The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 416

The Best of the Bozeman Police Reports

Culled from the Police Reports page of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle come the best of the Bozeman police reports from the last week along with some items from the Sheriff’s Office.

When including one report with the term “cop bear” (whatever that is), last week’s police blotter contained seven reports of bear activity in the area (highlighted in red), the ursines now well into their “hyperphagia” stage where they eat anything and everything prior to hibernation. But, the more troubling news in this batch of reports is the sharp increase in drunks ending up where they’re not supposed to be during the wee hours of the morning (highlighted in blue), four incidents of this type appearing in the list below, what must be a new record high. I keep wondering if these two will ever interact…

  • A bear was seen in a tree on South Third Avenue at 6:33 a.m.
  • A 13-year-old boy was cited for being an “ungovernable youth” at 8:12 a.m. after refusing to go to school. He was not physically resistant aside from grabbing his blankets back when his mother pulled them off.
  • A black bear cub was seen in the back yard of a West Cameron Bridge Road house at 12:30 p.m.
  • A man in thigh-high white boots and “very short shorts” was standing by the East Gallatin Recreation Area’s women’s bathroom at 2 p.m.
  • At 1:30 a.m. a Hayes Street resident contacted officers after an intoxicated man wearing a tight black shirt tried climbing onto the resident’s deck. The “violent and belligerent” climber was gone by the time officers arrived.
  • Three or four people near Glenwood Drive and Westgate Avenue at 11:25 p.m. were discussing their drunkenness and plans to go to a downtown bar.

(more…)

Will It Be Pain or Gain in the Fourth Quarter?

After a big move higher on Monday following sharp declines earlier in the month, the broad U.S. equity market is stumbling into the close of the third quarter with a decent gain for the week but with the worst quarterly performance since 2008.

In this CNBC story, historical data for follow-on performance to periods like what we’ve just been through is provided and the prospects for stocks in the fourth quarter is debated.

Most of the time, stocks produce a gain in the quarter following  big declines, however, that outcome is by no means guaranteed. A similar table for gold would be interesting to see…

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I Think He Said “NEIN”

In today’s NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, and the death of EU Fiscal Union commentary for the U.K. Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard casts a dim view on the hopes for a German-backed solution to Europe’s latest credit market woes, stating somewhat emphatically that the vote taken yesterday in Germany was widely misinterpreted.

Judging by the commentary, there has been a colossal misunderstanding around the world of what has just has happened in Germany. The significance of yesterday’s vote by the Bundestag to make the EU’s €440bn rescue fund (EFSF) more flexible is not that the outcome was a “Yes”.

This assent was a foregone conclusion, given the backing of the opposition Social Democrats and Greens. In any case, the vote merely ratifies the EU deal reached more than two months ago – itself too little, too late, rendered largely worthless by very fast-moving events.

The significance is entirely the opposite. The furious debate over the erosion of German fiscal sovereignty and democracy – as well as the escalating costs of the EU rescue machinery – has made it absolutely clear that the Bundestag will not prop up the ruins of monetary union for much longer.

Repeat after me:

THERE WILL BE NO FISCAL UNION.
THERE WILL BE NO EUROBONDS.
THERE WILL BE NO DEBT POOL.
THERE WILL BE NO EU TREASURY.
THERE WILL BE NO FISCAL TRANSFERS IN PERPETUITY.
THERE WILL BE A STABILITY UNION – OR NO MONETARY UNION.

The latest tack to expand the €440 billion bailout fund to the €2 trillion level that analysts think will ultimately be necessary appears to be one of “leveraging” the committed funds in, what I understand to be, a fractional reserve banking sort of way. It should come as no surprise the Germans are vehemently opposed to this as noted in this story at Reuters.

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An “Inflation Spike” in Germany?

It would appear that the 1920s Weimar experience still haunts Germany as a 2.6 percent increase in consumer prices from a year ago, up from a 2.4 percent rate last month, would not likely be characterized as an “inflation spike” (or, generally speaking, cause for much concern or spilled ink by the financial media) in other countries.

This comes as the rest of the world increasingly expects the European Central Bank to come to the aid of the euro zone economy by lowering short-term interest rates from their current elevated level of 1.5 percent, more evidence that the world grows a bit more mad every day.

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