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On Long-Term Fiscal Probity? Or Another 'Quick Fix'...

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Against the backdrop of a tepid US recovery, Eurozone recession and stuttering growth across the emerging economy complex, investors are beginning to focus on how that 'status quo' outcome impacts the odds of success, which after all, if there is one thing economists agree on, it is that a US and global recession will ensue if the legislated tax increases and spending cuts worth roughly 3.5% of US GDP take effect next year. UBS believes that if the US economy dips into recession next year, operating earnings—which are near peak levels—could easily plunge by a fifth. Risk premiums would almost certainly climb, particularly because the US and the world would have run out of policies that could lift their economies out of recession. Those factors point to significant downside risk (at least 30%) for global equity markets if the US falls off the 'cliff'. Yet the S&P500 remains within a few percentage points of its cyclical highs. Accordingly, as we have previously concluded investors assign a very low probability to the ‘cliff’ and a 2013 US recession, which UBS finds 'darn surprising' that this much faith in common sense prevailing in Washington amidst such divisive politics.

 

Via UBS Investment Research

Quick fix or long-term solution?

...Curiously, investors appear to have a great deal of faith that... common sense will prevail in Washington and the ‘cliff’ will be averted. Consider that if the US economy dips into recession next year, operating earnings—which are near peak levels—could easily plunge by a fifth. Risk premiums would almost certainly climb, particularly because the US and the world would have run out of policies that could lift their economies out of recession. Those factors point to significant downside risk (at least 30%) for global equity markets if the US falls off the ‘cliff’. Yet the S&P500 remains within a few percentage points of its cyclical highs. Accordingly, we can only conclude that investors assign a very low probability to the ‘cliff’ and a 2013 US recession.

That’s darn surprising against the backdrop of divisive US politics in recent years, including the political brinksmanship during the debt-ceiling negotiations in the summer of 2011 that nearly resulted in a US default. So it is difficult to understand the confidence that investors have in the ability of US politicians to accomplish in the next few months what they haven’t been able to do in the past two years. Basing investment decisions on the idea that the unthinkable is impossible is a curious trait after the unthinkable things that have occurred in recent years.

But for all the attention the ‘cliff’ deserves, the fundamental challenge for the US (and many other countries) is to address fiscal stability as a long-term necessity, not a short-term fix. Yet if fixing the 'cliff' is going to be, well, a cliff-hanger, is there any hope Washington can restore to health the country’s long-term fiscal position?

The answer may be surprising. Getting it right in the long run is do-able and there is precedent. But it will take political resolve and good growth. Even more, it will take significant re-balancing in the US and world economies. And that’s where the grounds for skepticism are greatest. But let’s first review the historical precedent—the large US fiscal adjustment during the 1990s—and see what it tells us about the chances for the same in the decade ahead.

From 1992-2000 the US general government balance improved by 7.5 percentage points of GDP (Chart 1). As a consequence, relatively large US budget deficits declined and eventually became surpluses. And as a further consequence, over the decade of the 1990s the US gross government debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 61.2% in 1990 to 54.5% in 2000 (OECD basis).

 

Oh, and by the way, for virtually the entire decade the US was led by divided government, with plenty of hard-nosed partisan politics.

So, could it happen again?

The answer depends on the factors that permitted the US to consolidate its public finances in the 1990s. Briefly put, the salient features of the US fiscal adjustment in the 1990s included the following:

