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Business News Update

In addition to the Federal Reserve's widely-publicized 0.25% rate cut there have been a number of interesting business stories thus far this week:

Economic Growth

Inflation-adjusted GDP growth in Q3 (July-September) was reported to have been 3.9%. That follows a 3.8% growth rate in Q2.

If a Democrat were president the national, front-page headlines would read: "Strong Economic Growth From Summer to Fall." Or perhaps "Strong Economy Continues, Growth Rate Higher." Or something along those lines. For obvious reasons, however, the national media's headlines will be couched in different terms.

The higher growth rate in Q3 vs. Q2 is a function of lower inflation. Top-line growth in Q3 actually was lower than Q2, but still solid nonetheless.

Goin' Nuclear

Here's a link to a decent AP business wire story regarding the latest news on the nuclear power front.

New AG Secretary

The Prez nominated former North Dakota GOP Governor Ed Schafer to become U.S. Agriculture Secretary. Here's a link to the Prez's announcement.

(BTW, there is a political irony to this nomination. For years the national GOP has been asking Schafer to challenge North Dakota's incumbent media/Democrat U.S. Senators. Schafer always declined, sometimes on the stated gounds he didn't want to uproot himself and move to D.C. Sure enough, now that non-voting conservatives have thrown away the Upper Chamber Gov. Schafer will be moving to D.C. Nice timing, huh? Sheesh. Former Montana GOP Governor Marc Racicot pulled a similar stunt a few years ago -- declining to mount a winnable U.S. Senate bid on the grounds he didn't want to become a D.C. insider, then turning around and doing precisely that. In other words, it's not only because of dead people voting for Democrats in big cities and conservative fecklessness that Republicans have and will continue to struggle politically.)

PROTECT ACT

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether that 2003 anti-porn law should be thrown out on 1st Amendment grounds. Here's a link to an article which, especially by AP standards, is relatively devoid of agendas and editorializing.

Speaking of editorials, if I were a betting man -- which of course I am -- I'd say that law is poised to get struck down entirely or at least severely limited. Which would be a good thing. The less laws we have regarding pornography the better, especially federal laws. Not only because of federalism. In virtually every instance in which the 1st Amendment is implicated -- save for obvious national security issues -- it's better to err on the side of free speech/expression.

Exxon Valdez

The Supreme Court also agreed to review that long-standing saga of the Exxon Valdez.

To put this interminable litigation into perspective, back when Capt. Hazelwood decided to go rock climbing with his {ahem} oil tanker the Kos/Colbert blocs were in Pampers, the president was the other George Bush, and most of Bill and Hillary's closest associates were alive and not murdered and not even jailed. Yep. The wheels of justice grind slower than Kucinich's brain waves.

In any event, for obvious reasons it was an impossible task to find a non-biased and non-agenda-driven media account of the SCOTUS/Exxon Valdez story. So, I guess it suffices to say the end result almost certainly will be yet another Supreme Court decision limiting the scope of punitive damages. Which would be a good thing. Punitive damages are nothing more than criminal sanctions hiding behind the veil of civil laws and procedures. They should be eliminated entirely. Chop, chop.


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Comments (34)

Jayson,While giving ... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Jayson,
While giving out some news, there is one article you forgot to mention. It's happening in WA state. Another elected representative just resigned. A married, with children, representative got caught in a homosexual affair. Shocking, just shocking. Maybe you would post that news also, right?

AllenGo back to the ... (Below threshold)

Allen
Go back to the campus pub and brag.

Jayson provides data here that you don't/can't understand,he understands economic data that won't be discussed in any class you will (read:don't have the grades for) ever attend, Jayson's data is relevant and you are not and....you have the attention span of an idiot.

Keep up the good work. Private industry covets competition like you.

HughS,Thank you, sin... (Below threshold)
Allen:

HughS,
Thank you, since you think you know me. Any other constructive ideas you think you have about me? Notice I have refrained saying anything about you, as I don't know you, but do know your type.

Allen, what does that have ... (Below threshold)
Steve:

Allen, what does that have to do with business news?

allen:Notice I... (Below threshold)
marc:

allen:

Notice I have refrained saying anything about you, as I don't know you, but do know your type.

Sorry to say you didn't refrain from posting a totally unrelated comment to the actual post.

If I didn't know better I'd think you were a troll with an agenda. You're not are you?

The rationale behind the Fe... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

The rationale behind the Feds rate cuts is that the lower borrowing costs will induce consumers and businesses to boost spending. Crude oil has hit new records above $90. In Europe the dollar is falling and becoming worthless while gold passes $775. Maybe they'll be borrowing to put gas int he tank and food on the table.

