07 October 2008

Down the drain.

The Guardian is reporting that the IMF recalculated their estimates of US banking losses to 1.4 trillion US dollars, up from 945 billion dollars. To put that number in perspective, it’s way higher than A-Rod’s current contract and all his future contracts as well as twice the federal government bailout amount. We’re talking Iraq Quagmire War numbers here.

Bush – the latest Republican who was going to “shrink government” but did exactly the opposite (I still can’t figure out why morons out there fall for that line) – has blessed us with the double-whammy of emptying the government coffers for his vanity war, while simultaneously ignoring domestic troubles to the extent that we find ourselves reaping the bitter harvest of the decades-long assault on regulation.

In the meantime, we’re now learning that the sunny outlook on the economy that Bush and his cronies like John “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” McCain is due quite possibly to the faulty information being supplied by private companies (e.g. RealtyTrac) who found it more profitable not to do proper surveys – kind of like the DC Police find it more useful not to take crime reports. Following demands from Congress – in the form of the Foreclosure Prevention Act (why these acts get such lofty names is beyond me – how about the Foreclosure Information Act…that’s more accurate) – HUD conducted its own survey of foreclosures. A sample difference between the private company’s numbers and HUD’s numbers: 500 v. 12,000 in West Virginia:

RealtyTrac, based in California, compiles data that government officials — and journalists — rely on for a picture of the nation's housing market. But in West Virginia last year, it counted fewer than 500 foreclosure notices. New federal statistics counted 12,000 notices in the state, since the start of 2007.

Now I’m not going to go into NPR’s sleight of hand statistics of comparing RealtyTrac’s “last year” numbers to the 12,000 counted “since the start of 2007” (which could be over a year and a half of data). Why do journalists have to obfuscate? It’s clear that RealtyTrac’s numbers are way off, so why not compare apples to apples?

$1.4 trillion sure could buy a lot of homes…and I’m willing to bet much of it did…at least for a while.


Washington Cube said...

I read a few months ago the estimated cost of the war, per day, and it made me gasp. To think what we could be using that money for towards this country's needs. I swear, Cuff, in my more tired less articulate moments, I want this country to go old school Japan, slam down borders, focus on our own situation and let the world get on without us.

cuff said...

Cube: If that meant invading fewer countries and destabilizing fewer governments, I'm all for it, but let's leave those borders open because the history of US growth is the history of immigration.

Washington Cube said...

I was joking, Cuff...sorta. :x

cuff said...

I can be dense sometimes. Maybe all the time.