In politics, now always trumps later.
Weakly Figures: The latest unemployment figures for initial claims was over 600,000 for the fourth week in a row. That's 2.5 million a month. But there's no way it could continue for months and months and months.... is there? My piece of the American dream is supposed to cost me no more than 30% of my income. So, what's three times nothing?
Out of Town Tryout: GM's Saab has filed for bankruptcy in Sweden.
Problem: Obama's plan makes the same assumption the quants did when they set up the Cuisinart: that house prices only go up. It was a bad assumption then and a worse one now.
Traffic Light: Chinook salmon returning to California rivers last year were at a record low. Tight restrictions on salmon fishing are expected again this year in hopes of re-establishing the breeding stock.
Down & Out: Tajikistan, caught in a massive energy shortfall, will now have the IMF's devastating help in 'restructuring' its economy. Tajikistan's parliament has given the US six months to leave its strategic airbase at Manas. Maybe they should just raise the rent, for the base is one of the main American supply routes into Afghanistan.
Question of the Day: Why is the government taking my money to preserve someone else’s property value? Why am I saving the banks shareholders?
A Number: CNN reports that wholesale inflation rose 0.8% last month - the biggest gain since last July - due to rising energy prices. BTW, 0.8% in one month is 9.6% annually.
Game, Set, Match: Whatever big slice of $1 trillion a year the Pentagon gets, it's wasted. The US commander in Afghanistan admits that the rag-tag Taliban pick-up squad has played the mighty imperial troopers to a stalemate and that another 17 thousand will make no difference.
No Snow Cones: The World Bank agrees with climate scientists that the Andean glaciers that are the main source of water for much of Peru will most likely melt away by 2030. This will seriously harm agriculture, energy (hydro) generation, and people. The report noted that the earth's surface temperatures will rise 2ºC by 2050 and most probably 4ºC by 2100. (Those are codewords for disaster.)
Needs Work: Lowe's 4Q09 profits dropped 60%, says it will "reduce expenses". Probably by investing in pink slips.
Strangers: Let's have some sympathy and a bailout for those of us that rent. Or that paid for our abodes. Or that are current on our payments because we didn't get greedy. Maybe renters should be taxed extra to help support stressed house buyers. Oh, right. They already are.
Pssst! Lost in the mortgage hullabaloo , Wednesday the Fed reported that US manufacturing output is falling at an annualized decline rate of 26%, with factory utilization at only 68%.
Very Reserved: Estimated coal reserves for the Gillette coalfield in Wyoming's Power River Basin have been lowered by 94%. It provides over 37% of the nation's coal and has a lifespan of only 20 more years. Appalachian coalfields are in decline and may last only another 15 years - they already have to blow away 20 tons of mountain to get one ton of coal. At this rate CO2 emissions may be a moot point.
Bernanke Day: After six more months of weakness the economy may have a period of anemic growth late in the year. Maybe Ben saw his shadow and the 0.4% rise in leading economic indicators for January portend spiring is on the way. In 2010.
Going Up: The flowering range of about 15% of plant species in Arizona's Santa Catalina Mountains has progressively moved higher up the mountains in the last 20 years as the global temperature rose.