Category Archives: economics

We’ve passed Peak Oil

NYT reports on a new IEA report that concludes we’ve past peak oil production from conventional crude oil supplies, and the future liquid fuels will come from natural gas and “unconventional” (read, oil shale).  This means much higher prices and international competition (read, China and India).  So much for “drill, baby drill.”

Wall St. explained…

by Michael Lewis.  We need financial regulation, but I’m not sure there is any way to control really smart, greedy people.  But we all pay the consequences.

Is Anybody Listening?

On the News Hour last night there was a remarkable story about a high school class that made a video “Is Anybody Listening?” about how the recession is affecting their lives.

It was a class project born out of a discussion of the American Dream. Five months later, it made it into a speech given by President Obama. “it” is an eight minute video titled, “Is Anybody Listening.” It’s the first person accounts of students struggling with foreclosures, hunger and the threat of becoming homeless.

The video feels like a twenty-first century version of a Dorothea Lange portrait. One student told us his American dream is modest – to have a refrigerator full of food. The goal of making the video was to get the attention of the nation’s leaders, specifically the President. It took a few months, but just last week, the video made it to the White House and President Obama told the students in a speech he is listening and promised to fight for their right to the American Dream. Although there is no assurance the President’s promise will change the lives of these Pomona kids, they are hopeful and for now are declaring “mission accomplished.”

It’s a heartbreaking story. Watching the sadness and anxiety of these young lives gives a new dimension to the anger over greed that led to the meltdown and the AIG bonuses. Watch the News Hour (above), then watch the original video:

“Half a Great Depression”

Krugman looks at the manufacturing output data and compares the Great Depression to the “Great Recession,” and concludes it’s about half as bad, so far…

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Sobering: declining manufacturing output

New York Times:

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John Stewart smack down…

See the whole John Stewart/Jim Cramer interview (intro plus three interview segments).

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GDP defined

“We have an economy where we steal the future, sell it in the present, and call it GDP” – Paul Hawken