  • Deficit reduction was accompanied by strong growth. That seemingly trivial fact is non-trivial. When growth is high, so too are tax revenues, while at the same time many government expenditures fall.
  • The US economy was able to grow in the 1990s for several reasons. Among them were a supply-side impulse owing to productivity gains associated with investment in and the application of information technology. On the demand side the key development was that private sector borrowing and spending more than offset public sector de-leveraging. And, finally, domestic purchasing power was underpinned by a strong dollar as well as sharp declines in real energy prices, particularly in the latter half of the 1990s.
  • Growth was also enhanced by falling interest rates, which helped lift private sector borrowing among both households and firms. Interest rates fell in part because of receding inflation expectations, but also because of lower government borrowing. Put differently, deficit reduction in the 1990s did not have particularly large negative multipliers. In contrast, in the current environment of negative real interest rates, deficit reduction does not spur much new investment. As a consequence, and as the IMF has recently emphasized, fiscal multipliers today are very large.
  • Strong growth in the 1990s also made deficit reduction politically possible, even popular. But political support also stemmed from the fact that the burden of adjustment was shared between falling expenditures and rising tax revenues (as shares of GDP). While not perfectly ‘fair’, the result was accepted by both political parties and the broad electorate.
  • Spending restraint in the 1990s had its foundation in simple rules: The Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 with caps on annual spending and ‘PAYGO’, which stipulated that Congress had to find offsetting expenditure reductions or tax increases for any budget measures that increased spending or cut taxes.
  • Moreover, after the first Gulf War the US avoided costly foreign conflicts in the 1990s. Deficit reduction was also underpinned by the ‘peace dividend’ associated with the end of the Cold War. Defense spending as a share of GDP fell from 5.8% in 1988 to 3.0% in 2000. 
  • Falling (long-term) interest rates over the decade helped in another way - they reduced net interest expense for the US government from 3.6% of GDP in 1991 to 2.2% of GDP by 2001.

So, could it happen again?

Overall, the challenge today looks daunting. In at least four important respects, the experience of the 1990s is not particularly relevant to the present:

  • The size of the US federal budget deficit today is much larger, as is the stock of debt. The mountain to climb is considerably higher.
  • Interest rates are already low, probably can’t fall much further, and one day will rise. When that happens, interest expense on the stock of debt will rise, particularly since the US Treasury has not opted to aggressively lock in today’s super-low bond yields.
  • Despite winding down two costly wars in the Middle East, the US remains uniquely burdened with its role as guarantor of global geopolitical stability. In 2011 the US spent 4.7% of GDP on national defense—above its two-decade low of 3.0% in 2000, but below the levels of the late 1980s. While some reduction in US military outlays may be possible, a large peace dividend in the decade ahead appears unlikely.
  • US demographics—while not as scary as those in Japan, China, or large parts of Eastern and Western Europe—embed a rapid escalation of government expenditures for healthcare and pensions, particularly in the next two decades (before the US demographic profile again improves).

In short, faced with a big fiscal adjustment and without the ability to count on lower interest rates or big cuts in defense spending, the restoration of long-term US fiscal stability hinges on a combination of good public policy and good growth.

Neither can be assumed, but nor can either be categorically ruled out. As regards good public policy, a number of factors must come together to produce the right result, but as the 1990s experience suggests two ingredients are probably crucial:

  • First, the burden of adjustment ought to be shared between falling expenditures and rising tax revenues, each as a percentage of GDP. ‘Fairness’ matters, even more so today given the large skew in US household income distribution and very uneven changes in living standards over recent decades. But the good news is that with the share of Federal government tax revenues as a share of GDP near post-war lows, scope exists to improve government revenue-generation.
  • Second, simple rules work best. For example legislation that would stipulate that nominal government expenditures must grow fractionally slower than nominal GDP would work wonders if maintained for a decade or more. But as the 1990s also showed, strong growth is essential to long-term deficit reduction. Then, it was a two-part story of productivity and borrow-spend in the private sector.

Today, after nearly two decades of already high productivity growth, another productivity-led growth spurt seems improbable to many observers. Yet reasons for optimism exist. The US economy may be on the verge of revival, centered on energy, technology, and manufacturing, underpinned by a more competitive economy courtesy of a low real exchange rate. Faster US trend growth is not impossible to imagine.

But the big difference between growth in the 1990s and the prospects ahead resides in financial balances. Improving the fiscal imbalance will require an offsetting deterioration in the household or business sector balance, and/or a significant improvement in the external balance. If not, deficit reduction will sap aggregate demand, leading to below-trend growth (if not recession) and rising unemployment, an unsustainable state of affairs. Put differently, either US consumers or US businesses must borrow and spend more, or the US must generate a swing from net importer to net exporter, if deficit reduction is to be accompanied by the restoration and maintenance of full employment.

