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March 31, 2009

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Jack is Back!

I like how Obama has already done his best impersanation of Harry Truman and proclaimed the "buck stops here". Since in Krugman's mind for 8 years the "buck always started and stopped at Bush's feet" will he now make sure Obama gets all the credit he deserves when his administration doesn't quite meet Krugman's taste?

bad

Happy Birthday, Mel!!

daddy

Happy B'day Mel,

I finally made it out of Anchorage last night at 1 am during a quiet volcano moment, so I invite Mother Nature and Redoubt to let er' rip!

Old Lurker

Where did everybody go! Is there a party and my invitation got lost?

bad

What did it take to get out, Daddy?

interested

A mystery remains: why doesn't the PBGC just set the record straight?

Mikey NTH

As this is Prof. Krugman's field, I would have thought he would have checked to make sure the newspaper article was correct. This isn't just him offering a political opinion, this is his field and affects his reputation there.

Simply thinking of the reaction speed of a large agency, it would have been natural to wonder if PBGC had acted quickly on its decision or had moved much more slowly. And safe money would have been on 'moved slowly, if at all'.

Appalled

TM:

In addition to your links, there was an October 24, 2008 hearing in which the head of the PBGC (Charles Millard) testified about the implementation of the new policy. Here's a passage in those hearing where a potential loss is quantified:

Chairman Miller. I guess if you want to extrapolate out the new policy in today's markets, the $4.8 billion would look something like more than $8 billion in losses? Mr. Millard. If the new policy had been implemented in February, our experience from February to now--well, let me go back a step. It would have been impossible to implement the new policy in February anyway. As I discussed before, it takes years to layer in some of those asset classes and would have taken many months to layer in some of the others. So it is not the kind of thing that would have all happened at once anyway. Additionally, it is far more iversified than the current equity portfolio. You are extrapolating our experience, which is mostly right now matched to the S&P, with what the new experience in equities would be, which is not nearly matched to the S&P because it is intended specifically to be far more diversified. So extrapolating an S&P number isn't really a fair characterization of how the new policy would have performed. But I think it is reasonable for us to conclude that it would have performed worse over the last 8 months. But it is not a policy that is designed to function over 8 months. We take in sevens now. We owe tens over time. Our obligations are not measured in years. They are measured in decades, just like the lives of the Bethlehem Steel workers we need to pay.

The hearing is http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_house_hearings&docid=f:45030.pdf> is here. A quick browse of the PBGC website would have let the intrepid reporter know that a lot of his/her questions had been asked and answered by reasonably well-informed Congresscritters.

bad

Krugman don't need no steekin facts!!!

Charlie (Colorado)

PENANCE: Maybe Paul Krugman can be coaxed into explaining how "the Bush administration may have left us all a gratuitous loss of hundreds of billions" when the PBGC has net assets of roughly $68 billion (per the WaPo).

But probably not.

glasater

Happy Birthday Mel!!

LUN has a picture present for you:-)

clarice

Happy Birthday, Mel.

How do we know the PBGC didn't lose trillions or even gazillions? We don't do we..so let's say trillions (AKA Pelosi thousands or something).

Mike Huggins

Sorry to interrupt this program, but Allahpundit and the Hot-Air folks catch yet another example of why the Obama Administration is the
Smartest Administration EVAH!
...Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled programing.

MayBee

Happy Birthday, Mel!

RichatUF

Happy Birthday, Mel.

gus

I believe you said Krugman was wrong when he said the fund was "totally in bonds".

He was lying. He's a liar and he's a lib.
He's a cult member and he doesn't tell the truth.

There I cleared that up for you.

An "economist" that doesn't go vis a vis facts, is a DOUCHE BAG and nothing more.
Telling Nobel Laureate committees, commies, pinko's libs and fruitcakes that which they want to hear shows a man with no character.

What a surprise.,

bad

Sebelius, Health and Human Services nominee, corrects three years of tx returns and pays an additional $7,000 in taxes. LUN

The senate committee only requires three years of returns. What would they find if they went further back?

