Thursday, January 22, 2009

A thing of pure beauty...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alone and Naked, again

Friday, January 09, 2009

Twinkle Twinkle

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Porn Bail Out -- an idea who time has cum ;-}

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Another major American industry is asking for assistance as the global financial crisis continues: Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said Wednesday they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry.

“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” said Owen Moogan, spokesman for Larry Flynt. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”

Francis said in a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry's survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people."

“We should be delivering [the request] by the end of today to our congressmen and [Secretary of the Treasury Henry] Paulson asking for this $5 billion dollar bailout,” he told CNN Wednesday.

Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow.

But the industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt said in the statement. "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

So far, there has been no congressional reaction to the request.

Larry Flynt, American patriot and hero

(here's a reach-around, thank you tug to CNN, from hence this came!)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jobless Rate at 11%, Long Housing Slump?

stolen from the Wall Street Journal's economic blog

Economists Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard and Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland have a particularly grim view of the economic outlook.

In a fascinating new paper that Mr. Rogoff presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, they offered some sobering details on what has happened to other countries in the aftermath of severe financial panics like the one the U.S. is now experiencing.

Their bottom line: If history is any guide, the housing market might not bottom until 2010, a stock market rebound isn’t in sight, the unemployment rate could exceed 11% and government debt is about to soar.

The work is an extension of long-running research by the two professors on the history of financial crises. In past work, they compared the U.S. situation to financial crises in developed countries. This time, they are adding in the experiences of developing after concluding that severe emerging-market crises aren’t all that different from crises in developed markets.

The paper is refreshing because it’s straightforward — it isn’t overloaded with Greek formulas and questionable regressions. Instead, they look at what happened to 22 economies ranging from Indonesia in 1997 to the U.S. in 1929 after a major crisis. (Most of the countries are from the past quarter century, though strangely, they lump in Norway from 1899.)

They find that unemployment rises by 7 percentage points on average after a severe financial crisis and doesn’t peak until four years after the crisis. The jobless right bottomed at 4.4% last year. If history is a guide, it could rise above 11% by 2011.

They find that housing downturns last six years — meaning a recovery is still about three years away. Moreover, stock-price declines last three and a half years and total 55%. That would put the Dow Jones Industrial Average below 6500 before this is done. Moreover, government debt reaches 86% of gross domestic product –- or $12 trillion. This last data point on government debt is particularly sobering. Despite all of the hope that policy makers are putting on fiscal stimulus, it’s not like it hasn’t been tried before.

Of course, this paper comes with all kinds of caveats. The U.S. is different in many ways from the emerging markets that suffered from crises in the past decade. For one, the U.S. borrows in its own currency, so it is not likely to suffer the kind of currency shock that they faced. And policy makers have learned from actions that others have taken in the past. The Fed, for instance, has been much more aggressive about attacking this problem than the central bank was in the Great Depression.

But as the professors argue, “one would be wise not to push too far the conceit that we are smarter than our predecessors.” — Jon Hilsenrath