Yet re-balancing—domestically and globally—appears improbable in the years ahead. Significant re-leveraging of the US private sector is unlikely, not least because of a post-crisis regulatory environment inimical to debt. And hoping that the rest of the world, burdened by its own adjustments and blinkered by mercantilist thinking, will absorb US external surpluses seems even more farfetched.

So, the bottom line is that we’d better hope for a short-term fix to the ‘fiscal cliff’. At least that way we can avoid recession next year. That achievement, as difficult as it may be, looks comparatively easy next to the challenge of restoring long-term US fiscal probity.

 

Source: UBS

 

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Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:01 | 2959029 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Quick fix? Not a chance. Not with the sellouts scum in office anyways.

In other news... after not even 24 hours after being re-elected...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-arms-treaty-unbre8a627j-201...

After Obama win, U.S. backs new U.N. arms treaty talks

http://marketdailynews.com/2012/11/07/senator-dianne-feinstein-moves-to-...

Senator Dianne Feinstein Moves To Ban ALL Assault Rifles, High Capacity Magazines, and Pistol Grips

 

Remember those words...

Valerie Jarret : “After We Win This Election, It’s Our Turn. Payback Time.”

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:39 | 2959119 crusty curmudgeon
crusty curmudgeon's picture

Didn't take long for the anti-gun rights agenda to begin in earnest.

Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:49 | 2959151 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Good one. Don't try explaining that to liberal women however. They are afraid of guns and will say that all guns should be banned... therefore no problem. (Throwing all reality and human nature out the window)

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:27 | 2959666 GernB
GernB's picture

Yep, FUD.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:07 | 2959042 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Reagan proved that deficits don't matter, ok? He proved it. So relax and learn to love it. 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:28 | 2959668 GernB
GernB's picture

Um tax revenes were up under Reagan and I don't think it was Regans plan to spend our way into huge deficits.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 08:33 | 2959836 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Obama, Reid, and Pelosi proved budgets don't matter.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:12 | 2959046 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Come on ZH.....this is beyond fixing

Here is my 2 cents. The cliff will be punted. Or maybe some small agreements will happen and will be celebrated. But they won't even come close to solving anything. At some point in the future the fed will manufacture a series of failed bond auctions, just by not stepping in. The ensuing chaos will end up in an initial interest rate spike. Maybe we get the 10yr to 7%. That will be the cover for the austerity that will have to take place. Benefits and entitlements will finally have to be cut. The idea here is to save the dollar and restore faith in the treasury market. The Government will scream that "we will not become Greece". That will be the rallying cry. They will hope that will stop rates from climbing. Maybe it will but it will crash the stock market and forget about housing. The public will not take their medicine. Black markets spring up, tax revenues go down and the currency crisis happens pretty damn quick.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:36 | 2959671 GernB
GernB's picture

Contracting private sector debt is a powerful force. That combined with deflationary forces in the shadow banking sector are easily enough to start a mulri-year market decline than is powerful enough the Fed canot stop it. We don't need a shock to start the decline we just need total debt to reach apoint where it starts contracting faster then central banks can spend. In fact I would bet the decline is already here and we have seen the top of the market for decades.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 08:38 | 2959846 westboundnup
westboundnup's picture

You may want to save your post as I'm confident the next 2 years will unfold exactly as you predict: temp. fix to avoid fiscal cliff, brief rally, failed bond auction, spike in interest rates.  I will also throw in some possible unforeseen "complications": Chinese internal power struggle, coupled with major economic deterioration, the rise of a secessionist movement within multiple states, and a worldwide pandemic. 

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:11 | 2959053 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Two consecutive quarters of higher earnings and lower revenues.

 

http://bullandbearmash.com/chart/sp500-weekly-closes-week-week-lot-worse/

 

It's impressive that the market has been able to stay up this long.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:16 | 2959064 Bennie Noakes
Bennie Noakes's picture

The 'Viagra market'. Prescription courtesy of Dr. Ben.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:31 | 2959093 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

Big deal op earnings have been overstated by well over one fifth for years now, what's wrong with a little healthy mean reversion?

