There still isn't an actual plan to put Americans back to work.
Fun Fun Fun: In the first quarter of next year the Fed plans to stop buying Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie Mae's trash. Today banks only write mortgage loans they can immediately sell to a government agency. So what happens when Daddy takes the T-bird away? Rates go up a half percent, immediately.
Plot Thickeners: A mutated form of the H1N1 virus has killed over 400 people in Ukraine. A cluster of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 flu cases have been identified in North Carolina, and another virulent strain has shown up in Norway.
Just Sayin': In 2002 oil was priced at $26 a barrel and Saudi Arabia produced just over 7 million barrels a day. As the price rose to about $57 a bbl in 2005, production rose to just shy of 9.5 mbd. Since then oil climbed to $100 and then to $150 a bbl by August 2008 – and the Saudi's kept producing less than 9.5 mbd. It looks as though in only one of the last 5 years have they pumped more than they did in 2005. Interesting, no?
Gospel Truth: His Holiness extends a warm welcome to Anglicans who find their church's tolerance of gays unacceptable, says they'll fit right in. The haters, not the gays.
Promises, Promises: The commercial real estate market is headed for a collapse that will have “catastrophic effects” on the economy. Some $1.3 trillion in CRE debt is up for refinancing and about half of it will not be renewed. What are the banks going to do with all those empty offices, factories, malls - open card shops and second-hand clothing stores?
Good Old Days: A 2005 Census Bureau survey found that more than 20% of Americans could not meet their basic needs without help from family or outside agencies. While 99% of the nations households had refrigerators, a goodly number didn't have anything to put in them. And that was before the good times ended.
Shaken, not Stirred: The East Antarctic Ice Sheet, once thought to be stable, is losing 57 billion tons of ice a year to global warming, raising fears that global sea levels will rise faster than previously predicted as Antarctica “may start to lose more ice than Greenland within a few years," said a University of Texas scientist
in an email that hasn't been stolen yet.
More Magic Numbers: The SEC has decided that “Proved Oil Reserves” don't have to be proven at all, merely assumed to be recoverable by “reliable technology” and undisclosed “trade secrets”. Makes wishful thinking respectable.
Freedom of Deceit: Ohio has joined the crowd in suing Moody's, S&P and Fitch for giving their clients' crappy bonds AAA ratings. The agencies claim the ratings are a form of free speech. But if they charge for the speech – and they do – how is it free?
Neighbor Hood Watch: The US, having been kicked out of its big Manta airbase in Ecuador and having failed to overthrow Chavez, is attempting to establish “crushing military superiority with atomic and conventional weapons” to control the oil-rich areas of South America. Seven new bases in Columbia will help strengthen US presence in South America “where security and stability is under constant threat from... anti-US governments". The Pentagon seems intent on rejecting the democratically expressed wishes of the people in favor of continued access to the people's oil. Again.
Quoted: In 2005, the DOE reported “that even if a crash program were to be implemented a decade before the fact, a production peak would still severely disrupt the global economy. Peak oil is a bigger issue than health care, than federal budget deficits. … There are no quick fixes.”
Porn O'Banking: Bank reserves have grown fat off TARP and similar government gifts they were supposed to use to make loans to spur the nation's economy and build jobs. What, besides giving themselves bonuses, are they doing with the money? As Lincoln asked Meade about the Army, perhaps we could ask for the money back “as they're not using it.”
Roadsign: Has the predictive ability of 'the markets' eroded as financial transactions morphed from old fashioned investing (buy and hold, asset allocation, concern for dividends and profits, etc) to today's orgy of speculative day trading? How else to explain today's Dow, given the real economy and its real outlook?
Porn O'Graph: Making money the old fashioned way, actually earning it.