atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3085: The tap dancing reaches a furious pace

The situation in Europe is getting desperate.

They're doing their best to stave off a collapse of the euro and the PIIGS, and they're doing it by dropping lending rates into the pavement. The European Central Bank is apparently going to drop the interest rate it charges to governments and large banks; it dropped this rate to 1.25% in November and could cut it still further.

Hmm...that sounds suspiciously like what teh Bernank did at the Fed: drop the prime rate into the macadam. I wonder if there's a connection? I wonder if the US prime rate was dropped that far because otherwise the whole idea of deficit spending is unsustainable?

* * *

Still no way to link to individual posts at Ms. Barnhardt's blog, damn it.
There is literally NO WAY to make that language any plainer, clearer or more direct. None. I have gotten a bunch of emails from people saying, "If I get physical stock certificates mailed to me, then I should be safe, right?" Again, I just shake my head. What the hell good is a STOCK CERTIFICATE if the entire system collapses? Aren't stock certificates contingent of THE RULE OF LAW and a FUNCTIONING STOCK EXCHANGE and FINANCIAL SYSTEM? Don't stock certificates also assume that the corporation in question actually EXISTS and hasn't dissolved and scattered to the winds of war? Stock certificates would make good fire kindling, and could be used to wipe your tailpipe in a pinch (Ow - scratchy!). So picture it, the system has collapsed, the US dollar is no longer being accepted, credit cards are obviously meaningless and you need some food. You stagger up to some guy who has some Malt-O-Meal and hold out a stock certificate. Mr. Malt-O-Meal then LAUGHS IN YOUR FACE, and you go lay down under a tree and die. When you are dead, Mr. Malt-O-Meal picks over your corpse, takes your stock certificate and uses it to roll cigarettes.
...yeah, I'm not looking forward to this, not one little bitty bit.

Every time I've had to consider a bad decision in the sober light of subsequent experience, I have to quell the regret with the one tool available to me: "I made the best decision I could with the information I had available to me." Sure, you can double- and triple-think every major decision you ever made in your life and say, "FFFFFFFFUUUUU--" and really get down on yourself for being such a frickin' moron, but at the end of the day you have to chalk it up to the fact that you will never have perfect information when you have to make a critical decision.

It would take a 10% tax hit for me to get my money out of my IRA and into gold or something else tangible; but the money I've got in my IRA right now does not amount to a year's wages at the poverty line. If I were to lose that money to a systemic failure of our financial industry, I would:

1) Still have to work

2) Still be up the creek

3) Still be facing the same problems everyone else would be.

4) Still have economically useful skills like the ability to repair machines and build useful things.

It's prudent to keep the money in the IRA because it's more likely that the entire system will not collapse, that there will be some kind of reckoning but it won't be a flat-out unmitigated apocalypse.

I'm going to be relying more on #4 on that list, should everything go to pot, than I can reasonably expect to get out of my IRA even IF the collapse doesn't happen.

* * *


GM's going to ramp up production of the Chevy Volt next year. There's nothing in the article about the sales figures for the Volt, and there should be, because that would really make the point that the writer is trying to make: electric cars are for the birds.

* * *

Sometimes there is justice. That guy who defended himself from two female attackers by hammering them with a metal bar? A grand jury declined to indict the poor guy. Good for him!

* * *

In Australia, you don't have to tell your fiancee that you have a terminal and communicable disease before you marry.

Wonderful, isn't it?

* * *

There's no new information in this article claiming that Noah's Ark has officially been found in Turkey.

The article is badly translated from Russian and it cites an official Turkish decision in 1986 that the artifact found on Mt. Ararat is indeed Noah's Ark. But there's nothing new here, so I think nothing's actually changed.

* * *

That damned man-made global warming is ruining summer in Australia!

No, it's not too hot or anything. What makes you think that? It's too cold! It's cloudy and rainy and chilly even though we're a bit more than two weeks from the austral summer solstice.

This unusually cold weather is all the fault of human carbon emissions heating up the atmosphere. The science is settled!

* * *

Anyway, I've got errands and chores to attend to. Banking, cleaning, and so on.

I'd better get going.

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