This was not unexpected.
Brier Patch: The more the White House 'leaks' its support for the private ownership of 'the banks,' the surer I am that nationalization is inevitable. We're just giving the larger shareholders time to get out before wiping out the rest. Over the weekend Citibank staged a massive propaganda effort to convince Wall Street, if not the taxpayers, that the US would exchange its $45 billion in preferred to about $4 billion in Citi's common. The $40 billion write-off would exceed all the funds loaned (not given) to the auto industry.
Can You Hear Me Now?: 92% of Americans are either paying their mortgage or don't have one. We didn't use our homes as ATM machines. We didn't lie about our incomes.
Pregnancy: Obama seems to be trying to be just a little bit pregnant in Afghanistan and (shh) Pakistan and the war on terror in general. Send in a few troops, lob in a few cruise missiles and hope something happens. The missile strikes are back to killing 10 civilians for every 1 or 2 Taliban. This is not progress.
Cliff Diving: Pemex reports a 9.2% YoY overall decline in crude production, and a 38% drop in output from Cantarell, the world's third-largest oilfield. Last one out, put out the lights.
Civil, Right: Secretary Clinton is wandering around China, ignoring civil rights and urging the Chinese to keep buying US debt. China buys US debt with the profits from selling salad spinners to the US. No sales, no surplus to buy the T-bills that keep the US afloat. This is just vendor financing - which worked so well for GMAC.
Confessional: Tom Ridge, the first US Secretary of Homeland Security, now says that the US was wrong to have instituted indefinite detention and to have tortured prisoners. He's now a fan of "due process'
especially for himself and his co-defendants.
Attention to Retention: In today's declining employment environment, Morgan Stanley is going to pay out $3 billion (in taxpayer dollars) in order to get their employees to stay on. Are there lots of jobs for stockbrokers out there?
Agreed: Paul Volcker: A "Little Inflation" Is A Terrible Idea
Water is Life: The US Bureau of Reclamation has announced they will completely stop water deliveries to California's Central Valley for at least two weeks beginning March 1st. By mid-March a decision will be made on future water deliveries, if any, to the farms in the valley. The damage is estimated to be 40,000 jobs and $1.15 billion in the San Joaquin Valley alone, where most of the nation's produce and nuts are grown.
Resolutions: Obama plans to slash the deficit in half. I plan on losing 20 pounds.
Never Fear, Engineers Are Here: The UK's mechanical engineers say that global climate change is inevitable and the only thing to do is give them huge amounts of money to finance large civil engineering projects that
will keep them employed help prepare the needed infrastructure changes.
Here's A TIP: Economists are urging the Fed to deliberately debase the dollar to the tune of 6% a year as a way of sweeping the massive debts under the rug. That'll help with mortgage rates.
Incompetence Malfeasance: Willfully misreading the stimulus legislation, Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is rejecting $100 million in federal assistance because he claims, falsely, that it would require permanent changes in Louisiana law. It would require changes, but the changes could have sunset provisions - you know, like the GOP used when they claimed Bush's tax cuts weren't tax cuts.
Dry, Part 47: In Argentina the worst drought in 50 years is leaving cows dying by the thousands in the dry fields and seeds dormant in the dry soil.
Bigger Brother: Republican politicians are demanding that all internet providers (including you folks with home wi-fi networks, as well as hotels and coffee shops) obtain valid identification from all users and to keep a record of such for at least two years to aid in police investigations. I'm sure there is a funny line that goes here, but I just can't think of it.
Behind Our Backs: Economists call citizens who do not spend their lives spending "dead weight". Nice to know.
Porn O'Graph: House that again?