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To Paul K with love

So Krugman says:

The magazine cover effect

I’ve long been a believer in the magazine cover indicator: when you see a corporate chieftain on the cover of a glossy magazine, short the stock. Or as I once put it (I’d actually forgotten I’d said that), “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first put on the cover of Business Week.”

. . . . Presumably the same effect applies to, say, economists.

You have been warned.

Could he be talking about this from Tennessee Guerilla Women?

Newsweek Cover: “OBAMA IS WRONG: The Loyal Opposition of Paul Krugman”
Paul Krugman — who as far as I can see is right about everything — is on the cover of the forthcoming Newsweek. The choice of the cover story — Obama’s Nobel Headache — is explained in a letter to readers by Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham.

Joseph Cannon isn’t going to forget. . . . (and neither will I)

I ain’t never gonna forget

APOLOGIZE, Bob Fertik.

Apologize and choose sides. You can join the Clinton wing of the Democratic party or you can be part of the anti-Clinton, pro-Obama wing. You cannot finesse your way between the two. You cannot have one from column A and one from column B. We will never allow that. You must choose.

Do not think for one second that you possess the words that will bring reconciliation. Even if you had the eloquence of a Shakespeare, your rhetoric still would not suffice. The wounds inflicted in 2008 were deep — far deeper than you realize. And the only salve for those wounds will come when the Obots lose face. Complete, total, merciless loss of face: Nothing else will do.

No, we will never “get over” the primaries of 2008, just I never “got over” the Florida vote theft of 2000. I will not forget being called a racist every single day. I will not forget the lies. I will not forget the death threats. I will not forget the astro-turf hate messages (many from the same ISP in Chicago) that flooded my blog every day. I will not forget the totalitarian imagery and the Mao-like cult created by the Obama camapign. I will not forget seeing my own (former) party embrace tactics that would have made Lee Atwater blush. I will not forget the election fraud in the caucus states. I will not forget the disgusting and unforgivable treatment of Hillary’s delegates at the convention.

And let’s get a coffee-jolt with this rant from Market Ticker:

Here’s an interesting article:

Congress approved landmark legislation today that opens the door for a new era on Wall Street in which commercial banks, securities houses and insurers will find it easier and cheaper to enter one another’s businesses.

That’s Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which dismantled Glass-Steagall.

Some quotes:

”Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,” Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ”This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”

Larry Summers eh? Oh, you mean the stooge in Obama’s Cabinet? Yes, him.

The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation’s financial system. The original idea behind Glass-Steagall was that separation between bankers and brokers would reduce the potential conflicts of interest that were thought to have contributed to the speculative stock frenzy before the Depression.

Funny how we waited until everyone who went through that special Hell known as “The Depression” were dead, then we simply rode roughshod over what they taught us and declared them “fools.”

. . . .

Pity the poor insurance companies. . . . According to the New York Times fixing the health care system is one of Obama’s highest priorities. But, being fair to the insurance companies is hard work:

A Health Plan for All and the Concerns It Raises

It is one of the most contentious health care proposals President Obama has floated: offer a federal, Medicare-like insurance plan to anyone, at any age. And let commercial insurers offer their private health plans alongside it.

“It gives consumers more choices, and it helps keep the private sector honest, because there’s some competition out there,” Mr. Obama said this month at a health care forum in Washington.

But the insurance industry and others wary of too much government intervention vehemently oppose the idea. They say the heavy hand of the government will eventually push out the private insurers, leaving the government option as the only option. That is why the industry seems unwilling to give ground on the issue, even while making other concessions to national health reform — like the industry’s announcement on Tuesday that it might be willing to stop charging sick people higher rates than healthy customers.

“It would transform the market for private insurance,” said Karen Davis, the president of the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research group. She estimates the average premium for a family of four would run around $9,000 a year under a public plan, in contrast to nearly $11,000 for a typical private alternative. The savings to the nation’s health care bill over the next decade could run into the trillions of dollars, she said.

Maybe we WILL get a pony this year (Hey, we’ve got to have our dreams!). This. Is an open thread.

