November 17, 2008

"So what's Shiff's economic prediction for the Obama Administration?"

Noting yesterday's discussion of the unbearable bearishness of Peter Shiff, Instapundit links to the video below. I would love to watch it -- maybe you can watch it for me -- but the background music track -- "Band on the Run" -- is painfully distracting.



Really, if you are capable of watching this, I'm interested in: 1. What did Shiff say? and 2. What is the nature of your brain's capacity for attention that makes it so different from mine?

Also, why "Band on the Run"? Is it sort of like run on the bank?

43 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Ann asked:

"What is the nature of your brain's capacity for attention that makes it so different from mine?"

I read your blog don't I?

MadisonMan said...

After 8 years of Republican Control, he's afraid all of a sudden that Obama will increase the size of the Government? My prediction: The size of the government will grow far more slowly under Obama than it did under the tenure of the current Republican President, George W. Bush (R).

downtownlad said...

I keep hearing that Obama will be the next Jimmy Carter.

Don't people realize that history will have judged George W. Bush to have been the next Jimmy Carter?

Freeman Hunt said...

His best case scenario for Obama is that the people kick him out after four years. He says that the government is using the financial crisis to increase government intervention in the market which will only make it even worse, and that we could end up with hyperinflation and times worse than the Great Depression.

Not so much an upper of a vid.

As for the music, I couldn't hear it because I had the volume down so low. Watch it quieter.

jdeeripper said...

I would love to watch it -- maybe you can watch it for me -- but the background music track -- "Band on the Run" -- is painfully distracting.

I've seen the vid before and didn't even hear the background music.

Try it again but don't use headphones and get some cheap speakers. It works for me. I had to turn up the speakers to 11 to hear the music.

1. What did Shiff say?

"Obama = Carter. Way to go a-holes, you've done it again. Don't blame me I told you so."

Rich Beckman said...

He says that it is a mistake to try and recapitalize the markets and they should be left to rebalance themselves.

He predicts hyper inflation and the collapse of the dollar.

He never does say what should be done, just that everything being and about to be done is wrong.

I could pay attention because my hearing is so bad I couldn't hear the band on the run background music.

Pogo said...

Freeman's right about the gist.

He says that trying to inflate our way out of Depression will fail miserably, and make us all much worse.

That is, he's going to try to be FDR redux, which made the first Great Depression last 7 years longer than it should have. It only ended because of the war.

But people loved FDR, and they never caught on that the duration of the Depression was his fault at all. Hell, most people still don't know it.

What war will Obama solve this with I wonder?

PoNyman said...

2. What is the nature of your brain's capacity for attention that makes it so different from mine?

Probably your attention to negative space.

Jon said...

Shiff's prediction (quote): "Obama Hell".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

1. What did Shiff say?

We're screwed. The economy is in the toilet and government is being run by ignoramuses who are incapable of making rational decisions. They are trying to prop up failing industries. Profitiable industry has been driven off shore, north and south. Expect inflation maybe even hyperinflation. How about that $20.00 loaf of bread I was talking about a while back? Hmmmm.

2. What is the nature of your brain's capacity for attention that makes it so different from mine?

I don't know about your brain, but this is important information. The fact that it is technical in scope and requires some financial and economic thought might be part of it. The fact that this is very very negative information is probably part of it. It doesn't fit into the hopey/changey soothing message of Obama so you turn it off.

Obama, if he actually puts into place his horrible economic policy, his big, gigantic, humoungus government plans into action......we are economically screwed. Hopefully, we will recognize the failures of government intervention in the economy and let the market forces, as painful as those are, take course.

In the meantime, I'm stocking food, gold, guns and ammo.

Ann Althouse said...

"technical in scope and requires some financial and economic thought"

No, I didn't even get that far. I could not absorb any of the words that were spoken.

Admittedly, I have deep mystic ties to "Band on the Run," and the opening chords are powerfully distracting. Once the singing begins, it's just chaos. Talking over singing? Impossible.

That said, I am often able to concentrate very well in caf├ęs with music playing and people talking, but some types of songs explode my concentration with a mighty crash.

Basically, it's not what they were saying, it's the music.

Thomas said...

