Quoted: Whitney said. "This is what happens when you delay the inevitable. We're buying time here, but we're not restructuring the economy."
Pass It On: The CDC sees the best case scenario for H1V1 infection this fall at rates of 50 to 70% of the North American population, with a mortality rate of 0.5%. In a normal flu season about 10% ar infected and ony 0.1% of them die. The Asian Flu killed about 2 million in North America. Businesses should plan for significant drops in revenue and up to 50% of their employees staying home due to illness. There will be disruptions in supply chains, and essential services (transportation, power, communications) will be interrupted or degraded by absenteeism. A GDP drop of 20% is possible.
Grim Agreement: All sense of urgency has vanished and we are now watching a slow-motion human disaster. Economists essentially agree a slow, creeping, jobless recovery with unemployment rising well into 2010 seems likely. Millions of Americans will lose their savings and their homes, and their ordinary lives. Wall Street will continue to be bailed out.
Take It, Or Else: California legislators now want the state to mandate that its IOUs are legal tender for all debts owed to the state. Pretty neat, bringing back the company store.
Oops. Don't Tell The Cornucopians: Exxon has drilled a dry hole in the purportedly bazillion barrel off-shore Brazilian Tupi field. A "one off" they claim.
Future Foreseen: The WSJ claims the economy is even worse than I think - which is pretty scary. They see the states eating thru the temporary rescue from the stimulus and facing next year with deficits without end. So other things will end: public services, public health, maybe public education, even sanitation and police cutbacks. But Government supported Goldman and Citi will be fine, thanks for asking.
See / Saw : Morgan Stanley now sees oil at $85 a barrel in 2010, while BNP Paribas says it will fall to $45 a barrel by August.
Noise: Real tales are being spun about last month's retail sales. "Up!" Yes, on a month to month basis sales increased 0.6% which must be pretty much down in the 'statistical static' area. But it made the headlines. On a y/y basis, excluding retail food services, sales were off 10.3%. But that wasn't news that's fit to print.
Test Drive: If you decide to live together for a while to see if you should get married, you shouldn't.
One Size Fits All: According to the Chief Justice, convicts have no constitutional right to DNA testing. "A criminal defendant proved guilty after a fair trial does not have the same liberty interests as a free man"...it remains an 'open question' whether 'proof of "actual innocence"' is enough to overturn a conviction after a fair trial. Guilty is forever. How do you impeach the Chief Justice?
Sticks and Stones: At the G8 meeting, China said, "We should have a better system for reserve currency issuance and regulation, so that we can maintain relative stability of major reserve currencies exchange rates and promote a diversified and rational international reserve currency system.” All in favor of adopting rational international currency and foregoing the advantage you get from having your currency as the reserve of choice, raise your hand.
Porn O'Graph: Working on the railroad, or not.