Charlie (Colorado)

Hey, IANAL and all that, but doesn't the most recent power grab brilliant legislative response to compensation issues from Congrefs -- retroactive control over all compensation by the Sec'y of the Treasury for all employees of all companies that received bailout funds -- manage to make an even beter case of being a Bill of Attainder and ex post law?

cheeflo

Mikey NTH -- Prof. Krugman already has his Nobel, so he doesn't need to worry about his reputation any longer. He's free to write whatever he wants, no matter how ludicrous or dishonest. And the NYT will always have a warm spot for him, as long as his BDS still festers.

Barry Dauphin

Krugman isn't going to explain. He believes in just moving on.

mel

Thanks all!

glasater-

put skis on that photo, lose the bronc, and that was what ended my ski racing career, at 55 mph. Add trees for scenery.

Off to dinner, and night all.

Mama's enchiladas, at the only jewish orthodox mexican restaurant I've ever known. Casa De Isaac.LUN

Barry Dauphin

Q: How do you get Democrats to pay taxes?
A: Appoint them to the Obama Administration!

Jim Miller

Daddy - Now that you are out, you may want to check the main Redoubt webcam from time to time. As I write, it is showing ash, fog, or some mixture of the two, but it was beautiful last night and impressive early this morning. (You can find a captured shot from this morning on my web site.)

Now, please, everyone go back to picking on Paul Krugman. Has anyone mentioned his methodological errors? I have, more than once, spotted the "ecological fallacy" in his columns, and have never seen him correct it.

Jane

Hey Mel,

Happy Happy Birthday. So glad you found us!

Elliott

Happy birthday, Mel!

clarice

Well chicken with cheese isn't kosher, mel but the idea is amusing. I have a very good friend in Highland Park who you probably know--He's a broker, too and his entire family has lived there for a couple of generation--all 13 of his grandkids live within blocks of his home. If you're curious, email and I'll give you his name.

MayBee

OT-
Arne Duncan on mayors taking over schools:
School chief: Mayors need control of urban schools


By LIBBY QUAID

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday that mayors should take control of big-city school districts where academic performance is suffering.

Duncan said mayoral control provides the strong leadership and stability needed to overhaul urban schools.


Mayors run the schools in fewer than a dozen big cities; only seven have full control over management and operations. That includes Chicago,
where Duncan headed the school system until joining the Obama administration.

Speaking at a forum with mayors and superintendents, Duncan promised to help more mayors take over.

"At the end of my tenure, if only seven mayors are in control, I think I will have failed," Duncan said.

The funny part to me is one of the candidates for mayor of the City of Detroit supports this, but the other is unsure.
Yes, that means:
1)Kwame Kilpatrick could have been in charge of Detroit schools and
2)Nobody would have been in charge of Detroit schools since Kwame went to prison.

But hey! Chicago does it.

Kevin T. Keith

Since the language you yourself quote only says that the PBGC did not "fully" invest in stocks right off the bat (and that that fact saved them from losses even twice as great), I see no incompatibility with that claim and Krugman's that they were "buying in" at the wrong time.

As for investing in bonds, your quote from Krugman says nothing about "the previous strategy having been 'always bonds'"; it says that they "switched from bonds only [emphasis added, for your benefit". This implies they only held bonds at the time of the switch, not that they had never held anything else. Now, whether that claim is itself true I don't know, but nothing you have said addresses it, and the claim you make about "the previous strategy" does not match Krugman's words, which you yourself quote.

You're down 2 out of 3 on the basis of reading comprehension alone. And your claim that there is a contraction in the reality-based community, on the basis of quotes that do not contradict one another, calls your logic skills into question as well.

As to the question of the potential maximal loss from these investments, I don't know that either, but your incompetence in other respects does not inspire confidence in your analysis of that one either. I'll stick with the reality-based community, thanks.

PD

Happy birthday, mel. Have some curds today. :-)

Porchlight

Happy Birthday, Mel!

