The Chamber of Commerce Is the International Cosmopolitan Elite

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

I have been pondering two seemingly separate issues — the first, what constitutes an “elite”. David Brooks says it’s bobos; Charles Murray says it’s those who “…spend school with people who are mostly just like them — which might not be so bad, except that so many of them have been ensconced in affluent suburbs from birth and have never been outside the bubble of privilege. Few of them grew up in the small cities, towns or rural areas where more than a third of all Americans still live.”

It’s Time for America to Break the Addiction

The debate amongst economic pundits and policy makers centers on how best to stimulate the economy.  This completely misses the point.  What America needs is an intervention, not stimulation.  Americans have become consumaholics.  What is needed here is recognition that we as Americans have a problem, we spend too much and we need to break the habit.  What are needed are not fiscal or monetary enablers, but support as we go through the painful process of breaking our addiction and rebuilding our lives.

German Budget Austerity Requirements Divide EU Summit

The Germans are planning to put forward a plan to change  guidelines to the stability and growth pact (SGP) to give it more teeth. The sense in Berlin is that the SGP, which limits budget deficits to 3% and debt-to-GDP to 60%, has been a bust as flouting of the SGP has been widespread.  I see this as a misguided political manoeuvre. In truth, however, it was the Germans and the French who broke SGP terms last decade giving the green light to all comers.  Moreover, the Spanish and the Irish never broke stability and growth pact guidelines once in the run-up to the financial crisis. So, clearly the problems in the euro zone have nothing to do with deficits or the stability and growth pact. 

Eurozone Worries Rising?

There are more news sightings that point to heightened worry about Eurozone sovereign debt/bank woes. A spate from Bloomberg this AM. Normally, when I can come close to doing one-stop shopping on relevant topics on Bloomberg, it’s a sign of anxiety.

Chile’s Industrial Production Lower than Expected

Chile’s industrial production in September came in lower than expected by the markets (6% y/y) and RGE (5.2%) at 3% y/y, falling short of its 4.4% y/y three-month moving average (3MMA) through August and showing a continued normalization of industrial activity. Consumer durables cooled to 13.3% y/y (34.9% y/y 3MMA), consumer non-durables eased to 1.5% […]

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