Today’s Recommendations interesting reading about our changing world

These have accumulated in my files, so I’ll post a few each day — some new, some old.  These are all IMO worthwhile reading.

From the revelation of the blindingly obvious department, we have evidence for a double-dip recession:

  1. September Auto sales rate will tie lowest in 28 years, Edmonds, 17 September 2009
  2. Car showrooms quiet after clunkers clamor ends“, Boston Globe, 19 September 2009

Other interesting articles (no excerpts):

(3)  These Colors Run Red – The U.S. follows the Soviet Union into Afghanistan“, Andrew J. Bacevich, American Conservative, 1 October 2009 — For more by Bacevich, see the FM reference page listing his online writings.

(4)  “Appointment in Yekaterinburg – The Ending of America’s Financial-Military Empire“, Michael Hudson, Counterpunch, 17 June 2009 — “The city of Yekaterinburg, Russia’s largest east of the Urals, may become known not only as the end of the road for the tsars but of American hegemony too; as the place not only where US U-2 pilot Gary Powers was shot down in 1960, but where the US-centered international financial order was brought to ground.”

Excerpts

September Auto sales rate will tie lowest in 28 years, Edmonds, 17 September 2009 — Excerpt:

As the auto industry recovers from perhaps the biggest aberration in its sales history, Edmunds.com analysts are watching closely.

“The best month of the year for car sales is being quickly followed by what could be the worst month of the year,” noted Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “Cash for Clunkers was supposed to prime the pump, but that is a physics concept, and economics is quite different. Demand has dropped off significantly since the program ended.”

“Based on the current rate of sales, we anticipate that September’s SAAR will be 8.8 million units,” stated Edmunds.com Senior Statistician Zhenwei Zhou. “Last year when the bottom was falling out of the economy, September SAAR was 12.5 million, and prior to that it had been over 16 million for years. Many people regard February as the darkest month of the recession, but even then the SAAR was higher, at 9.1 million units.

Car showrooms quiet after clunkers clamor ends“, Boston Globe, 19 September 2009 — Excerpt

Nationwide, customers snatched up 700,000 new cars, most of them foreign-made, and the government ended up paying out nearly $3 billion toward the purchases. But from the start, analysts predicted that Cash for Clunkers would not boost sales for the year. September’s sales swoon seems to be making their case.

… “It was probably, in the end, a complete waste of taxpayer money,’’ said John Wolkonowicz, a senior auto analyst at IHS Global Insight, Lexington forecasting firm.

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