Getting Worse More Slowly and Other News You Can Use
0 comment Tuesday, July 1, 2014 |
You know, sometimes it's just hard to believe anything the government says:

Check out these Ben Bernanke clips from 2005-2007, in which he assures us that all is well. "Lullaby and goodnight, go to sleep all good citizens . . . . " Video, courtesy of Mish's blog. (Nerd reader challenge: what's the highest gold quote you see in this montage and what is it trading for now? Bwahahaha).
Here's what Bernanke said today, in case you're interested. The executive summary: it was a lot of meaningless "on the one hand, on the other hand" hedging stuff.
Although in a profound burst of clarity, Bernanke confidently declared, "The best thing we can say about the labor market right now is that it may be getting worse more slowly."
Turning now to the jobs "saved" and "created" by the taxpayers stimulus package, ABC News reports that, " lists hundreds of millions spent and hundreds of jobs created in congressional districts that don't exist."
Aack! It's not like the "" website isn't well funded. Hells bells, the General Services Administration spent 18 million dollars of our taxpayer dollars from the stimulus package to upgrade the fancy website.
But fret not. The government is focused on more than rehabilitating its website. It has our breasts in mind, too.
A U.S. government task force says the mammogram guidelines from the American Cancer Society should be tossed. The ACA guidelines call for too many mammograms, so says the government. Using a cost-benefit analysis, we ought to wait until age 50 to start mammography screening. And even then, it should only be done every other year.
Oh, and self-administered breast exams? Forget it. Not effective.
This announcement was, of course, met with vehement disagreement. From "This is one screening test I recommend unequivocally, and would recommend to any woman 40 and over," said Dr. Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer. The government stance "is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives, just not enough of them," he said.
Seeing "U.S." linked with anything called "Preventive Services Task Force" gives me the willies. Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal today, called "The Rationing Commission." (And lest you leap to an unfounded conclusion, I am indeed in favor of health care reform. Just not Pelosi's, which does nothing to "bend the arc" on rising costs).
On an unrelated note, I've mentioned commercial real estate a lot lately. But today, I've got a different sort of nugget for you. Although not a happy one, it's starting to make the rounds on the econo-blogs and I thought you might want a head's up. After all the holiday cocktail-party season is upon us.
The premise is that at least fifty percent of companies bought by private equity in the easy-money days will go broke in 2012 through 2015, leading to steep declines in employment and a whole lot more foreclosures.
Can you say . . . "W-shaped recovery"? I might describe it as a convulsive, psychedelic one, but there's no letter in the alphabet for that.
Josh Kosman, author of the book, "The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis," was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal last month, although not a lot of attention was paid to it. This month, though, the WSJ reviewed his book and it's now being picked up by the more widely-read media.

Alrighty then.
Cheers! And glad tidings to all!