How The Fiscal Cliff Talks Collapsed

Tyler Durden's picture

The collapse of the Fiscal Cliff talks should come as no surprise to anyone (except, of course, for all those "expert" political commentators virtually all of whom saw a deal by December 31: a full list of names is forthcoming). The reason: a simple one - a House torn, polarized to a record extreme, and a political environment in which the two parties, in the aftermath of a presidential election humiliating to the GOP, reached unseen before antagonism toward each other. In this context, it was absolutely inevitable that America would see a replica of last summer's debt ceiling collapse, which mandated a market intervention, in the form of a crash, and the wipeout of hundreds of billions in wealth - sadly the only catalyst that both parties and their electorate, understand. We had prefaced this explicitly in early November when we said that "the lame duck congress will posture, prance and pout. And it is a certainty that in the [time] remaining it will get nothing done. Which means, that once again, it will be up to the market, just like last August, just like October of 2008, to implode and to shock Congress into awakening and coming up with a compromise of sorts." Which of course brought us to Thursday night's mini-TARP moment.

If you missed Thursday's ES flash crash, fear not: there will be more "TARP moments" as first the Fed is brought into action (as we reminded yesterday), and then, as the final deadline - that of the expiration of various debt ceiling extension gimmicks which takes place in March, and which is the real deadline for a deal. Nonetheless, there are those forensic detectives who are addicted to every single political twist and turn, and who are curious just where and when the Fiscal Cliff talks broke down in the past week. In this regard, the WSJ provides a useful timeline.

From the WSJ:

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.


At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"


"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."

Well, you can't fault the man at not demonstrating "leadership" at crucial junctions: after all it's only fair he gets something for free.

The White House's first formal offer, presented Nov. 29 left Mr. Boehner incredulous. It included a request for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over 10 years, a permanent increase in the debt ceiling and money for road projects and other year-end priorities. In return it offered spending cuts of $400 billion—25 cents for each dollar in new revenue.


Taking a drag on his cigarette, Mr. Boehner asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who had presented the plan, a number of questions but didn't fully engage him. Across the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky) said he laughed at the offer.


The same sticking points kept rearing up—the White House insisting on more tax revenue than Republicans could stomach, and the Republicans demanding deeper cuts than the White House would accept.


During one session in the Capitol with White House's legislative liaison Rob Nabors, Mr. Loper from the Boehner camp asked, referring to a near-deal during last year's debt-ceiling fight: "Can you get back into the zone of where you were in July 2011?"


"No," Mr. Nabors replied. "We were probably overextended then, and there's no way we would do it now."


Mr. Nabors said if they couldn't reach a deal, they should keep lines of communication alive. The typically serious Mr. Loper asked, "So, you're breaking up with us?"


On Dec. 13, Mr. Boehner went to the White House at the president's request, joking he was going to the woodshed.


The president told him he could choose one of two doors. The first represented a big deal. If Mr. Boehner chose it, the president said, the country and financial markets would cheer. Door No. 2 represented a spike in interest rates and a global recession.


Mr. Boehner said he wanted a deal along the lines of what the two men had negotiated in the summer of 2011 in a fight over raising the debt ceiling. "You missed your opportunity on that," the president told him.


That night, the speaker and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) decided to make the biggest concession so far.


As the country the next day digested news of a brutal school shooting in Connecticut, Mr. Boehner called the president and for the first time offered to let tax rates rise—on income above $1 million. The president acknowledged the concession but said Mr. Boehner's plan wasn't raising enough revenue.


News broke the next night both about the concession and that the speaker was willing to extend the borrowing limit. On Sunday, the White House sent a plane to fly Mr. Boehner back to Washington for a morning appointment with the president on Monday, the day it now appears the deal fell apart.


In that session, the president held firm for $1.2 trillion in additional tax revenue, a second step down from his original offer. Mr. Boehner asked for another $100 billion in spending cuts but couldn't get a commitment.


Finally, the speaker said, "Well, you and I can sit here and stare at each other," or he could leave and they would talk later.

