Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some predictions based on nothing more than my gut...

Some official gut based predictions. Because although I told a friend just a day or two ago that the markets were going to take a dive, I doubt anyone else believes me. It's really hard to say "i told you so" if you have no proof. Thus I am making some predictions. And if I'm wrong then I get to write about how surprised I was and what went wrong. My god, if everything I predict is wrong - I could get a job at CNN! If I can think of someone to blame, indicating that I wasn't wrong, but misinformed and possibly manipulated in some way, I could work for FOX!

Prediction #1: I think interest rates will rise (so that banks will be able a quicker return from lenders and will feel more confident about lending - fewer people can afford the higher interest rates and so only those who have stable incomes will be able to get loans).

Prediction #2: McCain will win the primarys and choose Romney as his running mate.

Prediction #3: Hillary will get the nom, but she will NOT pick Obama to be her running mate, or Edwards, but maybe Bill Richardson.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

An amazingly long rant on politics and economy... my apologies

I am sick and tired of listening to the surprised media. It seems the major news being reported always comes as a shock to everyone from the journalists to the people they’re interviewing.

The biggest surprise - on on-going surprise - is the primary season. No matter who won what, the results of the vote seems to be this huge shock to everyone. “Whoa! Hillary won! Who’d a seen that coming?” “Whoa! Obama won! Who’d a seen that?” “My god, someone else won some other state in that other party! Whoa!”

My god, you would think that it never occurred to the press that SOMEONE would win. And the shock over the polls should stop, right now. Anyone remember, “Dewey wins”? Polls can be wrong. Gasp! News at 11!

It was funny the first time the talking heads on various news networks hashed out their surprise, but it’s gone on too long. The only reason people are surprised at the results is because they had pre-conceived notions and they were wrong. Perhaps, it is time to DROP the notions, people, you will discover INTEREST rather than SURPISE at the results of each new primary to be MUCH MORE USEFUL WHEN REPORTING THE NEWS.

Most annoying is the “oh-my-god-Hillary-is-winning-how-is-she-doing-this.” Um, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, because more people have voted for her so far? Or maybe I’m just confused at how the voting process works. I would like the press to stop trying to figure out her campaign strategy - that’s Obama’s people’s job, and try reporting on the various platforms that the candidates are offering. Why is the media so surprised that more women voted for Hillary after she got misty-eyed (sorry, I’ve seen the footage, that is NOT crying)? That’s the only footage they ran for two days!! If I were on Obama’s team I’d be suing the stations for all that free air-time. And then the media has the audacity to say that people aren’t voting on the issues, but on personality. Gee, when was the last time they reported on the issues? Remember the CNN poll - 96% of the viewers wanted to see more reporting on the issues. Now that is a poll I would trust.

The second big surprise that I saw coming for miles away was the downturn of the economy. People on this side of the pond have had to listen to me tell them, the end is coming, but I was ignored. Typical. Just because a girl hates studying economics and still can’t quite figure out the Fed, they think she can’t predict recessions.

You might be about to see a recession if:
1) you find yourself ordering water instead of soda to drink with your meal.
2) the bank had promised you that you would have no problems getting a loan, but suddenly you are turned down with vague excuses.
3) the government tries to push emergency measures through that give loans or money away AGAINST the will of the banks.

Banks and truck drivers are probably the best indicators of the economy. But not in the way you may think. Banks are out to make money and will do their damnedest to make sure of it. Why do they have all those lovely fees? So when banks give out loans to anyone with a pulse, you know they are confident. When suddenly they stop, it’s because they’ve freaked out. Now they don’t want to part with their money. And since it is YOUR money, you should be afraid. It’s time to button down the hatches, folks. The banks have closed for business. The government, bless them, trying to make the banks give us money… it’s counterintuitive. Banks are telling us, it is time to keep your money, don’t spend. Meanwhile the government is saying, here have some money, spend it, it will help the economy. But does it really? You are going to spend it on heat, gas, and food (which is almost like spending it on gas). You are not going to invest it, you are not going to buy something very large with monthly payments attached (like you could get a loan at this point). What the government is hoping is to pretend to be the good guy, hey and maybe $600 will help you keep that McMansion (yeah, right), until the economy rights itself. To do that, the people who over extended themselves are going to be sacrificed. The mortgage companies and the banks are going to have to keep swallowing the bankruptcies until people are back to living within their means, and that also means, don’t expect to qualify for a loan anytime soon. The bank can’t afford the risk. And frankly, neither can you!

Truck drivers are very aware of the price of gas. Their livelihood depends on it. So as the cost of gas goes up, they become much more conservative with their cash. Go to a truck stop. See what they are eating. Is it just cups and cups of coffee, finished off by one donut? We’re screwed. A big plate of food, however, means gas prices are down. I wonder how prostitution is affected? Are men more likely or less likely to visit prostitutes during economic downspins? Hmmm.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world has been running around for the last few months on a false high. “Oh, the US dollar is down! Look at all the money we have!!” As if some how the economies of the world are not all connected. Sorry folks, we’ll be taking you down soon enough. Already I hear the stocks are dropping. No surprise I’m afraid. As Americans stop spending or lending, things are going to get less pretty everywhere else. Probably not so bad, because the first thing that happens is that banks stop lending. And that stops the bubble from getting any bigger. But if you have overextended yourself, now is NOT a good time for you.

And if you think I’m sitting around all smug like, I’m afraid to disillusion you, but things are not so good here. The home equity that we thought was going to cover the apartment bills is suddenly no longer available. Instead we had to use our savings and credit to pay the bills. So now, to pay for the wedding, it looks like we’ll have to sell the car. But this is the car that saves us money on gas, so without the car, we can’t live in the countryside. So we’ll probably have to move back into the apartment, with roommates. Which will actually raise the amount of equity that we can use for bills.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Constancy...

There are certain constants in this life. I am not talking about death and taxes, because these days everyone is trying to cheat one or the other. But certain things will always be.

1) There is a bottle of soy sauce in the refrigerator.
2) Somewhere in your house, there are dried onions.

Your fridge may be empty except for those things, but damn it, you've got 'em.

Some people may be depressed by this. What about love? What about beauty?

Well love is fickle, and beauty is ephemeral, but soy sauce is FOREVER!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

But Danish libraries on the other hand...

So the State Library at Århus has the world's suckiest search engine EVER. I have been trying to find the Reallexikon für Antike und Christetum for days now. I tried various spellings and all kinds of other things and then admitted defeat to my advisor. Who found it in the Copenhagen library. And suggest that I'm an idiot. So I tried again to find it in the Århus library. Still no go. But I'm an angry girl and I refuse to give in - so I tried by searching for one of the editors, who were listed on the Copenhagen library page and WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT? There it was, in the Århus library. I cannot find it using the title, only the author. But as an encyclopedia, it doesn't really have authors. I mean, I found the Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae by title - what is the difference between the two? Not a goddamned thing except that one can be found searching for the title and the other CANNOT!!

Fucking goddamned library. I'm going to send an email. This needs to be fixed.