Collector's Item: States tax collections fell 16.6% in 2Q2009. For the year ending in June, receipts were down 8%. Personal income taxes are down 27.5% but sales tax receipts are off only 9.5% - which seems curious.
Golly Gee: Investigators were shocked to discover, even though they tried mightily not to, that Hamid Karzai had stuffed the ballot boxes. Now there'll be another chapter in this farce. And the White House says it would be a bad idea to send more troops there until Afghanistan has “good governance.” Stand down, men, there'll be a slight delay.
Just Sayin': Now would be a good time to prepare for the next crash and its unexpected consequences.
Go Away: North Korea responded to severe food shortages this summer by sending hundreds of thousands of city folk to the countryside where they were supposed to help with the non-existent harvest. It's fall, with a cold Korean winter on the way, and still no food, so the government has told the urbanites to stay in the countryside where they have a chance of scrounging some food, instead of returning to join the starving residents of the cities.
Reputation: The only thing a rating firm has to sell is its reputation, and in the last few years some of them have done so.
Shipped Out: Eurozone exports fell nearly 6% in August, m/m. A 'significant' negative impact from the unwinding of global imbalances is expected. Britain faces a 'dangerous rise' in debt, even as the population rejects government efforts to cut spending. German financiers feel the current pace of economic recovery is “unsustainable” and that the country will undergo another credit crisis as more bad debts surface.
People First: Many think climate change is the big issue. Others vote for peak oil. Some worry about water. All are partially right, but finally wrong. If we do not reverse our exploding population numbers, all is lost.
Conditions: Some prescient souls are wondering if the huge banking profits being reported might be due to the big government subsidies they received. Ya think?
Silly Question #45: “Could rising oil prices stunt the stock rally?” Yes, and so could a dose of reality. Remember that the last time oil started ramping up was 2007, which lead to $147 oil, which lead to the worst bear market since the Depression.
Almost Magic: The nation's largest non-government insurer of mortgages lost over $500 million in 3Q2009 and has lost over $1 billion so far this year. Delinquencies on their insured loans rose to 14% in the quarter just ended, double the rate a year ago.
Too Little, Too Late: Nothing the politicians have done or are planning to do will limit CO2 emissions enough to prevent a global temperature rise beyond 2ºC . The world must begin a rapid shiftto low-carbon economy by 2014 or face dangerous climate change. If a strong agreement is not reached at the UN conference in December, “catastrophy” will be heard with ever greater frequency.
Clouds, Linings: In California the tough times being faced by land developers have become a boon to those who would preserve the natural enviornment. Needing cash to survive, many developers are glad to accept suprisingly low cash offers for land they have in idle inventory.
Another Black Hole: Inspired by the US deficit, scientists have created a black hole on earth that sucks in light and prevents it from escaping, like Goldman Sachs does government money.