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:31 | 2959100 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

What garbage. We had "growth" in the 90's because we changed the accounting and removed any regulation or accountability that was left in the financial and political world. Regulatory and legislative capture bitchez, now pay up.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:43 | 2959135 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Long-Term Fiscal Probity

With US debt at $16.2 trillion and growiing at $1.5 trillion a year, and unfunded liabilities at $121.35 trillion and growing at $6.75 trillion a year, it is a decade or two too late to talk of fiscal probity.

US debts will never be repaid.  Only the delusional are buying US bonds now.  China prefers gold today.

 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:50 | 2959677 GernB
GernB's picture

It is only an insane level of optimism that prevents most people from seeing that we are past the point where this is solvable.

Public sentiment and a predisposition to have government spend, combined with the reelection of Obama ensures we won't reign in spending, entitlements or otherwise. Increased tax revenues extraxted from the private sector will further dampen private sector economic activity and therefore depress the very tax revenues any tax rate increase is supposed to provide, it is doubtful there is any tax rate from 0 to 100% on any group that will have an appreciable impact on actuall tax revenues. Without the wiill to reduce spending and with no path to increase revenues it is all over.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:57 | 2959181 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

ask the irish how to do it; they might even come out the other side in five years because they are undergoing a "right sizing" of their government and banking sectors.

ireland, greece, portugal, spain and italy are doing it..japan, france germany and the UK are pissing in the wind.

the US has one big advantage and that is it can be self-sufficient in fossil fuels in the next 5 years. 

that just might be enough to restore the trade and fiscal accounts to balance and allow the usa to re-assume a leadership role in the world.

now if we can just get those pesky 47% ers to work for chinese wages, we can reclaim all the manufacturing jobs that clinton exported to china (and every other trade agreement he made).

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:15 | 2959246 MiltonFriedmans...
MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

While we're at it, let's take away the 47%ers rights to vote.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:53 | 2959679 GernB
GernB's picture

No need, they will ultimately crash the economy and government they depend on.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 07:51 | 2959780 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

number of votes based on net worth of individuals and corporations? you have nothing or are in debt = no vote combined with a similar process for proxy voting in fund managers? extends to companies net assets also.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:15 | 2959247 MiltonFriedmans...
MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

While we're at it, let's take away the 47%ers rights to vote.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 05:24 | 2959698 spooz
spooz's picture

Regarding your blatent propaganda, the "Average Welfare Person" does NOT get $60,000 worth of benefits.

Using the 16,807,795 "HOUSEHOLDS" number used to get the total received PER HOUSEHOLD, and using the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee number for number of individuals receiving benefits (110 million), each household receiving benefits must have 6.5 people living in it.  That seems REALLY high.  Something seems fishy with the numbers, but who cares, right?  You paste the headline, useful idiots repeat it, and the propaganda is effective.

 No idea where to find the original "Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee note", it seems to exist only on blogs, but

to quote them, from this link which was embedded in your link:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/over-60000-welfare-spentper-househol...

A congressional report from CRS recently revealed that the United States now spends more on means-tested welfare than any other item in the federal budget—including Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. Including state contributions to the roughly 80 federal poverty programs, the total amount spent in 2011 was approximately $1 trillion [$952 billion]. Federal spending alone on these programs was up 32 percent since 2008.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that almost 110 million Americans received some form of means-tested welfare in 2011. These figures exclude entitlements like Medicare and Social Security to which people contribute, and they refer exclusively to low-income direct and indirect financial support—such as food stamps, public housing, child care, energy assistance, direct cash aid, etc. For instance, 47 million Americans currently receive food stamps, and USDA has engaged in an aggressive outreach campaign to boost enrollment even further, arguing that “every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy… It’s the most direct stimulus you can get.” (Economic growth, however, is weaker this year than the two years prior, even as food stamp “stimulus” has reached an all-time high.)

 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:48 | 2959455 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Best conservative tweet of the post-mortem.....

 

‘Horrible Possibility: If The Geeks Are Right About Ohio, Might They Also Be Right About Climate?’

 

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/11/07/1160261/david-frum-tweets-horrible-possibility-if-the-geeks-are-right-about-ohio-might-they-also-be-right-about-climate/


Political junkies may know that the right-wing denial of data extended to the countless pre-election polls showing the President stubbornly retaining a lead in the decisive swing state of Ohio.

