Friday, August 31, 2007

15th Warmest July



National Overview:

July Temperature Highlights

  • For the contiguous United States, July 2007 was the 15th warmest July since records began in 1895. The monthly mean temperature was 1.4°F (0.8°C) above the 20th century average of 74.3°F (23.5°C).

  • However, the persistent atmospheric pattern that brought cooler than average temperatures to the East contributed to record and near-record warmth in the West. The warmest July since statewide records began in 1895 occurred in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Nevada had its second warmest July and Arizona and Utah their third warmest Julys on record. Alaska was 1.2°F (0.7°C) warmer than the 1971—2000 mean in July.

  • There were 11 days of triple digit temperatures in Missoula, Montana in July, almost double the previous record of 6 days for the month. In Boise, Idaho it was the hottest month ever, and the average high temperature for the month was a remarkable 98.6°F (37°C), more than 9°F (5°C) above the monthly average.

  • The cooler-than-average July temperatures in the heavily populated eastern U.S. helped push down residential energy needs for the nation as a whole. Using the Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI - an index developed at NOAA to relate energy usage to climate), the nation's residential energy demand was approximately 4 percent lower than what would have occurred under average climate conditions for the month.
Is NOAA now marketing global warming? 15th warmest? Is that supposed to be significant? Now look at the map below to see how it affected the population of the U.S.

Compare that with a relief map of the U.S. and it looks as if all of those weather stations on mountains got hot. Heat really does rise!

[source: University of Texas Library]

So, based on NOAA's calculations, the U.S. was slightly warmer than on average. But when were the 14 warmest Julys? I going to guess that several will be in the 1930s?

Were there any monthly state record high temperatures set [not some shaky average calculation]? No data published yet, but I'm also guessing that the answer is "no."
When you go back over the first six months of the year and then include July, you'll see that 2007 has been remarkably unremarkable. And, as you can see, no scars from runaway, positive-feedback, global warming around here.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Clinton Campaign Fund Scandal


Some people have this visceral dislike for the family-Clinton.

They view their brand of politics as somehow sleazy or unethical if not illegal... smiling-while-they-stab-you-in-the-back kind of politics... beholden-to-unsavory-characters politics... I-can-be-bought kind of politics.
Supporters will dismiss that as sour grapes or character assassination. But, where there's smoke....

and recently...

and now....
Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, I must be a m*r*n....

Of course, it's only a scandal if you get caught. Otherwise, it is business-as-usual. Try Googling "political funding scandals" and you will see what I mean.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

European Backlash - Step 7


From Yahoo News:

ANKARA, Turkey - A devout Muslim with a background in political Islam won the Turkish presidency on Tuesday, in a major triumph for the Islamic-rooted government after months of confrontation with the secular establishment.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul received a majority of 339 votes in a parliamentary ballot and took the oath of office, pledging impartiality and loyalty to Turkey's historic separation of religion and politics. Commanders from the fiercely secular military were conspicuously absent — a decision many saw as a symbolic protest against the decision to elect a president to a post traditionally held by a secular figure.


As foreign minister, Gul — who speaks English and Arabic — has cultivated an image as a moderate politician.

In a recent meeting with foreign journalists, Gul said he would make use of his experiences as foreign minister to boost Turkey's European Union bid and make the Turkish presidency more active on the international scene.

"Turkey will be more active; Turkey will be contributing more to world issues," he said.

The EU said the vote "represents a considerable achievement for Turkey and the Turkish people,"

In a statement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he hoped the government "will be able to resume work ... to give fresh, immediate and positive impetus" to EU entry talks.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that despite what "the EU" [as stated above] says, the election of an Islamist to the presidency of Turkey is sure to set off alarms around Europe's population, if not governments, for two obvious reasons:
  1. Despite what Mr. Gul says, Europeans are growing increasingly antagonistic toward Islam and Islamists, in particular.
  2. There is the latent possibility of instability in Turkey if the military, which is "devoutly" secular in its orientation, decides that Mr. Gul's government is a threat to the secular tradition.
I would be greatly surprised if this development enhances Turkey's opportunity to join the EU.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Reason Global Warming Timing Has Been Delayed?


By way of Dr. John Ray, Blue Crab Boulevard reports:

Kind of interesting. France has had the third worst summer in recorded history, only 1954 and 1977 were more miserable. Most of the nation has been much wetter and considerably cooler than historical averages.

PARIS (AFP) - It's official: France's rainy, grey and generally cold summer has been the worst for the past 30 years, the weather service said Friday, but tourist arrivals were the highest in five years.

July and August were wet across two-thirds of the country while the Mediterranean region was too dry, said Frederic Nathan, meteorologist at Meteo France.

"Yes we can say that it was a rotten summer," said Nathan. But the summers of 1954 and 1977 were worse, he added……

……Rainfall in northwestern France reached record levels, with cities like Le Havre registering 21 days of rain in July, beating the previous record of 16 in 1980.

In the northern city of Caen in Normandy, the weather service registered 592 hours of sunshine from May 1st to August 21, well below the average of 809 hours.

Temperatures on the Atlantic coast have been on average two or three degrees Celsius below seasonal averages, said Jean-Marc Le Gallic from Meteo France.

Britain has also had a miserably wet and cold summer. Interesting, no?

I guess that's why the latest prediction is for global warming to actually start after 2009.

As Annie sings:
The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,

The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way!
And then we'll all die of heat stroke....


Monday, August 27, 2007

0.15 Deg C Does Not “Matter”


Steve McIntyre, at Climate Audit, does an analysis of the recorded U.S. average temperature change from 1920 to present which amounts to 0.21° C. He then uses the words of Drs. Schmidt and Hansen of NASA that the recent downward adjustments of 0.15° C to the temperature records does not matter to make the point that the minuscule change over 80+ years is irrelevant.

