Musings That Add Up To Nothing

This seems to be one of those days when either I have absolutely no imagination or there isn’t anything of note happening. Bottom line, I can’t think of a good topic to sound off on. So failing that, let’s look at a bunch of little things that happened today.

First, of course, President Obama signed the fiscal stimulus bill. More by chance than accident I heard his speech extolling the virtues of the plan. I honestly can’t remember what he said. His talks are all starting to sound the same and that’s not a good thing for a politician. Cool only gets you so far.

Speaking of the stimulus bill, the official website is now up and running. Here’s the link. Let’s wait and see how transparent this thing really is.

So far the only news on the auto companies that were supposed to present their plans is that Chrysler says it needs $2 billion more and GM hasn’t said anything yet. The unions say they have reached an agreement with the companies but no details I’ve seen. Remember how all of this sounded like it would play out so smoothly when we gave them their first hunk of cash. Well I hope you’re not surprised to see the mishmash that’s developed. It’s all politics and little business except the business of spending your money.

The economics blogs are starting to get nasty. These guys get exposed for the overpaid, underdelivering lot that they are and they start going after one and other. The latest spat surfaced in the Financial Times. It’s title was “Blogs Gone Wild” but it’s really just a whine for everyone to be nice to each other and get along. Here’s the link.

Unless I missed something, Arnold of California is still threatening to layoff 20,000 employees and bring a number of projects to a halt. Word is that California legislators are terrified of this prospect as they fear no one will notice any difference in the level of services.

Tomorrow is the big day for mortgage relief. President Obama is supposed to announce his plan to slow down the foreclosure tsunami. Given the administration’s success so far with plan announcements it’s probably best to keep expectations low. Based on my unscientific sampling of friends who took out “liar loans” hopes are high. They’re already modeling alternative scenarios. If the government thinks it isn’t going to get taken to the cleaners, then they are sadly underestimating the high art that scamming the system has become.

Hats off to the Japanese drunk finance minister who after being caught on YouTube announced his resignation. That’s so much more dignified than the way we do it here. The guy doesn’t have to abase himself and plead for forgiveness in front of millions on Oprah and 60 Minutes. Plus he gets to skate on the substance abuse courses.

Oh this is juicy. It appears as if GM now says it’s going to need up to $30 billion to survive, that it hasn’t reached any agreements with its creditors or unions but will by the end of March and it’s going to cut more jobs and blah, blah, blah. Evidently the plan is posted on the Treasury’s website. Here is the link to the Reuters article.

With that I’m going to go work out and hopefully get my brain firing again. Then it’s on to the Treasury website to see what’s up with GM.

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