Greenspan on Forecasting and Futuring?

Although we’re still on the road up in the Pacific Northwest, this promises to be a very critical week for markets on a number of accounts.  One of which is the supposed “critical period” just ahead which former Fed boss Alan Greenspan seems to hint at per reviews of his new book The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting which will be released on October 22 and which ain’t cheap. ( In fact, it’s $28 and change for the hardback and $19 for the Kindle version. )

Still, it may be worth your time to read because what goes on in the mind of the Fed head can cause dread, or in its stead, financial dead, so to speak.  With the White House signaling that Janet Yellen’s nomination to replace outgoing Ben Bernanke is perhaps within days of happening, we will be looking forward to any insights from Greenspan – even the ones that the MSM hates to deal with, namely, the reality of hyper-complex economic realities that can’t be distilled down into 10-second radio “actualities” or 10-second video clips.

And speaking of Ms Yellen, pardon me, but when establishment news organizations start waxing eloquently about how Yellen will bring “..a tougher tone to the Fed” I’ll just step outside to gag for a minute.  This is PR playbook-sounding hype…and in reality I don’t expect Yellen to be any more fiscally restrained than Bernanke (or Greenspan before him).  While the reason is simple (I mean why risk blowing up the whole economy, right?) it would at least be refreshing to hear something other than pro-business pandering. 

It’s like a wolf-pack explaining to the chickens how the pending wolf-in-charge is ever-so-much-interested in the health of chickens than previous wolves.  Yeah, sure, you bet’cha. Save me a drumstick.

Back to point (which we reluctantly do on Mondays): Normally I wouldn’t recommend you spend more than a dime for Greenspan’s thoughts, but instead of what could have been a  simple rehash and justification book, the title belies an interest in mapping economic decisions to future-forecasting, which (curiously enough) is what we spend a bunch of thinking on around here; both in projects past and projects future. 

Already, with the book still almost four weeks out, the hype-cycle is building and over at Politico’s Playbook section, we read with some intensity how Greenspan seems almost to be reading from past UrbanSurvival/Peoplenomics reports when his admits that there is no long-term fixing the economy until the broken political system is fixed.

It’ll be fun to read is whether Greenspan comes up with any more “deal points” for political repair than we’ve already presented for your assessment here.  Specifically:

  • Bar all out-of-state money from all political campaigns.  In other words only money from actual human residents of political districts would be allowed to make campaign contributions.
  • A leveling of the huge tax treatment disparities between corporations and small (sole proprietorship and small LLc’s) to avoid tax preference to larger entities.  And, as long as we’re on point, actually adjusting tax codes to give preference to small business (under $20-million in annual top lines) to encourage more small business formation in a meaningful way.
  • Imposition of income taxes on robotics that replace human jobs as well as exacting equivalent revenue contributions into FICA and other funds, for emerging robotics.
  • And while we’re at it?  Let’s also implement a reasonable tariff on foreign-made goods, since anyone who has studied the Great Depression knows that the whole “tariffs cause global recessions” crap was a put-up and not supported by the fact.  Economic implosions of corrupt systems propagate in spite of, not because of, foreign cheap labor…but I suppose you knew that?
  • Ending all lobbying that involved cash, trips, honorariums, or other such promises of both financial as well as non-financial (in-kind) contributions.
  • Radical revision at the state and federal level to all third-party requirements in order to expand the range of political viewpoints available to voters.
  • Then, in order to make sure that lawmakers keep listening to the underclass ( We, the 99ers),  allow an expedited removal from office procedure that is both faster and more efficient than the often slow-moving recall process, to remove elected officials from office when they misrepresent their current and future position to voters.
  • As long as we’re at it, we should also remove presidential “signing statements” as they are NOT LAW.
  • And sure, let’s make it a felony for any elected official at any level to vote on any legislation which they have not completely read in advance of any vote.
  • Should we also not put all public servants into Social Security and Healthcare systems equal to all working people?  Should there be a “super class” of former government employees who harvest so-called double-dips, as long as we’re fixing things?

These are, unfortunately, just a few of the steps which I believe could result in meaningful political change. 

Since we have a congress that has not been able to pass a federal budget, I’d offer the opinion that everyone in Washington is already at least minimally guilty of misfeasance of office, and if they could weasel out of that assertion, then abdicating (yet again – look surprised) on issues like the pending war in Syria (along with the likely outrage/terror/mass murder in our 148-day murder/mayhem cycle is due around October 8 plus or minus a few days) it could also begin a serious reformation of America.

Now, seriously, do I think Sir Greenspan to be so forthcoming and direct in his upcoming book?

Not no, but hell no.

Do I think his book will sell many copies and give him a chance to “go Jeffersonian” and sidestep his own complicity while at the Fed?  Why, certainly.  But the key reason to read the book is to look for slips – where the larger reality of how stratified economic classes really work in a nominally egalitarian country.  (I like the Rockettes and other dances, too, including soft-shoe.)