Schiff is a short-seller who is talking his book, ie, he wants to create further panic so that his investments pay off even more. Jim Chanos, also a short, is more ethical. Shorts have their place in the market but the financial networks who give people like Schiff so much airtime now are doing the same thing they did when they gave the longs (prior to 2000) all the airtime they wanted: not asking what financial interest their guests have in addition their views.

As for the substance of what Schiff expresses, I trust more Ben Bernanke, whose theory of why the Great Depression became great is the only one left standing. Bernanke posits that it was a failure of the banking system that led to the rest. Bailing out the banking system was necessary in our times, however unpalatable. The Detroit car companies are not systemically necessary and as it is, there is nearly one car on the road for every adult in this country. A competent journalist would have pressed Sciff, but his interlocutor here looks on in incomprehension. To see a short properly interviewed, you might watch the FT's Gillian Tett interviewing Chanos, assuming the clip is still on the FT website. Ms. Tett--who worked in Japan when that country had its crisis--also foresaw the current crisis, but she is not gloating or trying to eek out extra profits. This clip also has no soundtrack.

Pastafarian said...

Are you really, really sure that it isn't what he's saying, and what it says about your choice on November 4?

Because your post on this sequence of videos (Shiff appearing prophetic (not infallible, but clearly a better prognosticator than most) about the coming credit crisis, and then Shiff stating that Obama's policies will drag us into a post-apocalyptic nightmare of anarchy and cannibalism) reminds me of my daughter putting both fingers in her ears and singing a Hannah Montana number when she doesn't WANT to hear something.

Triangle Man said...

Unless this is an elaborate prank/troll or Althouse is hearing things, it seems the background soundtrack "Band on the Run" has been removed from the video.

Original George said...

The retired CEOs of both Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs say the economic situation is worse than it was during the Great Depression.

Gloomster economist Roubini predicts the S&P may fall another 35% to 500 and stocks could decline another 20 to 40 percent. That would put the DJIA around 6,000. He says current consensus estimates for the markets are "delusional."

It's not going to look the way it did during the 1930s...See this Boston Globe article. No bread lines, just people sitting at home watching TV and desuburbanization as they quietly leave for cheaper areas.

The unemployment rate that everyone focuses on, U-3, does not include people who've stopped looking for work or part-time or seasonal workers. The real number is U-6—it's closer to 12 percent than the "official" rate of 6.5. This past summer Fortune reported that 13.5 of men between the ages of 25-44 were unemployed. Hard to believe. That was probably based on spring 2008 numbers.

In this week's Barrons, Alan Abelson recommends what as an investment? Gold.

Because we wanted to feel good about racial issues, we elected a part-time one-term Senator whose only management experience was letting himself get played by Ayers throwing $100 million into failed education projects.

He's going to try to pull an FDR 'nothing to fear' speech on Jan. 20 and maybe there'll be some short-term euphoria, but we're looking over the next few years at the end of the dollar-based global financial system (i.e. the dollar will float) and the dissolution of the Detroit automakers.

It will be something.

"Up and down the hills I go," like Paul says. "I got to know. I got to know. We'd better take good care of each other and avoid slipping back off the straight and narrow."

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not sure we should be taking financial advice from him. Oh wait, this is a guy named Shiff...

AJ Lynch said...

George:

That Globe article lost me when they quoted Harvard prof, Elixabeth Warren, the lady who bends the statistics and claims small medical bills cause 50% of bankruptcies.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bailing out the banking system was necessary in our times, however unpalatable. The Detroit car companies are not systemically necessary and as it is, there is nearly one car on the road for every adult in this country.

I agree. Stabilizing the banking system was/is necessary to avoid a global collapse. However, the way that they are going about it by encouraging ever more irresponsible borrowing and not eliminating sub prime loans is not going to work.

The auto industry doesn't need more money. What they need is a good house cleaning. Let them go Chapter 11 and boot the unions and then rehire people at sane wages.

Of course, this won't happen because Obama is in cahoots with the Unions and he is going to allow the card check legislation that will force unions into other industries. Just wait until they cram a union down the throats of the retail industry, Wal Mart, Target etc. Expect that area that is already under pressure to fold. Prices will rise to compensate for obscene benefit packages, people will be layed off as stores close and the retail industry shrinks even more. But ....that's OK for Obama... as long as the unions get their pound of flesh.

No bread lines, just people sitting at home watching TV and desuburbanization as they quietly leave for cheaper areas.

