notes nov 10 2008
November 11, 2008 § Leave a comment
"Mr Emanuel brushed aside concerns that an Obama administration would risk taking on too much when it takes office in January. He said Mr Obama saw the financial meltdown as an historic opportunity to deliver the large-scale investments that Democrats had promised for years¿
"In a radio address to the nation on Saturday, Mr Obama emphasised the urgency both of passing a fiscal stimulus package, which could include a middle-class tax cut, and of moving swiftly ahead on long-term public investments.
What concerns me is, do we have the managers, the skilled workers, and the materials to rebuild the infrastructure in a more green way? In the WPA the unemployed included those with skills to do WPA projects, and the scale was less, the population being much smaller.
"In confronting the financial crisis and weakening economy, Obama must turn to Ben S. Bernanke, a Republican and former chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, who will lead the Federal Reserve for at least the first year of the new administration.
Michael Hirshwrites for Newsweek that "after nearly eight years of a president who could barely form a coherent sentence, much less a strategic thought . . . [w]hat Obama’s election means, above all, is that brains are back. Sense and pragmatism and the idea of considering-all-the-options are back. Studying one’s enemies and thinking through strategic problems are back. Cultural understanding is back. Yahooism and jingoism and junk science about global warming and shabby legal reasoning about torture are out. The national culture of flag-pin shallowness that guided our foreign policy is gone with the wind. And for this reason as much as any, perhaps I can renew my pride in being an
WASHINGTON – A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department’s current budget is "not sustainable," and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military’s most prized weapons programs.
The briefings were prepared by the Defense Business Board, an internal management oversight body. It contends that the nation’s recent financial crisis makes it imperative that the Pentagon and Congress slash some of the nation’s most costly and troubled weapons to ensure they can finance the military’s most pressing priorities.
Those include rebuilding ground forces battered by multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and expanding the ranks to wage the war on terrorism.
"Business as usual is no longer an option," according to one of the internal briefings prepared in late October for the presidential transition, copies of which were provided to the Globe. "The current and future fiscal environments facing the department demand bold action."
The briefings do not specify which programs should be cut, but defense analysts say that prime targets would probably include the new F-35 fight er jet, a series of Navy ship programs, and a massive Army project to build a new generation of ground combat vehicles, all of which have been skyrocketing in cost and suffering long development delays.
Such cuts would affect the New England economy. General Dynamics builds warships and submarines in Maine and Connecticut, while Raytheon, Massachusetts’ largest employer, is involved in numerous weapons programs from ships to missile defenses and satellites.
Pentagon insiders and defense budget specialists say the Pentagon has been on a largely unchecked spending spree since 2001 that will prove politically difficult to curtail but nevertheless must be reined in.
and from calculated risk
Here is the Fannie 10-Q filed with the SEC. This statement is under "Risks Relating to Our Business" and is not a prediction from Fannie, just a statement of a possible risk. The huge loss reported today was mostly because of a reduction in deferred tax assets.
Here are a few excerpts from the Fannie section on Housing and Economic Conditions:
Growth in U.S. residential mortgage debt outstanding slowed to an estimated annual rate of 2.0% based on the first six months of 2008, compared with an estimated annual rate of 8.3% based on the first six months of 2007, and is expected to continue to decline to a growth rate of about 0% in 2009.
what shocking here is that mortgage amounts keep increasing!
7:40 pm from Henry Liu at Asia Times
Dear world leaders:
The winter of 2008-2009 will prove to be the winter of global economic discontent that marks the rejection of the flawed ideology that unregulated global financial markets promote financial innovation, market efficiency, unhampered growth and endless prosperity while mitigating risk by spreading it system wide. (more)