By now we should have learned not to trust them.
Tattle Tale : Elizabeth Warren observes that despite some cosmetic touch-ups like mark-to-myth accounting and letting banks pretend their toxic assets are worth 80 cents on the dollar, we have done nothing to correct the real problems. No wonder Big Ben and Tiny Tim want to shut her up – she keeps telling the truth about the emperor's clothing. “If what you really believe is our economy and our world is [..] 115 million American households that are out there, that need jobs, you start to see it very differently... “
The Cold Facts: Despite record low temperatures in parts of the US, this July turned out to be the second warmest July on record globally. The global land-ocean temperature was 0.6C (1.1F) above normal. (Visit the site for some good maps.)
Catch The Wave: Robert Prechter of Elliott Wave fame says the next step down will be “the kind of drop “we haven't seen for a couple of hundred years.”
Check's in the Mail: Geithner promises that the administration will not permit Wall Street to go back to such old habits as taking excessive risks. With both the Fed and the US Treasury underwriting and guaranteeing their every move, there will be no risk whatsoever.
Well, Darn: General Mills, Kraft and the rest of America's “food” supply warn that they could run out of the sugar they use to make their profits if the government doesn't ease import restrictions. Sugar imports have been restricted for years as both parties pander to South Florida Cubans. But now, with obesity at sake, action will be taken.
Cautious Optimism: The number of cancer deaths in the US has declined steadily for three decades.
Panic in the Streets: The conspiracy wing nuts are panicked that the government is looking for a way to make sure children are fed if schools have to close due to H1N1 flu. This is not some sneaky government intrusion. Folks, there are some schools – my wife teaches in one such – where more than 60% of the kids receive free or low cost lunches, and often breakfast. Too often these are the only meals the kids get. Schools give out 'snack' packages to the kids on Friday so they will have something to eat over the weekend. If the schools must close, a lot of kids are going to go without – and thus the planning the nuts are panicking over. Don't be stupid: this is government at it's best.
Porn O'Graph: See Europe's CPI!
If 'A', then 'B' ? When a bank's loans do not 'perform' the bank uses its capital to cover the loss. More than 5% of the loans at over 150 US banks are non-performing and at a 20:1 leverage – which is not uncommon - these banks are essentially broke. It's Friday, let's see who gets to take the long weekend off...
Expect the Unexpected For those who think the recession is over, retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.1% in June, weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose, and foreclosures continue to roil the housing market. Excluding the cash from clunkers, sales were down 0.6%
Our Gang: The number of US households on the way to homelessness increased 7% from June to July, as some 360,000 received foreclosure notices. That's up 32% y/y. In South Florida 47% of all mortgaged single-family houses are underwater – a growing indicator of probable default
Porn O'Graph: The real tale.