Eventually, Boehner managed to turn the tables on a president who was convinced he would get all the concession he demanded. Or so Boehner thought:

Back in the Capitol, Mr. Boehner told Mr. Cantor the president wasn't moving. They agreed to call him. On the call, Mr. Boehner restated he needed $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue raised. He dropped a prior demand to increase the Medicare eligibility age.


The president told Mr. Boehner that he was willing to make some concessions on taxes and spending, but cautioned that they needed to retain Democratic votes for the bill to pass.


The speaker raised the prospect of moving a backup bill. White House officials said Mr. Boehner didn't reveal what Plan B comprised. Administration officials expected a few more days of back-and-forth, but the speaker thought the prospects were dim for a big deal.


Meeting with his leadership team in the afternoon, Mr. Boehner read from a script prepared by his staff, telling lawmakers he still wanted a big deal but the rank and file needed to know the plan by a 9 a.m. conference meeting the next morning, Tuesday. He encouraged his colleagues to accept the backup plan.


"I'm going to keep the proposal on the table," he said of the broader deal. "As I told the president, I'm not making an ultimatum. The offer stays on the table, even if we move on Plan B."


His lieutenants made clear they preferred Plan B to the one Mr. Boehner was trying to broker.


The speaker called the president with news the House would move ahead with the backup bill, which would preserve Bush-era rates for all income below $1 million. The president was incensed.

Everyone knows what happened what Boehner was finally unable to get even the votes needed for "Plan B." And what happened after that too:

On Friday afternoon, the president spoke to both Mr. Boehner and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid in a bid to resurrect a deal. Soon afterward he left the White House for his annual family vacation in Hawaii.

And from Reuters:

The president is expected to indulge in some of his favorite pastimes on the island where he was born and raised: golf, an expedition for the local treat "shave ice," and an evening out with family and friends. He hit the links at the nearby Marine Corps base under sunny skies on Saturday afternoon.

Needless to say no deal will be "resurrected", and the US economy, like the Coyote, will go right off the cliff, with hopes for a prompt fix in the early days of January, at which point, the thinking supposedly goes, all those managers who fired tens of thousands of workers due to the new "post-Cliff" reality will miraculously rehire them back. After all the market said so: the same "efficient" market which continued to plow higher for three days after it is now clear the deal had fallen apart.

Next steps: nothing out of Washington for three months, even as Obama crucifies the GOP at every possible public opportunity, and another credit downgrade of the US, which initiates the early 2013 risk off phase, and the scramble into the "safety" of US bonds once more as was the case in 2011. In doing so it will provide a cover to all those sell side "strategists" (all of them) who once again, erroneously, predicted a recovery for the US in the coming year. After all who could have possibly anticipated the most perfectly logical political outcome...  Because the one thing that is most important to both parties is to maintain demand for US paper, as that, and not taxes, in both the coming year and decade, will consistently be primary source of 'funding' for the US government.

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Eireann go Brach's picture

Who cares about the well being of 350 million Americans, I have 7 golf games booked in Hawaii that I committed too!


Barack Obama

Fredo Corleone's picture

It is evident that Boehner is out of his depth, and may be wanting of the requisite "skill set" to be an effective leader in this agitated political climate -- the hand-to-hand political skills required to parry with the likes of a hardened community organizer. Politics in the contemporary Washington are no gentleman's game.

That said, the Administration, for its part, may be grasping for a bit too much, operating under the assumption that the "public" is wholly in agreement with its rigid "soak the rich," pro-tax agenda and attendant GOP-deprecatory rhetoric.

Opinion: the GOP may have less to fear than it currently has convinced itself; conversely, the Administration is playing a very dangerous game of public opinion chicken -- with a public who, time after time, has demonstrated itself to be the exemplar of the inconstancy of "persuasion."

trav777's picture

yeah; Obama is clueless if he thinks he has the mandate to make this happen.

the blame game works until it doesn't and 2 years from now is a long time.

