Spin Cycle: Here's the great unwashed data on June new house sales: They were down 23% y/y. Prices were down 12% y/y. This is what three consecutive months of improvement looks like. Yes, on a monthly basis it was "the biggest gain in 8 years". Should I cue the band?
Meditate on This: 34 times as much money ($10.6 billion) has been bet on emerging-markets mutual funds than on US stock funds.
New Track: Now the professional nay-sayers conclude that the "pesky 5 billion" in the non-industrial world aren't going to do their part so we shouldn't even try. Besides, cutting back on carbon emissions would cut into profits and bonuses. Especially bonuses.
Compromise: Bribepartisan Senators have agreed on healthcare reform without a low-cost public option and without requiring employers provide health insurance for employees. The agreement pleased both the US Chamber of Commerce and PhRMA, the drug lobbying group. Healthcare reform without the health care or the reform. Words are slippery devils, aren't they.
Quoted: “Job insecurity, together with declines in home values and tight credit, is likely to limit gains in consumer spending.” Y'think? No wonder we pay Ben the big bucks.
Bad New/Worse News: Geithner admits that we cannot restructure Fannie and Freddie right now "because they are the entire mortgage market in the country.” They are also failing and will need lots more money "soon." Me, too, especially now that I'm buying cars for the neighbors.
Accomodation: We've suffered from inflation so long we think it's normal. It's not. It's a product of the Federal Reserve.
More is More, Sort Of: Faced with falling sales, Lay’s has decided to reverse the old trick of putting less in the same package and actuallyl put more in the same package and charge the same price. They say it’s because they wanted to give the customer greater value. Nope, it’s because they want the customer to continue giving them money and the 20% more doesn’t cost near what loosing sales does.
What's Wrong With This Picture: 'US Eyes Private Guards for Bases in Afghanistan' Maybe there's an argument for hiring out KP duty, but guarding the base? Are wars necessary or just for profit?
Mirror, Mirror: Over 7 million have lost their jobs so far; we've erased the last ten years of net job growth. In the "real economy" where people work, get paid and spend their earnings, the working and getting paid and spending parts aren't working.
There, Piggy, Piggy: There were about 100,000 new swine flu cases in England last week.
Faith Healing: Before you get excited about China's continuing growth - GDP up8% even though exports are down 20% - remember their 'stimulus' was the same as the US handing out $4.5 trillion and forcing the banks to lend it (not pay themselves bonuses). Bound to have an effect. Also bound to end poorly.
Short Answer: Will America lose the clean-energy race? Yes, to Mother Nature
Rhetorical Question: "Is the US Economy Close to Hitting Bottom?" Most financial and economic commentators say "Yes." They didn't see it coming, but they claim to be able to see it going. Me, I'm gonna sit here and take notes.
What's Good for GM... Detroit's schools, which stopped working years ago, face imminent bankruptcy.
Getting Ready: In preparation for the 2012 Olympics - or something - British coppers have been given the power to enter homes and confiscate pamphlets and posters and "announcements and notices of any kind."
Wholesale: Condo/Hotel units in south Florida's luxurious One Bal Harbor project are now selling for 94% off their one-time prices.
Efficiencies: US fuel efficiency has improved by 3 miles per gallon since Model T days, average commuting speeds have decreased
Porn O'Graph: The Fed's "stable prices".