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Pre-Black Friday Open Thread

Shop 'til you drop!


The remains of the turkey are in the fridge, the relatives have gone home, and now it’s time to get ready for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Harrah’s Sports Book puts tomorrow’s over/under at 5 dead* – trampled, crushed, shot by other bargain hunters or heart attacks caused by fighting over sales merchandise.

What will you be doing tomorrow? Will you be in the mosh pit fighting for great deals or will you sleep in? If you’re going shopping where are you going and what are you looking to buy?

This is an open thread.

(*Not really)



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Black Friday

R!$@#%#!$%!!!  Get me out of here!  They’re driving me crazy!  My mother is talking about wills and affadavits and family friends who are swindling each other over property.  I am being forced to watch The View and defend why I don’t like Joy Behar and why I DON’T CARE ABOUT BARBARA WALTERS’ INTERVIEW WITH OBAMA!  I DON’T CARE, I DON’T CARE, I DON’T CARE.

My sister is going to rescue me and take me to the YMCA for two hours of exercise followed by sauna.  Then I might hit Circuit City for a new LCD TV for my basement. Meanwhile, here is the latest installment of the “Who could have predicted?” series.  Today’s entry is from Paul Krugman in Lest We Forget.  Actually, it is The Shrill One who is saying No $#@% Sherlock to his buddies:

A few months ago I found myself at a meeting of economists and finance officials, discussing — what else? — the crisis. There was a lot of soul-searching going on. One senior policy maker asked, “Why didn’t we see this coming?”

There was, of course, only one thing to say in reply, so I said it: “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”

Why did so many people insist that our financial system was “resilient,” as Alan Greenspan put it, when in 1998 the collapse of a single hedge fund, Long-Term Capital Management, temporarily paralyzed credit markets around the world?

Why did almost everyone believe in the omnipotence of the Federal Reserve when its counterpart, the Bank of Japan, spent a decade trying and failing to jump-start a stalled economy?

One answer to these questions is that nobody likes a party pooper. While the housing bubble was still inflating, lenders were making lots of money issuing mortgages to anyone who walked in the door; investment banks were making even more money repackaging those mortgages into shiny new securities; and money managers who booked big paper profits by buying those securities with borrowed funds looked like geniuses, and were paid accordingly. Who wanted to hear from dismal economists warning that the whole thing was, in effect, a giant Ponzi scheme?

Well, there were *some* people who saw it coming but they were laughed at.  Peter Schiff is the classic example.  Of course, he comes from the Austrian School of economics, which is as austere and uncompromising as it sounds.  For Schiff, it’s all laissez faire and all natural law all the time. It must be a legacy of the Hun invasion.  Who knows?  But this little clip that has gone viral is a thing of beauty:

Who’s laffing now?

Still, Krugman is indulging in a bit of wishful thinking of his own:

Now we’re in the midst of another crisis, the worst since the 1930s. For the moment, all eyes are on the immediate response to that crisis. Will the Fed’s ever more aggressive efforts to unfreeze the credit markets finally start getting somewhere? Will the Obama administration’s fiscal stimulus turn output and employment around? (I’m still not sure, by the way, whether the economic team is thinking big enough.)

No, Paul, it will likely not be big enough.  *Someone* spent $600,000,000 to install Obama over our objections (BTW, Gov. Jon Corzine was a former CEO at Goldman-Sachs.  Fancy that!).  Obama has been running from The New Deal like it was the ebola virus.  But he sure has a lot of nice things to say about Reagan.  Ah, yes, the Reagan Era.  Those were the days.  I was a student, Pell grants dried up, tuition skyrocketed, there were no jobs to be had…  Those were the days when a person who was the first in her family to attend college could build her character by mopping floors in a fast food joint at 2am, stay up until 4am studying and fall asleep in psych 101 at 8am the next morning.  It made me the old, bitter, uneducated (with a degree in a hard science) working class (professional researcher) sino-peruvian lesbian I am today!

Grrrr, I need a good aerobics class.