I'm hearing music from another time.
Democracy, Meaning of: Rep Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) “this is a democracy, and I think the voice of the people have [sic] been heard quite loudly.” Yes, House, Democrats 256, Republicans 178; Senate, 57 Democrats, 40 Republicans; White House; 1 Democrat , 0 Republican. Americans in favor of healthcare reform, 70+%. The voice seems to have been pretty clear.
What He Said: “Now Ted Kennedy is being remembered as a great man. The thing is, he didn't change – he always was.”
Cart, Horse? In past global slowdowns, the United States invariably led the way out, followed by Europe and the rest of the world. But now the catalyst is coming from China and the rest of Asia, where resurgent economies are helping the still-shaky West recover from the deepest recession since World War II.
Report Card: Nearly one third of US banks have already reached the failure point in one or more key facets of their operations.
It's All Over, Except: The recession is all over except for the stillborn housing market, increasing negative equity, collapsing commercial real estate, excessive household debt, increasing bank failures, falling personal income, dormant consumer spending, and oh, the shouting. There'll be lots more shouting.
Whose Ox? The destruction of the world's forest is contributing far less carbon to global climate change than is generally claimed. Or so claims Brazil, which is busy burning down the Amazon.
FDR Was Wrong: It is not only fear itself, but the idiots at TSA. How much longer will the traveling public pretend to believe the story about monsters under the bed? Or, in this case, in the seat-back pockets? Why do we have this Ministry of Fear?
Strange Fruit: There's a recovery going on – in the US, Europe, China – a world wide recovery, except. Except Japan's exports have fallen for 10 straight months. Except China's exports are over 20% down from last year. Except the Baltic Dry Index – a measure of how much stuff is getting shipped in this recovering environment is down 35% from last years low figure.
Feeding Time: Remember how JP Morgan, Countrywide, et al. made all that money palming sub-prime mortgages off as AAA investments and brought on the credit mess? Now the taxpayers are going to give them $21 billion more – supposedly to help out those now in trouble with their loans – the ones JP Morgan etc. were so proud of. More rewards for the guilty.
New House News: The number of new houses sold was up about 10% in July, m/m, while prices were down 10% y/y. How the $8,000 first-timer gift affected sales and prices is unknown. Quite possibly it increased not only the number of sales, but the prices, too.
Petri Dish Economics: By 2030 the population will increase 30%, demand for food will increase at lest 30% and more likely 50% if incomes rise, demand for water will increase by 30%, and the demand for energy will increase 50%. What happens when the 2 billion newbies find out that demands don't necessarily elicit supply? Better question: How many people will the planet actually be able to feed, water and provide for in 2030. Bonus question: How do we lower the population that much that fast?
Straight Line: Move up. Get a $50 to $200 rebate to help pay for that new fridge, freezer. The idea is to get the old inefficient ones off the grid and replace them with Energy Star stars. Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper just to rule that any appliance that doesn't get the equivalent of 32 mpg can't be sold? Or is this about selling appliances, not saving energy?