And while America is trying to "print" its way out of debt fewer and fewer foreign nations are buying into the charade.

Yesiree, this economy is making headlines allright. Exxon Valdex isn't the only thing that's run aground.

Hugh-I think you'r... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Hugh-

I think you're spotting Allen a little too much.

His real problem is that he's bored tonight because his Mommy wouldn't let him go out Trick o' Treating.

"Crude oil has hit new reco... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

"Crude oil has hit new records above $90" - Yes, thank you environmental wackos. Let's see, can't drill off the coast of CA, can't drill in ANWR, can't build coal or nuke power plants, hmmmm I wonder why energy is so expensive? /sarc off.

I guess libs and EWs would rather bitch about the problem but have no real fixes (when was the last time a lib fixed or created anything except bigger govt.?).

"In Europe the dollar is falling and becoming worthless...." Oh really? Planning on going to Europe on vacation or just pissed because your dream BMW just got more expensive? Please feel free to ignore the drop in the trade deficit though.

Before you start pissing yourself on how bad the US economy is please refer to the time period 1976 thru 1980 as a comparison.

I'm pretty weak on economic... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

I'm pretty weak on economics so need a little help here. The Fed lowering its' rate again.
Does the Fed lower the rate when the economy is strong and raise it when it is weak?
Without getting too technical, how does this work.
Thanks.

As for oil..I don't think L... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

As for oil..I don't think Libs control OPEC..yet.
Pretty interesting article on potential big oil in Canada

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/30/energy.oilandpetrol

Classic supply and demand.<... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Classic supply and demand.

3.9 percent is quite astoni... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

3.9 percent is quite astonishing given events over the summer.

Tar sand extraction is nast... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Tar sand extraction is nasty, oil shale not much better. My point was that something has to give. You can't scream "environmental protection" and "no drilling, no nuke power, no coal-fired plants" and then bitch about high heating oil and gas prices. Our dependance on middle eastern oil is of our own politically-correct, environmentally-sensitive making.

The fed raises and lowers t... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

The fed raises and lowers the % rate as a method to control the rate of growth in the economy keeping it balanced between excessive
inflation and recession indicators.

Unfortunately piss poor economic policy (as seen in the Carter years) can neutralize the best efforts of the fed.

Of course we can follow the... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Of course we can follow the democrats lead (Maria Cantwell) and put a windfall profits tax on "big oil". That'll solve the energy problem for sure.

Nogo,Looks like O... (Below threshold)
Civil behavior:

Nogo,

Looks like OAF is trying to explain how that "rate high= economy poor, rate low= economy good" question is related to how environmental wackos who won't drill in ANWR is related to the sensitive folks who think killing multitudes in Iraq will be good for business which of course is reflected in the dive in the CCI.

Dang, I wish I had such a clear understanding of how the economy worked.

Maybe Hugh could answer your question.

Well why don't you answer i... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Well why don't you answer it cb? Your answer would probably look like:

a. BIG OIL BUSH BUDDIES BIG OIL BUSH FRIENDS BIG OIL BUSH CRONIES

b. HALLIBURTON CHENEY HALLIBURTON CHENEY

c. RICH GETTING RICHER RICH GETTING RICHER

All capitalized to represent you screaming at the top of your lungs.

btw the topic was the economy and energy, not Iraq, asshole.

Don't waste your finger tip... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Don't waste your finger tips ODA. Regardless of the strength of the economy the trolls will find one-legged circus midgets that are suffering and parade them around. It's what they do best.

Please take a gander at the... (Below threshold)
Civil behavior:

Please take a gander at the latest news from the Conference Board.

http://www.conference-board.org/economics/consumerconfidence.cfm

Then please come back and tell me how the representative public views the economy. I'm sure Hugh, OAF, prof, Jayson et all have a reasonable explanation.

When comparing how people s... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

When comparing how people subjectively "feel" vs. empirical numbers, why do the libs usually take the "feel"?

Oh, that's right. They take either side as it fits their agenda......silly me.

OAF, Did you re... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

OAF,

Did you read the report?

Did you get a good sense of how people "feel" this disaster of mounting war dead (empirical numbers) and the increasing prices of food and gas (empirical numbers) and the credit crisis in housing foreclosures (empirical numbers) and the jobs being outsourced or plain lost due to the debt crisis (i.e. COuntrywide 12K) (empirical numbers) might make them "feel" as far as their survival.

