Wow.  Although it has been speculated for years I didn’t expect it to actually happen.  It probably still won’t.  It should be scrutinized for anti-trust behavior.  Google should have been as well when they acquired DoubleClick.  I guess when you are under a pro-business administration you can be surprised what they let through.

I think they should be allowed to do it but it should and will be scrutinized.  I believe that Microsoft should be split along server/business/consumer lines and that their web business lies in the consumer space.  The should be enforced before this deal is approved.

Microsoft Bids $44.6 Billion for Yahoo – New York Times

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Worries That the Good Times Were a Mirage – New York Times

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We surprisingly need a economic stimulus when the tax cuts are set to expire.  I imagine that they were carefully set to expire when we could well expect the next recession to come along.

They can pretty well calculate when we will have recession (every 8-10 years).  Why didn’t they set it to expire after just 2 or 3 years.  No they set it to expire when a new recession would be coming and Bush conveniently is leaving office.

Will the stimulate the economy by giving more money to the poor no they will say that tax cuts favoring the wealthy are needed.

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I have a problem with voluntary Carbon-Offsets.  Any environmental initiative worth doing will be a competitive disadvantage unless the consumers are savvy enough and altruistic enough to pay a premium.  A market sustainable number of people are not capable of this level of moral sophistication.

It is also in the favor of the companies to push the envelope and do the minimal possible to get a nice green sticker and with their power they can easily brand a new sticker with a lower bar.

I will repeat.  Any environmental initiative worth it will be painful and no entity would willingly subject themselves to it.  That of course leads to a big problem with our representative democracy since our representitives won’t do it because they represent business and secondly the people AND the people won’t demand it because they are complacent and wouldn’t like the ramification as well.

Unfortunately the environment won’t bow to human demands forever and there will be a day of reckoning and the longer we ignore the problems the worse and civilization threatening the reckoning will be.

F.T.C. Asks if Carbon-Offset Money Is Well Spent – New York Times

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Obama stump speech strategy of conciliation considered harmful | Corrente

More on why I don’t like Obama.

This also makes the statement that for the last 30 years politics has driven economics as where it historically has been the other way around.  Why is that?  My assertion is because of the relative good economic conditions we have had for the past 60 years.

E

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Housing Mess I

December 27, 2007

Good review of the housing mess.  A little scary!

Housing Crash Continues, Bubble Pops

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We need to get our economy out of the belief that fast growth is the only thing worth having.

WallStreet doesn’t like companies that just turn a reliable profit.  If they are not growing then they are not worth having.  Look at Microsoft as a primary example.  It is not enough that quarter after quarter they post big profits and give their shareholders dividends.  They are seen as not being sexy the the stock price suffers.

To be sustainable we need to realize that we don’t need growth for profit.  The main reason is because traders like to flip stocks not just buy into a company and enjoy the dividends.  Many companies don’t even pay out dividends which I always thought was strange.  Their entire stock price is hinged on the idea of growth and that the stock will be worth more tomorrow than today.

E

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Encourage Property Reuse

December 24, 2007

The article of my last post also says that we need to stop building new houses.

My idea is that new construction should be taxed.  Not reconstruction or reuse of existing property but of new construction should be taxed to encourage the reuse of land and vacant buildings and to raise the value of existing structures as the article says is needed.  It would also ease environmental burden and slow down suburban sprawl where everyone wants a new house at the edge of town.  All of the pavement is not a good thing.  We need to encourage higher population densities in order to have sustainability

Higher population density will 1) encourage mass transportation and discourage solo driving 2) have a sociological effect and discourage reproduction 3) have a general increase in the recognition of the problem of over population.  Because of the sprawl too much of America ignores the environmental impact of overpopulation and selfish living.  This needs to be stopped.  The market has taken care of this on the coast and other high density regions (think roughly of the Red/Blue state maps or better yet Red/Blue County maps).

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An article about how the government should do more than it is planning on to stop a recession that many think will be as bad as the early 80’s (I fear a 30’s style myself).

They want people to have their ARMs extended for a period of time.  How they do this is of greatest concern to me.  Do they bail out the banks?  I think they should bail out the home owners.  It was the banking industry that caused this mess and they should only be spared with harsh words of a naughty 3 year old.  The worst in the bunch should be shutdown and the others forced to meet higher lending standards.  Yes higher standards would restrict money supply but it is a necessary evil obviously and should improve investor confidence.  I wouldn’t invest in Mortgage backed securities now if my life depended on it.

E

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071224/ap_on_an/mortgage_crisis

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Finacial Crisis?

December 3, 2007

Innovating Our Way to Financial Crisis – New York Times

Krugman says that we are in for a nasty recession as the credit markets outside of ‘sub-prime’ mortgages is drying up.  No one is willing to give American firms a loan because they are afraid of not being repaid.

The numbers for November are looking a little scary (discounting the stock market which is more of a global player and less sensitive to American woes).

I think a good point to make is that the “boom” of the Bush years will come down to an aberration caused by lax regulations that caused a huge bubble in the financial sectors.  That explains why the average American didn’t see the fruit of the ‘boom’ there really wasn’t one and the stockmarket ‘boomed’ because of globalization and the fact that the rest of the world may go on fine without us.

It is my contention that we will be in the first post-WWII depression inside of the next two to three years.  Yippy!

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