Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May 9th, 2008

Celebrate Pangea Day Saturday May 10th

Posted by Charles II on May 9, 2008

Lucky for me I stopped off at our friend Bruno Giussani’s Lunch over IP, or I might have missed Pangea Day, which is Saturday, May 10th, 11 AM Pacific (if I am reading the times correctly). You can watch the stream here, but it takes a new computer and a fairly fast connection. Read Bruno for the details, but here’s my favorite:

(Lyrics)

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Whither the Euro?

Posted by Charles II on May 9, 2008

The movements of the Euro over the last weeks have been puzzling. It hit 1.60 to the dollar, then plunged to 1.53 before having a bit of a bounceback. This is high volatility in a major currency and small changes in currencies have very large consequences in the real world.

MacroMan asked: Now, what’s peculiar is that the euro was essentially frog-marched up to 1.60 by central bank demand….but since then has been sold off aggressively, with some of the same names that had previously been buying cited as the sellers. This has led Macro Man and others to speculate: has Voldemort [i.e., the People’s Bank of China](and others) fallen out of love with the euro?

So, all the more surprising to find this story by Keith Bradsher in the NYT:

Facing the double-barreled threat of a falling dollar and weakening American demand, some Chinese exporters are starting to ask European customers to pay in euros….Drastic times call for drastic measures. The dollar’s fall against China’s currency has been accelerating — it is down 4 percent so far this year, after dropping 7 percent last year. That has left businesses across China nursing losses and trying to figure out how to raise prices for overseas buyers, Chinese executives and sales representatives said

My guess is that the Chinese government realized that the strength of the Euro, caused by their purchases, were starting to gripe the Europeans enough to threaten retaliation, so they switched to accumulating reserves in dollars, taking the losses of a weakening dollar. Interestingly, the yen also started strengthening a little bit about this time. So, perhaps they are diversifying into yen, a move that would also help them compete against Japanese exporters.

Posted in China, economy, Japan | 1 Comment »

For It Before They Were Against It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 9, 2008

This is the Republican Party’s idea of good governance. If the Democrats had dared to do this during their twelve years in the minority, you know full well that the press led by FOX would have been playing it up big-time:

On Wednesday afternoon, the House had just voted, 412 to 0, to pass H. Res. 1113, “Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day,” when Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), rose in protest.

“Mr. Speaker, I move to reconsider the vote,” he announced.

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who has two young daughters, moved to table Tiahrt’s request, setting up a revote. This time, 178 Republicans cast their votes against mothers.

It has long been the custom to compare a popular piece of legislation to motherhood and apple pie. Evidently, that is no longer the standard. Worse, Republicans are now confronted with a John Kerry-esque predicament: They actually voted for motherhood before they voted against it.

Republicans, unhappy with the Democratic majority, have been using such procedural tactics as this all week to bring the House to a standstill, but the assault on mothers may have gone too far. House Minority Leader John Boehner, asked yesterday to explain why he and 177 of his colleagues switched their votes, answered: “Oh, we just wanted to make sure that everyone was on record in support of Mother’s Day.”

By voting against it?

It’s not as if Republicans can claim that they acted on principle here, taking a stand against fluffy legislation — not when they tout even fluffier legislation designed to aid and abet FOX commentator Bill O’Reilly’s imaginary war on the imaginary enemies of Christmas.

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Congress, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, WTF? | 7 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on May 9, 2008

“Our catstaff spends so much time here, but I really don’t see the point.”

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 3 Comments »

 
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