Archive for the ‘The Economy’ Category
Narwhal Norquist is a vexing figure in modern American politics: while he shares a first name with a muppet, he and his anti-tax pledge have kept Republicans from even discussing tax hikes for many years. This may be coming to an end soon however, as members of the GOP have begun to publically suggest they’ll ignore Norquist’s pledge and consider raising tax rates on the wealthy as part of a deal to avoid the dreaded Fiscal Cliff.
Norquist, whose bare bones vision of government spending is nothing if not monk-like in it’s asceticism (except, ya know, that monks believe in helping the poor), chastized those Republicans who would dare defy his anti-tax papacy, saying yesterday that they were expressing “impure thoughts“. Sure, Norquist did seem confident that the GOP won’t budge, but when it comes down to it Washington D.C.’s most feared man might just be the biggest loser in any debt deal.
After all, who the fuck is Grover Norquist anyway? I mean, how has this fury little terror managed to single-handedly keep the United States from making even small tax increases for nearly two decades? He’s both a boogie man and a paper tiger which is not exactly a sustainable position to be in. Republicans are probably a lot more afraid of being blamed for pushing America off the Fiscal Cliff to protect tax breaks for millionaires than they are of Norquist and will thus make a deal that ends up raising taxes, no matter how much he looks like an angry badger.
So while it’s too early to write Norquist’s obituary, it looks like his days holding the legislative process hostage to his pledge might be numbered…
Ever since Mitt Romney lost, it seems like the most oppressed minority in this country is now wealthy business owners. Pity the poor millionaire who now lives in a terrifying dystopia where he must provide healthcare coverage to his workers or face a small fee!
This brutal oppression claimed a major victim today, as snack cake purveyor Hostess announced plans to shut down, blaming their closure on an unresolved strike with the unions. The strike has idled the company’s plants, but instead of working to end the strike and re-open their business, Hostess management claims that they were forced to liquidate because “production at about a dozen of the company’s 33 plants had been seriously affected by the strike.” That is bullshit: how could a shut down in production possibly effect Twinkies and Ding Dongs? They physically can’t rot and were invented in the 1950s to survive Soviet missile strikes (probably). No, shutting down your company because your work force is striking isn’t a legitimate business move, rather it’s closer to taking your ball and going home when things don’t go your way.
But more than just the 18,500 workers who will be out of a job because of this callous move (and of course the thousands of stoners who will be left to starve without Ring Dings), Hostess has set a horrible precedent for other companies, especially bakeries. Do we think the Keebler Elves are unionized? Because if they are I’d say they’re fucked. Bank of America will soon reclaim their bakery tree thanks to corporate greed and intransigence.
It’s strange that we live in a society where public masturbation is illegal, but public prognostigation on the economy is not. Both involve stroking one’s self/one’s ego before an audience but the success rate is much higher for the masturbater.
One of the worst offenders when it comes to lame-ass prognostication is Nouriel Roubini, the so called “Dr. Doom” who claims to be the one person to have predicted the 2008 Credit Crisis. Mr. Roubini is an economist who has now made a cottage industry of predicting financial woe. Indeed, CNBC reported today that Roubini tweeted that his predicted four signs of global financial meltdown, which includes “stalling growth in the U.S., debt troubles in Europe, a slowdown in emerging markets, particularly China, and military conflict in Iran” are all coming true. Quick! Find the nearest person and crack open their skulls for the nutrient rich brain matter inside!
Let me take this opportunity to say that Roubini is an ass. Anyone who critically thought about the fact that in 2008 New York restaurant was serving a $1000 omelet could tell you that there was a bubble that would eventually burst. More recently, predicting like Mr. Roubini did that a weak global economy might get weaker is like predicting that your frail old aunt might get sick from a January skinny dipping session. Finally, Roubini’s prediction about “military conflict in Iran” is ridiculous because there is no military conflict in Iran. What is this guy talking about? Why are people still listening to him?
Roubini is basically a con-artist enabled by Twitter and a 24/7 news culture. Also, the New York Post had a pretty convincing tidbit last year about Dr. Doom being your run-of-the-mill fame whore.
