Who cares about indicators and debts anyway?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

If I only had a currency trader's mind! Both the higher trade deficit of yesterday and today's shocking retail sales figures being far off the positive expectations gave the dollar an upward push that defies any logic. Numbers that prove the concept that the US economy is running, or rather stumbling, on borrowed money nevertheless led to an uptick in the backed-by-nothing $ (see former posts).

With the FOMC minutes just adding to the confusion where the US economy is headed to it is rather astonishing that the March budget deficit numbers, which came in at more than 71 billion $, were ignored by both the media and market participants.
To be honest, there are more exciting tasks than leafing through the 32 pages of data provided by the US treasury.
Instead of turning to sex and crime tabloid for the occasional minutes of entertainment while at your office desk, I want to refer my readers to page 15 where the outlays of the Executive Office of GWB are published. They don't deliver any evidence that the saving efforts Alan Greenspan is asking for all the time are starting at the top of the country.
According to these numbers, the Executive Office awarded itself a 133 percent rise from 1,3 to 3.1 billion $ for its expenses in the current fiscal year-to-date. OK, let's not be paltry when breaking it down; only to see that the "Compensation of the President and the White House Office" rose 36 percent from 22 to 30 million $. If the White House would only apply the same standards for retirees and the social programms it cut back so happily in order to leave more of the budget-cake for the Pentagon.
But I do hope to appear sarcastic when I compare the budget for the "Office of Management and Budget", stable at a mere 5 million backed-by-nothings, with the "Iraq relief and reconstruction fund" that ballooned a staggering 143 percent to 2.9 billion $. Please let me know whether any tabloid picked up this story if you still found the time for the truly exciting news such as this one (click) !
An explanation why this fund is administrated by the Executive Office at all would also be helpful in comprehending the inner workings of this government, that was not elected by 180 million Americans! In my simple understanding and my admittedly bad memory for the gazillions of GWB's requests to the Congress for money to bring freedom into the ruins still called Iraq, such expenses should have been included in the 80 billion he has penciled in to get the oil flowing again. Oh, I am sorry for my stupidity. It's not about oil, it is about freedom and democracy after all. And about getting the budget in order!

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