I'd like to point out that the starting point is relevant. If you use 1880, a relatively cold period in the U.S., then you go from a low point in the record's oscillation to a high point. I suggest that what is shown from the record is, at best, a flat trend with a high point in the 1930s and another high point in the late 20th century. Whatever warming that may have occurred is primarily in the moderation of cold temperatures from the coldest periods of the weather history... or faulty siting of weather stations, a subject that has been discussed in detail at Anthony Watts' site, that give the illusion of a moderation of cold temperatures.
It's an old trick of marketers and sales reps to pick a starting point that makes whatever they are presently doing look as different [positive] as possible. It's not necessarily good science, however.

Nevertheless, Steve McIntyre's point is a very good one.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Good Things End

Climate Science Is Retiring - Thank You To Everyone For Your Participation!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roger Pielke Sr. @ 7:00 am

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the diverse subjects on Climate Science! The site has been active since July 2005. However, the maintenance and preparation for the weblog requires quite a bit of time, and I have decided to move onto other activities. I have also extensively presented my perspective on climate science. The weblog will remain available as an archive on our research website.

After the remaining weblogs have posted (on September 2), the last weblog will identify where the archive can be found. Comments, of course, will not be accepted after that time, but the entire history of the weblog will be available for those who are interested.

Markets Go Up On Perception of Improvement


CNN reports that good news propelled the DJIA up 143 points on Friday.

  • New home sales were up
  • Durable goods orders were up
... except for Michigan, of course.

Recently I wrote that the Fed was unlikely to take quick action on the prime rate because the drop in the DJIA had to be looked at from a longer perspective. The Fed took actions to prop up financial institutions, but still feels the economy is going well enough... and inflation is still enough of a concern... to be cautious about lowering rates.
I'm not sure what might be causing the new home sales to be increasing elsewhere, especially in light of the increasing foreclosure rates. Perhaps it is the automobile-like incentives being heaped on new homes to try to move them. Big discounts, options thrown in for nothing, "we'll buy your old house from you, if you buy a new one from us."
I'm glad to see the markets holding ground since I have significant investments. But I'm not yet convinced that the good news will hold sway. We've seen those seasonally adjusted annual rates for housing revised downward for May after they were published.
Besides, one should also point out that the July 2007 rate was 10% below July 2006. That might be reason to mute the cheering a little.
Of course, it might just be a matter of perception rather than perspective.


Traded Away


I was trying to explain this to my wife the other evening as we took a walk. She just didn't think it was fair at all. Neither did I, but it's hard to argue against a "free lunch," isn't it?

Pat Buchanan doesn't think so.
But now we have to call Pat a "protectionist."
The real question that must be asked is if it is so good for us to be on the receiving end of cheap goods, why are countries like China and Japan so willing to "subsidize" us?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors


This story is making the rounds:

European Union Funds Separation Fence

( Former Mossad agent Gad Shimron reports that while the European Union attacks Israel mercilessly for the partition fence it's building to protect Jewish lives, the EU itself funds and operates a similar fence designed only to protect itself from illegal immigrants.

The fence is located in a Spanish enclave in northwestern Africa, the coastal city of Ceuta just across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain. Unknown to most of the world, when Spain handed over most of northern Morocco to the newly independent kingdom in 1956, Spain retained Ceuta and Melilla (about 250 kilometers further east) - thus that the European Union is present in Africa as well. Poverty-stricken Moroccans attempting to cross into Ceuta, from where they will then be able to work anywhere in Europe because of the EU's no-checkpoints policy, are stopped in their tracks by the eight-meter-high, double layer fence. Funding for the fence, some 60 million Euros, came from European Union coffers.

Frequent Spanish patrols, together with policemen who do not hesitate to beat potential infiltrators, render crossing the partition a nearly impossible mission - but the needy say they will continue to try. One of the many who are determined to immigrate to Europe said, "Whoever came all this difficult way and reaches the mountains of northern Morocco, opposite the fence of Ceuta, will not give up. You see the lights of Ceuta? As far as we're concerned, that's the Promised Land. The people here are in despair and will do anything to pass over that fence, enter Spain, and from there continue northward and blend in with the other millions of immigrants in Europe."

The EU continues to oppose Israel's fence, constructed to protect against murderous terrorists and suicide bombs - even as it plans to build another fence of its own around Spain's second enclave in northern Africa, the Moroccan town of Melilla. "It appears," concludes Gad Shimron in Maariv today, "that from a European point of view, the ethical aspects of a separation fence are sometimes a matter of geography."
Do as I say; not as I do. Meanwhile, along the Mexican border....


Thursday, August 23, 2007

The World Must Be Cured


... of the sickness that did this. Hillary? Nancy? Harry? Obama?


Another Open Letter to Alan Mulally


Ford Motor Company continues to struggle in the U.S., although operations elsewhere are doing much better. Your efforts to improve the efficiency at Ford seems to be making headway and, more importantly, if the historical culture of protecting one's turf is being eliminated, then you may expect more lasting positive results.

Most employees want to be part of a winning "team," but in the past the "team players" got T-shirts and recognition plaques... and possibly increases equivalent to the cost of living. The real winners were those who could optimize their positions... the manipulators... even at the cost of those around them.
But it is going to take more than just "team work." It is going to take dedication to having the most competitive and desirable products. For example, you were responsible for renaming the Five Hundred as the Taurus. That's a nice effort at leveraging a great name. But the new Taurus is closer in pedigree to the Crown Victoria than the old Taurus. So, while it may bring some people back to the showrooms [always a good thing], they may take some convincing that they are really looking at a Taurus-type car. Perhaps your "teams" are going to fix that in the next iteration.

