Why they’d rather talk about Sarah Palin

Insty has a new running gag/meme: “Why they’d rather talk about Sarah Palin (cont’d)

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Investors Have Been Fleeing Municipal Bonds. “A few factors can be blamed for this sudden retreat, but the one making all the headlines is the fear that cash-strapped states and municipalities issuing the bonds will renege on promises to investors.”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:03 am Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): America: Paydown Problems.

As it stands today, the US borrows about 40 cents of every dollar it spends. Curbing the budget deficit has been the stated mission of Mr Ryan, a rising Republican star, for several years. But such calls for action have multiplied in Washington in recent months, igniting what some say is the fiercest debate over fiscal and budgetary policy in decades.

The risks are big. If the government rushes into austerity, cutting too much and too quickly, it could stunt economic recovery. But if the political system cannot forge some kind of consensus on steps to restore US deficits to sustainable levels, the danger is potentially even greater: a sovereign debt crisis in the world’s largest economy.

Fortunately, the country’s in the very best of hands.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 17, 2011 at 2:42 am Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Unemployment In The U.S. Is Actually Worse Than Pakistan. “The Eurozone is at similar levels to the US, but when most of the countries that have a higher unemployment rate than the US are collectively referred to as PIGS, it’s not very encouraging.”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 16, 2011 at 11:28 pm Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): “We’re fine at the moment, and we’re screwed long term.” Well, ordinarily I’d be worried. But with the best and the brightest at the helm, I foresee nothing but smooth sailing.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Soaring Global Food Prices.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Holiday Spending Record Not As Good As It Looks.

This past season’s revenue marked a 5.7 percent increase over holiday 2009. That’s the strongest gain since 2004. While encouraging, that doesn’t mean shoppers have recovered from the loss of $11 trillion in household wealth. From consumers’ perspective, the economy hasn’t improved dramatically from last year, as credit remains tight, unemployment hasn’t budged below 9 percent, and home values are still depressed. Consumer confidence is hovering at the same level as a year ago and well below the point that signals a stable economy. . . .

In several categories, spending on gifts fell short of shoppers’ 2007 outlay. In 2010, consumers spent $50.7 billion on clothing and accessories like shoes and scarves; in 2007, that figure was $51.3 billion even before adjusting for inflation. Holiday revenue at department stores was $45.3 billion last year, much less than the $50.4 billion that traded hands in 2007.

Read the whole thing. It’s better than last year, but it’s not exactly “Happy days are here again.”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 16, 2011 at 8:00 am Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): U.S. Satisfaction Remains Near 12-Month Low. “Gallup finds 19% of Americans satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time — essentially on par with the lowest level of the past 12 months, 17%, registered in December. . . . The current low level of satisfaction is likely tied primarily to the economy.”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Munis Crashing For Third Straight Day, And This Is The Worst Yet.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): The Worst Combo: Consumer Spending Is Mediocre, Gas Prices Rising, And Retailers Have No Pricing Power. “Things are starting to look a little stagflationary.”

UPDATE: Consumer Confidence Slips Surprisingly on Jobs, Fuel Costs.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm Link

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:43 am Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): AP: Over 1 million Americans seen losing homes in 2011. “The bleakest year in the foreclosure crisis has only just begun. . . . Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and industry experts say more people will miss payments because of job losses and also loans that exceed the value of the homes they are living in.”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:10 am Link

WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): $5 a gallon gas? Washington insiders are wondering if the next real economic crisis facing President Obama is when gasoline prices spike to $4 or $5 per gallon. At today’s press briefing, a White House press spokesman rebuffed queries about the possibility saying ‘there are many people that would get upset at me if I started to opine on oil and gas prices, so I won’t.’”

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm Link
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WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Jobless claims jump, wholesale food costs surge. More thoughts here.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link
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WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): U.S. On The Way To Losing AAA Credit Rating.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 13, 2011 at 8:47 am Link
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WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): How a housing slump will slow the jobs train.

It seems impolite to ask, what with employment growth sucking wind already. Companies added just around 100,000 jobs a month over the past year, a rate Fed chief Ben Bernanke dismissed Friday as “insufficient to materially reduce the unemployment rate.”

Not a pretty picture.

But it gets worse. Economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch say one key to a jobs recovery is an improvement in housing — because so much job creation is driven by new businesses that have in recent years been financed in part by home equity borrowing.

This sort of job creation has been missing the last couple years, thanks to the housing crash. If U.S. house prices embark as expected on a new decline, the long-awaited hiring renaissance could be put on hold yet again.

“There has been an adverse feedback loop where low home prices lead to tight credit, hurting jobs and prolonging the housing recession,” writes economist Michelle Meyer.

Much of the concern about another housing downturn revolves around the banks. A sharp house-price decline could lead to more foreclosures, hammering profits and reducing lending, such as it is.

But Meyer points to another effect that could be equally powerful for the jobs market. She notes that falling house prices hit home equity, preventing small business owners from tapping a key source of financing.

It’s a reverse “wealth effect.” Hope and change!

UPDATE: Reader John Murrey emails:

I’ve been a real estate agent with my own business and now work for a Top 10 national bank. The other problem that’s going to occur is a drop in labor mobility that will limit job growth and full employment as workers are trapped in homes they can’t afford, can’t sell in areas where job growth is non existent or negative. This will go a long way towards making lending even tighter as people walk away from those homes or are locked in with few affordable resources to finance a business.

Yes, it’s a vicious spiral.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 13, 2011 at 7:00 am Link
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WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Man the Lifeboats! Oil Prices Could Scuttle Recovery. I’m paying $3.25 for gas now. I notice that the big rise in gas prices hasn’t gotten much press attention, though.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link
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CHANGE: HOUSING MARKET SLIPS INTO DEPRESSION TERRITORY. No wonder they’d rather talk about Sarah Palin.

Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 12, 2011 at 8:43 am Link

Psychological defense mechanism or red herring? Methinks, a bit of both.

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One thought on “Why they’d rather talk about Sarah Palin

  1. […] Bread and Circuses By RoboMonkey InstaPundit has a running series called “Why They’d Rather Talk About Sarah Palin“, listing all of the other stories which the media could be spending a little time telling us about, but won’t. Examples include Investors Have Been Fleeing Municipal Bonds, Unemployment In The U.S. Is Actually Worse Than Pakistan, Soaring Global Food Prices, Over 1 million Americans seen losing homes in 2011, and U.S. On The Way To Losing AAA Credit Rating. (H/T: Spin, Strangeness, and Charm) […]

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