Thursday, May 21, 2009


This has not been a good several days for Barack Obama.

First, he had to dispatch his CIA director and (former Bill Clinton Chief of Staff) Leon Panetta to tell the most important Congressperson that not only was the CIA not lying, but she more or less was the liar.

Then, his own Party dissed him on closing Guantanamo prison, curtly telling him that he lacked a coherent plan to do so, and to come back when he had one.

Today, in the pleasantries before his speech about national security, he forgot the name of his Secretary of Defense. He thought that Robert Gates was instead the Microsoft Gates and called him William Gates.

He has gotten into a debate with the prior administration's Vice President, whose unpopularity ratings are declining, as are the former President's (positive first and second derivative of the prior administration's popularity, in other words).

In the economic/financial sphere, not so hot either:

  • Gold is up about 11% since he took office
  • The dollar's value against other (fiat) currencies is heading down, both the past week or two and since he took office
  • The price of Treasury bonds is falling rapidly, increasing the cost of financing his deficits
  • The Fed is downgrading its economic outlook
  • The WaPo dumped on his Treasury Secretary just 3 days ago
  • Alan Greenspan said yesterday the banks are still undercapitalized
  • While the famous second derivative of the economy's downturn has improved (meaning things are worsening more slowly), the second derivative of the stock market's upmove has turned negative (meaning the chart looks more like rolling over than surging upwards lately).

This is the classic time for even a President with the mainstream media on his side to have the cheerleading give way to a more nuanced public image. Might we be so lucky as to have the WaPo follow its excoriation of Mr. Geithner with a similar trashing of PPIP?

Barack Obama may have been misoverestimated. So may have also been the strength of the large financial institutions and the economy as a whole.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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