Testosterone is the world's single most dangerous drug.
As Night Follows Day: Initial jobless claims rose to 627,000 and those collecting unemployment rose to 6.74 million and the market went up.
Ill Wind: The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (aka unindicted co-conspirators, bankers and other financial leaders) has begun a PR campaign to convince the public that far from being the problem, they are the solution. This is said to be a reaction to populist over-reaction blaming the rich and powerful screwing up the economy. Over-reaction?
Happenings: In order to rein in global climate change, the industrialized nations must cut back their carbon emissions by 40%. The US says that is simply not going to happen. So guess what is going to happen....
Enough said: "Bagram, the new Guantánamo."
Pork Is Pork & Keep Your Hands off Mine: Obama promises to veto the $680 billion military budget if it contains funds for the F-22 - which the military does not want and the plane's manufacturers agreed to terminate. But it represents jobs in 43 different states and Congress wants to keep wasting the money just as long as it goes to their voters. Remember the tilt-wing Osprey? The TFX?
Script Writer: On June 1st, California will begin 'paying' its creditors with IOUs. The governor wants to close the $24 billion gap by cutting $16 billion from the state’s programs for the poor and steal the balance from city and county governments.
Little Poppers: Sam's in Salisbury, MD, thought giving kids cute little RX bottles with candy in them was a clever way to promote their pharmacy. Think again.
Stealthy Panic: Utah reports a 40% increase in H1N1 cases in the last week, with as 5% death rate among those hospitalized. In the US, H1N1 cases increased only 20% during the same period, with 87 deaths now confirmed - nearly doubling in the last week and resulting in a 0.4% death rate. Over the same period, WHO reported a 55% increase in cases worldwide. At 0.4%, the CDC is estimating as many as 400,000 US deaths due to H1N1 with about 30% of the population contracting the flu. The current US flu count is about one million.
For the Good of the Children: Moody's says the recent talk by the BRIC nations about replacing the dollar as an international reserve currency is just that, talk, for it sees "no credible alternative." That's not the same as saying a creditable alternative isn't needed, just that right now there's no alternative. Which is pretty much what the BRICs said.
Waterfall: Moody's reports commercial real estate values have dropped 25% y/y and 30% since the peak in October 2007. Don't panic, our leaders assured us the problem is confined to subprime mortgages.
Especial Oscars: Borrowing an approach from the Special Olympics, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will be awarding all films made in 2008 a special "Best Picture" medallion.
Taxing Speculation: Former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner thinks day traders should pay an 80% tax on their gains while those holding stocks for at least six months should pay 60% and those who hold a stock for 5 years and somehow make a profit, that profit should be tax free. Why Gerstner thinks Wall Street is about investing is a mystery.
Porn O'Graph: An optimistic mountain of housing guesses.