Heck, there’s even a website, UnskewedPolls.com, that “fixed” the polls conservatives didn’t like by using a different — which is to say, more Republican — electorate model. Think of it as a WattsUpWithThatPoll — a website where cherry-picking and phony analysis allowed readers to exist in a parallel universe to our own, in this case one where the voting public demographically resembled the electorate of the 1980s.

Reality intruded last night, as it inevitably does when one ignores basic arithmetic, statistical analysis, and inexorable demographic trends — or basic physics, for that matter.

Frum is a card-carrying conservative — he coined the phrase “axis of evil.” And his ironic tweet foreshadows an even more painful reality that will eventually intrude on those currently duped by the professional climate science deniers. But instead of this being “Nate Silver was right about Ohio” it’s gonna be “Al Gore was right about climate change.”

Unfortunately, climate denial is far more consequential than polling denial. And as amusing as Frum’s tweet is, it is of a kind with David Brooks’ line in a 2005 piece on conservative intellectual exhaustion, “Running Out of Steam”:

Global warming is real (conservatives secretly know this).

The tragedy is that seven years later, that remains the best-kept secret in DC.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:04 | 2959476 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Is there really time to gloat over the election? James Lovelock, whom you have called a white wizard of the modern age, has said that most everyone on Earth will be dead by the end of the century. Or is it possible that the man is being an alarmist?

 

“We are in a fool's climate, accidentally kept cool by smoke, and before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.” James Lovelock, 2006.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/james-lovelock-the-eart...

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:14 | 2959499 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Are you paid to follow me?

It sure seems like it..

BTW, I never called him the White Wizard, just another example you of you trying to twist reality...

Now, run along Grima, I have bandied words with enough fools over the past few days...

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:30 | 2959517 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

But you did, Flak, you did.

 

 

BLOTTO


Vote up!

0
Vote down!

0

I'm still trying to figure out who in this world - is our ONE - just (1) one - 'white wizard' - that is for the good of the people.

It isnt anyone on CNN or FOX or any of the illuminati controlled main stream media outlets...

It isnt any of the entertainers in hollywood and abroad...

It isnt any sports atheletes...

It isnt anyone who went to a prestigous college...

It definitely isnt anyone in politics...

It isnt anyone on the rest of the tv channels...

etc...

.

Who in this world is our one true white wizard?

Tue, 10/30/2012 - 11:52 | 2931778 Flakmeister

Vote up!

1
Vote down!

-4

James Lovelock would be the closest thing...

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:45 | 2959532 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Semantics is truly the refuge of scoundrels...

You couldn't ever follow the guidelines when you replied Ron Paul....

Yawn...

Good night, Grima Wormtongue....

 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:49 | 2959539 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Your position on Lovelock's hysterics is going to keep coming up until you answer the question: Is his view of climate change alarmist or is it not? For someone who posts extensively on the subject of AGW this should be a snap for you.

 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:08 | 2960130 Chump
Chump's picture

No, consensus is the refuge of scoundrels.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:32 | 2960241 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Do you understand what concensus is? Apparently not based on your use of the word...

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:27 | 2960450 Chump
Chump's picture

Admittedly, I have no idea what "concensus" means.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 05:01 | 2959686 GernB
GernB's picture

Talk to me when climate reseachers publish all their base data and algorithms in sufficient detail to allow their work to be properly reporduced so it can be properly peir reviewed. It's impossible to deny an unsubstantiated claim and that's what we have from the leaders in the climate research field. It would be much harder to deny actual sound science backed by pier reviewers who can reproduce the original work and verify the validity of the conclusions.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 09:36 | 2960008 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The fact that 98% of climate scientists agree on what the data is telling them is that they are competent to do exactly what you said without someone holding their hand....

Nonetheless, here is something for you:

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022

Here is all the data

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/data-and-code-for-foster-rahmstorf-2011/

You can do the analysis in Excel....

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:07 | 2960124 Chump
Chump's picture

From your first link:

We analyze five prominent time series of global temperature (over land and ocean) for their common time interval since 1979:

Lol for emphasis!

