Knowing what needs doing, and doing it are different things.
Fools, Played for: The headlines shout: Big Banks Repay Bailout Money! Taxpayers Profit! Some say $4 billion, some $14 billion. I say hogwash. Profit involves toting up your investment and expenses, subtracting that from the income produced from the investment. We're years away from that accounting. Even if you limit discussion the few big firms that have “repaid” some of the bailout money, you've got to include all the billions passed to them through AIG and who knows what other “private” deals that Bernanke doesn't want to talk about. Pull the other one, it's got a bell on it.
Check the Expiration Date: Our man in Kabul says the use-by date on US strategy in Afghanistan has passed and a new one is needed. Maybe we could find one that has a get-out-by date.
False Dawn: The coming age of electric vehicles may be a way for a few to adjust to dwindling gasoline supplies, but it will do nothing for global warming. It just moves the CO2 from cars' tailpipes to the smokestacks of coal and gas fired power plants. One stone, one bird.
Pencil It In : The market keept going up because 'earnings beat expectations'. But they mostly did so on falling sales revenues. You can only fire Joe down in production once. After that you can use up on-hand inventory and not re-order. And the quarter after that you can maybe fire Mary-Jo in accounting, 'cause there'll be nothing left to account for.
Frigid Ridge A: The coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth – so boring it barely has any weather – is Ridge A on the Antarctic Plateau. Just the spot for an observatory. And night lasts several months, too.
Gonna' Make War No More: Not only are the Afghans and Iraqis pretty tired of US wars, Argentina and Mexico seem ready to call it quits on the US sponsored War on Drugs – which has been going about as well as the campaign in Afghanistan, only much longer.
Calling Dibbs: To make a lot of the things that go into hybrid cars – magnets, bateries and other high-tech components – requires a number of rare metals. China, the dominant producer of rare earths, has begun limiting exports. Ah, market forces.
Too Little Too Late, Again: Every ten years or so the leaders of the world gather, nod solemnly about the need to do something about global climate change and put their names at the bottom of a list of promises they have no intention of keeping. The next repeat of this charade is set for Copenhagen this December. It may be the last such; the planet seems to be tiring of the foolishness.
Daniel in the Liars Den: In a WSJ article, Daniel Yergin of CERA argues that there's no danger of peak oil any time soon. His “factual” citation is “a new analysis of over 800 oil fields [that] shows ample physical resources below ground.” That refers to an International Energy Agency report that reads, “first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields... has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago.”
Got Milk? Over 60% of adult humans are not lactose tolerant. It's the default setting. A few folks – about 4% are allergic to things eggs, peanuts, shellfish, and gluten – but most humans simply stop making the enzyme to digest the sugars in milk when they're about 4 or 5.