Fraud Alert!

Note: The following is a lie:

"The Largest Torrent of New Profits Ever Unleashed"

"...Right now the biggest redirection of capital the world has ever seen is underway. Billions of dollars are leaving the once-rock solid U.S. markets and flooding into blue-chip companies based outside of the U.S. There are many reasons it's happening: the U.S. dollar is flagging, mostly under a growing mountain of debt. Global investors view mature U.S. markets as having less and less room for growth. They see the future in emerging powerhouses like China, India and other once secondary economies that are beginning to stir.Quite frankly though, the reasons aren't as important as the trend itself.Here's the secret: Know where the money's headed and you'll get rich."

What is wrong with this guy's assertions? First of all, capital is flowing INTO the US, not out of it. How do we know that? Because those foreigners are still lending us money to pay for our deficit. If they weren't, our interest rates would skyrocket.

Also, the US dollar is NOT flagging.

And the 'mature' markets of the US are also very stable ones. If you had a chunk of change, wouldn't you want to put it in a stable place? However, if you had a little change and wanted to get rich quick, feeling left out of the tech and housing booms, then you would listen to this guy.

Money is still being sent to the US markets for investment because it is still widely seen as a safe place for your money. And as for growth, returns across the planet are poor. The US is still relatively a good place for placing your money because there is some return on it. (See Greenspan's remarks on accepting low returns for higher risks, though.)

The message at the top is designed for gamblers, people who base their investment decisions 'instinct' rather than numbers and analysis. They are the "I have inside information" or "I'll hop on the next trend and get rich" feelings of people who view investing like going to the track. It's sad.

Econo-Girl read somewhere that when people make investments that go well, they think of themselves as smart. When investments go bad, they blame bad luck. The emotional aspects of investing are often the biggest problem people have in making choices that take care of them.

That is why Econo-Girl HATES, LOATHES, DESPISES casinos. Those sneaky dirtbags do everything they can to get Econo-Girl off of her analytical game. No clocks, disorientation, sleazy slot machines where you no longer have to even move your arm to play, all are examples of dirty tricks to get a person to make poor decisions.

The author of the above quote is the same or worse. He is pretending to offer investment advice based on patently false information. Does the author even KNOW anything about doing business in China or India? They are two radically different places. Econo-Girl bets he hasn't been to either of them.

Oh, and the author's primary claim of 'blue chip companies' off of US shores and how capital is leaving the US? Well, name ONE blue chip company in China, India, or Indonesia. They are emerging markets, right? A country becomes a high growth emerging market because it once had a third world economy and is changing.

It is the classic bait and switch. He calms the reader by mentioning blue chip companies, thereby evoking all of your feelings about that security, and then gets your greed in the game by nattering on about high growth in third world nations. The author of the above paragraph is a fraud and a con artist. Econo-Girl is mad.


Blast From the Past

This sophisticated lady is my great-grandmother. She looks a lot like my sisters.

Kill All Spam!

It seems that our host, Blogger, is getting beset with spam once again. Econo-Girl has a few suggestions, if she may be so bold.

Block all traffic from Blogger to the spam sites. Who's going to go there anyway?

Blogger has the resources to do an overload 'attack' on the spam sites. That would either crash the systems or bring them to a grinding halt. Then the spammers would make NO money at all.

More important here is how individual behaviour has the potential to ruin the Internet. Econo-Girl is reminded of a conference she attended at the Heritage Foundation. Some woman, who looked a little rabid, went on and on about medieval times and how there was a group of merchants that regulated its own behaviour and there was no need for government. The threat of being thrown out of the group was enough to enforce proper actions, because anybody thrown out would go broke.

She then made the case that that's all we need today. Hmmmm. If it was such a great system, why isn't it in place today? And how can we apply that arguement to the Internet? We can't. That's why these radical Libertarians are psycho. In her frame of reference, people bathed twice in a lifetime. Should we bring that back, too?


Here we go again...