Mama's enchiladas, at the only jewish orthodox mexican restaurant I've ever known. Casa De Isaac.

Funny, a co-worker told me just today that a new brand of kosher tequila is now being marketed in Mexico.

Salud! (Or should it be, L'Chaim!)

Charlie (Colorado)

There's a good article (no surprise) on MBS, CDO, and CDS at Derivative Dribble.

Fresh Air

Yeah, that mayoral control has done wonders for Chicago Public Schools. I think 38 percent of the kids graduate and the average 12th grader reads at the 8th-grade level. It's a miracle! All thanks to the keen oversight and educational expertise of Richie Daley.

Duncan was an absolute nothing as schools chief, all press releases, no results. Elevating him to do anything is almost as bad as elevating Zero to president.

Okay, it's not that bad. But it's pretty bad...

Jane

Arne Duncan on mayors taking over schools:
School chief: Mayors need control of urban schools

The mayor of Boston is called "mumbles menino" because he is unable to string a sentence together. I'm not sure he is the role model we are looking for.

Paul Zrimsek

Equity securities represented 27 percent
of total assets invested at the end of FY 2008, compared to 32 percent for FY 2007.

From the linked PBGC annual report which Mr. Keith couldn't be bothered to read.

clarice

MayBee, At least it doesn't diffuse responsibility among so many people that no one is responsible. Mayor Fenty has emasculated D.C.
s school board, picked a really first rate superintendent and taken charge . It's a world of difference.

Porchlight

FA,

Yeah, you'd think Obama would pick an Education Secretary from someplace that actually had decent schools.

But then, that wouldn't be the Obama we know.

 Ann

glasater,

That is an incredible picture. You are so talented.

and

Happy Birthday, Mel!

PD

Yeah, you'd think Obama would pick an Education Secretary from someplace that actually had decent schools.

The same way he picks car czars from the ranks of people with auto-making experience?

Porchlight

The same way he picks car czars from the ranks of people with auto-making experience?

Precisely! As Spy Magazine used to put it: Logrolling In Our Time.

Boatbuilder

Hey, Kevin Keith. I truly hope that's not your real name, because someone fool enough to lecture TM about his competence level, while admittedly not knowing enough about the PBGC to say whether it had been investing in equities prior to the infamous switch, and without the basic research competence to check on the issue first, might want to remain somewhat anonymous.

No wonder Krugman doesn't worry about whether he gets the facts straight. Why should he? The Kevin Keiths of the world, secure in the knowledge that all things Bush are bad, and all things opposed to Bush are presumptively correct, will uncritically accept whatever he writes. While proclaiming their own moral and intellectual superiority.

DrJ

Happy birthday porter!

For all of us old-timers...

Rick Ballard

"which Mr. Keith couldn't be bothered to read."

It's tough for his type to even get an IttyBitty Book Light to the place where he could read by it - let alone an annual report.

I would imagine that CALPERS would love to swap positions with PBGC. They had a $54 billion hit as of October. I think 23% is still considered to be more than 6.5% or even 12.2% but I'm not very good at the new dirty socialist math...

Kevin T. Keith

BB:

I don't feel a need to research other people's blog posts for them. As I acknowledge more than once, my comment was about the basic competency of the analysis presented, not its factual content. For all I know, the criticisms of Krugman might even be true, but that would bear only an incidental relationship to the arguments given.

I can't help notice a couple of other things, too. First, while you criticize my comment for not including the factual content it did not address, I notice your comment contained no factual content respecting PBGC either. You add nothing to the discussion while criticizing my true and accurate remarks about the aspect of it I chose to address, having first declaimed about fools who pretend to lecture others. And second, even as you question my supposed desire and need for anonymity, in a post that is not only signed but also links to my remarkably incisive and informative blog, I can't help notice that your comment is made under a fake name with no contact link.

As to my moral and intellectual superiority, well . . .

Tom Maguire

Since the language you yourself quote only says that the PBGC did not "fully" invest in stocks right off the bat (and that that fact saved them from losses even twice as great), I see no incompatibility with that claim and Krugman's that they were "buying in" at the wrong time.

