Saturday, December 26, 2009

Well, well, well.

Less than twenty four hours after my post on the likelihood of the PTB maintaining and expanding Quantitative Easing, the U.S. Treasury makes an important announcement about further backstopping of Fannie and Freddie.


Thai said...

I know, I really had to swallow the bile on this one. ;-)

So not only are we literally going to be kill more Americans as we spend even more on health care to create the illusion of "health default swaps" for all with (near) universal coverage, a concern you know I have had for some time now and which political opposites Uwe Reinhardt and Michael Cannon have BOTH publicly validated, now look at what we continue to do with our non-health care spending.

I think I am coming around more and more to you viewpoint: everybody back in the water while you still can!

Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thai said...

In fact, I think my Health Default Swaps (HDF) analogy may be the crux of my disagreement with many on Sudden Debt.

Why would so many people get so upset at CDS but not feel similarly about HDS?

Would anyone recommend government backed CDS for every and all debt/loans/borrowing?

Why is it any different for HDS for all behavior/health/illness?

I fail to understand the indignation at one yet the absolute worship of the other?

Thoughts appreciated

Edwardo said...

It does seem a perplexing (and somewhat infuriating) double standard.

I suppose-and it's just conjecture-that the folks on Sudden Debt who are in favor of the pending health care reform legislation do so because they believe an essential civic duty is being performed.

Where the backstopping of CDS are concerned they do not. On some level they are correct, but, as you suggest, (unless I misunderstand) it's money down a rat hole either way.

Perhaps my thesis about why "they" support the "HDS" is too obvious and there is more to it, but my bias is that the supporters of HDS can't get past their overly well cultivated ideological position to understand what is really happening with "health care reform."

Thanks for the links, BTW, and have you encountered the following thesis about the health care reform? What do you think of it?


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

Edwardo said...

And you may find this of interest as well.

Thai said...


I tend to think "essential civic duty" probably applies to all kinds of insurance and that it is one of those "matter of proportions" issues- e.g. how much, for what purpose, bought by whom, etc...

I seem to remember even Hell saying he thought CDS had their invaluable functions at times.

... It is so easy to become a nihilist at times. Ah well, it is what it is.

Re: Denninger

Thanks for the link

My response is one of my classic "yes/no" answers.

I do strongly believe in emergence as a function of complex systems- and I do see the world of politics as a complex/chaotic system- so I could see this outcome emerging.

On the other hand I do not hold much regard for conspiracy theories (I tend to see conspiracy as nothing more than emergence) and I do not believe politicians/political parties have the capability to navigate political process as far in advance as this conspiracy theory requires for it to be believed.

So while this outcome may occur- heaven knows something has to give or this country is in real trouble- it would only be by accident in my opinion.

And is my ability to predict the future better than yours when it comes to health care?

Not really

I have come to the opinion that no one trust anyone right now so it is really hard to pick a winner.

Like the bet on inflation/deflation which literally rests on the ability to predict the actions of just a few people, the health care bet is kind of similar.

I recently finished reading Michael Lewis' The Blind Side- I highly recommend it BTW if you have not read it- and it describes a similar story only football is the medium.

Lewis' does a beautiful job of describing how the entire playoff football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings really came down to a contest between two people: San Francisco's left tackle Steve Wallace and Minnesota's pass rusher Chris Doleman.

The game hinged on this battle.

I kind of think the health care drama is literally at a similar stage right now. And I do not see where the real action is as the field is moving so fast and it is just so darn complex keeping track of everything- but I am looking.

If I think I figure it out, I'll let you know.

... And if you think you figure it out, please share with me. ;-)

I will say this, and all my friends have commented on it from all over the country, ED volumes are down everywhere all over the country for the last 2 months.

We will see if this continues...

Thai said...

By the way, I am not sure if you saw this article or not but I thought it really good so I would pass it on.

I tend to have a soft spot for UCLA having both been born there and studied medicine- I am glad to see they are fighting back and that they show how difficult the issue is.

To further add a personal dimension: My father (who was on Medicare at the time) had 6 brain surgeries for a Glioblastoma at UCLA before he finally died. All the hullabaloo/surgeries gave him almost 2 additional years of life from the time of initial diagnosis. Your guess is as good as mine as to how much it all cost but >$400,000 seems reasonable.

This is a REALLY difficult issue, do not ever kid yourself that it is otherwise.

Still, we have a responsibility to our children and it is what it is.

Be well

Thai said...

Oops, article.