They talk about the next step as if there were one.
A Christmas Story : Europe fears that Scrooge, played by Russia again this year, is in an even better position to ruin this Christmas and the rest of the coming winter. Russia is the world's largest exporter of oil and an essential source for natural gas to heat European homes.
Census Data: The number of active rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the US dropped from 2,031 a year ago to 999 now. And of those, only 288 are looking for oil.
Missing Money: The US debtor (aka the US consumer) is cutting back. Instead of the traditional 5.5% annual increase in 'revolving credit', the balances are being paid down. The difference comes to about $150 billion plus interest – say $165 billion. That's 1.2% of GDP and it will be missed. If the trend continues, as many expect, the impact will be larger in coming years. Deflation, today's word is deflation.
Pick a vintage: In what year did the Dow close at 9,605 in the second week of September. a) 2001, b) 2009, c) both 2001 and 2009, or d) Is this adjusted for inflation/deflation?
Rich Poor : Remember when writing a bad check was a crime? Now we have automatic overdraft protection for our checks and debit cards. Instead of refusing to keep customers from spending money they don't have, banks will take in about $27 billion this year. We've decriminalized one type of fraud and legitimized another.
Multiple Choice : The economy will not recover because (1) Wages are stagnant. (2) Unemployment is still rising (3) Customers are over-indebted (4) Commercial real estate is way overbuilt. (5) Housing is overbuilt and overpriced. (6) The Federal government has no stimulus left. (7) City, State, and Federal tax income continues to fall. (8) Obama is black. (9) Most of the above. (10) All of the above and more.
Good News/Bad News: The good: Two cargo ships have completed the Northeast route across the Russian Arctic, cutting travel time and distance – and thus CO2 emissions -by 35% . The Bad: Cargo ships can use the northern route because previous CO2 emissions caused the ice to melt.
Some Quotes: “In the U.S. and many other countries, the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger. The problems are worse than they were in 2007 before the crisis.” And we've failed to address the major cause of the entire mess: the underlying distribution of income and wealth. And also: US economic growth will remain sluggish for years to come
Take That! Slapping tariffs on Chinese tires is a bit dramatic. First, the Chinese were breaking no trade agreements. Second, their intrusion in the US tire market was relatively minor, all things considered. But it's nice that Mr. Obama can appear tough. Too bad the Republicans don't make tires.
Alternative Energy: One of the better ways to cut down on CO2 emissions is neither windmills nor solar panels, it's to fund family planning worldwide. Might make the food go further, too.
Proximity : If you can't blame the one you loathe, loathe the one that's President. The Republican Recession, aka the Bush Bust, will is very likely get blamed on the Current Occupant, even though the country lost ground in nearly all social measures under The Other Guys: household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased, the number of Americans without health insurance spiked and the seeds of our financial destruction were sown. Every Republican should be forced to explain why they voted for each and every one of the horrible things that Bush did to us, starting with Iraq and ending with bailing out Wall Street.
Goody Two Shoes: Workers will magically save the day, rescue Wall Street, and live happily ever after. Or not.
Porn O'Graph: You get what you pay for.