JLee2027's picture
  • "potatoe"
  • "Mission Accomplished"
  • "voodoo economics"
  • "I never had sex with that woman"

The blame game will work as long as the media wants it to.


flacon's picture

Can someone explain why MARCH is so important (more important than January 1st)? We are already at debt limit right now...

AGAU's picture

I would put it to you that the debt limit matters not a jot at this stage.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

Really cool Geo-engineering video;

chemtrails 12.20.12 - pedro mandingo      

The dead body count from freezing conditions in the Northern Hemisphere this winter season is hilarious.

Cold Blast Claims Over 600 Lives Across Eastern Europe/Russia…”Death Toll Keeps Rising…State Of Emergency”

Crazy Russian Winter: What happens to boiling water at -41C? 

Here's a pretty cool chart of what the Sun has been doing in your lifetime.

Magnetic Field:
Solar Polar Fields – Mt. Wilson and Wilcox Combined -1966 to Present

Supernova Born's picture

The so-called "fiscal cliff" is nothing but the MSM's euphemism for dealing with economic reality.

GetZeeGold's picture



Maybe we should just turn our eyes away and kick the can.......well the twisted lump of metal that use to be a can.


If we actually have to deal with this...the rap industry will be devastated.


Either Boehner gives his grandkid's future away.....and he might get re-elected.....or he falls on the grenade and saves our children's future.


Gut check time Amigo. What's it going to be?

sessinpo's picture

A complete joke. Boehner is set as are most politicians. As ZH suggested, and I also put it as a likely #1 scenario weeks ago, it was destined to fail. If not now, but later on because BOTH parties are eventually about bigger government and "real" cuts in spending are not in that equation.

What you don't realize is Boehner did fall on the grenade, but not for America or its citizens. He fell on the grenade for liberalism. Yes, I said it - even though Boehner is a republican, he is like the majority of politicians which is about bigger government and power.

The nonsense talk from most RINOs about cutting taxes has nothing to do with reducing government and government's power. We have extreme leftist that rule the democrat party and we have moderate liberals that rule the republican party. We do not have a large number of "real" conservatives and Constitutionalist in the Federal government anymore.

GetZeeGold's picture



The dude's totally a Republican....he's just not a conservative. You know....sorta like Newt Gingrich.

From Germany With Love's picture

Quick, can somebody spare $21.76 for Obama and Boehner before christmas:

Srsly, you guys are f*cked. We had the same situation with hyper-polarization here in Germany, back when we were the sick man of Europe (thanks to massive capital flow into the periphery which was entirely based on illusions, of course). But then came the 2005 election which forced the CDU and SPD into a Grand Coalition. So they were forced to collaborate. Of course, nowadays we have the problem that the parties are too similar but having a Grand Coalition every few years helps to overcome hyper-polarization, thank goodness.

Now back to money-printing...

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



When the US coughs, Europe gets a cold.

"Srsly, you guys are f*cked."

From Germany With Love's picture

Sure, if all you have in mind is economics.



NumberNone's picture

How about Europe becoming Muslim within 15 years?  How do you feel about Sharia and the quality of life it will bring?  Enjoy the demographic turmoil headed your way.  

knukles's picture

No demographic shifts in America, thank Satan

(take however your little heart desires, but tell ya, the way the voting been going, ain't no racists here, muthafuckah)

(tossing up hands, rolling eyes, wondering just how we got to where we are... mumbling, grumbling something about "Who am I to judge these assholes?")

From Germany With Love's picture

Im not worried about the overall picture. Neither the US nor Russia will tolerate a muslim Europe.



Tom_333's picture

Doesn´t matter.The Ponzi circus will just keep on for a long , long time. There´s still a lot of taxes to be levvied,work to be forced,surveillance to be implemented,camps to be filled with dissenters,sheeple to be stripsearched and forcibly made to obey...and on and on.