53 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t this current financial crisis offer the opportunity for real reform by breaking up the monopolies we have been told are “too big to fail” or am I just too naive to accurately understand these issues? I would think that this would be the time to at least offer a reasonable platform to address the rampant plundering that has brought us to the precipice.

    But then again, I do not possess that expensive MBA that allows me to participate along with the Masters of the Universe. I will just retreat to my corner and watch the Bluebeards of Wall Street perform more miracles.

    • Perhaps the government may eventually plan to break up Citi and the other too big to fail financial institutions, but for right now, we are propping up the giants while allowing the little banks to fail. I haven’t kept track, but it seems that each week one or two smaller banks have been taken over.

  2. $9,000 a year for health insurance?? Yikes! Can’t we just expand Medicare and make the Government workers have the same plan as everyone else?

    Thanks for all the links, Katiebird!

    • BB, we’re spending $9200 a year for just 2 of us right now. But, we’ve got 2 incomes so it’s just barely manageable (and wouldn’t it have to go down a little with a public plan?). I don’t know HOW they can imagine that a normal family of 4 could afford that expense.

      This business of letting multi-millionaires decide what’s affordable to regular people is SICK.

      • Couldn’t have said it better myself, kb. Over $9000 per year being “reasonable” for insurance is like the moderator at one of the debates last year saying that $150,000 a year was a “middle class” salary.

        • That was Charlie “laugh a minute” Gibson from ABC News.

          • Good memory, SweetSue. Now that you mention it, I can still see him as he made that comment and all the candidates on stage looked at him as though he was a closet case.

    • From the Harper’s Index in the April 2009 magazine:

      Estimated number of jobs that would be created under a U.S. single-payer health-care system: 2,600,000.

    • That number is crazy. That’s $750 a month. $9000 is over 20% of a household budget for a median income person.

  3. I just love that picture of Paul K. with an umbrella in the Newsweek story.

    • I find Paul Krugman to be adorable in a wonky, nerdy way. He seems like the shy, guy in class that you’d get a crush on because he was just a nice guy with brains. I would’ve totally been into Krugman if I had gone to school with him.

  4. OMG! Evan Thomas sees himself as part of the ruling class. Then get out of “journalism” and go to work for your Messiah, you worthless toady!!

    “If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am), reading Krugman makes you uneasy. You hope he’s wrong, and you sense he’s being a little harsh (especially about Geithner), but you have a creeping feeling that he knows something that others cannot, or will not, see. By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are.”

    • !! I was just thinking that!

      • Well it’s true that the most powerful people in the media are ruling class, but I wouldn’t include Evan Thomas. Usually it means the TV anchormen, the publishers of major newspapers and newmagazines. I think Thomas is overrating himself.

  5. Then we must be nothing more than serfs!

  6. Are we supposed to think $9,000 a year to insure a family of four is a bargain?

    • Well — yes, I guess we are.

      Which was the FIRST thing that made me like Hillary. SHE said that regular people couldn’t afford that amount. SHE said that fees should be capped at 4-5% of income (including co-pays and deductables. if any)

  7. The first monopoly that needs to be broken up is the media monopoly. Until there is true competition in the media we will never be told the truth. We only hear what the big three media owners want us to hear when they want us to hear it.

  8. I don’t know how you get to any affordable figure for everyone for healthcare. Certainly you have to have a universal mandate #1. I think you have to have a delivery system that recognizes two different universes of service: preventive and screening services dedicated to promoting wellness and then medical treatment services for people who have a medically diagnosed need. You also need to carve out the “cosmetic” services. We should not be providing those little blue pills to men e.g. Our present system is radically skewed to the latter universe. If we are ever going to truly lower health costs, we need to emphasize that first universe. I think we should have a government funded “web m.d.” type service. I find this a great resource but I worry sometimes because it is so supported and paid for by big pharma. I do not see how you can get costs down and at the same time continue to support the idea of private profit making health—I think people should be able to have the private sector as an option but the bed rock should be a government system. I have medicare but I also have supplementary private insurance as do most people on medicare. The private insurance companies obviously know they would always have such a market—they also know that being the secondary insurer is not as lucrative as being the primary.

