December 02, 2009
Well, that was different. Now I really don't get what we're doing in Afghanistan. I think the idea is that we will fight a war against the Taliban and the 100 or so remaining members of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in order to encourage the Pakistani government to keep the same miscreants away from the nuclear weapons in and around Islamabad. We will keep doing this until about July, 2011, at which point the problem will have been solved, in perpetuity. The cost of the 100,000 troops, based on our new consensus-accepted calculation ($1 million per soldier per year), through July, 2011 will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion and however many lives are lost.
December 01, 2009
November 30, 2009
Goldman Sachs recently published a report indicating that the American economy is about 2/3rds of the way through the financial crisis, beginning its analysis with the concession, "bad loans = big losses." The losses so far are about $1.6 trillion, with total losses estimated in the range $2.1 to $2.6 trillion and about 70% of these losses are connected to real estate, one way or another. This estimate is more or less in line with quantitative analysis Nouriel Roubini performed much nearer the outset of the crisis, when he estimated that the total losses from bad loans would be in the neighborhood of $3 trillion.