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  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post Late Night: Nothing to Be Done (Hopefully)

    2012-12-29 17:15:13View | Delete

    “I can’t go on like this.”

    “That’s what you think.”

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post A Recap on the State of Play on the Fiscal Slope

    2012-12-14 08:26:09View | Delete

    I’ve been seeing some people saying that the appropriations process is where the GOP nutjobs will make their final stand. It really looks like the administration will not negotiate anything on the debt limit if they don’t get a deal now. They do have options (14th amendment, $2 trillion coin) , and there have to be at least 40 Republicans who are not a risk in a primary, but are at risk in the general if they shut down the government and careen us into another global financial mess. (This assumes that Boehner could put down a wholesale revolt from the members in gerrymandered districts who are at risk in a primary.)

    By sometime around mid March (I’m told) appropriation bills will need to be passed, or programs will go unfunded (not social security, of course). There (as dday and I were tweeting about a little while ago) the administration doesn’t have options. The Republicans have to decide whether they want to pull a Newt and shut down the government. And that’s pretty much entirely up to them.

  • Except Boehner hasn’t actually put 800 billion on the table.

    It’s really kinda shocking that the majority of the People’s House are disconnected from, you know, reality.

  • Jon,

    My guess is that part of the deal Obama cut with insurers is the preservation of state based monopoly pricing. A Federal exchange is perilously close to a public option, from the perspective, say, of a ND insurer.

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post IMF Rejects Own Research, Backs Austerity in Portugal

    2012-10-19 17:52:51View | Delete

    Because the Portuguese can’t devalue their currency.

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post Republicans to Schumer: You’re Ruining Everything!

    2012-10-10 13:47:10View | Delete

    Note the “strengthen” SS messaging has been subversive.

  • I continue to say that this is really front running–that they are identifying trades before they execute, and executing in front of them.

  • Of course there is a problem with banks “hedging” a loan portfolio. The way commercial banking works is they use interest rates and collateral to protect against losses on their loan book. Unsecured loans carry higher interest rates than secured loans. Defaulting on secured loans results in the banks obtaining the capital put up against the loan. Banks’ experience in the marketplace is supposed to allow them to set interest rate and collateral policies that allow them to make money–in competition with other banks facing the same marketplace. Competition (and regulation to preserve competition) keeps the rates from becoming usurious or the capital requirements too onerous.

    That it’s perfectly reasonable for a bank to buy a synthetic derivative to hedge its entire loan portfolio has nothing to do with commercial banking. That’s trading–treating the portfolio as a security to be used in profit-making trading activity. A commercial bank doesn’t NEED a hedge if its loan portfolio is constructed properly.

    What should happen is commercial bank has a nice smooth, safe, and therefore relatively low rate of return, with loans added to its portfolio at higher and lower rates of interest as the overall interest rates fluctuate. So they have a commercial book with five to ten year loans at various states of repayment, and unsecured lines of credit at higher, adjustable, interest rates.

    There is no need to create, or buy, synthetic instruments to hedge such a book, and many many reasons not to do this, among them the risk of catastrophic failure.

  • Revolving oligarchs.

    It’s not just on the Hill, of course. Political appointees on the executive branch also go in and out of government–and they don’t just revolve between lobby shops and the bureaucracy. They go to the actual industries being regulated, overseen or subsidized, and back again.

    It’s completely corrosive–and creates a culture where it seems only fair for a presidential spokesman to leave his job after a couple of years, and get paid multi millions in salary.

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post High Gas Prices Coming from Over-Speculation, Says Analyst

    2012-02-15 10:18:40View | Delete


    I am always very dubious wrt speculation driving price increases arguments. The problem is that future prices that are above the spot price plus storage costs for commodity will be driven down by other speculators. Contango is what economists call this. If spot now plus the cost of carry is less than the equivalent futures price, then the current holders will sell forward and reap a sure profit.

    Now one thing that can happen in oil markets is tankers can be slowed down, lowering the supply.

    In 2005 and 2006 a perception of impending supply shortage allows (sic) traders to take advantages of the contango in the crude oil market. Traders simultaneously bought oil and sold futures forward. This led to large numbers of tankers loaded with oil sitting idle in ports acting as floating warehouses.[4] (see: Oil-storage trade) It was estimated that perhaps a $10–20 per barrel premium was added to spot price of oil as a result of this.

    You can’t do this kind of thing forever–when all the tankers are full, you’ve gotta start delivering. But it is hard to tell a story of speculators alone driving prices up.

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post Eurozone Busily Decimating Member Countries

    2012-01-16 08:51:17View | Delete

    The real problem is that countries with ostensibly representative governments have given up, without a vote, their sovereignty. This can’t end well; if citizens can’t change horrendous public policy at the ballot box, they will turn to other methods for changing the government.

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post Sunday Talking Heads: April 10, 2011

    2011-04-10 06:25:25View | Delete

    Backchannel for Jay Rosen and Stuart Zechman tonight in IRC.


    Channel: #Vspeak

  • jayackroyd commented on the diary post We Must Be a Different Base by Stuart Zechman.

    2010-12-28 07:45:45View | Delete


    Funny typo.

  • jayackroyd commented on the diary post We Must Be a Different Base by Stuart Zechman.

    2010-12-28 07:45:02View | Delete

    No. Speaking as someone who took a long time to understand what Stuart is saying here, it’s important to recognize that DAFT is NOT window dressing. From the post: On the issues where centrists and liberals (finally, it wasn’t always like this) agree, like repeal of DADT, they made it happen. The NewDemocrat/ThirdWay ideologue is not [...]

  • jayackroyd commented on the diary post We Must Be a Different Base by Stuart Zechman.

    2010-12-27 06:49:55View | Delete

    60,000 vs 400,000 visits a day. According to the Sitemeter links at each site.

  • jayackroyd commented on the diary post We Must Be a Different Base by Stuart Zechman.

    2010-12-26 19:34:49View | Delete

    Thanks for posting this Stuart. It’s taken me quite a while to understand that the program of the New Democrats is ideologically different from, say, New Deal Democrats. What I’ve found most interesting, in a depressing way, is that my inability to understand this is partly a consequence of what can only be an intentional [...]

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post The War on Efficient Trash Collection

    2010-11-08 13:50:45View | Delete

    My siblings live in places (ME and PA) where the municipality charges by the bag. That is, you have to buy the bags from the town, and they won’t pick up anything else. This works remarkably in encouraging their actually taking their own recyclables in and also makes a compost heap (or at least pitching the garbage to the raccoons) a great deal more appealing. And, of course, the landfill fills up much more slowly….

  • jayackroyd commented on the blog post The War on Efficient Trash Collection

    2010-11-08 13:45:05View | Delete