Archive for February, 2010

socialist medicine

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Hot air reviews an interesting report from Britain.

Patients were left unwashed in their own filth for up to a month as nurses ignored their requests to use the toilet or change their sheets;

Wards were left filthy with blood, discarded needles and used dressings …

…  Food and drink were left out of reach, forcing patients to drink water from flower vases. …

The problem is that those would provide socialist medicine for the indigent, want to provide it for the middle class.  (more…)

Microsoft the good guys

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Google is evil in that they spy on users, and that they censor their services, and politically cook their search results.  Microsoft’s Bing has not yet been detected cooking their search results

Microsoft reports to law enforcement to what extent they spy on users, the report was leaked, and the interesting fact is that they log less than anyone else.  They only log the last ten logins, and when you delete emails from a hotmail account, they really are deleted from Microsoft’s servers – unlike Google mail on Google servers.

The suicide of the elites

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Participatory transexual vomiting as high art. This illustrates Unwin’s “Sex and Culture” – that no civilization long survives the end of the patriarchy and female chastity. Unwin’s suggested explanation for this observation is that civilization is produced by the Freudian energy of sexual repression. I favor the theory that civilization is created by patriarchs for their offspring. Another plausible theory is that civilizations survive by high asabiya, Roissy being a walking talking demonstration of low asabiya. A monogamous patriarchal society has high asabiya because people have both strong blood relationships and strong relationships with in laws.

Whatever the mechanism, Unwin’s observation is validated yet again.

The problem with peer review

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Peer review is not part of the scientific method. In most fields, for example physics, it is a new thing, and wherever it has become a standard thing, we see stagnation.

Peer review keeps out cranks, but it also keeps out the impious. It makes it safe for a science to become a religion, and for scientists to become priests of a state sponsored theocracy. Cranks have never been a threat to science, state sponsored theocracy has always been a threat to science, thus peer review has always been a failure. It is caused by science becoming theology, and causes science to become theology.

Back in the days when physics made dramatic progress, there was little peer review, perhaps none. For example, “Electrodynamics of Moving bodies” was not peer reviewed, and my guess is that today it would never have passed peer review – because it was written by a patent clerk, and was in large part a novel way of looking at results that were a hundred years old. Outsiders, and novel ways of looking at things are pretty much guaranteed to fail peer review.

The bubble in government paper

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The US budget proposes that by 2020, debt service on federal debt will be ten percent of GDP.  This is politically impossible.  The interest will be paid by borrowing more money. (more…)

Where the money went

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The government has been shuffling the money around to obfuscate who stole it.  It lends money, and then announces that there is no problem, the money has been paid back.

But after much fiddling, the money has mostly come to rest, in that the government is now the proud owner of about one trillion dollars of mortgage backed securities guaranteed by Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA, plus some Fannie, Freddy, and FHA debt.

The first graph in the above link is the money wizzing around in complicated circles to obfuscate who is at fault, the second graph is the bailout of private entities, other than General Motors, and the third graph is primarily the bailout of Fannie, Freddy, and the FHA.

That these Mortgage Backed Securities are “Fully guaranteed by Federal Agencies” implies that the vast majority of the crisis, the vast majority of the bailout, was dud mortgages rubber stamped Fanny, Freddie, and the FHA, that privately issued mortgage backed securities have been liquidated – that the dud mortgages underlying privately issued mortgage backed securities have been settled by foreclosure and bancruptcy, but the dud mortgages underlying Fannie, Freddy, and FHA issued mortgage backed securities are on the tax payers tab to the tune of about a trillion dollars.

Overtime, as the mortgages are resolved, the trillion dollars of mortgage backed securities will diminish with time.  In proportion as they were worthless, the agency debt will correspondingly increase.

Affirmative action and the mortgage crisis

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Four hundred firemen died attempting to rescue people on 9/11.  Not one “firefighter” died, for women do not fight fires.  It is not in their physique, nor their psychological nature to do so.

Obama and his wife are typical affirmative action blacks.  Michelle’s Princeton thesis is a whine about racial prejudice and is full of spelling and grammatical errors.   Obama got a degree from Columbia without even showing up.  Obama can read from a teleprompter very nicely – except when he runs into a long sentence.  Similarly, most blacks can sing and dance and play the guitar better than most whites.  But Obama never delivers a speech ex tempore or from brief notes, unlike Palin, while Palin never pauses at inappropriate points in the middle of reading a long sentence from a teleprompter, unlike Obama.

The collateralized debt obligations underlying the present crisis were structured into tranches so that the highest rated tranches could not go bad if the payer merely missed a few payments.  What caused the crisis is that on very large numbers of the underlying mortgages, no one made a single payment.  When we compare the default rate in a lily white suburb or exurb, with the default rate in a suburb or exurb where the majority are members of protected minority groups, we see the default rate in the protected minority suburb is twenty to sixty times higher, telling us why so many mortgages have never received a single mortgage payment

The brilliance of Sarah Palin

Friday, February 12th, 2010

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win.
We have been noticing a lot more attacks on Sarah Palin lately. The latest concedes she is brilliant. (more…)

The cause of the crisis 5

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The green room has a wonderful summary of the economic crisis in the form of a children’s book. They neglect, however, to mention George Bush’s role in making the CRA even worse than it already was.

Animal spirits

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Bryan Caplan argues that the recent crash was caused by animal spirits.

But I saw the 2008 crash and subsequent downturn with my own eyes, and I’m convinced that mood played a key role.  The world freaked out, big time.  It was the economic analog of a riot.

I was there also, and it was entirely rational for everyone to try to get to the exits before everyone else.    No animal spirits involved.  In 2005 November I said “Now is the time to panic”, so I got to the doors comfortably enough, though it was starting to get crowded and a rush was setting in.  By 2008 – well if you had not realized it was time to get out before 2008, it was indeed the economic analog of a riot.

In 2005 November I was talking to real estate valuer, who told me that lenders were getting nervous about wildly inflated valuations.  I immediately saw what would unfold.  Real Estate prices were going up because people, mostly cat eating Mexicans with no money, no jobs, no prospects, and a past history of never paying their debts, were buying houses at inflated prices with no money down, and since they were not putting any money down, did not care how inflated the price was.  Obviously this could not go on, and when it stopped, everything was going to go to hell.  So as soon as some people thought it was going to stop, they ran, and as soon as they ran, other people started to suspect it was going to stop, and they ran also, until by 2007 it was a crazy rush to get out, and by 2008, too late.

So when I learned in 2005 November, that lenders were getting nervous, I realized that the rush to exits had begun, and immediately joined it.

Everyone knew that things were going to collapse, but wanted to stay in till the last minute because there was money to be made, so it was not animal spirits, but people trying to judge when to run to the exits.