Meanwhile quality of life in Europe is still better than stateside.Much better food,no corn syrup additives,better health in general.Though the (non) elected leaders here are a bunch of absurd clowns it´s still a shade better than what currently has been put in place in the surveillance empire of the U.S. And there´s a silver lining...Silvio may stage a comeback.That guy really knows how to throw a party.And I am happy to say that natural male behaviour is much more acceptable here then over there.No one really cares to much.In stark contrast to the tranmutation of puritanical doublemoral into a puritanical surveillance and control empire.The best way to ward off longings for America is to go to the web and read the news.Janet Napolitano is the perfect symbol,the perfect embodiment of what the U.S. has turned into.

If I should feel any desire to change my abode again I would make a move to Asia.I will sit this one out.I am too old and have done too much to get marching orders on a daily basis from DHS,TSA and all the rest of the alphabet soup.They can keep their spying to themselves or at the bare minimum the should be more sophisticated about it. Actually the conjured threats that pass as a motivation for this circus is just a sorry excuse for beating Joe Sixpack into further submission.

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

A light just went off over my head - If no deal is reached and there is a financial panic, demand for zero or even negative return gobernmint funny money bonds will soar. 

So tell me the incentive these assholes have to act responsibily? If and when we go over, money floods into their control. If taxes go up, money floods into their control.

Fed and Government are playing rigged games with us.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

hey tom 333, been to london lately, you know the city with all those street cams? delude yourself but posting here you get a broken nose. EU the .gov control is to you, like water to a fish..

Tom_333's picture

It sure exists.Not disputing that.But it´s a more civilized tone about it than stateside.As for Europe -(as you may know UK isn´t really a part of Europe)...the surveillance in France,Italy,Germany and Switzerland is way less intrusive: If you visit Europe - you should go to Europe and not the outpost of anglosaxon NWD that hosts the City of London.Really not same thing.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Last time the US govt had a Grand Coalition was in 1850


mkkby's picture

There is no fucking polarization.  They agreed to this in 2011 -- if by the end of 2012 there is no agreement, cuts will be automatic and massive.  Thus, the credit rating will be saved.

So Obama wants to reneg on that agreement.  But BONER HOLDS ALL THE CARDS, because all he has to do is say NO and we go over the cliff -- meaning deep spending cuts.  Short term the markets go down, and lots of gov workers get laid off.  But long term the country is much better off.

The 2011 agreement was kicking the can until NOW.  My bet is they will just agree to raise the debt limit for another 2 years and get through the next election without any changes at all.  I'll be buying gold the moment everyone else besides me realizes that.

caconhma's picture

There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics

October 12, 2012  |



It’s Nobel Prize season again. News reports are coming out each day sharing the name of the illustrious winner of the various categories — Science, Literature, etc. But there’s one of the prizes that’s a little different. Well, that’s putting it lightly… you see, the Nobel Prize in Economics is not a real Nobel. It wasn’t created by Alfred Nobel. It’s not even called a “Nobel Prize,” no matter what the press reports say.


The five real Nobel Prizes—physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and medicine/physiology—were set up in the will left by the dynamite magnate when he died in 1895. The economics prize is a bit different. It was created by Sweden’s Central Bank in 1969, nearly 75 years later. The award’s real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.” It was not established by Nobel, but supposedly in memory of Nobel. It’s a ruse and a PR trick, and I mean that literally. And it was done completely against the wishes of the Nobel family.


Sweden’s Central Bank quietly snuck it in with all the other Nobel Prizes to give free-market economics for the 1% credibility. One of the Federal Reserve banks explained it succinctly, “Few realize, especially outside of economists, that the prize in economics is not an “official” Nobel. . . . The award for economics came almost 70 years later—bootstrapped to the Nobel in 1968 as a bit of a marketing ploy to celebrate the Bank of Sweden’s 300th anniversary.” Yes, you read that right: “a marketing ploy.”


“The Economics Prize has nestled itself in and is awarded as if it were a Nobel Prize. But it’s a PR coup by economists to improve their reputation,” Nobel’s great great nephew Peter Nobel told AFP in 2005, adding that “It’s most often awarded to stock market speculators .... There is nothing to indicate that [Alfred Nobel] would have wanted such a prize.”


