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Friday's Business News

Consumer Spending and Total Incomes

Americans were so depressed in November about the country's direction and so hateful towards George W. Bush they .... went to the shopping malls and bought up stuff like there was no tomorrow.

On a serious note, consumer spending in November grew 1.1%. That was well above expectations. A stunning performance, in fact. Consumer spending accounts roughly for 2/3 of all economic activity.

Total incomes in November grew at an annualized rate of 4.8%. That's above the prevailing inflation rate. We've already blogged here about income growth and total wage and salary growth during 2007 exceeding inflation. For obvious reasons the media simply won't report that information to the general public.

Cue the Imperial Theme Music

DOJ launches investigation into Diebold's sales accounting practices

* * *
Obviously the young and stupified denizens of the Kos blocs won't stop to consider what it means to have DOJ looking into a company's "bill-and-hold" accounting. The same would hold true for the adult but spacey denizens of the paranoid, black helicopter blocs. Ironically, however, their collective ignorance won't stop them reflexively from twitching and frothing at the mouth -- merely the reference to Diebold will get that ball rolling.

EPA vs. Cali

The Bush administration slapped down California's attempt to regulate businesses concerning CO2 gases and other emissions. The EPA's viewpoint is that states are not permitted to enforce their own emissions regulations. California disagrees.

That dispute would make for an interesting U.S. Supreme Court case down the road, wouldn't it?

Businesses, incidentally, would prefer the certainty of a single, uniform set of rules and regs, as opposed to a state-by-state patchwork of differing and potentially inconsistent laws.

If I were a judge I'd have to conclude that California's proposed regulations are barred either by preemption or by the so-called "dormant" commerce clause.

WaMu

A cheap buying opportunity is about to get even cheaper as the SEC formally is investigating Washington Mutual to determine whether the company colluded with real estate appraisers to lend money secured by inflated home values.

Hopefully the Lemmings on Wall St. will react to that news the same way they reacted to Altria's (then Philip Morris') problems circa 1999-2000, or Tyco's problems circa 2002-2003, or to Merck's travails circa 2004. In all three instances herd-based thinking on Wall St. resulted in the stock prices of good companies under litigation pressure getting so incredibly cheap they simply had to be purchased. Value investors who were "greedy when others were fearful," as Warren Buffett would say, made out very, very well.

Time of course will tell for certain.

Guilty as Skin

Texas slaps a tax on strip clubs

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As they say, watch the whole G-string, er, I mean, read the whole thing.

Club Fed

The Federal Reserve auctioned off $40 billion in public money this week. That's in response to the putative credit crunch, about which the liberal media has been hyperventilating.

I wash my hands of the Fed.

Hopefully in a year or two we won't be sitting around complaining about inflation and wondering why the Fed pumped so much liquidity into the system. Time will tell.


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Comments (16)

In my opinion, the Fed shou... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:

In my opinion, the Fed should go the way of the dodo bird. They have never done nothing except enrich the Rockefeller Family and their cronies. They did away with something like the Fed in 1820s and time has come for a return to sane fiscal policies from the Treasury, instead of a bunch private individuals that don't give flying crap about the United States and what it stands for.

Kind of hard to give someone all of your money away and have to borrow it back at 3% interest, but that is what occurring now. No wonder we are so deeply in debt in this country.

California's argument is ba... (Below threshold)
Whitehall:

California's argument is based on the 5 to 4 decision of the Supreme Court that CO2 was a pollutant even though Congress has never legislated that it was or that it intended to regulate CO2.

I would like to see this case go back up to the SCOTUS so they can reverse their previous decision.

Better yet, I'd like to see most of the California State Legislature turned out of office and replaced with people with a little common sense!

The biggest danger to the e... (Below threshold)

The biggest danger to the economy from the FRB's ill-considered PR move will be if they later panic out of fear of the inflation they may be fanning. Recall Greenspan flooded the economy with cash to avoid any run on banks from the "Millenium Bug" (which has to rank right up there with the Comet Kahoutek as the most over-hyped story of the century). Then he began tightening too fast and burst the tech bubble he had helped create.

stan25 ~ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and VERY little knowledge is a VERY dangerous thing.

"The EPA's viewpoint is tha... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"The EPA's viewpoint is that states are not permitted to enforce their own emissions regulations." -- Jayson

The EPA's viewpoint should be that its purpose entails protecting the environment and facilitating state efforts to do the same. After all, it is the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Agency!! What kind of completely [expletive-deleted]-up world do you conservatives live in when your Bush Administration Environmental Protection Agency actively takes steps to deny Californians their right to protect their environment from the harmful filth motorists put in the air???? DAMN!!!!

Herman, you are being silly... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Herman, you are being silly. CO2 is not "harmful filth". And if you don't like that the EPA now has jurisdiction, you should have been on the other side of the lawsuit forcing the EPA to regulate CO2 despite the fact that it had no legislative mandate to do so.

Did anyone mention Hoovervi... (Below threshold)

Did anyone mention Hooverville?

"Herman, you are being sill... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Herman, you are being silly. CO2 is not 'harmful filth'. And if you don't like that the EPA now has jurisdiction, you should have been on the other side of the lawsuit forcing the EPA to regulate CO2 despite the fact that it had no legislative mandate to do so." -- SPQR

This has got to be one of the stupidest statements I've seen in quite some time. Cars have been polluting the air for decades, and yet somebody writes this. I take it, SPQR, that you have not been been to say, L.A., as conservatives only react to the damage they cause when they can literally see it, or in this case, when pollutants in the air become concentrated enough to become visible in the sky. SPQR, do you truly think that CO2 is the only component of automobile exhaust? Have you never heard of "smog"???? How about "acid rain" and its relationship to the Nitrogen Oxides emitted by cars???