    • I don’t mind providing blue pills to men (true ED can seriously affect the quality of a man’s life) — but only if we can also provide condoms and especially provide birth control pills to women who want them.


  9. Yes. They are after Dr. Krugman. We are living in a public culture of bullying and retaliation. Google “bullying in the workplace” and “retaliation in the workplace” and tell me you do not find the perfect description of the Obama machine.

  10. Nice ways of doing business in Congress. Extremely opaque-nobody even read what they passed. (from the NYT article cited above)

    The legislation would permit any mutual insurance company to avoid making surplus payments to policyholders by simply moving to states with more permissive laws and setting up a hybrid corporate structure known as a mutual holding company.

    The provision was inserted by Representative Bliley at the urging of a trade association. It attracted little opposition because it was attached to a provision that forbids insurers from discriminating against domestic-violence victims.

  11. This post just reminded me of another great post lambert had a couple of days ago:

    They hate Krugman because he keeps being right

    No greater sin, if all you care about is who wears what jersey. Nancy Kruh of the Dallas Morning News on “Why I’m not taking a bath in the market”:

    The only economic expert I follow religiously is New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and he is the sole reason I did something back in March 2008 that millions of people now wish they had done. I yanked every last penny I had invested out of the stock market.

    For several months afterward, the market kept perking along, and I fretted that I’d made a huge mistake – the Fidelity adviser I discussed it with certainly thought so. These days, though, I’m careful to contain my glee around all of my friends and family members whose investments have tanked.

    Of course, as we all know, Krugman single-handed-ly burst the bubble because he hates Obama. And besides, he only won the Nobel for theories on international trade, so what would he know about finance? And Krugman’s son worked for She Who Cannot be Named. Betcha didn’t know that, nyaah-nyaah-nyaah.

    • We did the same. We were OUT of the market when the crash hit, other than a tiny nominal amount sitting in an employer 401k where we don’t have many choices.

      • Hmm, I don’t know, call me crazy, but it seems to me that if there was someone who was “always right” I want him/her on my team. 🙄

  12. Reposted from below but still appropo I think:

    Isn’t it telling that the Obot you quote in the set up piece says of Krugman, “….he doesn’t know how politics works”. It isn’t that Krugman does not know his game—economics—he doesn’t know politics. And there folks is the difference between us and them. They are about politics and power. We are about making this country work for all of us.

    • That was the bit that got me too. It’s as if those fools have no idea how the dependencies work (to use a software term). It goes: physics > chemistry > biology > human nature (whatever it is!) > economy > politics.

      Politics is the last element in the chain. If it was good, politically, to base everything on faster-than-light travel, it wouldn’t work. Politics can’t affect physics.

      Krugman tells them they can’t have faster-than-light economics, no matter how much they want it. And they’re too stupid to realize that politics is going to just fall apart if there isn’t a good solid economy underneath it.

      It’s like that great bumpersticker says: it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.

      • Hey!

        Human nature = psychology

        Actually it includes economics, biology, and sociology too.

    • The irony being supposedly Obama was elected as “the outsider who was going to change washington politics because he wasn’t a typical politician” Evidently NOW he’s an expert on politics, or at least enough of an expert to lecture Krugman.

  13. What I get from reading Krugman and others who so oppose the Geithner partnership bailout of the banks plan is that Krugman and others say these huge entities like C and probably B of A do need to fail because they have failed. We need to take them over as a government, clean them up and then put them up for sale to equity and private investors. Obama will and can not do this because he will not face down and take action against the people who have put him in office. He does not have the courage to do the right thing.

    • Yep. Krugman is always accused of wanting permanent socialism and centralized govt banking, but that’s not true.

      He advocates taking them over, breaking them up, and never allowing a bank to get “too big to fail” again. He essentially would like a return to the banking system we had for decades after the great depression – local banks, a few larger ones, that are BANKS, not casinos.

    • it’s like keeping the brain dead alive with machines

  14. Included this in my email to Evan Bayh:

    My two cents:
    1) Too big to fail = too big. Downsize our “too bigs” and our monopolies.