Members of the Nobel family are among the harshest, most persistent critics of the economics prize, and members of the family have repeatedly called for the prize to be abolished or renamed. In 2001, on the 100th anniversery of the Nobel Prizes, four family members published a letter in the Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet, arguing that the economics prize degrades and cheapens the real Nobel Prizes. They aren’t the only ones.


Scientists never had much respect for the new economic Nobel prize. In fact, a scientist who headed Nixon’s Science Advisory Committee in 1969, was shocked to learn that economists were even allowed on stage to accept their award with the real Nobel laureates. He was incredulous: “You mean they sat on the platform with you?”


That hatred continues to simmer below the surface, and periodically breaks through and makes itself known.  Most recently, in 2004, three prominent Swedish scientists and members of the Nobel committee published an open letter in a Swedish newspaper savaging the fraudulent “scientific” credentials of the Swedish Central Bank Prize in Economics. “The economics prize diminishes the value of the other Nobel prizes. If the prize is to be kept, it must be broadened in scope and be disassociated with Nobel,” they wrote in the letter, arguing that achievements of most of the economists who win the prize are so abstract and disconnected from the real world as to utterly meaningless.


The question is: Why would a prize that draws so much hatred and negativity from the scientific community be added to the Nobel roster so late in the game? And why economics? To answer that question we have to go back to Sweden in the 1960s.


Around the time the prize was created, Sweden’s banking and business interests were busy trying to ram through various so-called "free-market" economic reforms. Their big objective at the time was to loosen political oversight and control over the country’s central bank.


According to Philip Mirowski, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in the history of economics, the “Bank of Sweden was trying to become more independent of democratic accountability in the late 60s, and there was a big political dispute in Sweden as to whether the bank could have effective political independence. In order to support that position, the bank needed to claim that it had a kind of scientific credibility that was not grounded in political support.”


Promoters of central bank independence couched their arguments in the obscure language of neoclassical economic theory of market efficiency. The problem was that few people in Sweden took their neoclassical babble very seriously, and saw their plan for central bank independence for what it was: an attempt to transfer control over economic matters from democratically elected government and place into the hands of big business interests, giving them a free hand in running Sweden’s economy without pesky interference from labor unions, voters and elected officials.


And that’s where the Swedish Central Bank Prize in Economic Sciences came in.

The details of how the deal went down are still very murky. What is known is that in 1969 Sweden’s central bank used the pretense of its 300th anniversary to push through an independent prize in “economic science” in memory of Alfred Nobel, and closely link it with the original Nobel Prize awards. The name was a bit longer, the medals looked a little different and the award money did not come from Nobel, but in every other way it was hard to tell the two apart. To ensure the prize would be awarded to the right economists, the bank managed to install a rightwing Swedish economist named Assar Lindbeck, who had ties to University of Chicago, to oversee the awards committee and keep him there for more than three decades. (Lindbeck’s famous free-market oneliner is:  “In many cases, rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city — except for bombing.”)


For the first few years, the Swedish Central Bank Prize in Economics went to fairly mainstream and maybe even semi-respectable economists. But after establishing the award as credible and serious, the prizes took a hard turn to the right.


Over the next decade, the prize was awarded to the most fanatical supporters of theories that concentrated wealth among the top 1% of industrialized society of our time.


In 1974, five years after the prize was first created, it was awarded to Friedrich Hayek, one the leading "laissez-faire" -- enrich the rich -- economists of the 20th century and the godfather of neoclassical economics. Milton Friedman, who was at the University of Chicago with Hayek, was not far behind. He won the prize just two years later, in 1976.


