France's "non" and the real estate bubble

Even though it was pretty clear headed into the weekend that France was going to reject the EU Constitution, currency markets apparently are still reacting this morning. As of this writing, the euro is valued at $1.23, or about 12 cents off its peak this year.

CW has the dollar short because of low interest rates and massive federal deficits, and the euro long because it is, after all, the currency of the world’s second largest economy (the euro zone) and its members have been imposing fiscal and monetary austerity in order to complete economic union.

Leaving aside for the time being the question of the wisdom of free-floating currency markets, and the laughable premise of “efficient markets,” it seems that this market is “reacting” to France’s “non” vote with great apprehension. Are they going to buy yen? dollars? Sterling? Who knows, but the euro isn’t a weaker currency because of this. The economic union of the countries in question has existed in some form or another for almost 50 years. A financial crisis, not a political one, will signal its demise, if there is to be one.

It appears that this may give the Fed and the housing market yet another temporary reprieve, as the bond market reacts to this news as well.

UPDATE: The Euro fell again today. The UK pound only twitched. Given the fundamentals, this is not a bad price for the euro. The Dutch ‘no’ vote means, I’m pretty sure, that this draft of the EU constitution is dead.

Hillary at 53%

As I discussed below, Hillary is leading the markets for the Dem 2008 nomination. I have sold that share short; I don’t think she’s getting it.

Today, a USA Today poll has her at 53%. Now, granted that’s before the right-wing smear maching is coming up against her. But I wonder–is that 53% for Hillary, or 53% for the Clinton years? If so, as also mentioned below, I say support Gore instead.

Niall Ferguson's Secret Plan For Victory in Iraq

All we need is 1,000,000 troops and 70 years to win! Ferguson must be on crack. What’s to fear? Plus, he gives great odds too (33% chance of success).

Maybe Ferguson is the single most politically color blind person on Earth, or at least with a Ph.D. A majority of Americans no longer support the war in Iraq, and if Bush had said “we need one million troops and 70 years” you can bet it never would have happened. Maybe in Ferguson’s mind, it’s worth the loss of life, but I can’t see much long term import of Iraq.

Oh, and I wish he would quit thinking that everything under the sun happened to the British Empire.

Pigs Fly, or, I Agree with Kaus edition.

Kaus : “But the mere postponement–until, presumably, a Supreme Court seat opens up–favors the Democrats,” becuase people will be paying attention at that point, and it may be harder for shit to be pulled.

I’m warming up to this, bravo Harry Reid.

A Win?

The CW seems to be saying that the compromise is a win for the Dems. In the now, it probably is based on what I’ve read. I wasn’t in the room and I don’t know how many votes were there–if it really was 50-50 and there were no waverers, I might be more excited about this.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure that this is going to bite the Dems in the ass later. When they go to use this filibuster they think they’ve preserved, they are going to be accused of breaking their deal, breaking their word, etc. The Supreme Court nominee will be far more mainstream than Brown or Owen, whom the Dems let pass on this one, and the Right-Wing echo chamber will have plenty of time to build up the “mainstream” credentials of whomever Bush nominates.

This also probably means that if Bush wants to elevate Scalia or Thomas to Chief, it would be awful hard to call it “extraordinary” circumstances. Also, doing that may complicate the picture enough to get a replacement on as associate justice also as not “extraordinary.”

We’ll see what happens. Bush may only get one justice in eight years and most likely onely one before the 2006 elections, and it will probably be to replace the ultra-conservative Rehnquist, so it’s possible no ground will be lost.

I’m also not sure what value this agreement will have when the Dems get power back. Probably none. Different rules apply to Democrats, as Bill Clinton well knows.

But it is apparently sending the rightwingnuts ballistic, so that means it must be good.


Under the terms of this compromise, the Dems will get hit in the press if they ever use the filibuster. What a bunch of pussies. Bush will nominate whomever he wants, and they will just show how they’re not “extreme.”

And using some of these judges that will pass as examples, they might even be right.