One area that Ford historically has been behind competition is its car drivetrains. It's not that Ford can't produce a great engine or transmission, but it choses to offer fairly bland, and surprisingly lower fuel-efficient, powertrains than competitors. The new V-6 engine is an improvement that is long overdue. But don't stop there. Rather than "spinning wheels" on a lot of low-probability technologies such as hydrogen or ethanol that require substantial infrastructure changes, Ford should rapidly expand technologies that have a proven track record in Europe... specifically diesel and turbo-diesel engines.
Two years ago, Mercedes offered a diesel in their sedans for only $1,000 more than their gasoline engines. BMW is moving heavily into turbo-diesels. Audi has a strong diesel offering.
Obviously, these offerings are at the higher end, but there is nothing that says they have to be... as I'm sure you know since Ford offers a turbo-diesel Focus in Europe.

Will people pay for the diesel engine premium? Let's say that I will be standing in line for that Taurus with a turbo-diesel engine... and it doesn't even have to be the hybrid model.


European Backlash - Step 6


Germans are once again in the middle of religious disputes. Centuries ago, it was Catholics against Protestants. Then it was Nazism against Judaism. Now it appears to be a general antipathy toward Muslims in the form of protests against building mosques.

In Cologne [Köln],

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, spiritual leader of the city's Roman Catholics and a close friend of Pope Benedict XVI, has said the proposed mosque leaves him with an "uneasy feeling."
Mosques are more than houses of worship:

"Muslims have come out ... and have become visible," says Claus Leggewie, a political scientist at Germany's University of Giessen who wrote a study on the evolution of the mosque landscape in Germany. "By building expensive, representative mosques, they're sending a message: we want to take part in the symbolic landscape of Germany. We are here and we'll stay here."

Major mosque projects from Cologne, Germany, to Amsterdam to Seville, Spain, have met with fierce opposition and fears that they will serve as breeding grounds for terrorists. Family members of two of the suspects in the Glasgow, Scotland, car bombings this month said the men had been radicalized by Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic revivalist group with plans for an 18-acre complex near London's 2012 Olympic stadium that would house Europe's largest mosque.

It's beginning to get difficult to discern if it is religion causing cultural problems or cultural differences creating a sharp, negative focus on Islam... or both.
But the concern about mosques is one more aspect of the growing tension in Europe with Muslim immigrants.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New York Always Has To Be Different


(CBS) NEW YORK A day after tying the record for the coldest high temperature during the month of August ever in New York City, temperatures were expected only to warm up slightly, before finally climbing back to normal by the end of the week.

The city along with the rest of the tri-state region is feeling the chilly effect of a cold front sweeping through the region, accompanied by cool rain showers.

Tuesday's high temperature in Central Park was just 59 degrees. The normal high for Tuesday was 82 degrees. The normal low was 67.

Forecasters were calling for temperatures to rise to about 66 for the high on Wednesday.


The Canadian Clipper that came through here late Saturday finally made it there. And even the Urban Heat Island effect wasn't enough to keep the temperatures up.


Tomorrow: Not So Variable Temperatures


On February 27, I proposed there were only two ways for general warming to occur that made sense:

  1. more high temperature extremes
  2. few, if any, new high temperature extremes, but milder low temperatures
The global warming orthodoxy insisted that we should expect option #1.

It was apparent to me that option #1 was simply not happening... at least in the U.S. [and probably Canada, too].

So, now it appears that the strategy is to say that option #2 is, indeed, what is happening. We won't have a lot of high temperature
extremes, but it will just stay warmer longer.

Benny Peiser [email]

Global and Planetary Change, May 2007, 57(1-2):1-15

Changes in variability and persistence of climate in Switzerland: Exploring 20th century observations and 21st century simulations

Martin Beniston a, and Stéphane Goyette a
A Chair for Climate Research, University of Geneva, Switzerland


This investigation, carried out for a low (Basel) and a high (Saentis) elevation site in Switzerland, has shown that contrary to what is commonly hypothesized climate variability does not necessarily increase as climate warms. Indeed, it has been shown that the variance of temperature has actually decreased in Switzerland since the 1960s and 1970s at a time when mean temperatures have risen considerably. Nevertheless, these findings are consistent with the temperature analysis carried out by Michaels et al. (1998) where their results also do not support the hypothesis that temperatures have become more variable as global temperatures have increased during the 20th century. The principal reason for this reduction in variability is related to the strong increase in the persistence of certain weather patterns at the expense of other types. A simple weather classification scheme has been designed to highlight this point, based on combinations of warm, cold, moist or dry regimes; according to this classification, winter regimes (cold and moist) associated with perturbed synoptic systems have been sharply reduced in the last decades of the 20th century, while warm and dry summer regimes have become the most persistent since the 1970s. In other words, synoptic weather patterns that are associated with high variability are today less frequent than those patterns associated with high persistence, i.e., low variability. Closer investigation of the behavior of surface pressure fields has highlighted the fact that positive pressure anomalies have increased since the 1970s, and that these are well correlated with the exceedances of temperature at both the low and high elevations.
So, what does this mean for the Al Gore orthodoxy? Maybe a little wiggle room as the net of scientific evidence shows that their predictions of catastrophe are politically, not scientifically, based. They can still claim warming has occurred.
Well, some warming has been observed since the cold side oscillation of the flat trend began in the 1960s... but so what? Is that supposed to be a bad thing?



