Why be nice to the banks? They've never been nice to us.
Taxing Matters: State sales tax receipts are down about 10% in January and are estimated to be down by 12% for 1Q09 from the prior year - more than twice the decline seen in any year since 1959. The American consumer isn't.
The Other Shoe: Before corporations undertake massive layoffs they consult "layoff lawyers." A survey of such consultants suggest that the US will lose about 3 million jobs in 1Q09.
We're All In Kansas, Toto: Budget shortfalls have forced Kansas to suspend tax refunds and to consider delaying paychecks to state workers. They could transfer some funds around, but Republicans refuse to go along, preferring to see the Democratic governor flounder.
A Few Words From His Sponsor: In a display of commander-in-chiefery, Obama is sending 17,000 soldiers to join our fool's mission in Afghanistan. I'd be more impressed if I had the faintest idea why.
Echo? Economists have discovered piles and piles of inventory sitting around, suggest that maybe banks are not lending because businesses are not borrowing. You read it here first, months ago. Don't tell Tim, he wants to make 'em lend.
Fries With That: Anticipated future losses at BofA, Citi, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley come to $525 billion, all of which will be paid by the US taxpayers, one way or another.
Mirror, What Mirror: The National Corn Growers Association, aka Ethanol Incorporated, says that the outrageous profits of greedy food companies have brought on the high cost of food while the distillers of ethanol are trying to save the US from the evil of imported oil.
Good Question: Does the United States make anything anymore? Actually, yes. Quite a lot, in fact.
Downcast Forecast: The CBO now estimates the 2009 budget deficit will reach $1,371 billion - 9.6% of GDP - and 2010 will be at least 1,100 billion. As usual, these figures do not include whatever it will cost to fund whatever wars we've got going at the time, nor the eventual $500 to $1,000 billion to bail out the banks.
Reality Bites: Republicans in the Congress can continue to posture and spout their hidebound philosophies, but GOP Governors have real responsibilities and hope that the Obama bailout is big enough, soon enough. And the populace agrees - bailout good, GOP bad in the latest popularity polls.
Quoted: "The aim (of the bailout) is to re-inflate property markets to enable owners to pay the banks, not to help the public sector."
Speaking Out: A series of presentations by climate scientists with emphasis on the Gulf Stream, ocean acidification, glacial melt, Arctic release of greenhouse gases, Asian rivers, permafrost melting and other feedback cycles the IPCC did not include in its latest report agree that the IPCC forecasts are woefully Pollyannish. Extreme weather has taken hold of the planet and things are going to get a lot worse if we don't stop burning carbon fuels. Even if the most stringent mitigation measures were put in place today, the impacts of climate change would still continue for centuries.
Birds of a Feather: The UN Drug and Crime chief reports that there are signs that profits from the illegal drug trade have been used to prop up banks. Banks, of course, are pushers of that addictive drug, credit.
Being Prepared: The US Army War College warns that the military must be ready to suppress widespread civil violence inside the US, provoked by economic collapse and/or domestic resistance and the loss of functioning political structures.
The Empire State's State: The NY Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Survey reflects a significant deterioration in manufacturing, general business, new orders, and prices received. Most of these indices are now at record lows. The report set a new record high for using the phrase "new record low".
Porn O'Graph: Petroleum, crudely put.