Scientific consensus is irrelevant.  Scientific consensus has told us that the sun revolves around the earth, that leeching cures disease, that diseases are not contagious, and more recently that we would be in an ice age by now.  Great scientists throughout history have been great precisely because their findings were contrary to the accepted consensus of the time, and more than a few of these "quack skeptics" were validated only long after their deaths.

But by all means be sure to cite several links to reports with numbers and stuff and things.  You're part of the consensus after all and it's your job, nay, your solemn duty to silence dissent.  You might also want to try the tactic of ridicule.  It's as effective currently as it's been all throughout history.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:30 | 2960220 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

He wanted the all the data and the methods, that was the simplest one I could come up with in 10 minutes..

Now, would you like some data of your own?

Here is 400,000 years of data....

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok_data.html

I suggest you get crackin....

BTW, can you explain why AGW is wrong? In your words, using science... Go ahead, surprise me...

PS Here is some more data

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/open-access-climate-data-policy.pdf

Edit: In case you were wondering, the complete denial of reality which you are exhibiting was in no small measure part of the reason why the Repubs are becoming a marginal regional party....

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:51 | 2960315 Chump
Chump's picture

I just want you to quit acting like scientific consensus is a proof in and of itself.  Your MO in most exchanges on the topic is to ridicule your opponent for not falling in line, cite various reports with no summary of your own, and then challenge them to oppose the consensus.

From your second link I gather that the model variables are difficult to estimate, to say the least.  Even if, for example, the estimates for water vapor included all current GPS unit observations, they would still require some sort of adjustment to allow for the stated inaccuracy of historical readings.  In the end we're left with an estimate.  It may be a good one, but it's still an estimate plugged into a computer model.  That's all well and good for further estimating and whatever else you'd like do with it, provided you and your consensus keep yourselves out of public policy.  Unfortunately I suspect that ship sailed long ago.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:12 | 2960358 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are just making shit up (re: GPS and water vapor)... and, failing to answer the question...

And far as the tone goes, the person I argue with always defines the level... If someone says something that is batshit crazy wrong, they are called out. Very simple...

The scientific concensus is not proof, that is not how science works... Given the breadth and depth of the data, it is extremely unlikely concensus  is wrong. Converting the results into a probability would suggest the probablity of AGW being wrong is about 1 in 10,000....   

No scientist wants AGW, they are scared shitless of the implications...

Here is another site, an interface to the all data going back to 1750 (BEST data) and other data sets as well....

http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:14 | 2960404 Chump
Chump's picture

Your second link in your previous reply links here:

http://gosic.org/ios/MATRICES/ECV/ecv-matrix.htm

Which has the following to say about water vapor estimates:

http://gosic.org/content/gcos-atmospheric-upper-air-ecv-water-vapor

Other contributing observations 
The global upper-air network includes several hundred land-based radiosonde stations in addition to those in GUAN, ships, dropsondes, and aircraft observations. Almost all soundings and many aircraft observations report both temperature and humidity measurements. Large areas have few or no radiosonde or other in-situ observations.

Broad-scale information on tropospheric water vapour is routinely provided by operational passive microwave, infrared and UV/VIS satellite instruments. Infrared instruments have more recently been enhanced by high spectral resolution infrared sounders. UV/VIS instruments provide additional information for total column water vapour.

Data from GPS receivers are used operationally to observe continuous total column water vapour (via atmospheric refractivity), and the data should be freely exchanged for climate purposes.

The capability to observe continuous total column water vapour data from ground-based GPS receivers is well established and these data are exchanged and used operationally in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) centres. The network of GPS receivers should be extended across all land areas to provide global coverage.

Global high vertical resolution measurements of H2O in the UT/LS by limb observations are also essential. The required limb sounding also yields invaluable information on ozone and other chemical composition variables.

Current capability
Uncertainties in the measurement of humidity are much larger than in the measurement of temperature. Differences in the average reported humidity between instrument types can exceed 10% near the surface, with newer instrument types usually showing drier readings than older instrument types. The largest disparities are in very moist and very dry conditions.

Data assimilation can be used to improve the consistency of water vapour, cloud and precipitation estimates.