Oh that's right, none of those numbers affect the way people live their daily lives. Everything is just happy, happy happy. People are confident as he** that the economy is hunky dory.


Silly me.


As noted sometime before at... (Below threshold)

As noted sometime before at WizBang, one of the problems with our various energy choices is that the public doesn't have a firm grasp of their real pros and cons. This includes nuclear power. For an insider's view of atomic fission in an entertaining format, see my website http://RadDecision.blogspot.com . There's no advertising and no cost to readers of "Rad Decision: A Novel of Nuclear Power". You'll gain a lot of perspective about the good and the bad of this energy source. I've worked in the US nuclear industry over twenty years.

Hooverville!... (Below threshold)

Hooverville!

Hmmm -362Fool that I... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Hmmm -362
Fool that I am..I cashed out my 401 in 2004 placing everything in Euros.

Did i bet against America? Ya all look it up for yourself...

Is there any doubt that Republicans will run on the economy next year?

Please continue to push that 7 years of Bush/Republicans is a good thing.

I am assuming you are not a part of a plan that does not allow you to bail out any time you want.

Any bets on Dow below 12,000 by March of 08?

This is a sign of a ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:


This is a sign of a robust economy
Down 362.14 (2.60%)

Oh really? Planning on g... (Below threshold)
John S:

Oh really? Planning on going to Europe on vacation or just pissed because your dream BMW just got more expensive?

Or, God forbid, you might need to buy a 2,500 gallons of #2 heating oil (also priced in rapidly shrinking dollars) so that your family doesn't freeze to death in February.

The cost of crude oil has risen 20% in the past 3 weeks. Sooner or later pump prices will rise to match. $4 gasoline would put a crimp on Q4 GDP, not to mention holiday shopping numbers.

Funny how this week's economic highlights didn't mention Wall Street.

I'd say the economy is pe... (Below threshold)
Civil behavior:

I'd say the economy is percolating right along........right Jayson?

"the number of Americans without health insurance "rose by nearly 8.6 million to 47 million from 2000 to 2006, with children and workers from every income level losing coverage," according to the Economic Policy Institute"

"Chrysler LLC said Thursday it plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, or up to 15 percent of its workforce, as part of an effort to slash costs and match slowing demand for some vehicles."

"Crude oil prices shot higher and then retreated Thursday, reaching a new record of $96 a barrel"


Of course I'd say the economy was "solid" if I was a liar.

Well, why aren't you then C... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Well, why aren't you then CB? The predicate of your sentence appears to be met to me.

Now that you've refuted a statistic that describes the entire US economy ( e.g., the growth in GDP of 3.9 percent for the last quarter ) with a reference to a single manufacturer.

The sky is falling! The sky... (Below threshold)

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

The Dow is down 362.14 today, yet the world hasn't ended. In fact, it's at a place liberal "economists" never expected at this point in time (13,567) for such a terrible economy.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

nogo-Get a grip-ho... (Below threshold)
Rory:

nogo-

Get a grip-honestly....

Here's your quote-

Down 362.14 (2.60%).

I've highlighted something for you so that perhaps you catch a clue....

Here's another clue-

In October of '87 the market fell
by 508 points-but let's put that in perspective it was-

a drop of over-
.
.
.
.
.
wait for it-
.
.
.
.
.
.

22.6%...

That is infamously known as Black Monday but it was preceded by these drops;

On October 14, the DJIA dropped 95.46 points (a then record) to 2412.70, and fell another 58 points the next day, down over 12% from the August 25 all-time high. On Friday, October 16, the DJIA closed down another 108.35 points to close at 2246.74 on record volume.


Quoting Powerline: This mor... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Quoting Powerline: This morning, the Labor Department announced that 166,000 new payroll jobs were added in October, marking a record 50th consecutive month of job creation. Real GDP growth was a strong 3.9 percent in the third quarter, and real after-tax per capita income has risen 12.7 percent since the beginning of the Bush administration.

Real gross domestic product... (Below threshold)
Civil behavior:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2007,
according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter,
real GDP increased 3.8 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter "advance" estimates are based on source data that
are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 3). The third-
quarter "preliminary" estimates, based on more comprehensive data, will be released on November 29,
2007.

Uh Huh.

Funny how those "estimates"... (Below threshold)

Funny how those "estimates" always seem to be lower than the actual numbers when they come out later.

Civil Behavior, your sneeri... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Civil Behavior, your sneering is amusing only for its ignorance. Check out how often the GDP is adjusted upward later versus adjusted downward. I'd say you might learn something but I think we all know that chances of that.




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