Just for you, SPQR, I provide a link to a website with a thorough discussion of "Car Exhaust - Health Effects"
( http://www.nutramed.com/environment/carschemicals.htm )
On this website we see "A short list of the likely pathogens in car exhaust:"

"* Carbon Monoxide
* Nitrogen dioxide
* Sulphur dioxide
* Suspended particles including PM-10, particles less than 10 microns in size.
* Benzene
* Formaldehyde
* Polycyclic hydrocarbons"

As a bicycling commuter often found directly behind cars and trucks, the amount of shit the motorists put in the air for others to inhale is a particularly sensitive issue for me.

You call me stupid, Herman?... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

You call me stupid, Herman? And yet you give me a list of car exhaust other than CO2, when CO2 is what we are talking about. Evidently you can't even keep straight what [b]you[/b] have written.

California already has a waiver to separately regulate the rest of car exhaust, NO2, ozone, CO and hydrocarbons - except for CO2 - and has had that waiver for decades. It got that waiver because it met the legal requirements for doing so, special local needs such as basins that filled with air pollution. But it does not meet that legal test with CO2 because there is nothing special about California with respect to CO2.

CO2 is not a "pollutant". And you can't see it in the air over Los Angeles. It is the normal result of respiration of every animal on the planet and it is necessary to the growth of every plant on the planet. You exhale CO2 every breath, Herman. And yet appear completely ignorant of it.

Businesses, incidentally... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Businesses, incidentally, would prefer the certainty of a single, uniform set of rules and regs, as opposed to a state-by-state patchwork of differing and potentially inconsistent laws.

Yeah, but damn...it would be delicious to watch every Blue state enact draconian, expensive, useless CO2 laws and watch as businesses move to Red states. It would also be fun to hear the Blue state residents squeal as they pay even more for energy, gas, etc..and a hundred other things.

Bring it on. That just means more business for the rest of us.

Look, SPQR, let me keep thi... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Look, SPQR, let me keep this simple for you.

1. Greater fuel efficiency means less shit (C02, nonCO2, whatever) being put in the air, simply because less gasoline gets converted to the filth.

2. California's proposed rules would have resulted in greater fuel efficiency: "Although the [recently passed federal] energy bill requires a fleet-wide average of 35 mpg by 2020, California officials say the state law would result in a 36-mpg average four years earlier." -- from http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-epa20dec20,0,1603760.story?coll=la-home-center

3. The Bush Administration Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to stop the implementation of this law, and thereby make the air dirtier for Californians.

Get that , SPQR? Got that? Good.

And SPQR, to use symbols to get bold, italics, etc., at this website you use "" instead of "[" and "]"

Herman, your goal should be... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Herman, your goal should be to make things simple enough that you actually understand them yourself.

You've failed to do that.

Congress created the rules under which the EPA works, under that the EPA decided it did not have the authority to regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act. Massachusetts sued to force the EPA to regulate CO2 and won at the Supreme Court level. The Act provides for national rules and only allows waivers for states under specific circumstances of local need.

There is no special local needs for California for CO2 emissions, unlike other pollution.

That's what this thread is about and what you cannot competently discuss.

SPQR,Well, the sta... (Below threshold)
Herman:

SPQR,

Well, the state of California is taking Bush's Environmental "Protection" Agency to court, in order to ensure that Bush's efforts to worsen California's air fail. We'll just see who wins in court.

By the way, for some reason in my last post a couple of symbols did not appear. I meant to write that if you want to use bold or italics, use the less than symbol ( ) rather than "[" and "]"

SPQR,You stupidly ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

SPQR,

You stupidly write:

"You call me stupid, Herman? And yet you give me a list of car exhaust other than CO2, when CO2 is what we are talking about."

From Jayson's original post:

"The Bush administration slapped down California's attempt to regulate businesses concerning CO2 gases AND OTHER EMISSIONS." -- Jayson Javitz, in the original post

Read the capitalized words from Jayson's statement above until it sinks through your thick skull and you understand, okay, SPQR????

The people of California know damn well that greater fuel efficiency will result in less shit getting put in the air. So does California's government, and so it comes up with a law that would improve fuel efficiency. And all that you can talk about is CO2.

Conservative, try to open up your mind a little more.

Grow up, Herman. Your juve... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Grow up, Herman. Your juvenile behavior and foul mouth only confirm your inability to discuss this in an adult manner.

As has been mentioned before, California already has a waiver for stricter emissions regulations. California has already been allowed to impose tougher emissions regulations for many years. So as noted before, California has not been denied the power to control air pollution. And in fact, California emissions regulations - specific to each car's actual emission of pollutants - were and are given effect. This is known to anyone who has had to deal with the difference between "49 state" automobiles and California automobiles. So claiming otherwise remains a false statement by you Herman.

They've only been denied the power to set fleetwide mileage goals that are only indirectly related to air pollution.

So grow up. Infantile prattlings about evil conservatives is not the sign of a mature mind.

<a href="http://volokh.com/... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

This link is an adult discussion by Adler of the Volokh Conspiracy of the legal principle, so its not safe for juveniles like Herman.

"They've only been denied t... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"They've only been denied the power to set fleetwide mileage goals that are only indirectly related to air pollution." -- SPQR

You FINALLY get around to conceding this truth!!! It's about time!!! And the effect may be a bit less "indirect" than you think: the less gasoline that gets used per car, the less shit that gets put in the air! Damn, such a simple concept!




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