Monday, July 03, 2006

Suspicious minds

Photo: AP/WWP, courtesy U.S. Department of State

The very foxy Glenn Kellis, in his most recent post on his Ob:Blog, reveals the secrets of the recent interplay between the markets and and interest-rate woes:

What's really going on -- and it has become grossly obvious lately -- is the global stock markets are running purely on artificial liquidity supplied constantly, but unevenly, by the central banks. When there's an injection of cash, the markets rally. When the magic spigot is closed and the liquidity dries up, the markets drop.

Most recently, the cash injection from the Bank of Japan (BOJ), Japan's central bank, has been calling the shots. It's no coincidence that when the BOJ announced, in the middle of May, that the it would begin raising rates, the markets tanked....
So, now we know why Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi got that special tour of Graceland, with the U.S. president as his guide. Continues Mr. Kellis:
As long as the cash injections keep coming from one central bank or another, this addict will keep stumbling along, but when the dope runs out, it's going to be a painful withdrawal.
Or maybe we'll just go the way of Elvis. (Le roi est morte; vive le roi!)

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Burning the Constitution

What's the best thing about Independence Day in Our Nation's Capital? C'est facile, mes amis -- the Constitution is momentarily safe from the destructive hands of the country's lawmakers.

In recent days, your blogstress has meditated on the recent, by-a-whisker defeat in the Senate of a constitutional amendment that would have banned flag-burning -- at the expense of the First Amendment, which the New Yorker's ever-eloquent Hendrik Hertzberg describes as "the Constitution's crowning glory."

More from Mr. Hertzberg:

The flag is not a piece of cloth, any more than the Constitution is a piece of paper; and the flag’s sacredness is not damaged when a piece of cloth representing it is burned or trampled or used as an autograph book, any more than the Constitution can be damaged by the destruction of a printed copy. But the Constitution can and would be damaged, to the nation’s shame, by the addition of something as inimical to its spirit as the flag-desecration amendment.
You'll note, mes cheris, the distaste earlier expressed by your cybertrix for the "desecration" of any symbol. However, were she one to organize protests, she could envision a ritual Constitution-burning on the steps of the Capitol, a sort of performance art piece whereby people (mostly men) dressed in dark suits would step up to a flaming black-iron cauldron and toss in one of those parchment reproductions of the the original Bill of Rights document.

Better yet, let's see a Constitutional amendment introduced prohibiting the desecration of the U.S. Constitution -- the actual concepts and precepts, not the paper on which it's written. Now, that could call a few questions, huh?

CLICK HERE TO READ HENDRIK HERTZBERG ON THE FLAG AND CONSTITUTION

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