Emphasis added.  If you're not going to read your own links then why should I?

I know that scientific consensus is not proof, and I'm glad to see that you know it as well.  Hopefully we won't have to read any more comments stipulating otherwise.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:29 | 2960455 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You realize that they are talking about weather forecasting and not climate modelling....

And you do understand the difference between climate and weather, right??

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:44 | 2960549 Chump
Chump's picture

Sigh, from your previous link, which linked here:

http://gosic.org/ios/MATRICES/ECV/ecv-matrix.htm

 

GCOS Essential Climate Variables (ECV) Data Access Matrix

The Essential Climate Variables (ECV) Data Access Matrix provides  easy access to ECV data sets and information. The input for the variable descriptions were provided by WMO/GCOS.  Essential Climate Variables are required to support the  work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). All Essential Climate Variables are technically and  economically feasible for systematic observation. It is these variables for which international exchange is required for both current and  historical observations. It is   emphasized that the  ordering within the table is simply for convenience and is not an indicator of relative priority. There are currently 50 Essential Climate Variables

 

Which includes the link to water vapor estimates that I quoted.  If they're discussing weather forecasting it's not at all clear from your links.  But more importantly, why are you linking to studies of "essential climate variables," calling my responses bullshit when I quote from your own links, and then denying that your links are discussing climate modeling in the first place?

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 12:14 | 2960666 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The link I provided was to show that the data is open access...

If you click through and have no idea what you doing, I cannot be responsible...

So either answer the question:

BTW, can you explain why AGW is wrong? In your words, using science... Go ahead, surprise me...

or go away and annoy somebody else...

If you are serious about finding out more and digging into the background, here is the American Institute of Physics on-line history, a very good read...

http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 12:40 | 2960825 Chump
Chump's picture

Do you see a pattern here?  I respond to your comments and your link, and instead of addressing my comments you simply say I have no idea what I'm doing.  Is water vapor an "essential climate variable"?  Is the matrix of 50 "essential climate variables" a part of climate modeling or was that link mere weather forecasting?  Are GPS observations included in that model as a part of estimating the variable of water vapor in the atmosphere, or is that all just some "shit I'm making up" after reading your own links?

I am serious about learning more about this, and it's admittedly difficult because it's not my particular area of expertise.  As such, I have no problem replying to your question that I don't know, whereas you're apparently gifted with the foresight to know my opinions before I do.

Thanks for another link, but I'm forced to ask again if you've even read it yourself.  If I read it and quote something from it in continuing this discussion, will you say again that I'm just making shit up and have no idea what I'm doing?  It seems you're more interested in silencing dissent than discussing even the simplest matter related to AGW in the first place.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 12:56 | 2960913 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are the one spoiling for disagreement latching on to non-relevant minutae in the face of broad statements...

Now, if you are implying that I should read every possible click through on a provided link, I think you are demanding too much..

Now, I will admit to being less than clear on the link to the data access, sorry for the confusion. But that does not change the issue...

I have read the AIP history (it has been a while though), I would recommend sticking to the basics first, i.e. the role and history of C02 before jumping into modelling and the like, it is important to understand why we have excellent understanding of radiative transfer processes before making the leap to using them in models...

 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:53 | 2959545 leadingmarkets
leadingmarkets's picture

Just made a killer trade today from orbitstocks.com Check these guys out they know how to call em.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 05:09 | 2959692 terex
terex's picture

Slash pub. sector or tax the shit out of the economy, the result will be the same and the f... stupidos should see the recession as salvation - market forced delevarage,,,, the only way to get this collective drug abuse under control!

..and fuck that stuff about growing the way out. It works in a theroteical world where there are no polito(c))rats

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 05:32 | 2959703 plainpilot11
plainpilot11's picture

Let's see. Moroney = Fed, banksters, Jon Stewart, ...
The court = The constitution

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei2WhctlRHY

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 12:48 | 2960873 covert
covert's picture

don't trust the oecd numbers.

http://covert.ias3.com/expose/

 

Wed, 11/14/2012 - 11:10 | 2979682 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

One rating downgrade, coming right up, Sir!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!