How many people, consuming how much stuff,
can one planet support?
Decreasing the Rate of Decrease: Joy! GDP only fell by 0.3% instead of 0.5%. Market indexes soar 1.5% even though this is the sharpest drop in GDP in years. The fine print said personal consumption declined at a -3.1% rate, first decline in 18 years, and disposable income fell 8.7%. Accentuate the positive: The tumor isn't growing very fast, Mr. Jones.
Below Zero on the Investment Scale: Fed funds are now at 1%. Inflation is in the 2% range. Free money.
Me First! Me First! There's a Treasury/FDIC plan afoot to
force encourage lenders to reduce borrowers' interest rates or principal amounts (From each according to his ability) based on the homeowner's ability to pay (to each according to his need). Taxpayer to make up the difference, of course.
Chinese Bailout: While the US is indenturing itself to save a few rich folks, China is investing in roads and railways to remote parts of western China. These pathways will carry Chinese manufactured goods to Central Asia and bring back petroleum and other resources.
Fundy Money: The US debt has increased $880 billion in the last six weeks, as the Treasury scurries about selling pieces of the future to fund TARP and the other rescue 'facilities'. Just like its citizens, the US cannot afford to be sick.
Reality Check: The professionals - senior US military and foreign policy leaders - have realized that the war in Afghanistan is unwinable. The goal is simply to keep Kabul more or less under the US thumb, even if it means bribing the warlords and Taliban not to shoot at US forces. It's the Petraeus plan, already successful in Iraq, where the US is still paying various factions not to cause trouble.
Balls: A.I.G. has declined to provide a detailed account of how it has used
your the Fed’s money.
Rabbit, Hat? Methane levels rose abruptly in Earth's atmosphere last year. No one knows why, or from whence the millions of tons of methane came. Methane is 25 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
Roundabout: Somewhere the plan changed from taking toxic paper off banks books, to recapitalizing banks, to giving loans to all sorts businesses, to a corporate welfare plan and now a homeowner bailout. Are there any exit signs on this traffic circle?
Short Term Memory: Gasoline prices did not stay high enough long enough to change the driving habits of Americans. Now that prices have dropped, demand is rebounding as more people are logging more miles.
Poker: The first rule about bluffing is that sometimes you lose. Somebody should'a told George.
Sophomoric: It's worse than you think. Even MIT grad students greatly underestimate how much CO2 emissions must decrease to prevent serious climate warming. The answer is "all the way to zero". And then start removing CO2 from the air - 350 ppm is the passing grade.
Business Junket: Corporate bonds continue to lose value in a marketplace that sees more bankruptcies ahead. Already about half of US companies debt is rated "non-investment grade" by S&P.
Porn O'Graph: Pure as the Driving Snow