What shall we name our new country?
Good Cop Bad
Cop Bank: The First National Bad Bank of the United States, Incorportated. They're printing up the signs right now. The idea is so simple it seems unresistable: Put all the rotten assets in one place and watch them very closely. give lots of money to the banks and don't watch them at all. Sounds like a plan.
Masked Bawling: Behind the 'seasonally adjusted' employment data hides this: Last week 952,151 folks became unemployed. The week before it was 726,000. That's 1.5 million in two weeks. I'd adjust the seasonings a whole bunch too.
Fireside Chat: Now's a good time to huddle by the fire and talk about global warming. All ten of the warmest years on record have happened in the last eleven years. Might be a trend.
What If: World oil production (the real stuff, crude and condensate- C&C) is still at 99.6% of the 74mbd that was pumped at $147 a barrel. Why? Especially when March, April, May contracts are much higher than today? (1) They need the money now, as much as they can get - even at $38 a barrel. (2) They can sell all they can pump today at today's prices and can pump no more - they're maxed out. Come April or May or whenever, no matter what the price they can only pump the 73.8 mbd. Or less.
Contrarian: Unless all prior experience with hyperactive printing presses has been misleading, sooner or later we're going to have a lot of inflation - unless Bernanke and the Treasury take exactly the right steps at precisely the right moment. Place your bets.
Popularity: While the Pentagon warns that Mexico and Pakistan may dissolve in the next few years, economists fear that Eastern Europe may react violently to the coming depression in the next few months. Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia are joining Greece in expressing dismay and discontent. Meanwhile the Gulf oil states are facing immense custs in income which may translate into civil unrest there, too.
Inquiring Minds: How Far Can You Thrown an Economist? Not far enough.
Now You Sea It, Now You Don't: The Sea of Japan has undergone a sudden collapse in the amount of CO2 it absorbs. If the oceans start cutting back on their absorption of CO2, the CO2 levels in the air will go up. Then the temperature. Pretty simple, the way that works.
Humor? Krugman's wife, showing more prescience than he, suggests sacrificing a few bankers — central bankers, investment bankers, whatever. Worth a shot.
Self-hoisting Petard: Ken Blackwell (fondly remembered for crushing Ohio's Democratic voters and delivering Bush the 2004 election), now wants to be chairman of the RNC. His stump speech: "Rescue, schmescue. If it might undermine Republicans' electoral strategies, I'm against it." The goal isn't to improve the economy; the goal is to make the GOP look good.
Old Hands: Muscovites, who've been down this road a couple of times before, are hoarding stockpiles of cash - dollars if they can, rubles if they must.
3 Year Lease: Chrysler got another $1.5 billion last week. It still needs another $3 billion. Maybe next month.
Hold Your Nose and Jump: Financiers say England has "not weeks but days" to avoid a long and deep depression. "My concern is that people don't fully understand the dangers lurking out there." Says Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.
Wrong: Ohio's governor, faced with declining income and sales tax revenues, wants employees to take a wage cut. Which will result in less income to tax and less spending to tax and may lead to the governor being unemployed. Good idea.
Porn O'Graph: Demanding Destruction? The Up, down and Up again of US Oil consumption.