Blago to world: Eat me!

It was so predictable.  Blago has defied damn near everyone and appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s vacated US Senate seat.  Roland Burris is a black fellow.

This oh-so-obvious manuever puts the ratsocrats on the horns of an irresolvable dilemma.  The supposed champions of a race-blind society will stand up on their hind legs and say without a trace of self consciousness that it is essential to appoint a black man to replace a black man.  The Senate ratsocrat leadership (Harry Screed) has previously announced that Blago need not bother making an appointment because the Senate will not seat his appointment.

The ratsocrats won’t dare to reject Burris.  This round goes to Blago.

By the way, there is no reason to think that Burris will be any worse a senator than anyone else Blago might have appointed, and or anyone else who might have won a special election.

It has not been disclosed what the final selling price was for the Senate seat.

Psmith was right

Here’s a good piece from the WSJ, distilling lessons for investors from 2008.   The best lesson is #7:

7. Psmith was right, too. Who? This fictional character, created by the great English comic novelist P.G. Wodehouse, frequently warned against the perils of confusing “the unusual with the impossible.” Certainly the events of the last year were unusual. Alas, too many thought they were impossible.

Here, in one line, is the key message from “The Black Swan.”

The break-up of the United States?

He isn’t crazy.   A Russian professor has been predicting since 1998 that the United States would break up in 2010.  The WSJ does a nice piece on it, and treats the scenario with the respect it deserves.

It isn’t a crazy idea, and the specifics seem to be drawn from any number of the “future history” style of SciFi novels.

Let me just state, I do not think this will happen, but I don’t have much of a quarrel with the prof’s proposed probability of this scenario unfolding, which he pegs at about 50%.

The specific mechanism he proposes, wealthy US states refusing to back the FedGov in its insane antics and seceding, is certainly plausible, especially as one contemplates the challenges facing Barack Obama and the implications of the rhetoric he has spouted during the campaign.

If Obama appoints Wesley Mouch to the cabinet, I think you’ll hear a lot of people calling for the Russian prof’s scenario to be immediately enacted.

Obama had best bear in mind the bubba factor.  Citizens in the west are heavily armed, and won’t be robbed without putting up a fight.

Have we reached the bottom?

Investors and pundits who have been trained by the last twenty years that every stock market decline is a sure-fire money making opportunity are chatting up the notion that we have seen the bottoms and this is a gold-plated moment in history to snap up stocks at bargain prices.

Unfortunately, 20 years of personal experience is not long enough to experience in one’s bones the true time scale of stock market patterns.

We’re in a secular bear market.  In this usage, “secular” means “long term.”  Over the past 100 years, the average secular bear market has lasted about 13 years or so.  This secular bear began in 2000, or, arguably, 2001.  The current state of devastation for the global financial system does not bode well for a shorter-than-average duration of this secular bear.  One ought to expect the long-term negative stock market conditions to persist for another 5 to 10 years.

Now, from 2003 to 2008, we experienced a CYCLICAL bull market, still within the context of the long-term bear market.  This cyclical bull market was of extraordinarily long duration.  A more typical duration for a cyclical bull move during a bear market is 1 to 2 years.

So, now we have clearly entered a cyclical bear move.  How long will it last?  Again, the historically typical duration is in the range 1 to 2 years.

Here’s one thing I’m reasonably confident of:  we won’t be entering a cyclical bull until there is at least talk of the Fed boosting short term interest rates.

I’ve said many times that Japan’s horrible experience beginning in the 90s is a good analogue for our current situation.  Japan’s central bank cut its rates to zero and kept them there until pretty recently.  Could we see a decade of economic contraction?  I really don’t think it will last that long, but I do think we’re in for several years of very tough sledding.

So, we may have seen the bottom.  But, we may stay here for several years.  This is not a buying opportunity.

The bear market move from top to recent low was about 40%.  I think there’s a very good chance the final move from top to bottom will be more than 50%.

Here’s another set of signs to watch for, to tell you when we’ve reached the bottom:

  • when everyone knows that only a fool buys stocks
  • when Jim Cramer is off the air
  • when Business Week’s cover proclaims the death of the stock market
  • when the FedGov passes legislation banning the investing of pension and retirement funds in the stock market

I like this last one particularly.  Recently, the FedGov passed legislation REQUIRING 401k administrators to invest new contributions in the stock market for participants who did not specify an investment choice and who were about 50 years old or younger.

The key right now is not so much how to make money with your savings.  The key is not to lose your savings

I like Dick Cheney’s style

The outgoing VP has to be excoriated for participating in a presidential administration which gave us looting of the treasury on a scale which rivals the worst ratsocrat excesses.  However, Dick’s personal style is irresistible.

Yesterday, on Meet the Press, Dick confirmed that he told Pat Leahy to go fuck himself, and noted that he regretted nothing about this, as it was warranted, and he bitch-slapped Joe Biden Jr. for not being able to keep straight which parts of the US Constitution are which.

Rahm Emanuel to be evicted?

I think Rahm Emanuel is toast. This is going to be a big defining moment for Obama’s administration: does he hew to the Fellatio Boy playbook: deny everything, exhibit insouciance no matter the felonies, and defy the authorities to come and slap the manacles on him, and drag him away to the pokey, or does he tolerate no corruption, and fire the dirty scumbags in the blink of an eye?

Rahm Emanuel has said he had no dialogue with Blago regarding the appointment to fill Obama’s Senate seat. Apparently, that is not exactly true, in the sense that Rahm Emanuel had 21 conversations with Blago, which are on tape, regarding the appointment.

We know already what stance Rahm Emanuel will urge on Obama, as Fellatio Boy’s stance was, if anything, not aggressive enough to suit Rahm Emanuel.

It is a tough call, though, I admit, because if Obama does terminate Rahm Emanuel with extreme prejudice, the scumbags in my former party will celebrate like rockstars and will be doubly, trebly enthused about trying to collect scalps from Obama’s inner circle. Killing Rahm Emanuel before Obama is even inaugurated would be the coup of the century.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think Rahm Emanuel is a thief, but he is certainly a lying unprincipled scumbag sack of shit. He’s quite effective, though.

I gotta say, if I were Obama, I would go the Fellatio Boy route. You reap what you sow, and both parties are going to continue to harvest the shitstorm for the foreseeable future. But, geez, what a horrible way to commence one’s administration, with one’s chief of staff answering subpoenas and probably getting indicted by the US Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald.

I guess the next move will be that President Obama will fire Patrick Fitzgerald, after his inauguration in January. That will be probably be amongst his first official acts. That will certainly get things off on the right foot!