The Oval Office Behind The Curtains

You have been talking to the Doctor !  Explain ! Explain !

The immediate granular reactions to Obama’s budget, such as its ‘honesty’, education, EPA, armed forces personnel expansion, tax cuts, etc. are all important. We agree with the Center Left that the stimulus and budget are unlikely to generate the economic growth underpinning the budget’s out year projections. They are not audacious enough.

Geithner’s tepid approach to the banking crisis is probably a more revealing insight into the Administration’s psyche than the budget. He’s an odd pollyanna. His ‘worst case’ scenario of a 3.3% economic decline this year and flat 2010 followed by growth can only be a political prism divorced from economic reality. 2008 Q4’s over 6% decline merely highlights this.

AIG is on the precipice of tripartite tear down. CitiGroup and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch are insolvent as we speak for all practical purposes. Paul Volker correctly observed recently ‘some banks are too big to fail exist.’ The Administration’s expected increased government position in Citi is best seen as a band aid.

The Obama Administration is not nearly as honest as it needs to be. The banking/financial situation is far more important for future national expenditure possibilities than a budget. Which makes Geithner’s dithering on bank capitalization, ‘to nationalize or not dare use that word’ etc. all the more bizarre.

Our macro take despite the stakes is meh. Assuming American historical luck holds and we navigate a soft landing for banks and Obama’s budget is even 20% close to reality we believe American capacity for subsequent austerity to sustain deficit reduction is zero. American debt service obligations will be crippling by any objective standard. If the depression takes hold speed things up.

Sound American strategic foreign policy planning should begin to anticipate the existing and soon to explode ends means gap and adjust accordingly. Obama’s success or failure will only attenuate the timeline a bit.


  1. Aldershot says

    “Mobile reactors impose an even more
    extensive set of constraints. Mobile nuclear
    reactors would preferably have:
    – closed cooling and moderating systems
    – nonhazardous and desirably inert
    – helium, carbon dioxide, heavy water,
    liquid metals acceptable; liquid salts deemed
    not suitable due to hazard potential
    – self-contained operations with minimal
    heat or waste effluents
    – largely robotic operation
    – inherently safe operation
    – negative void coefficient (that is, the
    power reduces when the reactor core temperature
    goes up)
    – passive cooling (that is, loss of coolant
    will not damage the fuel; the core temperature
    eventually cools due to radiation and
    convection); these characteristics preclude
    Chernobyl and Three Mile Island–type
    nuclear accidents
    – resistance to terrorist attack. Tristructural-
    Isotropic (TRISO)–fueled reactors are
    attractive in this respect12
    – resistance to nuclear weapon proliferation
    – breeder reactors produce plutonium and
    violate U.S. policy
    – breeder reactor safeguards to prevent fuel
    pilfering, however, are possible and have been
    employed in other countries13
    – a convincing waste disposal
    – resistance to explosive attack.”

  2. Anon says

    Newt is melting right now – his current bombast is a mask – His insane Ben Franklin comment indicates a mental bulkhead could break any week now,

  3. Anon says

    Barnett does seem off putting in his -insincere claims to liberalism when he was pushing his war on the world maps, his obvious relish for power and influence, and the banality of his management lingo.gaps, core, etc – retch

  4. DrLeoStrauss says

    Wow, Aldershot, there should be a warning now on all this stuff — recalling this may be hazardous to all of our collective health lol. Amazing people really did think his ideas were worth spreading. Good point. This transcends even Crusher-esque weaselness. Michael Dorn as Worf should erupt into the video at say 3:25 and slam an atomic knee drop then exit without a word.

    Just remembering being in the same room with TPB at Office of Force Transformation makes one want to reach for the bourbon at 8:45 AM. God bless Art Cebrowski but why he lent TPB his prestige and mentorship is still a puzzle.

    All hail the cleaning out of old bookmarks !

  5. DrLeoStrauss says

    A great ep! And IIRC, another Wesley-induced mess. Perhaps Wesley’s ancestors worked for Citi or were related to Hank Paulson.

  6. Aldershot says

    I’m reminded of The Next Generation episode in which the people surrounding Crusher are disappearing one by one, and in the end she must to leap head-first through the swirling space anomaly to safety.

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