And the band played on.
Nutshell: Oil production plateaued in 2005 and cheap energy went away. The economy depends on constant growth to stay afloat (that's the problem with capitalism coupled with fiat money). Everything in the economy depends on oil, preferably cheap oil. No growth, no new production to turn into interest to pay the loans. And so on. Slow growth for a while is a recession. No growth for a longer while is a depression. What comes next is Peak Everything.
Taking Sides: China will help Pakistan build two nuclear power plants to help with its energy crisis. The US has signed a cooperative nuclear agreement with India.
Save Me! Now that we the citizens own the banks, why are we paying our employees outrageous bonuses and ridiculous salaries to continue working in companies they have ruined? One of our latest acquisitions, Morgan Stanley, has paid out $10.7 billion so far this year, which is more than its outstanding stock is worth. We've given away the company.
Goose / Gander: The 50% drop in crude oil prices are being cited as proof that $147 oil was the result of a speculative bubble. Does the 40% drop in the world's stock markets prove they were all nothing but speculative bubbles, too?
Triage: Why isn't the bailout working? Because banks don't trust each other. Giving them more capital while letting them continue to hide their mistakes in the cellar will not cure insolvencies. Without triage there is no basis for saving the savable and burying the dead.
Hurry, Hurry, Going Out of Business! As a parting gift to Big Coal, the Cheney administration intends to further ease the already weak rules controlling dumping mountaintops into local streams.
How Come? Saudi Aramco has moved upgrading Manifa and Dammam oilfields to the top of the priority list, because planned production increases at Shaybah have been postponed due to rising costs. Why rush to increase any production with world prices and demand crashing? Tell me again how Peak Oil is a myth.
Hush : Last week the federal government announced it will guarantee up to $1.4 trillion of private investments. In banks, this time. Pizza parlors, soon.
Take a Deep Breath: Subprime has done, or at least set in motion, most of the harm it can do. The second wave of mortgage collapse, the Alt-A and Option mortgages start warming up in about a year and will make 2010 a year to remember.
Headline Only: "Six Wall Street Banks to Distribute 10% of the $700 Billionn Rescue as Pay and Bonuses for This Year's Performance"
Wash Out Your Mouth: Unemployment is rising and capital markets in turmoil, commodities from oil to corn to wheat have crashed; "pretty much everything points toward deflation."
10 Little, 9 Little... The Dutch have nationalized ING, so now there are zero commercial banks in all the West. When any and all of the nationalized banks in the US, UK and Europe go belly up, the taxpayers will have to make their markers good. Some casino.
True or False: The following are known to be in deep financial trouble: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Estonia, Hungary, India, Indonesia Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, United States.
Here Piggy Piggy: As the price of gasoline plummets, ethanol becomes less and less competitive. No problem, the ethanol firms are petitioning the government to mandate a doubling of the ethanol content of gasoline.
Getting Rich, Not: Remember the bonanza that Canadian oil sands promised? They are not viable with oil below $80 a barrel. By the time the boiler room guys revive this one the stuff'll be back to being tar sands.
Porn O'Graph: Trailer for sale or rent...