Very Interesting: Goldman Sachs is afraid their wayward code could be used to "manipulate the markets in unfair ways." As opposed to the honorable way they have been using it to manipulate markets?
No Thanks: Proving that the banks have recovered some common sense, the big guys - BofA, Citi, Chase, WF - have politely declined to treat California's IOUs as money. Which they are not.
Hugs and Kisses: The financial industry, shocked to find itself reviled as a bunch of Snidely Whiplashes, is planning a charm offensive in hopes getting the public to help them avoid government regulation. First they'll tie us to the tracks, but just to get our attention...
Two Degrees, Celsius: What's all the big whoop about a 2C rise? Perhaps it's because we are only 5C above the last Ice Age and with 2C more the Amazon rainforest dries up, and the Congo. And all those rivers fed by Himalayan glaciers. The Arctic permafrost will release enormous amounts of methane, driving the cycle higher. So why is the US standing in the way? Because the coal and oil industry has convinced the voters that global warming is no big deal, a hoax. Like cigarettes causing cancer.
Nose/Face: The average foreclosure nets but 35 - 44% of the mortgage amount. How can it make business sense to chose foreclosure over renegotiation? Wouldn't a bird in the hand - even at a 25% discount - be better than this? Perhaps it's the 20 - 40% default rate on modified loans.
Small Comfort: According to Spain's biggest oil producer, global oil reserves will last another 40 years. Which is comforting to those with less than 40 years to go.
Book of Reservations: Russia, China, Brazil, and now India are making throat clearing noises, but no pronouncements yet on the fate of the dollar. But the odds for some sort of intervention keep increasing. Friends don't let friends...
Inquiring Mind: The failure of the current monsoon season to provide sufficient rain has reduced water supplies in Mumbai by 30%. If it doesn't rain, is it still a monsoon? If it doesn't rain, what do 20 million citizens do?
Salvation: The pilot program to extract oil from Brazil's offshore Tupi oil field will not begin until December 2010. When (and if) commercial production begins it will be the most expensive oil ever extracted - $70 a barrel won't do.
Socialized Demon: In the US, the government pays 46% of all medical bills, insurance 35% and the public pays 19% out of pocket. No, sir, we'll have none of that socialized medicine here.
Something for Nothing: Milwaukee's electric company is seeking a rate increase because its customers are not using enough electricity. The higher price will reduce demand, after which the utility will seek higher rates. Last one out, leave the lights on.
Crystal Ball: PMI Mortgage Insurance Company - which has a lot of skin in the game - expects house prices to continue falling at least into 2011.
Coincidence: Late payments on home-equity loans have been trending up, right along with job losses and unemployment.
Porn O'Graph: Working weekly, weakly.