Bits & Pieces (Friday Night Buckingham Edition)

Anybody here still watch SNL? I enjoy Kenan Thompson’s bizarre and meta-meta “What’s Up With That” . . . the sketch that always features an unspeaking Bill Hader as Lindsey Buckingham, who never gets to perform. But keeps coming on the show. And eventually, the real Lindsey Buckingham makes an appearance (follow link, I can’t, so it may well be the whole show), but I’m embedding the one where Al Gore shows up as a guest.
Is that enough Lindsey Buckingham? No, it’s not. A very solid live performance of one of my favorite Lindsey Buckingham songs, Street of Dreams:

I recommend “D.W. Suite” from Go Insane, though I cannot, myself, verify it (net nanny). Hopefully, it’s the right thing. Here’s a dance rehearsal from a Singapore American School, done to “D.W. Suite”. 
Finally, a link to the actual real stereo track of Mick Fleetwood’s “I Want You Back”, a tune that seems clearly written and mostly sung by Lindsey Buckingham. 
I used to buy a lot of 12″ singles, back in the day. I didn’t get this one, but that’s probably just because I didn’t see it at Peaches Records and Tapes. It’s the 12″ single to “Go Insane”.
I was a fan of the entire Go Insane album. It was Buckingham’s most produced/over-synthesized album, and I loved him for it. 
Finally, the one song of Lindsey Buckingham’s that pretty much everybody on earth has heard, “Holiday Road” from National Lampoon’s Vacation. 
Laters, My Babies — KW

Lee Stranahan on Pigford

If you’ve followed Pigford at all, you might want to read this article by Lee Stranahan reiterating his belief that the Pgiford settlement was mostly a fraud and black farmers with legitimate claims pretty much got screwed by folks exploiting the controversy for their own gain.

Of course, Lee Stranahan works with Andrew Breitbart, so if you may draw whatever conclusions, based on context, that you please.

On (linked above), Lee asserts that there is video of the Pigford Attorney publically revealing conspiracy to defraud the federal government. Watch it, and decide for yourself (if you’re interested in this kind of thing). 

Job Creation Ideas

I’m late on a bunch of stuff, but wanted to post this for the good of the order.

“‘Jobs’ are deals between workers and employers, and so ‘creating’ them out of unwilling parties is impossible. The state, though, can outlaw deals, and has,” Deirdre McCloskey is a professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago

This, and other job improvement suggestions, available here for your review and discussion.

And for a little Friday fun, everyone’s favorite sit-com libertarian Ron Swanson:

Morning Report

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1210.4 12.5 1.04%
Eurostoxx Index 2352.5 20.01 0.86%
Oil (WTI) 85.83 1.6 1.90%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 76.869 -0.18901 -0.25%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.24% 0.05%

Economic data this morning: Import Price Index up 13.4% YOY. Advance retail sales up 1.1% for the month of September. August sales were revised higher from flat to +.3%. September’s numbers have generally been much stronger than August. The WSJ has a story this morning discussing economic volatility, and shows that economic volatility has indeed been higher than historical averages. Certainly the stock market has been more volatile, with the VIX index over 30 (even after a gigantic rally). Link: Economy in Full Swing (Watch Your Head) – WSJ

Google reported last night better than expected numbers. The stock is up over 8% premarket. So far, Alcoa and JP Morgan have sold off after their numbers (in spite of “beating” the “analyst estimate”). The initial take from JPM and AA is that Europe is going to be a problem. Last quarter, CEOs were generally constructive on 2H; it will be interesting to hear their views going forward this time around.

Today’s Washington Post discusses the prospect of a double dip recession, (link) and makes the point that the typical drivers of a recession – construction and auto inventories – are already flat on their back, so there isn’t any excess to work off. That is a fair-enough observation, although I would point out that this isn’t the typical inventory-driven recession. This is a recession in the aftermath of an asset bubble, and those recoveries are slower, more fickle, and a lot of the levers that government has to fix things (monetary and fiscal policy) don’t work very well. To give you an idea of how depressed housing is (and why this recession is different), look at the chart below regarding housing starts.

Housing and construction typically leads the economy out of a recession. This time, it is not because there is a massive inventory of unsold homes. In addition, household formation has been depressed as a) immigration has been slowing, and b) unemployed college graduates move back in with their parents. A bottom in housing is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for an economic rebound.

The WSJ has a depressing piece on how median incomes have fallen during the 2000s. Again, this is typical post-bubble behavior. The equity bubble burst in 2000, and the only thing that provided the economy any real energy was the housing bubble. Although people have the perception that the housing bubble inflated in 05-06, if you look at housing’s historical relationship with incomes, the bubble actually started in 2000, when the equity bubble burst. Guys like Krugman have been advocating inflation as a way out of this mess; so far, the Fed has only succeeded in commodity price inflation. If the “wage” side of the wage / price spiral don’t cooperate, the Fed only succeeds in crimping disposable incomes further, which is a recipe for the dreaded misery index.

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