The crowd grows restless, where are the Christians, the lions?
Blowback: As the consequences of the financial frauds being perpetrated – both openly and secretly - by Wall Street, the Treasury, the Fed and the banking/finance industry - become more and more pronounced, the eventual fallout will be much worse than 2008's disruption. It, too, will be a surprise.
Name that Tune: Housing has not bottomed, just because the government was able to bribe some folks into signing on the dotted line. Foreclosures are still running at 300,000 a month and we've got Option-ARM's and the lovely Interest Only mortgages next year and the year after. - Housing's already had more bottoms than the Follies Begere.
Effect Before Cause? The Council of Economic Advisors reports that only $151 billion of the $700 billion in stimulus money has been disbursed, yet the Administration can already point to a million or more jobs that have been saved. Wait until the stimulus gets a chance to actually work...
Big Bones: Yes, you've got big bones. Yes, your family has always been large. Yes, you've got the fat gene. No, that's not an excuse. A diet low in fat overcomes all of the above. In this case, nurture can trump nature.
Step Carefully: Morgan Stanley Asia's chairman says the US consumer is “not coming back,” and there is a 1 in 3 chance that the putative US recovery could be undone by nearly any disturbance, from a major storm to a labor strike.
Totally Crude: Total's CEO says oil shortages will drive oil above $145 a barrel by 2014, and expects that “there won’t be enough oil and gas by the middle of the next decade.”
Interesting, Very Interesting: One of the more wonderful innovations in mortgages in the later part of the 'irrational exuberance' was the interest-only loan, which allowed the 'buyer' to pay just the interest on his house loan for several years. Then the payment reverts to a full amortizing amount – often 40% to 70% above the existing payment. Nationally, 18% of such loans are already delinquent, and the conversion dates are yet to come.
Every Day In Every Way: In the last 35 years – since 1975 – US household income has increased only 11% in real terms. Much of that stunning gain is the combined result of men earning less and more wives working. What's taking the revolution so long?
Happy Holidays: If you going to San Francisco, be sure to put some money in the meter. Parking tickets are now $50 a pop. Any day, every day. Especially on holidays, when you might want to play tourist.
Don't Look Now: Norway's oil production (mainly North Sea) fell 7% from July to August. Fell isn't quite the right word; a 7% decline in a month isn't a fall, it's a plunge.
Lack of Modesty: A former Bank of Japan governor says while '"in principle equity values should be set by the market and authorities should avoid manipulating prices because doing so would hurt the stock market’s reputation." the government may need to buy corporate shares in order to protect the nation's stock market. Got the idea from Washington, where it's called the Plunge Protection Team. There's never a curtain around when you need one.
Porn O'Graph: Cantarell, Exhibit Two for the defense (One being Texas production).