Keep walking, avoid eye contact.
Over-Reaction Are US: For a business that once focused on customer comfort, the airlines & Hopeless Security keep finding ways to make air travel something to be avoided if at all possible.
Shade Tree Economics: The US budget is so unbalanced that the eventual debasement of the dollar through inflation is inevitable. Only the timing remains uncertain. Probably after a bout of deflation.
Modesty: Because Fannie and Freddie “provide vital liquidity” to the mortgage industry by purchasing mortgages from lenders and selling them to investors, loans no bank would rationally make are written knowing that F/F will buy them. Investors then buy the F/F MBS because F/F guarantee them. (And the Fed holds $1.1 trillion of them.) The US Treasury stands behind F/F, ready to rescue them, and thus behind their MBS. The banks don't hold on the mortgages long enough to lose any money. The investors can't lose any money because the US Treasury stands behind F/F's guaranteed MBS. The only one who can, and will, lose money is the US taxpayer. A couple of trillion, probably.
About Face: The Pentagon, now that Bush/Cheney have gone away, admits that privatization was a really bad idea and that it can save $44,000 for each “contractor” replaced by a soldier or DoD civilian.
Obvious, Belabored: National Security Adviser James Jones says there are at most 100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, and fewer than 400 in Pakistan. Other estimates claim there are far fewer than that.
Secret Formula: The reason we have foreclosure problems is that too many people paid too much for their houses. And if the old 28% DTI formula is valid – and it seems to be - we are but 60% of the way through the foreclosure parade, with about 15 million more to come.
Countdown: Obama is reported to have told China that the US could not keep Israel on a leash forever and that one day soon Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Of course this report comes from Israel, which is not wholly unbiased on the subject.
Future, Tense: If you were an oil production analyst for the Energy Information Agency and you got a new box of crayons for Christmas, they'd come with the usual instructions: Stay inside the lines.
The Roof: Mortgage rates are headed up, to 6% or more by the end of 2010. Freddie Mac claims that this is because private buyers of MBS will demand higher returns than the Fed has settled for. Thus the Treasury will have to offer higher rates in order to compete for funds.
The Real Deal: You may not think the threat is real, but the Pentagon is getting ready to fight the Climate Change wars,
The Trend: From 1890 to 2004 housing prices rose 0.4% a year. Houses are not a good investment. Owning does not beat renting. You need a 10 to 20% increase in price just to break even. I know you don't believe me, neither does my wife.