The American Dream, trade-ins accepted.
Bell-bottoms: Proving once again there is nothing new, the US is planning on increasing Afghanistan’s security forces to 400,000 and undertaking a major counter-insurgency effort "to protect civilians." I remember the US Army's version of "full-scale counter-insurgency": strategic hamlets, destroying a village to save it and napalm. Oh, and strategic withdrawal?
Inquiring minds: Why do AIG's counterparties get paid in full? The sanctity of (some) contracts? Which contracts? Oh, those that benefit Goldman Sachs & friends. Good to see Mr. Spitzer back.
Distraction: AIG bonuses. AIG bonuses. AIG bonuses. The AIG bonuses are chickenfeed. The Fed is stealing $1.2 trillion just by printing! Wall Street has taken trillions more, and you're worried about chickenfeed.
Resorts, Inc. The Federal Open Market Committee, noting that it has failed so far, will try to turn the economy around by buying $1.2 trillion of Fannie/Freddie mortgage-backed securities. You remember MBS - they're the packages of poo that got fancied up then fell apart and started this whole mess. One day soon you'll remember inflation, too.
Dumber than a Board: Only $10 million of the $45 billion taxpayers gave Citigroup will go for new offices for CEO Pandit the Bandit and his merry men.
Constitution Does Not Protect You:
In a startling break from the Bush era, the Obama administration - motto "Change You Can Believe In" - says the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures does not apply to citizens who use cell phones.
Steel Yourself: China's steel exports are projected to fall 80% this year. Shipments have already fallen by 50% during the first two months of the year.
Just Because: The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday it has resumed pulling travelers aside at random and screening them just for the hell of it, not because of any specific threat.
Dead on Arrival: The administration's proposed "cap & trade" system will not work if a major polluter like China does not go along. And China is not going to go along.
Stiff 'Em: Instead of trying to get debt free by paying off your credit cards, financial maveness Suzi Orman now tells her loyal fans to make just the minimum payment and stash the rest of your cash in cash. Ms. Orman apparently feels there may be good reason to have a supply of cash on hand. Like for when credit cards no longer work, or so you can buy special items from the commissary in the debtors' prison?
Rolling Stock: For February, YoY, inbound freight at the Port of Long Beach is down 43%; outbound freight is off 37%. Stuff is neither coming nor going.
The Throw Away Economy: The entire growth-for-growth's sake, consume for profits sake economy is turning out to be as irreparable as most of its products, Throw it away and get another one - one designed with some understanding of the limits of the earth.
No Payments Until Forever: Every week more than 25 FHA mortgages go into default without the debtors making even one payment. Foul play is suspected.
Now or Never: Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi warns that new investment in petroleum exploration and production is needed now to prevent a catastrophic energy shortfall by 2013. Energy researchers at CERA see today's reduction in E&P investment resulting in a 10% decline from current production levels within 5 years. Such a shortage would effectively stymie any hope of an economic recovery. The IEA agrees, but sees the problem arriving sooner.