Snow, Chinese officials discuss currency

By Mark Felsenthal Sun Sep 25, 4:14 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary
John Snow on Saturday told Chinese officials greater exchange rate flexibility is necessary to help the global economy deal with economic distortions, a U.S. official said.

Econo-Girl needs a chuckle these days. Those Chinese didn't change enough for us? Why would they? They faked us out to shut us up for a while. If we want to talk about imbalances, let's talk about the US trade and budget deficit.


Greenspan, Katrina and Fannie Mae

Greenspan recently warned that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are overextended, like the rest of America. What Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do are to take US mortgages and bundle them and to sell them as securities. Greenspan warned that

"Greenspan warned that as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increase in size relative to the Wall Street firms that help them hedge risk, their ability "to quickly correct the inevitable misjudgments inherent in their complex hedging strategies becomes more difficult." Forbes.com, article by Virginia Citrano. See above link.

Econo-Girl's concern is with the attacks of Mother Nature on our Gulf shores, many people will not be paying their mortgages back. What effect would this have on Freddie's and Fannie's ability to provide low-cost mortgages to Americans? And what will that do, in turn, to the housing market?

The Hurricane Tapes

National Public Radio has some explosive information on its morning show. It was the taped phone conversations of officials preparing for Katrina. Normally, Econo-Girl turns the radio off and goes back to sleep. Not this morning. She waited like an expectant cat.

It seems that FEMA did NOT have generators in place to deliver to the disaster zone. This requirement should not have been a surprise to them, as it was part of the disaster run-through they had done with local officials previously. Am I being redundant to say people died because of this? The generators were to have provided electricity for machines sick people depended on.

Econo-girl is the first one to admit she is a pain in the ass. I'm very good at what I do, but I am a pain in the ass. So is it too much to think that if the people in charge of FEMA disaster relief and preparedness were 'not getting it' that someone should have knocked on their hotel door and expressed it to them personally? That's the Econo-girl route. Of course, a lot of people hate me because of it. But, I mean, they live somewhere, don't they? So track them down. And I would bring Liesure Lad, because he can talk anyone into anything.


Interest Rates and Inflation

Saw some interesting ideas on inflation. The analogy Econo-Girl uses to represent the idea is a string being pulled at both ends. One end is supply. The other end of the string is demand.

When supply is low, that end of the string is being pulled back. When demand is low, that is the end that ismade slack.

So a healthy economy has a reasonably stable rope that more or less stays in place. If the supply end of the rope gets too slack from oversupply, then it takes less force on the demand end to pull. That's a lower cost to get supply.

Please have patience. Econo-Girl is just working out the kinks in this analogy.

With Katrina, supply has tightened up. So it takes more demand, and the willingness to pay more, to keep the rope stable. That means inflation.

Why does Econo-Girl think she is the only one who is going to believe this crazy analogy?

Runaway inflation is when supply is pulling back more and more, and in response, demand rushes forward to get more goods. That only prompts more pulling from supply. Soon the rope is dashing across the lawn. It is no longer a rope standing still. It is no longer a stable economy.

So what if the rope is stable, and then supply starts getting bigger and creating slack. If demand is low and stays there despite lower prices for supply, the rope is not taut, but loosely hanging. That is a recession. When the rope hits the ground, it is a depression. The rope is on the ground because there is no pull from either supply or demand.

Is anyone else out there having fun with this?

Econo-Girl thinks she will develop a series of graphics to demonstrate her idea better. Using an actual rope would be a good way to explain basic economics to children.

Inflation Fears!

Once again, the Fed has raised interest rates. This time they mentioned fear of inflation despite the economic setback of Katrina.

Econo-Girl wonders whether anyone in America will ever name their daughter 'Katrina' again.

On the home front, Econo-Girl sent in her first application for a Federal job. It's just that I have this awful feeling about how this credit crunch/ high interest rates / awful deficit is all going to shake down in a few years.

Borrowing money will be REALLY hard within about two years.