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spam Comments

Because spammers like to leave comments that clutter blogs, I have turned on comment moderation.

That means your comment won't appear until I have had a chance to review it for being possible spam.

I don't care if you disagree with my posts, but this is not the place for junk mail. I'll post all legitimate comments.

Federal Reserve Update - 2


On August 13, I wrote:

The Fed Will Act
... if the DJIA reaches 12,000.

That will be approaching a 15% "correction" from the high point [and the wheels will be squeaking too loudly to ignore].

That marks the point where the DJIA is 4% below the beginning of the year. Right now it is still up 3% for the year and just 8% down from the high, so the Fed will just be watching things.

By then, of course, the rest of the country's housing market will look like Michigan's... DOA. New construction will be shut down, foreclosures will be at record levels, and overall economic growth will be less than 2%.
On August 17, I wrote:
As I said on August 13 and today, the Fed is getting nervous, but it is not quite ready to lower interest rates that affect housing or other consumer purchases. Right now it is hoping a bandaid will fix things... it won't.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said the impact of ``financial turbulence'' on the broader economy will determine decisions on interest rates.

``Financial market volatility, in and of itself, doesn't require a change in the target federal funds rate,'' Lacker said at a luncheon of the Risk Management Association of Charlotte.

``Interest-rate policy needs to be guided by the outlook for real spending and inflation,'' and markets can change that assessment if they induce changes in growth or prices.
12,000 on the DJIA might indicate a signal of "financial turbulence." So also might a continued diminishing of the housing market and corresponding increase in foreclosures.
Right now the DJIA is treading water over 900 points off its recent high.

Selected Bloggers


If you haven't availed yourself of the blog links on the right sidebar, I suggest you try them. You will find a rather eclectic mixture of politics, economics, science, and philosophy.

I don't always agree with the positions in these individual blogs, but I value their singular trait: challenging to the reader.
They represent my kind of "diversity"... not-afraid-to-offend diversity.
If you have to say something with which everyone agrees, you haven't said anything of great interest... even if you are "politically correct."
Meanwhile, I have to get ready for golf [late to bed, early to rise, etc.]


Monday, August 20, 2007

It's Just Weather


A couple of days ago I commented that we were having the first hint of autumn around here with a Canadian Clipper that zipped through.

I knew it seemed a bit cool around here... especially with the talk of heat waves in the south... but I didn't realize that we came within 2° F of the all-time recorded low... for that date... for our area.

On average, the nation was pretty much "average."


No Carbon Left Behind Act


From Benny Peiser email:

Latvia has the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. But, despite being the EU's third poorest country, the European Commission's rulings mean that it must purchase emission quotas from richer and more polluting EU members that have done little to meet their Kyoto commitments. This unbalanced approach is jeopardising the economic development of Latvia and other vulnerable new member states, while old members enjoy a free ride.
--Valdis Dombrovskis, The Guardian, 20 August 2007
From The Heritage Foundation:
Although the federal law gives states the freedom to set standards and create tests, it is highly prescriptive about how AYP [adequate yearly progress] is determined, and these requirements are not always compatible with preexisting state systems. As a result, schools rated highly on the state system can fail to make AYP according to the NCLB. Differences in how each system treats subgroups or standards governing the percentage of students that must be tested cause discrepancies in the ratings. In 2003 an "excellent" rated school in Colorado did not make AYP while others with unsatisfactory ratings cleared the AYP bar. Florida saw three out of four of its "A" rated schools underperforming, according to the NCLB.

No Child Left Behind: Where Do We Go From Here?
Notice any similarities [hint: politics]?


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Can't Debate Them? Sue Them!


My wife, who is an avid blog reader, pointed out this one from Flopping Aces which quotes the National Review Online:

Tobacco road [Chris Horner]

A little birdie recently chirped about some usual-suspect state attorneys general preparing a litigation strategy document for/with environmental pressure groups, providing a roadmap for cooperatively replicating the tobacco litigation of a decade ago in the "global warming" context, substituting that projected catastrophe for cancer and "big energy" for tobacco companies.

The point of such exercise would not be to litigate the matter to conclusion — ever more challenging what with forced corrections of the temperature record, recent exposure of the woeful reliability of our own world's most reliable surface measuring network, and of course no global warming in a decade (or, we now know, since 1900 for that matter) — but to extract massive settlements from the energy industry to further fund the trial lawyers, greens and the greens' pet projects. Just imagine the anti-energy campaign that this model would yield! And at no cost, really, except to anyone who uses energy and/or invests in these sleepy "granny stocks". Oh, and the economy.

Given that at least two of the seven requests for information under state freedom of information laws have been received electronically, I am comfortable revealing that a version of the following inquiry has been sent to activist state AGs in California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.

We'll see how what we know squares with what is produced, and go from there, though I have little doubt that some stonewalling will make this a more energy-intensive effort than it should be; but as the tobacco AGs learned, there's usually one party who coughs up the documents at which point the games must come to an end.
Is that what is meant by "the debate is over?"
You have to remember that in law and politics, "proof" means something entirely different from science.

Apparently there is a lot of fog in California and a few other states, too.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hint of Autumn


Sure, it is the middle of August... but you can feel it coming. A brisk night and cool morning... temperatures in the 40s. It's just a summer cool front sweeping in from Canada at 20 mph so the weather will be at September high-low averages.

But it's a hint that Labor Day is close and the growing season is ending... and autumn is just around the corner. That means cider and doughnuts and football and brightly colored leaves... and no more of that damned air-conditioning!
Yes, I'm getting ahead of myself, but I really love autumn.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Federal Reserve Update


From CNN

NEW YORK ( -- The Federal Reserve, reacting to concerns about the subprime lending crisis and the volatility in the financial markets that have resulted from it, announced Friday that it is cutting its so-called discount rate temporarily by a half percentage point, to 5.75 percent.