Both Hayek and Friedman were huge supporters of the political independence of central banks. In fact, they built their careers on bashing government intervention in economic matters. Hayek developed a whole business cycle theory that blamed government and government-controlled banking systems  for all economic ills. He also equated all government intervention will inevitably lead to totalitarianism. Friedman with a whole new subsection of neoclassical economics called “Monetarism” that had a scientific formula worked out, specifying exactly how much money central bankers needed to keep floating around in the economy to keep inflation low and unemployment high enough to keep big business happy. No democratic control over banking policies needed, just let the free-markets do its thing!  The Swedish central bankers couldn’t get better spokesmen for their cause.


But Hayek and Friedman’s usefulness went way beyond Sweden.

At the time of the prizes, neoclassical economics were not fully accepted by the media and political establishment. But the Nobel Prize changed all that.

What started as a project to help the Bank of Sweden achieve political independence, ended up boosting the credibility of the most regressive strains of free-market economics, and paving the way for widespread acceptance of libertarian ideology.


Take Hayek: Before he won the award, it looked like Hayek was washed up. His career as an economist was essentially over. He was considered a quack and fraud by contemporary economists, he had spent the 50s and 60s in academic obscurity, preaching the gospel of free markets and economic darwinism while on the payroll of ultra-rightwing American billionaires. Hayek had powerful backers, but was out on the fringes of academic credibility.


But that all changed as soon as he won the prize in 1974. All of a sudden his ideas were being talked about. Hayek was a celebrity. He appeared as a star guest on NBC’sMeet the Press, newspapers across the country printed his photographs and treated his economic mumblings about the need to have high unemployment in order to pay off past inflation sins as if they were divine revelations. His Road to Serfdom hit the best-seller list. Margret Thatcher was waving around his books in public, saying “this is what we believe.” He was back on top like never before, and it was all because of the fake Nobel Prize created by Sweden’s Central Bank.


Billionaire Charles Koch brought Hayek out for an extended victory tour of the United States, and had Hayek spend the summer as a resident scholar at his Institute for Humane Studies. Charles, a shrewd businessman, quickly put the old man to good use, tapping Hayek’s mainstream cred to set up and underwrite Cato Institute in 1974 (it was called the Charles Koch Foundation until 1977), a libertarian thinktank based on Hayek’s ideas. Even today, Cato Institute pays homage to the Swedish Central Bank Prize’s role in the mainstreaming of Hayek’s ideas and Hayek’s influence on the outfit:


The first libertarian to receive the Nobel Prize was F.A. Hayek in 1974. In the years leading up to the prize announcement, Hayek had reached a professional and personal nadir. Unable to maintain an appointment in the United States, Hayek had returned to Austria to take up a position at the University of Salzburg, Austria. With the announcement of the prize in 1974, however, Hayek’s work, and the fortune of Austrian economics, took a remarkable turn.


Hayek’s influence on Cato is profound. Two of Cato’s first books were by Hayek: A Tiger by the Tail: The Keynesian Legacy of Inflation & Unemployment and Monetary Policy: Government as Generator of the “Business Cycle.” Perhaps more than any other intellectual in the twentieth century, Hayek has inspired Cato and its researchers to develop policies that ensure a free society. When Cato moved into its current location in 1992, its auditorium was named in Hayek’s honor.

Friedman’s Nobel Prize had a similar impact. After getting the prize in 1976, Friedman wrote a best-seller, got his own 10-part PBS series Free to Choose and became President Ronald Reagan’s economic advisor, where he had a chance to put the society-crushing policies he developed in Chile under Pinochet.


Friedman would spend the rest of his time denying it, but he was deeply involved and invested in the Pinochet’s totalitarian-corporate  economic experiment. Chilean economist Orlando Letelier published an article in The Nation in 1976 outing Milton Friedman as the  “intellectual architect and unofficial adviser for the team of economists now running the Chilean economy” on behalf of foreign corporations. A month later Letelier was assassinated in D.C. by Chilean secret police using a car bomb.


Friedman’s monetary theory was used by Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Paul Volcker to restrict the money supply, plunging American into a deep recession, doubling the unemployment rate and had the added bonus of getting Reagan elected President. . . . And Hayek and Friedman were just the beginning.


