For some reason, the debate over climate change is essentially over in Australia. Eric deCarbonnel
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Yes, retail sales increased in January from December. But they dropped 10.4% from the prior January.
Tumors: Roubini says we should excise the big, insolvent banks and let the others sink or swim as they will. These monster banks and their deformed offspring exist solely for the benefit of the investor, trader, manipulator class and deliver no discernible benefit to the population at large. Cut here, cut deep, cut now.
Good Question: At the end of the tunnel, what will be the engine of our economy?
For the Birds: The Audubon Society reports that more than half of the 305 species of birds in North American have shifted their wintering grounds northward over the last 40 years. During that time the average January temperature in the US has climbed 5ºF.
It's Been A Bad Year: Nearly 700 Merrill Lynch executives took home 'retention' bonuses of $1 million or more. The company lost $27 billion. Wouldn't want these guys looking for better jobs.
Self-Hoisting Petard: California's Republicans refuse all tax-based solutions to the state's budget crisis. Nicely enough, the Republican parts of the state would be hurt most deeply by the resulting budget cuts.
Read 'em and Weep: Two headlines from the Washington Post, 2/12/09 edition: Lawmakers' Goal to Cap Executive Pay Meets Resistance and Employers Fighting Unemployment Benefits
Let's Make a Deal: Word is that the Administration has acquiesced to a "grand bargain" in which Wall Street gets saved to the tune of trillions and Obama guts Social Security and Medicare in the name of fiscal responsibility. Ridiculous. If Social Security taxes were levied on all income rather than just the first $100K, there would be no problem with Social Security. If we had a single payer universal health system there'd be no problem with Medicare. Keep those pitchforks handy.
Fit The Crime: Perhaps they should make Stewart Parnell, owner of Peanut Corp. of America, eat his own peanut products, regularly, for the same length of time he foisted the stuff on children.
Step on the Scales: Hundreds of federal banking regulators have descended on Citi, BofA, JPMorgan Chase and 15 other of the biggest banks on Wednesday, checking the books and kicking the tires. Finally. But are they really checking things, or did they just drop in for coffee?
In Plain Sight: The available evidence has long since demonstrated that the American 'War on Drugs' is a failure. Now a commission headed by 3 former Latin American heads of state (Cardoso of Brazil, Zedillo of Mexico, and Gavira of Columbia) says it is time to treat drug use as a health problem and to decriminalize the use of marijuana. Too much money flows to DEA , the cops, the military, and those taking the bribes for this to be considered.
On Location: Visualizing the real estate problems in San Francisco.
Dumb Fox: Just as many suspect that Bernanke and Paulson (and Bush) knew exactly what they were doing in giving trillions to the plutocrats, suspicion is arising that Tim Geithner knows what he's doing. It's just that his stated goals and is actual goals are not close cousins.
Cognitive Dissonance: Reckless lending and unbridled speculation led to the housing bubble. Thirty years of stagnant wages tripped up the bubble and brought on the crash. The solution to that is not to encourage another round of reckless lending and speculation. Hey! The system is broken, don't treat the symptom, change the system.
Porn O'Graph: Something to chew on, or not; pictures and 1000 words.