Memo to Mormons: What goes around, comes around.
Future Farmers of Africa: South Korean conglomerate Daewoo is leasing a million acres of land on the island of Madagascar for 99 years to grow corn. It will lease another 300,000 acres to grow palm oil. It already is growing corn on a 50,000 acre farm in Indonesia. This will not end well.
Drumbeat: A building in Syria bombed by Israel in 2007 "bore multiple features resembling those of a nuclear reactor". I bear multiple features resembling Harrison Ford, too. The US claims the site was a reactor that was "close to being built." Just like my wife's dream house.
Shylock Survival Plan: Now GMAC wants to be a bank and tap into the TARP funds. Manny down at the barber shop is looking into it, too.
Commie Pinko Tree Huggers: The US National Intelligence Council, the coordinating point for analyses from US intelligence agencies, in its current report, "Global Trends 2025: A World Transformed," describes the world in 2020 as a series of disasters, "permafrost melting, lower agricultural yields, growing health problems, and the like are taking a terrible toll, much greater than we anticipated 20 years ago."
Interpretation: In the flurry of reports on housing this week, here's the keeper: Single family housing permits last month were down over 40% from a year ago and down over 70% from January 2005. No permit, no house. Starts were down 40%, Completions were down 33%. Next month will be worse.
Takes One To Know One: Just as it's major client is getting thrown out of Iraq, piracy comes along to provide Blackwater Worldwide another revenue stream.
Chilled to the Core: Researchers have discovered that glaciers in the Himalaya have not added ice in over 50 years, suggesting that the predicted rate of melting for these icefields due to global warming has been optimistic and that major rivers supplying water to over 1 billion people may dry up much sooner than expected.
Oil's Too Cheap To Drill For: Oil at $60 per barrel makes deep-water projects in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa uneconomic. Oil's at $48 now. Watch this space.
Curious: They never were going to say: "We're broke because we're rotten businessmen. But didn't they miss an opportunity to tell (some of) the truth: the social welfare costs are killing them. What a missed opportunity to argue for universal health care.
Coronation: At the bottom of the deflationary spiral we have begun, cash will be king. Every "Leading Indicator" is pointing down that particular path. Most of the government's bailout plan is aimed at getting banks to lend. Are there are a whole lot of idiots out there who actually want to go further into debt?
Headline Only: GM Shares Sink to Lowest Value Since Last Depression.
Hip Deep: US debt is now exceeds 350% of GDP. Logically, if there were any logic left on Wall Street, this debt can never be repaid. No one mentions this as Paulson and Benanke scurry about huffing and puffing and trying to re-inflate a debt creation engine - any debt creation engine - to pull the economy back to giddiness.
A Promise Isn't Really a Promise: It's a sad commentary on our times that "pension relief" means transferring the pension obligations of corporations to the taxpayers. Brother can you spare a dime?
The Beetles: Pine bark beetles have finally gone too far. They've quietly been destroying the forests in the American West and much of Canada for a decade, but now they've gone too far. The Park Service says it has had to close 38 campgrounds for fear trees would fall on visitors.
Porn O'Graph: Credit where credit's due.