True story. Those who can move will, leaving the urban areas hell holes full of unemployed and unemployeable people. You think Chicago and Detroit are bad now? Mr. Community Orgainzer hasn't seen anything yet.

Hoosier Daddy said...

My prediction: The size of the government will grow far more slowly under Obama than it did under the tenure of the current Republican President, George W. Bush (R).

What is that prediction based upon? Listening to all of Obama's policy positions from health care to energy, I'm at a loss as to how he plans on accomplishing those things without a massive expansion of government.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't people realize that history will have judged George W. Bush to have been the next Jimmy Carter?

Maybe that's because the history hasn't been written yet and the rest of us people don't have a time machine like you do.

dbp said...

Bush, however he is judged by history, will not be Carter II. When we were attacked, he struck our enemies rather than dicking around for 444 days. Also, he won a 2nd term, so there is that difference too.

Ron said...

I think the theme is "If we ever get out of here, thought of giving it all away."

Ann, did you know John and George sing a line in the song also? Literally, phoned it in for Paul...

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ:

You misread the prediction.

By "desuburbanization" he meant the suburbs will empty out as people re-locate to cheaper areas.

MadisonMan said...

What is that prediction based upon?

The explosion in the size of Gov't that occurred under conservative President George W. Bush, Republican, is unsustainable. That's what the prediction is based on. Well, unless we all start to work for the Govt.

Have I mentioned today that George W. Bush is a conservative Republican?

MadisonMan said...

triangle man, I can still hear the background music.

William said...

Here a fun fact that will cheer everyone up: There were three secular bear markets in the 20th century. The shortest one lasted 17 yrs....It does seem that markets have a kind of organic life that is physiological more than logical. Why, for example, do markets tend to fall in the fall?....Well, it was a fine party. In the eighties and nineties, I invested the money I had made with brutish labor in the market. The money doubled and then doubled again and then doubled some more. I got to feel very smart and to retire ten years early. This was a pleasant surprise. I thought capitalism was based on people like me working hard and dying broke....I think another generation will have to come and go before we know another bull market. And it doesn't really matter who we elect or what fiscal policies we choose. Markets have their own schedule for dusk and dawn.

Triangle Man said...

MM, Strange. I have to turn the speakers up quite a way to hear the background music. At my normal listening volume it is not audible but the speaking is. Maybe this is just that selective hearing my wife talks about.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The explosion in the size of Gov't that occurred under conservative President George W. Bush, Republican, is unsustainable. That's what the prediction is based on.

Well I won't argue that point at all. I would have agreed it was also so during Reagan.

Have I mentioned today that George W. Bush is a conservative Republican?

Yes you have although not as much as Trooper mentioning the Giant's won the superbowl.

Rich B said...

I think people (myself included) overestimate their ability to predict the future. I think that Obama and the Dems will make matters much worse just by following their ideology. They will get a pass for a while by blaming Bush and claiming that they didn't know just how bad things were.

OTOH, he/his advisors may realize that the full Dem program (such as raising taxes) is nuts and curb their impulses. We could have a new terrorist attack that could throw everything into chaos.

Probably things will turn out differently.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

AJ, I agree that the author believes the suburbs will empty, but I have to agree with DBQ; it is the cities that will empty, as they are the most expensive places to live.

I really believe we will see 1930's mutli-generational households, and for the extra square footage the cities are not a viable alternative. The newer suburbs (read-McMansions) will empty as the older ones become more economiclly viable, especially those with enough ground to plant a garden; all those unemployed relatives will need to do something to earn their keep.

Elise said...

I have to agree with Althouse - the music drove me nuts - although not because it was so loud but because I could barely hear it. I kept trying to figure out what the heck that background noise was and completely lost focus on what Shiff was saying.

Eric said...

Have I mentioned today that George W. Bush is a conservative Republican?

George W. Bush is a lot of things, but he's no conservative.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You misread the prediction.

By "desuburbanization" he meant the suburbs will empty out as people re-locate to cheaper areas


My mistake.

However, I don't see that people will flock to the cities in mass. The cost of living in a city is very high and I can't imagine how it will become less in a depression. There may be more jobs available in some cities but they will be counterbalanced by the higher cost of living in urban areas. Cheaper areas to live in tend to be oustide of major metropolis centers and more in smaller and mid sized towns. (25k to 120K population)

marklewin said...

