Good Choice: The first Chrysler plant to re-open following the bankruptcy filing builds the $90,000 Dodge Viper. They plan to make it up on volume.
More Shoots: US industrial utilization is now at 68% of capacity. Housing starts are down 45% y/y.
It's in the Air: British Airways sent an email appeal to its 30,000 workers asking them to either take a month's unpaid leave, or work for a month without pay. Air India is deferring salary payments for its 31,000 employees because they haven't got the money. And the price of jet fuel has jumped 22% in the last month. It's going to be a bumpy flight.
Practice Run: The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China gathered to discuss ways to reduce their reliance on the US dollar. No concrete steps were taken, but their communique reflected their commitment "to advance the reform of international financial institutions, so as to reflect changes in the world economy." The natives are getting restless.
"Other Savings" : Following California in downsizing civilization, Minnesota is cutting aid to cities and towns, eviscerating health and human services programs, de-funding higher education and putting off paying for local schools.
Non-Sequitur: Mexican President Felipe Calderón says Mexico "will recover the position of leadership Mexico is entitled to in the world as a petroleum power." Cue the mariachis.
Circulation: Multi-millionaire Angelo 'Countrywide' Mozilo is defending himself against fraud, theft and similar charges using lawyers paid for by Bank of America, which means that taxpayer dollars given to BofA to relieve problems caused mostly by Mozilo's depredations are being used to defend Mozilo from those very same taxpayers.
Planning Ahead: Plans are being made to move Britain's coastal castles inland to avoid sea level rises caused by global warming.
Crop Poorcast: The 2009 US & Canadian wheat crops are forecast to be 20% below 2008 - and that's if Canada's weather improves - it's been extremely dry and cold this past winter and spring.
It's A Deal: Something is better than nothing. That's the motto that's being adopted by credit card companies. Owe them $12,000 ? 60 days late? Offer them half, they've been known to take it.
Play By Play: The Congress is balking at giving another $108 billion to the IMF so it can help Eastern European countries prop up their exchange rates with the euro, so they can keep paying back the Western European banks that made enormous and egregious loans to Eastern Europe. France and Germany could bail out their own banks directly, but their citizens still take part in the political process, so it's up the the US taxpayer.
Another Question to Ponder: What limits the size of birds?
Now and Then: California is imposing a 90-day moratorium on house foreclosures. The idea is that either lenders will learn to accept less or homeowners will decide to forgo eating and pay their mortgages. neither seems overly likely.
Unbiased View: Elon Musk says that gasoline "should probably cost $10" a gallon. Mr. Musk is the founder of Tesla Motors, which makes all-electric cars.
Job Action: Competition between tribes for jobs at the US/NATO airbase at Shindand, Afghanistan lead to one tribe telling US intelligence that the other guys were Taliban. So US Special Forces and their air support killed 91 civilians and no Taliban, settling the job dispute. A similar process accounts for most of the folks at Bagram Prison and Guantanamo.
Ubiquity: Scientists report that the GBLT movement has spread to the animal kingdom, with same-sex behavior seen in nearly all animals, from worms to frogs to birds.
Go Fish! The White House has told California to tough it out a little longer. If they're really good maybe Santa will have some leftovers.
Stopped Clocks: Robert Prechter, known for predicting the 1987 stock market fall, is predicting that by the end of the year the S&P will fall well below the 666 reached in March. He also expects credit markets to freeze up again and for the US to plunge into a depression. Nobody believed him in 1987, either.
Good News/Bad News: ConocoPhillips' CEO claims it will take a century to replace fossil fuels with energy from renewable sources. Unfortunately we only have about 30 years.