We do not need agreements, we need solutions.
Ooops. Economists, the folks who didn't see the recession coming and have agreed that its all over, predicted that consumer credit would fall by $4 billion in July. It did. And then it fell another $17.6 billion, as banks tightened qualifications, unemployment increased, and folks tried to pay down their debts.
Dumb Fox? Keep in mind that the political smarts and political will that brought Obama to the White House did not evaporate overnight. Ask yourself if there could be some explanation for his apparent fumbles. Then ask yourself if you like the answer.
Half a Loaf: A federal appeals court has ruled that former AG Ashcroft can be sued. Okay, but the real question is can he and Gonzales be tried...
The "After" Part: For a glimpse of a future without oil, try the present in North Korea: “ In the countryside... farmers tend their crops with hoes, shovels and their bare hands while the occasional piece of rusting farm equipment - rendered useless by a fuel shortage - sits idle... With no machines and all the livestock eaten, quiet lingers in rural areas of a nation where 8.7 million face hunger.”
Clarification: There will not be a “jobless recovery.” No jobs, no recovery. Next question?
Word Study : If the minimum payment on your credit card doesn't cover the interest, you are in serious trouble. You get out by declaring bankruptcy. What makes you think Uncle Sam will be any different? Words to study: Inflation, Default, Repudiation.
Timing's Off : AP's headline read “Time running out for bipartisan health compromise.” Actually, time ran out for bipartisan compromise a long time ago. Before last November. After the first Clinton election, when the GOP took a contract out on America.
Half Full, Of Course: Happy campers take in more information from the environment than do the depressed and anxious. Those who set out to upset and anger you are not doing you a favor. They may, in fact, be trying to get you to take your eye off the ball. Happy skeptics are not what the bankers, insurance companies, drug manufacturers nor the GOP seem to want.
Not Making It : Not only did the US lose over 200,000 jobs in the last ten years, US manufacturing employment is lower than it was in 1941. Happiness varies.
Follow Up: Yesterday we suggested the UK couldn't really undertake to rescue collapsing Commonwealth tax havens floundering in the wake of the global downturn. Today the UK refused to help out the Caymans. So the fifth largest banking center and the world's main venue for hedge funds finds itself contemplating levying taxes for the first time. Kind of hard to be a tax haven if you have to start taxing folks.
Is It Winter Already? Russia claims Ukraine is seeking to change their fee agreement for transit of Russian gas to Europe. Cue the chorus.
Partial Truth Telling: China's going around saying things that are true, more or less. The US has big problems with the future of the dollar, based on its incredible debt levels. This is true. What China doesn't own up to is their role in encouraging the US to dig this hole. Now they're afraid the Fed's printing presses will devalue Chinese dollar holdings. Sniff.
Asked & Answered: “Is The SEC Completely Useless?” No, not completely. Both Madoff and Goldman Sachs found the SEC quite helpful.
War is Impolite: Members of the US 10th Mountain Division stormed through a hospital south of Kabul late at night, tying up the staff and forcing patients out of bed while they searched for wounded Taliban. As they left, empty handed, they ordered the Swedish charity hospital's staff to report wounded patients so the military could decide who got treated.