The discount rate is the rate the Federal Reserve banks across the country charge qualified lenders - mainly banks - for temporary loans. It is largely symbolic.

The central bank did not change its more closely watched federal funds rate, which affects rates that consumers pay on various types of loans. That rate remains at 5.25 percent.

The Fed last met Aug. 7 and decided to leave both the federal funds and discount rates unchanged. But since then, stocks have plunged further due to fears that some financial institutions and hedge funds were in serious trouble because of the mortgage meltdown.

As I said on August 13 and today, the Fed is getting nervous, but it is not quite ready to lower interest rates that affect housing or other consumer purchases. Right now it is hoping a bandaid will fix things... it won't.


The Fed Will Act


... if the DJIA reaches 12,000.

That will be approaching a 15% "correction" from the high point [and the wheels will be squeaking too loudly to ignore].

That marks the point where the DJIA is 4% below the beginning of the year. Right now it is still up 3% for the year and just 8% down from the high, so the Fed will just be watching things.
By then, of course, the rest of the country's housing market will look like Michigan's... DOA. New construction will be shut down, foreclosures will be at record levels, and overall economic growth will be less than 2%.
Then even the banking system will recognize that it has more to lose from the stallout than mild inflation. Big Ben will have to stop being "Johnny One Note."
Just to jog your memory, here are a few related posts and DJIA:
Back on December 18 last year I wrote:
It is difficult to get of measure of what the economic big picture is right now. The Christmas season is not over so no real numbers are available for comparison with other years. We know that housing and autos are quite weak. Stable oil prices have been good news as is the Federal Reserve's less aggressive attitude.
I think we are getting a measure of what the economic big picture is right now.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Oceans Are The Problem


From Dr. John Ray's blog.

Most shocking of all is their prediction for the year 2100 to be slightly cooler than present day, despite the assumption of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels. Eye-popping indeed. Is carbon-dioxide really so ineffective at warming? A new study by Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute seems to think so. Its conclusion is that, while CO2 does have some effect, that "it can never play the decisive role attributed to it" in global warming, and that its effects have been grossly overstated.
Oh, those Belgians are just a bunch of deniers.

And if that wasn't enough... check this out in New Scientist.


Losing Perspective


It's been a rough 5 days on Wall Street with the DJIA down about 6% and a lot of people getting very worried about their investments.

The whole last month has been a big slide down of over 7%.

The last three months could leave your head spinning with the roller coaster ride if you look too closely.

So maybe we need to step back a bit to add some perspective.... How about a year?

Or maybe 5 years?

This reminds me of some other charts. Of course you need to step back for real perspective.

And then someone might come along and change the data, too.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cooler In The Outlying Areas


Most of us who live in metropolitan areas have heard weather forecasts that go something like this:

Tonight, variable cloudiness with low temperatures in the mid-60s and, in the outlying areas, the mid-50s.
Don't you find it amazing how the founders of all of our large metropolitan areas were able to locate the exact spots that stayed 5-10 degrees warmer at night than the "outlying areas?"
There must have been some natural CO2 vents in those spots.

New Anti-Iranian Initiative


The Chinese company, Chery, will start selling automobiles in Iran.

Based on this video, I have to believe it is a CIA plot to try to get rid of high-ranking government officials... or perhaps it is just Iran's effort at population control.


Abusing The Law


A story buried in the back of section one had the title: D.C. judge presses his $54M lost pants case. In case you missed it the first time around, the row was about a missing pair of pants.

A judge who lost a $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner over a missing pair of pants continues to press his suit.

Roy Pearson, a District of Columbia administrative law judge, filed a notice of appeal Tuesday with the D.C. Court of Appeals.

I'm trying to think of any circumstance that justifies $54 million... or $5.4 million... or $0.54 million... or even $5.4 thousand for a pair of pants.

It is obvious that this judge is abusing the law, the courts, and the owners of the dry cleaners.

Should the appeal be rejected... which it no doubt will be... the judge should be forced to pay all of the legal costs borne by the dry cleaners... plus a reasonable penalty of say... $54 million.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Steve McIntyre Explains GISS Temperature Adjustments


For those of you who would like a condensed version of the recent temperature adjustments made to the database used to "prove" global warming, look at this link.

Some of you may have been unable to get information from Steve's site, Climate Audit, because there was a "denial of service" attack that put his site out of service for awhile. Believers don't like deniers presenting facts.


This Chery Not A Cherry


First food, then medicines, then tires, now this.

But it looked good....

More like sour grapes


Monday, August 13, 2007

Federal Reserve Getting Nervous?


If you search this blog on the Federal Reserve, you'll read some less-than-complimentary comments about the way the Fed tends to create more problems than it solves as it seeks to protect the banking system from inflation [although the press releases always indicate it is some vague "public" that is being protected].

Now there is speculation that the Fed's hand might be forced into lowering interest rates because of "mismanagement" in the mortgage business.

What has happened in the financing/mortgage business is the same thing that happened to tech stocks... greed and manipulation.
Easy money allowed unscrupulous, greedy mortgage "brokers" to package bundles of bad mortgages to greedy "investors" who could only see the dollar signs... "tech stocks can only go up"... and screw up the housing market for everyone else.
Now the Fed realizes that it has to step in to prevent the system from imploding. The problem is the system is still in place for a repeat performance.
That reminds me of government efforts that granted amnesty to foreigners illegally in the U.S. without controlling the underlying situation. Play, rewind, repeat... play, rewind, repeat....