Nor will you - Krugman has spoken and you will follow.

For the rest of us, we can go to the hearing:

Mr. MILLARD. Correct. The decline in our portfolio, the portfolio was approximately 70 percent [corrected to 30 percent] equities in September a year ago, and other than the fact that equities have dropped, we have not changed our allocation yet.
centralcal

I am with Dr. J. Happy Birthday to Porter.

Happy Birthday and my best wishes for many more to Mel.

You have added immeasurably to our enlightenment here. Yeah, I know you are out tonight eating kosher Mexican food - whatever! Knowing your personal choices of kitchen equipment, that doesn't surprise me in the least.

Buon Natale.

Rick Ballard

Look - it's Josh Yglesias himself! Or maybe it's Noam Gleenwald. I always get them confused.

Pofarmer

So, is this correct?

From the just-released Federal Office of Comptroller of the Currency?s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activity, 96% of all US bank derivatives positions are held by 5 banks:

JP Morgan: $88 trillion
Bank of America: $38 trillion
Citibank: $32 trillion
Goldman Sachs: $30 trillion
Wells Fargo/Wach: $ 5 trillion
HSBC $ 3.7 trillion

LUN

Jim Ryan

Sebelius, Health and Human Services nominee, corrects three years of tx returns and pays an additional $7,000 in taxes.

We started on Jan 20th with tragedy, went to farce for a while, then, back to tragedy. Sebelius kicks off another round of farce.

Rick Ballard

Pofarmer,

That's an analysis of bank holdings of registered CDS. It's accurate but limited. There are still quite a few unregistered synthetics floating around the world without any way to accurately determine the total amount outstanding.

Rich and I have both cited the OCC numbers several times. The actual current report is here and if you scroll to tables 5-12 you can see the actual data from which the reporting is derived.

mel

Po-

Here's the actual report they refer to: LUN.

There is way more here than meets the eye, or that joker's first reaction. I'll need a sifter and a good night's sleep. Hint: look at the commodities listed, and I don't see anywhere a break out for custodial accounts (other people who trade THROUGH those banks).

Not so simple.

Night all.

mel

Rick-

I see, once again, you type faster than me.

G'Night.

Porchlight

Sebelius kicks off another round of farce.

Thank goodness. I needed a break from the tragedy.

I wonder why the Sebelius tax story is breaking now and not when she was nominated. There must be something they're trying to distract us from.

Boatbuilder

Hey Kevin. The facts are the facts. The fact is that PGBC had roughly 30% of its assets in equities before the infamous switch--something Krugman either knows and is lying about or, as the worlds smartest economist, ought to know.

Which is of course the point TM made.

But you don't care about the facts, because they do tend to get in the way of a good point--especially when debating wingnuts.

If you don't understand how that one key fact (the prior equity investment level)renders everything in your criticism of TM ludicrous, you are indeed a fool--a self-revealed fool, at that.

And I don't question your supposed desire to remain anonymous--on the contrary, I wonder at your apparent eagerness to publicly proclaim your ignorance while at the same time asserting your superiority. I would have recommended anonymity. I, who do not pretend to be perfect, plan to retain mine.

RichatUF

Pofarmer-

Here's the report, its page 22 in the pdf. That would be the notional amount of among the banks positions of futures, options, forwards, swaps, and credit derivatives.

Hummm...Goldman Sachs only made 51 million from their credit positions last quarter if I'm reading Table 7 right...

Stephanie

Happy Birthday, Mel!

RichatUF

Damn it, I was really slow linking that.

Charlie (Colorado)

As to my moral and intellectual superiority, well . . .

Yeah, we'd pretty much figured out that was an illusion too.

Pofarmer

Thank you gentleman. I wasn't really agreeing with the posters conclusions, just wondering about the numbers themselves.

Rick Ballard

Buon compleanno, Mel. Altri cento giorni così.

