Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Daily Briefing For Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Major Data Dump Today.

I'm not going to process much of this for you, because a) you don't need me to, and b) there's a lot here to run with.  Here we go:

Math's A Bitch.  Dave Ramsey breaks down public finance.  The 7:52 mark is genius.

Investing In A Deflationary Market.  It's hard to say what we should expect in the future.  One theory is that we will experience both an inflationary and deflationary market, one right after the other.  What is your plan to protect your investments in the deflationary scenario?

Soldiers at Ft. Hood Preparing For Riot Control In The United States.  Two years ago, I would not have believed this story.  And yet, from the article: "The potential use for crowd control [for which the soldiers are training] ranges from peaceful protesters to full on riots to a scenario such as Hurricane Katrina, where thousands of people were being relocated."  Since when do "peaceful protesters" require Army soldiers to quell them?  

And Here's A Former Navy SEAL Who Says We Should Expect Martial LawAnother idea I wouldn't have believed not so long ago.  And yet more people are coming forward expressing concerns like the ones enunciated by this gentleman. 

This May Be The Biggest Story TodayForget about the debt deal or shutdown resolution for a minute.  Chase Bank is prohibiting certain customers from wiring money - their own funds - overseas.  Further, it's limiting business customers to $50,000 of cash transactions per statement cycle.  Think about the small businesses across this country that deal primarily in cash; how can this possibly be a good idea?

There is growing support for cops to wear on-body cameras.  This is good for both citizens and cops. 

Just How Much Debt Is $17 Trillion?  I have a hard time conceptualizing numbers beyond a few million; billions and trillions boggle the mind.  This article helps put it into perspective.

What Is The True Cost From The Fiscal Impasse?  Look at me! I'm linking to the New York Times!  Things were better when Jayson Blair was still there.  Assuming the data in the article is correct (I don't have any reason to doubt it), remember: there are bigger issues here than just the shutdown and Obamacare.  This is about the proper role of government and the money required to fund it.  A more concise version can be found here.  Thanks to Hayes for sharing.   

Can We Please Get A True Sense Of How Big These Entitlement Programs AreTwo days ago, I shared this article stating that our unfunded liabilities, of which Social Security and Medicare compose a large portion, compose about 550% of our GDP.  This article claims the Social Security and Medicare obligations will only be 20% of GDP some seventy years from now.  It's hard to be able to have any meaningful discussion about our nation's balance sheet if we can't agree how much is on it.  I am not looking for a particular answer; I just want to know the right one.


  1. As for your last question - they probably both are. I personally find the first to be less useful since it is expressed as some aggregate future liability number that I have find difficult to wrap my head around. The second, even though the curves could flatten out or steepen up a lot depending on growth, is pretty darn sobering. 20% of GDP is huge considering that all of federal spending is currently running 22.6%. Enjoying exploring around at the Peterson Foundation - thanks for linking that!

  2. Hayes, I'm not sure both can be accurate. Yes, the first number is adding in federal pension liabilities, but I cannot imagine those are so large so as to make up the difference between the two figures. And you're right: even at 20% of GDP, the entitlement liabilities eat up a tremendous amount of capital that the government simply doesn't have and can't easily raise taxes high enough to make up the difference.