Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Rundown – “Romer, Shiller, Mobile, Caskets, Food Stamps and Booze”

Romer puts up a front on today’s GDP says ”it’s a wonderful sign… this is the turn around.” CNBC reports there “are no red flags” in the data… how about the fastest rate of residential investment since 1998?! Faster than every quarter of the housing boom? Keep dreaming.

The latest on the proposed extension of the “home buyers” tax gimmick would have move-up home borrowers bribed by up to $6500 and first-time home borrowers bribed by $8000 as well as increasing the income limits to $125K for individuals and $250K for couples. This sham policy while giving Robert Shiller a “funny feeling” also is a great way to get you audited should you receive its benefits… it’s also a great way to perpetuate widespread fraud and support ridiculously high housing costs.

Traders, speculators and other “investors” appear to be spending more time determining how to game government stimulus than make worthy investments… the news is littered with advice on arbitraging big government policies… healthcare, swine flu, green technology, housing and consumption… is this how you build a recovery?

The iPhone, Android and other Mobile devices/technologies are really cool… but widespread adoption of data mobile devices won’t spur economic growth anywhere close to the extent that the initial thrust of the internet-era did… its nifty incremental improvement but not revolutionary technological change.... what is the "next big thing"?... space elevator anyone?

Walmart is “beta testing” a new product… caskets. While both Walmart and Costco now accept food stamps… oops… I mean “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefits”… and Wallgreens and Family Dollar now sell booze... are these all related?