Even prophets are occasionally right.
That? Oh, That: That hissing sound you hear off to the left, that's the Japanese sun setting in the far west. How far west? Down about 13% and falling. The stereo effect on the right is coming from Germany.
Takes One the Know One: Why did Wall Street executives who knew about Bernie Madoff's fraud keep quiet? Maybe because Bernie knew about theirs.
Preprivatization: The step formerly known as nationalization, phrased so Republicans can support it. This gilding of the lily is necessary because the 4 big banks (BofA, Citi, WF & JPMorgan) need about $450 billion and have a market capitalization of $200 billion. The US can either (a) give current shareholders a $250 billion gift, or (b) nationalize the banks. But it can't do (a) without a taxpayer revolt or (b) without a Wall Street/GOP revolt. What's behind door #3?
Headline: The war in Iraq isn't over. The main events may not even have happened yet.
Global Hamburger: Scientists report that growing and grinding and getting that hamburger to you causes as much global warming as driving your car for a couple of days. So walk to the burger joint, would ya? Else we're doomed.
Devil/Details: Deals on new cars are falling through because the value of used cars has plunged to where trade-in values are often much less than the remaining loan balances. Just like their houses.
Export/Import Fever: Net oil exports from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela (prime suppliers to the US), 5 mbd in 2004, have dropped to 3.9mbd in 2008. That is an ongoing annual decline of 6%, which is not good news for it means the US has about 10 years to find another supplier or do without.
The Day the Money Died: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, Bernanke and Paulson told the Congressional leadership that the US economy was in grave danger of a complete meltdown within a matter of days. We have been moving ever further into a command economy ever since.
Ponzis R US: The Fed's latest study of household weath says (a) there isn't any and (b) there hasn't been since 2000 and that all those notices we got from the Bush economy were about as valid as Bernie Madoff's, and that we cannot actually spend our way to riches. I hope a copy of this report gets to Congress soon.
In the Cards: Customers are using their credit cards less frequently and their average purchase amount has declined by 5.2% in the US. Payments on outstanding balances have also stalled.
Bigger than Madoff: The US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction is investigating the role of 'senior military officers' in the misuse of $125 billion in Iraqi reconstruction funds. This may turn out to be the greatest monetary fraud in US history. The invasion itself was the biggest fraud in recent history.
Reminder: Jonh McCain, GOP Senator from Airizona, lost the presidential election to the other guy by very big margins. Some one should tell him.
Census Consensus: Why is the GOP making such a fuss over the next census? Because they are afraid an honest count will weaken them in that minority of districts where the ditto heads are now in the majority. They've always thought they were an oppressed minority, even when they were in the majority. Now their paranoia is at panic level, and they really don't want all those potential Democrats counted.
Porn O'Graph: Real retail sales declines.