Archive for September 22, 2008

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #222

September 22, 2008

Bailout Prevents Great Depression 2.0

What would be the dollar cost of not bailing out Wall Street? Try a number north of $30 trillion. (The awful math is detailed below.) That’s why Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke were so scared last week. And, yes, I think “scared” isn’t too strong a word. You don’t think they convened an emergency nighttime meeting of congressional leaders and then walked out with something close to a blank check for a trillion bucks because they thought we were headed for an outright recession, even a fairly nasty one?

Emphasis added by me.

“Scared?” Hahahaha. Try liquid shits!

2) Scenario 2: Great Depression 2.0. The economy shrinks by 25 percent over four years, or $3.2 trillion, plus $1.1 trillion in lost opportunity growth. Economic cost: $4.3 trillion. The market falls two thirds from its peak, losing $7 trillion in value from its current level, plus $3 trillion from not getting a rebound. Stock market cost: $10 trillion. Housing falls an additional $10 trillion from current levels, plus the lost opportunity of $2.5 trillion from a rebound. Housing cost: $12.5 trillion. Total four-year financial and economic cost of doing nothing: $26.8 trillion.

That is still so, so low!

Because that’s just America (and even then, it’s still too damned low!).

What about the entire EU bloc, the Asian bloc, the South American bloc? There’d be trillions and trillions and trillions to add up there too.

Until those blocs finally ask the question We Don’t Want Them To Ask.

Flashback to my post of January 13, 2008: The Future Of The U.S. Economy In One Picture

All Chronicles of Depression 2.0 posts. Read them now!

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #221

September 22, 2008

Click = big

Blog Notes: Telegraph.Co.UK Links

September 22, 2008

They just changed the name of the section I’ve been linking to, from Money to Finance.

This broke my direct link to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Bookmarks.

Now I’m wondering if every link in this blog to them is broken.

How can they do that and not put in a redirect?!

Ted Dziuba On Open Social (Diseases)

September 22, 2008

OpenSocial, OpenID, and Google Gears: Three technologies for history’s dustbin

If there’s one thing all engineers love to do, it’s create APIs. It’s so awesome because you can draw on a white board and feel like you put in a good day’s work, despite having solved no real, actual problems. Web 2.0 engineers, in addition to their intrinsic love of APIs, have a real hard-on for anything having to do with a social network. For example, developing a Facebook application lets them call their shitty little PHP program an “application” running on a “platform,” like a real, live computer programmer does. Make-believe time is so much fun, even for adults.

This situation gets really dangerous when you start to involve people from San Francisco. Every person who lives in San Francisco has the intention of starting a nonprofit organization of some sort. Therefore, if you collect a bunch of Web 2.0 engineers in San Francisco, the inevitable outcome is the OpenSocial Foundation: a nonprofit organization that only exists to support an API for programming social network applications.

As a result of this upbringing, programming with the OpenSocial API feels a bit like being bukkaked with tolerance and understanding.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #220

September 22, 2008

Yes, I know of the words Treasury Secretary Paulson is trying to ram through Congress for the one-trillion-dollar-plus bailout.

The bailout that will still ultimately FAIL.

Everyone else is covering it with sirens blaring.

I don’t think it’ll be approved.

But if it does: Welcome to the Police State.

I warned you:

The Coming Big Bank Grab: Get Your Money NOW!
Buy A Gun. Buy Ammo. NOW.
Buy A Gun. Buy Ammo. Part Two.

The FAIL, by the way, will happen either very late this year or early next.

Either way, I won’t have to blog it. I’ve done my fucking Paul Revere bit. I’m unburdened.

You’re all on your own when the shit hits the fan and all ATMs stop working.

A wikipedia entry of interest.

Charlie Stross: eBooks Nailed, Period

September 22, 2008

Writer Jules Jones in the Comments pointed me to this very interesting post by writer Charlie Stross: Why the commercial ebook market is broken.

I had two reactions:

1) Yes, yes, yes!!!!

2) Why do I bother even writing about the subject any more? It’s already been said by others!

But, I’ll continue to bang my sometimes foul-worded gavel because as someone once pointed out (paraphrased):

It all has to be said again and again because no one listens the first time!

Like me, those non-listeners might have missed Stross’s 2007 post. So maybe they’ll encounter one of mine. And go on to read more posts here and finally, Bingo!, be led to Stross.

And then, finally, to doing the right thing for eBooks.

eBooks: Someone In Europe Has Brains

September 22, 2008

Europe pushes for digitisation action

The European Commission has proposed a series of initiatives designed to increase the number of digitised works made freely available. The proposals come as the European Digital Library prepares for a November launch.

In a detailed report, Brussels said it wants reform of regulatory obstacles preventing orphan sources – where the copyright holder cannot be traced – and works in the public domain from being digitised and published online.

I don’t know what kind of digitization they have in mind. At the very least, I hope it’s both the “scan the page image” approach (Google Book Search) as well as the “put it in eText” approach (ala Project Gutenberg; although I’d like to see ePub used in addition to plain text — at Gutenberg too!).

At some point out-of-paper-print has to be addressed too. It’s criminal that corporate publishers can hold onto those rights, robbing writers of eBook income. Legislation is needed to retroactively cap the length of all book contracts.

Red Headlines For September 22, 2008

September 22, 2008

The NY dailies were pre-occupied with the final game at Yankee Stadium (let it never be rebuilt!), so some didn’t have finance on the front page.

The New York Daily News interior cover was black and white because the wraparound in color was for Yankee fucking Stadium.

Of particular interest is Drudge Report. This is from this morning, before I left for an appointment:

Drudge composite. Click = big

And then over eight hours later:

Drudge composite. Click = big