Nobody knows how to end a depression,
except by starting a war.
Four-casting: At some price, the middle class will begin to understand that the way the US developed - where the houses are, where the jobs are, where the shopping is - is wholly dependent on cheap gasoline. And that there will be no more cheap gasoline. [needs new html]
Future Flying: The only things taking off on schedule are airfares. ATA and Aloha have gone bust, American is dropping its flight from Chicago to Honolulu, and Japanese airlines are increasing the fare to Hawaii by 43%. This is the future of air-based tourism. Or rather, the lack of a future. Aviation experts say the US aviation system could collapse by the beginning of next year.
If A then Not B: Petroleum refiners are paying record premiums for the high-quality crude oil they use to produce diesel and gasoline - up to $6 on top of the widely quoted WTI price. This certainly suggest that the demand for light sweet crude far exceeds the supply - and it is this and not the evil speculator crowd that is driving up the price of oil. If you want sour heavy crude that your refinery can't use, I can get it for you wholesale.
Say Please... The Pentagon outranks the EPA and doesn't have to clean up after itself, even if it poses "imminent and substantial" dangers to the public. It posed "imminent and substantial" dangers to the public long before there was an EPA.
Up, Up, And Away: While scrambling to lower their record levels of leveraging, US banks have managed to increase assets by $960 billion while upping deposits by an anemic $293 billion. Which, of course, increases their leverage and vulnerability.
Done Deal: The CO2 already in the atmosphere will change climate patterns significantly, disrupting water supplies across the US in the next 25 to 50 years. The predicted variations - 25% decrease in rainfall in the Southwest, 25% increase in the Ohio valley - are already underway. Changes in CO2 emissions made now are unlikely to stop these trends. Very rapid decreases in CO2 emissions must be made now in hopes of preventing even worse things 50 - 75 years from now.