Tiger's World



No surprise who won the PGA Championship yesterday.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hot PGA Championship


As one who enjoys playing golf [but often plays "flog"], I noticed the constant graphics on the broadcast of the PGA Championship being played in Oklahoma. 101 degrees; heat index 109 degrees.

Here's the "normal" and "record" temperatures for Tulsa.

Sure, most of us won't step out on a golf course when it is 100 degrees, but the "normal" August high temperature in Tulsa is around 93-94 degrees, so 100 is an expected variance. You might also note when those high temperature records were set in Tulsa!

Another subtle "proof" of global warming?

I recall playing golf in Phoenix early one September when the temperature reached 105. Even riding in a cart and drinking a bottle of cold water per hole was barely enough to keep me going.

Those PGA guys are good!


Money for Expertise


This has been making the rounds in the blogging world:

Newsweek says "the denial machine is running at full throttle" and is a "well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists."

How well-funded? Newsweek cites Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) "giving $19 million over the years to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)" to produce what eminent climatologist Sen. Jay Rockefeller is quoted as calling "very questionable data" on climate change.

No mention is made of the $3 billion contribution to the global warming crusade by Virgin Air's gazillionaire owner Richard Branson alone. Donations such as these are the reason the 2004 budgets of the Sierra Club Foundation and the National Resources Defense Council were $91 million and $57 million respectively.

Newsweek portrays James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, as untainted by corporate bribery.

Hansen was once profiled on CBS' "60 Minutes" as the "world's leading researcher on global warming." Not mentioned by Newsweek was that Hansen had acted as a consultant to Al Gore's slide-show presentations on global warming, that he had endorsed John Kerry for president, and had received a $250,000 grant from the foundation headed by Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Newsweek reporter and editorial, uh, article co-author Eve Conant was provided, during her interview with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., documentation of the overwhelming funding advantage enjoyed by those who promote fear of climate change. Newsweek chose to ignore it.

In a Sept. 25, 2006, Senate floor speech, Inhofe noted: "The fact remains that political campaign funding by environmental groups to promote climate and environmental alarmism dwarfs spending by the fossil fuel industry by a 3-to-1 ratio."

[source: CNN]

There are two assumptions here:
  1. obtaining money for expertise is "unethical"
  2. obtaining money for expertise inevitably leads to "tainted" results
To both of those assertions, I would have to reply, "Maybe."
There is no absolute causal relationship between funding and fraud. There may be a causal relationship between funding and bias. The problem is that often fraud and bias result in similar conclusions.
That is not to say that funding causes the bias, rather that the bias leads to funding.
If Dr. Hansen's research bias, that showed the late 1990s were hotter than the 1930s, was appealing to the Kerry/Heinz coalition, then he was more likely to receive funding for further study than if his research showed that the 1930s were at least as hot as the 1990s... or hotter. The latter conclusion might draw funding from those in whose interest it was to say that certain anthropogenic activities were not driving global warming.
Perhaps the kettles that are calling the pots black need to step back a little and recognize that, while funding can support research looking for certain outcomes, there is still a scientific method that has to be followed before "the debate is over."


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Concern at Federal Reserve


Yesterday, I sent an article about the Chicago condo market to my oldest son who has a beautiful condo directly across from the Aon Center building in downtown Chicago. He and his wife moved to San Francisco and have been renting it out because the resale market has been so depressed. I also wrote:

I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
Today, I read about the first signs that the Fed might be moving toward more concern about the financial/housing markets than inflation:
Fed tries to calm jittery markets

Financial concern about the credit crunch swept through Europe and into the United States on Thursday. That prompted the Europeans to pump $130 billion into their financial system. Asian central bankers followed suit, while the U.S. Federal Reserve added $24 billion in temporary reserves to the U.S. banking system.

On Friday, the Fed pushed another $38 billion in temporary reserves into the system -- the biggest injection since the days following the Sept. 11 attack.


European Backlash - Step 5


I have written that the "tolerant" Europeans would begin to show more of their pre-WWII ethnocentrism as they perceived the Muslim challenge to their cultures.

Previously, the French Prime Minister suggested paying Muslims to leave. Now a right-wing Dutch Member of Parliament has proposed banning the Quran.
I'm interested to see what the next step is.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Hottest Year


Now that government and industry [see yesterday's post] are convinced they have to tax us more and manipulate markets due to global warming, along comes this "inconvenient truth." There appears to be a little mathematical shuffling of the rankings for the "hottest year." This is my take at Climate Science which made its own observations and received plenty of comments:

The ranking of 1934 as the hottest year is fairly consistent with the analysis I did [and about which you dedicated a post on this site]. As of 2006, the state record temperatures count for 1934 was 25 versus 29 in 1936… compared with 19 in 1998.

I suspect that with further analysis, there will be little doubt that the 1930s were the hottest decade on record for the U.S. That may not necessarily follow for the rest of the world, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some correlation.

So, does that mean we had 50 years of global cooling followed by a temporary uptick? I guess it's all how you measure it. It could also be seen as a simple oscillation along a flat line, but that's not as exciting as declaring "ice age" one decade and "global warming [disaster]" a few decades later.
By the way, 2006 had only one record high temperature set.
Apparently, the 4th quarter in the northern hemisphere was not as cold as usual so that made it the 3rd hottest year... hmmmmm. However, February of 2007 more than made up for the lack of cold in late 2006:
The point of all of this is that "the debate is not over." When data can be modified and manipulated so that fractions of a degree mean entirely different conclusions are reached, then we are dealing with uncertainty. When the potential error in feeder readings are greater than the purported 100-year trend change [urban heat islands... improperly placed weather stations...], then there is no reason to debate.
Move on org to energy reduction policies or population reduction policies or no more fish on Fridays policies or whatever are the real hidden agendas of the special interest groups who dislike the presence of other humans and quit pushing a red herring.
Meanwhile, I've noticed that and have been inaccessible since they did their analysis and comments. Probably overheated the servers.


