Change is inevitable. Improvement isn't.
That Thing in the Living Room: It's not really a credit crunch, it's a lack-of-income crunch that has lead to excess industrial capacity worldwide. Plants to make steel, cars, dolls and salad-shooters were built and overbuilt. Output outstripped incomes. Profits grew and grew while real wages fell and fell – to the point where it takes two incomes just to be poor. Until the plants are liquidated and/or the real purchasing power of the proletariat is revived, things will keep on keeping on. It's called a deflationary spiral. Bad things have been known to happen during deflationary times.
Fine Print: Got miles? Not if you miss your credit card payment. On top of the late fees, some card companies donot give you 'reward points' during a month you miss a payment. And they won't let you use the points you've accumulated until you bring your bill current.
Teachers' Pets: The back-to-school season seems to be skipping the traditional back-to-school-shopping.
Supirse, Suprise: The American Petroleum Institute has been caught with its memo down – the one where they plan a “public groundswell” against any attempt to slow global climate change – and thus their profits. The got the idea from the health care industry.
Just Sayin': Happy, well-fed folks who see they are treated fairly by the system do not take to the streets. It is the poor, the downtrodden, those who see the tremendous inequality between us and them that revolt. At this point I'd like to mention that median income per capita has stagnated for 30 years and is now headed lower, and that income inequality in the US has never been higher.
So-So News: Consumer prices have fallen more in the last 12 months than in any of the last 60 years. Great news for those who still have jobs and income to spend.
It's In The Bag: Your right to enjoy the Commons does not trump my right to make a profit. Or so the story goes if you live in Seattle and I make those ubiquitous plastic grocery bags and have spent $1.4 million to overturn the dirty commie do-gooder fees imposed on my profitable but polluting product.
Ah, Diagnosis: Investors Should Stop "Worrying" About Consumers: They Don't Have Any money.
They're Good For It: The Fed has purchased just over $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities from Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie Mae so far this year. I know you might be a tad concerned, what with these agencies underwriting 90% of mortgages and nearly 40% of mortgages being underwater – but relax, these guys are professionals.
Not What It Used to Be: If you are happy thinking the past is prologue and that life will go forward pretty much as it has in your lifetime, you haven't lived long enough or you aren't looking back far enough.
Biggest Loser: One of Antarctica's largest glaciers is thinning 4 times faster than it did just 10 years ago. It is now losing 16 meters of thickness a year – and the loss is ice melt that flows into the ocean.
Snowballs in Hell: The Treasury says it will prevent insiders from illegal insider trading and wanton profiteering in the PPIP program – the one where they put up $10 billion and the government puts up $40 billion and the insiders get to keep the profits. Why would they need to cheat?
Porn O'Graph: Change is personal income.