Adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others.
Geography Lesson: Yekaterinburg, Russia, used to be called Sverdlovsk, it was there, in the summer of 1919 that Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandra and their children were killed. As Yekaterinburg it is the place where "the most important meeting of the 21st century so far" is being held by Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan and the rest of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to determine the fate of the American Empire. US was not invited, and was explicitly rejected when it asked to be present.
Stress Test: Bank of America is looking forward to losing $46 billion on its loans this year.
Cup, Lip: The Treasury and the Fed pumped gadzillions of taxpayer dollars into the banks to get them lending again, to jump start the credit markets. Please write a 600 word essay explaining why again in April, for the fifth time in the last six months, banks lent out less, not more, money.
No Thanks, I'm Full: In April, China and Japan reduced their net purchases of US Treasuries by 80% from March.
Planning to Fail: After an extensive round of talks at the UN, the agreement is to doom the Earth to global warming in excess of 2ºC. In that 1.4 ºC has all ready occurred or is inevitably already underway, the pitiful pledges made are a guarantee of doubling atmospheric CO2 by 2050 and of catastrophic environmental changes. But that's 40 years away, so let's watch a re-run of Biggest Loser.
Bring On the Bulldozers: In California, two houses are foreclosed for every one that is sold. And Option-ARM resets are just down the street, waiting to add to the unsold inventory of empty houses, lower prices, ruined lives.
The End is Near: As the end of the Oil Age approaches, the search for more becomes increasingly desperate, now reaching miles into the oceans and soon into the Arctic. How much longer can we keep on burning ancient sunlight? Best guess for the Arctic is a probable 44 billion barrels and a possible total of 83 billion. One to three more years of driving from the suburbs to the mall.
Paper or Plastic: Capital One's credit card write-offs reached 9.41% in May. And this was after they changed their accounting routine to make the numbers look better.
Bottoms Bared: Fitch Rating Service expects house prices to continue to fall - another 12.5% nationally - through at least the end of 2010. Even worse is expected for California, with another 36% collapse expected. Currently about half of those folks who are still current on their mortgages have negative equity in their houses. Green shoots? Recovery? On what planet?
Porn O'Graph: Recovery uncovered.