For instance, in 1997 two economists won an award for their derivative risk models that minimized risk, just before the derivatives would explode in the 2000s real estate bubble.

willwork4food's picture

I still don't know why I have not been nominated. I've worked my ass off for decades, got it mostly stolen by Wall Street, then the IRS & State came down and said I owed them more because I margin traded. With this sacrifice, and without going on welfare, EBTs, or begging money @ intersections, I believe I'm  due.

Thank you for your support.

markmotive's picture

The Nobel Prize in 'Peace' hasn't turned out to be real either.

piliage's picture

"In 2001, on the 100th anniversery (sic) of the Nobel Prizes, four family members published a letter in the Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet, arguing that the economics prize degrades and cheapens the real Nobel Prizes."

Oh, sweet irony, as if giving the 'real' peace prize to the EU, Obama, Arafat, and ElBaradei doesn't? 

Tom_333's picture

Yeah - but please keep in mind - the peace prize is awarded by the Norwegian parliament.A clause in Nobels testament specified that they should be the executioners of that one. This has been a continual source of joy and merry to my Swedish friends (though closely related in language and otherwise - Norwegians have always been seen as much less sophisticated - a kind of little brother in the Scandinavian family). And they have for sure delivered on the peace price. Who´s getting the next peace prize is turning into a kind of parlor game at smaller social gatherings,for chuckles.Kony...Bibi....Bloomberg..who...who? My bet is that there will be something related to the de facto nullfication of the 2nd amendment coming up. Mike B may not be such a bad bet after all.Rest assured that the Norwegian Parliament will continue to demonstrate complete lack of grasp on contemporary events.They are the only ones who actually BELIEVE  the propaganda.

piliage's picture

Sadly, there are plenty more who drink the Kool-aid


shovelhead's picture

I got a cartoon flash of a union sewer worker arguing, while up to their chests in effluvia, with the non-union new hire.

"You're not a REAL sewer worker and besides that, you smell like shit."

BrigstockBoy's picture

"UPDATE: It turns out that Yasha Levine and Mark Ames — the authors of the error-ridden hit piece on Hayek — come straight out of the bowels of Russian yellow journalism and pornography, specializing in National Enquire type made up “news” laced with lots of blood and nudity."


Acet's picture

All that bullshit for something really simple: Alfred Nobel never set up a Nobel prize in economics (he hated economists). The so-called Nobel Prize is in reality a "In the name of Alfred Nobel Prize" which is given by the Swedish Central Bank - i.e. economists are giving prizes to economists and passing it out as a "Nobel" Prize.

In other words, it's as valid as if the Swedish Association of Astrologists & Diviners set-up a (In the name of Alfred) Nobel Prize for Divination. In fact, giving that it turns out Economics majors are bigger liers than other majors (study:, their deep involvement in politics (with the results we've all seen) and their inability to predicts anything, I'd say the a Nobel Prize In Divination at least would reward a group with a better track record in honesty and prediction of future events.


Raymond K Hessel's picture

There's no prize for mathematics either.  


Nobel's wife was banging a mathematician that if there were a prize for mathematics, he'd get it.  So Nobel decided not to have one.  

True Story.

IrritableBowels's picture

Snopes would beg to differ...

Nobel was never married.

captain_menace's picture

"One of the problems with citing information found on the Internet is validating the authenticity of the information..." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

caconhma's picture

From Wikipedia:


"The Prize in Economics is not one of the original Nobel Prizes created by the will of Alfred Nobel. However, the nomination process, selection criteria, and awards presentation of the Prize in Economic Sciences are performed in a manner similar to that of the Nobel Prizes."


I love the word SIMILAR. Is tungsten similar to gold? Certainly, there are many similarities.


It looks like we all live in a make-believe world of lies and fraud sold as something similar to honesty, integrity, and humanity.


bk1037's picture

I'll answer you since no one else in ZH seems to want to take the time to explain it. Yes, we're at the debt limit now. But Geither and crew can use accounting and other gimmicks to extend the time where would more money would appear to be available but isn't truly. Geither borrows improperly from Fed employee retirement plans and he did this freely in July of 2011. This is the first money that must be repaid when the debt limit is extended. Tyler reported on this extensively back then. Geithner will do this until he has nothing left in there to cover his overdraft with these improper advances from other funds that no one understands in the public discourse. That will happen in March this time as ZH has been noting.