Unless I’m just jealous about his success. For you see, I too have clairvoyant abilities: I predicted that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ marriage would collapse into a soup of scientologist nonsense AND THEN IT DID. So how come CNBC is reporting on my random tweets? Huh? Huh???
Okay, right off the bat let me apologize for that misleading headline: your expectations for a story about Mayor Michael Bloomberg banning rompers or making it illegal for people to ironically swim in the McCarren Park pool when it opens up again are misplaced. Rather, I’m taking about Bloomberg News, that always savvy source of business info, talking about the surge in sales of canned beer in America.
Before the recession, everyone seemed to be clamoring for glass bottles, eached molded by hand in Murano be master craftsmen. Now that that’s out of the question people want cheaper (i.e. canned) beers. Some however want it for seemingly ironic purposes, as Bloomberg reports that hipsters, a “subculture of urban, young adults whose tastes run toward independent music and films and non-traditional fashion” may have “given the trend (for canned beer) another push when Pabst Blue Ribbon…became one of their signature drinks.”
Now, either this piece is ironic, or there is a good chance that no one at who subscribes to/reads Bloomberg knows what a hipster is. There are very few hipsters in their private helicopters to Montauk after all. In addition, other hipster meccas like Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, Oakland and Austin don’t can’t compete with Gstaad and Anguilla for the top of the Bloomberg subscribers most-visited list (Although you think they would, as both plutocrats and hipsters have an affinity for crazy facial hair, monocles and other dandified fineries of the early 20th century).
Next in this groundbreaking series of reporting? How American Spirits Cigarettes somehow maintain steady growth despite being made of little more than shredded news paper, prison barber hair and old tires.
CNBC, the TV network that you watch when you’re waiting in line at the bank, is home to a wonderful, Nostradamus-like mystic named Larry Kudlow. Kudlow, who in December of 2007 famously wrote “The Bush boom is alive and well…it’s finishing up its sixth splendid year with many more years to come”, some how has a career where he tells people how the stock market works. Well, good ol’ Larry is CONVINCED that
The Koch Brothers’ Scott Walker’s victory Tuesday in Wisconsin is what boosted the stock market on Wednesday, giving the Dow Jones its best day of 2012.
In his editorial today, Kudlow wrote “Stocks loved Governor Scott Walker’s spanking of public-sector unions and Democrats in Wisconsin. The Dow jumped about 165 points right at the opening on Wednesday, and was up over 200 points later in the day. There really was no other news (to motivate such behavior).” Ummm I beg to differ Mr. Kudlow: Miley Cyrus announced she was engaged that day. And if news that you like, as an enemy of public school teachers, is indisputably behind the market’s rally yesterday, then surely the news that I like, as a fan of the song The Climb, must also indisputably be behind the market’s rally as well.
So now we must destroy all unions and eschew all attempts at bipartisan governance because it’s good for the markets. And don’t try to argue with Larry on this because the one can doubt the logic behind his claims is flawless. Think about it this way: people like waffles right? And people it waffles at breakfast, just as the sun climbs higher and the day gets warmer. Therefore, according to Kudlow’s logic, making waffles is the only thing keeping our land from becoming a frozen waste.
Waffles and Walker! They’re really the only thing holding our existence together ya know.
In this new feature, the economic desk at EPM will give advice on the hottest stocks to keep your portfolio humming and get you everything a rich person could want, like a cashmere mustache warmer and a Scooby Doo themed private train car.
This tip comes from sunny Puerto Rico, where officials have proposed a plan to eradicate the islands ferile Iguana population. It seems that at some point in the 1970s Puerto Rican pet owners released a number of Iguana’s into the wild, probably after discovering that reptiles are incapable of love and want nothing more than to eat the corpse of their owner, and now the population is out of control.
Well, to deal with this epidemic and boost Puerto Rico’s economy (cue my grandfather saying “what taking our hubcaps doesn’t bring in enough cash?”), the government in San Juan will encourage the sale of delicious iguana meat to the mainland United States. Yes, once Americans get a taste of that silky sweet flesh it’s only a matter of time til Arby’s switches from their signature roast beef (which is actually made of Siamese Monitor Lizard) to delicious iguana meat.
So buy stock in Iguana’s now! I’m pretty sure that they’re the new craisens.