Rich,

The gold hedging by JPM and HSBC remains interesting. I wonder what the entire rationale looks like?

MayBee

MayBee, At least it doesn't diffuse responsibility among so many people that no one is responsible. Mayor Fenty has emasculated D.C.
s school board, picked a really first rate superintendent and taken charge . It's a world of difference.

clarice- I think the only sensible thing is to make Fenty mayor of all cities.

JorgXMcKie

Why is it that the more obviously ignorant the fool, the more sneering the assumption of superiority? I know there's a link, but what is it?

Jane

If I read the LUN right the Tedesco race is down to about 80 votes out of 70,000 with one precinct left to report.

narciso

Feliz Cumpleanos, Mel, where is the secret list of JOMer birthdays, everyone seems to know about, except me.

RichatUF

I skimmed over that and noticed that Goldman doesn't (at least what they need to report to the OCC) have a gold position or apparently precious metals postion at all. JP Morgan having such a distorted position could it be the ishares gold eft and the physical gold that holds. Not really sure on either JPM or HSBC through.

DrJ

You're not alone, narciso. I've no idea how they do it. I can only assume said person works for an academic alumni association, who seem about as able.

Jim Miller

Jane - According to the Daily Horse Race blog, there are 5,907 absentee ballots. I would guess that none of them have been counted yet, but I don't know enough about NY procedures to be certain about that. The newspaper article he links to certainly implies that those votes will be counted later.

So, you shouldn't expect even a preliminary result tonight. Probably.

(In the past, absentee ballots tended to be Republican, but that isn't true any more in many states.)

RichatUF

Rick-

Disregard my comment on ishares, I was under the impression that JP Morgan was owner or part owner and might have had physical control of the gold etf. I quick check proves that wrong.

narciso

Yes, but how many associations, not everyone
went to the same school or even to the same group of schools. So the bet is between Krugman who's been wrong about practically
everything since 2000, or Krueger who's been wrong about a few things, on occasion,
that's a Hobson's choice.

BTW, as you may know by now, Newt Gingrich is going to be the keynote speaker, instead
of the Governor, be still my beating heart, good luck there, of course there were more anonymous sources dissing her, and hell had
a blizzard, Politico got the story halfway correct, I know I'm surprised too. So Tedisco dissed Rush and he ended up 81 votes down, there's a lesson in that.

Paul Zrimsek

Why is it that the more obviously ignorant the fool, the more sneering the assumption of superiority? I know there's a link, but what is it?

That's simple enough. If you already know it all, why waste time finding out?

RichatUF

narciso-

I've been wondering about the birthday list myself. And re: the Governor the politico and the Sarahaters have been out in force pumping up the story with the usual anonymous quotes.

I am realy starting to hate the GOP and the RNC-these dumb motherf*ckers funded Specter and Chafee, had some thief working on staff (the treasurer at the NRCC) that embezzled about 750K, and managed to piss away majorities in both houses. Maybe they should go wonder around the desert for a while before they open their cakehole again.

Terry Gain

Bush-basher supreme Paul Krugman:

I've read a lot of his Bush bashes. I think you mean Bush-basher pathetic.

DrJ

Yes, but how many associations, not everyone
went to the same school or even to the same group of schools.

Joke, narciso. All that I know is that whenever and wherever I move, the only people who reliably can find me are the alumni associations of my former universities. I have been assured that I am not alone.

daddy

I've figured it out!!!

Mel,

Redoubt fired one off this afternoon to 25,000 feet, therefore you must be 25. Happy 25th!

Jim Miller, nice hut shot and thanks for the link.

narciso

Yes, we had our state chair Jim Greer, who's from the I-4 corridor, (actually Orlando) re-elected despite he lost the 1-4 corridor, had serious campaignirregularities
and inappropriate expenses. Plus the Gov. let early voting, expedited ex felon voting,
than stuck us with the force of 'this fully
operational' stimulus which we'll be paying off for years.

My old high school was that way for the first ten years, after that not so much.

DrJ

My old high school was that way for the first ten years, after that not so much.

