The Cavalry Is Here: Asian nations, lead by China, intervened in the currency markets overnight to slow the collapse of the US dollar, lifting it 1.2% from previous lows. Some credit is also given to Bernanke for saying that loose money could not go on forever. Keep in mind that the cavalry arrived at the Little Big Horn, too.
Imagine All the People... Total consumer credit is down 5.8% y/y and revolving credit (think credit cards) is down over 13% y/y. Kind of hard to make a consumer recovery out of that. Ah, the Christmas season.
Ties that Bind: Much of the world is upset at the United States for wanting a climate change agreement that is enforceable and actually reduces global warming.
... some are more equal than others: The law granting Italian Prme Minister Berlusconi immunity from prosecution while in office has been voided by Italy's Constitutional Court, which has read Animal Farm.
Misdirection: History will show that while 25 million children died from preventable diseases, air pollution killed over 4 million people, 50,000 square miles of farmable land were turned into desert, billions of tons of carbon was dumped into the atmosphere and glaciers began melting into the oceans, the richest country in the world focused on chasing down a handful of the poorest in the hills of Afghanistan, wasting hundreds of billions of dollars in the process. I'll be gone, you explain it to the grandkids.
Perspective: The Senate healthcare reform bill will cost $83 billion a year over the next ten years, while the country plans to spend $625 billion next year alone on war - $10 for killing our enemies for every $1 for the health of the citizenry. It's the American way.
Runs With Scissors: Upset because no one has rushed to enact his much wanted Second Stimulus, Paul Krugman is telling tales out of school. Specifically, he pointed out that international trade “ has fallen through the floor in a way that it literally never has before, including in the Great Depression” He went on to point out that “we really are one world economy in a way that has never been true before,” he said, implying that if one sinks (that one being the US) then we all sink.
Effrontery: Saudi Arabia has been demanding assurances that its customers will continue to pay it billions and billions of dollars even if it stops producing oil as part of a global campaign to lower CO2 emissions. Pretty clever for an oil country with rapidly declining reserves....
...Pants on Fire: Under the admirable header of “Global Warming is Neither” a weatherman writing in an energy trade rag managed to misstate and willfully misinterpret a decade of scientific research. I'm sure some will take it as gospel now that the world is cooling, not warming and that the hoax has been proven. Nope. And don't write me about it until you go read some actual climate science.
Outsourcing? US manufacturing as a share of GDP has fallen from 20% to 11.5% in the last 30 years, and its share of the global marketplace has shrunk from 19% to 14% since 2000.
Salvation Postponed: Pemex has poured $3.4 billion into the Chicontepec oilfield project – Mexico's only hope to replace some of Cantarell's diminishing output. Now the government is telling Pemex to pack it in, somehow not understanding that without oil production the Mexican government will pack it in.
Frye Revisited: Under the cute acronym FAST, DTS is planning on using remote-sensing lie detectors to catch you thinking about forbidden things around airplanes. Bad thoughts will keep you from flying. The Supreme Court's decision in Frye vs US ruled lie detection was inadmissible. I'm with them.
No, No, Nannette: Our man in Afghanistan wants to add 40,000 new soldiers to the 65,000 we already have there, even though there are less than 100 al-Qaeda fighters left in the country. The current enemy is a bunch of thugs under the trade-name Taliban who are quite nasty, but are not a threat to international order. It is a crummy country, whose only redeeming value is as a place to grow opium poppies. Tell Obama to just say 'No' and bring the troops home.
Porn O'Graph: Credit, where credit is overdue.