Everything we do, we do today; tomorrow never comes.
Party Poopers: Over 551,000 Americans lost their jobs this week, 17,000 more than last week, selfishly unconcerned about how this may affect the stock market or Bernanke's recovery statistics.
Priorities: Iowa's GOP Sen. Grassley proposed that $7 billion in health-care fees the government would levy on insurance corporations be eliminated and the shortfall be made up by reducing benefits for the poor. Criticizing this scheme would be redundant.
Spend, Spend, Spend: Consumer spending is 70% of GDP. Consumer savings are moved up from zero to about 5% this year. If every consumer saved 5% , consumption would be lowered 5% and the GDP cut by 3.5%. It is very hard to make a 3.5% GDP decline part of a recovery. The real problem is that Americans have not yet begun to save.
Light Light Vehicle Sales: September's 9.2 million light vehicle sales, seasonally adjusted, were down about a third from August's inflated sales and in line with previous 2009 sales before the government promotion. Individually, GM sales were down 45% y/y, Chrysler 42%, Toyota was off 12% and Ford was the winner, dropping only 5%.
Vanishing – Act 1: Four years ago, Mexico produced 3.4 million barrels of oil a day. Today it's down to 2.5 mbd, and by 2017 it will be only 1.5 mbd. Last year Mexico consumed 2 mbd.
Vanishing - Act2: CIT, the largest lender to small businesses, is imploding. No government bailout is expected because its customers are small and high risk and the backbone of our economy, creating more new jobs than large corporations which bank with large financial giants who get bailed out.
Ghost Riders : Saturn will soon be but a memory, as production lines close this year and the brand name disappears within a year. GM is also closing a big pickup truck plant this week due to fading sales.
Crony Capitalism, The Out-Takes: Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, as Treasury Secretary, secretly tried to get Blankfein, then CEO of Goldman, to use government money to take over Wachovia, whose then CEO was Robert Steel, former vice-chair of Goldman and Paulson's former #2 at Treasury. Warren Buffett was consulted, and while he didn't comment on the wisdom of the deal, he questioned the wisdom of the dealers.
The Poor Are Always With Us: The income gap in the United States continues to widen as the rich get richer and the rest don't matter.
Statistics: Reams of happy numbers keep coming out of China, but some seem... too happy? An enormous increase in bank lending has resulted in fewer defaults. Petroleum use – every economy's favorite fuel – is down 8% but China reports a large increase in manufacturing. Maybe they're into wind-powered solar energy.
Inevitable: Documents presented in US District Court show that a wholly innocent Kuwaiti was captured, tortured in Afghanistan by US personnel, then shipped to Guantanamo where, after further torture, he eventually confessed to things he had never done.
A Billion Here, A Billion There: Let's put all the excitement about big new oil finds in perspective - 20 billion barrels of new oil finds doesn't add up to the 30 billion we use or the big finds of yesteryear. Maybe a long and deep depression will save us.
We're Saved: What will a 4 °C world look like? Pretty awful, but don't worry about it. Pray for a recession. A really good, long, deep recession is just the thing to help us avoid both catastrophic climate change and peak oil.
Ad Libbing: "The true inflation rate in America? It's certainly at least 6 or 7 percent, the US government lies about it, as you know, everybody who shops knows that prices are up, everybody except the US government, and I wish we knew where they shopped.”