Monday, April 29, 2013

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 04/29/13

There must be some sarcastic angle on the movement of the gold price, economic turning points, and the debate over whether austerity is discredited.  This blog is the right place to find such material.

France is going absolutely ga-ga over the yuan.  Maybe they could stick the trading center on Corsica to give the island some respectability.  This is mainly about French multinationals wanting to piggyback on Chinese-funded development projects in Africa, but China is too wily to let the French in easily.  The French Foreign Legion will have to learn to speak some Chinese if it wants to get missions securing Chinese project sites.  I wouldn't blame Germany for feeling jealous if France drops hints about leaving the euro once it goes live with yuan trading.

Iceland is getting sick of both austerity and the European project.  Voting in the parties who led the country into its banking crisis is pretty dumb.  No one said the way out would be painless but grown adults in Western countries don't want to sacrifice for their own good anymore.  They'd rather act like babies and throw temper tantrums when other adults in the room tell them to live within their means.  That's why economists in America are so giddy that the Reinhart-Rogoff debt threshold theory is being attacked for calculation errors.  Everyone wants to be the enabler of good times forever.  Anyway, Icelanders like their welfare state and dislike the troika's preference for austerity, so the euro won't be coming there.

Maybe the House Republicans are smart to trade away entitlement cuts for tax reform.  Entitlements aren't going to be cut anyway because both parties think they're untouchable.  It all depends on what kind of tax reform they get.  If it's a code full of bigger loopholes for corporate big shots and more earned income credits for welfare queens, then forget it.  Two tax brackets and no deductions would be a colossal improvement.  I've been mouthing off in favor a a flat tax for something like forever but I'll take what I can get.  Maybe America will get lucky and have a simplified tax code in place before we get hyperinflation, which would really take care of the entitlement problem.

High-cost financing is now a way of life for ordinary Americans.  A sub-prime nation deserves more than just sub-prime auto and home loans; it deserves a check cashing outlet on every corner to soak up all the income Americans don't need anymore for goods they can't afford anyway.  I'm really impressed with the speed at which my fellow citizens have become addicted to formerly shameful ways of making ends meet.  The crush of applicants for SNAP EBT cards, free cell phones, and SSI disability payments would not be complete without a surge in payday loans and pawn brokers.  America is turning into one big trailer park and the final coup de grace will be to change our national mascot from the bald eagle to a mangy junkyard dog.

In other news, I'm still waiting for some shoe to drop in the markets and flush out a whole bunch of trust fund babies who should never have turned Mommy and Daddy Warbucks' money into a hedge fund.