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The Bottom Line


That may be what they say, but this is what they mean!


The take on news, commentary and opinion from around the world:

  • In today's Wall Street Journal, Robert Hall, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of economics at Stanford, says that under the leadership of Ben Bernanke, "the Fed is likely to make this commitment [to a stable dollar] more formal, perhaps even stating a target such as 2.5% inflation."
    Bottom Line: Untestable conjectures about this 2.5% inflation target sound great to us! P.S. Can we get our "dollars" delivered in a wheelbarrow each month?

  • According to Wired Magazine, a new study finds that on any given day, nearly a third of U.S. Internet users log on just for fun or to pass the time. The 30 percent of Internet users who are online for fun on a given day represents an increase from 21 percent a year earlier.
    Bottom Line: U.S. Productivity gains are clearly overstated. Also, this suggests that the "net surfing-adjusted" unemployment rate in the U.S. is closer to 30%.

  • Diet foods are one of the faster growing areas of the otherwise slack food business, according to the Wall Street Journal. As a result, companies from Nestle, SA to Unilever and Kraft Foods Inc. are trying to get ahead of the game by creating their own food fad.
    Bottom Line: The fact that the phrase "gastric emptying" makes multiple appearances in this article speaks for itself. Pass.

  • Scott B. MacDonald, senior managing director at Aladdin Capital, writes in the Asia Times that "The "unipolar moment" in which the United States operates as the dominant power in the global system is passing."
    Bottom Line: búyào pèng w¨o! *

  • Tucked in a conservative-looking manila envelope, each month the latest edition of Hustler goes to all 535 members of Congress. Free of charge. It usually gets thrown in the circular file marked "trash," at least so says the Salt Lake Tribune.
    Bottom Line: Very interesting. Because last month we counted only 27 of 535 issues of Hustler in the Congressional trash dump. What happened to the other 508? Must have been due to the special holiday Dec/Jan Double Issue.

* Editor's Note: búyào pèng w¨o! is Mandarin Chinese (at least as far as we know) for "Don't touch me!" So you can see the obvious ironic undertones here as a Chinese phrase used to warn of personal space invasion is trotted out in reply to the passing of the U.S. unipolar moment, which many believe will transition to a more balanced US – China dominated landscape, not to mention India or South America, or perhaps some economically conjoined bloc of countries derived from a European Union exodus along with a number of Middle East countries and Russia.

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