It appears that Climate Audit and Surface Stations websites are being intentionally attacked as a result of publishing information that contradicts global warming alarmists. This from the Climate Science website:

I know the DOS [denial of service] attack on was real, as I helped them try to troubleshoot the problem, and the attack continues even now. The server is getting constant DOS attacks and anytime they try to reconnect the SQL server to the Wordpress blog engine, it gets overwhelmed with requests. The nature and speed of the requests have not abated as eastern time zone goes home from work as would be expected with interest driven requests.

DOS attacks are easy to do, anybody can get some freely available software to launch them.

My problem with is different, my dual T1 circuit to my office went dead about 2 hours after CA’s DOS attacks started. The problem is somewhere in the SFO Bay Area. We don’t know what it is and the ISP is trying to track it down.

Its not just the one server that is offline, its my entire business. I’m writing from home while I wait for word from the telco/ISP on what the problem is.

For now I’m going to assume my circuit problem is coincidental until I hear otherwise.

Comment by Anthony Watts — August 9, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

I guess if you can't debate effectively, you prevent the other person from communicating....


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mulally and Fuel Taxes


Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, is seeking a "market driven" alternative to higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] standards. Consequently, he wants to explore the idea of changing the market.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally called the federal government's mandatory fuel economy requirements a failed program and suggested a tax on gasoline might do more to achieve energy independence and help the environment.
What he is really saying is that since the real marketplace doesn't support proposed CAFE standards, the only way to get customers to "demand" tiny, alternative fuel vehicles is to change the market environment... create additional costs to consumers.
What he is not saying is that the costs will be two-fold: the direct increase in operating costs from those taxes and the cost of new technology to achieve the higher fuel efficiencies. CAFE standards put the onus on manufacturers to build fuel efficient vehicles that people actually want without the additional tax burden on the consumer.
The reality is that the state and federal governments will be forced to raise fuel taxes to make up for lost revenues when the manufacturers are successful in producing fleets that average 32-35 mpg.
Mullaly rightly wants the consumers to know that it is the government, not the manufacturers, that is forcing them to purchase vehicles that are smaller and less safe than they might want.
All right, if that is the way it must be, then I propose that all revenues from the additional taxes be used to offset the development of new technologies and infrastructure [such as battery recycling or new power plants or hydrogen fueling stations] rather than going into a general fund where it is used for congressmen's pork projects.
For example, all of those nickel-based batteries cause enormous environmental damage. So expansion of nickel mining needs to be supported by expensive environmental safeguards. Or a whole new technology needs to be developed for hybrid vehicles that doesn't use nickel-based batteries [lithium ion?]. Oh, wait. There is only one nickel mine in the U.S. Most of the stuff is imported from Canada, so I guess we'll make it their problem. That makes it okay.

We all know how ethanol is screwing up the corn/food markets with no real benefit in energy savings... just good for political PR.
Screwing up the marketplace may be a "solution," but the solution may be a greater problem than the problem.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fearing the Climate


I find it interesting how the preponderance of readers of this blog want information about climate change. Is the earth going to warm another fraction of a degree in the next century? Will polar bears drown? Will Canada have palm trees? Will we forget how to make insecticides and be overrun by mosquitoes? Will Central Park become Central Sea?

Given the dramatic predictions of doom from those who really just want to push environmental, population control, or energy agendas, it is understandable.
However, as I pointed out in the past, a singular focus on one aspect of life has a certainty of sub-optimizing all other important aspects. When push comes to shove, we can only hope that fear is replaced by reason... even if just partially.
Regardless of how romantic the "natural" past may sound, the reality is that today's economies support magnitudes more people in a far healthier manner while improving the environment in which they live. The reality is also that as economies improve, birth rates decline and populations stabilize... which means the larger populations continue to enjoy the better life.
Too much of what purports to be "enlightened" positions are really special interests who seek to impose their way on others... while blithely oblivious to the possible negative consequences.
Rather than seeking to limit economic improvement, special interests should be focusing on economic growth for areas that have poor economies and high birth rates. The consequences of that would be an improved environment for more of the planet as the evolution of those economies reduces birth rates and increases the efficiencies of those economies.
Rather than disruptively forcing technologies that are not ready for "prime time," a more rational approach is to "nudge" economies toward greater efficiencies... not with incentives for use [or disincentives for not using], but incentives for developing and deploying those more efficient technologies.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bursting Your Bubble


CNN had this article on their website that points out further concerns about the equity [and housing?] markets in the U.S.

Right now there doesn't seem to be a "consensus" about the near-term financial dynamics of the markets.

The DJIA is up about about 8% YTD which is what one might expect for the full year. The extra run-up to 14,000 was a good signal that the frenzy was peaking and look out for the bad news bears.
I have to believe that there are more hidden structural flaws in our present economy than the I-35 bridge.


Monday, August 06, 2007

More On Urban Heat Island Effect


Recently, I ran a series of posts about Urban Heat Island effect and the impact of weather stations that were located improperly in a way that exaggerated high temperatures.

This from ICECAP which also links to an analysis by Steve McIntyre on this subject.


Also see this at Climate Science.


July Weather - Unremarkable


Once again, the weather in Michigan has been remarkably unremarkable. July has an average high temperature of about 85 F and an average low of 63 F.