Hot Peppers

Econo-Girl is economizing again. She pulls out her Martha Stewart magazines
to make scrumptious meals that will hopefully replace our culinary joy in

After her heart attack at the grocery store bill, Econo-Girl can only
surmise that most economists do not do their own grocery shopping.
Inflation is evident in the cost of food.

And so, she makes the family meal. And during the process she cuts a pepper
that seemed benign enough except after cutting it, Econo-Girl scratched her

Some juice of the pepper must be smudged in her kitchen because in drinking
her coffee, Econo-Girl's LIPS BURNED from the coffee mug.

So now we understand why that pepper spray is so good. And eco-friendly as


Good One

Sent to Econo-Girl by a friend.

And have you heard:
Q: What is George Bush's stand on Roe v. Wade?
A: He doesn't care how black people get out of New Orleans.


Econo-Girl is paying off her current car, a used 1998 Mercedes. By that time, Leisure Lad should have his driver's license.

Recent events has turned Econo-Girl's mind towards survival. The next car should be a hybrid. Because what if Washington, DC were to be hit by disaster? It is not a remote prospect. Then at the very least, we can drive to my parent's house in the mountains at 20 mph without worrying about gas.

Our house is on high ground, something Econo-Girl has always insisted on since viewing an exhibit on the Johnstown flood as a girl. If our house is underwater, most of the Eastern seaboard will be under water. But just to be safe, perhaps we should buy an inflatable mattress. I saw a photo of some kids floating on one of those.

It galls me that people would be able to forget the Administration's role in the Katrina death toll. And they will. They will all remember the speech and the carefully-chosen backdrop, not the budget cuts and ineptitude that led to the huge loss of life. That depresses Econo-Girl.

The fallacy of state's rights and limited Federal government was revealed using human lives.


The Labor Crunch

Right now, the US economy is being fueled by people doing work and making
things and providing services and buying things. Add living places to the
list, too.

What if there was a sudden reduction in the number of people who contributed
to the economy? There would be a recession because less people would be
producing and buying things.

This leads Econo-Girl to think of Baby Boomers. They are one huge
generation who will begin to retire soon. So who is there to replace them?
Whoever it is, there isn't enough of them. So when a court ruled today that
Microsoft could restrict the employment of a former employee, you see the
business community making a pre-emptive strike against worker's rights and
flexibility. Because one day soon, being able to tie an employee to your
company will be critical in keeping your company functioning. This is
doubly true for skilled employees. As the senior people leave, replacements
must be found. And then they must be kept, or at least kept from leaving
you for another company. This is what Microsoft is doing.

Katrina and the Prez

Maureen Dowd, in the New York Time today, outlined Bush's problem with
isolation thus:

"W. has said he prefers to get his information straight up from aides,
rather than filtered through newspapers or newscasts. But he surrounds
himself with weak sisters who don't have the nerve to break bad news to him,
or ideologues with agendas that require warping reality or chuckleheaded
cronies like Brownie.

The president should stop haunting New Orleans, looking for that bullhorn
moment. It's too late."


Econo-Girl seems to be the only person in America who remembers how the Prez
hesitated after 9-11 attacks as well. He took days to get together a
message for the American people. The Republican snotrags were caught with
their pants down and with no Democrats to blame. Of course that didn't last
long. They focused on Bill Clinton again, like an old whore loitering on
her favorite corner. Never gets away from it too long. One columnist for
Slate.com even pined for Clinton and his ability to empathize. It shows the
groupthink of the media that he felt he had to issue an apology for that
observation later.

The economy has gotten a kick in the pants. Maybe even a kick in the head.
Inflation, and maybe even stagflation, are the fears now.

Another thing to get a kick in the head is America. "Wow, the poor are
people, too." Maybe this sink or swim stuff isn't a good idea after all.
Of course it isn't. As Econo-Girl's mother often said, "One day you think
everything is good, and then they take it all away from you. The only thing
you can keep no matter what is your education." Rather dire, I'll admit,
but she grew up in post-WWII Germany and saw a lot of that.