    2) Please take seriously Paul Krugman’s analysis and suggestions.

  15. Oh lovely:

    One of the people named this week to President Obama’s new Task Force on Tax Reform is a member of the AIG board of directors.

    Martin Feldstein, a professor of economics at Harvard University, has been on the board of American International Group since 1988. He also was a prominent economic adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

    • I honestly thought your link was going to take me to The Onion. Well, the joke was on me. It’s a true story.

    • Now, he’s a legitimate conservative source. I’ve read his stuff on social security. You’d think since every one’s lost most of the 401ks, he’d be doing time on Devil’s Isle with Cheney and Bush.

      • It’s hard to completely dismiss Martin Feldstein even if he espouses the “conservative” ideology: He is one the world’s top economist.

        Another “good” thing going for him these days is that he was also for a larger stimulus and started to advocate a 2nd stimulus immediately after the first was adopted.

        Nevertheless, you have to keep a very close eye on him.

        • Yes,i actually quoted him on that second point because I figured if HE was arguing for a bigger stimulus, it had to be the best position. He’s pretty well known for not liking government spending.

  16. Great quote, KatieB. The humiliating experience of being told by a lifelong friend, in a contemptuous tone, to “get over it”, drew me to seek support from the blogosphere for the first time in my life last summer. I also remember my response, holding back the tears, “Whatever happens in the election, I think this economy is too far gone to save”. I wish I’d been wrong about that part.

  17. New Post Up

  18. The wounds inflicted in 2008 were deep — far deeper than you realize. And the only salve for those wounds will come when the Obots lose face. Complete, total, merciless loss of face: Nothing else will do.

    No, we will never “get over” the primaries of 2008, just I never “got over” the Florida vote theft of 2000. I will not forget being called a racist every single day. I will not forget the lies. I will not forget the death threats. I will not forget the astro-turf hate messages (many from the same ISP in Chicago) that flooded my blog every day. I will not forget the totalitarian imagery and the Mao-like cult created by the Obama camapign. I will not forget seeing my own (former) party embrace tactics that would have made Lee Atwater blush. I will not forget the election fraud in the caucus states. I will not forget the disgusting and unforgivable treatment of Hillary’s delegates at the convention.

    OMG–I LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT RANT! That is IT in terms of explaining the PUMA experience and sentiment. I want complete loss of face too. I want to see this fraud and his vicious supporters exposed. What they did is the absolute ANTITHESIS of a liberal Democrat, and they accuse US of not being Dems.

  19. please release my last comment, it got eaten 🙂

  20. I had three comments “eaten”

  21. There is an article on the front page of The Miami Herald today. It tells of the discovery of insurance company’s denial of coverage practices. It seems that they have lists compiled of drugs that we may have been prescribed at one time or another. If you have ever been prescribed any of these drugs, you are automatically denied insurance coverage. It does not matter if it was 20 years ago or if you don’t have a chronic illness. Now that we are going to computerize everyone’s health records, there will be no possibility for somebody to fall through the cracks. Those cracks that might have allowed you or I to get insurance coverage through our employer or buy an individual policy. So, yea, Obama gives insurance companies a tax break or whatever it takes for them to lower a premium, but it doesn’t matter. They are only gonna cover the healthy person. The gov’t program will be saddled with the sick folks and just like the bank rescues and stock company giveaway, those corporations will benefit while the taxpayer takes it up the you know what. It just gets worse and the richer get richer on our backs.

  22. This may be off topic, but the cigarette tax is going up, and in CT it will now cost $8.00 for a pack of cigarettes. I know all the people who don’t smoke will say “Yea” at first (I don’t smoke). But if we think about it, this is just a way of taxing poor people to death (no pun intended). There are no penalties for being a wealthy banker who sucks at his job or an auto exec who can’t build a car, but a person with an addiction to cigarettes is supposed to haul us out of the financial crisis? Something is just wrong with this picture!

  23. The Obots are still blind.
    They are willing to drive the car over the cliff instead of giving the driver the proper directions.
    Geithner’s plan is but a give a way to the banks.
    But so long as Obama is proposing it, it is all well with the Obots.

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