Monday, August 06, 2012

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 08/06/12

It is time for business malcontents to take their turn at my whipping post.

Let's lead off with Helicopter Ben in his own words.  The esteemed Fed Chairman told a rapt audience that economists should frame their studies as a window into human happiness.  I get the hypocrisy.  He expects the public to accept economists' interest in their well-being.  It should be obvious that no one at the Fed really believes this line.  He must be aware, at some level of his psyche, that a massive monetary stimulus can destroy the well-being of the prosperous middle whose wealth he claims to champion.  The degree of doublethink needed to mouth these words must be staggering.  The Fed already wields enormous influence over the career paths of economists who define consensus thinking.  Ben's audience this time was an obscure academic association that would probably never have me as a member.  No one must be allowed to escape the conditioning program.

The never-ending saga of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site has entered a new phase of completely unnecessary meddling.  A federal court has delayed deciding whether the NRC's delay in finalizing a waste disposal site deserves further delay.  This is sickening.  Apolitical scientific experts settled on Yucca Mountain decades ago as a safe place for spent nuclear fuel and the federal government has spent money since at least the Reagan Administration to prepare the site.  The NRC's totally political decision to play to a handful of Nevada voters will now jeopardize the safety of communities around the country where nuclear plants must store spent fuel in unstable configurations.  Way to go, geniuses.

Another political genius is displaying his wondrous knowledge in Maine, dismissing wind energy to satisfy the objections of locals who like a pristine view.  Boutique or not, wind turbines diversify the energy sources available to utilities at peak times.  Ratepayers outnumber lodge tour guides; the former should be up in arms over pandering to the latter.

Greece played the financial media for suckers once again, entertaining the European troika and touting promises of renewed growth by September.  The troika isn't fooled by these empty promises but you'll never hear that from them.  The fake happy talk coming out of both sides of everyone's mouths will continue until the bond market calls Brussels' bluff, and then the Fed pushes the red button launching its trillion-dollar swap lines.  Shell is pulling cash from European banks to avoid getting hit in the crossfire.

I'm done for now.  There will undoubtedly be more stuff to ridicule pretty soon.