It has been argued that the debt limit is an arbitrary imposition of congressional authoroty since Congress has also mandated spending that creates this issue in the first place. Congress, who gets little blame many times for the debt limit, are the true beasts who cause the entire situation, under the President's auspices. I do expect the imposition of the 14th Amerndment this time with this the language about ' the debt of the United States shall not be questioned'. Language like this is similar to the 2nd amendment about the right to bear arms, broad but specific enough to allow desired interpretation to get a result. The debt limit is being aribitrarily applied instead of the Congressional spending authority mandates, and it may well be this time with the hyperpartisan brinkmanship that it breaks the back of the debt limit legislation once and for all. I mean why apply the 2nd amendment but not the 14th fully.


Ginsengbull's picture

It's not an administration, it's a regime.

Max in St Moritz's picture

A regime?


Seems like there's a new form of McCarthyism taking root in America. But it's not as pervasive as it was in the 1950's. Most of the individuals who think Obama is a Russian agent, or a terrorist or the incarnation of Hitler are hillbillies from the American backwaters, or very simple-minded racist pigs who are easily seduced by right wing carnival barkers like Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter and Beck.

Kentucky Fried Amuuurica!

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

These backwater hillbillies are self sufficient and donT need the cradle-to-grave govt-nanny that you Europeans canT get by without.

Europe has already succumbed to the Communist Agenda.  The backwater hills of Amuuurica are the last redoubt.

GetZeeGold's picture



We've stopped naming our agendas......we just give them numbers now.


Our number is........21.

itstippy's picture

Sorry, but there's no part in the U.S. where a large portion of the population doesn't rely on government largess.  The idea that "backwater hillbillies" are self-sufficient just isn't true.  It doesn't matter what the country-western singers put in their lyrics about how "country boys can survive".  A good share of them simply don't have jobs, or do have jobs but don't make enough money to get by.  So they get the SNAP cards and emergency medical assistance and heating/cooling assistance just like everywhere else in the U.S.A.

People are people.  Country Boy meets Country Girl; they make a Country Baby.  They need to provide for themselves and the young 'un.  To do this they need decent paying jobs.  Running around in a pickup truck with a hound dog and a shotgun just ain't gonna pay the household bills, no matter how romantic and awesome and satisfying the idea sounds.

Take away the debt-funded government entitlements and you'll get a whole shitload of Country Boys, Country Girls, Country Babies, and Country Grams & Gramps in a world of hurt.  It's not a good situation, but it's how things are.

Overfed's picture

Just the way this (and the past few) regime wants it.

Ignatius's picture

Everytime I look they push another turd to the top.

"America's gonna crash, big time." -- Paul Craig Roberts

Michaelwiseguy's picture

What makes them think there is anything in the known universe that can stop the economic collapse? It is best to go off the cliff at ramming speed. We can call next years tax cuts the Obama tax cuts and remove the word "Bush" from our lexicon. Boner should have offered to close some of the 750 US military bases we got in 130 countries.

Absalon's picture

The Republicans lack the individual personal self control to be led effectively.  The only place most of them would follow a leader would be into a whore house.

rqb1's picture

You really think there are two teams?

Bob's picture


That's like asking why--like a CIA team scrubbing its tracks after its mission is complete--the Democratic Leadership Council disbanded last year . . .

Who WERE those guys?! Is it true they were actually funded by the Koch brothers? Couldn't be, right? After all, they set up both Clinton and Obama! They were part of the Democratic Party!

Outta sight, outta mind. The oldest trick in the book.

Now neo-liberalism is the only public narrative.  Reach-around or no reach-around is the only real question on the table. 

There couldn't be any other ideas for WTF we should do about the deficit, right?