As soon as I can score a copy, I’ll run through my list of “real changes” and see how many half-measures Greenspan proposes and present a serious review for Peoplenomics readers. 

Plenty of UrbanSurvival readers are anxious to have an immediate “hard reboot” of the economic system in America, but the fact is that such “reboot” talk usually shades into revolution rather than reform and that is systemically dangerous.  I like three squares a day, I like bankcards that work, I like prisoners being held in jails and if a fire breaks out a fire department is useful.  Toss in a few other luxury items (like the lights coming on, the Internet working, and running water) and pretty quick the “hard reboot” crowd begin to sound like anarchists and maybe the Fusion Center crowd isn’t completely wrong worrying about loose talk on the net.

High-minded though quotes like  Thomas Jefferson’s  quote that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants…”  breakdown of social order is not my cuppa tea, and when it comes to outdoor plumbing I can assure you that Amazon’s legacy in such a world would not be as useful as say the old Sears Roebuck catalogs.  I think political pressure can bring change and maybe Greenspan’s book will move the national dialog in that direction….we’ll see.

What I expect, though.  is that Greenspan’s book will be a justification for past economic largess (Housing Bubble and collapse plus a die order of too big to fail) while he takes up the role of apologist for concentrations of capital in dead pool accounts of the ultra-rich and prescribes some seriously watered-down medicine which will give only the illusion of change while maintaining the economic status quo for the capital-intensive 300-families.

I could be wrong, of course.  But I wasn’t wrong about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, and I don’t expect to be far off the mark in this one, either.  But I get up every morning looking to be surprised. 

More after this…


Kenya Versus Syria

Over the weekend, we’ve been watching at Muslim extremists have been systematically executing non-Muslims at a mall in Kenya. According to this report, people were asked to name Mohamed’s mother, and if they couldn’t to that, they ended up on the dead pile.

Ures truly is waiting to see if the Obama administration has the goanies to send in US rapid response forces to wipe out all remnants of the attackers and follow them back upstream as close to the source of death teachings as possible.  There is already a prime perp suspect being named in reports like this one.

Of course, if they don’t do that, it will only reinforce the data-supported view around here that absent economic incentives (overthrow of Lebanon long-term, gas pipeline routes across Syria in the shorter-term), that again, the US’s moral compass is swinging wildly, pointing magically at the magnetism of money, as we’ve lost the moral high ground again in the thick mental fog that has descended on the USA.

Besides, WTF is AFRICOM all about if not having some dial-a-kick-ass help for Kenya?  Why are our tax dollars sitting on the sidelines while jihadist death squads are popping white folks and non-Muslims?  Are you wondering why the GAO is reportedly asking questions like “Why is AFRICOM HQ’ed in Germany., for crying out loud?

Ooops!  Sorry for the hot emo buttons here, but the Obama posse should have stepped up on Day One with backup.  With reports of explosions this morning, look for the perps to vanish into the mental fog of of America (MFA).

IN Egypt, a court has now outlawed the MuBros, says the WaPo..

Of Course It Is Dept.

Israel’s Benj Netanyahu says any “deal” with Iran is a trap.

Merkel’s Win

Of course, it’s no wonder AFRICOM  is in Germany, after all, Angele Merkel’s party just massively supported her return.  And then there’s all that gold that the US can’t figure how to put on a couple of transport planes for another, oh, seven or longer…  Say, you don’t think AFRICOM  means “American Fed ReInforcements Controlling Our Money” do you?

Naw…tel me it ain’t so…

Mobile Phoning

A report out this morning says  Blackberry is whacking 4,500

Lunch with George II this weekend was interesting.  “Dad I got the iPhone 5C and it has most of the features of the 5-S that people are lining up around the block for… Only a hundred bucks for the phone on a two year deal.”

“Ciri…send mail to dad:  Dad, slick voice to text feature, huh?  Send.”

Guess there went one of the excuses for my 12-pound Win-8  box and Nuance…which Gii says it baggage from the old days (and he’s likely right…).

Apple’s VR s/w is slick, fast, and well-menued.

Immigration Tolerance Policy

If I was in Texas this week, I might be tempted to call fair-haired Rick’s office to ask WTF about reports that Texas state troopers detained and then let 20 illegals off on a farmer’s property.

Say, ya’ll don’t think this is a fine example of the immigration tolerance policy I have been nattering on about, now, do you?

Meantime, a couple of senators are saying the House has to close backdoor attempts at immigration reform.

This is another one of those blunderbungles where a 1200 page bill shows up 72-hours before a vote as it as incomprehensible as Obamacare which, by the way, is still on for the peeps but not the corps…so nothing them there.

Trading Day

My, doesn’t this seem like a fun day to look forward to?  Dow futures are down about 20 and the first big economic bit tomorrow morning will be the Case-Shiller/S&P Housing data which will be out about 8:15 here…

So on to this morning’s Coping section…