Sunday, July 08, 2007

South Koreans get it, and rummy thoughts on the U.S. economy, politics, etc.

The South Korean metalworkers union recently led a 5-day strike to protest the proposed the free trade pact between the United States and South Korea.

The working classes have a much better understanding of what free trade does to them then the working classes in the United States do.

Think of it as labor arbitrage. And if you still think illegal immigration and off-shoring are not substantial levers in all this, then you're going to be plenty surprised when your job is snatched out from under you.

In other news, the big boys of Wall Street (Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley) are taking a beating on their in-house hedge funds. But only the WSJ and Financial Times are really covering these stories. Sadly, most people don't read WSJ and FT.

While Ben Bernanke is reluctantly - and evasively - beginning to admit that the crashing housing market might impact the greater economy, consumer confidence is crashing and banks are hip-deep in the real estate business. Here is their quandary: do they spend the money to minimally maintain the property until it gets sold or dump them as fast as possible, which means firesale prices? In both cases the surrounding home prices fall, it's just a matter of how much.

Do you notice how the main stream press is rigorous in keeping us abreast of presidential candidates popularity polls, but fall short on telling us about the candidates? Why aren't we hearing more about Mike Gravel and Ron Paul - who poll much higher than we're lead to believe, but the online polls get pulled quickly. And print & television media omit the results altogether. Glaringly, we are being told now who the candidates are going to be, and it's not vox populi picking them.

And now for the good news: White Sox and Mark Buehrle agree to a 4-year contract extension. Now all we have to do is shore up 2B, SS, LF, CF, and RF and we'll be good to go. And some bullpen help.

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