Slackers.

My undergrad school found me when I rented a room for weekdays in Berkeley from a friend when I lived permanently in another town. No changes of address, no new driver's license, bank accounts or anything else. They lost me for a few years thereafter, and when I settled here, once again they found me. Same as before (but I did get a new DL).

Heaven only knows how they do it. I think the birthday fairy must know their ropes.

daddy

TC,

Thanks for the Dick & Jane live blogging. I'll catch it next week. From Jane's comments yesterday, it seemed like Dick was intent upon, and had 24 to 48 hours to work up a case to argue in favor of Obama firing the GM boss. Prelim indications I am getting from you guys is that he came up with nothing. Yippee!

RichatUF

narciso-

Don't get me started. Noticed the other day that an Obamastimulus project got underway in Orlando, and the usual bootlickers in the media and ACORN were present for the 3.5 million dollar check for re-habing a government housing project in the city. Yes, they could tear the place down and build new buildings and it still wouldn't account for 3.5 million.

Jim Greer and Gov. Crist are worried about ACORN supported "education funding" rallies and not the destruction of high paying jobs with the dithering on Constellation and the very real possibility of missile defense being killed. At least their view of the Gulf won't be spoilt with ugly oil rigs because they have such faith in solar power.

 Ann

This video reminds me of the Obama Administration: Daily Obama Ridicule Video

Narciso, I don't think there is an official list of birthdays, but Hit and Elliott seem to remember them the most. I will be eighteen twenty nine on July 12th. I think I am the only CANCER crab at JOM. Maybe the regulars here should post their birthday with their screen name. What is yours?
Narciso 00/00/00? I think I remember you saying you are 39. Is that right?

bad

Sebelius and her husband are either really stupid or crooked as hell.

She and her husband misunderstood home mortgage interest deduction laws and claimed the deduction even after she'd sold the home she'd taken out the mortgage for. (She was underwater, having sold the house for less than the amount on her mortgage.)

EVERYBODY claims the mortgage deduction for homes they don't own. RIGHT!!!

LUN

narciso

22nd of October, so it's a fair while from now, I thought I was the youngest in the group but I guess I was wrong.

 Ann

I, like most of you are really depressed with the daily news. However, today Mark Levin in his first hour replayed a speech of Ronald Reagan from Oct, 27, 1964! He could of given that speech sadly today but it made me realize Reagan articulated conservatism without a teleprompter and I was proud again. If you listen to it try and replace his dollar figures with 2009 dollars. Why is it so hard to be a conservative? Why is it so hard to do the right thing?

I have days that I wish I was a person that only wanted something for myself. It is so much easier to not fight and surrender. But like you I refuse!

If you have a chance listen: Mark Levin

jimmyk

claimed the deduction even after she'd sold the home she'd taken out the mortgage for

How do you do that "accidentally"? The deduction is normally a different amount each year, and you need a statement from the lender to get the amount (unless you calculate it yourself, but if you do that you're likely to be together enough not to claim the deduction after you no longer own the house).

 Ann

bad,

It is interesting that all the Democrats only have to go back three years. Do you think if the IRS found you cheating for three years they would stop asking questions about the other years? And isn't it interesting that none of them have overpaid their taxes. Those patriotic Democrats that love to pay taxes are always the ones that make errors in their favor not ours...ours meaning the morons they represent and demand payments to keep them in office.

glasater

Always late to the party I am......

Ann thanks for the kind words and Mel--a big ouch for you!!

Know this link to banks profitability in January & February is really not on topic but the comments were interesting.

glasater

Years ago when I worked in elections the absentee ballots were always counted first.

The NY election could hinge on the ballots--properly postmarked for time--straggling in for the next few days.

Jane

WOw the charges are being dropped against Ted Stevens for prosecutorial misconduct.

Too bad he was convicted and lost his office.

I wonder who organized that.

Hector

The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride f*cking with you. F*ck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.
aff9cb5c9a6c4ab3bab69a943091e0d9

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