Saturday, May 3, 2008

SAR # 8124

In a world inhabited by 7 billion people,
promoting growth for growth's sake is a losing proposition.

Psst, Wanna Car? GM's sales are down 16% Ford down 12% and Chrysler off 23%. This is bad enough; we don't need no stinking recession.

Bigger Truck: The Fed's "facilities" have not facilitated a cure yet, so they've decided more might be better. The Term Auction Facility has been upped from $50 to $75 billion, standards for collateral have been lowered to include Aaa rated toxic waste, and the ECB has been promised another $50 billion to prop up the dollar. The Fed is spending the weekend trying to figure out how to bring LIBOR rates to heel. Ah, socialized finance.

Not Invited : Iraq views the US Congress' demand that Iraq fund part of the war's cost as well as pay for reconstruction, as "an immoral request. They don't remember asking the US to come and destroy everything.

Over There: Goldman Sachs predicts Britain is likely to be hit hardest of the world economies in the fallout of the current credit debacle, and that British homeowners will bear the brunt of Britain's pain.

No Shit: Farmers, barely surviving higher fuel prices to operate their equipment, are being squeezed by increasing prices and decreasing supplies of fertilizer. Good thing the cost of food isn't part of the inflation numbers.

The Answer is "Oil!": Why did they cut the cheese in the pizza and raise the price? Because oil is $115 a barrel. It works like this: cheese comes from milk, which comes from cows that eat corn, but corn is made into ethanol because oil is $115 a barrel. Your turn; pick a price increase and track it back to oil.

Its A Gas! Atmospheric methane levels have resumed rising after a decade-long pause. Release from thawing perma-frost is suspected. Methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

Projections: The Center for Economic and Policy Research took the latest Case-Shiller home price index data (prices down 25% in most major markets) and rolled it forward. If this rate of loss continues for the rest of the year, Americans will lose an aggregate $6 trillion in real housing wealth. Your share is $85,000.

Peak Snake Oil: Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA) has identified the root of our financial problems: We are still taxing capital gains and dividends. No wonder no one wants to be rich any more.

Let Them Eat Profits: Grain processing giant Archer-Daniels-Midland's profits jumped 42% in the last quarter. Monsanto and Deere reported similar windfalls. They say they are not to blame for the soaring prices for food and will use their profits to develop new technologies that will further subjugate the world's farmers while increasing profits.

Nose/Face : Over 70% of Britons say they would rather destroy the world than pay taxes to save it. They've got a lot a friends in the US, too.

Competition: The competition of free markets provides consumers with the best products at the best prices. That's neo-con economics. So now that we are in competition with billions of Chinese and Indians for corn, wheat, rice and petroleum, we're all - all of us - going to live happily ever after, thanks to the free market system. Those that don't starve, that is.

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