1. My interpretation of Shiff is that he is saying that the Democrats and Obama are more likely to enable our debt-aholism by lending or giving dysfunctional businesses money and rescuing them from hitting rock bottom. From his perspective, learning occurs best when the learner has good feedback and this can only occur when these corporations have unbuffered contact with the (in this case, negative) consequences of their actions (I suspect this is the basic mechanism that is thought to make free market economies effective. It is also the mechanism that is thought to lead to the most efficient learning in organisms and is also the mechanism believed to lead to evolutionary adaptations in biology). I speculate that Shiff believes that incurring more debt to bail out these corporations only delays and worsens the damage when these businesses inevitably fail.......kinda like the pharmaceutical industry claiming initially that Xanax was not habit forming and an effective method of weaning someone off of Valium....or using Methadone to treat opiate/heroine addiction. Although this approach with drug addiction, has at times, been effective.....it has also exacerbated some addictions as well.

2. I had a hard time following the video due to the interfering effects of the background words and music.....there are probably individual differences in how we are able to gate out extraneous auditory stimuli....possibly related to underlying differences in the operation of auditory circuits in the brain. There is a 'so called' disorder referred to as a Central Auditory Processing Disorder that is characterized by individuals having difficulties filtering out background noise, picking up noise from a speaker who is moving, localizing noise in space etc. I don't know how much evidence there is supporting the notion of this disturbance. It is thought to often co-occur in children with AD/HD. I suspect that Speech and Language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists can give a more accurate accounting of this phenomenon.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I had a hard time following the video due to the interfering effects of the background words and music.....there are probably individual differences in how we are able to gate out extraneous auditory stimuli....possibly related to underlying differences in the operation of auditory circuits in the brain

I could barely hear any music and when I did hear it, I ignored it. I wonder if that is a function of being musical and able to sing and play harmonies. You have to be able to hear the main melody and hear the harmony and how it interacts with the main theme, while ignoring the main melody at the same time.

Does that make any sense to anybody else???

Pogo said...

I heard the music, and immediately ignored it. My wife came in and could not listen to the discussion because of the background music.

There must be some way to spin this as a positive for women, and negative for men, no?

bearbee said...

Been listening to Schiff and others who for several years have been troubled by the fundamental problems in the consumption-based/financial economy, the lack of savings rate and investment in building infrastructure and in production of goods, the energy crisis and dependence on foreign oil, the trade imbalance, the out of control government debt and the misguided monetary policy in which the Fed prints money with abandon and in the ultimate dollar.

Schiff complaint along with others is that people don't understand inflation, that is, it is not rising prices (a symptom), but money prinitng.

The government always attempts to inflate its way out of recessions. This time it will be no different except for the amount of money that is being printed globally.

He is in the hyper-inflation camp.

Government expansion may be through jobs creation programs similar to FDR's WPA, rebuilding neglected infrastructure.

Most people do not appreciate cycles and how long cycles can take to play out.

Surprised in the interest in what Schiff has to say. He always complains about the lack of respect he gets when on the various financial shows.

IMO, the best financial people aren't on network or cable shows but on the Internet.

dualdiagnosis said...

Ann- I think you have diagnosed yourself. It is specific music that can be distracting, music that fires all those neurons of pleasant or important memory. It is much more interesting to concentrate on that then the economic discussion.

I was distracted because I was waiting for it, and then got taken away by the song. I rode the wave and then restarted it and was able to hear what was said.

As for the production, I agree that it was not a very good use of music in the piece.

LoafingOaf said...

You can barely hear the music. Althouse wnated to post a thread about the clip without having to comment on the content of it, and that gave her the out.

blake said...

L-oaf,

Why?

blake said...

I had to crank the volume up, and I fiddled with the speaker balance to see if that mattered (it didn't).

But I initially processed it as annoying background noise. Upon recognizing it, I processed it as annoying background noise from the '70s.

Eric said...

You can barely hear the music. Althouse wnated to post a thread about the clip without having to comment on the content of it, and that gave her the out.

Heh heh. Maybe she just wanted people to watch it before they started commenting.

EDH said...

I think Schiff's initial prediction that Obama will come enter office with a mandate is incorrect.

I see all kinds of countervailing pressures on him already.