Those teabaggers; etc.

Misc stuff. I think I’ll press “publish” now to distract you. Oh look, there’s a badger…

Early Warning with some interesting speculation and pointers re the possible US default. The “only someone batshit crazy would do that; oh f*ck, these teabaggers *are* batshit crazy” is fun. But I like the idea that even a brief default – assuming they came to their senses and caved afterwards – would add some tiny amount to US interest rates forever after. Are they really that crazy? Or will the big money have a quiet word in the right ears?

Timmy again, this time pointing out (well, it was the point of interest to me, you might care for the wider point) just how mind-bogglingly tiny the tradeable economies of some countries are. A graph of this would be nice, I think.

Mr. Gore Finds the Link by mt and (just to provoke) Mencken on crowdsourcing by a man of many names.

Eli has a new idea for betting on sea ice (which I see is looking better just now).

Newspapers follow bias not cause it – not quite true but fairly true. Certainly, an unwelcome idea all too rarely considered. Just as a people gets the politicians they deserve, they also get the press they deserve. Not me, of course, because I get none of them; but you plebs, yes.


Pic added per comments; see-also here


  1. #1 J Bowers

    In comments at MT’s, Dan Olner links to a wise observation.

    A secret dictatorship

  2. #2 J Bowers

    William, Boehner couldn’t even get his sums right. Where’d that $350bn go?

  3. #3 Martin Audley

    Map of Wealth of Nations, 2002, from WorldMapper joint project by University of Michigan and Sheffield.

  4. #4 J Bowers

    Suspicion is rife as to how this bet came about.

    Investors: The $1 Billion Armageddon Trade Placed Against The United States

    [But $1B is peanuts in that market, no? -W]

  5. #5 Alexander Ac

    Well, USA is fuc*ed regardless of the debt ceiling result, which is going to go up inevitably. USA is regarded as “save heaven” compared to Europe, being hammer by debt-deflation.

    Aaah, and anybody who think USA can pay all ist debt and obligations etc, should check this debt visualistation at ,



  6. #6 J Bowers

    Alexander Ac — “USA is regarded as “save heaven” compared to Europe”

    There’s one little European island thought of as a safer bet right now.

    US debt default fears grow as UK becomes safest haven for bondholders

  7. #7 Alexander Ac

    Ahh, thanks J Bowers, interesting news. Markets are almost never rational…, since the “energy” balance and thus the financial balance of the UK is more than tragic (though maybe not more than that of US :-). Declining oil production, housing bubble bursting, trade deficit, slow or no growth, and all that…

    so I am waiting what will be the next heaven for investors? Japan? :-)



  8. #8 Hank Roberts

    From the “shocked, shocked” universe:

  9. #9 J Bowers

    Will Happer’s a climate scientist?! He’s never published on the science in his life, has he, only on Nature’s climate change statement?

    Petitioning for a revised statement on climate change. Singer et al (2009)

  10. #10 Tim Worstall

    That $1 billion bond futures trade.

    It’s a very weird description of it. He doesn’t even tell us if it’s long or short (are they betting that bond prices will fall or rise?).

    He also seems very confused as to what margin actually is. An $850 million trade. Is that the nominal amount covered by the futures?

    He says that the transaction was some 8,500 futures (The trade was for block trades of 5,370 10-year Treasury futures executed at 124-03 and 3,100 Treasury bond futures executed at 125-01.) and each treasury bond future covers 100,000 $ nominal of bonds.

    So the total amount of nominal bonds covered by the trade is that $850 million (ish, ish, because the futures were not bought or sold at par).

    In the context of the $14 trillion or so of outstanding Treasuries this is very small beer indeed.

    And in the context of 600,000 Sept 2011 Treasury 30 year futures, 1.4 million open 5 year note futures, 1.8 million open 10 year note futures…….small beer again.

    And to margin: the speculator has not put in $850 million: that’s the nominal amount he’s exposed to. On a 10% margin (which is what he assumes) then the speculator has plonked down $85 million.

    It might well be a fairly large futures trade (I don’t really know) buty it’s absolutely nothing like what he’s saying it is.

  11. #11 J Bowers

    Tim Worstall — “He doesn’t even tell us if it’s long or short ”

    He does. Short.

  12. #12 crandles

    >”sea ice (which I see is looking better just now)”

    It is looking even better now. Intrade’s last price was 93! However I think that seems a little extreme and I am glad to have been on the selling side of that transaction. Current range is back down to 76-84.

    [It will be interesting. In should get into Intrade sometime -W]

  13. #13 Riversidedental

    Thanks for post this information,
    It was really helpful to solve my confusion,

    General and Cosmetic Dentistry

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.