everywhere, I'm beginning to worry about
Ka-Boomers: One in ten of those over 50 report having to borrow money to cover everyday expenses. 40% say they are helping their kids pay their bills. One-third have stopped saving for retirement. Many report eating out less, skimping on medication, "Hedonistic adjustments," according to the government.
Soufflé: The median price for a single-family US house fell 7.7 % in 1Q2008. Largest drop in 30 years. Prices dropped 7.5 % Largest drop on record. Drafty in here.
The 0.1% Solution: Oil is a finite resource. If emerging countries used as much oil per capita as Europe does, consumption would more than double. Demand is increasing 1.4 million barrels a day. That's equal to a new Saudi Arabia every 7 years. America produces 5 and uses 21 mbd. Anwar may have 5.7 billion barrels. That will replace America's imports for 1 year, then be gone. If we stopped putting 70,000 barrels of crude into the SPR daily, the gasoline refined from that crude would supply fuel for less than 0.1% of US vehicles daily. Let's have a tax holiday and encourage more consumption.
Warmongering: US President George W. Bush on Monday called Iran the "single biggest threat" to peace in the Middle East. Someone should put the mirrors back up in the White House.
Fly in the Suit: Investors in collateralized debt obligations are looking to enforce agreements that say the originator must take back the bonds- at 100% - if fraud can be proven. Odds are pretty good that fraud occured several times between the loan application and the CDOs.
New Peak - Demand: Lost in the in all the excitement about oil's imminent rise to $200 soon is the observation that this will lead to "permanent demand destruction." Google that.
CPI Lie: There is no inflation. CPI is up only 0.2% in April after a reported 0.3% in March. Food was up, gasoline was way up (21%), but who you going to believe, the BLS or your lying credit card statement? Price of SUVs is way down.
Bucket's Got A Hole: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said financial markets remain unsettled and the central bank will increase its auctions of cash to banks as needed. He was taking into account "the possibility of a sudden loss of substantantial amounts of secured financing."
Running A Tab: Bank of America reports a "recent sharp increase" in the use of credit cards to buy "necessities" - groceries and gas.
Cheneycare: Over 65% of US voters want single-payer healthcare that matches Dick Cheney's. Of course, 100% of the population couldn't get insurance if they had Dick Cheney's problems. Maybe having Dick Cheney is the problem.
Scenery: The cyclone in Myanmar and the onset of Peak oil have this in common: They're happening to someone else. Those suffering in Myanmar are half-way around the world and only seen on TV. The US poor who are the first to suffer from the increases in the price of oil and food might as well be.
Porn O'Graph: Notices of Delinquency - the first step in the foreclosure process - suggest that 2008 will more than double 2007's foreclosures. Peek here.