Any one of us can be poor, under the right circumstances. Especially with
no univeral health care to protect us against medical bills. It is the
folly of the powerful middle class to credit themselves for their own
prosperity. And therefore to blame the poor fot their own circumstance.
Econo-Girl weeps for it.


Inflation is Coming

Gas Costs Spur Aug. Wholesale Inflation

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer 1 hour, 34 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Surging costs for gasoline and other energy products fueled inflation at the wholesale level in August, pressure that is expected to become even more intense once the full impact of Hurricane Katrina is felt.

Justice Roberts

Econo-Girl interned for the Senate Judiciary Committee in her wayward youth. She sat in the gallery for too many of their hearings. And she can say without equivocation:

Orrin Hatch is an asshole.

Absolutely EVERYTHING that came before that committee, Orrin Hatch compared to Roe v. Wade. EVERYTHING. How can people elect someone like that? Once a black Senator reamed him out for comparing slavery to abortion. Good for her, even though she turned out to be a bit shady.

And how does Senator Byrd get re-elected all the time? Who are these people that vote for him?


At Long Last

Econo-Girl has decided to become a Federal employee. She wants to own a
business but that can wait. There are novels to write and poetry to sing,
and that will be her focus now.

And a steady paycheck is not a bad thing.

In terms of the deficit, a number of economists are pointing to disaster.
So I am going to play it safe and easy. Would that be a bad life? No.

In a way, Econo-Girl is disappointed in herself. She wanted to fight the
wilds of economics and tame them. It is not to be. Not now. But it leaves
her feeling a little sad.


Arabian Horses

Wheee! We're being carried away by Arabian Horses!

More specifically, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is led by a man whose prior occupation was advocating for Arabian horses. Of course, horses can't fly, so the poor and sick and young and old in New Orleans were out of luck.

The Federal foot-dragging in evidence this past week was a national embarassment. Nay, an international one. After all that money and eroded civil rights, Econo-Girl thought the U.S. would have at least been prepared for a national emergency. Sort of. In a way. Kind of.

But there is no substitute for having the right friends. And "Brownie," the affectionate Presidential nickname for the head of FEMA, is a friend of Bush. As is the torturer-in-waiting, Gonzales. And as W. says, "Brownie" is doing a great job.

Perhaps there is room for rethinking the adage "Let's get the government out of people's lives." "I believe in state's rights." And perhaps, my dumplings, there is room to acknowlege a role, even a responsibility, on a Federal level. To admit that we 50 independent states are actually strung together by something other than continguous geography.

Econo-girl sees the code "state's rights" as a segregationist anthem. It was the Federal government that put an end to segregation. And all of a sudden, there is a state's rights movement. Because the Neanderthal retro fantasyland types want to revert to something that never existed.

And along the way, why not put in an old buddy as head of FEMA? Someone not interested in the mission of the organization, but someone all too willing to oversee its downsizing? Someone with no understanding of the implications of that reduction?

But he's loyal, and that what counts.


Econo-girl weeps for the devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. She equally weeps for the people who had no means of exit prior to the storm. She grits her teeth at people who don't even consider the poor and sick in making evacuation plans.

Mark my words: there will be blowback from this event and its poor handling. The 'let them eat cake' attitude that has prevailed in our national dialogue is going to be met with virolent opposition.

There is some belief in this country that the poor are poor because of some moral failing or laziness. Despite our national myth, opportunities are NOT available to all. If they were, do you think all those people would have stayed in the path of a category five hurricane? Econo-Girl can hear people now saying she is comparing apples and oranges. No I am not. If the same opportunity FOR SURVIVAL is not given, how could one believe that the same opportunity for education is there?

Econo-Girl briefly attended services at a church that was overwhelmingly WASP liberal. They had a class on 'Class in America'. The overeducated types whined about how equal education was not available to all. Econo-Girl pointed out that if it was, their little darlings would be competing with inner-city youth for precious college admission slots. We couldn't have that. It would upset the hereditary nature of America's class system.

So Econo-Girl is angry. She is upset. She is amused by Chavez in Venezuela and disenchanted with so-called Christians.