”
Minn. lawmaker urged to step aside amid scandal
” A Minnesota state lawmaker who authorities say admitted having a liaison with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop faced calls from party leaders on Monday to give up his re-election bid.
Rep. Kerry Gauthier, 56, hasn’t been charged in the July incident, and authorities said he wouldn’t be because the boy was older than 16, the legal age of consent, and no money was exchanged. Police say the teenager responded to the lawmaker’s Craigslist ad for “no strings attached” sex.
Gauthier admitted to the liaison, according to police reports made public late last week. The teen told police the two had oral sex, according to the reports.
The scandal has hurt Democrats’ hopes of retaking at least one chamber of the Legislature. They need to pick up at least six seats in the House, and Gauthier’s Duluth-area seat is usually reliably Democratic. But if he drops out, any Democrat seeking to replace him would have to run as a write-in candidate, making the race much more difficult to win.
Still, Democratic leaders called on Gauthier to withdraw from the race. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, said he was “deeply disappointed” in Gauthier’s conduct and wants him to step aside.”
Via CBS News
“The global financial system is beginning to come apart like a cheap suit. When the normal life you rely on ceases to function properly, what are you going to do? If you do not have a plan you will be left helpless in a rapidly deteriorating situation that will put you and your family in danger. It costs you no money to think through some basic questions and come up with realistic answers. The sooner you address this, the more secure your future will be when things don’t go as planned. Everyone expects the government to be there with a safety net when things go wrong, but the government may not be there in the future when you need them or they may require things of you that you are not willing to do or give up. When times are uncertain, it is your responsibility to care for your family and that is a responsibility you cannot pawn off on someone else. If you have no plan or don’t know where to start, you can begin with some basic questions.
How will I feed my family? – If your income is cut off or your food supplier is shut down, what is your backup plan to provide food for your family and how long will you be able to do so? The acquisition of potable water is also a concern you need to address.
How and where will I shelter my family? – If you lose your job and the ability to pay your bills, will you still be able to live in your current home? If your community becomes dangerous will you stay there and if not where will you go?”
Via Alt Market
“After months of stiffing White House press corps for the more comfortable climes of local reporters, sports broadcasters and entertainment outlets, President Obama this afternoon materialized in the White House briefing room to take questions from reporters.
Obama called off names from a prepared list a journalists that included most of the top news networks and wire services – although not Fox News – spending about a half an hour holding forth.
The president’s appearance was sudden – he interrupted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s regular briefing – but not wholly unexpected, as rumors had been circulating in the press room that he would appear and photographers were standing at the ready.
Obama joked that “Carney told me that you had been missing me” as he abruptly entered the room.
Pressure has been building for Obama to begin taking interacting with White House reporters since an August 6 White House Dossier article noting that Obama had gone seven weeks without so much as a single substantive question from those who regularly cover him.”
“Were it not for certain nuclear whistle blowers and outside, independent experts, the public would have to rely on the glib and technically inaccessible reports from Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) or the Japanese government.
Not that those reports are entirely without substance, but due to the incomprehensible technical jargon most people simply throw up their hands and hope for the best.
Luckily, in this day of the Internet we can learn a lot about what is going on thanks to independent researchers and writers.
To the extent that mainstream newspapers have covered the issue responsibly, and there has been substantive coverage, web sites like “enenews.com”; “fukushima-diary.com” and “rense.com” have served as information clearinghouses for mainstream news, academic studies and independent sources of journalism about the nuclear crisis in Japan.
Given this wide perspective, it is hard to see how any meaningful progress is being made at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP). This is the conclusion I drew, or anyone with reasonable skills of observation would have drawn, in April of 2011. The Japanese government kept telling us that “everything is under control” and there is “no immediate danger,” all the while, lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdowns.”
Via Activist Post