We had 4 days over 90 F... and 11 days below 80 F. It was drier than usual... a lot of sunny, pleasant days... and a lot of much cooler than average nights... probably because it was clearer than usual.
Ho, hum.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home Runs


Barry Bonds has tied Hank Aaron's home run record. If you are a baseball fan, you may or may not believe the record is "clean." Otherwise, you are probably ignoring the event.

I grew up in Milwaukee when the Braves played there. I could take a rail "streetcar" from the stop across the street from my home to County Stadium, with a couple of transfers, for 10 cents. Bleacher seats were cheap and fine. And I would watch Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette pitch to Del Crandall, while Eddie Matthews [3B], Johnny Logan [SS], Danny O'Connell/Felix Mantilla [2B] and Joe Adcock [1B] anchored the infield. But it was Hank Aaron that drew the crowds.

Hank Aaron was small by Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire standards: 6 feet 180 lbs. But he could snap that bat around like a whip. He always seemed to hit over .300 and knock 40 or so home runs per season, although his production fell off quite a bit in later years playing in Atlanta. Regardless, for the first 90% of his career, he was amazingly consistent in batting average and home run production.
Barry Bonds should be recognized for how quickly he has achieve this success: in about 3/4 of the time that Aaron did it. He should also be recognized how he transformed from an "average Joe" player for four years to an outstanding hitter in just one season. Probably a great batting coach or intensive weight training.
Athletes today are bigger, faster, stronger and trained better than a generation or two ago.
Unfortunately, transformations like McGwire's and Bond's leave many suspecting that some of their success came from "talent in a bottle."

Now about that "hopped up" baseball....


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Must Come Down


On July 19, I questioned how the stock markets could be so buoyant while the consumer markets seemed to be tanking... especially housing, which has to affect a lot of people and businesses.

I guess the market is answering that question.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Ron Paul


The name Ron Paul keeps getting tossed around as a "dark horse" candidate for president in 2008. I've read some of the positions attributed to him and just viewed this video.

So far, I get the impression that he is a "minimalist" [although he prefers to be seen as an "originalist"]... a moralistic Libertarian in Republican clothing?

From Wikipedia:

The political positions of Ron Paul are in line with this American politician's stance as a Constitutionalist who professes a libertarian ideology. Accordingly, he opposes presidential autonomy and judicial activism and rejects a welfare state or nanny state role for the federal government.[1]

Paul says that the Republican Party has lost its commitment to limited government and has instead become the party of big government.[2] He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes. His unwillingness to vote for proposals not expressly authorized by the Constitution, along with his medical degree, have earned him the nickname “Dr. No.”

Paul supports free trade, tighter border security, gun ownership, non-compulsory school prayer,[3] and a return to free market health care. He opposes abortion, capital punishment, NAFTA and the WTO, the income tax, universal health care,[4] the War on Drugs, federal regulation of marriage, and foreign interventionism, advocating withdrawal from NATO and the United Nations.[5] He voted against funding same-sex adoption.[6] He is pro-life and believes Roe v. Wade unconstitutionally overrides state jurisdiction on the matter, and should be overturned, arguing that "the federal government has no authority whatsoever to involve itself in the abortion issue".[7] In an effort "to reverse some of the impact of Roe v. Wade," he voted to ban partial-birth abortions.[8]

He seems to be against government except when it supports his personal morality. I have a problem with that.... I may agree with some of his positions, but I don't like "Big Brother" which he appears to be against on some issues and strongly for on others... an incongruous mix.

One aside: he seems to be for allowing states to have their own product regulations. To me that implies chaos... 50 different sets of rules and specifications for manufacturers to contend with. That's way too much government involvement. He sees it as states' rights.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bridge Collapse

The collapse of the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River at Minneapolis struck me as a déjà vu moment. It seemed like yesterday when pictures of a bridge with cars strewn into a river were all over the news.

I found an article about that I-40 bridge disaster and many others. Naturally, by this morning, Wikipedia had already updated its article on such disasters.

While quite spectacular when they happen, it is not the kind of occurrence that happens often. Many times it is because of an outside agent causing the bridge to weaken. Sometimes it is poor design or construction. Sometimes is is poor maintenance.

But always it seems the the reaction is "Wow, we didn't see that coming."


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Woman's Place


Just so you don't think I'm picking on Muslims for their "honor" killing of women, I want you to know that I am an equal opportunity offender.

In India, sons are typically seen as breadwinners. According to Hindu tradition, a son is also supposed to light his parents' funeral pyre.

Girls are often viewed as a burden because of the matrimonial dowry demanded by a groom's family.

The deep-seated discrimination makes many women more determined to have a boy because they do not want their daughters to suffer the domestic abuse and hardships that they faced, the book says.

"Better to send her straight to heaven rather than make her endure this beating and kicking around," one woman is quoted as telling the author.
Perhaps it is the food or water. Where did these cultures evolve such attitudes? Certainly, women in many cultures have had strictly a domestic role while the men "earned the living." But there is nothing really innate in that arrangement. Men and women in America's westward expansion faced uncertainty, hardships, hostility and scarcity... together fighting for their lives and establishing their new homes. So being poor or facing hardships is not necessarily an excuse or reason for treating women as chattel... or cattle. Somehow the Greeks and Romans avoided this attitude in their empires, so "old" is not an excuse for a culture.
I guess it is improper, in this relativistic world, to judge other cultures based on one's own. Well, I'm going to do it anyway. No matter how old, enduring, widespread or strong the cultures are that have formalized the "justification" of killing off women and girls for honor or any other reasons [let's include China in there], those cultures are simply perverse and corrupted.

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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)